Wednesday, September 17, 2008

"When it rains - it pours."

Isn't that so true sometimes?

Jeff and I did decide to go to New York for our Anniversary after all. We had a wonderful time visiting with his sister, brother-in-law and our little niece. We did a bunch of tourist type stuff - visit the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, museums, a musical and a bunch of really great places to eat.
We saw the remains of Hurricane Hanna while we were there - we had never seen it rain so hard and so much in our lives. Thinking it would only last a little while like it does here in Utah, we opted not to buy an umbrella from the street vendors. We were soooo wrong, and were soooo soaked when we finally arrived back at his sister's house - even our shoes were soaked through and sloshing out water with every step. But it was fun nonetheless.
Thankfully we were able to enjoy our time there despite the goings on here at home. Jeff's mom was so kind to make phone calls and follow up with my dad the entire time we were gone. I felt so much better knowing that. Which brings me to the sad, sad news:
Two weeks ago - on September 3rd, my sister-in-law was hit by a drunk driver and killed. Tammy was married to my older brother, Danny in 2002. They had a baby girl, Allie, in October of that year. Unfortunately they later divorced and Tammy moved to North Carolina with Allie. We, thankfully, were on very good terms with Tammy and were able to visit with Allie several times a year, and when Tammy would come out to Utah for business, she would stay at my parent's home instead of a hotel. We were able to continue a very close relationship, and in fact Tammy and Allie both flew out twice last summer specifically to visit our family - once in July for my brother Dave's wedding, and again in September for Jeff and I's wedding. Jeff was just commenting the other day that on our wedding day when he didn't know how to affix his boutonierre, Tammy was the one to help him.
The story of her death is quite tragic - she had gone to pick up her younger brother from his night courses at the college, upon arriving home, she parked her truck at the end of the drive so she could pick up the mail and her brother could load the garbage cans in the back of the truck. The drunk driver was travelling in the opposite lane of traffic, crossed the middle lines, crossed the oncoming lane, nearly missed her brother and struck her at 60+ mph. She was thrown over100 feet. We are all hoping that she passed quickly, however, that will not be confirmed until later as we are awaiting the Medical Examiner's report that will be used at the trial against the driver. The story continues and just becomes more and more tragic - too much to talk about right now. The part that is worth mentioning is that unfortunately a legal custody battle has ensued between Tammy's mom and my brother Danny for Allie. It is so easy for me to see both side's points-of-view. Tammy's mom has already lost her daughter - tragically - and now faces the loss of seeing her grand-daughter every day as she has become used to in the last several months that she has been living with Tammy and Allie. That thought is horrible, and I feel so very, very sad for her. On the other hand, I also know that not only does my brother have a legal right, as her father, to have custody and care of her, he sincerely wants her to come back and live here. He wants to have the father-daughter relationship he has not been able to have the last three years simply because of the physical distance between them. He is perfectly able and capable of providing her a happy, healthy and stable home - here, and he deserves his legal right to do so.
Ugh - what a mess. I''m so glad that I do not have to be the judge who decides what the right thing to do is. But for those of you with children, let this be a lesson to you: Make a will. Get it done as soon as possible. Make it very clear what your wishes are for your children and your estate should one or both parents die young. Most of us have a belief that we will live long lives, but we never know when something like this could happen.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I hate cancer. I HATE it. I truly do. I wish I could do something to make it go away.

My darling dad is going through six months of chemotherapy after successful removal of a tumor in June. WHY??? does he have to have more chemotherapy after his cancer has been removed??? Because the cancer doctors said he needs to. I don't know what to think about that. This chemotherapy stuff is for the birds. My poor dad has lost over 50 lbs. He is very weak, tired a lot of the time, and is having a hard time being his normal happy self.
Yesterday, Jeff and I went to visit him and my mom at their house. He answered the door when we rang and said he felt light-headed like he had gotten up too fast. I leaned in to give him a hug, and he passed out right there in my arms, and I wasn't strong enough to hold him up. I was trying so hard, but he went down, and I went down too. I'm sure he is all bruised today, and I couldn't help him. That is what I hate the most about this whole thing - I can't do anything to help. I can't make it better, I can't tell him that he'll feel better soon.
And then I keep hearing about all these people dying from cancer at ages as young as and younger than my dad, and I can't handle the idea that it is possible to lose someone you love to this hateful disease. I love him so much - I don't know how I can help him to know that.
Jeff and I have a vacation planned to go to New York City for our one year anniversary leaving this Friday and will be gone for over a week, and I am so scared to leave. My heart is breaking at the thought that something might happen while we are gone. I don't know what to do. :(

Friday, July 18, 2008

My husband is FAMOUS

Okay, so not like some super-star or anything, but he is in an article that is currently on the front page of! I swear I never thought anything so cool would come of his GI Joe obsession, but I must give him credit - his cubicle was pretty cool. Check out the article here:

Now we are working on creating a room in our house for all his GI Joes. I was really bugged by them when we first got married - I thought it was childish, but then I realized that lots of guys get fanatical about something. My uncle, for example, is a HUGE sportsman and they have their house decorated in an outdoors/hunting/fishing theme with quite a few stuffed real animals he has caught. So I decided that it is pretty cool that Hasboro has come out with new editions of all the old figures Jeff played with as a kid for the 25th anniversary, though I never imagined that there were so many different guys and vehicles and weapons as there are. I have even watched some of the old cartoons with him - which brings back memories for me too. Though I didn't remember that everyone would say "GO JOE!" or "COBRA!" in unison so often, it's kind of silly, but hey, it was the 80's - things were a LOT different back then.

