Hammond Family

Moving forward, one day at a time.

Monday, October 19, 2015


Yesterday we were talking about something with Lily and she said, "I respectfully disagree."  Sometimes she'll say, "My opinion of this is..."  It's pretty funny to listen to her be so grown up.  Tonight for Family night Lance said the opening prayer and prayed that the Star Wars preview would be good. Then in his own prayers he said, "Thank you that the star wars video was good and that I got to eat pretzles.
  Every night they want me to play them songs on the piano. It's quite a nice way for me to wind down!  Grant really wanted to go eat lunch with the kids at school today and then wouldn't eat and got mad at Lily when we got there. He and Lance played a game where they took the yellow Tonka dump truck and would send it between each other's legs. I get sad for Grant that he doesn't have Lance here to play with. Though I do think he takes better naps because of it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


Tonight at bedtime Lance and I were talking about Emily and he wanted to know how Emily talked so I was telling him about her different signs and how she loved Robby and would ask for Dad when she didn't want me. He thought it was hilarious. And then he wanted to read her books so I read all the kids her poem that Robby wrote and we looked at the pictures. It was good for my soul.
   Lily was super happy today because she was let into the nature club. Long story but hopefully she and some girls at church will get along a little better now.  2nd grade drama!  Lance always tells me the funniest things. He tells me that he and Emily are the best cuddlers in the family (because I've told him they are). Grant calls stools "Stoolers" and toilet paper "wipers."  He gets very excited when we see stools at other people's houses.  He's going through this thing where he wakes up at night scared and won't go back to sleep and he doesn't like to leave me. He even had a hard time at nursery which he normally loves. I've also learned that he does NOT like to share his toys, so we are working on it. He's had a bit of an identity crisis with Lily and Lance both in school. Though he does love to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Lily has been doing a pretty good job practicing piano now that we have a friend who takes lessons with her. I'm glad my other friend suggested it!  I sure love being a mom.   After school I try to take the time to get the kids a snack, read them an article from the Friend, and then play a game with them if they want. Today we played hide and seek. Then we do homework and if time our reading. 4:00 is when they can turn on the TV for a bit. Its gone so much better than last year, with not teaching piano this year. Last year was awful, I hated teaching right after school. I will never do that again. I have two lessons after school but they aren't until 4:00, and then I teach one Wednesday mornings. It's great!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

I Know.

There are a few things that I know for certain. I know I love my family. I know that they love me.  I know I hate to clean. I know life can be hard.  I know that I will get to be with my Emily again, not just in Heaven but as a resurrected perfect person. And I know this because I know Jesus Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane for me, that he died, and that now he lives. I know this because I have experienced His love in my life and the power of his Atonement in my life.
  Today while watching General Conference the choir and congregation sang one of my favorite songs, I Know That My Redeemer Lives".  I have always loved this song. I was able to teach it to all of the little kids at church when we were in Texas.  Emily and I used to listen to it on the way to school.  During that time I had a miscarriage that just made me sad. The words would give me comfort as we drove through San Antonio traffic to get Emily to her little vision class.  My brother and sister sang this song at Emily's funeral.  All of the grandkids sang it at my Grandpa Chlarson's funeral.  And the words always testify to me of what I know.  Happy Easter!


  1. 1. I know that my Redeemer lives.
    What comfort this sweet sentence gives!
    He lives, he lives, who once was dead.
    He lives, my ever-living Head.
    He lives to bless me with his love.
    He lives to plead for me above.
    He lives my hungry soul to feed.
    He lives to bless in time of need.
  2. 2. He lives to grant me rich supply.
    He lives to guide me with his eye.
    He lives to comfort me when faint.
    He lives to hear my soul's complaint.
    He lives to silence all my fears.
    He lives to wipe away my tears.
    He lives to calm my troubled heart.
    He lives all blessings to impart.
  3. 3. He lives, my kind, wise heav'nly Friend.
    He lives and loves me to the end.
    He lives, and while he lives, I'll sing.
    He lives, my Prophet, Priest, and King.
    He lives and grants me daily breath.
    He lives, and I shall conquer death.
    He lives my mansion to prepare.
    He lives to bring me safely there.
  4. 4. He lives! All glory to his name!
    He lives, my Savior, still the same.
    Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
    "I know that my Redeemer lives!"
    He lives! All glory to his name!
    He lives, my Savior, still the same.
    Oh, sweet the joy this sentence gives:
    "I know that my Redeemer lives!"

Monday, January 19, 2015

Angel Day #6

Tomorrow will be 6 years from when Emily passed away. I have had so many different thoughts going through my head the past few weeks. This year has honestly been one of the hardest as far as dealing with my emotions losing Emily, probably since the first year after her death. That year takes the cake! But for today, at least, I am in a good place. 

One of the things that always goes through my head as we look through Emily's box of things in the days before her angel day (we usually do it for family night)  is how grateful I am for all the people who expressed their love and support to us, by attending the funeral, sending cards, sending us things to help us remember Emily, and crying and missing Emily with us.  We were surrounded by wonderful people who loved Emily, and it meant and still means a lot to me. 

People have often said they don't know what to say, or what to do, when someone dies. I still remember one sister at church, our first Sunday back after burying Emily in Washington, who just put her arms around me and said, "I love you, Camille." It was perfect. And she didn't say anything else. Some other friends would tell me how much they missed Emily, too. And would cry with me.  When we moved to oregon I had one person who when they found out about Emily said, "I'm sorry, I just want to give you a hug." And she did and it was great!  Last year I had one friend offer to come over and look at Emily's things with me, even though she didn't know Emily.  I had another friend who told me she loves to hear about Emily and would be happy to talk about her anytime. I so appreciated that!  My sister is coming tomorrow, just to hang out with me so I'm not by myself. It's been six years but it means a lot that she would offer to spend her time with me. 

