Friday, December 14, 2012

To lose a child

Last night, Cayden was sleeping away upstairs when my phone burst into its upbeat ringtone “Dance on the Stage.” For a split second, I smiled and looked around for her little pumping fists and gap-toothed smile – she loves it when my phone rings. When I realized she wasn’t there, my heart dropped for a second and I breathed a prayer of thanks that my daughter was only asleep, and, Lord willing, I would get the chance to witness her little dance party the next time my phone rang.

Maybe that’s how it feels.

When your child is gone.

It’s the song on the radio that your kid used to dance to.
It’s the thing they would have ordered at McDonald's.
It’s driving over a bump and instinctively looking in the rear view mirror to only see an empty backseat.

Lately, I have been struggling to find the words to say in a world full of grief. Miscarriages, still births, strange diseases and school shootings.

A couple of weeks ago, my grandmother offered me this advice: “With each child, there’s a little bit of a fear, but you turn that loose, you give it to the Lord, knowing that he is in control.”

This advice stemmed from our conversation about the loss of her first child – a little baby girl born two months too early on January 8, 1956.

The doctors didn't know little Donna’s abdominal cavity had never grown together – there were no ultrasounds back then. Realizing the seriousness of the situation after she was born, the doctors knocked out my grandma and then “they immediately gathered up this little baby and all her parts and had a decision to make.”
Amazingly, they put Donna back together, stitched her up and put her in an incubator. They said if she made it for 72 hours, she would probably survive.
“Her little heart was very strong and she kept beating,” my grandma said.

Though some said the name “Donna Lynne Ullman” was too beautiful to be given to a child who wouldn’t use it, my grandparents stuck with their choice of giving her their names – Don and Lynne – “because she was part of both of us.”
This beautiful child who looked like my grandpa, with a cleft chin and black hair, was a fighter.
Three days later, Donna was sleeping comfortably and so my grandpa went out with his buddies to celebrate at the local tavern. The dreaded 72 hours had passed.

Forbidden to hold her baby for risk of infection, my then 20-year-old grandmother remained watchful.
“I watched her when she cried and I watched her while she was sleeping, but I never got to touch my child.”
Instead, she prayed.
“I prayed for God’s strength for Don and myself, and for God to heal her and if not, take her,” she said. “And he chose to take her.”
At 10:55 on January 11, an infection in her intestines ended Donna’s fight.
“I wish I would have picked her up when she was in that incubator when she died because I was there,” she recalled. “She was fighting and kicking and flailing those arms and the nurses were working like mad.”
My grandma knelt on a chair in the corner, praying for her child, ignoring the nurses who were uneasy with her presence.
“And then she stopped fighting. The nurses didn’t know how to tell me, but I knew.”
The nurses wanted her to leave.
“I walked up to the incubator before I left and she was at peace,” she said. “I was at peace too because I knew she wasn’t hurting anymore.”

“And then there was a huge, huge emptiness.”

My grandma was accused of not loving Donna because she didn’t cry the day they buried that little white casket with pink satin lining at Belcrest Memorial Park. But as she recanted her story and stared out the window at the water moving by, I could see the river in her eyes.
“I didn’t plan on being a mom,” she admitted, telling me how Donna would have been considered a honeymoon baby, even without a honeymoon. “But how can you carry a child and not love it?”

I asked her about the emptiness she felt, and how she filled it.
“You don’t fill it, because that’s a spot only that child can fill,” she said, pausing.
“It’s like a God-shaped hole; a hole only God can fill.”

I was astounded to hear my grandmother’s distinction between pain and emptiness.
“It doesn’t hurt,” she said.  “The pain is gone because you know that God is in control and you know that she is where she is supposed to be.”

“Donna was made the way she was because that’s the way the Lord made her,” she continued. “She was such a blessing in her little short life.”

My grandmother went on to tell me how this little baby who was born all torn apart made our family whole.

“I knew that the Lord’s hand was in it.”

You see, there was much strife in the Ullman household in the year preceding Donna’s arrival. In fact, my grandpa was so mad at his parents’ rejection of his marriage to my grandma that he wasn’t even speaking to them.

My grandfather’s parents were socialites in Salem, while my grandmother’s mom and step-father operated a restaurant and lived in the sticks.
“They were somebody and I was a nobody,” my grandma recalled.
They refused to acknowledge when the two got engaged and repeatedly declined multiple wedding invitations. To avoid further embarrassment, my grandma returned her wedding dress, cancelled all plans and the couple eloped. My grandpa was furious with his parents, ignoring their feeble attempts to salvage the relationship thereafter; until January 8, 1956.  

