Follow along and read about how Ryan spent his final days surrounded by those he loved the most... his FAMILY.

You can follow my blog at: Our life in Letters to Ryan

March 26, 2010

Good times...

I thought it was time to post some FUN, HAPPY pictures.
If you're not in the mood for looking at beautiful scenery and smiling faces, then this post isn't for you.
I'm warning you now... its gonna be a LONG post.

We got on the plane bright and early- 6am. It didn't matter though, everyone was so excited to go to Grandma and Grandpa's house in Star Valley, Wy.
The kids traveled wonderfully and sitting in the front row was an added bonus. Yay for short flights and happy kids.

We were on a tiny plane, so we stepped off the plane right onto the tarmac. Max was in AWE because when he got off the plane, this rolled up right next to us:

Little helper:

Once in the car, we had a 3.5 hour drive home...

Half way home, we had to slow down because we got caught in the middle of a cattle drive.
I ONLY took a picture for the sake of this blog and YOUR viewing pleasure

This guy was probably thinking, "Ugh... tourist"


Once we arrived home, the kids wasted NO time in getting dressed so they could go outside and play. We couldn't have asked for better weather during out stay.

Ryan enjoying the cool winter weather

Does this suit look familiar?

L.O.V.E it!
Throughout most of the trip, Ryan wasn't feeling too good. He had a bad cough that kept him up at night. During the day he was VERY tired and sometimes feverish, so he spent a lot of time sleeping. He was able to rest much and play little. However, from the front room couch he could look out and see this:

Yes, choosing to leave may have been somewhat rash, but it was therapeutic and peaceful. Despite the fact that Ryan wasn't able to get out and play all day like he hoped, he had a great time visiting with family and friends...
Sadly, I didn't take pictures of everyone we were able to visit.
Thank you to EVERYONE who came from near and meant so much- THANK YOU!
The kids had a BLAST sledding and I LOVED being able to capture their joy through the camera

*So MUCH fun*

Ryan got to feeling well enough to come outside for about 15 minutes to pull the kids behind the 4 wheeler.
What a happy RY...

...and Excited kids

Then Ryan let each kid push the gas during a ride

Oh, they loved EVERY minute of it!
Poor Leo, Hallie was bossing him around 24/7. I felt so bad for him, that I went out and bought him some YUMMY biscuits so I could kind of compensate for his "torture"
I love the fact that Ryan's mom saved these SWEET moon boots- SO Napoleon Dynomite

We headed into "town" which is about 10 minutes from Ryan's house... good ole' Afton, Wyoming.

Here is the world's LARGEST Elkhorn Arch:

I was excited to come here:
I love coming here to look at all the toys. You can get good toys for much more reasonable prices. Since the kids were so good traveling, we let them each pick out a toy.

Chillin' at King's while I looked around

Then we went to Rocky Mountain Seafood for dinner- YUMMMmmmm
Max was SO excited to help Grandpa plow the driveway
and I enjoyed making some homemade granola
Ryan stored up enough energy to take Max for a short 4 wheeler ride

...and succeeded at getting it stuck

Max wearing Ryan's jacket from when he was little:

The kids were SO excited to see their cousins from Idaho. They packed so much into the 2 days they saw eachother: crafts, cooking, tv watching, fake nails, GINORMOUS fort making, snow play, hot tubbing and all the laughter (and sometimes tears) that come with visiting cousins

Braiden getting Uncle Ry with his mini light saber/sword
Ryan's little brother, Mitchell also came up with a "friend." It was SO nice to meet his "friend" and see how much the kids LOVED her...
Thank you M & S for being so much FUN as you entertained the kids!

Here we are looking SILLY...
Mitchell said if we shook our face really fast and took a picture it would make our cheeks look crazy. Ummmm... I don't think our cheeks looked crazy, more like our entire face!

LOVE these two guys:
Oh how hard it was to pick from over 300 pictures for this post.

I hope you all enjoyed a little glimpse of the fun we had on our short trip to SV



Ryan had 2 units of Red Blood and 1 more unit of platelets. His chest X-ray came back positive for Pneumonia, not to worry, some of the doctors feel it is only a VERY mild case. They aren't too concerned because he is currently on so many antibiotics that at least ONE of them will take care of it.

Food/drink wise, he barely got anything down earlier today. They are trying different combinations of meds for pain management. Although, it isn't always the sores that keep him from eating, but the THICK mucus in his throat. The mucus is caused by both his cough/cold and the mucositis.

Tonight, he was finally able to get down one of these containers of tapioca pudding
We made these containers full of thinned out, HIGH CAL soups and puddings. We keep these at the hospital because sometimes the hospital food just isn't very tasty or mouth sore friendly.

If Ryan can't increase his calories in the next few days, he is going to be put on IV nutrition (TPN). Since the mouth sores are SO bad, the doctors said there will be NO chemo on Monday. This will allow Ryan's counts to come up and his mouth to heal.

