Monday, December 29, 2008

Enough Doom and Gloom

Alright it is time for some catch-up posting! I am going to cover a lot of events, while trying to keep this post fairly concise. Sorry about the sideways pictures. I don't know why they came out that way, but I am not in the mood to go and reload them.

Dec. 22, 2008
Every Christmas season the Palmer clan has a huge get together, littered with all sorts of wonderful family traditions! The most beloved of all traditions is the white elephant gift exchange. Every year there is one item in greatest demand. This year it was an adult size pair of red long underwear PJ's! Everyone was fighting for it. We tried to get them, because that day we had just purchased Evan a pair just like it for his Christmas PJ's. Unfortunately it was not it the cards for us, and Jared won the prize. Thankfully, Jared let us borrow them for Christmas morning!

Evan with his Daddy at the cousins party. We had to dress him in his fancy Christmas outfit. He wears it to church every week. He is also wearing his bells for the reading of the Polar Express.

Everyone who got the underwear was required to wear it.

Michael and Jared laughing at one of their gifts. The party really is this fun!

The photographer didn't quite get everyone in the picture, but you get the idea of how huge this party is.

December 23, 2008

Lanny and Mark hosted our work party out at their place. Everyone fell in love with Evan ... how could you not ... and Mark's sue-chef gave him this hat! Isn't it adorable??? The party was really fun, but made me so grateful to live the life I do. There were so many of them completely wasted by the end of the evening, and they really were making fools of themselves. It is funny how friendly drunk people can be sometimes.

I LOVE this child!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

December 24, 2008
Christmas Eve this year was at Brian and Lori's house. It was a wonderfully relaxing evening with just our family eating beautiful and yummy food and exchanging gifts. We played this REALLY fun game called Quelf. Seriously I CANNOT wait to play it again. I don't think I would get sick of this one.

This year was the first year that we got to have Christmas in our own home. It was one of the most relaxing and wonderful experiences yet. I loved being able to wake up Christmas morning and revel in the joy of my child opening his presents and playing with them in the comfort of our own home. I loved being able to continue some of the traditions that I grew up with. (I made monkey bread for the first time :-)

After a wonderful morning at home we drove out to Lanny and Mark's house to have Christmas with the rest of the family. It was so fun, as we knew it would be. We talked, opened presents, went quading and sledding, ate some of the best food ever, and relaxed. I made the sweet potatoes (yes ... two baking attempts in one day) and people seemed to enjoy them. I think it was a success.

Justin and I stayed the night there and it was just a lovely day. I was able to talk to my family (well, some of them) and that was an amazing Christmas present for me to be able to have access to the technology that keeps me in touch with my family and friends, eventhough I am so far away from them.

I love Christmas, and I look forward to it every year. I hope that I am able to keep the Christmas spirit in my heart throughout the entire year, and keep my thoughts on Christ as much as I do through this beautiful (and COLD) time of year.

Our baby and his santa present

Daddy and Evan matching!

Quading and a tube ride behind the quad. What a fun day!!!!

My cousin, Zach, is playing in a big hockey tournament right now in Calgary. The benefit of this for me is that I get to see my cousins, Aunt, and Uncle that I haven't seen since I got married. Grandma Shaw also came out with them and she is staying with us. I love it when my family gets to come through and I have the opportunity to spend time with them. I can't believe how big my cousins have gotten, but I sure have had loads of fun getting to know them a bit better. Hopefully this is the start of a great relationship with them.

Uncle Jim and Auntie Lori, my cousins Zoe, Zach, and Kelley!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Our lives are forever changed

This week has been potentially the hardest weeks of our lives. As our faithful blog readers know, we did a TON of testing on Evan while we were in Florida and we got a call from the doctor this last monday, December 15. She said that the last blood test that we had done confirmed that our angel has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

SMA has many different types and Evan is type 2. This genetic disease has a huge range of effects that it can have on a person, but it does mean that he will be wheel chair bound for the rest of his life. Monday and Tuesday were hell, and everyday since has been better with some ups and downs. We are taking it all in one day at a time.

We have been so blessed with peoples prayers and good deeds this week. The first two days Justin was out of town and my mother in law drove into town to be with me that first night. My beautiful friend Kathy came the next day and spent the whole day sitting next to me on the couch while I fell apart. There have been so many people in our ward that have brought over dinner so I didn't have to think about what we were going to eat. There have been people who have brought over chocolate and other treats for when I need to "self medicate". There have been people who just stop by to give me a hug and a shoulder to cry on, and even people who have called on the phone just to make sure we are doing ok. My mom is going to come and be with me in January and I am drawing a lot of strength from that. We cannot express just how much all of the love that has been expressed to us over the past week has lifted us up. Thank you so much!