When Donna was born with so many problems, my grandpa finally called his mother and his parents came down to the hospital.
“They hurt him very much,” she said. “But with Donna’s death, it hurt him and he was able to reach out to his parents. She brought Don and his parents back together. She made our family whole.”

Not only did Donna’s death open up communication between my grandpa and his parents, but it also fostered a relationship between my grandma and her in-laws.

“They learned to love me, I really do believe, and I learned to love them and accept them,” my grandma said. “And my children and their children had a relationship with them. I was bound and determined that my children would know their grandparents without strife.”

“That’s exactly the way I prayed our family would be.”

On a day marred by lives cut off too soon, I am pausing tonight to remember to thank God for every day, every hour I am blessed to spend with my family. From the wrinkly ones to the brand new ones, I am learning more and more how lucky I am to have family. God gives and God takes, and even though I am left contemplating ways to keep my child safer in this world filled with evil, I am continuously reminded that there is someone greater in control and that I may never see the reasons why because there is a greater work at hand. 

My God is able.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

It's pumpkin time!

We had our annual pumpkin party again this year, adding one little munchkin to the mix (actually two but the Selanders and their baby Ella couldn't make it). It's so fun to see the kids growing up together! 
I got them some goofy glasses to try on. Isla and Eden were gamers and Kylie just wanted to play with the googly eyes on her glasses. 
 After our taco dinner, the kiddos got to paint pumpkins. Back when we didn't have kids, our pumpkin parties were meant for carving. Now, they are for relaxing while our kids are preoccupied by their own version of pumpkin decoration.
 The Lute girls.
 Mal was the paint supplier for Cayden and Eden.

And we ended the night with a little iPad entertainment. Thank God for!

We also went to the pumpkin patch, and got another family picture. 
Look how much Cayden has grown! 
Here's Cayden sitting on a pumpkin last year
And this year....
 That one is heavy!
 She insisted on holding Allen's hand too (he is her new host brother!).
 She loved the slides, but didn't want to go down alone!
 The cows, turkey and chickens were big attractions too, even to Allen!
Cayden is still talking about the "loud kickies."
 Love this one.
Cayden also was very scared of the "loud" tractor, but loved sitting on all the pumpkins, and had lots of fun in the hay maze looking for Daddy and Allen. Eventually, she gave up on finding them and was content to pull the straws out of the bales of hay.
On Halloween, we made the rounds, first going to see Uncle Steve at his recording studio. Cayden got to play drums and Allen got to play Steven's Gibson guitar. Fun was had by all.
Uncle Steve and monkey Cayden
 Allen playing guitar                           Looking out the window

We went up to Salem later that night, to make more rounds. We didn't hit all of the houses we wanted to, but we did alright, going to Shane's work, dropping off pumpkins at the Crains' and Lutes', dinner at my parents', and a quick hello my grandparents' on the way to Bryan's parents' house. 


That's 5 houses and 1 Jamba Juice in one night!  
 Cayden had fun with her baby cousin Blake.
 He was a Starbucks Barista for Halloween!
She always has to hold his hand when they lay on the floor together.
 On impulse, Carrie and Lauren (my sister-in-laws) decided that Allen and Jess needed to go trick-or-treating around the Bernards' neighborhood. Jess (Carrie's friend) had NEVER been trick-or-treating before, and Allen didn't have a costume, but that didn't stop them! They found costumes for everyone, and went out trick-or-treating to a few houses, taking Cayden with them.
 We ended the night with a Blazer win over the hated Lakers and Cayden ended it reading a book with grandma while eating her dum-dum sucker.

It's a great day to be a Blazer. And a monkey.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Do as I say, not as I did...

For 13 years of my life, soccer was my thing.

I loved muddy knees, grass stains on my shorts and I LOVED scoring goals. 

Now that I clean up muddy knees and grassy shorts all day, I have relegated myself to the sidelines,  lately watching a lot of high school and college soccer games that all take me back. 

My love for soccer started when I was in 4th grade - back when only boys played during recess. 
I found it extremely satisfying to slide down that Schirle Elementary hill to "save" a goal, and while my mom shook her head at my new jeans caked in playground mud, it was always worth it because I had found something I was good at. 