The kids stopped by today and were eager to see Dad

Ryan's mom called tonight and said he was getting a CAT scan of his chest to check his lungs. We should hopefully get those results tomorrow.

Ryan is fighting the fight and fighting HARD. I am amazed at his strength through all of this and cannot help but think of this scripture, "...blessed is he...that is faithful in tribulation. For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand." Doctor and Covenants 122:5&9

How grateful I am for his example of strength and courage, and most importantly, for a loving Heavenly Father that hears and answers prayers.




Laura said...

Oh how I love Smoot as well. We will continue to pray for your whole family. Marie, it was fun to meet you at Smoot's RS activity.

LISA said...

I love Ryan's hometown!! I think this trip was so needed for all of you! I'm glad you guys were able to go even for a short visit. I'm telling you Margie you found a new profession in creating website!!! The kids pics are so cute! As always prayers for all of you from CA!! Love and miss you guys :-)

Aubri said...

Star Valley can be such a great place to heal. I like to look at the toys at Kings as well. Last time we were there we also hit the rocky mountain seafood place and it was pretty darn good.

Love you Ry.

Kris said...

Margie and Ryan,
Thank you for posting all this great info, it really keeps my spirits high and I love knowing what is going on w/Ryan. Levi told me he was coming to see Ryan and your family. What a great smile Ryan has w/his friends. Love this pix. Sorry we weren't able to visit, work keeps us busy. Hang in there, know our prayers and thoughts are with you always.
Kris Lee

Breanne BUsh said...

Love the snowsuit, moon boots, and coat. They were Christmas story meets napolean dynamite. :) Looks like you had a very well needed and deserved break from Arizona life. That brocolli soup sounds delicious! You and your family are always in our prayers. We love you!

Anonymous said...

Margie, You say you are amazed at Ryan's strength ... well (I am sure I speak for everyone) I am amazed at your strength, your great pictures - You make me feel like I just went on vacation, (you are a wonderful photographer!) and your ability to lift me and help me feel the spirit with that perfect scripture. Thank you.
Melissa (I love your parents ... we had a long chat last night.

Paice Family said...

Thank you so much for keeping up this blog. It is so nice to see how Ryan is doing. We keep your family in our prayers daily. I have to say this post made me homesick for my little Star Valley. Thank you for all the great pics!

Seth and Julie said...

What an awesome trip! Thanks for virtually taking us along. I can actually see a little bit of Ryan in Max with that snowsuit on. How fun! Sorry that the Star valley bliss had to be traded in for another stay in the hospital but I hope the trip fed your spirits and reminded you again what you are fighting for.

The Kindle Family said...

That is a great scripture Margie! It's one we should all remember! Loved seeing all the pictures and glad the docs aren't too worried about Ryan's pneumonia! We hope he gets better so he can have the chemo again on Monday. We will be thinking of you during our fast tomorrow :) Hugs for the family and you:) Keep fighting!

Lila said...

you will never regret that visit home to star valley. i'm glad you made so many memories and i hope soon, you will get to go back all together, and make more. we are fasting tomorrow. :)

Tim said...

Hi Margie It's Agnes-(I'm on Tim's computer)I so LoVEeD all the pictures from Star Valley!I miss the snow now! What a fun trip. :)You do such a great job in capturing the moment. hanks for all the updates!

Love ya!

peter said...

Margie, thanks for the wonderful post. I am glad that you got to go to Star Valley, I loved every second of the years that we lived in Wyoming. You are such a great example of faith and perseverance. Keep up the fight, we will keep up the prayers. Thank you for your examples.

Heather said...

Loved seeing some happy faces on those pictures. Cant believe you still ahve Ryans snow suit and everything. They totally look like twins! So glad you could have some fun before heading back to the hospital. The scripture is perfect! Keep fighting...we love you guys!

Katelin said...

Those moon boots and that snowsuit are AWESOME!! And when did Hallie get totally blonde? So grown up and beautiful! You all looked great, and I'm so glad you made that trip--not rash at all! Just perfect. Love you!

Kim said...

This is such a wonderful post! I loved seeing all the pictures of SV and the Hess family. Thank you for sharing that scripture, too. Love you guys!

Gha said...

If I didn't know better, I would have thought it was the same kid in the snow suit! Max looks so much like his daddy. It was fun to see you guys. Ryan, you are a rock. Love you guys.

Mr. Burns said...

That is a great scripture... and it fits so well. I am happy your journey North brought so many smiles to so many faces! You guys are such a sweet family. Thanks for sharing your joy! Glad you are home & WARM!!!

Taylor said...

I loved seeing all these great moments in WY---the smiles on the bubbies are precious from sledding. I loved too the "silly" photos of after shaking your cheeks--those were great! Big hug to your family!