Friday, October 29, 2010


Every year, there is a chili cook off that coinsides with our ward halloween party. I have taken home a winning award in the past, but last year was pathetic. I can't believe I even decided to take what I had. I didn't have any red cooking wine that my chili called for, so I was told by a significant other that using red wine vinegar would be fine to substitute ( TOTALLY wasn't!) Anyway, I took the chili and to make a long story wasn't good and I didn't win and maybe just maybe I had a blow to my ego (I know, isn't there always some awkward dish that is brought to EVERY church social event??).

So, back to the present...I decided to sign up again to bring chili again this year and do it right. I signed up a week ago and then just kind of forgot that the bmx races were the same weekend and we wouldn't even be there. Well, saturday at about 1:30pm, I get a call, "I just wanted to give you a quick call, I figure the chili is simmering on your stove right now and you don't need a reminder, but I just thought I would call anyway."

"Umm...yeah, I will make sure it gets there, but we won't be able to make it."

"Oh, thank you so much! We are depending on it!"


Oh CRAP!! I forgot all about it. Races started at 4pm. I had to leave at 3:30 to make it to the race in time. I was SO lucky to have most of the ingredients. I decided to make a couple of changes, surprisingly after what happened last year after taking things into my own hands. It seriously only took about 10 minutes to cut the onions, brown the ground beef and throw the rest of the ingredients in the pot. I didn't expect that it would turn out that great, but I just wanted to make sure I didn't bail on someone that was depending on me.

Well, the next day when I got to relief society, Launi from the activities commitee, told me my stuff was in the kitchen and I had won a prize. WOOHOO!!

I won the kid's choice award! What could be better than that? My kids are so picky and definitely not very easy to please, so being able to bring in that prize was huge for me. Yea me! (Ha!Ha! No need to give me a pat on my back, I'm doing pretty well on my own right??)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

BMX Champs

This last weekend, indoor BMX started up for Parker again. Parker was so excited to get back to the track. He missed out on all but one of the outdoor races for the summer because of Ashley playing softball and Jeff's dirtbike mishap. Parker was on a mission. He was on a mission to not only make it to the main event, but to take home a trophy that was 1st-3rd place. He started practicing a week ago. He would go out every night after school and do sprints. Jeff would time him starting at the top of the driveway to the end of the cult-a-sac and see how fast he could go.

Well, last friday was the opening of the indoor season. We show up and Parks starts practicing. Parks has done really well in the past races, making it to the main event the majority of the time, but there are some pretty fast boys his age. Well, I'm chatting with Debbie (my sis-in-law) and Parks comes up to rest for a bit. I tell Parker, "I'll give you $5 if you win."

he says, "I want $100."

I say, "ok, your dad will give it to you."

Now Debbie looks at me like I'm crazy. I totally reassure her, "Don't worry, it will never happen. He hasn't ever placed top 3 in any of the races, those other kids are so fast."

Well, the races begin. Debbie and Brian stick around for a few of the motos, but had their two kids, so left before Parker raced his first moto. I forget all about the conversation, it had completely left me. (Nothing really new for me, I have lost a majority of my brain cells...can I blame that on 4 kids??) Anyway, moto 12 (Parker's moto) is at the gate. The gate drops and Parker pulls out in front right away from everyone else. This kid is pedaling his heart out. The race wasn't even close, Parker takes 1st. It was AWESOME!! I was so excited I had to post status about it on Facebook.

Since Parker took 1st in his moto, he qualified directly to the main event. We had to sit and wait through the second qualifier and then the main event started. I had a little time on my hands so I was browsing FB on my phone and noticed I had a comment on my status. Debbie comments, " What? $100? haha way to go buddy." Oh my gosh, I had forgotton ALL about that conversation. I just prayed Parker did too. I was NOT going to bring it up at all, maybe I could get out of this mess.

The main event begins. Moto 12 once again, the gates drop, and Parker is out in front again. The boy cleans house!! He was on fire and took the 1st place trophy!! Parker is not a kid that really shows too much emotion, but you couldn't have wiped that silly grin off his face. When we were driving home, he turns to me and says, "Mom, I was the BOMB tonight!!" Yes, he was!! Oh, and he forgot all about our conversation...PHEW!!!

We went back for round 2 on Saturday. Not only was Parker ready to race, but CJ had been waiting for this day for a LONG time. On saturdays, they let little kids (the BIG WHEELS class, they call it)race on part of the track. Debbie and Brian came back so their little boy Crue could race too. She decided to scary me a little here and there and threatened to remind Parker of the conversation from the previous night. Thank goodness she loves me enough to have kept it our little secret!

Anyway, those little guys riding their bikes out on the tracks is probably one of the cutest things you will ever see. CJ did so great! He beat all the kids in that rode in the 2yr old group. It will be interesting to see what happens when we get him into the real racing! BMX you better watch out for this kid!

