::pack:: of fixations

life after tragedy. living while grieving. love and triplets.


Our blessed mess

On Christmas Eve my Family and I were hit with serious misfortune.  I spent over 7 weeks in the hospital, Ryan over 4 weeks, Finn was traumatized, and we lost and buried our precious baby.  Ryan and I were talking yesterday how we can't believe all that we've been through, how hard it used to be to take a few steps, and how we never once thought this would be in the cards for us.  We don't constantly talk about it, but our constant aches and pains are always there to remind us of the accident and the most unfortunate event that followed.

We met up with the people that so generously offered to do a headstone for us.  Upon meeting them we could tell they are beautiful people.  I'm sure they aren't extremely wealthy, but they offer to help people out who also experience tragedy from time to time.  We haven't met with them until now, I think we have procrastinated this last task that really makes it real.  The headstone is going to be beautiful, we picked out the stone, I saw one small sample out of the corner of my eye and I knew that was it (owners wife's favorite so I give her full credit).  Ryan quickly agreed, it was perfect for Colum.  I never thought I'd have the task of picking out which stone I like best for my son's headstone.  I also never heard of people doing headstones for free either.  Thank you indelible Sandblasting you guys are angels.  For more info about Indelible Sandblasting click here.

We opened up the mail a few days ago and were showered with gifts from people whom we've never met.  They were perfect gifts custom made for us.  The first package we opened was from the Vintage Pearl.  Vintage Pearl, you couldn't have stamped anything more perfect on the metal you gave us!  We wear them everyday.

Perfect...to see more from The Vintage Pearl click here.  Hmmm, Mother's Day will be here before we know it.

We also got a gift from Windfall Dolls.  It was a gift for Finn, and brought a tear to Mommy and Daddy's eye because we recognized this doll.  They made a Colum doll for Finn to snuggle when he is feeling sad.  Days later Bobbi, Ryan's sister uncovered another precious little secret on this precious Colum doll... a heart had been embroidered on his soft little chest, to represent Colum's heart that was donated.  How much thought that was put into this blows me away.  Thank you Windfall Dolls, thank you.

For some reason I can't post photos of this doll.  Click here to go to their blog and see Finn's Colum doll.

The fundraisers are ongoing, we have had numerous donations, meals brought to us, emails from strangers wanting to help, and new friendships have begun.  We got the official word that Home Depot (if you've looked through my blog you know I'm a customer), is going to gut our bathroom and make it more handi-capable friendly.  We are getting a whirlpool tub, the tub we have now I don't even attempt to soak in but a real whirlpool tub with jets that we can soak our healing/broken/sore bodies in...aaaahhh.  A new handi-capable friendly toilet (they are a little bit higher), and since they have to rip out the floor to put in the tub I'm getting all new tiling, a vanity, electrical stuff (basically only have 1 outlet that is up too high and doesn't work if the light turns off), and a ...drumroll please.... bathroom fan!  This isn't going to take place for a couple months, and don't worry I will take pictures.  Our friend works at Home Depot and somehow made this happen, thank you Karen!  Not only is she helping us do this but, she has the most incredible style and taste!  She is very creative and is taking my style into consideration.  She brought all of her ideas to me this morning and all my answers were (hands to mouth), "YES", & "OMG yes!"!!!  It's like a dream remodel.  Subway tiles to the ceiling and she said she was thinking yellow and grey tile accents... ummm, this is only like my favorite color combo.  All this with real live plumbers, real live electricians; and professionals doing it (we've done our whole house ourselves).

We have all of these angels and all of these amazing things happening to us.  We are growing stronger everyday and Finn saves us from some very dark places.  We met some of the police officers who are working on our case last week at the impound so we could get a few things out of our car.  It was the day after it had finally snowed and so it was covered in snow, which was probably a good thing.  The first thing they told us is that we should all be dead.  The Subarban that hit us weighs 3x's our Subaru Outback and that it's a miracle any of us survived.  I heard Dr's in the hospital tell us the same thing several times... they'd never seen a car accident like ours where people lived yet had no brain or spinal injuries.  I like to think of myself as lucky.  I will probably always walk with a limp but at least I can walk.  3 out of 4 of us survived and are home and went to see The Lorax today, which felt amazing.  We are all growing stronger inside and out.  We will always share the same pain, but it's nice to have eachother.  People ask me if I'm seeing somebody.  Dr's ask me if I'm seeing somebody.  I'm not.  I'm not on any anti-depressants either.  I think they are great and that they can really help people who need them, but just not for me, not now.  People are always shocked but the truth is I feel mentally stable, I just cry a lot which is normal.  If you know me at all, I'm very open about my mental stability :).  I don't feel like I need to see anybody.  The truth is I'm less crazy having Ryan around, I love him, and couldn't do this without him.  If you know him personally you are nodding your head because he is so wonderful and I am lucky.  I have Ryan, Finn, my extended family, my friends, strangers, and my blog family really helping me get through.  Perhaps, when Ryan has to go back to work I will need therapy :).

