Checklist

9/02/2014

When someone dies, there’s a list of things that need to be accomplished for the family members left behind. Each list varies, and tasks are preformed at different times.
Preslee’s list—well, it’s almost finished.

checkmarkViewing
checkmarkPurchase plot in cemetery
checkmarkFuneral
checkmarkPay It Forward Project
checkmarkOrder/Design Headstone
checkmarkPack Up Her Room/Belongings
checkmarkPlace Headstone
checkmarkBuy/Create Binder to Tell Her Story
checkmarkBuy memory box
checkmarkOrganize her belongings, Decide What to Keep
    Make a blanket/Decide What to Do With Her Clothes


Can you believe it? Only one item left. The blanket is nearly finished, and I am in love. I can’t wait to show all of you. It turned out better than I imagined it would. For all of you thinking about making one for yourself, do it! I’ll share what I learned when it’s  finished.

There’s mixed emotions to be finishing up my list. On one end It feels like a weight has been lifted, but at the same time, it feels so…final.

 

Also, the winner of Chirp Chirp Designs Giveaway is Lacey McKee! Hurry up and e-mail me, and we’ll get things going!

Momma

8/27/2014

Dear Cannon,

Until I had you, I never realized how much bonding takes place in the hospital just after giving birth between the mom and baby. Instead of spending hours cuddling you in a hospital room, you went straight into the NICU. For the first two weeks of your life I only had a few hours to spend with you each day. Nurses told me when it was okay to hold you, when to feed you, when to let you sleep, they controlled every aspect of our life together. And to make matters worse, those few hours we had each day were divided between you and your twin brother. I felt like we had a slow start.

Twins in NicuTwins in NICU
(Just a few days old, and he looks so different now!)

When you were released from the NICU, I was incredibly optimistic. But colic set in all too quickly, and suddenly you and your brother were struggling to function. I remember telling your dad that part of the reason I felt those months were so difficult was because I felt like I still hadn’t fully bonded with either of you. It sounds weird, and is hard to explain, but it was different this time around. It wasn’t until we took you off dairy that I finally saw the “real” you, and the only person you seemed to want was your brother and visa versa. I was happy to see you both had each other, and thought maybe this is how the whole twin thing works, they just don’t need their mom as much.

twin problems(Cannon, Cruiz 12 Months)

A few months later Cruiz proved that theory wrong when he became attached to my hip. If he wasn’t with you, he wanted me. But no matter how hard I tried, you kept to yourself. Obviously I am your mom, and there were times you needed me, but if something went wrong you usually went to Cruiz before me. It felt like you had put a wall up (with not only me) and I was ready to figure out a way to knock it down.

twin problems

Just after your first Birthday, I discussed the problem with you dad and we decided he was going to spend more time with Cruiz, and you were all mine. Where you weren’t as demanding, I was going to reward that quality. If I came into a room, I was going to pick you up first. If both you and your brother needed something, I’d choose you first. I spent hours taking you off playing with you by yourself. At first, it didn’t seem to make a difference, I felt like I was repeatedly banging my head against that wall you had put up, but about a month later, that wall began to crumble.

twin problems

I’m not sure what changed, but to my surprise you decided you wanted me—all the time! You now run for me, you’ll even try to outrun Cruiz when you I enter a room. If I pick up Cruiz you become frustrated and grab my leg and cry. You’re emotional. So much at times, we’re not quite sure how to handle it, but I’m okay with it, I feel like we’re making up for lost time. :) You’ve become more affectionate, and the big slobbery kisses you freely give me have become the highlight of my day. And my heart officially melted when you reached up for me and said, “Momma,” your very first word. I was smitten.

twin problems

Cannon, you have an irresistible grin. You share some of your sister’s best qualities, and I can’t help but stare and kiss your cheeks a million times a day. You are great with people, and have no problem making friends wherever you go. I love the way you look out for Cruiz, and tend to be the peacemaker in our family. I feel like you’ve been holding back, and are now just taking flight. Remember you can do anything, and that your Momma will always be right behind you, supporting you every step of the way.

twin problems

Love you buddy,

Momma

Chirp Chirp Designs Giveaway!

8/25/2014

IMG_3434ed

After taking a little bit of a break, I’m back! And what better way to come back than with a giveaway? It was nice to spend some uninterrupted time with the boys, but I’m ready to get back to posting more often.