We have learned of a second cousin in Utah who has had three children with SMA, and today we are going to meet another family in Calgary that have two children with SMA, and tuesday is our neurologist appointment. We are doing everything that we can to learn about what it means to be the parents of a child with this specific dissability.

We know we will be ok, and are trying to be strong in the meantime. We love Evan with all of our hearts and more. We will do anything to make sure he is always happy.

Click here to read more about SMA

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Global Warming????

What happened to Global warming???
I think it is all a lie. Anyone who believes in Global warming doesn't live in Calgary.

The current temperature.

Light Snow
Feels Like
(The Temperature for tomorrow at 12 noon)

Feels Like

I really don't want to hear how great everyone else has it where they are living. I am having a hard enough time keeping myself positive about the weather where I am currently living. Send me any sympathy you have, but please don't brag right now.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Seriously the CRAZIEST thing EVER!!!

I know some people just look at blog pictures and that is fine, but seriously YOU HAVE TO READ THIS POST!!!!!!!!!!! If you don't want to read the whole thing scroll down to the labeled section at the bottom.

Notice that I am starting this post at 4:49 AM!!!! It all starts about 12 noon earlier today. That is when it started snowing, and it kept snowing, and snowing, and snowing, and snowing, and snowing ... well, I think you've got the picture.

A warning had been put out to all of Southern Alberta that nobody, let alone someone who just learned to drive ON snow (not IN snow), should be driving on the roads anywhere. I was really worried, because I was supposed to be playing in a concert. I even called my Dad for a pep talk because I was so worried about it. Fortunately for me the concert was canceled because of the weather.

Justin, bless his heart, took the Honda to work so that if I needed it I could be in the 4 wheel drive, this is exactly the reason we got the Titan in the first place! So now I am home safe, where I am supposed to be and Justin is driving on the country roads in the two wheel drive. He said that the roads were terrifying, but he didn't have any issues UNTIL he got home! He got stuck trying to pull into our driveway. He calls me on the phone and I get behind the wheel, with him pushing from behind and it takes us about 20 min. just to get the car moving and in the garage.

So maybe you think that is the crazy part .... but oh just wait! Justin gets in the house safe and sound, and we watch Fred Clause together (very funny and heart warming if anyone was interested).

-------------------------------CRAZY -----------PART---------------NOW----------------------------------

Justin and I go to sleep and at 4:45 AM the door bell keeps ringing!!!! Then there is knocking! Justin heads down to find 6 frozen teenagers at our door begging for warmth. They come in and we get them blankets and sit them by the fireplace. Apparently they were at a party and were leaving at 3:00AM. Their car got stuck in the snow, and they called a friend to push them out. Their friend gets in the car, and when the car gets moving .... LEAVES them!!! They stand out in the cold, where it is currently -6 degrees Fahrenheit, but feels like -29 with the wind (I am NOT lying!). Some of them were not wearing very much clothing because they didn't anticipate being outside for almost 2 hours!!!

They are in our house trying to get hold of anyone, meanwhile Justin is outside shoveling the driveway so he can get our cars out. They get a hold of their lame friend who comes back to take them to their car. (If he had just called them they could have walked to their car, rather than be sitting outside, not knowing where it was). He came to pick them up in his truck, but I was still worried about them, so I gave them our phone number and told them to call us if they needed anything else.

Sure enough they called about 10 minutes later and they are down the road sitting in a dead car. Justin just left again to go help them. Talk about Random Acts of Kindness!!!

They were so sweet though, and I can't tell you how many times I heard "I'm sorry, I just feel so bad!" from them. We just kept telling them that it really was no problem, and we just can't believe they stood outside in this weather for so long! (3 AM-4:45 AM) They were seriously frozen! Poor kids!

I don't know how the story ends yet, but I will update if there is anything else that happens.

This is the snow drift in front of our door. I took this picture when Justin got home from work. That wreath that we have hanging on our door, didn't used to have snow on it. That is from the storm.

Of course I took a picture of Justin stuck in the snow before I helped him! :-)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

We have a TREE!!!

Today I was leaving the gym and I hit a wet spot on the stairs and went flying down!!! Amazingly (and I still don't know how this happened) NOTHING happened to me! Except for the utter embarrasment at the fact that I now had 12 complete strangers convinced that I was lying about being hurt, nothing happened. There is one spot in my back that is now a teeny-tiny-little bit sore, but I chalk this up to being a miracle!

We went out and got our Christmas tree today. The original plan was to head out to the woods and chop one down. Unfortunately the day that I was supposed to head out with Grandpa Mark there was a blizzard and I wasn't about to test my newly learned driving skills in a storm in the country side! So Grandpa Mark went out alone and said that there were not any suitable trees. I am thinking we should try again next year ... a Charlie Brown tree might be kinda nice.

