Much has been happening. Much, much, much.
At the end of November we were trying to get things in order so that we could refinance our house and lock in a better rate. (BTW ENG Lending is fabulous. I highly recommend them). We didn't want to borrow more money so we just went with what we owed on the house. We were paying the closing costs and we had just enough money to cover. Then we received a letter from our lender saying that we needed to pay $3,000 more for a "re-capture" of a current loan. We figured we could swing that but we need to wait until Ty's next payday before we could close. Stress levels were elevated.
Tuesday November 19 rolled around. McKenna wasn't feeling well and wanted some apple juice. I was busy getting ready to go to a Relief Society dinner and so I told her to take the Durango and go and get herself some apple juice. As I stood in the kitchen about 30 minutes or so later I heard a large crashing sound. I looked out the back door and could see that our fence gate was standing open. We often get large gusts of wind that come through and blow it open so at first I thought "Man that was some wind!" Then I looked at the trees and realized they were not moving. It wasn't the wind.
McKenna had pulled into the driveway and she thought she had put the car into park. She looked down, and leaned over to pick up the apple juice off of the floor of the passenger side, taking her foot of the brake as she did so. When she looked up she realized she was moving and the Durango had hit into the gate. It's a double wide gate and the East side had been knocked off it's hinges and the propane BBQ grill that was sitting in front of it had been knocked off the patio and fallen over.
Thankfully she was unhurt and we were able to get the gate back on the swing hinge. I picked up the BBQ grill and attempted to light it but at this point it looks like it's a casualty. I'm not proud to say that my first instinct was not to tell my husband about this. I said to McKenna "Well just don't say anything to your dad." A few minutes later though I had to retract those words. I told her she really did need to let her dad know what had happened and she could either call him or she could wait until he got home. She chose to tell him about it over the phone.
Both of the girls had been feeling poorly for a while so on Thursday November 21, I decided they needed to be seen by the doctor. He confirmed that they needed antibiotics and we headed back home. It was 4 p.m. as we drove on 1100 North heading East we were approaching an intersection (600 West) that is notorious for accidents. I never like driving through that intersection when there are vehicles waiting to cross traffic so I always pay close attention. Vehicles traveling East and West do not have a stop sign, so if you are traveling North or South you have to stop.
There was a blue and gray truck, sitting at the stop sign on my right and a white car pulled up to the stop sign to the left of the intersection heading South. It stopped completely so I was feeling pretty safe. The speed limit is 35 mph on that road and that's what I was doing. The white car then proceeded to pull away from the stop sign and into the intersection. I slammed on my brakes as hard as I could and pulled the wheel to the right. I think that the passenger in the white car and the squealing of my brakes alerted the driver to my presence and she hit her brakes as well. I did my best to try and avoid hitting her but if I had pulled any more to the right I would have gone into the truck sitting at that stop sign or possible rolled the vehicle.
Time slowed down and sped up simultaneously. I felt like a speeding bullet heading for that car and yet everything seemed to move in slow motion. McKenna was sitting in the front passenger seat and Jilli was behind her in the right back seat. We ended up hitting the white car just above the passenger side tire right on the wheel well. We hit with the left front fender going in at an angle. Because of this neither one of the air bags deployed....for which I was grateful. We both pulled our cars out of the intersection and off to the side of 600 West on the South side of the intersection.
My girls were shaken up but both seemed to be okay. I got out of my car and went to speak with the driver of the other vehicle. She was a young girl who came up to me and said "Are you guys okay? I am so sorry! I didn't even see you! I'm going to be in SO much trouble! I've only had my license for a month and I'm not supposed to have any passengers!" I assured her that we were fine and asked if she and her passenger were okay. She said that they were. She was really upset so I gave her a hug and told her everything would be okay.
People from the surrounding houses came out to check and see if were were alright and someone had already called the police. I went back to my car to get my license, registration and insurance info. I couldn't find it right away and said a not so nice word, (which the girls took me to task for.) When I looked at the insurance card it was out of date. Ack!
As I was sitting there this young driver who had just pulled out in front of me comes up to me with this plastic bag full of paper work. She hands me all of this and says "Can you help me get the papers that I need? I have no idea what I'm supposed to get." I told her what she needed and then her mom showed up and took over. Her mom is one of the receptionists at our Jr. High. Ahhh, the joys of living in a small town.
The police officer asked me what had happened so I told him. I said that I hated that intersection and he agreed with me telling me that they have had fatalities there. He also asked me if I wanted medical attention, McKenna was complaining of collarbone and neck pain, Jillian was scared but okay, and as the adrenaline from the crash wore off my back and neck were starting to hurt as well. So I told him yes. The ambulance showed up and I had to get in the back while they took my vitals and everything, my heart rate was in the 90's (which for me is pretty high since I'm normally in the 50's). The first BP they took was SUPER high but thankfully it was just the cuff. They checked out McKenna and Jillian as she sat in the Durango and they moved Kenna to the back just in case the airbags decided to go off. They also sent out the VERY large ladder truck from the fire department. I think that 600 West was shut down while the ambulance was there. It felt like overkill but I figured it would be better safe than sorry.
