Thursday, October 22, 2009


It has been a while since I last posted and I have had so many things I have wanted to blog but I just can't seem to make the time. So here is my attempt to start blogging again.

About a week and a half ago Denisa taught the Relief Society how to make Carmel apples. Then yesterday we had her come to Young Women's and do it again. We had a wonderful time with the girls.

Well... I decided that for a family activity I wanted to make some. So as soon as the kids arrived home from school we went right to work. Since my hands were busy with the Carmel the camera didn't come out until we were just about done.Now if you know the Hurley family at all, you will know that any messy family activity like this must be made into an even bigger mess before we are truly done. (A favorite of ours is the whipped cream squirted in the mouth. We have lots of pictures of this.) Well since we were adding melted chocolate to our already too sweet apples we decided that everyone should have a little squirted into their mouths, except Mommy of course. As you can see Donovan LOVES this activity. The giggling was almost too much for me. Half way through Brian said we should have gotten out the video camera.And Brian still managed to get me with the white chocolate.
We used walnuts, Heath bits, mini M&M's, chopped up Reeses, and we even tried Nerds. (We'll let you know how that one tastes, I'm not too sure about it.) We drizzled milk and white chocolate. They look so yummy and I can't wait to have some, after supper of course.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kindergarten Here I Come!

The day after school got out for the summer, the kindergarten teachers put on a Kinder Camp for the incoming kindergartners for the next school year. They all went to school for a couple of hours and played games.They sang songs and played outside. It is a great time for them to meet their fellow classmates. At the end they went on a bus ride to Dutch Treat and got an ice cream. Donovan had a great time and he is so excited for school to start.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Princess Savannah's Court

A couple of years ago Christine, Miss Harrington to the kids, organized a Relay for Life team in honor of Savannah. It is called Princess Savannah's Court.
This years theme was a Luau. We had the idea to make candy lei's to sell at our tent. Between the Jones' boys, Nicki and her kids and Kiara, Donovan and I, we made over 100 lei's. Dustin made a great salesman! He even sent some of the other kids walking around selling them to the people walking around the track. I had a hard time watching the Survivors lap but the kids loved walking the Kid's care lap. Kiara wanted to carry Lady as she walked.As we were walking around the track and the sun was setting the sky turned pink. Everyone we passed said that it was Savannah letting us know she was there. At 10 pm they turned all of the lights off and lit all of the Luminary bags that were placed around the track. Every bag represents a person. The in honor ones represent people who are currently battling cancer or who have survived cancer. The in memory ones are people who have passed away from cancer. Kiara and Donovan wanted to decorate their own bags for Savannah. I printed off a picture to put on hers from Mommy and Daddy. Looking at all of them lit is so beautiful but also very humbling. Hearing Savannah's name read on the list of non survivors was really hard. I had lots of people there to support me and overall it was a very good night! Thank you, Christine. I am so glad you love my daughter enough to honor her memory in this way!

Saturday, May 30, 2009


My brother, Sean, moved to Arizona just after Christmas this past year. All of his stuff has been in a storage unit and he asked my mom to go through it all, sell stuff that he didn't need and store the rest of it. I spoke to him on the phone the other day and we were talking about it, he told me if I wanted anything to just take it. I said "Even the Carl Yastrzemski signed baseball?" He said yes and told me there was also a signed lithograph in there as well if I wanted it. COOL!!

Ok, now I know this is going to be disappointing to all of you loyal Red Sox fans, but I have no idea who Carl Yastrzemski is. I like the Red Sox and I support them but all I care about is if they win or lose, I have no clue about the players. However...Mr. Yastrzemski signed this ball and the lithograph specifically for an auction that was held for Savannah when she was first diagnosed with cancer. That being said, having a signed baseball and lithograph by a famous Red Sox player is WAY COOL!!!

Thank you, Sean!

Polka Dots!

Donovan came running out of the bathroom the other day and said "Mama, I have polka dots!" I said "What?" Then he proceeded to point to his nose and said again, "I have polka dots!"

I have been wanting to blog it for quite some time now but I have been so busy with work that I rarely have time to do what I want to. I love my work, so it's ok, but it is nice to do something I want for a few minutes.

I told Donovan today that I wanted a picture of his polka dots. This was our first attempt...Then he told me I could take a picture of his polka dots if he could take a picture of me making a funny face.... Lucky for me he doesn't have good aim, at least with my camera, other cameras he does, mine is just too heavy!