Thank you to everybody who has helped, prayed, or cared.  You have made a huge impact on our healing and happiness.

P.S. I want to thank all of the Dr's, nurses, janitors, aids, and everyone who helped us.  We were lucky to go to such a great hospital!

I want to specifically thank some people that were working the night Colum was life flighted to Primary Children's Hospital:

Tracey Webb, RN
Laurie Merrick, RN
Dr Don Vernon, MD
Larissa Kasarskis, RN
Dr Tell Bennett, MD
Aubrey Anderson-Patient Care Tech
Chris Benitez-Respiratory Therapist
and all the staff working from 12/24-12/25

Thanks to everybody who participated in Colum's care.  The nurses who were in the room with us as we said our goodbyes.  Whoever pulled the strings of bringing Colum; in his severe condition to my room so we could say goodbye.

Thank you to the ambulance drivers.  To the people who stopped to help us right after the accident.  To all the EMT's and Air Med for coming to our rescue.  For every person I'm not naming that came to our rescue.... I'm sorry I wish I could name every single one of you.  Thank you for stopping your life on Christmas Eve to help somebody else.  Thank you to a male nurse, I don't know your name, who helped and stayed with Colum all night at Primary Children's, cried the whole way home, and then wrote a beautiful email on the KellyPack.com about your experience.  It soothed a mother and father who were broken.


  1. Sure love you and your sweet spirit!!! Simply wonderful is what you are! STELLAR! Keep blogging cuz I love reading them!!! You can make my heart ache and smile with your writing!

    Love, Ashlee Nielsen (fb friend)

  2. Kelly and Ryan, I am so, so glad that you are being watched over so well. What touching, special gifts. I am excited to see your bathroom, sounds so cool! Love you!

  3. I can't believe how strong you are after all you have been through. You deserve every ounce of the great gifts, love and support after your unfortunate series of events. I don't know you but have followed your story from day one. I think blogging really is a form of therapy. You are excellent at it and so happy to hear you are recovering well. That doll was one of the most thoughtful things I've ever seen. Keep your chins up and here's to life!

  4. I don't know you personally, but I have been reading your blog since right after the accident. Your story has deeply touched me. I am much better mother and person when I read your blog. I am so amazed with your strength, mentally, physically and emotionally that I catch onto just by reading your blog. You are amazing! I 2nd the amazingness of the DoTerra oils. I love them. I am sooo glad that they are working for your healing body! I love the gifts that that you recieved that were mentioned in this post. What sweet tender gifts! Thank you for your example of strength and Faith! You will see your sweet little boy again! My prayers are with your family!

  5. I echo what many have said before; your family really is special. I often come across sad and tragic stories that make my heart hurt for others, but your story was so different. I don't know if it was the timing of the tragedy on Christmas or if I just sympathized with the stage of life you were in at the time - a mother of two young boys. I am in the same stage of snuggles, blankies, bottles dangling from mouth, measuring cups scattered all over the kitchen, etc., and I believe 18 months is the most precious stage. Your story truly broke my heart like no other story has before and I mourned for your loss like it was my own, and for your precious baby that I never met. I came to love him and love your family, who were complete strangers to me. Thank you for sharing your story so we can all heal with you. You have impacted my life in ways I can’t explain. My relationship with the Savior has been strengthened as I have begged Him to bless you both with comfort and happiness in the future. Think about all the people Colum is bringing unto the Savior. People from all over the world and people that normally don’t pray are praying for your family, and that is a beautiful thing. I believe that families are forever and that you will get to experience being his mother again in Heaven. Our life here is but a short time compared to eternity. Remember that when you feel weak. It’s only for a short time that you are away from your little dove in the grand scheme of things.

    Those gifts that were given to your family are so dear. It is always neat to see the best of humanity in the worst of times.

