Friday, August 18, 2017

The WORST Day

*Warning! This post contains the events of the day that Colt passed away. I had a friend send me a blog, not too long ago, that went through the events of the day she (the writer) had lost her baby girl to SIDS. She died nearly 8 years ago... but that blog post was the first time I felt like someone understood what I had gone through. So I decided to write my own post about MY worst day, and hope it may find its way to another grieving mother someday, and help them. 
Also, Happy 10 Months to Colt! (tomorrow)


Sunday, May 7th started like any other Sunday… Colt was wearing his plaid button down shirt and khaki pants. He spent the first part of church with Nana and McKinley. He loved playing with them and Graci, but kept smiling at Richard and I when he would see us down the row. About half-way through the meeting, he got fussy enough I had to take him out. I bounced him as I walked up and down the hallway (most Sundays I would walk 1-2 miles, during church, trying to entertain him). It took almost until the end of the meeting, but it finally happened… he fell asleep.
I usually sent him to Sunday school with Nana while Richard and I taught our class, but since I had just gotten him to sleep I took him with us. He slept for about half the class, cuddled in my lap. He hadn’t slept in my arms for a LONG time, and I remember feeling so blessed that I got to hold him while he slept again. Once awake, he stole the show! The kids had a hard time paying attention with his wiggly self in there. They laughed when he chewed on Richard’s fingers, were grossed out by the slobber he left on Megan’s key chain, and loved how he giggled whenever he looked at me as he crawled around our classroom floor. Tyler held him… awkwardly… and everyone laughed... It wasn’t the most reverent class time, but it sure was fun! Then we went to Relief Society where he stood on my chair and talked to all the ladies behind us, played with his best church friend, and ate some of his yummy snacks. We made it all the way through Relief Society without a trip to the hall, which was a first for him! All the women made such a fuss over how happy and cute he always was.
                He went down for a nap right after church. We ate lunch and wrestled around the living room floor as a family. It seemed like the perfect Sunday. Later, Richard and I went outside to relax on the porch swing. Graci came down after a short while and told us Colt was awake. We went back inside and found him crawling all over the living room. Richard fed him while I went on a walk up the canal road. I didn’t walk on this road much because it was too hard to push a stroller on, but it was my favorite place to go.
This time, however, I felt strange... The thought kept coming to me, “This is going to be the worst day of your life”. It played over and over in my head. I couldn’t shake the feeling that a rattle snake was going to bite me, but made it home safe. I didn’t think too much of it, though, because that saying had been in my head quite often the past two weeks. Just two Sundays ago we had a guest speaker in class, who talked about the day he tragically lost his mother and sister in a double homicide. The Lord had been with him through the whole thing, and he distinctly heard those words that had been repeating in my mind on the day he found them dead. They stuck with me…
 When I returned, I found Richard and Graci, outside, trying to fly her kite, while Colt was inside with everyone playing on the floor. He wasn’t up for too long before he started getting tired again. (Sunday’s were a little hard because they messed up our routine.) I swept him up from the floor and took him into our room. He snuggled on my shoulder for a moment when I gave him his favorite turquoise blanket. Then I gently laid him down in his crib, put his blanket on his left side just how he liked, and whispered ‘I love you’. He slowly rolled to his right side, looked up at me with a sleepy smile, and closed his eyes. I walked out of the room and shut the door behind me, not knowing that would be my last interaction with my son.