This was our final shot! Aren't his polka dots cute?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

When it rains, it POURS!!!

Well this has not been the best weekend for us! And not a lot of it had to do with Memorial day. I should have known with the way we started it out!

Friday evening I needed to get some work done, just ordering dance pictures for the school I photographed last week. I wasn't motivated staying at home so I decided to pack up my stuff and the kids and go to Marie's house to hang out. This way I could have someone to motivate me when I lost the motivation and kids to entertain my kids so they would stay out of my hair.

I was doing well and the kids were having a ball playing outside, riding bikes and playing in the sandbox. We didn't really have any bickering with the kids either (it usually happens at least a couple of times.) All of a sudden Dustin comes in the house carrying a rather calm Donovan who's foot was bleeding (he usually freaks out at the sight of his own blood). He set him in the shower, it was bleeding pretty good, and Marie and I investigated the source of the bleeding. All Donovan told us was that he stepped on a toy in the sandbox. My kids are like me, we hate shoes, they are just a necessary evil most of the time.

After cleaning his foot as best we could we noticed a little puncture wound on his heel. I carried him to the dining room where I was working and looked at it a little closer in better lighting. A few minutes later one of the kids, I don't remember which, came in the house carrying an old board with a nail sticking out of it. Donovan told us that it was what he stepped on. So I called the doctor, she said he should be fine until I reminded her that he isn't immunized.

Let me pause for a moment and tell you not to lecture me about immunizing my children, I have heard it all before. Our decision not to immunize them was a choice Brian and I made after a lot of studying, research and prayer before Savannah was born.

I called Brian on my way to the emergency room and I was glad I did. I had not been to the emergency room since before Savannah died and they chose to put us in the room that they frequently put Savannah in. The PA looked at his foot and was about to send us on our way when I asked him if Donovan needed a tetanus shot. I really wish that they would look at the chart before the come in to see the patients.

The nurse came in with an assistant and 2 shots because he hadn't had any before. The assistant went to hold Donovan down and I told her to get her hands off of him, she was scaring him. I proceeded to tell her that I had done this for the past 3 years and I knew what my child needed and he did not need her to hold him down. Now I understand that some kids need that but I wasn't about to let them scare him when he didn't even know what was going on. I calmly explained to Donovan what they were going to do and then told him how Sissy would sit in my lap and squeeze my hands if it hurt. He climbed into my lap and let the nurse give him the shots, both of them. He didn't not start crying until after she left the room. We told him how proud we were of him for being such a big boy and that it was ok to cry if it hurt.

Because I didn't get my work done Friday night I had to do it Saturday, again no motivation. I started out having a hard day, I think it was combination of being in the emergency room and it being Memorial Day weekend. Marie came to my house with her kids, her son mowed my lawn, it needed it! And she visited with me while I tried to get some work done. She needed to leave at 2:00 for an appointment, I still was not doing well. I wanted to go, but knew I needed to get my work done. She quite literally twisted my arm and told me I needed to go. She was very kind to me and gave up her appointment to get her legs waxed so I could get mine done. I needed a little pampering! Thanks Marie! (By the way, I did finish my work Saturday evening!)

On Sunday we were informed by our landlady that she has sold our house and we have 6 weeks to buy a house (we've been casually looking) or find a new rent. We have been looking at buying a house but we did not want to make a quick decision.

Monday we went to the parade and then to the cemetery. We cleaned up Savannah's site a little and bought her a beautiful pink hanging plant. Kiara and Donovan frequently play on the little wooden bridge that crosses a tiny stream in the cemetery. They like to slide down the railings, well Donovan got a splinter. I completely forgot about it until this morning when he showed me that it was turning a little red. I got out the tweezers but I couldn't get it out, so I had to get a needle. Again, he was a very brave boy, he did fuss and cry while I was trying to get it out but he didn't try to pull his hand away. We put some medicine and a bandaid on it (bandaids cure everything).

I need a calm week, PLEASE!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Too Much for Me!!

Tonight was dress rehersal for Kiara's dance recital. I knew going would be hard but I did not expect it to be as hard as it was. I decided to take Lady with me and I am glad I did. I walked in and immediately 3 people came up to me asking me how I was. Now don't get me wrong I like that people are concerned and aware that all of these firsts are very hard for me, but that is just it, they are hard. Please don't stop asking!