I'm not sure how my fairy-like Mormon friend, Shayla, got roped into this madness but I remember we were the only two girls crazy enough to leave the gossip circles of the parallel bars and take on the boys.   
When I started playing organized soccer in 6th grade, I learned about 

I hated that place.

I played soccer so that I could spend my hot summer days beating a defender to the ball and making keepers drop their chins to their chests. I did not play so I could sit and watch others do so. 

My freshman year of high school, I was flying high. 

I was proud to make the JV team at Sprague High School, and happy to be the leading scorer by the end of the season. I was a cocky little 100-pound forward with no problems defending my faith to Shayla on the bus, but when it came to representing Christ on the field - not so much. 

If we lost, it was always someone else's fault.

Refs always got a lesson in how to do their job.

And I hated being benched.

Sophomore year, I was banking on varsity. 
I made JV again.
Needless to say, I had something to prove. 

God had something to prove too, but I just wasn't listening...yet.

The first game of the season, we were playing Redmond High School and I hyper-extended my right knee. 

There are no trainers at high school JV women's soccer games, so I spent the rest of the night hopping around on one foot, even going through the line at Taco Bell. 

After an Xray, my family doctor told me I had bruised my meniscus and it would heal on its own in 2 weeks. 
So, for 2 weeks, I sat on the dreaded bench. 

I was so excited when I was cleared to play, and couldn't wait to get out there and save my team from the brink of mediocrity. My attitude = my team is nothing without me.

Unfortunately, my knee was not cooperating. I would be backing up for a throw-in and it would just collapse me to the ground in tears of frustration. I'd wait a few more weeks, then try again. My whole skill set was built around my quickness, but any kind of cut floored me. I scored 1 goal that year. 

As the season drew to a close, I had only proved I wasn't about to make varsity next year, and I was no savior to any team. I went to a different doctor, who ordered an MRI, which showed I had actually torn my ACL back in September. 


Two months of crutches.

Physical therapy.

Once, I was late to catch my bus after school, and was crutching like a madwoman through the linoleum Sprague High School hallway. About 200 feet down the hall, I could see the buses slowly pulling away as I desperately click-clacked away. Then, as I hit the main thoroughfare, the muddy footprints from December rain got the better of my rubber-soled crutches and I crashed into a crumpled pile of embarrassment.

God taught me a lot that year. 

Junior year, I was on JV again, but with a renewed attitude. 
It was the best year.

Seniors can't play on JV, so the coach finally put me on varsity for my last year of high school. I mostly considered myself lucky to be on the team as the consummate ball girl. I played a little, but not enough to even show up on any college scout radars. 

I got lucky to play for a city club team coached by the Corban College women's soccer coach. He gave me my big break, inviting me to basically come and ride the bench at Corban. I never hesitated. 

A series of unfortunate events (teammate injuries) led to a heightened role on the Corban team my sophomore year, and by the end of that season, I was once again flying high as one of the leading scorers on the team. My ego wasn't far behind. 
I think that if Cayden decides to play soccer, I will make her learn defense first. It seems that goal-scoring is the root of all ego in my side of her gene pool.

During spring practice of my sophomore year of college, I tore my other ACL. 

I missed my entire junior season as a result. 

Senior year, I was back with, once again, something to prove.

The only thing I proved was my own immaturity.
My final collegiate game we were in the playoffs, after two overtimes, in penalty kicks. Best out of 5 shots wins. We missed our first two PKs. The other team made their first two. I had the third shot.

I ended my college career dropping to my knees in defeat as Eastern Oregon University mobbed their keeper for blocking my shot. 

My biggest regret is that in that moment I had a choice, and I chose to be wildly selfish.

Our bench was full of my wide-eyed teammates who cringed as I took a full swing to kick a water bottle across the practice field and storm away. 
I wasn't planning on shaking anyone's hand that day. 

Soccer is a game full of second chances and I violently blew my chance to be an example of Christ in the face of adversity. 

A competitive spirit is crucial to athletic success. 
If you don't care about winning, you won't win...period. 
But sometimes, even when you care so much that it hurts, you still don't win.
When the other team's "Two, four, six, eight....who do we appreciate..." is deafening and that selfish voice inside of me starts the blame game and self-loathing, THAT'S when I had the choice. 

I have the choice to be bigger than my pride. 
I have the choice to not sin in my anger.
I have the choice to be set apart.

Between chasing Cayden up and down the stairs at soccer games and making sure she doesn't eat the sunflower seeds left over from last Friday night's game, I get small glimpses into that old life I used to live on the soccer field. 