                We ate dinner, and I went out to the trees to lay in the hammock. Colt had been asleep for about 2.5 hours. I was only in the hammock for 5-10 minutes before I heard strange noises coming from the house. After a few seconds I thought I heard screaming and my name being called out. Something told me there was something horribly wrong. I ran as fast as I could to the house and I kept yelling, “what is going on?” to my family that was out on the deck. Nobody knew… I stepped inside and my brother, Devin, told me to “Get back there now!” and pointed towards my bedroom. I rounded the corner to the hall and saw the worst sight my heart could ever possibly imagine. Richard was hovered over Colt on the floor, where he lay discolored and lifeless. I didn’t know what to do and felt completely empty as I stood in horror watching my husband give my baby boy CPR.
                I heard my dad talking on the phone, and the distinct words, “I think we have a dead baby”. I turned and ran into my bathroom… slid down the wall… and I prayed. I don’t even remember all that I prayed for, but I do know I asked for strength to accept whatever happened. My mom found me there, picked me up, and said something about how it was going to be ok. At this point, everything was moving in slow motion and everyone sounded like they were talking under water.
I walked back out to where Colt and Richard were. I had tears streaming down my face as I rubbed his chubby arm and sobbed at Richard to ‘please save him’. I held his hand as Richard continued doing CPR. At some point Graci came around the corner and saw us… her face filled with concern and questions. I ran to her, hugged her close, and took her to the kitchen where someone else took her from me. I called my father-in-law and asked him to pray for us, that Colt wasn’t breathing… I hung up when I noticed that the first responders had arrived. They told me to go to a different room… that I wouldn’t want to watch... So I stood in the living room… not knowing what to do… It seemed like forever before the ambulance got there. I watched them wheel Colt out… I felt a small ray of hope that he might pull through… I prayed for God not to take my precious little boy...


I rode in the front of the ambulance as it drove to the hospital. On the way I called some of my best friends… I needed people to pray for us. I kept looking back at the EMT’s working on Colt, praying he would be ok. I was shaking… I kept saying, “Hold on, Bubba”… I wanted to throw up…
                When we got to the hospital they handed me his torn clothes and took me to a room just inside, where I sat and watched them try to save my baby. Luckily, I wasn’t alone for too long before Richard got there. We sat and cried… prayed and held each other… My parents came in soon after and held us close as we helplessly watched.
As I sat and watched, any hope I had felt left me, and I knew he was gone. I sat there, knowing there was nothing to be done, and wanting them to just stop so I could hold my baby. But I just sat… I sat and felt empty… I didn’t even know what to feel at this point. It was like I was watching a movie… how could this be real? How could my baby really be gone?
Soon, the doctor came and talked with us, he told us he didn’t think he could do anything more… We decided to let him go. They couldn’t get his heart to start back up and worried that even if they were somehow able to, he would have awful brain damage. I knew there was nothing they could do. I knew Heavenly Father had called him home…
                I was somewhat relieved to see them start leaving the room, because I just wanted to hold him and get a chance to say goodbye. I knew he was gone, I knew he was ok, and I knew I would be ok… even if I didn’t feel remotely okay at that moment… They left the room, wrapped him in a fleece blanket, and placed him in my arms. I sat and held him… I rocked him back and forth… He had tubes coming out of him, smelled funny, and his skin was cold. He was lifeless… I knew his spirit was no longer in his body, but I also knew he was there with us. I could feel him… I could feel angels all around, helping me get through this. I kept kissing his forehead and rubbing every inch of him with my finger, trying to memorize every detail… I didn’t want to ever forget his precious little face. My parents, Chelise and Dusty, and Richard and I just sat with him, and held each other. I didn’t ever want to leave. They let me hold him for a long time. When I felt ready, I let Richard lay him back down in the hospital bed so we could answer questions with the detective as they got him ready to leave.