After getting Kiara dressed for tap we took our usual trip backstage to see Mr. Scott. We always took a picture of him with the girls before the show started. We got our hugs, and our picture.
My parents arrived and we went up to the balcony to watch the show. My mom wanted a program so I went and took one from one of the helpers. I opened it up and the first thing I saw was this...(if you can't read it click on it and it will open larger). Up until that point I held it together pretty good. I sobbed, it took me several minutes to calm down. A parents biggest fear is that people will forget their child who has died. I know I will never forget Savannah and I am sure most people will remember her but to have it made so public that she is missed and not forgotten really touched me. I noticed later on the front of the program at the bottom it says "Studio One's 28th production is dedicated to the memory of Princess Savannah Hurley...Our Studio One Angel"

Kiara as usual did an awesome job. She knew all of the steps and had a big smile on her face the whole time. Her tap song was "Getting to Know You" from My Fair Lady and her ballet was an instrumental version of "The Rainbow Connection." I am so proud of her, she loves dance and it shows in the way she dances. At the end of her ballet number they exit the stage in pairs, Kiara and her partner had the biggest grins on their faces and danced with a lot of enthusiam. Kiara even snuck in a little wave before she left the stage. Everyone laughed, it was cute.

I missed the tap number that would have been Savannah's class but I did see the ballet. The song Mr. Scott chose was "A Mother's Prayer" by Celine Dion. I, of course, sobbed again. One of the mother's from Kiara's class came up to me and said "That was Savannah's class, wasn't it?" When I told her yes she started to cry which only got me going again. I heard from one of the mother's in Savannah's class that her daughter said Savannah was dancing beside her tonight. Dancing was one of her favorite things she was always sad when she had to miss it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Visiting Savannah

Last Wednesday marked 8 months since Savannah left us. It was a really hard day for me. We have frequently driven to the cemetery and just look way out across the snow to where we could see her pink christmas tree and her kissing ball. The kids always yell from the car "I love you, Sissy" and blow her kisses.

We decided this time to venture into the cemetery. The snow is all gone in our yard so we figured it had to be pretty low at the cemetery. Well we got about half way to Savannah and started sinking in up to my knees. Well we were halfway there so we decided to go the rest of the way. We only stayed a few minutes, Donovan left his jacket in the car.

I started a very emotional journey Sunday night, I began scrapbooking the pictures of the last week of Savannah's life. I only completed one page but that was enough to start with. Marie had gone to bed, Nicki had to go home and Brian was at a meeting. I didn't want to cry in front of Bill, even though I know he could have handled it, so I stopped.

Brian works late each night so bedtime is usually just me. We read scriptures, have prayers and then go upstairs. I tuck the kids in, kiss them and turn out the light. There are glow in the dark stars on the ceiling that Savannah wanted there to always remind her of Space Mountain at Disney. I stand at the door and say "I love you, Kiara." Then she says, "I love you, Mommy." Then I say "I love you, Donovan." And he says, "I love you, Mommy." Then I say, "I love you, Savannah" and Kiara and Donovan say "We love you, Sissy." It has become such a part of our bedtime routine that Kiara said to me the other night after we finished, "Mommy, I was afraid you were going to forget to tell Savannah you loved her." I didn't realize how important it had become to her.

I love you, Kiara!
I love you, Donovan!
I love you, Savannah!

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Blast from the Past!

Someone very generously gave me 5 tickets to see New Kids on the Block at the Cumberland County Civic Center. I had heard they were back together and that they were touring but concert tickets were not a part of my budget.
I called my sisters, Megan and Anganette, I also called Nicki and Beth to see if they wanted to join me in going. I didn't even ask Marie, I knew she didn't like them and I wasn't going to torture her by making her come with us.

