Archive for July, 2012

Straight from Heaven

Our little packet of 'Spiritual Sunlight'

Sweet baby Hadlee is here!  She is every bit as beautiful as we knew she would be, weighing in at 6 lbs 10 oz.  Erika was such a trooper – I hardly heard a complaint come out of her mouth the whole nine months.  Our whole family has a different perspective on pain and suffering after watching Tyler go through cancer with barely a negative word.  I know it wasn’t easy for Erika the last few weeks – she is about as tiny as the baby!  We were texting each other the morning that Hadlee came into this world, and Erika asked me what I thought the baby was doing right then, knowing she was coming to earth today.  I said I thought maybe Tyler was there telling her what a wonderful family she was going to and how much she was going to love her parents and her big brother.  It was hard for me to think of her having to leave Tyler.  The great news is, I’m sure with his eternal perspective he has now, he knows it will only be a “blink of an eye” until he sees her – and all of us again.  I knew I was going to be pretty emotional the rest of the day.

Erika let me go into the delivery room with her and Brian this time.  Now I KNOW my son-in-law is a gem!  How many would let their mother-in-laws be there for the birth of their children?  He is truly one in a million.   The labor and delivery were just a few hours this time, and little Hadlee came into this world in the most peaceful, beautiful fashion.  I don’t remember my babies being delivered in such a calm, quiet manner.  There was no chaos, no craziness – even when they realized that this baby was coming hours before they expected!

It might be the ‘grandma’ in me speaking, but the minute that sweet baby was born, the room was filled with the most complete love – that’s the only way I can describe it.  I know we all felt Tyler’s love for us and his niece.  It was an incredible feeling that words can’t describe. If only babies could talk!  I would love to know what she knows and have her tell us where she came from and how Tyler is!

We are so grateful to have sweet Hadlee here with us – she will fill empty arms and help to fill a hole in our hearts.  The aching for Tyler has not softened with time, but to hear Caleb, when Darren asks, “Who’s your buddy?”, yell with all his might, “Grandpa!” brings a smile to all of us.  To hear that sweet baby girl squirm and yes, even to cry, reminds us all that babies are a gift from God.  Life is still good, and families are forever.  How eternally grateful I am to have mine!

Bragging Time! I know - cutest baby ever!

Best big brother!




Debits and Credits

My dad is an accountant.  My two brothers are both accountants.  My two older brother-in-laws are accountants.  I worked through high school and college keeping the books for two businesses, Flamm Furniture and Keith’s, The Man’s Shop/The Classic Shoppe in Rexburg (there’s a blast from the past all of you ‘Madisonian’s’).  I declared Accounting as my major while I was attending Ricks College – you see the pattern here anyway, right?  In fact, Darren was the first non- ‘bean counter’ to enter our family.  That, along with him having a beard while we were dating :), (and maybe the fact that I was only eighteen when we got married), maybe helped him to feel a little like the ‘black sheep’.  Good thing he is such a great guy and won hearts over anyway!

I loved accounting – loved learning about debits and credits and how everything must balance, or you’ll never know truly how much you’re off.  I enjoyed working with my dad and having him teach me all about a general ledger and how to keep things in balance.  I do have to say, it’s much more fun to do it when it’s someone else’s money – not near as much fun to try and balance my own!

I have thought a lot this past year about my personal debits and credits and how they relate to service.  I think before this past year I only could ask for a favor or be deserving of a ‘debit’, if I had sufficiently ‘credited’ my account and it was even or had a credit balance.  I tried to make things ‘balance’ by doing something nice for someone else before I ever asked anything in return.  In fact, I was uncomfortable if too much was done for me and my ‘account’ was out of balance and my debits were higher than my credits.  I would not let anyone help me if I didn’t feel like I had helped them first and things were ‘balanced’.  I always needed to be in ‘credit’ status to feel validated.

Well, my books have been knocked way out of balance the past year.  My debits are so stacked up – I have been served constantly without any credits in my account at all.  When I look at my ‘General Ledger’, all I see from the past year are entries to my debit side, over and over in the form of meals, letters, yardwork, fundraisers, etc.  There have been very few credit entries.  I  am very uncomfortable with that.  As all accountants know, being out of balance can keep one up all night trying to figure out where the mistake is.  In my case, it’s no different.  It’s 4:00 a.m. right now and I have been up all night thinking about the outpouring of love, service, and overwhelming ‘debits’ that have been entered in my books.

I suppose I just want to say in this post that I am learning that our ‘accounts’ may have to be ‘out of balance’ at some point in our lives.  Maybe that’s how the Lord planned it.  Sometimes part of the trial is learning to be that way and letting others add their entries to our ‘books’.  If we refuse to be served, we can’t be in balance either.  It’s been a painful part of my lesson as well, but one I am learning.  Thank you to so many for your entries into our ‘chart of accounts’.  I will spend the rest of my life trying to make debits in others’ accounts trying to help mine come back into balance.

I would like this fundraiser in Tyler’s name for the ‘Giving Trees’ to be a beginning of our family’s debits.  Once again, I’ve had to ask for your help in making this incredible event a reality.  Thank you to so many who came out and who have expressed their desire to help with this night.  So many giving hearts, it’s overwhelming!  I do believe what we can do to help other hurting hearts will help credit all of our accounts and be a step in the right direction to balancing in our lives.

Spread the word and come share this incredible evening with us!


F2TF Benefit Concert and Dinner

I am so excited to announce the first F2TF Benefit Concert on Tuesday, August 7th.  We have some wonderful, talented performers who have generously donated their time and talents for this event!  I am constantly amazed at how giving people are…I always think about the quote by Dr. Seuss, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better….it’s not.”  This community cares a whole ‘awful lot’, and I will spend the rest of my life trying to repay kindnesses shown to us, but am excited to be a part of making things ‘get better’.

The mayor of Layton has graciously donated the use of the Ed Kenley Amphitheater for the night and we have some AMAZING talents coming to entertain you!  It will be a night you will not want to miss!  I am convinced that this night is something Tyler would have wanted to happen.  All proceeds from this show will go directly to other cancer warriors!  Remember the ‘Giving Tree’ that sweet Dylan Shaw gave to Tyler?  This tree had been passed around to five kids in the last year.  With the proceeds of this concert, we hope to be able to brighten faces and lives of MANY more people with cancer.  I think about Tyler’s face as he would flip through the restaurant gift cards on the tree and decide which restaurant could satisfy his food craving that night, and it makes me smile.  He would Google menus of the places he had cards for and think about the food all day!  His tastebuds were so messed up from the chemotherapy that nothing that he used to love tasted good anymore.  What a gift those cards were!

I would love to see a crowd as large as the one that attended his fundraiser at this event!  It will be a night of music, laughter, and healing.  Please put this night on your calendars and plan to bring your friends and family.  All the details will be posted on this website and on the ‘Anything for a Friend’ website within a week.  We are just hammering out the final details.

And speaking of the final details, we will be having a meeting on Tuesday, July 10th at my home.  I would love to have anyone who is interested in helping make this event successful come to the meeting!  If you do not know where I live, email me at and I will send you my address.  We still have need of volunteers to help promote the evening, pre-sell tickets, and help us get food donations.  We are still working on having a dinner there as well.  We will be selling F2TF tshirts, and F2TF window decals, but will not have an auction.  If you would like to help-we would love to have you!!!  Thank you again for helping us keep Tyler’s memory alive, and helping brighten lives of others who suffer as well.  Tyler would be proud of us!