The shirt-over-the face frustration.
The bad calls.
The lack of ability to rise above it all. 

Even now, I have to remind myself to never forget that this game is a gift. 
God gave me the talent, and I slogged his name through the mud en route to fashioning my athletic legacy.
If you are still reading this novel, I would encourage you to not make the same mistake. 

Be that kid who jogs the whole way to the end line to thank the fans, even after ANOTHER loss.

Be that kid who claps encouragement from the bench instead of brooding for being taken out. 

Be that kid who helps up the person they just fouled.

Don't be the kid that was me.

Friday, October 5, 2012

How Cayden met Kinsley

I love ironic stories.

So here's one.

My favorite thing about Adair Village is the city-wide garage sale weekend at the end of August. This year, we missed the good stuff on Saturday because we had to work an OSU game, but Cayden and I set out Sunday morning before church to see what we could dig up out of the picked over stuff.

We scored bags of clothes, a coat and a sleeping bag for about $8 total, but the real score was right down the road. We had almost made it back to our house and were perusing our last sale when I noticed the family had a little girl about Cayden's size.
In passing, I asked how old she was.

"Almost a year and a half."

"Oh, yeah? So is my daughter," I said, motioning to Cayden, who was busy trying to buckle the baby swing being sold on the front lawn.

I continued to pick out a few articles of clothing from the table, then I asked when her birthday was.

"March 7."


And the irony kept coming.

Their daughter, Kinsley, was born around 11 a.m. on March 7, 2011, which was exactly the time I was READY for my epidural. Unfortunately, the anesthesiologist was busy in an emergency C-Section, and they kept telling me he would be done soon, but a very painful, long hour went by before they finally called in a different anesthesiologist after I made Bryan go yell at them (he didn't  really yell, but...). Cayden was born 8 hours later.

It's amazing how you can be so consumed with your own life, when there are other people all around you who might be suffering so much worse.

That emergency C-Section was because Kinsley had flipped to breech and after they got her out, Kinsley's mom, Dawn told her husband Jeff that she didn't feel well. He said she looked green. The anesthesiologist (the same one I was begging for upstairs) agreed with Jeff that something was really wrong, and that's when the doctors realized they had cut an artery and Dawn was bleeding out.

"They almost killed her," Jeff told me, as I had now stopped perusing the garage sale.

Obviously, they didn't kill Dawn. We went to the park together this week and watched the girls pet dogs, collect rocks and get staticky slide hair. They are going to be fast friends, and btw, I know staticky isn't a word.

Hearing the other side of the March 7, 2011 story really made me think long and hard about perspective. We live in a world full of 7 billion other people with messy living rooms, imperfect children and hurting hearts. God has a plan for each one, just as he had a plan for Dawn and I on March 7, 2011. He knew where that anesthesiologist needed to be to serve a greater purpose.

God has a plan. We can't always see it through the white-knuckle contractions of life, but the big picture thankfully rests safely in His capable hands.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just another day in paradise

Every day, there is something Cayden does that just makes me melt in the madness that surrounds us. In that moment, I am so thankful, so simply happy because of an impromptu kiss or little head leaning against my cheek while she pushes buttons on the internet router. 
Yesterday, it was a beautiful September 19th, and we rushed to take daddy some bulgolgi before he had to race off to Connect Week and then we had to go pick up some garlic, but then we had nothing else to do in town. 

So….we headed to Jamba Juice for a peach perfection sans mangos and we sat outside under the sun and yellow umbrella sipping our smoothies on warm wrought iron chairs. 

After that, we walked down 9th  street, at our own pace…stopping to sit in the foreign soft green grass to find the mouse in Goodnight Moon. 
A group of five Asian college boys walked behind us for a while and then passed us up at the corner, saying, “so cute” through the cigarette smoke. 
We stopped again at the 76 to sit on the parking curb to read again, until she tipped over backwards. An old man walked by and smiled and I wondered what I would think if I were driving by and saw us, or if I would even notice. 

Next we kept toddling to the new furniture store, drawn by the window promise of a $10,000 giveaway. There were peachy Crocs that fit Cayden just right for $40 a pop, and a spinning rack of greeting cards. All Cayden cared about was the doggy card, which she pulled out and bent and threw a fit when we had to put it back. We tried out really comfy recliners, lied down on some new mattresses and met the owner, who used to run the Firehouse Café in town. If we are lucky, we will win a pair of Crocs! 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cute faces in busy times

Life is crazy.

