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Sunday, June 2, 2019

Spring 2019

I feel that seasonal posts are my new normal. Eventually I want to print these all out but for now digital journaling is what I can do.

This spring Robyn decided to try something new and ran track. She enjoyed it and learned that she really can run without stopping! She has already committed to try cross country in the fall.

Allison decided to try something new and ran for student council for publicity. She was selected to be on the cabinet and is very excited for the friends and opportunites that she will have. It was definitely an emotional few weeks of putting herself out there for the skits, posters, assemblies etc. She drove off by herself to hear the results on the radio. She heard she didn't make publicity and then had to wait a long ten minutes to get the call that she made cabinet. Red eyes and smiles followed by a late night STUCO initiation.

Robyn thought that looked like so much fun she also decided to run for publicity and won at the junior high level!  Allison just roles her eyes at how Robyn looks up to her and follows her example. Now if you look closely you will see that publicity is misspelled. Allison and I both looked at it at 6 the next morning and thought it looked great. Robyn posted it up, got teased a ton, took it down with friends supporting her, had her YW leader drop by new poster boards, and had Allison and her spend the night watching World of Dance reruns and making better and improved posters.

Taylor had a bit of a rough patch with feeling sick again but a few weeks and one hospital trip and he was doing much better.

After realizing that life is too short to ever post-pone family time, we decided to go to Newport for Spring Break with each girl inviting a friend to join us. Taylor stayed in respite while we were gone. Originaly we were going to cram in a cheap motel a few blocks away from the beach BUT the day before we left a friend gave us his Marriott points so we could stay at the Newport Villas right next to the beach. It was a piece of paradise and my kids thought we were in the lap of luxury.  We didn't tell them about the change in accomodations until we arrived.  They were blown away.

The family laughed that I was laying on the beach fast asleep within minutes of arriving! We left super early Saturday so we could do the beach Saturday. Crystal Cove was just across the street and a shuttle would take us there. Sunday after church we spent the day there again, and then on Monday we hit up Newport 26th street our ultimate beach spot. We even got parking right next to the beach which never happens.  We finished the night with milk shakes at Crystal Cove watching the sun set. Tuesday, Jeremy had to leave to catch a flight to Hawaii for a photo job. The girls and I spent a super long but extremely fun day at Disneyland. Wednesday we slept in as long as we could, then toured Balboa Island and drove to Las Vegas. The girls wanted to see the strip so we walked a super long time till everyone had their fill and then finished driving home Thursday in time for the girls play practice. A wonderful get away that was amazing and way too short.


Jeremy spent a week in Hawaii and got to visit with his best friend from high school while there. Then he went to the opposite end of the country to Chicago for a week. Then back for a day before heading off to the Mayo clinic again. He has been going every other week for two to three days. I am really glad that Allegiant flies out of Provo airport now.

Girls spent April practicing and performing their play. Practices every evening and weekend for My Son Pinocchio. They love it but it wears them out.

 Combined with that Allison had Calculus study groups for the AP test and Prom.

My parents were able to come out for the play and for my mom and I to go to Women's Conference. We were able to stay in the BYU dorm's so it felt like a mini-vacation with my mom who is one of y favorite people. It couldn't have been better timing!

We learned that the third tier drug Sutent did not work for Jeremy. It had prevented new growths and slowed current growth but it was still way over 20% growth. He was worse than he had ever been before by quite a bit and the tumors had crossed over to be on the diaphragm and elsewhere. So he had to go off everything for three weeks and try to get approval to be on the experimental drug in the trial. Its always quite a process! He also started experiencing some pretty good pain which came out of the blue after having a few good weeks in a row. It kept getting worse so he has been figuring out what works and what doesn't to help keep it under control. He also got approved to start the new drug and began a year to the day after his surgery. To celebrate and as an early Father's Day present he ticked off an item on his bucket list by going skydiving with his nephew Garion.

And then other spring activities. I am pretty boring just plugging away with teaching school, being in school and life. I have gotten to work with some amazing ladies this year.

Allison had Morp, and STUCO swearing in, plus work and finals and too many fun activities to count for choir, clubs, and school.

Robyn got to go help Jeremy re-build Discovery Park by us, had her end of year guitar recital and did some fun hikes and activities with friends.