So instead my friend Kathy and I ventured out today in the muddy slush (do you have any idea how hard it is to push a cart through sludge????) and bought a tree at Home Depot. Then I spent the rest of the evening decorating with Evan. It was soooo much fun ... and look how pretty it is!!!

Evan and I were sad that Justin couldn't be here with us (he is in Edmonton) but alas we will hopefully have next year to make these memories with him!

I had to include this picture! Evan is a very photogenic child, but there are many times that we get this look while trying to capture a moment. We call it "drug baby" What is funny is that his Tummy Mommy does the same thing!!!!! We have lots of really cute/funny pictures where they are doing it together!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow!!!!

I wanted to post these pictures on sunday, but for some reason by the time I am getting around to doing it I am EXHAUSTED!!!!! I don't know what is wrong, but I am such a night owl and I haven't gone to bed later than 11:30 all week. That is just strange for me!
Sunday we left for church at quarter to 9:00AM and there was no snow on the ground. Three hours later when church was done there was 6 inches on the ground!!!! It kept snowing the whole day and night! I had Justin take me out so I could practice driving in the snow ... I am now more thankful for my truck than I have ever been!
When it is this snowy outside it is beautiful here. I mean it is cold anyway, it might as well be beautiful and white outside. Everything gets quiet and very peaceful. Our community has all of the trees in the entrance lit, and with the lights sitting under the snow it is just magical. I had to go out and take some pictures of it! Everyone enjoy!

This is after Justin has already scraped the driveway once that day!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

IT'S GREAT ... TO BE ... A FLORIDA GATOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(30- 21)
Tonight I saw the greatest game ever played in college Football! I am so jealous of Irene and Walmir who were able to be at the SEC championship football game between Florida and Alabama. What an exciting game!!! The number 1 and 2 teams in America playing each other. Both teams played great games, it was close the entire time, and the refs were decent at making calls. WOW!!!!

Anyone who still thinks that Tebow doesn't deserve his second Heisman needs to see this game! There were so many plays that were on par with the professional Quarter Backs, and through it all he remains a wholesome, kind, and humble human being, who is not afraid to share his beliefs and give his life to God!

Anyone who still thinks that any of the other college teams in America play on the same level as the SEC teams need to watch this game, and tell me if you can make the same arguments. There were so many impressive and exciting plays made in this game ... and our beloved Gators beat the number one team in the nation!!!!!


We might have a hook up for tickets to the game and if that pans out we are going to use our remaining miles to go and see OUR team take it all! We can't wait!

Again we say ....

Friday, December 5, 2008

Legs and a baby

I have always loved my legs! I think that they are my best physical feature. Today I went to an ab class at the gym and we were doing some exercises that require you to lift your legs in the air and try to touch your toes. There is no way that I am able to touch my toes in that position and keep my legs straight. The instructor was saying "come on everyone, I know you can touch your toes!!! Except maybe you ... man your legs are long! I am really jealous of your legs right now!!! Man you legs are really long, no wonder you can't touch your toes." It made me feel good :-) I maybe can't touch my toes, but I have great legs! :-)

I stopped to get something at Walmart and Evan fell asleep in the car. I took him out of the car, laid him on the floor, took off his winter jacket, changed his poopy diaper, picked him up, and laid him in the crib. He never woke up!!!!!!! Man I have a good baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

December 3, 2008

Natasha and I wake up at 3AM and are on the rode by 3:30. The drive was actually really fun, and we both stayed awake just gabbing. The funny thing is that Evan stayed awake too. He didn't cry, or talk, he just listened. I would think that he was asleep and then he would spin his head around to look at me, sooo cute!

I said my goodbyes to Natasha :-( checked my bags in, went through security and then we waited. Evan and I ate the breakfast that we brought with us, I medicated myself and then we loaded ourselves onto the plane. The first plane was the biggest plane I have been on, with the exception of my overseas flights, so that was neat. Both flights we had a whole row to ourselves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let me tell you having that extra space makes flying with a baby sooo much easier!

People were soo kind the whole way back. So many people offered to carry bags for me, and help me out. One man even carried my bag for me all the way to customs after we landed!

Evan was AMAZING!!!! He fell asleep on both flights and hardly fought sleep at all. I was exhausted too, and I slept as best I could with him.

We had soo much fun in Florida, but it is good to be back. I missed Justin sooo much and I am sure Evan missed his bed! :-) Justin even said that the cats were acting happier now that we are back :-)

Thank you everyone in Florida for letting me borrow your cars, your time, and your food. Thank you for talking, both for fun, and when I needed it. Thank you mostly for loving me!!!!!! Y'all know who you are, and I LOVE you soooooo much! I always miss you when I am away from you.