                They took us to a room… the rose room. Richard and I sat there and just hugged each other. We had a few friends come, and they were able to help my dad give Richard and I priesthood blessings. We answered the detective’s questions… and then they told us we could go back to see him again before the mortuary took him away.
                We went back into the hospital room and found him laying there on the bed. He looked somewhat peaceful, but also strange. It was weird to see him lying so still… he had NEVER laid so still… I let Richard pick him up, and made sure he took extra care with his head. Then I held him again for a moment before I let everyone else have a turn. When everyone was finished, I took him back. I never wanted to let him go, but knew I had to. It took me a little while, but I finally felt like it was time. He was with his Heavenly Father now, and it was ok to let him go.
I will never forget placing him on the stretcher to be taken away... I will never forget the feeling of anguish as I said goodbye... I will never forget how hard it was to know I would never again see his sweet smile, cuddle him in the rocking chair, or read him stories… A part of my heart felt like it had been ripped out of my body. As I watched them take him away, I wondered how my own heart was still beating. How could I be alive when I felt so much pain… so much emptiness…
Leaving the hospital was almost just as hard as laying him on that stretcher. I felt like I was missing something... I was missing someone… How could I go anywhere without my little Colt Man in tow? It felt strange to not have him there. It felt like I was in a dream… I just clung to the clothes and blanket they had given me, that were his… I didn’t put them down for a long time.
I cried all night, and barely slept. But somehow, through the horrible pain I was feeling, I knew everything was going to be ok. I knew that one day it would all make sense… I knew this was the plan… my plan… And while I had never felt so lost, I had also never felt the spirit so strong. I didn’t know what to expect in the coming days… but I knew that there was no way I was ever going to stop working, not even for one second, to make it to the Celestial Kingdom. All I wanted was to have my Colt back… and I knew how to get him… so I prayed for strength and meekness… and I was ok.


I have felt Colt's absence every single moment since he died. There is nothing that can erase the pain I feel every day when I wonder what he would be doing if he were with us... the pain of seeing other babies, around his age, and wishing I could run over to them with my little boy and make new friends... the pain of living without someone I hold so dear... However, through all of the pain, I am ok. Just like I knew I would be on the night that Colt died... There is never an 'easy' day, but I am able to find joy, feel peace, and know that one day I will get to do all the things I long to do today, with Colt.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Enduring Faithfully to The End

I gave a talk today in sacrament meeting (its a little long), and promised some of my friends from out of town that I would blog it. Sorry for the introduction if you already know us, but it leads right into my talk! Enjoy!!

Enduring Faithfully to The End

Richard and I met in Cache Valley on Dec. 23, 2010, and were married 6 months later on June 23, 2011. We enjoy doing anything active, especially if it involves the outdoors. Both of us received our bachelor’s from Utah State, and Richard went on to get his Doctorate of Physical Therapy this past May from Missouri State University.




One of our greatest blessings arrived on Sep. 14, 2012 when our daughter, Graci, came into our lives. She is now 4 years old, very spunky, extremely imaginative, and has an incredibly big heart. She loves to help with all of our house projects, join us on our outdoor adventures, and spend the rest of her time exercising her huge imagination. She truly lights up our home, and keeps everyone on their toes.


We were also blessed with a son on Oct. 19, 2016. The moment they placed Colt into my arms I felt a peace wash over me like nothing I had ever felt before. He was my perfect little angel, and I knew he was an extremely special little boy. He spent 6½ blissful months with us here on earth before unexpectedly passing away on May 7, 2017. Although we were only able to hold him for a small time, we know that he is still a huge part of our family, and fervently working to help us get back home to him and our Heavenly Father.


Losing Colt is the biggest trial our family has had to face, up to this point. It was something I never thought would happen to me… it was something I hoped I would never have to endure. We joined the group that nobody wants to be in, but one that is filled with some of the very best people… a group defined by parents who have outlived their children (or grandchildren).

One story, that I absolutely love, perfectly illustrates the curve balls life throws at us. The author, Emily Perl Kingsley, wrote it to describe what it was like to raise a child with special needs, but I think you can apply it to many different trials:
Welcome to Holland
… It's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may even learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.

 pic cred: https://www.bucketlist127.com/goal/see-the-tulip-flower-fields-in-netherlands

Although the trial of losing my son was one that I never wanted to claim as mine, I have learned to own it, make peace with it, and still live a joyous life. However, I don’t know if that would have been possible for me if I hadn’t had a strong testimony of eternal families, good family and friends helping me through, and most of all a positive attitude.

So many people are surprised to hear that my husband and I lost a son less than 3 months ago. “But you’re so happy!” they will say to us… I’m not going to sugar coat it… we have each had our moments of unimaginable pain, extreme grief, and times we’ve cried out ‘why me?’ However, at the end of each day, we go to bed knowing that tomorrow we will wake up and keep trying. While it would be easy to dwell on the negative aspects of losing our precious little boy, we can’t help but notice all the amazing blessings in our lives before and after his death.

