Hammond Family

Moving forward, one day at a time.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I just read this and wanted to share before bedtime. I read a book by Elder Russel M. Nelson where he also talks about this. It just makes me feel better. And I feel like it's a good response to people who say, "at least you know you'll see them again."


Irrespective of age, we mourn for those loved and lost. Mourning is one of the deepest expressions of pure love. It is a natural response in complete accord with divine commandment: “Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the loss of them that die.” (D&C 42:45.)
Moreover, we can’t fully appreciate joyful reunions later without tearful separations now. The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.-Elder Nelson

Monday, January 23, 2012

Families Can Be Together Forever

Tonight when I was putting Lily to bed I asked her what song she wanted me to sing, and she said the Families Home Forever Song. So I sang Families Can Be Together Forever, and then she told me she knew the words, and sang it back to me. It's
"1. I have a family here on Earth, they are so good to me. I want to share my life with them through all eternity.
(Chorus) Families can be together forever, through Heavenly Father's plan. I always want to be with my own family, and the Lord has shown me how I can, the Lord has shown me how I can.
2. While I am in my early years I'll prepare most carefully, so I can marry in God's temple for eternity."

I then told her that this song means that because Mom and Dad got married in the temple, even after we die, that Lily belongs to Mommy, and Mommy belongs to Daddy, and Daddy belongs to us and Emily and Lance belongs to us always, no matter what.
She put her arms around me and said, "Oh, that is so cool!"
It totally cracked me up. But she's right, it is so cool!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Angel Update

We had a very nice Angel Day; thank you for all the well wishes; on the blog, in person/phone and on Facebook. My eye surgery went well, and was a great distraction; my first thought on Friday morning was about my eyes-"can I see?" and then I remembered the day. When I went in to Lily to get her up I asked her what day it was and she wasn't sure. I told her it was Angel Day and asked her if she knew what it meant. She said, "It means I get to see Emily today!" I'm not sure if she saw her, but I do know that Emily was close that day.

Later in the afternoon, after a busy morning and early afternoon, we looked at our photograph albums of Emily. Lily kept wanting to read the "Angel Book." I don't have an angel book, but I do have Robby's poem as a book with pictures, so I told her we would read it when Robby got home. (We were already planning on doing that) She listened to the whole thing.

Before Robby got home, after we'd looked at pictures, Lily disappeared and came out of her room wearing a purple shirt, purple tutu, and purple wings; an outfit I had never showed her before, and said, "Look Mom! I'm an angel like Emily!"

Someone drop off a little angel pin and flowers, which was very sweet.

I was amazed at the difference just calling the day "Angel Day" made. I think it helped for two reasons. The first, is that it made it celebrating the beginning of something, rather than the end of something, though of course we are mourning that she's not here. But it made me think that it's the beginning of next mission, and that's a nice thought. I think the other reason it made it a bit easier, is that it made it easier for other people to express their well wishes. Asking how someone is doing on the anniversary of when their loved one died can be a little uncomfortable, because you don't want to make them feel bad. At least that's been how I've felt. So it was nice that people could ask me how our Angel Day was, and I knew what they were asking. I'm thankful for my little Emily, and that others remember her, too.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Angel Day

Friday, January 20th is Angel Day in our house. I saw this on a blog a few weeks ago and decided I had to begin using it. It has such a better connotation than their "Death Day." So from now on we will remember Emily's Angel Day on January 20th and her Birthday on July 21st. This is three years from when she passed away. Tomorrow I am having LASIK eye surgery, which I am super excited for, and then Friday is a crazy busy day, and I wanted to make sure I remembered little Emily on our blog, since I'm not sure how much I'll be up for typing/seeing the computer on Friday.

I was looking through pictures of Emily the other day and saw these that my father-in-law took. I love how he took them of her rolling; you can actually see the blur of her hands from how fast she moved!

And then over to her sister. This was a common occurance. They were always on the floor together. Lily didn't really start rolling a lot until a month after Emily passed away.

I love how Emily's hand is open and on Lily's leg. I had really never noticed this picture before.

This was also common-both out! Emily would be rolling around and then would just crash. These were all when Lily was about 3 months and Emily was four, about 2 months before she passed away.

Lily has really been missing Emily. Last week she kept saying, "Can I please go to Heaven to see Emily, Please?" Tonight in her prayer she asked that Emily could come and hug her. I like to think that Emily does! I love how Lily knows she has a big sister, though. When we had a friend over who had a big sister she was very emphatic that she has a big sister, too.