  6. Your strength contInues to amaze me.

  7. What a GREAT email to read! I love hearing how you are doing so well and that things are all coming together the way they need to! Congrats on the new bathroom! The jewelry from Vintage pearl is AMAZING! What a beautiful way to remember Colum! AND the doll...what an AMAZING, beautiful, sweet gift! I love it!

    You guys are just amazing and I am so glad you are doing better, even if the pain is still there...I heard something the other day and thought of you guys...

    It's from the movie "Return to Me", VERY cute show! If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it! The Grandfather is talking to Grace, his granddaughter as she is going through some rough times and he tells her this... "To the character who is the strongest, God gives the most challenges, so take this as a compliment."

    We pray every night for your family to be shown the reason this has all happened to you and what you need to do now, but maybe we need to pray instead for him to give you strength to meet this challenge instead. Much love!

  8. Kelly,
    thank you so much for sharing your life. I pray for you and your family both for healing and strength to be able to recover (as much as you all can) and have a much better and brighter tomorrow.

    Keep fighting!
    Shannan Head

  9. The Colum doll is adorable. And I love the necklace and bracelet cuff...beautiful. It's amazing how people use their talents. And I love seeing how caring everyone is...I think sometimes I forget.

  10. Your post made me cry. A lot. Probably because I'm pregnant and hormonal. I know how it feel to lose loved ones in tragic ways. My dad died in a car accident in 1998 and my brother died in a car accident just last September. I can't imagine how difficult it would be to lose your son, though. How wonderful that so many people have volunteered to help you. People really can be amazing. I've seen that in my life. You continue to inspire me.

  11. Tears are streaming down my face.. you are amazing. My love goes to you and your beautiful family- and your dove. Keep your blog going.. it is a therapy for not only you but for friends and family and strangers. Know you are loved..

  12. You inspire me with your strength. I think of your sweet family often and hug my kids a little tighter because of your experience. I truly have been moved by your family and how strong you are. I believe with time the pain will grow softer. I pray and think of your family often, thank you for sharing your sweet family with us!

  13. I don't personally know you, but I live just a few blocks from you and my little brother went to school with you guys...my heart breaks for you constantly...and I find myself thinking of you and hoping that some part of your day can bring a smile to your face...I saw Ryan and Finn at the grocery store today and wanted to give them a hug...but figured that would be weird :)...so I just sent some good thoughts their way and smiled at Finns shirt (my son wore only Spiderman shirts for over a year)...I too hug my kids a little tighter every day because I realize how precious and short life is more than I did just a few short months ago...I hope you continue to heal...both physically & emotionally...you'll be in my thoughts...{{HUGS}}

  14. What an encouraging and uplifting post, Kelly! I am so thrilled that you have been given these special, heartfelt gifts to help you heal and provide you comfort and a feeling of being cared for. You so deserve these things! I am also uplifted by your outpouring of gratefulness to others. It is meaningful to hear about those who worked on mending your bodies and at the same time touched your hearts with their humanness and love shown to you in the most unimaginably difficult of times. I am glad you have the beautiful bathroom remodel to look forward to! And yes, I am so happy for you that you three got to experience the simple joy of going to a movie together--something so easily taken for granted by us all. I always look forward to hearing from you. You encourage me in my own journey.

  15. people are amazing. You and your family. the SUPER thoughtful gifts you have been given. that doll is amazing. those charms. makes my day a little brigher....thank you for sharing.

  16. In so glad the necklace and bracelet arrived from vintage pearl! I was worried Ryans wouldn't fit.
    You guys are so beautiful and deserve all the amazing things that are coming your way. Even tho you are broken, it's great to hear your angels are around to help heal.
    I love you all to pieces and no longer consider you strangers, but family. Good luck with all the new renovations! Xoxo.

    1. It fits! And we wear them everyday! Ryan isn't one to wear jewelry for as long as I've known him. He was our "little tough guy", you couldn't have put anything better! They were so touching. Thank you, and family sounds great to us! The more the merrier.

  17. My heart is breaking and my eyes are teary - I don't know you, but I will pray for you. May God give you strength to get through each new day.

  18. You guys are amazing, and inspiring. I lost my sweet husband to cancer 2 weeks ago and I'm having a hard time. Reading your blog helps me cope. You have all gone through so much. I pray for you all.

