We decorated A LOT of eggs this year! I went to help my sister-in-law with the Easter activity she was having at her work, and she gave me several cartons of leftover eggs. Austin was so quick to drop them in the dye that it seemed like we had them all decorated pretty quickly for how many there were.

Huntsman Cancer Institute

Bryan’s surgery went well. It’s been very busy since then so I am finally writing about it a month-and-a-half later, but I posted the date as the day of his surgery so I would have it written down. When the doctor came out to tell me how he was doing after surgery, I was really worried he may have cut Bryan’s vocal cord. That is one of the risks of surgery on the neck. It’s a small cord and they had to dig around and take out several lymph nodes. The doctor said it went well and that he kind of brushed up against the vocal cord, but that Bryan “sounded” like he still had his voice. Before getting anesthesia, one of the nurses told him to think of a pleasant thought before going under....so Bryan was thinking about Jerusalem. (He went there last year and it really made a huge impact on him). So when they rolled him back to his room from surgery I was trying not to laugh when he was whispering, “Jerusalem” and practicing Hebrew words. The meds always make him act funny. I had to explain to the nurses that he was learning Hebrew and so it’s been on his mind a lot. Of the approximate 15 lymph nodes they removed from his neck, 5 of them were positive for metastatic papillary thyroid cancer. The good news is that they were negative for extracapsular spread, meaning the cancer was confined inside the lymph node. The annoying part is that they can’t really be sure if they got it all. He will just have to continue doing his check-ups and blood work to see the levels of his thyroglobulin. They don’t recommend another dose of radioactive iodine at this point because he already had it back in 2005, and since the cancer was still there, those cells didn’t respond to it the first time. The best thing to do for now is to keep a close watch on it. He was at Huntsman for three nights and they took good care of him. His room was like a suite; it was huge. He had a great view of the mountains and nice big windows. One more thing about the surgery; when they stitched him up they actually pulled out the surrounding skin to stitch together, so that when it heals it heals flush with the skin instead of having it droop in. So it looked pretty gross for an entire week until he got the stitches out, and then it was not so bad after that. Here’s some pics....

Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree

I love to see the trees blossoming with the pinks and whites, so pretty.


My dream had come true. I was living in beautiful California. Ever since moving from California to Utah at the age of 13, I wanted to go back --I even spent a couple of summers there staying with several friends. I stayed a couple of weeks at each friend’s house just so I could stay the entire summer and not be too much of an inconvenience. After a called-off engagement at age 20, I again stayed there for a summer to get away from things. I worked for my cousin and enjoyed the beauty that is California. 

In 2008, Bryan and I decided it was time to move to California because of his business and the fact that most of his clientele was there. We did it, and I was loving it! It was hard work, as we both had TWO jobs, but we did it! One day after living there a year, while driving around the beautiful neighborhood full of Spanish-style architecture, perfectly trimmed yards, and beautiful palm trees, I again was thinking, as I had many times before, “I can’t believe I live in California! This is so great; I love it!” What followed was not my thought, but a thought placed in my mind from a loving father who knows all things. It was said in a thoughtful, loving, and sincere voice, accompanied by a warmth that resonated throughout my entire body and gave me goosebumps. “Tami”, it said, “Enjoy it while it lasts, because pretty soon you will be moving back to Utah. That’s where your family needs to be.” I instantly knew in my head and in my heart that this was true, and I cried. I didn’t tell Bryan this, however, because I really was enjoying California and wanted it to happen in its own time and not speed up the process. Bryan had fallen in love with Utah and wanted to go back in a heartbeat, but the only thing that made me willing was that confirmation.

We just passed our year mark for being back in Utah, and now we know a few of the reasons we needed to come back. I’m not saying Utah is the place for us for the rest of our lives, but for now, in this time of our lives, it is. We just recently found out, after several months and several doctors, that Bryan’s cancer is not gone. Because we are in Utah, he has been able to go to the Huntsman Cancer Institute and work with knowledgeable doctors. We found out through his doctor in Provo, that the doctor in California --who had a 3-month waiting list because she was that good-- had completely missed a growth that appeared on his scan. The doctors here in Utah did a scan that found it and wanted to compare it to the scan done in California, and found that it was on both. Bryan went to get a biopsy of it here in Provo, because we didn’t think our insurance covered the biopsy by the doctor Huntsman recommended. The biopsy was unsuccessful in getting a sample, but after several calls to our insurance and talking to several people at the doctor’s office, we found out that we could go to the doctor the Huntsman Institute recommended. The experience between his initial biopsy and the second one was light night and day. The second doctor is definitely an expert at what he does. He had Bryan lie down and arch back in order to do the biopsy low on his neck, because when he stands up, the growth is really in his upper chest. It was done with ease, and a fluid sample was obtained with no problem. During the biopsy, however, it was clear that things weren’t right, as the doctor kept saying, “That doesn’t look good”, referring to several lymph nodes that were abnormal in shape and appearance. When the results of the biopsy came back, the thyroglobulin was at 55,461, instead of the 0 it should be. Before doing the biopsy, the doctor at Huntsman told Bryan that surgery would be the last choice, and that he would want to try to avoid repeated surgeries to his neck because it can cause problems, but after the biopsy and seeing what they saw, he said he would definitely recommend surgery.

He will be having surgery Tuesday, April 12th, and then he will also be having a CT scan to check his lungs and make sure there aren’t any spots there. Wow, this is getting longer than I had planned. If you are still reading, the whole point of this post was really to say how grateful I am for personal revelation. God loves us and watches out for us, and just like the beautiful primary song says, all these trials in life are to, “help us become what he wants us to be.”

We look forward to moving past this chapter in our lives and seeing what God has in store for us next....

Ethan loses his first tooth!

I wondered when Ethan was going to lose a tooth since he will be 7 in just a few months. He lost it the morning of General Conference while eating an orange roll.

Sunset at Utah Lake

Bryan’s parents were here for a few days in April. We walked around the Lake and took some pictures while Bryan tried to convince his parents they should move to Utah. That’s all they hear from him when they come visit!

"Memory is a child walking along a seashore. You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things." ~Pierce Harris
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