One of my greatest examples of enduring faithfully to the end comes from my great great great great grandmother, Susannah Stone Lloyd. She joined the church when she was 17 years old against her family’s wishes. She journeyed from England to Utah 8 years later, all by herself, at the age of 25. She joined the Willie Handcart Company, and went through some of the worst trials imaginable to people of our day.


Although her company (which is the one featured in the film 17 Miracles) faced many hard trials, my grandmother endured it faithfully. In her autobiography she writes, “we murmured not for our faith in God and our testimony of His work were supreme.” She remembers singing hymns to encourage themselves along the way, and recounts how ‘the Lord gave us strength and courage’.

She writes, “Only once did my courage fail. One cold dreary afternoon, my feet having been frosted, I felt I could go no farther and withdrew from the little company and sat down to wait the end. Being somewhat in a stupor. After a time I was aroused by a voice, which seemed as audible as anything could be and which spoke to my very soul of the promises and blessings I had received, and which should surely be fulfilled, and that I had a mission to perform in Zion. I received strength and was filled with the spirit of the Lord and arose and traveled on with a light heart. As I reached camp I found a searching party ready to go back to find me dead or alive. I had no relatives but many dear and devoted friends and we did all we could to aid and encourage each other. My frosted feet gave me considerable trouble for many years, but this was forgotten in the contemplation of the many blessings the Gospel has brought to me and mine.”

My Grandmother went on to make it to the Salt Lake Valley, where she married a man of faith, and became the mother of 14 children who were all faithful members of the church. Her greatest joy was seeing her children remain faithful to the faith for which she had sacrificed so much. While she still faced many hardships and trials throughout her life, including losing two of her own infant sons, she wrote, “we have never murmured or felt to regret the sacrifice we made. I am thankful that I was counted worthy to be a pioneer and a hand cart girl. It prepared me to stand hard times when I got here.”

When I read about my ancestors, and the many trials they endured with unwavering faith, it is easy for me to feel blessed, have courage, and endure this life. My grandmother not only endured her trials, but was thankful for them. She had such a strong testimony of God’s plan and the promise of eternal life. I am so grateful for her example.

I have a very dear friend who is another amazing example of enduring trials with faith. She has shared her story with many different people and groups because of how much her positive attitude and unwavering faith in the gospel make her countenance shine. I am only going to share a small piece of her with you today.


Amy’s husband, Michael, was killed in active duty on Feb. 23, 2009… he had just turned 31 years old. He not only left behind Amy, but two young sons and countless other family members and friends. Their lives changed on Thanksgiving of 2007 when Michael asked Amy what she thought about him joining the military (out of the blue). Amy couldn’t help but think that he could lose his life if they chose this path. The next Sunday, she was pondering Michael’s question, and asked Heavenly Father, “What if he doesn’t come home?” Without correcting her, but filling her with peace, he answered, “Everything is going to be ok because I have given you My Son.”


Michael did lose his life, just 15 months after she had this experience. However, because of the sacrifice of our Savior, she will be with her Michael again… I will get to hold my Colt again... and when these reunions occur, there is nothing that will ever separate us again!

Some may have never been through the trial of losing a loved one, especially a loved one lost much too soon; or the trial of traveling over a thousand miles pulling a handcart; but I know each of us has faced hard trials and challenges. The purpose of this life is to be tested. Each of us goes through trials that are unique and important to us individually. The things we face are what can help mold us into the person Heavenly Father sees… the person we are destined to become.

One of my favorite scriptures is in D&C 121:7-8, which says, “My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes”.

I have watched Amy endure this world without Michael physically by her side for 8½ years. I know it hasn’t been easy; but she stays positive and keeps the bigger picture as her focus. She doesn’t let any trivial or worldly thing keep her from her goal of being with Michael for eternity. Even though her trial seems somewhat unfair, she stays faithful to the church that our ancestors fought for, sacrificed for, and believed in.