Jeremy got to lead the Eagle's charge at our nephew Garion's Eagle Court...and wore his original scout uniform to do it!

To end out our spring, some super generous friends invited us to share their house with them for Memorial Day weekend. We slept, played, swam, and soaked up as much sun as possible. It has been a non-stop rainstorm it seems like this spring.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Winter of 2019

Doing the seasonal updates as my standards are dropping faster than pictures are piling up!

January started out with my parents visiting which is always a good time.  We got to do the Hall family Christmas party with them, attend the play The Odd Couple for my Dad's birthday and just enjoy hanging out and visiting.  And then they left, school started again, Jeremy left for a trip to Florida, masters classes started with SUU for me and reality was back in full swing.  Highlights of the month were celebrating Robyn's birthday with a night at Color Me Mine with a friend, getting her bottom braces on, and doing a mom/daughter date to see Wonderland at BYU.  My birthday was at the end of the month and I was grateful for friends and co-workers who showered me with love.  I decided that seeing a show was a great way to celebrate birthdays so the girls and my friend Brenda and I (Jeremy had to work), got to go check out the new Hale Center Theater in Sandy.

Jeremy had a few big photo jobs in January including a convention in Orlando, working at the Sundance Film Festival and Silicon Slopes. Jeremy's CT scan showed that the tumors were growing quite rapidly so we started pursuing having him be in a clinical trial.  It was a long process but eventually resulted in him getting into the clinical trial at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix.

Allison had a Sweater Swing dance, Save Ferris dance, and a Sweethearts Dance and loved all of them.  I am not sure how much they enjoy the actual dance but all the activities surrounding the dance, day dates, games, dinner, photos etc are always a good time.

Allison and Robyn tried out for their theater group's play and have been busy rehearsing and practicing.  Allison decided to try something new and is running for student council for next year.  Robyn decided to branch out as well by going out for track and had her first track meet.  I love that they both are trying new things and branching out to find their talents.  In February we got to redeem our Christmas presents by going to see Wicked together.  It was worth the wait!

Jeremy does photo shoots and client work from home, working around how he feels and the family schedule.  Getting into the Mayo Clinic was rather a long process with lots of ups and downs.  I was able to fly out with him for a weekend to go through the initial visits and tests.  I am so grateful that my sister-in-laws family is willing to host us every time.  We got to do some hiking, visiting, and sleeping along with the creepy waiting rooms in the basements of hospitals.   Jeremy got into the trial eventually and was chosen to take the placebo or the 3rd tier drug.  So far he is is handling it better than the other drugs although the pain from the tumors has been increasing.  It hasn't stopped him from living as much as he can including even presenting for my school's career day.  His friends threw a spin-a-thon for him at the rec center was was amazingly ridiculous.  I biked for 2 hours and then left to do kid duty.  Other insane super in shape people though made it the whole 5 hours.

Spencer is loving his mission and seeing God's hand in his life.  It is definitely work for him but one that he really enjoys.  He was made a trainer a few weeks ago and enjoying helping someone learn the ropes. He turned 20 last week which still blows my mind.  With the changes in missions we got to start talking to him every week which has been awesome and a learning process at the same time.  A lot of the things he talks about can seem like gobedly gook as he tries to explain all the tools he uses to help people with their family history.

Taylor caught a cold which ended up with him dehydrated and miserable which is par for the course.  Besides that he has been liking his bean bag, fireplace and little dog to cuddle with.  He has even started laughing at time which we all love.

We got to have the Hall clan over for Super Bowl Sunday which is always a good time.  With us being so close we try to get together once a month for dinner.

The rest of life is wonderfully the same full of all the things that seem so ordinary and yet are what give beauty and meaning to our every days.  Robyn trying to figure out how to build a bridge of popsicle sticks, Jeremy taking the girls to lunch, Sunday naps, and yard work plus everyone having jobs and school, errands and everything else.  I think sometimes looking at the surface of our life it looks so ordinary most of the time, even the cancer treatments and trips are just becoming part of our life.  And then something comes along like me getting strep or Jeremy getting initially refused for the trial that just feels like hitting a brick wall.  But most days, the regular days that I try not to take for granted are amazing and full of God's love and peace.  I am thankful for these normal days...and brownies.