And Parker? The kid did it again!! He liked winning 1st place the night before soo much that he decided he needed to do it again. It was so fun and it makes a momma and a daddy so proud!! Parker will turn 8 in just a few weeks so he will have to move up into the 8 year old class. Hopefully, he can hold onto the fire and keep it going!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Recovery

Jeff ended up spending eight days in the hospital. There first few days were extremely rough on Jeff and he was probably in more pain than I would ever hope to feel, EVEN with the massive amounts of medication that were being pumped into his body. The doctors actually had placed a spinal block (epidural) in his back that blocked from his waist to just below the heart, that helped control most of the pain. The second night in the hospital was a really tough night. Jeff was really struggling with his breathing and his carbon dioxide levels got dangerously high. He was extremely close to having to have a breathing tube inserted and getting moved to the ICU. I really feel that it was by a miracle that that didn't happen. Day by day, Jeff would do a little better. It took a few days for Jeff to actually be able to stand up and that would completely wipe him out. Physical therapists would come in a couple times a day and work with him. During that week, he also had surgery to repair the collar bone. Jeff had an amazing talented doctor that performed the surgery. He was a VERY quirky guy, who definitely kept us laughing (his intention wasn't really to be funny, but we just couldn't help it)but his talent definitely helped Jeff for the better. The hospital staff was so amazing and took such good care of the both of us. I ended up staying with Jeff the entire 8 days and I will always be so grateful for Dave and Karel who took the kids for a couple days and also for Elysse, who came and spent 5 days with my kids. She took them school clothes shopping and 3 of the 4 kids actually ended up getting sick while she was there. CJ actually threw up all over her. She was such a good sport and I hope that she still chooses to get married and have a family after that trauma!! :D

Speaking of miracles, I really felt like I witnessed so many, not only that week in the hospital, but also in the weeks after. I feel really blessed to have been able to witness the love and concern of SO many friends and family for not only Jeff, but for me and the kids as well. It was so very humbling and overwhelming to know the true meaning of love from others. We definitely felt the prayers from everyone around us. I don't know if I would ever be able to truly describe the gratitude I felt for all the acts of service that were provided for us. Meals were brought in for over 2 weeks, Jeff received blessings, we had many, many visitors and recieved many wonderful gifts. People offered to take the kids, drive the carpool, take the kids to their activities, and the list goes on and on. I know there were so many that wanted to do things, but couldn't because of them not living close enough. Jeff and I had some very special moments in the hospital just reflecting on everything and everyone who had shown concern and love.

It took Jeff a good 6-7 weeks to really get back to feeling his old self. Still 10 weeks after the accident, he probably has about 10 pounds to gain back from the 20 he lost while he was in the hospital.

It is so nice to have him back to normal (for the most part) ha. I'm not going to pretend that I think Jeff will decide that motocross is no longer for him and that he will sell his bike and never ride again. He still has his bike and actually was hoping to be able to go out yesterday for a little while, but thank goodness the weather is bad and he decided not to go. Motocross is a part of who Jeff is. It makes him happy (and as weird as this sounds and I can't believe I think it), but it makes him the wonderful dad and husband he is. Let's just hope this "freak" accident doesn't happen AGAIN!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Crash

So, it has been a little over eight weeks since Jeff had a normal day at the track turn into a nightmare. I am truly amazed at how quickly he has recovered, but not surprised because of the help of many friends and family that prayed and fasted for a full recovery for him. He is back to normal and has been for the last couple weeks, (besides the fact he still has a good 10 pounds to gain back) I am grateful he is back and doing great.

August 18, 2010 will not be a day that is easily forgotten for me. I was going to Idaho to help at an arenacross race. Jeff and I had decided that I just go and he would stay home and watch the kids because Ashley had softball practice and we didn't want to haul everyone up there and have to try and keep them entertained while I was helping. It was about 12:45 and I was just getting ready to leave. Ashley was going to watch the kids until Jeff got home from the track, so I was just leaving some final instructions before heading out the door. I gave Ash a hug and started walkind out the door when I get the phone call.

"Tami, it's Beau from the track."

"Beau, why are you calling me?" I knew exactly what the call was about. He didn't have to tell me.

"Jeff has crashed."

"I'm leaving right now, I'll be there soon", was my response.

I jumped in the car and headed to the track. I thought I should feel mad, but I wasn't, not one bit. Just worried, I hoped it was nothing really serious. I called my friend, but just got her voicemail. I left a message and also sent her a text. I knew she would understand, her son races dirtbikes and has been injured more than once. It's the life of motocross, it's not a matter of if, but when.