In his April 2016 General Conference talk, Elder Dale G. Renlund said, “If life were truly fair, you and I would never be resurrected; you and I would never be able to stand clean before God. In this respect, I am grateful that life is not fair. … Through God’s compassion, kindness, and love, we will all receive more than we deserve, more than we can ever earn, and more than we can ever hope for.”


Heavenly Father gave us His Son, to make everything ok. It will all be worth it when we cross the veil, are greeted by our Savior, and are told, “well done.” Every trial we face… every heart ache we feel… It will all be made up to us 1,000 times if we endure this life well.

I know that losing Colt has helped turn my focus onto returning to my Savior, and helping others return to him as well. I feel like I can face any challenge or trial placed in front of me with the knowledge I have of the plan of salvation. All the little things that used to matter to me so much just aren’t quite as important anymore. My trial has changed me, it has molded me into a better person, and I am sure I still have much to learn from it in the years to come. But I know that with the help of my Savior, I can endure this life well, and I can have my family feel whole and complete again. In the end, we will ALL not only have Italy, but a place better than anyone could ever possibly imagine, that makes everything we have endured here, worth it.



Saturday, July 15, 2017

Run To Remember

This morning Team Colt was able to run a race in Idaho Falls for my cousin, Nick. He was involved in a horrible car accident on May 22, that took two of his friends lives, Ivy & Asher, and left Nick and the other driver, Brittney, in critical condition. Run to Remember: 1 town 1 run, was a way for some of Nick's friends to get involved, raise funds, and create something physical to memorialize the people involved in the crash. It was an amazing race, and one that I felt a personal closeness to, not only for my awesome cousin, but for the other families who lost their children just two weeks after I lost Colt. Each race we have done has had a special meaning and purpose for me, and this one was extra close to my heart!


The very best part of this race was that Nick was able to be there! He was released from Primary Children's just one week before the event, and we were all super excited to run alongside him! He was able to bike the whole 5K without even breaking a sweat! Talk about an amazing kid, and tremendous fighter! We are so happy that he is recovering so well!!


Many of Nick's friends, and all of his siblings ran the race with him, and it was great to see all the support! (I didn't get a picture of Tysen running because he was way too fast!) And my uncle Chad ran right next to Nick the whole race, which was a sweet thing to watch!

 

Graci was just excited that she won a prize for being the youngest runner! And as always, she crossed the finish line with more determination than I ever thought such a little body could hold. She loves #runningforCOLTman and 'winning' the races for her brother!


I sure love my family, and all the support they give each other, especially through the hard times! With two big trials so close, I have come to see just how awesome they all are, and how much they really love each other! I love watching each one of them fill up a special role in the family, and my life personally. I couldn't do life without them all!

 
 

 After the race, we all went to Nick's High School, where his friends had decorated a rock with all their classmates names on it. I have loved watching this whole community come together through this tragedy, and it has truly inspired me to carry others burdens, and be a better neighbor.


 I sure love this kid, and am so glad he is doing better! He is one of the toughest guys I know, and I have loved watching the miracles unfold through all of this. God is Good! And GO TEAM COLT!!!




Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Choosing to be Happy

     Two months ago I gave Colt one last kiss on his forehead and said goodbye… Two months ago I took him on his last walk; to the cemetery… Two months ago I felt an emptiness I never thought was possible.
     While these last two months have been the hardest of my life, I continue to choose happiness.


     One of my mom’s favorite things to talk about is how ‘we choose happiness’, even though it would be easy for us to wallow in our sorrows. We could choose to lock ourselves up and cry all day, every day. We could choose to become bitter and envy those who don’t know the depths of our pain. We could choose a path that would take us further from the healing power of the atonement, and our Savior. While I do my fair share of wallowing, I also try my best each day to be happy. This choice is the main reason I am able to keep living a full life, when two months ago I felt like my whole world was ripped out of my arms.
     Choosing happiness isn’t always easy. There are times I want to cry, I want to scream, I want to feel sorry for myself. Sometimes I let myself stay here for awhile… feeling sad. However, when I feel ready, I pick myself off the floor and try again.  While it is never easy, I never give up, and eventually I start to feel better.
     Three nights ago I couldn’t sleep, and my thoughts took over. I had just gotten home from a family reunion, surrounded by my loved ones, and was now having to face reality again. I couldn’t stop thinking about Colt… how much I missed him… how empty my arms have felt since he left… I made my way to ‘his bedroom’ that has a box filled with his things. I found his little stuffed giraffe that used to sit above his crib, took it to my couch, cuddled it on my chest just how he loved to sleep, and I sobbed. I pleaded with God to send him back… that I couldn’t do this anymore. I cried for almost two hours… God obviously didn’t answer my pleadings, but somehow he did comfort me and I was at last able to sleep. I felt better the next morning, and I chose to be happy again.


