Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Much love, Nick, Heather & Lilah Tyrrell

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Santa Scare

Nick and I happen to have a Santa costume from a few years back when my sisters convinced Nick to dress up as Santa for our nieces. We thought-- okay, I thought -- it would be fun to have Nick dress up as Santa and surprise Lilah in our living room.

Here, in her own words, Lilah will tell you what went down:

Good-Bye Precious

Our first year of marriage was probably one of the hardest ones we've had. After moving away from our friends and family at a young age, Nick got laid off and we ended up living in a shack in the woods of northern Washington, very short on cash. On top of that, we kept having car problems. I think we were broken down and stranded along the side of the road at least three times that year. Out of the blue we had a generous financial gift from some secret angels in the family, and we traded in Nick's sporty (but lemony) convertible and purchased the Avalon.

We bought the Avalon to have a reliable car. And for six (almost seven) years, that's exactly what is was.

We drove and drove and drove that thing, putting over 150,000 miles on it in the years that we had it. And those of you who have seen it, will laugh when you see what it looked like when we originally got it. 'Cause you will know Nick and I never kept it very clean, and over the years we had dogs, babies, horse tack, and other unimaginable digusting things in it! But the car always got us from Point A to Point B.

On December 5th, on a routine drive out to the barn to teach a lesson, I crashed and totalled the Avalon. Even though I had reminded myself before driving that the roads might be icy, I never saw the long patch of hard ice on the road until it was too late. I hit the ice and began wildly fishing-tail all over the road. I kept trying to regain control, but I also kept picking up speed, and I finally did a 180, hit and jumped a curb, and ended up crashing to a halt on someone's front lawn. (It was a random house along the side of a busy road)

Nick, as always, came to rescue me. As we waited for our tow truck to show up, we watched one car after another hit the same spot and wipe out. We even watched a five-car pile-up, one that 911 responded to. When our tow truck showed up, he went first to the scene of the accident to move those five cars, before towing the Av to the dealership for us.

Like we had expected, the insurance company declared the Avalon totalled. When I hit and jumped the curb, I managed to bend either the axel or the under arm of the car so that the back tire behind the driver's door was bent at an unusual angle. We got more cash back than the car was worth, and once we find some good-health days we hope to car-shop.

I cannot believe how lucky I was. First off, I was in the Avalon, a car we were going to replace this spring. I could have hit other motorists, a long concrete wall, and/or trees. Instead, the Avalon landed between two mailboxs, on a slight hill which I think prevented me from flipping the car. It was the best place to land. No one hit me, and I was able to drive it across the street where I could wait in a safe location. I had a big frame of car around me, and other than back pain for a few days, I wasn't hurt. Best of all, no one was with me. Thank you to the divine forces keeping me safe!

So good-bye Avalon. You were an awesome car for us....
A brand-new-to-us Avalon:
Pictures of the tire afterwards -- not too exciting, but the car was parked straight, so you can see the torque in the wheel)

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Everybody knows one of the side-effects of chemo can be losing hair. Once Nick's hair started to fall out on its own, we decided to shave it short so we wouldn't find long chunks all over the house. (The dog and the cat seem to have that covered) (excuse the pun)


We had Lilah help out so she wouldn't be freaked out with Daddy's new 'do:

The end product:

Nick has lost the remainder of his hair follicles, and is now shiny-bald. Here we are at chemo this morning:

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Zoolights '09

Last weekend Lilah and I checked out the Zoolights with a girlfriend and kids. Lilah was sooo excited and thrilled at all the Christmas lights! She loved the train as well. She was so enthralled with it all, I want to take her back this year!

Anyone want to join us next time?? :)

Babies grow sooo fast....

Lilah at the Portland Children's Museum, one year ago....

Lilah at the Children's Museum a couple weeks back... These pictures are pretty much exactly one year apart!

Lilah's favorite part was taking care of her baby!

In fact, the baby came with us to other parts of the museum. This picture cracks me up, especially with the other little girl in the background! (As if it was totally normal to check out a baby in the grocery line!)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

At Thanksgiving 2010, I hope to be thankful that we are done with cancer.

Nonetheless, this year's Thanksgiving was nice. It is still lovely to be home from camp in a snug house with so many friends and family close by. We have lots to be thankful for, including good health care!

I spent the first part of Thanksgiving with Nick in the hospital. Then Tania came to stay with him, and I went to my mom's with Lilah. My sister Naomi visited from Texas, and Lilah enjoyed playing with her Texan cousins. Lilah especially was enthralled with "Lala", although it was difficult at times to share her Nana.

Nana with 4/5ths of her grand-children

Lilah and Lala

All the cousins play with Mr. Potato Head

Lilah was quite interested in Lala's Little Mermaid backpack

Thanksgiving Dinner:

Nick was able to join us later in the afternoon. We stopped by his sister's place later in the day, then went to bed super-early stuffed with turkey!
Thanks Mom for a wonderful holiday dinner. Naomi -- thanks for coming for a visit! It was great to see you and the fam!

Lilah's dog Simon

Even though Nick and I got Simon as part of a "puppy plan" (that is, an experiment to see if you can raise a puppy together before graduating to a kid), Lilah has assumed ownership over Simon. And as her dog, Simon is subjected to her whims. She loves to hold his leash on walks, yell "NO! at him frequently, and dresses him up on a daily basis. Her favorite thing to do, however, is to pretend he's a horse. She picks his feet, tells him "whoa" and "walk-on", and has her dolls ride him (since she's finally learned she isn't allowed to).

And God bless him, he patiently puts up with everything.