A few weeks ago she was watching a video of Emily and turned around to Lance and said, "Remember our sister Emily, Lance? Remember her?"

This year leading up to Angel Day has been a bit easier than in years past. I think having my eye surgery right before it has made it so I've also been able to think about that. And honestly, I just don't like thinking about when she died, and I try not to. If anyone wants to read about it it's back in January/February 2009 on this blog. I don't know how to post the link. But I don't want to go over it; it's too hard. I'm lucky that I have happy, positive memories I can focus on. On Monday night for Family Night we went through Emily's box, showing the kids her hearing aid, how she ate with her bottle and her gtube, her growth hormone shot, her braces, her little snuggly blanket, her first haircut, etc. It was fun to be able to show them things about their sister, and we will make that a tradition when Angel Day is near. Then on Friday we will read the poem Robby wrote when she passed away.

I looked at the guestbook that people had signed, both here in Texas and in Washington from the funerals. So many people came from so far away, and people who have since moved who have been such a part of our life. We so appreciated the love we were given and have been given since.

It's hard sometimes; I see my friends, especially those who have children with disabilities or health challenges, and I think how hard and challenging their life is, and how easy my life is. But then I remember why my life is now easy, which can hurt. And I hate the thought that maybe someday their life could be "easy," too. Because I don't want anyone else to have to go through what we have. But I know that if something does happen they can be happy and have peace and joy, because I am happy and have peace and joy! Which always amazes me. But it's not easy.

My aunt Marianne sent me an email from a talk she gave about hope, talking in part about little Emily. And at the end she said something that pretty much sums up how I feel, " I look at your beautiful little family and am amazed that you look so normal and so happy....and nobody knows the deep heartache that must grip you without warning at different times...as you miss your little girl."

I am happy, but I miss my little Emily.

Emily’s Experience on Earth

Before I was born and I still lived in Heaven,
Heavenly Father explained how life would be.
He said that it would be full of challenges and trials,
But that I would have a family who loves me.

I would have friends and loved ones who would do all that they could,
To make sure I was joyful and happy.
And when I asked him what my purpose on earth would be,
He smiled, with a tear in his eye, and simply said “You’ll see.”

My life on earth had a difficult start,
I could no longer see nor hear.
But it didn’t take long to understand,
That my parents loved me so dear.

They stayed at the hospital for the first seven weeks,
And had faith that I could breathe on my own.
And eventually the wonderful day came,
They were able to take me home.

I made so many friends along the way,
I was able to learn so many things.
And although I had my share of pain and struggles,
I felt the joy and the love that the Gospel brings.

I have a Mother, who sacrificed everything she could,
Who did her best to keep me healthy and strong.
I have a Father, who provided me safety and peace,
Who’s whistling and roaring helped me as my life moved along.

I have a Sister, who loves and cares for me,
Even though she liked to pull my hair.
Who when the time came for me to die in their arms,
Gave my parents peace with her happy stare.

I have grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins,
Who always treated me as one of their own.
I have classmates, friends, and fellow 18th Chromosome family,
Who reminded me that I’m never alone.

Through all of my challenges and obstacles overcome,
I began to realize my mission.
There would be so many people whose lives I could touch,
Even without hearing and vision.

And now I can tell them at the end of my earthly life,
That God has a plan for everyone.
That because of the sacrifice of his Son, Jesus Christ,
We can return to him in glory and perfection.

Now I can run, and see, and hear,
I can talk, and help, and serve.
I can help others know that the Gospel of Christ,
Will lead them to the happiness they deserve.

As a final request to all who know me,
As we part, at least for a while:
That when they think of Emily Hammond,
They share with me a laugh and a smile.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Rest of Christmas

While we were home they had free ice skating and skate rentals-you can't beat that! Lily did okay for her first time. Don't move your feet and let mom or dad push you!The kids loved playing outside and I think every day it stopped raining enough so that they could. Notice Robby on the scooter in the background.
Mom made Lily a Sleeping Beauty dress, which she wore the rest of the day. Uncle Steve put her crown in the Christmas tree and Lily had a royal meltdown over it. It made us all laugh pretty hard.
She's yelling at me because we were having a race to the top of the lane and I didn't stop for her. Or something like that.
raxton, Akaila and Lily played together the whole time.
The 27th was "Uncle Sarah's" (this is what Lily called her the whole trip) 21st birthday. Lily had waited all day to eat chocolate cake and was not disappointed.

