::pack:: of fixations

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



Lately, I find myself doing the same two things everyday.  

1). I enter the HGTV dream house giveaway.  I enter myself and then Ryan.  I enter most years.  How amazing would it be to win?  I made the mistake of letting Finn see the pictures of this house and he's got his poor little heart just set on those bunk beds.  I remember entering last year in the hospital every.single.day.  I really  thought I would win.  I thought the universe owed that to me after the hell we'd been through.  But we didn't.  And Ellen didn't give us $10,000 dollars and a new car either.  She was even giving away Subarus last year. I imagined myself getting on the stage with my walker and protruding stomach and Ryan on crutches.  Or if they were going to fly some one out to the hospital as a 'fun' surprise, that somebody would spontaneously wash and brush my hair for me and slap some make up on my face....a bra too, they would have to make sure I was wearing a bra.  Don't get me started on how many people saw me without a bra on, OMG!

2). I rub my scalp feeling for new growth.  There's yet another growth cycle coming in.  This makes me happy.  Ryan now sometimes says to me "You totally had supermodel hair".  Yup, he's referring to me and a supermodel in the same sentence.  I miss my old hair, but mostly I just miss being able to put it in a pony tail.  But I will never complain about my hair ever again after losing it.  I'm beyond grateful that it's growing back, and I will once again have supermodel hair.  A dear Aunt emailed me a message that a friend of hers posted on Facebook after her Mother had suddenly passed away, she wrote:

"Native Americans show their mourning by cutting their hair when some one dies. I'm so thankful that My sister was willing to cut my hair for me. It measures the passing of time and reminds us to heal as our hair grows back. "
I think of you cutting your hair when it thinned out as a result of all your stress and medications. I love the part of measuring the passing of time and healing as the hair grows back.

I had no idea that this was something Native Americans did and I think it's beautiful.  I also think my Aunt is beautiful and I'm so lucky to have her in my life.  (Thanks Nadine!)

I really do want that house though!  Even if there are alligators and crocodiles roaming around.  I drool a little bit at the thought of dining on the dining table on the deck...al fresco...that's what classy people that aren't scared of spiders do.  

The other day Ryan got the idea to drive out to the desert and cut down some firewood and shoot the used muzzle loader I got him for Christmas for the first time.  We packed up all of our warm clothes and drove out to the middle of nowhere.  It's probably my least favorite place in Utah.  We camp there sometimes.  The dirt is the same consistency as ashes and everything is dirtier than an average camping trip.  There's no shade, it's not pretty, and it's always windy.  Why do we camp there you ask?  Firewood.  Ryan's favorite cedar firewood is there.  It's where his Dad took him to chop down firewood and I think it's safe to say Ryan has a serious firewood obsession.  He has an entire Pinterest board dedicated just to firewood piles.  I love him!  

It's been snowing a whole lot lately and when we turned off the road towards the trees our normal bumpy path of a dirt road was covered with snow.  1-2 minutes in and we were stuck.  I hate "digging".  "Digging" is when people drive around on dirt roads (sometimes in the mountains) and almost roll there trucks or get stuck or get flat tires or... you get the drift.  Normally I would've started panicking at the thought of us getting stuck, but I honestly just didn't care.  The panic attack never came.  We would get un-stuck and drive just to get stuck again.  Some nice young men came over to help us try and get out but to no success.  I felt so bad every time Ryan picked up a shovel and cringed at the thought of more wear and tear on his handi-capable body.  He felt so bad and kept apologizing to us.  He probably thought I was just hiding my anxiety really well.  After 4 hours of this Ryan called his trusty friend who literally knows everybody and also has their phone numbers and called a local guy with a tractor.  Ryan finally shot his gun while we waited for the 'good ole boy' with the tractor to come to our rescue.  After we were pulled out we safely drove home without any firewood.   But in the end I was with my favorite people, Finn and Ryan.  I got to be trapped in the cold desert with the people I love most; my very own family.

Lately, I'm different.  I don't sweat the small stuff.  I appreciate the good stuff.  Sometimes the worst things can turn into the most beautiful.  I'm liking the new me and I hope I only grow stronger. 

 Another year will probably go by without winning the dream house and I will probably never receive an oversized check on the Ellen Show but it's probably a good thing because I wouldn't have made it to where I am now, and I wouldn't trade that for the world.


  1. I want the dream house too! But I keep forgetting to enter every day. So happy more of your hair is growing back. I love "digging"... I had a jeep in high school. Loved it!

  2. Bless you! If it makes you feel better I did submit you to Ellen to no avail
    :( - Susannah (posted before as Sugarlily). Love that your hair is growing!

  3. As always, I loved reading this today. Sometimes the things you talk about and the way you deal with them emotionally, like losing your hair, or getting stuck in the snow... it represents something else for me in my life. You without knowing it, help me through hard days. You're such an inspiration to so many people. I'm so glad your hair is growing back!

  4. What a wonderful post. BTW, Margaret and I were SURE we'd win the dream house last year after losing Jack.

  5. What a beautifully optimistic post :) I hope you win the Dream House!

  6. It is nice to hear how you are doing. Such a feel good post :)


  7. This article on KSL was about a heart recipient meeting the donor family. I'm not sure if that's something you'd want to read, but the donor went through your same experience, with the parents surviving a crash, and 2 of the 3 kids passing away. They might be good to talk with. The dad's name is Troy DeJoode in Iowa.


    1. Oh this article is so beautiful. It made me bawl. I had Ryan read it also. Thank you! I sometimes forget that Colum's heart is still beating somewhere, & it makes me so happy.

  8. I love the thought of cutting your hair in representation of loss and healing. Beautiful. Good luck on winning the dream home. :)