Wednesday, June 25, 2008


There's this little baby whom I have been waiting to meet for decades now...

On Monday I found out that this little baby will be gracing the earth 'round about February and I am so excited.
Every time I think about this little baby, I get a little joy bubble and I feel really super happy, forgetting whatever my woes may be.
Grow, baby, grow! I can't wait to squeeze you!
PS: No, I am not incubating this baby (HECK NO, I'm done) but I love, love, love its parents!!!!

Losin' My Religion

I suppose it's a good thing to be so busy that I can't really dwell on any one thing right now. Too busy to make a doctor's appointment to find out why I get dizzy and why my vision gets blurred, my hearing goes in and out, and the back-left of my head still feels like someone smacked me with a baseball bat (I didn't write about when the back of my head--you know the little bump at the base of your skull?--swelled up like there was a bratwurst under my scalp. My mom had her worst night right after "The bratwurst" and the left side of my face went numb and my head was pounding, so I just took care of her and assumed I would be fine--I am still operating on that assumption) ; too busy/distracted to do a good job at any of my three callings; too busy to care that my kids' rooms are trashed; and too scattered to be sad that my Mama is now bald...

Mom & Grandpa Bill
Mom had Mark shave off the rest of her hair last night (Tuesday);
Isn't she so pretty bald?!
Tuesday morning Mom felt good enough to garden! Here she is on the front porch snuggling with her mama...Laura took this picture and I think it's so sweet. I can't wait to see her again.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Somewhere Down the Crazy River

Today we headed out at 9:30am to play at the ranch and have a picnic at Sacajawea Park.

The water on the Yellowstone is still way-high, after a month, and there's still lots of snow to melt. Remember our beach & camp site from this post, or this one (scroll down)?

They're under water!

There were deer near the garden when we drove up the road
Over by the houses, the kids played in the tree and rode the Addie and Heidi climb the I-beam that will one day support the Pirate Tree House.
"We made it!"

Abby and Heidi in the tree
Abby and Marshall climbing down from the tree
Addie and the sun

Bubby swingin' in the sunshine...

look at that high water!
On the way home from the ranch, the valley looked so beautiful...

look at those black angus!

I love those mountains!

Later we went to picnic at Sacajawea Park...James was excited about the cows!
Adie & Abby as Lewis & Clark
James as Pompey
After quiet time, we all enjoyed some popsicles!


And that's our day so far! Right now we are getting ready to have tacos for dinner and plan our Independence Day camp out for FHE...good times, yo!

PS: You can watch/listen to the song here.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Weekend Photos

Ahhh, summer at Casa Melin
It's so warm, James wants to wear a skirt

The kids and the cousins love the wading pool daddy bought for them
James discovered the hose
Water is FUN!

We're so glad to see Grandma Rosalie again!
Our Summer Solstice/ Birthday BBQ Party on Saturday night--everyone sings Happy Birthday to Rich!
James was excited about Daddy's birthday candles

(one for Daddy and one for Grandma)
Daddy opens gifts as Rosalie, Heidi, Uncle Mike, and James look on
Daddy's coolest gift
Abby & Marshall later on Saturday night...
...we had some post-bath/ pre-bed s'mores to test out the new firepit
James thought it was super fun! He kept saying, "HOT!"
Tonight (Sunday), Abigail and Adeline graced us with a Fashion Show.
Heidi, Marshall, and James got in on the action, too.
I will upload the video ASAP, because it is something to behold!
I still feel yucky, but got some rest today. I hope for good sleep tonight and lots of energy to face the day tomorrow! ;)
PS: I just got an email that reminded me that some of my blog readers may not know that Marshall and Abby are my two youngest siblings. My mom and stepdad have had them since they were babies (adopted them in 2000) and they both turn 9 this year. I thought mom might rest easier if I (and my other sibs) entertained them for a few weeks until we have a grip on how to deal with the chemo. My mom also has a great ward--lots of church support--so they will be fine spending the second half of their summer break at home. I will take them back to Washington at the end of July.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Tonight we celebrated Rich's birthday with a BBQ, gifts, and then, after baths, s'mores in his new firepit. Earlier we went to Bozeman to see King Fu Panda and eat Mongolian BBQ. It was fun but I am exhausted.