    1. Oh my goodness. Life can be so hard. I will pray for you as well. I am so sorry!!!

  19. Oh Kelly you are such a Great person and we so love you all we will pray for you each night as long as you need us to some day when your ready we can all meet at Kevin and Bobbi's house again The lord must really Love your Family to see how far you all have come take care! Love Susie and Dave Rice

  20. Kelly,
    I have followed your blog daily since reading of your accident through a friend's posting on Facebook. I find myself spending more time reading your site and checking it, than on the popular social media sites. You are my dosage of daily spiritual inspiration in what can be a challenging, difficult, confusing, and yet also very blessed world. You are rich in your relationship with your family and Heavenly Father, and I admire your strength. Thank you for sharing your experiences in this extremely difficult time with a stranger from Cali. You have changed me as a mother, a sister, a daughter, and a wife. We recently had a big decision to make, your experience rang close to my heart, and it became the basis of my decision. Thank you for reminding us of the preciousness of the gift of life.
    With love from Cali,

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  22. What a beautiful post to read. I've left a couple of comments here and there so I'm sure I've said enough to a stranger by now, but on a different note... I have to say I had never seen all of your family pictures. I just looked through them and they are the most lovely family pictures I have ever seen in all my life! Living in Utah I feel like there's almost a competitive feel to the family picture side of things: who can take pictures in the weirdest/spookiest of places in order to just be different, etc. It sometimes seems that some of the essence of whoever is getting their picture taken gets lost. Well even though I don't know you guys it is as if these pictures match the essence of your family to a "T." I bet they are one of your most prized possessions. Just looking at those pictures has me welled up with tears once again, and then there we go again: flowing tears! But those pictures are so pure and gorgeous and real and raw and I just had to say how incredibly beautiful you all are! You can feel the love and strength of your family. Kelly, if you were the artistic hand behind all of the "scenery" - lemonade, straws, furniture, frames... all the way down to the tiny doilies... you are a superstar! Ahead of your time, really. So inspired by you and your family. I continue to pray for you to have healing, energy, strength, optimism... whatever you are in need of! And what beautiful gifts have been sent to you... that incredible doll for Finn seems like a winner. I am curious to know how he likes it/what he thinks. What a neat idea.

  23. Your strength & courage & love astounds me and renews my faith in the world. You have al of my thoughts & prayers and wishes for a future filled with physical strength, love, peace.
    *24 hrs after my son was born I contracted a one in a million infection & almost didn't make it (but I did since I am writing this :-) During months of care & rehab I was A-Ok and felt like I was in a good place... 1.5 yrs later it hit me like a ton of bricks what I had endured, so I talked (screamed, yelled, sobbed) with an incredible counselor for almost a year (who brought me back from the brink). So if you do feel the darkness creep in now or in a few years, please high tail it to chat with someone :-)*
    So much love & prayers sent your way from this mama.

  24. Kelly,
    You, Ryan, and Finn are so strong. It amazes me that you see blessings out of all that has happened. Ever since I heard of the accident, I can't get your precious boy's face out of my mind. I keep checking your blog reading the great updates, yet still I well up and try not to cry because I look at my sweet baby boy lying in his crib next to me, and think I could never live without him.
    Your family is such an inspiration, and I hope things continue to be miraculous.

  25. I can't stop crying right now.... The gifts you all received are beautiful and I love the Finn's Colum doll! That's SO AWESOME about Colum's headstone, I'm sure it will be beautiful!
    Continue to stay strong!!!

  26. Dear Pack Family,
    I do not know you. But I have followed your story through Facebook and Kelly P. I have cried tears for you and your family and pray you will find comfort and happiness. God bless you all.
    Leslie M.

  27. Thank you for sharing.When we loose a loved one it is the beginning of a whole new journey. Sharing your story helps others and I so appreciate this. Bless you and your family.Love and prayers sent to you.I too would not of done as well as I have without good people and "re al" friends.God bless you and yours!! Carol

  28. I live very close to where your nightmare happened. On Christmas eve my family came to my house with all there children. When my brother in law got to my house he said "there was a terrible accident on 9000th " he couldn't see much but said it looked bad. About two minutes later my mom turned off the music and said "listen" we all just stopped what we were doing. The sound of life flight helicopters were above my house . We all got very teary eyed and knew something was wrong. We stopped and prayed for the people in the accident. We prayed for your safety and emotional well being. I just wanted you to know you had prayers headed your way the whole time. I have a daughter colums age and can't fathom what you have gone through. I admire your strength and optimism. I still pray for your family every night.