I got to the track in about 7 minutes. I pulled up to where Jeff and his friends were parked. His friends had got him and his bike off the track and he was just sitting in a chair. His face was ashen, not a bit of color in it and he is having a very hard time breathing. Jeff had come up short on a jump and hit the throttle to hopefully correct it, but it didn't work. He flew over the handlebars and fell hard. I wanted to call an ambulance, but he wouldn't let me. His friends had wanted to call an ambulance as well, but he told them "No" too. His friends were worried, I could tell on all of their faces. They tell me to go to IMC in Murray. We somehow manage to get him into the car and I tell Jeff that I'm taking him to the ER. He tells me he would just rather go to the Instacare, I veto that call and figure it's probably faster to go to LDS and it would be more convenient from our house. That didn't end going really well. It ended up taking about a half hour to get to LDS because of construction. I just felt terrible for Jeff and all he could say was, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

We finally get there and they get him right back. They get some pain meds in him, then take him to go get xrays. By the time he gets back to the room he's still having a rough time breathing and was in a lot of pain. We had to wait about 30 minutes before the Dr. came in to tell us that he had a "bunch" of broken ribs, a broken collar bone, some of his labs looked a little worrisome the doctor thought there could be some organ damage to the kidney or liver, but his biggest concern was the pneumothorax. Jeff's lung had been punctured most likely by one of the broken ribs and he needed to get a chest tube inserted before his lung completely collapsed. LDS hospital was no longer a trauma hospital, so they were going to have to transfer him by ambulance to IMC in Murray. I really wish I would have listened to his friends, would have saved us a lot of time and probably would have saved Jeff from a lot of pain. By the time we had gotten to the hospital and by the time the ambulance had arrived to transport him, it had been about 3 hours. I had felt pretty calm for the most part, but did break down out in the waiting room a bit after the Dr. shared his news with us. I did feel a little better because it didn't seem like the ER was in a huge hurray to get Jeff to IMC. We waited about an hour and a half for the ambulance to show up. Once the EMT's got there, the shock from the accident had definitely worn off and Jeff was in terrible pain. When the EMT's put the neck brace on Jeff and then tried to get him on the gurney, it was like they were torturing him. It was horrible. Jeff was pass the groaning and swearing, the screaming started and then the tears. Jeff never cries and it was horrible to have to witness and not be able to do a thing about it. Jeff's parents had made it by then and unfortunately had to witness it as well. All three of us were pretty upset. It finally to 12mg of morphine to get Jeff settled enough get him on the gurney. Jeff wanted me to go with him in the ambulance, so Jeff's mom took car of my car. They also went and picked up the kids and took them so we didn't have to worry about them. I'm sure it was so hard for them to be away from Jeff, but I'm so grateful they took that worry away for me. The morphine still wasn't strong enough to knock Jeff completely out, but was able to rest a bit on the ride.

Twenty minutes later, we make it to IMC. They take Jeff into the trauma wing and as we are walking down the hall, I see about 12 doctors, fully robed, with masks and gloves just waiting outside the door to one of the rooms.

"Are you waiting for us?" I didn't realize I had said it outloud.

"Is this Jeff Harris? Yes, we're waiting for him." The EMT's wheeled Jeff into the room and all of those waiting doctors swarmed in on him. I had to sit down, I got really light headed, it hit me, things were bad.

I sat outside the room and tried to gather my thoughts, but I was scared. A girl came over to me and introduced herself as a social worker. She explained that it was all standard procedure with IMC being a trauma center. Normally family members aren't with patients when they are brought in so they don't see what happens initially. Doctors are called from every specialty so they can determine the injuries of the patient and treat ASAP. Thank goodness for that social worker, she calmed me immediately. I overheard a doctor order CT scans, but then also said they needed to get the chest tube in right away. I knew I had been strong enough, I knew there was no way I could be around when they did that. I knew Jeff would be awake when they inserted it and I didn't want to be around when it happened. I know, I should have been stronger, however I didn't want them to have another patient on their hands when I passed out. I excused myself and asked directions to the cafeteria. I realized it was 6:30 and I hadn't eaten since breakfast.

I didn't like not knowing. It's hard not being in control. So many things were swirling in my mind. I could only sit and wait, there were no other options. My phone had been ringing off the hook. News definitely travels fast. Maybe because I posted a little note about being with my broken honey in the ER on facebook. Regardless, people were worried, people cared. I already had gotten a call from my visiting teacher asking what she could do to help. Anyway, I returned some calls and was grateful to be able to do something while I waited. It was about an hour later before they let me back into the room, he had his chest tube in and was calm. He still felt pain quite a bit, but was handling it well. The doctor let us know that Jeff had broken at least 8 ribs that he could see, had a broken collar bone, and a partially collapsed lung. The labs weren't a concern anymore, but Jeff would definitely be spending some time in the hospital.