I still have a trip hangover, and this one is especially bad. My throat swelled up and my headached on the way home from Washington and it's only gotten worse. It's as if my body was just sucking up the lack of sleep for 16 days, and then it just crashed or something. Don't get me wrong--I am grateful that I stayed well at mom's. It's just that I could use some energy here at home, too, to entertain these five rambunctious punks! ;) I am praying for a good night's sleep and no cold symptoms tomorrow!

Rich is such a trooper, as always. I am so thankful for his support and strength, always pushing through and doing what needs to be done. I think we work so well as a team, but I am also thankful that he's always so strong when I get weak. It was fun to celebrate him today, as well as welcoming summer and remembering (silently) Gramaree on her birthday.


While driving away from Couer d'Alene, my radio station faded into another and to my horror I heard this country cover of one of my all-time favorite songs, the namesake of this blog, the Dream Academy masterpiece. However, when I arrived home and googled the cover, I decided to forgive Sugarland because (a)who can resist covering such an awesome song? and (b) even the country cover gave me chills. Enjoy the cowboys:

And for good measure, one of the Dream Academy's dreamiest videos, covering the Smith's from the Ferris Beuller soundtrack. Usually great songs stay great, huh?

"Haven't had a dream in a long time, see the luck I've had could make a good man turn bad."

Friday, June 20, 2008

"It's Friday, I'm in Love"

First things first: Happy 6th Birthday, Raef Walker Hamlin! We had so much fun with you and we hope you have a grrrrreat birthday!

Second things second: We made it home! We are all still getting used to being here (Heidi is still overtired and crying about finishing her dinner as I type), but the journey was relatively uneventful, yea, even nigh unto pleasant. This time I drove 800 miles in 12 hours and 37 minutes (turns out it's much easier to travel northeast through Kennewick than southwest), and I had Marshall and Abby to help me pass out snacks & drinks and herd kids at rest stops. I left Vancouver at 9:09am (it was 8:09 in Vancouver) and arrived home at 9:46pm. It was sunny and beautiful and I decided if I ever come into money, I will have a vacation home along the Columbia River Gorge OR on the lake in Couer d'Alene (in addition to my Tucson and Livingston homes, of course)--it was STUNNINGLY beautiful driving along the river and later along the lakeshore (and all the kids were sleeping as I drove from Post Falls to Wallace, ID). Rich had the whole house and yard just perfect, the fridge stocked with our favorite things, and lots of love to pass around to the weary travelers! YAY!

Mom says her hair is falling out--they said 21 days, but it was 13. It won't be long until it's all gone, so send your cute hats now! :) I love adn miss her already, and I envy the peace adn quiet that Jill and the G'rents are enjoying.

I have to run, but I'll have more details later.

"Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home!"


Monday, June 16, 2008

Vancouver, uhhh...what day is it?

Ah, yes, thirteen. And the Grandparents have arrived. Mom got up and got dressed this afternoon and we had quite the nice day getting ready for los abuelos. We did a bunch of chores and errands and then Jill and I bought dinner and other groceries at Fred Meyer right about the time the Grandparents' plane was landing. We made a yummy dinner of roasted chicken, green salad with poppyseed dressing, fruit salad with huge strawberries, and a yummy baguette. For family night, we watched home movies and ate cranberry-walnut oatmeal cookies.

Sara, we miss you!

It has been a lovely day and it was so nice to see my mom up and around. She is so adorable and we are so thankful she felt better today.

We can feel your love and prayers on her/ our behalf and we thank you so much. Your comments and notes and phone calls mean so much to mom and to us. This could be so lonely and hard (Geo, I think of you did you do it???), but there is definitely an outpouring of love buoying us up. Thank you, awesome family and friends...