The medics said that we all three looked okay but asked if we wanted transport to the hospital. I declined and said that McKenna and I would go into Instacare. I wasn't going to pay $400 to go to the ER. Thankfully the Durango was still functioning so we got the case number from the police and were told that the report would probably be available on the next Monday. We drove home and I called Instacare (which is actually the same dr's office we had just come from and they told me that we could come in at 6 p.m. Then I called my insurance company and they gave me a claim number to give to Instacare. They also gave me the names and extensions of the people who would be working with me on medical claims and the auto part of it as well.
When we arrived at the dr's we had to wait a bit before we could get back in to see him. Kenna was pretty sore and my neck and back weren't feeling too fabulous either but I was more concerned about her. We actually saw a physicians assistant who we have seen before. (Shout out to Steve Ruiz!) They did a cervical neck x-ray on both of as and a collarbone x-ray on McKenna as well. My bones came through with flying colors but there was one vertebrae on McKenna's that Steve wasn't sure about so he put her in a soft neck brace and told her to wear it until the radiology department at the AF hospital could read it.
We left Instacare at 8:30 with prescriptions for anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers in hand. Thankfully there was a drug store just a block away, with a drive thru window that was still open. We got our meds filled and headed home. Tired and sore but we both realized that it could have been much worse. When we got home McKenna pointed out that we needed to take our medicine with food so I ended up having to make a box of mac and cheese because dinner had been pushed to the back burner (ha-ha) because of the accident and there wasn't much there to eat.
I took the day off from work the next day because I didn't know how sore I would be. McKenna was a trooper and went to school. I think she had a test that day. Friday dawned, the kids went off to school, Ty and Jona were upstairs on their computers and I woke in bed. I wasn't as sore as I thought I would be, thankfully. But I knew I needed to call my insurance and get things going. I wanted nothing more than someone else to just step in and say, "Don't you worry about a thing. I'll take care of everything. You just go back to sleep." But I knew that wasn't going to happen. So I sat up, got my notes of who I was supposed to call and started making calls.
Can I just say that USAA is awesome? Because they really and truly are. The people that I spoke with were genuinely concerned about me and the girls first and foremost. I called the medical claims guy first and he was very helpful. Then I called the guy for the auto half of it.
I don't know about you, but I'm not a "fall apart in the moment" kind of person. I go into a calm "what needs to be done" zone and go from there. This can be a good thing and a bad thing. Because, while yes things get done that need to get done, the "falling apart" tends to occur at inopportune times. Like when I was on the phone with the auto insurance claims adjuster. And the fact that he was so sweet and kind as I basically lost it over the phone just made things worse.
And in the middle of this we were still trying to sign closing papers on our re-finance. One of the loan officers had actually called me to talk to me while I was at the scene of the accident. As I was speaking (crying) to the insurance guy, Ty came downstairs to tell me that we were, hopefully, still on to sign the closing papers. He could see that I was upset so he sat on the bed until I got off of the phone. And then I just broke down. Again, I just wanted someone to take care of everything. I didn't want to be the one that was responsible. I didn't want to have to "handle" any of this and again I knew that wasn't going to be possible. So I cried. And cried. And cried some more. Ty did his best to console me.
I got up and showered and dressed. Made some breakfast and cleaned the kitchen. We were waiting to hear back from ENG Lending to see if the closing was actually going to take place. Ty had to teach a class at 4 p.m. so he told them that we needed to be done by 3:30. I went and picked up the kids from school and Kenna was pretty sore. We finally got word that yes the closing would be going through so we headed over to Orem to sign the papers. I was still pretty much a weepy mess, so I'm not sure what they thought about that. Oh well.
Saturday rolled around and it was pretty laid back. The kids went to bed and was laying in my bed doing some reading when I realized that I could hear water running. At first I thought it was just the dishwasher going because I had started that a bit earlier. But then I realized that it had been running for too long. I got out of bed and and went upstairs to check the dishwasher, it said it was on the drying cycle so I knew that it couldn't be that. I said something to Ty about hearing water running and the search was on.
We knew that if it was in the house we would be able to see the water somewhere but we couldn't see it anywhere and when we turned the water off inside the house we could still hear it running. I asked Ty if he wanted me to call my brother to see if he had a water shut off key but he didn't want to do that. He kept going in and out of the house saying we should be seeing water somewhere. Finally at about 10:30 he went out and was able to shut the water off outside the house and we couldn't hear water running anymore. We figured we would see what we could find in the morning.
