Monday, November 30, 2009


During the holiday weekend we were blessed with a Thanksgiving treat. The Gummows were in town to spend the holiday with Craig's family so they just HAD to stay at our house throughout the weekend. I have to admit that I didn't get as much Gummow time as I would have liked, but it was nice to have them around when they were at our house. Stella especially loves Cy and Catcher and it is a thrill to her to be able to bask in their presence. On Sunday morning before they headed home, I had the boys help me decorate the Christmas tree like I did last year. I also pulled out a few new decorations for 2009 and took some pics of them as well. Stella loved seeing the tree light up, and was fascinated with taking off the fruit ornaments as soon as the boys put them on the tree. Basically, she was little help in the decorating department, but we were still a success thanks to my little helper nephews.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


A whole seventeen years ago on a Thanksgiving weekend my family was sealed in the Salt Lake Temple. It was something that I had wanted desperately. However, I certainly had a very small understanding of what it would mean to my life.

A few weeks ago our Sunday School teacher asked, "How has the Gospel of Jesus Christ affected your family?" I am going to answer that here in a similar way to how I answered in class.

It's sort of a hard question to answer since I don't think I can really comprehend how the church has changed my family. When I was 14, my family was sealed and I was so excited about it, but I was still so young in the church. When I think about how my family has been able to support me because of the Gospel, and when I think about how my dad has been able to give me so many blessings since we started going back to church, I can't imagine living without it. The effects have been both eternal and temporal.

When my dad was first put on the ventilator and the chance that I might lose him was pressing down on me, Brent kept reminding me that we were sealed, and how could I not find comfort in that truth? While I have been struggling through this time, I realize that the Gospel and knowledge that my family was sealed in a house of God is a truth to me. This truth is all I have, and sometimes it is all we have to hang on to. It is certainly all that really matters.

Friday, November 27, 2009


I suppose when your family is in crisis and a big family holiday like Thanksgiving comes up you usually just want to forget it. I sort of thought we might do that this year, but I felt quite inspired to just put something together despite my sad little heart. Besides, in Brent's eyes, this is the most wonderful day of the year, and I had to come through for Brent.

Riley was put on Turkey duty, and oh, did he ever take his job seriously! He worked on that turkey all week, and was on the phone for hours to his chef brother about it. Unfortunately, it was the best turkey I have ever had in my life, and I don't know if I will ever be able to fully enjoy turkey again now that I know what one can taste like.

We had both the small Evans fam (just our immediate family) and the small Sallay crew together again like we have had in years past. Which I personally love, since we can all just spend time together and we don't have to worry about splitting our time between families.

Everything went great, but man I missed my dad. I almost feel like I need to watch the movie My Girl to give myself a good cry. I am also sort of glad that my candied yams did not turn out as good as they usually do since they are Daddy's favorite, and I always make them for him. He has been moved to a new hospital that specializes in getting long-term ventilator patients off of assisted breathing. They seem very proactive and even though he is in loads of pain, we may very well have my daddy home before 2010! I have a lot to be thankful for this year, but above all I am thankful for being blessed with a tremendous father, and for knowing that he is most likely going to live to be a tremendous grandfather for years to come.

Stella was in a mood as everyone was arriving, and was not really participating to her usual standards with pictures. Her outfit was so cute though, and I have to show it off.

Don't be too shocked...Brent overate! I blame the egg nog.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


There is no argument that Stella has a pretty fantastic head of hair. As she has gotten more hair, it has become more of a tangled mess in the mornings, and before we leave the house (if we leave the house) I have to sit her down and comb out all of her tangles. This of course SHE HATES, but she still tolerates it much better than most babies. This morning when I got Stella out of her crib I just about died laughing at how wild her hair had gotten. It was like a mini-tornado had just blown through her crib. Here are some pics of her totally hilarious 'do.

Friday, November 20, 2009


As you get older, birthdays become less and less cool. I remember when I couldn't sleep the night before my birthday, and this morning I could barely even get up. I guess now that I am actually IN my thirties I am officially too old to get excited for my birthday. However, I still tried my best to enjoy the day despite our continuing family drama.

I had a wedding shoot scheduled today. I had been nervous about it because I really can't cancel something like that. Thankfully, everything with my dad remained calm. The wedding shoot went great, and was sort of a delightful distraction. I found myself almost cheerful by the end of it.

