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Monday, March 30, 2009

25 Years Ago

Its an amazing fact that when a monumental event happens, you can remember details of the occasion in great detail even years later. Such an event occured 25 years ago today when Kevin James Crouch was born. Kevin was 15 days late according to my doctor’s calculations. So when Dr. Broadbent finally set a date to induce labor the morning of March 30, 1984, it was greatly anticipated. My anticipation wavered when I arrived at the hospital; I even considered making a run for the door when the nurse handed me a gown and told me to change.

After 12 hours of induced labor, Kevin made his appearance at 7:21 p.m. and we spent the entire night staring at each other. He had such dark, alert, penetrating eyes. I couldn’t wait to take him home and was on the phone with Rob at 7:00 a.m. the next morning to pick us up and take us home. There had been 31 other babies born at Utah Valley Hospital on the 30th, so there wasn’t room for us and after 12 hours on a gurney parked in the hallway I just wanted to sleep in my own bed.

A few days later, Kevin started showing signs of illness and after a couple of frustrating days of trying to convince the nurse at my new pediatrician’s office that I wasn’t imagining things, I got him an appointment to see the doctor where after listening to Kevin’s heart, I was commanded to rush him to the emergency room. When I pulled in to the E.R. entrance, three people were there to yank the car door open and wisk Kevin, car seat and all, into the hospital. While they stabilized my newborn, I was trying to track down Rob. He was taking finals and I had BYU Security trying to locate him in the buildings where he was studying between tests. When they did finally find him, Kevin was already loaded into an ambulance to lifeline to Primary Children’s Medical Center.

The next week was spent scrubbing, masking, and gowning up in order to hold my little guy who was attached to so many tubes and wires with monitors beeping and buzzing 24 hours a day. When we were able to bring him home for good on April 18th, I was so afraid to be completely in charge of him; he had lost two pounds and seemed so thin and fragile. Luckily, we had Mimi and Pop as assistant caregivers. Their first grandchild became their life as they helped us through the next few years of scary times with Kevin’s frail heart.

This year as we celebrate Kevin’s 25th year of life, we should also observe the 10th year anniversary of his heart surgery on May 5, 1999 which finally allowed him to live an ordinary life with a normal heart. The medical advances made in those 15 years meant the difference between life and death for our son.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Wrong Georgia

Perhaps because I’ve spent the last few weeks working with the students at North Ogden Junior High who were presenting the play, Once Upon a Mattress, I’ve been transported back to my own junior high and high school years and experiences. My senior year we put on the same musical I’ve been helping my daughter’s classmates prepare for. One night this past week after attending a performance of the musical at NOJH, I came home and found my yearbooks and spent a couple of hours looking at 70’s hair and clothing fashions and thinking about those times at Delta High School.

One painful memory was when I was handed an invitation to a birthday party of the most popular girl in school. None of my other friends had received an invitation and I was mystified by my own inclusion in the celebration. Of course I knew this girl, everyone knew Lisa Peterson. She was a cheerleader, cute, blond, and full of personality and spunk. But why would she have invited me, a nobody, a dark haired, skinny, shy girl who no one seemed to notice in the halls of school (except for those cruel boys who teased me about my huge teeth).

But there it was-I had been invited to a Saturday afternoon birthday party running from 1:00-3:30 p.m. at Lisa Peterson’s house in Delta. I didn’t even consider not going. I was invited; it was a rare privilege to be included and I intended to find out what happened in the inner sanctum of the popular group party.

My mom dropped me at the address on the invitation with the promise to be back at 3:30. I nervously knocked on the door and Lisa herself opened it. With a strange look on her face she promptly inquired, “What are you doing here?” I stammered and stuttered about the invitation Mary Ann had given me and held out the wrapped gift I had brought. That was when I discovered there was another Georgia, a popular Georgia, the Georgia who the invitation was intended for, who lived in Delta.

My mother was on her way back to Hinckley by now and would not return for me for two and a half hours. What could I do besides try to assimilate into the crowd? Let me say that it was, without a doubt, the most miserable two and a half hours of my life. I spent most of the time following the group from activity to activity, inside then outside then back in. I finally gave up and just sat by the window watching the road for my mother’s car while the other girls gossiped and chatted about the cute boys. I had never been happier to see my mother as I was that afternoon. I spent the ride home sobbing and near hysterics. I remember telling her I was too humiliated to ever return to school so we would have to move.

Needless to say, I did return to school and did actually graduate from good ol’ DHS. I did; however, flee from home the fall after graduation never to return for more than short visits. I always feared I would run into Lisa Peterson and have to attempt to explain why I was there.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Signs of Spring!

This afternoon while I was bringing in the garbage and recycling bins, I noticed a splash of yellow next to our front steps, the minature dafodils are blooming. They have this nice south/west spot that catches and holds the warmth and bursts the flowers into bloom earlier than anywhere else. The tulips are pushing their pointed little heads out of the soil now too, but these little yellow ones are the first signs of spring at our house.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Count Downs

There are 24 Days until Elder Ahern returns from his mission in Montevideo, Uruguay! So who, besides Dani, is counting? I am! Dani has returned home from Cedar City so there is no way to lose track of how many days are left until Kelly comes home.