My husband is always busy now with college ministry at OSU, my baby has become a once-a-day napper with an attitude and I am tired, even though I'm supposed to feel more energized after my surgery.

I feel like I haven't cooked a proper meal for my family in 2 weeks because our schedules never match up to a proper dinner time.

There was a long day at the hospital with some close friends, miracles I never saw coming, and the feeling that life is only going to get busier as fall approaches.

Cayden is learning new words every day, including "nuts," "book," "bone," "pea," and I discovered that when she says "shoe," it could mean many things, including "two," "swing me," and "another one."
She's learning that she shouldn't color on the furniture or break the crayons on purpose.
We are working on potty training, but not super diligent with it - 4 poos in the toilet in two weeks.
Joe has been busy playing soccer and powering through his homework. We are debating whether or not to bring in another host student, but time will tell if everything falls into place.

Last weekend was fun because we got to hang out with some friends and see some cute little ones! On the left is Alicia and Ben's little girl, Ella and on the right is Kyle and Kari's little boy, Miller.

Friday, September 7, 2012

18 months old!

Baby girl, you are now a year and a half year old.
Not so much a baby anymore, but you are always first to notice other babies and follow them around like they belong to you.
You are so friendly.
A simple "hi" is never enough, so you say, "Hi.... Hi.... Hi.... Hi.... Hi."
Puppies are also your favorite. Yesterday you were playing in the back yard with Macie all by yourself. I was worried she would bowl you over like she's done before, but you weren't worried. You picked up her bones and threw them for her, cringing in delight as she raced by you, knocking you a bit off balance.
Your new favorite thing is reading books. Most mornings are a back and forth routine of getting on and off my lap with your blanket and "Goodnight Moon." You love to find the mouse ("Eee Eee") on every page. Sometimes you get confused and point to the kittens.
Afternoons, it's "Hop on Pop," and if dad's home, we practice hopping on pop. You really love the first page..."Pup, up, pup is up....cup, pup, pup in cup" and so on.
You love shoes and did that happen?

You shuffle around the house in my flip flops, and this morning, you grabbed your purse, put it on your shoulder, and announced, "Bye!" and came over for a couple of kisses goodbye. You always want to make sure everyone notices you are leaving.
This week, you learned how to work the watering nozzle on the hose in the front yard. You were very excited, and a little wowed by the power of the water kicking back against your tight grasp. You like watering the sidewalk more than the Black Eyed Susans, and you think it's really funny when you get me wet while I'm trying to take your picture.
You are almost perfect. Almost.
You like to throw things and hit things when you get mad or hurt. Yesterday, you threw rocks at some nice girls at the soccer game because you thought it was fun. You squeezed a praying mantis so hard he started to claw you and you screamed.
You throw food on the floor instead of saying, "all done." You pull off your diapers, you scream at Winco when I won't let you put the buckle in your mouth.

You want to touch everything, and when you can't, you are really good at throwing fits and turning on the tears.
You are one and a half, but I feel 2 coming ever so quickly. You have all your teeth except one last cuspid on the bottom and your 2-year molars.
Two days ago, you gave me you "stinky" signal and ran to poop in the toilet for real, after trying 3 times earlier that day. You don't know the difference between pooping and farting yet, except that one gives you watery eyes and one makes you laugh.
You recognize your family in pictures and kiss their faces. You love juice and blueberries and raisin bran
and peas and chips and boys. All the names you can say are boys..."Daddy" was her first word, then there was "Stee" (Steve), "Anee" (Andy), "Shay" (Shane), and "Do" or "Chew" (Joe).
You do not like meat, but  you do know when we try to give you chicken because you pull it out of your mouth and ask, "Chicky?" Even I lose my appetite for chicken when you put it that way.
You love so much and you are so loved!
I love spending every day watching what you will do next. While being a stay-at-home mom can be daunting sometimes, I can't imagine missing these moments. Your daddy and I love you more every day, Cayden, and we thank God for this gift he has given us.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Surgery update