Then I called my mom who was watching Stella, and asked her if I could do some shopping. She was kind enough to let me. I found an adorable cardigan at Anthropologie and then, as a special birthday gift to myself, I allowed myself by FOUR jackets for Bells. Gap was having a 50% off outerwear sale today...I just couldn't help myself, and since it was my birthday, I didn't allow myself to feel ashamed.

I was also encouraged today by the news that my dad was awake. However, I was not fully prepared for my visit with him. It was probably the most difficult one so far, and I only feel okay about it now because I feel like he is closer to getting better. He still has the ventilator but he has been taken off of one of his medications, and they tell us that he will be kind of nuts for a few days until the medicine leaves his body. He of course can't talk, but he still kept trying to talk to me and my mom. I know he wanted to tell us that it hurt and that he couldn't move. I have no idea if he is confused, but I am certain that he does not like feeling out of control and that he is hating this. Plus, during this visit, even though I wanted to burst into tears, I had to keep it together because he can see me now, and I don't want him to worry about anything but resting and getting better. So all in all, it was an unpleasant visit, and I pray angels will calm him through the next few days.

Ashley was kind enough to arrange a small gathering at my house tonight. And she brought over some Chinese food. Being the awesome sister that she is, she also brought me balloons earlier in the day. Boy oh boy, did the girls love those balloons. In fact, there was a balloon casualty from Ava enjoying them so much. We had dinner and then we had my special Baskin-Robbins ice cream cake. A few weeks ago I had mentioned to Brent that I wanted one for my birthday, and this morning I was surprised to find a "love" scavenger hunt that took me to various spots in the house (microwave, dishwasher, rootbeer stash) until I was finally led to the freezer where I found my cake. How Brent snuck that thing into the house without me knowing or having it melt is the biggest surprise (since I am very nosy), and when I found it I yelled out a delighted "aaaaahhhh!"

Plus Miss Stella sang Happy Birthday to me more than once today and gave me an abundance of birthday kisses. So all things considered (getting old, working, and sick daddy), it wasn't a bad birthday. And for that I have only to thank my many friends who called or sent a text or Facebook message, and my lovely family that mean the world to me. Especially that old man on the ventilator that I missed desperately while I ate my chocolate ice cream cake.

I got a huge kick out of how Riley signed my card. Not only was his message "so Riley," but he also signed his last name in case I wasn't sure which Riley it was.

Tyler's card was so un-funny, it was hilarious.
"Best card ever." -Tyler

Stella thought my Gap gift card was for her. But who are we kidding? I am totally going to use it to buy clothes for her anyway, so she might as well claim it.

Stella's face lit up when we sang "Happy Birthday." She was like, "Hey, I know this song!"

Chocolate lips...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Yesterday I had an opportunity to exercise my patience. I had to head down to the Utah Drivers License Division and get a new license. It means I am officially old since it was a whole 10 years ago that I was totally thrilled about being 21 and not having an "under 21" ID any more. Plus I could go out and party in the clubs without getting hassled!

I learned something yesterday while waiting one hour for my precious turn: They will give a license to anyone! Old people who couldn't walk to the counter, people who have had their license suspended for drunk driving, and even 16-year-old children were all getting a fresh new license! So just be cautious my friends when on the road. Plus, watch your road rage (this comment is mostly directed at my sister), as I am confident some of those folks carry some sort of weapon with them while driving. It might only be an old McDonald's french fry, but those fries get really hard and could totally hurt you if hurled towards you at a fast enough speed.

The saddest part of the whole experience was that I can no longer flash the awesome picture on my old license anymore--the picture that helped me get out of a few tickets, and made me several friends at the bank and airport. They let me keep it though so I can hold on to my memories forever.

Monday, November 16, 2009


So I recently came across this picture of Stella. When I took this in July, I was playing with my flash and its settings out on our back porch in the pitch-black night. I really love this picture and feel like it is kind of symbolic of my life right now. Generally I would have no interest in being symbolic and looking for meaning in a picture I took a couple of months ago, but I can't help it. Plus, with what is going on right now I feel like I have license to act however I want today.

This blog is the best journal I have ever kept in my life. Stella is going to be able to look back in detail and know what she was doing almost every week of her first year of life. However, the blog being public makes it hard sometimes to really write about certain things. The feelings I share here are usually just sort of on the surface, ones that I don't mind sharing with everyone. But it feels weird to go along and not document what is happening with my amazing dad right now, and I think it is finally time to address a few of my feelings on our family blog.

For the past week and a half, my dad has been in the ICU at St. Mark's hospital on a ventilator. And today we are encouraged that they have finally been able to turn the machine down a little, and that he is still circulating oxygen okay. It is weird though to feel encouraged when he is still so sick and in critical condition.