45 days until Kevin and Dani graduate from their respective universities. Rob and I will have to split up since both of them are graduating on May 2nd at opposite ends of the state. Both will be honored at their graduation ceremonies for being on the Dean's List during their entire four years and Dani was nominated as Outstanding History Student of the Year by the professors in the history department at SUU, yahoo!

In 70 days Bryan will graduate from Weber High School. He is still waiting to choose which university's invitation he will accept. It is between BYU, U of U and USU and it all depends on the degree of funding they offer him and if they are willing to hold his scholarship until after his mission.

Just 79 days until the day Dani and Kelly have decided they will be getting married. Yes, it appears that June 5th (or maybe the 6th) is the day they are planning to be at the Logan Temple (if all goes as planned).

It is 82 days until Cami's Especially For Youth week at the University of Utah. She loved her experience there last year and can't wait to recreate the wonderful week at the U.

There are 88 days until Dani will fly to Baltimore to begin her orientation and training for Teach for America. She found out that there won't be a break in between the training, orientation and the first day of class so when she flies out on June 13th, she won't come back home until Christmas break.

AND in just 156 days Bryan will be submitting his mission papers...okay I know I'm getting carried away and I just counted down our entire spring and summer so I'll stop counting days and just enjoy each one, one at a time.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Where's a Map?

So for those of you who follow Dani's blog, you know she is heading to Baltimore, Maryland for Teach for America. What an exciting day Tuesday, March 10th was. We've all been waiting for that monumental day to find out if Dan's six hour interview at BYU in January was going to pay off. Interestingly, when Dani returned home after that grueling day, she told me she didn't think she would accept an assignment from TFA if she received one. But in the weeks since then, as no other teaching position has become available, her mind was changed and when the news arrived on Tuesday evening and she was accepted, she was thrilled. We were thrilled too. I told her I had the same feeling I had when my children were born and recognizing each one as my child and a perfect fit in the family from the first moment. I also felt that way when both Kevin and Kelly received their mission just felt so perfectly right! I can't think of another way to explain my good feelings about this position.

Anyway, this is an exciting time for Dani to prepare for her training in Philadelphia in June and then teaching in August. Also, the opportunity to receive her Master's Degree during that time from John Hopkins University is just tremendous. It truly makes up for all the disappointments with job interviews and positions that didn't materialize. What an amazing answer to all of our prayers.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cami's Glasses

It is official, I am now the one and only member of my family who doesn't wear some kind of sight correction.

Cami had been complaining for about a month that she couldn't see the writing on the board in a couple of her classes and had to ask the teachers to move her closer. So I finally made her an appointment with our optometrist, Dr. Woodfield, and the next thing I know Cami is picking out the most glamorous pair of glasses in the Lens Crafter store. (They really do have them ready in about an hour!!!)

So today was the first day Cami wore glasses to school. She got all the regular kind of ribbing from kids calling her 'four eyes' and some asked her if they were just a fashion accessory with plain glass she picked up at Icing in the mall.

The good news is Cami can now see. She keeps commenting on the details she is seeing so clearly. I don't want her looking at me and noticing all the wrinkles and gray hairs (she used to say I looked young for my age, now I know she just couldn't see well.) I remember when Dani was in third grade and she got her glasses and on the drive home she was going nuts about 'leaves in the trees'. I had not realized that she thought trees just grew a green blob. How could I with my 20/20 vision recognize that she didn't know those were individual leaves hanging up there?

The bad news is I also had my eyes examined by Dr. Woodfield yesterday. I no longer have 20/20 vision, I've slipped to 20/30. He doesn't think I need to worry about glasses though so I can ignore those little details I can't see like wrinkles and gray hair.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A move without moving

Only in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and especially in the state of Utah is it possible to move without moving. For nearly 10 years we have been members of the Pleasant View 2nd Ward and then 'boom', suddenly on Sunday we are 8th Warders...a boundary change changes everything.

For the first six or seven years we lived here, we wondered why we were separated from the rest of our neighborhood and wished we could be in a ward with them so we could become better acquainted. We went through three other boundary changes, expecting each time to see our cul-de-sac included with the rest of our subdivision, it didn't happen. Finally we quit thinking about it and just enjoyed our wonderful ward members and grew closer to them. Wouldn't you know when we were feeling the most comfortable...presto chango.

The hardest part for me was being mass released from my calling. For the past four weeks I had the privilege of teaching the 7/8 year old primary class. I bonded with these children so quickly and found the thought of not being with them the most painful part of the whole ordeal. Going from the 1:00 p.m. to the 9:00 a.m. schedule is Rob's only issue, "especially on the week that daylight savings time starts!" he complained. Bryan hasn't said much of anything and Camille is worried about her former young women leaders since nearly the entire Mia Maid class lived in our section of ward being moved.

The only other concern we've discussed is Kelly coming home to a different stake AND ward when he returns from Uruguay in five weeks. (Yes, just five weeks and three days until Kelly lands at Salt Lake International Airport!!!) In the 2nd Ward his report was scheduled and the entire congregation was so excited to hear about his mission. Now the 8th Ward isn't even aware of Elder Ahern and his amazing conversion and missionary experiences. We have some work to do introducing our new ward to an amazing young man.