December 2, 2008

Last day in Florida!!! :-( This was a wonderful day because all the tests were done and we had hard copies of everything in hand. We could spend the day doing anything we wanted! Natasha and I spent the morning just hanging out and talking and then I was brave and I dyed my grey hairs!!!!!!! I have never done anything to my hair before so I was really scared. The problem is that this move to Canada (and everything that happened at the same time) was apparently VERY stressful for me, because I now have ALOT of grey hair. It is to the point that you can see it very clearly and I hate it. I really love my hair though and didn't want to mess up the color. Natasha wanted to dye her greys too, so she did her whole head and we just streaked the dye into my hair where the greys are. It worked like a charm! We used hardly anything and the color matched perfectly, so you can't even see the streaks of dye, but you can't really see my greys either!!!!!! Wooohoooo!!!!!!!!

After babies napped we went out to the consignment shop. It was so fun, and we found some really great things. One of the things I got Evan is a Christmas outfit for church! He has a little vest and tie. I will take pictures and post it when he wears it.

We headed home after goofing off around town and met up with Evan's tummy mommy one more time. That was a nice visit and I was so happy to be able to see her at least once more.

Irene and Lacy came over so we could have our one last girls night before I left. It was really sad though because Irene got what everyone else had and was throwing up with action from the other end as well every 5 minutes. I really wanted a picture of all 4 of us together, but Irene had to leave early (to recover), so that was sad, but I will get it next time. I hope you are feeling better now Irene! The rest of us then sat down to watch a movie that sounded good in the store, but was a HUGE bust!!!!! We turned it off early. There was no point ... and both of the characters bugged us! Never watched "My Sassy Girl". It is lame!

I said goodbye to Lacy and Natasha and I tried to get some sleep before we had to wake up at 3:00 AM.

December 1, 2008

Today Natasha and I took our little men to the Santa Fe Zoo. Santa Fe is the community college in Gainesville, and they have a zoo program there to train zoo keepers. I have actually always wanted to go, but have never been before. It was VERY cold that day, so the animals weren't very active, but we still had a great time. The best moments were the African Grey parrots who kept hitting on us, the monkey who sucked his thumb, the Llama named squirt, who almost spit on us, and the free range peacocks! I could not believe the colors on the peacocks, they are BEAUTIFUL creatures. In case anyone is wondering, Santa Fe sells peacocks, and if I was still living in Gainesville, I would totally buy one!!
Here is the monkey who sucks his thumb. Evan isn't the only one who can self sooth!
Later that day we went and got some more blood work done. Poor Evan had to fill two big viles of blood and it took a while. Thank goodness the nurse only had to stick him in one arm! I made sure to take a picture before he got tortured again. My little angel is amazing and I am so proud that he handled all of his torture sessions like a pro! I am more grateful than ever that our pediatricians in Gainesville helped us sooo much! That clinic is amazing and I feel now, more than ever before that they are the BEST ever. Thank you Healthy Steps!

November 30, 2008

We went to church today and got pounded by a Florida rain! Most people don't understand rain until you have been through a Florida storm. I LOVE IT!!! Church was wonderful. It is so nice to have so many people excited to see us there. What I think is really interesting is that there were about 3-4 different families that came up to us and told us that it took them about 20 minutes into sacrament meeting to remember that we don't live there anymore.

While we have been staying at the Da Costa's home Evan has had the best time playing with Jake and Bear, their German Shepperd's. He LOVED feeding them treats! This is Evan feeding Bear.

Later that night 3 of my students had a concert, so Natasha and I went to go and see them perform. Walmir and Irene were kind enough to watch Evan for me, so I didn't have to worry about him being loud during the performance. My kids did such a great job, and I loved having the opportunity to hear them play. It is so neat for me to know where they started and how much they have matured in their oboe skills!

I got home and headed straight for Evan's room to watch him sleep for a bit (what can I say it's my little mother thing I can't help) and this is what I found! Ever since he was little Evan puts blankets over his face ... and it is always funny. The best part? We know it is genetic! When I told his Tummy Mommy about it her jaw hit the floor. Apparently both her and the birth father sleep with the covers over their heads. Crazy eh?

November 29, 2008

Friday the 29th was Walmir's 29th birthday! (One more year until you are 30 big Walmir on a stick!) We celebrated by eating wayyyy too much food and watching the Gators kill FSU in a torrential downpour! The biggest treat for me, other than the people were the wings! Now I am not a HUGE wings fan. I like them, but I would normally pick something else ... unless they are lemon pepper wings from the Wingstop in Gainesville. OH MY GOSH!!!! Everytime I think about them I start to salivate ... like right now. Well, Joe and Lacy were amazing and brought Wingstop to the party. The day was perfect ... HAPPY BIRTHDAY WALMIR!!!
Me and Irene lookin' HOT!!!!
Oh yeah, those are the best wings in the world! I just really liked this picture of Evan. The color is a little off, but he is adorable!