I’ve discovered a FUN new little shop called Chirp Chirp Designs. They are the newest sponsor on the blog, and have agreed to participate in a giveaway. I’m excited, I think you will like them as much as I do.

Chirp Chirp Designs makes custom signs. The owner, Robin, is talented, and and told me she could do just about anything. With Pat graduating in just a few months (Eek! We’re excited!), there’s a good chance we’ll be moving, so I couldn’t help but order that custom Idaho sign up above.
I’m an Idaho girl through and through.
She matched the yellow to my throw pillows, which makes it fit perfectly in my front room.

Here are a few of my other favorites sitting in her Etsy shop.

il_570xN.639244515_fueg[1]il_570xN.632042273_mg44[1]il_570xN.639473248_8hoo[1]il_570xN.641407454_1m3p[1]il_570xN.631948140_k1a2

Chrip Chirp Designs has agreed to GIVEAWAY one custom sign to one lucky reader.

That’s up to a $50 value.

She also agreed to give all my readers a 10% discount code.
Seriously, go check out her site, their signs are very affordable. Just enter ‘SULLENGER10’ at checkout.
I can’t wait to see what you all order :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rexburg Rush Triathlon

8/21/2014

What a rush! Last May I decided I wanted to train to run another sprint triathlon along with five other family members. I was nervous, I had never been so out of shape, due to having the twins, I hadn’t worked out in over a year and half. But I knew this would be a good goal to set, and would force me to make time to get back in shape.

sprint triathlon gear

Let’s be honest, life got in the way, and training was hard. I rarely got six workouts in each week, and the first time I ran, I could barely go around the block, something I wasn’t used to. But Pat kept encouraging me, kept making time to watch the kids, and NEVER complained when I left to workout. Three and a half months flew by, mainly because I had people to train with this year. I spent hours with my dad and cousin Tiana, either swimming or riding. Training with others definitely beats doing it by yourself.

The night before as I was packing my bags, I suggested we call a babysitter. I knew getting to the lake before 8:00 AM with all three boys and getting them to the second transition across town would be a challenge for Pat. But Pat didn’t hesitate and said, “No way. I’m proud of what you’ve accomplished in one year, and I want the twins to be there to see it.” My heart melted, and became extremely motivated.

sprint triathlon

sprint triathlon

Come race day, I had one goal - to beat my time from two years ago. I picked Tiana up at 5:45 AM loaded her bike and made our way to the Jr. High. We set up for transition #2 and drove over to the lake with my dad, brother, and two uncles. I was a nervous wreck!

Let’s do this!

sprint triathlonsprint triathlonsprint triathlon

Tiana and I came in from the swim right together. I struggled getting my helmet on (It was like my fingers weren’t working) and the next thing I knew Tiana was helping me. Seriously, so nice!

sprint triathlonsprint triathlonsprint triathlonsprint triathlonsprint triathlonsprint triathlonRush TriathlonRush TriathlonRush TriathlonRush TriathlonRush TriathlonRush TriathlonRush TriathlonRush TriathlonRush Triathlon
Uncle Mark, cousin Tiana, Me, Dad, Uncle Randy, Brother Dustin

The race was so much harder for me than it was two years ago, having the twins really did a number on my body, but I’m proud to say I beat my previous time by 14 minutes, and came in 3rd out of the six of us! I left excited because I know I’m not fully back to where I need to be, which leaves room for a lot of improvement!

Official time: 1:43:24.60
Swim: 16:41.42
T1: 2:15
Bike:54:43.27
T2:1:18

Run:34:15.50

F2TF 5K – TEAM PRESLEE!

8/13/2014

F2TF 5K

Shortly after losing Preslee, I came to know Ann Smith. Her son Tyler had recently been diagnosed with a rare form of liver cancer. We instantly became friends, and I watched as their entire family stood behind Tyler who fought for his life. My heart broke for the Smith family when they announced Tyler had passed away in 2012.

F2TF 5K-Team Preslee

Months later, Ann teamed up with Becky, who runs Anything for a Friend, an online community fundraiser, and they announced the first F2TF (Fight 2 the Finish) 5k, where proceeds would be donated to helping others with life - threatening illnesses.