We had EXCELLENT seats! I couldn't bring my camera (nothing that looked professional was allowed in the auditorium). All of these pictures were taken with Nicki's camera, most of them came out really well. The videos we took were awful though, too much white noise.
I felt like a kid again. I knew I would like the concert, but I thought that would be it. We all (I think) had a blast. We were singing and dancing in the aisles. You could tell that they really enjoyed being back together again.
Now Nicki and I are having a little debate. See her favorite New Kid is Joey.
Mine is Jordan! This picture is a little blurry (the lighting wasn't ideal for taking pictures), but if you can't tell Jordan is looking at my camera!
They did almost all of their old songs and a few new ones too.
Realizing I am very happily married I am not the type of woman to post pictures of half-dressed men on my blog but I have to tell you something ironic. In the car on the way to Portland I was telling the rest of the girls about one of their concerts I went to when I was younger. Jordan came out on stage by himself to sing "Baby I Believe in You," he came out wearing a white button-up shirt that was unbuttoned with fans blowing on him throughout the song. Now being a teen and absolutely in love with Jordan that was the best part of that concert. Wasn't I surprised when he did it again (same dance moves and all).
Donnie is still the rebel. He was great (minus one thing two things I could have lived my entire life without seeing or hearing). Jon is still the quiet one and Danny is still break-dancing.
About half way through the show they walked down the aisle right in front of us. Event staff and body guards were all around them so they wouldn't get mobbed. They moved to a circular stage at the opposite end of the auditorium. Jordan played the piano for one song and I believe all of them had a turn at standing on top of this beautiful grand piano.
I still don't know quite what to think of Joey's gold shirt. It was a bit much for me!
Jordan and Joey both did some solo work when the group broke up 15 years ago. They both performed a few songs from those albums.
Donnie also did a couple of solos.
Before they came out to do the encores Megan leaned over to me and said "They missed a song." I said "They are not going to not sing "Hangin' Tough." (Did I confuse you with that one?) They came out and did 4 (I believe) encores, "Hangin' Tough" being one of them.
I realized why I like Jordan so much, he sings in my range, I have always loved his perfect pitched falsetto. I can sing everything he sings without having to go an octave higher like I do with most male singers. Men who can sing has always been a soft spot for me, especially tenors, it's a good thing Brian sings well (even if he is a baritone)!
It was a great night out for us Mom's (except Anganette, she like it too she's just not a mom yet). It was especially fun to see all of these 35-40 year old women going ga ga over these 35-39 year old men. (I still like my husband the best!)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Get Ready to Cry!!

My sister was searching some blogs the other day and came across these additional verses to I am a Child of God.

They were written for parents who's children pass away. For those of you who attended Savannah's funeral you may remember that we sang I am a Child of God at Savannah's request. To find the music and hear the tune go here.

I am a child of God and He has called me home.
My earthly journey's through but still, I do not walk alone.
He leads me, guides me, walks beside me, helps me find the way.
He welcomed me with open arms. I live with Him today.

I am a child of God and I have gone ahead.
My earthly life was brief but oh, such peace and love you gave.
You loved me, held me, stood beside me and though I cannot stay.
You gave me much to help me and I live with Him today.

I am a child of God and I will wait for you.
Celestial glory shall be ours, if you can but endure.
I'll lead you, guide you, walk beside you. Help you find the way.
I'll welcome you with open arms One bright Celestial day.
--Donna Kulliard

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Work, Work, and More Work!!

I have been very busy working lately. My new website is up and mostly running!

I am very excited about it and the promotions I will be running. You can check out the website for a sample of my work or go to my Photography Blog to check out the latest promotions I am running. I am gearing up for Senior Portrait Season as well as Dance recital season. I am looking forward to a very busy summer!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

"Sissy Sunset"

I was awoken this morning by a very happy 4 year old at 5 am. OK, first of all my kids don't crawl out of bed until at least 7 and they are not usually very excited. Donovan tapped my chin and said "Mommy, Sissy is pink in the sky. It's a Savannah Sunset!!" When I mumble that was great and tired to go back to sleep he proceeded to pull me out of bed to show me the "Sissy Sunset."

He tried taking me to the room that he and Kiara have been sharing since Savannah died but I convinced him to go into his room so as to not wake Kiara. (I wanted to go back to bed.) We opened the curtain in his room and he had the BIGGEST grin on his face. He pointed to the sky and continued to say, "It's a Sissy Sunset!!" I corrected him and told him it was a sunrise and he didn't care, he was just so happy it was pink. He blew her a kiss and told her he loved her.

Last night he was really missing her and I told him to ask Heavenly Father to let him see Savannah in his dreams. He did and was much happier. I know that Heavenly Father hears our prayers and answers them. I am so grateful that Donovan was able to recognize the beauty of that sunrise and know that Heavenly Father answered his prayers. He didn't say whether or not he dreamed of her, but he knew she was in that pink sunrise just for him.

