Thursday, August 13, 2015


Just a really quick update-

Today we are celebrating great biopsy results by heading to Lake Powell!! Mason's heart is happy and healthy❤️..... In fact these are the best biopsy results he's had in 2 1/2 years! He still has a little bit of mild rejection but it is ever so slight now! Hooray for good news!

( For those who understand  the way Primary's scores their biopsies and for my own record keeping, yesterday's biopsy results are: 
C1 V1  ISHLT 0 pAMR 1)

We are so very grateful for Mason's special heart donor who gave our Miracle boy a second chance to enjoy life!!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Cherish Each Moment - June

June came and went very quickly! But, it certainly didn't sneak by us without having lots of fun, being able to cherish each moment with those we love! As for Mason... June was a healthy and happy month too! 

We started out our summer vacation with a 4 day trip to Lake Powell with our friends the Card family. The weather was a bit stormy, but we still had great time! It was an awesome way to kick off summertime!!


(Kaitlin & friend Grace)



(Kaitlin and Ammon)

(Kaitlin and Grace)

(Mark and Mason)

(Strickland kiddos+1 friend, and Card kiddos
= a great combination for a fun trip to Powell)

In June Mark and Braiden flew to Cooperstown New York
for a fun week of baseball tournaments...
(Braiden's darling teammate Blair traveled with Mark and Braiden.)

When they weren't playing baseball Mark took them on
  a few other fun outings! They definitely had a memorable trip!

(paddling boarding the river)

(Baseball Hall of Fame)

(Sacred Grove in Palmyra , New York)

(Joseph Smith's Home in Palmyra)

(The very first Book of Mormon was printed here.)

(New York City)

(Yankee Stadium)     

These boys will always remember their trip to New York! A big thank you to Braiden's Clutch baseball team, his coaches, and Mark for being their travel buddy!!!

Preston took a weekend trip to St. George with a friend's family.

They hiked Angel's Landing...
 absolutely beautiful!

Sadly, there was not the annual Strickland cousin's camp this year.
With families living around the globe and several pregnant aunts,
it just wasn't possible! But my kiddos still got to hang out with 
some of their Strickland cousins at Grandma's house.
(Ammon, Joey Thomas, and Mason)

Such cute little buddies! Cousins make the best of friends!

Preston and our 2 neighbor boys, Brevin and Cason,
have been the best of buddies since they were little...

And in June they traveled together to Woodward Ski Camp in Tahoe.
They are all growing up too fast! They've gone from digging
snow tunnels together to doing double back flips on the slopes!
Here are the three amigos with two of their Woodward ski coaches.

Whether they were doing indoor trampoline work outs
or practicing tricks in the terrain park they had a blast!
These three boys were rewarded for being the best skiers
and the best behaved boys in the camp! Way to go boys!!!

As we were enjoying our busy summer and making lots of fun memories, a tragedy struck that really made me stop and think once again how very precious life really is. We really don't know how quickly life can change forever! How quickly some one very special to us can return home to our Heavenly Father! We must cherish every single moment with those we love and care about!

My Facebook post on June 12, 2015:
"One of my dearest friends, Amy Foster Openshaw, from my teen and college years sadly passed away today with her husband and two of their children in a tragic plane crash. Please remember their family and especially their 3 sons they have left behind in your prayers at this time of great loss. Amy will always and forever hold a very special spot in my heart. All of my love to the Foster and Openshaw families."

(Above: Summer of '91, Amy and I went to Virginia to visit our roommate Stephanie)

(Click here to read one of the news articles about the crash, 

(Summer of '92, before Amy and I went on our missions)

(Above: Spring of '94 at BYU, 
Amy and her husband Mark were engaged in this picture)

(Below: Summer of '94, I was one of Amy's bridesmaids)

This was my Instagram post to honor Amy and her family on June 19, 2015:
"Flashback to the 90's!!! This is in memory of one the sweetest kindest best friends a college girl could've ever asked for!! Amy (Foster) Openshaw was one of those people that could make sunshine out of the cloudiest of days, she could always make you smile no matter what, and just being with her made you want to be a better person! Amy, her husband Mark, their son Tanner, and their daughter Ellie leave behind a legacy of charity and unconditional Christ-like love! They were amazing people that will always be remembered for their kind service to others! I know their 3 surviving sons Porter, Zane, and Max will carry on this legacy for them. Many hugs and prayers to the Foster and Openshaw families. Love you forever Amy"
.....until we meet again!

I felt it an honor and privilege to be able to attend the funeral which celebrated the life of these 4 very special people. The spirit there that day truly touched my heart and testified that families are forever! This family WILL reunite someday! 

(Here is a beautiful tribute to their family that was also in the news, "Openshaws' funeral tells of hope and family's zest for life". )

As I have written this post and reflected upon many old and recent memories I feel so blessed to have a wonderful family and friends! I cherish everyday that our Miracle Mason is with us, and healthy enough to enjoy life! I cherish every moment of being a mother to 5 amazing kiddos! I also hope to leave behind someday just a portion of the legacy my dear friend Amy left behind. I am trying each day to be more patient, kind, and loving... for that is how I want to be remembered! Thank you Amy for the wonderful example you always were to me!

"The trick is to enjoy life!
Don't wish away your days
waiting for brighter ones ahead!"

July post coming next! Also Mason has a heart biopsy next week on August 11, if you will please remember him in your prayers. Thank you!!