These are a few pictures from going through her box. 

This is a lot of her sunbeam class; she got to go to part of their preschool. 

Grant wanted to try on Emily's AFO's

She had really cute sunglasses
The kids love trying on her cpap mask; they have to do it every year.

I wrote this letter to Emily just before her first birthday, at my first chromosome 18 conference that I attended. I love my little girl and miss her every day. And I am also grateful for how my life has continued to move forward; I truly feel blessed.  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Why I don't hate Elf on the Shelf

I totally get not wanting to do Elf on the Shelf,  but I do get tired of seeing everywhere how awful it is. When we moved to oregon and I was pregnant we bought an Elf and named it Cooper, since that's what Robby wanted to name the baby and I told him no. That Christmas was really hard for me, I didn't really have any friends close-at least my sister lived an hour away! And I was not used to not being able to play outside lots in the winter after raising my kids to that point in Texas-taking care of kids in rainy season is very different than being a kid in rainy season! (I grew up in Washington) looking back I can see that I was depressed but at the time I just figured it was pregnancy and moving emotions.  Then the shootings in Connecticut happened and it sent me spiraling downward. I don't think anyone really knew how awful I really felt-I'm pretty good at faking my emotions and convincing myself I'm fine.

One of the bright spots of my day though, was watching lily and lance, who were 2 and 4, look for cooper and laugh at whatever he had done. Though he's never super naughty.  Looking back it's the highlight of that otherwise rather bleak Christmas season. So now they are older and lily is starting to figure out that it may be mom and dad because I totally mess it up, but I don't regret doing it. I kind of wish I would have told them from the start it was mom and dad doing funny things, but it's been a fun tradition for our family. Not for everyone, but fun for us! Until she makes the link between the elf and Santa not being real. I'm not looking forward to that!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Stages of Grief-Guilt

I have realized the last few months that I am still grieving deeply for Emily. Or at least dealing with the emotions and feelings that the loss has brought to my life and how it has changed me.  When Emily first passed away I really felt like I was doing well. I missed her terribly, and I was deeply, deeply grieving, but I felt so much peace that I was able to move forward and to be happy, even as my arms ached to hold her and sing to her. I remember someone calling from the funeral home to ask if I'd gone to any grief counseling and saying, "No, I'm doing really well, I don't have any anger or guilt or anything." and that has stayed true, in a sense, but I have also realized the past few months that I am feeling guilt and anger in a way differently than what I think people would think of. I have never, ever felt guilty for how I took care of Emily. Ever. I have always been blessed to know that I took care of her in the very best way that I knew how. Did I make mistakes, yes.  But I really did everything I could to make sure she was healthy and happy. I tried so hard to treat her just as I would any other one year old, two year old, three year old and four year old.  We went to the zoo, to six flags, peach picking, to the park, on runs, swimming, etc. I tried to make sure she had time to just play and be a kid, as much as possible with the therapists and doctors and school.  When she passed away I was blessed to know that we had done everything we could to make sure she was healthy; it just wasn't meant to be for whatever reason. Since she's passed I've had people say things like, "You were the very best mom for her." or "You shouldn't feel bad for anything you did with her." And I never, ever have. It's a blessing.
I have realized the past few months, especially since Lily has been in first grade, that I feel extremely guilty over how I parent my children, especially Lily.  I think because I did so much with Emily, and I spent so much of my time devoted to taking care of her, I feel bad if I don't do the same thing to my other kids. I feel guilty when I don't read to them, or when we aren't going someplace, or when I lose my temper, or that I haven't helped Lily have better handwriting (because it's terrible!).  And I know that as moms we all experience this kind of guilt, but I have realized that mine is in a sense deeper, or more upsetting to me because I'm holding myself to this level and expectation. And I have a very, very deep fear that something will happen to Lily, or Lance, or Grant and that they will not know how much I love them or have tried to care for them.  I know this all sounds a bit irrational, and it is. I'm trying to work through it all, and recognizing how I feel has helped.
I just find it interesting that so many people seem to think that my life with Emily was so far in the distant past, and that I have "moved on" with my life with my three sweet kids, when in reality it seems to be more and more front and center of my thoughts.
   I've thought a lot about why this is, and as I've talked to my therapist/mom about it (thanks Mom!)  I've realized that a lot of my "processing" is because my life is in reality truly "moving forward" whether I'm ready for it to or not. Ever since Emily died, and in reality for Emily's entire life, so for 10 years, we have been in "baby mode." We have constantly had the care of a baby for 10 years. And I've never had a child in school full time-Emily should have been getting ready for kindergarten when she passed away.
  So we have now reached this stage in our life when we have a child in school full time, and are not looking toward any babies joining us in the future, and I have quiet moments when Grant is sleeping and Lance is playing with his toys that I have been able to think. And my thoughts have gone round and round, as you can see!


Ever since August I have been processing a lot of things I didn't realize about myself and really struggling with different things. Things I thought I had "dealt with" years ago have come to the surface the last few months.  I have wanted to write about the different things I've been thinking and feeling but haven't quite known where to begin, but I keep thinking that maybe there are other people out there who have dealt with similar struggles, or who will deal with them, or who have friends or family members who are dealing with loss and maybe don't quite know how to reach out to them, or don't realize that maybe they SHOULD reach out to them.  So, here goes. I'm going to really try to write a bit every week or so, just to help me process my thoughts a little bit. I don't want to write things and sound judgmental, and I know that a blog is a public forum that anyone can read and then judge, but I hope that if you read this you will temper your judgment of me and try to understand the thoughts and reasoning behind what I write. If that even makes any sense!