Sunday, December 16, 2012

Virtual Christmas Card and Letter 2012

Once again I'm going to be a little lazy and send my "Virtual Christmas Card" and letter.  Hope you all enjoy!

Trav has had an amazing year.  He had an almost record year in Real Estate, attended school finishing prerequisite classes at Utah State, and made it through the first semester of paramedic school at Weber State.  Not only that, but he was EVERYTHING: single parent, caregiver, crying shoulder, nurse, student, real estate agent, EMT, EMS instructor, etc. . . . for over 8 months while I was "down for the count" after chemo, surgeries, and all the stuff in between.  He did an amazing job and I couldn't have picked a better man, husband, and father to get us through this last year.

This last year, I successfully defeated breast cancer.  This year has been a trying one at best, but one that I've learned more about life and about myself than any other.  I had multiple breast exams, an ultrasound, multiple biopsies, two mammograms, an MRI, genetic testing, a right mastectomy, 8 cycles of chemo therapy, complete hair loss, and a breast reconstruction.  I'm a stronger, better me and although I wouldn't want to do cancer again, I can't deny all the blessings and lessons that came from it.  On another note, I am still working as a physical therapist at Logan Regional Hospital specializing in pediatrics and women's health.  Work is fulfilling and enjoyable.  I only wish it didn't take me away from my sweet little ones.  I love being a mother.  Now if I could just figure out how to do physical therapy full time and be a stay at home mom life would be perfect.
Bubba and Ellie
Tayson and Brielle are 26 months now and have just turned into little people.  Everyone always says that they grow up quickly, but I don't think you truly realize it until you have kids of your own.  These kiddos are so much fun.  They talk up a storm and show off their little personalities everyday.  Independence seems to be our theme now, which comes with temper tantrums, REALLY long "get ready to go" times, and lots of "I DO IT's".   We can't imagine our lives without these little ones and love them to pieces.

Hope this letter finds you all well!  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Allreds

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Vernon Family Christmas Party

Tender memories were shared as November 24th would've been Grandma's 81st birthday.  It was so much fun looking at old pictures and remembering the life of the wonderful woman who started it all.  We missed Grandma, but had a blast getting together for our annual Vernon Family Christmas Party.  Santa was a big hit with Tayson as soon as he brought out the present, Brielle on the other hand....not so much.  Poor girl screamed in terror and shook for 5 minutes after the "incident".  Hence no pictures of the sweet little girl with Santa....apparently my Dad got some good ones that I'll have to steal though and post later.

Great Grandpa, Papa, and Ellie
Megs, Tays, and my cousin Britney

Ellie and Aunt Shayla
Tays with the Big Guy

Trav and I

Allred Family Pictures

Thanksgiving morning in the chill of the 9 o'clock hour, Trav's family had pictures taken AND they turned out amazing!  Thanks to ann white photography for these great photos.


Thanksgiving this year brought much to be thankful for...... health, life, family, work, blessings, the gospel, and so much more that can't be put in to words.  Cancer taught me so much and I'm thankful for the person it has made me today.  I'm grateful for the two amazing grandparents that we lost this year for all that they taught us and the large role that they played in our lives.  It has been a big year in our home with heart ache, learning, and most importantly JOY.  Thanksgiving was a fun and relaxing day spent in Hoytsville with my family.  We had great food, great company, and lots of fun.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Halloween was a blast this year.  We enjoyed a trip to the mall, Ensign Toyota, and then stayed at home and greeted trick or treaters.  My two little dragons had a blast and ate WAY too much candy!  Oh how I love these little people.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Guest Blogger: Coping with My Wife's Cancer

This is unusal for me, but I had a gentleman approach me about having a guest blogger. He paints an interesting perspective as a spouse of someone with cancer.  Without further adieu, a guest post from Cameron Von St. James:

Coping with My Wife's Cancer

Although my wife, Heather, knows that it was difficult for me, I have only told her the details once of how I coped with caring for her following her mesothelioma diagnosis. Perhaps this information will help her, and anyone else going through a similar situation, understand more.

Our only daughter, Lily, was born three months before we learned of my wife’s difficult diagnosis. It was hard for us to transition from a time of such joy to one of such insecurity and fear. I was shocked when the doctors told us that Heather had mesothelioma, and I was completely overwhelmed.

However, the doctors almost immediately began questioning us about future treatment options, effectively leading me to thoughts that were more constructive. This was just one of the many times that I was forced to make incredibly difficult choices with my wife even as we faced incredible emotional upheaval.

My first emotions were extreme and difficult to control. I found myself becoming angry quite often. In fact, many times I had difficulty expressing myself without using profanities. With time, I learned how to control my anger and dismay because I knew that my wife and daughter needed me to be an unyielding anchor for them. Instead of showing Heather my doubts and insecurities, I practiced being confident and hopeful despite my difficulties.

Many times, it was difficult to find the time that I needed to accomplish everything at work and around the house. Learning to tackle the most important needs first was a huge accomplishment. I also realized that I needed to accept the offers of help that I was receiving from family and friends. Looking back, I have no idea how we would have survived these days without their help.

