Friday, August 27, 2010


A boy who gave so much not only while he was full of life and laughing but even in a time when death was at his door. At a very difficult stage of Max's final moments, Ryan and I were asked if we would like to donate some of Max's organs and tissues. My first reaction was to not want any harm or unnecessary disturbance to occur to the perfection that was Max. In that same instant, both Ryan and I asked ourselves what would Max want us to do. The thoughts that proceed a question like "What would Max do?" will only lead you in the right direction. Max was "that" kind of kid. Ryan and I are both extremely proud of the life Max led and also proud of the decision that he inspired us to make that day.
Here are the results of Max's decision....

Friday, August 20, 2010

Short and Sweet

After 13 planes, 5 rental cars, 4 boats and 1 train, we are finally home. Humble tears were shed when we came home to flowers, gifts, cards and much much more. Every email, every letter, and each thoughtful action has been bottled up and placed in our hearts. When things get tough we will take a sip and let each word fill us with the love and happiness that will give us strength to get through it. It's the best gift we could ask for and we thank you so much for giving it.

Saving the Short and Sweet for Later

I want to pause from our vacation for just a bit. I still have many places to write about but first I want to skip ahead to the end. The thought of coming home after 5 weeks of "living" with my precious family was filled with a mix of emotions. I could barely sleep the night before our inevitable departure. My warm blanket was too heavy, along with my thoughts. Moments of Max's life and death were flashing behind my eyelids, eliminating sleep. Thoughts crept into my mind. . . what am I doing here in Chile? Will I really not be able to hold my sweet Max until I pass on to the next life? Does my ever loving husband really not have a boy to share and experience this life with? What if I go home and I can't deal with it all? What if I lost another child, could it really happen again? Heavy, . . . this was all too heavy. Kicking the blanket off, I prayed that this heaviness would be lightened. Sleep enveloped me and I dreamt. I love roller coasters. Something about them makes me laugh out loud, a real belly laugh. In my dream I could feel I was rolling on tracks that I couldn't see. I looked around and saw that I, along with a bunch of other people, were corralled like cattle into a large cart. People were crying, screaming, grasping to hold on to the cart as the terrifying course hurled forward and back along cliffs and mountain ridges. I was so scared, holding on for my life, my grip so tight. I looked around at the people around me and I saw a child, a little girl. My heart ached for her. As I looked at her I saw she wasn't scared at all, but was lifting her arms in the air and laughing as the wind and the world swept across her. I felt the pull to do the same. I loosened my grip on one hand, then the other and I felt it. Life. Exciting and beautiful life, and I laughed. I woke with a renewed energy and trusting that God has a course for me. We can't control everything, so why not let go. Choose good, have faith, and let go. Let go and enjoy the amazing life that is waiting for us!
Stay tuned for more living

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Our 4 hour drive to Melbourne was actually 7, but who was counting? Surely not the kids who asked "how much longer" 15 minutes after we left. ;)
Melbourne was a feast for the senses, with the Old English buildings mixed amongst modern skyscrapers, displays of art; fine, aboriginal, and even statement making graphity, smells of the local cafes and eucaliptus trees and even though it's Melbourne's winter, mullets were in full bloom. We splurged and stayed in an incredible suite at The Windsor Grand Hotel.

The girls felt like princesses.

After obsorbing the city we drove to Torquay. It's a quaint little town in the country that is home to the famous surf spot, Bells Beach. The waves weren't surfable (total victory at sea conditions) but we had fun hiking the beaches and checking out the town.

You can't see very well, but, in this picture the field in the background was full of kangaroos.

Stay tuned for more living

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Sweet, sweet, Sydney. After a 9 hour drive in the rain, and being rejected at multiple hotels (the Sydney Boat Show was going on), we were so happy to finally tuck ourselves into our hotel beds. The cosmopolitan city, set in a beautiful harbor was filled with San Francisco streets and New York shopping but with the mild climate of San Diego and definitely holding true to the Australian style. We took a cruise around the harbor, went to the Sydney Sky tower for an arial view of the entire city and rode a water taxi to Luna Park. Luna Park, an amusement park my mom went to as a kid and one my dad dreamed about going to while he was 19 serving his mission nearby, is like stepping back in time to the original Coney Island.

The girls are still talking about it.

Abby lost her other front tooth. Realizing while going to bed that she had left her tooth in the car, she wrote the tooth fairy a note. Charlie decided to leave the tooth fairy a note too as well as a birthday invitation.

The tooth fairy responded to both.

We are reminded of Max daily

Sometimes our hotel room doubled as an Animal Hospital.

The animals were in the best of care.

Next stop, Melbourne!

Stay tuned for more living

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back to Brisbane

Back to beautiful Brisbane where we hung out with my family one last time. Together we went and saw where my mom grew up, attended school, and fell in love with my dad. We let the kids get their wiggles out at some parks, and last but not least, Ryan got to go surfing at D'bah with Mark Occhilupo "Occy" a world champion surfer.

Needless to say, he was pretty stoked

Stay tuned for more living

Friday, August 13, 2010

Great Barrier Reef

Poor little Charlie gets really motion sick but she still wanted to go check out the fishies. So we loaded her up on ginger tablets and boarded a boat to one of the seven wonders of the natural world. We anchored at the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef and stepped into the underwater glass bottom boat where we saw incredible sea life and the girls, who love the Planet Earth series, were able to see first hand a below the surface wonderland.

This picture is not in focus but captured the moment. Abby was in the boat and witnessed Max's accident. In this picture Abby and Charlie are watching their dad show them it is okay to go in the water. Abby asked Ryan to pinky promise they would be ok. He pinky promised.

The view from the balcony and the bedroom of our flat.

Another flight, another adventure

Stay tuned for more living


We flew to North Queensland and landed in Cairns. We dropped our bags at our hotel and headed out ready for an adventure. We took a Sky Rail through the magical Daintree Rainforest, thought to be the planet’s oldest surviving tropical rainforest. It led us to the top of the mountain and into the quaint little village of Kuranda, where butterflies, aboriginal art shops and gelato are prolific. When we had explored all we could, we took a century-old railway back into Cairns.

It was an experience that created some really great memories.

Stay tuned for more living

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Stradbroke Island

One of the largest sand islands in the world, with white sandy beaches fringing the island. You can only get to this beautiful remote island referred to by Islanders and Australians as "Straddy" by ferry. We couldn’t pass this little gem up, especially if there was surf on the island!

I’m kind of an “in the moment” type of person. I like to feel the moment, breathe the moment, and taste the moment. My moments are simple. It might be because I don’t have the greatest memory of the past or maybe it’s because I’m not too concerned about the future. In my mind, for the most part, I really only have the now. Each one of our moments is like a simple thread that weaves through the tapestry of life. I’ve heard that, by small and simple things, great things are brought to pass. I figure, if I live each moment good, I’m bound to end up somewhere great!

Stay tuned for more living