30 April, 2006

Quick Trip

Last weekend we made a quick trip down to SLC to see family. Mostly to visit with M, but we got to see family and meet our new sister-in-law, Marideza. We left Friday night from Anchorage and arrived (via Minnesota) Saturday morning around 10am. The weather was great... didn't have to wear jackets, trees were blooming, green grass & leaves, mid-60's. Practically the opposite of Anchorage - our grass is still dormant and the trees have buds, but no leaves, and temps have been in the mid-40's. Mom picked us up - we hadn't told Amy we were coming...

Surprise!!

We brought all the hats we collected from Game Night the previous weekend and a couple other surprises for M. We got to visit (and do some shopping - wahoo!!) with her on Saturday, and we spent Sunday at mom's house playing games and visiting with everyone. Sheri & Amy joined us for a very early breakfast (3am) before Sheri took us to the airport to catch the flight home on Monday morning. (Jeannea picked us up from the airport, since she'd already made it to Anchortown to come visit - thanks, Jen!!)

Family Hat Testing

It was a whirlwind trip, but I loved every minute of it! The best part was getting to spend time with M. Of course, I enjoyed spending time with the rest of the family and meeting Mari too!! I am very lucky to have a great husband who loves & supports me.

M - I hope #3 goes as well as possible for you!!

Game Night, Hat Party, pre-Easter Shindig

We had another get-together at the house a couple weeks ago - Game Night - on Easter Eve. It was originally scheduled to happen while my sister (M) was here. A week or so before she was scheduled to come up, she called to say she wasn't going to be able to come right now - she just found out she has cancer: Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (a non-Hodgkinson form), stage III - her 3rd chemo treatment is tomorrow. For such a sucky deal, there are lots of positives: they caught it early; she's young & in good health; this type of cancer is extremely rapid growth but chemo is especially effective against rapid growth cells (they'll do testing after the 4th treatment to see where things are at); and M works hard to keep a really positive outlook.

So we changed the focus of the party just a bit. Still Game Night, but we asked people to wear hats and bring one to donate to M if they felt like it. We told them we were going to take a pic of everyone toasting M - we toasted her a couple years ago when she got into med school - and give it to her with the donated hats. My sister Sara came in the Monday before - we tried to change her departure so she could stay for the festivities, but no luck. So she helped prep for the party - cleaning & shopping went much easier with her help!

Heather & Sara - Hat Shopping

We decided to have ham & deep fried turkey in honor of Easter. Mmmmm!! In addition, we had all kinds of food: fresh spring rolls, curry egg rolls, fruit, devil'd eggs, green salad, potatoes & peas, salmon salsa (courtesy of Sara), cookies... and more. It was *delicious*!!! Everyone ate and visited for a while, then we played Battle of the Sexes - boys against girls, of course! (Girls won - was there any doubt?!?) =)

Must be story time?

And we spent the rest of the evening having fun and enjoying good company. It was very heart-warming to see all the support from our friends for my sister, whom they've never met. We know some really *fantastic* people!!!

Here's to you, M!!