Heather has said that she does not know how I coped during what I consider to have been the hardest two months of my life. Immediately after her surgery, Heather went to stay with her parents in South Dakota, who had already been caring for Lily. During this time, Heather focused on recuperating and preparing for her next round of mesothelioma treatments. However, I was only able to visit them once.

Visiting them involved an 11-hour drive. I began on a Friday night after work, despite a snowstorm, and was forced to sleep in my car for several hours while waiting for snowplows to clear the roads. After a brief visit on Saturday and Sunday morning, I had to return home for work on Monday.

Although being so far away from my family for two months was quite trying, I feel that it was necessary in order for me to continue to work while Heather and Lily received the care that they needed. This is just one example of the many difficult decisions that I was forced to make. However, I am very glad that we still retained the ability to make these decisions during this time.

There are two main things I learned after Heather’s mesothelioma diagnosis. The first was to accept offers of help from family and friends; the second was to be grateful for the ability to make decisions, no matter how difficult they may be. Through all of our struggles, Heather is still here and still healthy over six years later. I hope that our story can be a source of hope and help to those currently battling cancer.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Grandpa Allred

Glenn David Allred (1936 - 2012)

Glenn David Allred, 76, of Smithfield, Utah, passed away in Ogden on Oct. 22, 2012, surrounded by his loving family. Glenn was born to C.G. "Jim" and Blanche Allred in Ogden, Utah, on Aug. 18, 1936, and raised on the family farm in Tuttle, Idaho.
He served his country for eight years in the U.S. Navy and Reserve. He married his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Ellen Marie Campbell, on July 3, 1955, in Oklahoma City, Okla. They were later sealed in the Salt Lake LDS Temple.
Glenn received his education at UofU, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, and then worked for the majority of his life at Utah State University's Space Dynamics Laboratory.
He was well-known for making the world more beautiful through his artistic and creative talents: painting, sketching, sculpting, glass etching, casting, pottery, wood carvings, photography, etc.
An avid astronomer, Glenn shared his love of the heavens with the community and countless people throughout the world. He served others through various callings as an active member of the LDS Church and as a member of the Richmond Lions Club for more than 30 years.
Glenn loved people. Throughout his life he had a special connection with everyone around him. It didn't matter if it was a lifelong friend or a store clerk, he always had time to stand and chat for a while. Many hours of the final years of his life were spent with doctors, nurses, health care providers and other patients. Thanks to these people for their tender care. They all became Dad's friends.
Glenn is survived by his wife of 57 years and three children, Christy (Doug) White of Richmond, Mike (Janet) Allred of Hyde Park and Tyler (Deanna) Allred of Tremonton; brother Blaine (Jerrie) Allred of Pocatello, Idaho; and sister Diane Chapman of Tucson, Ariz. He loved his 15 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

Trav's Grandpa Allred was truly an amazing man.  We loved him so much, but are glad that he no longer has to battle this cancer that eventually took his life.  From the first time I met him, I instantly felt loved.  A gentleman who spoke at his funeral made the point that Grandpa Allred was a "builder of people".  I love that because he was.  He left people better than he found them.  He always let them know how special, how beautiful, how amazing they were.  He made sure everyday that you knew that someone loved you--particularly him.  And he did this not only to his family (although I'm sure we got to sample it much more often than others), but to a waitress, a cashier, to anyone he met.  Oh how I will miss this man, his reassurance of love and his hugs.  I hope that I can become a builder of people.  Love you always Grandpa Allred.  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Twins are TWO much!

 Well, the twins are now two years old.  I can't believe how quickly they've grown up. They are the joy of our lives--most days.  Here's an update on each of them:

Brielle Collette
18.6 lbs (0%) 31.75 in (7%)
 Brielle is such a funny little girl.  She LOVES her Daddy, and loves to tease him by calling him Mommy.  Her favorite food is noodles: Ramen, Macaroni and Cheese, etc.  She gives great kisses and has a bit of a stubborn streak.  She still has her natural curl and we hope it sticks around.  Her mission in life is to terrorize her big brother.  She STILL prefers to be outside no matter the temperature.  She is still a tiny little thing, but is growing well on a growth curve.  Her smile lights up her entire face and she has that SPARKLE in her eye when she smiles that her Great-Grandma Myrl had.

 Tayson David
23.8 lbs (9%) 34.75 inches (61%)
 Tayson is a momma's boy.  He also likes to tease especially when you "think" he is going to give you kisses. He is very sociable and talks nearly constantly.  He is really into big trucks right now and has loved watching all the construction around our house.  He loves to eat meat and has taken after his daddy in his love of spam and eggs for breakfast.  He is obsessed with his new kitty, cleans house like a champ, and adores outside. He has a very tender and concerned heart and is always looking out for others whether it is his sissy, his mommy, or his friends. 

Two cute little faces
                        with matching grins
Nothing could be
                        any sweeter than 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Enjoying our Yard this Year

The kids are enjoying the yard this year and we are loving not having dirt all over the house!

Random Summer Happenings via Pics

4th of July @ the Hyrum Parade

Playing with Great Grandma and Grandpa Allred
Slade Reunion @ Bear Lake

Sooooo Pretty--Yep, he got Mommy's Make-Up

Our Little Diva Girl

Tubby Time