     These last two months have been full of moments similar to this. I know what true sorrow feels like. It would be easy for me to NOT choose happiness, but I can’t afford to do that. I need to try for my family, especially Graci… I need to try for myself... I need to try so that I can see my son again… That’s really all that we are asked to do, isn’t it? TRY? Heavenly Father knows us, and knows we are not perfect. He simply asks that we try our best and he will bless us.
     Life is not easy, I look at the trials some people have to face and can’t imagine how they live in any way resembling happiness. It seems like some have every strike against them. I look at them and see how hard it is for me, when I have lived an extremely blessed life with very few trials. How do some people keep going? But they do… Some of the happiest people I know are the ones facing the most treacherous obstacles in life. They choose to be happy.
     I think those who face extreme trials know the importance of their choices, and the impact that each decision… word… deed… has on others. They know the joy that comes when a stranger gives them a smile, a neighbor brings by some raspberries, or a friend calls just to chat. They realize that life isn’t made important by the big things we accomplish, but by the small deeds that are done each day to bring joy to others. They learn this secret, and choosing happiness doesn’t seem so hard anymore. Their joy comes from bringing others closer to each other, and helping them find happiness.
     My joy is found when I can share my love and knowledge of the gospel. Every step I take is made with the hope that it will bring me closer to my son. I live my life so that I can be with him again. That is all I desire. I want my family to be with me in the eternities. I know what it’s like to live for two months without one of them, and I want ALL of them with me forever. The best way I can make that happen is by choosing happiness, and living a life worthy of a place with my Father in Heaven. By doing the best I can, I can hold my Colt again, and finally feel like my world is complete.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Freedom Run 2017

Our 4th of July started off with a 15K for TEAM COLT and it was a blast!


I couldn't have asked for a better team to run with! They were awesome, and it was so much fun to be with them! I seriously have some of the best family and friends ever!!!


My favorite part was crossing the finish line with our whole team there! Graci was excited to do the last 2 blocks for her brother, and beat all of us! She is such a little rockstar!! :)


We were also able to run for my cousin Nick, who was in a bad car accident 6 weeks ago. He was in a coma for quite awhile, but is doing amazing and will probably be able to come home soon! He is a fighter, and an awesome example of trekking through the hard times in life! I am so grateful for his strength and courage!


We each decorated a flag and carried it the 9.37 miles we ran. Some of us took them all up to his grave later that day and put them all there. It was a really cool and fun experience!


Team Colt is one of the biggest reasons I am able to keep smiling through this trial. I love how it lets me continue to 'show him off' and sacrifice for him. I am always looking forward to the next event, and love the journey they seem to take me on!

I am so grateful for my "team" who have been with me for much longer than the two months Colt has been gone. My amazing mom and ultra cool aunts have been pushing me to always give it my all and push through even when life (or a race) gets rough. They are the reason Team Colt exists! I am so amazed by how much they have supported us through this trial. These ladies are really the best!! Thank you Mom, Ashlee, Lisa, & Megan for creating Team Colt. Thank you EmmaLee, Kiney, & Graci for running with us! Thanks to Gma Woodland (Lu) for running your own race at home. Thanks Dad for always being there! A BIG thank you to Holly for taking our pictures and being there for whatever else we may need! And also a huge thank you to all our other friends and family members who have been loving and supporting us through everything! Love to you all!! :)