Surgery went without a hitch. My surgery time got changed to 10am, instead of 7:30am, which was nice because we didn't have to wake up super early. Cayden stayed the night at Bryce and Julie's house the night before surgery, so we just came up by ourselves on Thursday morning. We checked in to the hospital around 9:00am and they pretty much took me right back to get prepped. Donning my beautiful hospital gown, I sat around for a while while they put in my IV port and my Scottish nurse named Val kept me entertained with her stories about being a traveling hippie in the 70s. Bryan was there waiting with me, and eventually my mom showed up too. Surgery was running a little late, but I think they got me in around 10:30 or 11am. Once they started pumping me with drugs, I don't remember much. 
I woke up around 3:00pm in the recovery room with a bunch of other groggy people. I felt pretty terrible, but that was just the anesthesia wearing off. They eventually wheeled my bed to another building, into the pediatric unit (because apparently that's where they store the recovery patients now) and into a room decorated with giraffes. Bryan and his dad were waiting there for me. I felt pretty good by this time, but not great. The nurses kept taking my temperature and asking my pain level. When I woke up, I think I was at a not too shabby! 
Dr. Donovan (my surgeon) was going home at 6pm, so before he left, he came to see if I was ok to go home! I was surprised because everyone (including the surgeon) had always told me that I would definitely have to stay the night to monitor my calcium levels. I guess that I was looking healthy enough and Dr. Donovan was confident in the fact that he knew he for sure left 2 of my 3 parathyroid glands in me, because he said I was cleared to go home, if I wanted! What a blessing! I don't really mind staying at the hospital, but I do mind the extra $$$ it takes to stay overnight! We never even ate a meal there....just lots of apple juice! 
They wouldn't let me eat any solid foods for 24 hours, and I was so hungry! When we got to Bryce and Julie's house (where Cayden was), I ate some Jamba Juice and chicken noodle soup and felt better.
The surgeon said everything went well, and according to the pathology report I got last week, my thyroid was not cancerous (I didn't really even know that was a possibility), and Dr. Donovan managed to save 3 of my 4 parathyroid glands. They made me take calcium supplements the whole week after my surgery, just in case, but I'm off those now, and only have to take one tiny, tasteless pill every morning. No more nasty pills three times a day, no more calcium supplements, no more thyroid!
Here's how the scar is looking today at 2 weeks out. It's quite a bit lower than I thought it would be (which is a good thing), it's actually right along the neckline of my t-shirt (in the pic above, I pulled my t shirt down a bit so you could see the scar. There was only one stitch on the outside (right in the middle) and Dr. Donovan removed that and the surgical tape last week. The tape was super itchy, so I was glad to have that removed. I am thankful for the tape, though because it meant less stitches and less scarring! I'm pretty impressed with Dr. Donovan's work. My voice is almost back to normal. It was just a little scratchy when I first woke up. I tried not to talk much, but it was hard to do because it didn't hurt to talk. I still can't sing very well, but that doesn't really matter. I sometimes have nice voice cracks, and can't yell too loud, but other than that, everything is pretty normal in that arena. Swallowing was probably the most uncomfortable thing right after surgery....oh, and yawning was painful for about a week and a half. I couldn't turn my head to check my blind spot until about 5 days after surgery. At two weeks out, swallowing is not uncomfortable, just feels a little weird, yawning is fine and I can turn my head like normal. The scar is itchy...that's probably the most annoying factor. 
Cayden still points at my scar every day and says "owie!" but she did pretty well through the whole thing, besides getting mad and punching me in the throat with her flailing arms once. My doctor said I have no restrictions.  
In other news, our Korean kids came back to us this past week! Cayden was so excited to have Lauren arrive on Tuesday. 
We helped Lauren move into her dorm at Corban on Friday. 

Here is her and her new roommate, Nikki. 
Sunday night we got a call from Bryan's mom that Lauren was on her way to the ER in Salem. Lauren said she didn't want us to come, and we had people at our house, so Bryan and I stayed put until we found out the damage. She had been out boating with her CORE group from Corban and some people had flipped off the tube thing and hit her in the collarbone. She was in pain, but not too bad, and there was a small bump, so they decided to take her in. 

The ER took X-rays and confirmed a VERY broken collarbone! Poor Lauren. She spent the night at Bryce and Julie's and we came up to see her the next morning. With collarbones, they don't really do much except give you a sling, but we are going to the Orthopedist tomorrow, so we will see what he says. Hopefully no surgery! Lauren started school on Wednesday, and she's coping alright, but a little stressed about all the homework she already has.
Cayden and I went to pick up Joe this morning from PDX. 
 He has moved into Lauren's old room, and is very happy with all the space!

Cayden keeps following him around the house, calling him "Chew-ah."   
We are a bustling household again!