Sunday morning dawned and Ty went and turned the water back on so that we could shower and get ready for church. We knew there had to be a leak somewhere but we couldn't figure out where. Ty kept walking around the house trying to place where it might be. The kids and I got up and showered and dressed. Then Ty finally came in and showered and got ready. He said a prayer in the shower asking for help to find the leak. When he got out and dressed he went back out to turn the water off and put down a towel to kneel on so his church clothes wouldn't get dirty. He pulled the lid off the water meter and he could see water bubbling into the area and when he stood up and picked up the towel it was soaked. We had found the leak. It was in the main water line, on our side.
He looked at me and said "We don't have the money to fix this." All we had left in the account was enough to cover our tithing for the rest of the year. I said "Then we are going to need to ask for help. Maybe you could say something in Elder's Quorum about it." We climbed into the Durango and headed to church.
As we came into the chapel and sat down I could tell that Ty was struggling. We sat on the bench and then one of the counselors in the bishopbric came up to us leaned over and said "Does Jona want to make an announcement?" I realized that they wanted Jona to go up and announce his mission call to the Orem Digital Processing Center. I looked at Jona and he said that, yes, he did want to go and make that announcement.
As we sang the opening hymn about Thanksgiving I began to break down and cry. The past few days and everything was hitting me all at once. It was difficult to sing about being thankful when SO much had gone poorly the last little while. Then as Jona got up to share his mission call both Ty and I pretty much lost it. We both had tears streaming down our face and Jona told the ward where he had been called to and then he bore his testimony of how the work that he had been called to do was, indeed, missionary work. All of the pressure. All of the heartache and worries kind of came down and I was just trying to hold together as best as I could.
I learned later that people who had been watching me had started to cry. They were aware of how happy we were for Jona and how pleased we are with this decision that he's made so they thought that our tears and emotions were all tears of gladness and joy when, in reality, no one really knew the extent of the emotional roller coaster that we were riding.
After sacrament meeting was over Ty went to speak with the Elder's Quorum president. And I went to lead the music in primary. Man I love that calling. I love hearing those kids sing. The music and their pure spirits brought me so much comfort. A sweet sister offered me a hug before I went in to primary. She didn't know what was going on but she knew that I needed a hug.
After all the church meetings were over I was scrambling to talk to people to see if our kids could go and stay at other people's houses until we could get the water turned back on. The people of our ward were amazing. Our kids were welcomed with open arms and hearts into the homes of their friends' families. We also were offered beds and showers. We figured that the two of us would be okay there at home. We had a large jug of water to drink and we had some water we could use to help "flush" the toilets if we needed to.
My sweet sister-in-law called and told us to come over to their house for dinner that night. Jona was going to be staying at their house as well. She fixed a delicious meal and even made lentils for Ty. It was a nice evening spent chatting with my brother and his wife.
They had announced in Elder's Quorum that a family in the ward needed help with a leak in the water line. Someone in the ward had access to a small backhoe and we were informed that they would be there Monday night at 5 p.m. to start digging. We had called for an emergency blue stakes marking to happen. I went to work Monday and came home and set to work making chili and scones for whoever showed up. Guys started showing up right at 5 p.m. they had to wait on the backhoe a little bit but that didn't stop them. The grabbed shovels and started digging. The backhoe arrived and they were having a bit of a time finding the water line. They finally located the line and the leak. The pipe was so old that it was just rusted through. As they would dig more holes would appear. But they had the line dug out and ready to be fixed by 9 p.m.
I called my brother, Andy, who is a plumber and he spoke with Ty. He said he would come over Tuesday to check it out and see what we needed. True to his word he came, looked things over, and knew just what we would need. He had to go to work but said he would be over as soon as he could to switch out the pipes. He did an amazing job. I had to work a full day that day but the we had water back on at the house by before I got off off work on Tuesday. When Ty went to turn the water back on to the house, that was when the city side of the meter started leaking water. He called the city and they sent someone right out to take care of it.
On Monday we also heard back from the radiologist about McKenna. They wanted her to come in and do a CT scan because it looked like there was a definite fracture on one of the vertebrae and they wanted to be more certain. So we took her in and our dr wanted to see her on Tuesday. We took her in and he confirmed that yes there was a fracture to the tip of the left side of the C3 vertebrae and told her she would need to be in that soft neck brace for a full month. She could take it off at home if she was just watching tv or reading but while she was out and about she needed to be wearing it.
So much was thrown at us all at once. And I am grateful for it all. Each different challenge helped us grow and see the good in people who surround us. I know that part of the reason that we had so many trials all at once is because Jona is getting ready to go through the temple and serve a mission. Satan would like nothing more than to see us down and discouraged instead of focusing on this amazing thing that is coming our way.
Through all of this we have been truly, truly watched over. We were able to refinance the house, the accident could have been much worse than it was, people stepped up to help us out of the tight spot with the water line, the Durango was fixed (THAT deserves it's VERY OWN post!) I could go on and on. When I look back on this it will not be with bitterness, I think that it will be with fondness. And I think the word that will continually come to my mind is very appropriate for the Thanksgiving season and that word is...