If I had been a little more coherent I probably would have pulled my camera out to take a picture, however it is rare for me to be coherent before 7 am.

I do have a few sunrise pictures that are pink, this picture was taken in July of 2007 when I was at the hospital with Savannah. Beka had come into Savannah's room early to check her vital signs (I think), I happened to be awake (I didn't sleep well at the hospital), she said if I wanted to bring my camera the sunrise was going to be beautiful. We went and sat in the teen room for 15 minutes and watched it unfold. It was absolutely beautiful. We found out later that it would have been Mallory's 2oth birthday. Mallory was an AML patient who usually had the room next to Savannah at the hospital, she died early that year in February. Savannah frequently shared her pink fluff with Mallory.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Well, I am now back from the MPPA convention and it was awesome!!!! I went with the title "Love Clings to Life." I received an above average score (76) with the Red ribbon and the Purple ribbon is for a "Judges Choice Award." Each of the 6 judges is allowed to pick one print out of the whole competition (210 prints were entered) that is their favorite. The judge that chose my print is an affiliated judge, this means she is qualified to judge on a regional and national level; she is also the president of PPANE. Technically speaking my print is not great, but the emotion of it is what gave the print the above average status.
I was able to speak with a few of the judges about my print and share Savannah's story with them. Holly Howe, one of the judges, pointed out to me that even though it wasn't technically good it gave me the opportunity to share the story behind the picture which was obviously important to me. Craig Kienast , another judge, told me after hearing the story I should just change my 76 to a 96. Donna Goodhue, the judge that gave my print the purple ribbon, said the print was about the moment which she said I captured beautifully.

The overall event was a great learning opportunity for me, not just in the critique of my print but from the speakers as well. All I have done since arriving home is practice some of the texturing that Craig taught us, can you tell I photographed this picture on my couch? (I have never seen a man with that much energy!!!) I came home very inspired!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Please Vote!!!!

OK, in no particular order these are the top 15. Please leave me a comment and vote for your favorite one, (if you are not signed up on blogger you may use the anonymous comment function, please just sign your name, I'd really love to know who you are.) And don't forget, your vote needs to be in by Friday!!!!
  1. Friendship: Above and Beyond

  2. On This Blessed Day, For You I Pray

  3. When Angels Touch

  4. (Wedding) Bells Ring; An Angel Earns Her Wings

  5. Angel's Embrace

  6. Holding Hands With an Angel

  7. A Cherished Moment

  8. A Cherished Love

  9. Holding An Angel in My Arms

  10. My Nurse; My Angel

  11. Love Clings to Life

  12. In Her Arms is an Angel

  13. Kindred Spirits

  14. For The Love of a Nurse

  15. For The Love of a Child

I had over 55 different suggestions and it took me more than an hour to narrow it down. Thank you everyone who submitted an idea, they were all very appreciated.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Title Help!!!

I am entering this print into a competition next week and would love help on finding a really great title. This is exactly how it will look printed (except, of course, the copyright across the middle). I want it to speak about Savannah, her strength, her spirit, her relationship with Beka. Any of these things would be fine, I want it to be a title that grabs the judges attention.

To give a little background, it was taken on Beka's wedding day, just 2 weeks before Savannah died, on the ride to where the wedding was taking place. Savannah was very tired and in some pain. She actually didn't feel strong enough to walk down the isle, so Daddy carried her, but being in Beka's wedding was so important to her.

When Beka asked if Savannah could be her flower girl and as I answered "yes, of course." the first thought that went through my mind was "if she is still here." I remember thinking "where in the heck did that come from?" I never voiced this concern because at the time Savannah was in remission and doing great, there was nothing to make us believe she wouldn't live a long life. I now know that the Holy Spirit was speaking to me and preparing me for what was to come.

I love this print!! I am ready for the critique (and possibly some criticism), I just want to share it. Thanks to Stacey, I think it is ready.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Jan 2nd we spent the day with my sister and her family. We decided to take the kids bowling. They had a GREAT time. Kiara asked if we could go with Auntie Moo Moo and her family again. Out of the 9 of us who played (Trew is still too little), Donovan got the highest score (68), Kiara was next (67) and Daddy was LAST (44). Needless to say we were all pretty excited. (Daddy is the competitive one in our bunch). The first thing he said to me as we were leaving was "Your going to blog this, aren't you?" I said "Absolutely!"