Anyway, it's pretty cool that he is on

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Old Friends

So I got off of work early today and have been "googling" old friends names. It is soooo interesting to see where people are that I haven't seen in over 10 years. I'm glad to see so many people seem happy in their lives.
If anyone ever googles me I hope they see that I am the happiest I've ever been. Life is wonderful!
You should try it sometime, it's fun, googling people I mean - who knows you might find a long-lost friend!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

What is this country coming to?

I had every intention of ranting about this issue yesterday, but decided I should wait a day and see if I still felt the same way... I do!
According to the Supreme Court of the USA has ruled that it is unconstitutional to execute a child rapist. According to the article, Justice Anthony Kennedy said "We conclude that, in determining whether the death penalty is excessive, there is a distinction between intentional first-degree murder on the one hand and nonhomicide crimes against individual persons, even including child rape, on the other,"

Excuse my french, but WHAT THE HELL???

Obviously they did not have enough data to make an informed decision. Do they not realize that a vast majority of these victims grow up to lead lives full of mental illness, drugs, alcohol, violence and some even commit suicide. Now, how is it okay for the victim to pay for this injustice with his/her life but the same is "unconstitutional" for the perpetrator?

According to Wikipedia - and I strongly suggest reading the whole article -
Child sexual abuse can result in both short-term and long-term harm, including psychopathology in later life. Psychological, emotional, physical, and social effects include depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, poor self-esteem, dissociative and anxiety disorders; general psychological distress and disorders such as somatization, neurosis, chronic pain, sexualized behavior, school/learning problems; and behavior problems including substance abuse, destructive behavior, criminality in adulthood and suicide. A specific characteristic pattern of symptoms has not been identified and there are several hypotheses on the causality of these associations.
A study funded by the USA National Institute of Drug Abuse found that "Among more than 1,400 adult females, childhood sexual abuse was associated with increased likelihood of drug dependence, alcohol dependence, and psychiatric disorders. The associations are expressed as odds ratios: for example, women who experienced nongenital sexual abuse in childhood were 2.93 times more likely to suffer drug dependence as adults than were women who were not abused."
Sexually abused children suffer from more psychological symptoms than children who have not been abused; studies have found symptoms in 51% to 79% of sexually abused children. Children may develop symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder resulting from child sexual abuse, even without actual or threatened injury or violence.

Okay, so I know I said in my last post that Jeff and I would move out of the country if McCain became president, but this is just as bad. I think I'm going to start looking for work in England. (I know, their proper english is practically a different language, but at least I'll be able to understand some of it.)

I am so angry! This will be one of the biggest reasons if Jeff and I decide not to have children. It makes me physically ill to think about how easily this abuse can happen and how many children live with it and are too afraid to tell anyone about it. Think of your children - try to remember when you were a child yourself - how can anyone hurt such an innocent being? But they do, and the Supreme Court has told those criminals that what they have done or are doing is not that bad and it has told those victims that their lives aren't worth shit.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

I got tagged by my MIL to answer a few questions - here goes...
a) What was I doing 10 years ago?
I had just finished my first year of school at Utah State University and moved home to Salt Lake City for the summer. I was working two full-time jobs to save money for school (yeah, save money, ha ha ha).
b) What are 5 things on my to-do list for today
1. Sleep in - here it is 9:00am, and I have already been awake for over an hour...
2. Send an email to some old college friends who I had a very vivid dream about last night.
3. Hopefully talk Jeff into going to IKEA to look for the one finishing piece of furniture for our basement make-over
4. Take a nap or play Dr. Mario - I've become addicted to it again, I last played it when I was a young kid and Nintendo was new.
5. Visit with my parents and siblings for our weekly get-together. I sure hope little Harbor is there - I love that kid!
c.) Snacks I enjoy
chips - pretty much ANY kind
Hostess cupcakes - Seriously I could not live without these
Diet Coke
d.) Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
Pay off mortgages for my family
Pay off all of my debts
Invest my money and live off the interest
Become a lobbyist for tougher laws against sex offenders
Buy jewelry... (I love sparkly things)
Get a maid
Oh, the list could go on and on
e.) Places I have lived
West Valley City, Utah
Logan, Utah
Riverton, Utah
Midvale, Utah
West Jordan, Utah

I know, what a boring list of places to have lived, but if McCain becomes the next US President, we're moving out of the country. :)

Loves, Rachael

Monday, June 2, 2008

Ah, the ups and downs of life...

My dad's surgery was a success! The doctor said that when she removed the part of the colon that had previously held the tumor all that was left was a scar! And she was able to put him back together which means that his ileostomy will not be permanent. Yay! So for several days everyone was in really good spirits and thinking that we were near the end of the "cancer" scare. Unfortunately we were all mistaken. :( When the doctor was in doing the surgery, she also took out several lymph nodes to test if there were cancerous cells still in them, and the results came back yesterday - 5 of 22 contained cancerous cells. So that means that my dad will recover from his surgery for one month, then begin his first of six more chemotherapy treatments. Each treatment lasts 2 weeks, and then he gets a month off, then two weeks until the six treatments are completed. THEN they will test the lymph nodes again and determine if he has any cells remaining. Unfortunately he will have to keep the ileostomy bad through this entire process. (He had previously thought he would be free of it within 6-8 weeks from now.) He is the one with the best attitude about this whole thing - which is really good.
A miracle happened yesterday too. My older brother went to the hospital to visit my dad. I know that doesn't seem like much to most people, but they haven't spoken to each other in a couple of years, and I honestly didn't think they would EVER speak to each other again. But I guess it takes stuff like the possibility of your dad dying to make you think and decide to patch things up. Now if I can only get things patched up between he and I, we can all be one big happy family again. I guess we'll see.
Okay, I need to get back to work. Just wanted to let you all know the news.