My dad started out with the flu around Halloween time, finally went into the hospital a week later, and on Friday the 6th, was put on a ventilator, as a last resort to save his life. I have to say that up to this point, that was certainly the worst day of my life. I had a doctor tell me that my dad might not survive, and I cried so hard throughout the day that the next day, muscles in my face that I didn't even know existed were sore.

I know everyone loves their dad, even if they don't have the greatest dad. But I have a pretty spectacular dad. My dad is dynamic. He loves people, and people love him. He isn't afraid of anyone, and he always assumes that people are going to like him so he is never scared of putting himself out there. My dad has never denied me anything material or emotional. He is genuine...sometimes genuinely crazy, but you are always getting 100% Scott no matter what. I get that from him. I get a lot of things from him.

It has not been surprising to see how many people have rallied around my dad right now, and I know it is driving him crazy that he is missing all of it. He loves to be the star of the show.

There have been some tender mercies throughout all of this. My favorite little event I wasn't even around for, but I have to share it anyway. My dad ordained my Grandpa Evans about a month ago to the Melchizedek Priesthood. So right before my dad was put on the ventilator, my grandpa gave my dad his first blessing. Which of course was the first blessing my dad had ever gotten from his dad. My grandpa said: "I know I'm probably doing this wrong, but I know the Lord knows my heart." That in itself was a miracle in my life. Is it selfish that I would like one more?

I have definitely struggled, and at times have felt so angry that I didn't know who else to be angry at but God. Which is certainly not usually my style. It is hard sometimes though to pray so hard, but know at the same time that you need to be prepared to accept the Lord's will. I just refuse to accept the fact that my daughter might not know how much her grandpa loved her, but at the same time, I have to be ready for whatever the Lord allows. Sometimes I don't feel mature enough to be able to understand how to categorize these feelings, and maybe I'm not, since I have never had to deal with something this painful in my life before.

However, during all of this, I am still Stella's mom. I have to keep it together for Stella. But more times than not, it is Stella who is keeping it together for me. She still makes me smile and has been so patient with my constant phone calls. When I get home from the hospital she screams with joy and runs into my arms and reminds me that there is still joy in my life, even though it is not always easy to see. She even tries to make me laugh, oh bless her little heart.

So that is the symbolism of the picture. In the middle of this darkest time, my little girl shines in my life, keeping me sane and getting me out of bed in the morning. I know that I have been sustained by the spirit through the many prayers that have been offered in my behalf. I am positive that I cannot even measure how much the prayers of others have helped me to be as normal as possible at this time.

Mostly though, I just miss my dad. I miss him calling and bothering me with all of the ridiculous questions that he manages to think of. I miss him stopping by on his way home from work to see Stella and drinking all of my milk. I think of him all of the time, since everything in my house reminds me of my dad and his generous nature. I just want him back. It is all I hope for. It is all I pray for.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Last year, I was reading a friend's blog and saw her son in this hysterical/adorable candy corn costume. I asked her if we could borrow it right away because I thought Stella would make an absolutely perfect candy corn this year.

I am now proud to be able to present to you the proof that Stella does indeed make the cutest candy corn you have ever seen. And thanks to me having had special "getting used to wearing the costume" sessions, she wore it all night with delight.

Brent: "Stella, you look delicious--I must eat you!"
Stella: "Wait, Dad! I may look delicious, but am still your baby! Don't eat me!"

Brent: "Stella, your job is to get all of the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups that you can!"
Stella: "Got it!"

Side note: I don't know very many people that actually really like or buy candy corn, but my Grandma Evans always did...every year. She really liked it, I think. So I can't help but think of her as I post these pictures, and imagine what a kick she would have gotten out of seeing her little granddaughter Stella dressed as one of her favorite treats. I'm sure she saw her though.


After Stella's mom had had her fun taking pictures of her tiny candy corn, Ava came over. We wanted to get pictures of the girls together, but with Ava always on the go that is certainly almost impossible. Stella and Ava both loved the plastic pumpkins and wanted to be holding both of them at all times, so it was a continuous round of them stealing them from each other. Thankfully, they got the hang of only having one pumpkin each as soon as it was time to trick or treat.

Try not to get too scared by Ava's skeleton costume! BOO!

I love this next picture, because it best illustrates Stella's lack of peripheral vision as a candy corn. I can't believe she tolerated wearing it for hours!