We weren’t able to attend last year due to having twins, but this year I sent an e-mail around asking family and friends if any would be interested in putting a team together. We needed at least 25 people to create our own team, (Team Preslee). I wasn’t sure if we would have enough interested, due to the fact the race was in Ogden, UT and most of us live in Idaho, 3 1/2 hours away. But I was thrilled when nearly 70 people committed! Seriously, can you believe it? 70 people! We’ve been blessed with such amazing people in our life.

Thank you to all those who traveled to be apart of this with us.

F2TF 5K-Team Preslee

I’ve ran a few races, and this one is different.
Some of my favorite aspects of the race were…

The different teams (35 this year!) Runners don’t have to be a part of any specific team to be involved, but if there are at least 25 people, a team can be created. There will be a specific shirt made for that team, and each team runs for somebody special, with that person’s name on the back. We ran for Preslee.

F2TF 5K-Team Preslee

(Four out of the 35 teams!)

  • The balloon release, each team was handed balloons, ours were pink (for Team Preslee) and green (for Team Tyler) and each team let their balloons off at the same time before the race.
  • The “Trail of Hope.” Along the course, each team has a poster with who they are running for. As we ran and looked at every poster, I couldn’t help but wonder what each person had been through.
  • The feeling there. It’s hard to describe the atmosphere, but it was incredibly hopeful. There was a neat feeling there. As team captain, I went to grab the balloons. I couldn’t help but talk to some of the other captains waiting in line. When learning what they had been through, I became super emotional (along with many others) it was reminder that everyone goes through trials, but we’re all in this together. F2TF 5K-Team Preslee
  • Meeting so many people. I was able to meet people I’ve been in contact with through the blog over the past few years. Many were Angel Mom’s who I loved talking to, these women just seem to understand.
  • Necklaces. Preslee didn’t go anywhere without her necklaces, so it only seemed fitting that I passed out necklaces along with the shirts for each girl.

Enjoy the fun pictures, my heart literally bursts every time I look at them.
We love you all!

F2TF 5K-Team PresleeF2TF 5K-Team PresleeIMG_3142edF2TF 5K-Team Preslee  F2TF 5K-Team PresleeF2TF 5K-Team PresleeF2TF 5K-Team Preslee F2TF 5K-Team Preslee  F2TF 5K-Team Preslee F2TF 5K-Team Preslee  F2TF 5K-Team Preslee F2TF 5K-Team PresleeF2TF 5K-Team PresleeF2TF 5K-Team Preslee F2TF 5K-Team PresleeF2TF 5K Team Preslee   F2TF 5K Team Preslee F2TF 5K-Team PresleeF2TF 5K-Team PresleeF2TF 5K-Team PresleeF2TF 5K-Team Preslee F2TF 5K-Team PresleeF2TF 5K-Team PresleeF2TF 5K-Team PresleeF2TF 5K-Team Preslee F2TF 5K-Team Preslee F2TF 5K-Team Preslee F2TF 5K-Team Preslee F2TF 5K-Team Preslee     F2TF 5K-Team PresleeF2TF 5K-Team PresleeF2TF 5K-Team PresleeF2TF 5K-Team PresleeF2TF 5K-Team PresleeF2TF 5K-Team Preslee  F2TF 5K-Team Preslee   F2TF 5K-Team Preslee F2TF 5K-Team Preslee  F2TF 5K-Team Preslee   F2TF 5K-Team PresleeF2TF 5K-Team Preslee F2TF 5K-Team Preslee  F2TF 5K-Team Preslee F2TF 5K-Team Preslee F2TF 5K-Team PresleeF2TF 5K Team Preslee  F2TF 5K-Team Preslee F2TF 5K Team Preslee

On our drive home, Pat asked me what my favorite part about our weekend was. My response - how many times I heard Preslee’s name. It was mentioned during planning, months before, and so many times during race day. I loved being able to read her name on every black t-shirt that I spotted amongst 1500 people. I loved the fact that people saw her sweet little face on a poster, and that we were asked who she was.
I left with an extremely full heart.

F2TF 5K-Team Preslee

This was different than any other race I’ve been a part of, and I loved it. I loved that they were able to raise so much money for such an incredible cause. (Click here to learn more about what they do with the proceeds.) If you live anywhere near UT, I highly suggest looking to be a part of next years F2TF 5K. We’ve had so many family members ask that we do it again :)

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