This comment and post from Jess sum it up quite well; again, thanks EVERYONE for your comments! (Jess, I love you and I wish you well in your own health're so brave!):

I'm so sorry this hurts so much! I'm crying for all of you. I don't know who has it worse, your mom going through it or her children watching her go through it. Life is a beautiful thing, especially in our extremities. God does not always give us what we want, but he sure gives us the strength to endure. You and your family are amazing. You will get through this and be stronger, more united, more refined. I know this is awful for you right now, but I think its also beautiful in a way. The love, its palpable in what you write. Thanks for sharing it. (((hugs))) We're praying for you.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

No Words

Can we do four months of this?

I suppose if I get my mom back at the end, it's worth it. But we've got a long road ahead.


Saturday, June 14, 2008

She Got Me

I cried about my mom for the first time today.

I went to check on her late this morning and she said her chest hurt/burned really bad and that she'd suffered terrible intestinal cramps all night.

"I had a really bad night," she said. "I wasn't sure I was going to make it."
"Aw, mom. I am so sorry we have been so noisy this morning while you're trying to sleep..."
"It's not the noise that's bothering me, babe," she said, her eyes filling with tears, "it's the pain."

She put her left arm around my neck and pulled me close and said, "Thanks for working so hard and taking care of me." She put her right arm around Sara and hugged us both. "I have the best kids in the world." And then she was really crying, so we all joined in.

"I'm only doing this once," she added. "If the cancer comes back, that's it."

"I know, mama," I squeaked. "We wouldn't ask you to....but thank you for trying this time."

We made her call the nurse at the cancer center and the nurse told her it was side effects from the contrast dye on her CAT scan yesterday and told her what to do for relief. She is now trying to get some rest and I am trying to start dinner and get all that laundry Sara folded put away. The kids are playing in the sprinklers again, eating cheese crackers and gummi cars and ice water, splashing, fighting over toys, tattling, laughing, screeching through the cold water in the sun with their cousins. Jill took Sara to get some new pants and they took James and Kaylee. Life is still so good...pray for mom's comfort.

Friday, June 13, 2008

This Week (mostly today) In Photos

Here's Abby doing some pre-game fielding on Monday night.
Marshall, Abby, Addie, Brady, Raef, Heidi, and James eating dinner Wednesday night.
James & Nana, at it again.
Kaylee snuggling her Nana Tuesday night.

Today we picked up Aunt Jill and took a detour to Multnomah Falls.
Here's Aunt Jill and Kaylee...

The gang at base of the Falls

Cousins at the Sign
Cousins on a bench by the bridge: Heidi, Addie, Brady, Raef, James, and Kaylee
Cutie Punkins!

James & Kaylee, sweet baby cousins
My Sunny Lynners
Brady & Raef
Sara & Jill getting hosed on the bridge

The Falls from the bridge
Heidi on the bridge
Jill, Me, and James (freshly misted)
Sara, Kaylee, Me, and James

Brady, Raef, and Heidi head for the snack bar
Heidi's all smiles!
So is Raef!
Kaylee is a sweetie-punkin!

Heidi sharing ice cream with Kaylee
Check out Addie's giant popsicle!
Adorable Brady and his treat

James and Aunt Jill work on his popsicle
Sharing is fun!
Maybe three of us can finish it off?...

Kaylee devoured her cone!
A train passed over just as we went in the tunnel to the parking lot--YIKES!
Melin Kids after a fun adventure
Now Jill has taken Abby to her ball game (Heidi and Kaylee went, too), Mark is stuck in traffic, Nana is home from the doctor's (her tumor has shrunk and her blood is fairly healthy--YAY THAT), and the cousins are playing in the sprinklers. Sara has worked her tail off today, folding about 7 loads of wash and cleaning up the downstairs--HOORAY for helping hands! (I just took a nap with Heidi, then started blogging--LAY-ZEEEE!). Have a great weekend, all y'all. More updates to come!


Dear Loved Ones,               The past two weeks have been a whirlwind for us…and now we are 8! We got a new German daughter, Kristin...