Lily had asked Santa for a barbie. It was very nice of her since we had to travel from Texas-very "suitcase sized."
Lance got a train and train whistle. My mom and dad have the same wooden trainset so it was perfect, we just wrapped it up!
I think I had mentioned before, but Lance broke his wrist over the break. He fell out of the crib at Janica's and it took us a few days to realize what was going on. We took him to urgent care in Bellingham, and they then sent us to the ER once they saw the x-ray. The ER decided to just splint it. My doctor here in San Antonio said he would have casted it, but it's healing fine.
Lily was the angel for our Christmas Eve program. She's flapping her wings. And you can see my mom's redone kitchen!
Akaila and Lily had fun playing with Uncle Steve. Lily and Steve would keep saying, "Mine!" over anything. "My chair!" "My Christmas tree!"
One of the highlights (maybe THE highlight) of the trip was going skiing at Mt. Baker. It felt like going home. I just love that mountain. I laughed because I had told my mom I just wanted to go up and ski a few runs and I didn't care how hard I skiied and she said, Yeah Right. Well, she was right. After the first run when I got my ski legs back under me (I forget how much of a quad workout it is). I was ready to go, and so was Janica! And Sarah did a fantastic job; I think it was the first time it's ever been just us three girls. And for anyone who cares, the conditions were fantastic-powder; packed powder. Anything ungroomed was good, and off of chair 6 and 1 were the best. We even did Chicken and The Chute. Not Gabels, though. Or the Canyon. Those runs always try to kill me.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Part 2-Seattle

On Tuesday before Christmas I drove with the kids from Janica's house in Oregon to Seattle to pick up Robby at the airport, spend time with his parents, and then drive up to my house. We were able to stay with my friend Kathy in Issaquah, who I taught first grade with. It was so fun to have a nice long visit-Robby even watched the kids the next morning while we went on a 1/2 hour run. It's hilly in Issaquah!
Later on Wednesday we took the kids to the Seattle Center and Children's museum-not the world's greatest children's museum, in case anyone wondered. Their favorite parts were the train and the fountains. I always love those, too!
We spent the night in Seattle with Robby's parents. Here's Lance and Lance.
Lance is so enthralled with the train.
Lily and Papa, with her new doll that Papa actually picked out!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hanging with my twin

Two weeks before Christmas, on the 14th, I went to Janica's house in Oregon with the kids. Thanks to a late flight and melitonin we made it without any problems; it was my first time flying with a layover with two kids. Luckily Janica picked us up at the airport so I didn't have to drive, because I think I would have ended up sleeping on the side of the freeway for the night. We really had a great time.
On Thursday we went to Akaila's preschool party.
Friday I did Zumba with Janica and her friends and then went to an ugly sweater party with Janica and Kacey.
Saturday Janica and I went running, went out to lunch with our friend Tiffany, and took the kids to a live nativity. That night Lance fell out of his crib and broke his wrist, though we didn't know it was broken until Thursday!
Sunday was church.
Monday we went to Salem and rode the carousel.
Tuesday was the drive from Salem to Seattle.

I don' t think I got the pictures in order but, this was Saturday night, we went to a live nativity they had at their stake center. It was really fun and I think helped Lily understand the Christmas story. Ryan and Braxton are behind Lily and Lance.
Ok this was not the best picture of the three of us, but for lunch on Saturday we met up with our oldest friend-we've known each other since we were four, Tiffany. It was a lot of fun to catch up and
Earlier Saturday we'd gone over to the school to play. This was what the weather was like most of the time. Cold and wet. I loved it!
I look like Janica to me in this picture.
This was before we flew out, we let the kids open their Christmas pajamas so they could wear them on the plane. Lily liked her Dora ones!
On Friday when we were there I went with Janica and Kacey to an ugly sweater party. Kacey's outfit made us all laugh.
The little twins. Not so much, but they are really fun to watch play together.
Lily and Akaila on the carousel in Salem.

Please Help Mommy Run Super Fast

Back at the beginning of December was the City Manager's 5K race for San Antonio city employees and their families. There's usually between 1,000-2,000 runners, and this was the 5th year it's happened. It's always at the park by the zoo. The first year I won for the women, and it was the first time I'd ever won a race in my life. The second year I got second, I think. Then I was pregnant with Lance and just ran/walked with Lily and Robby the third year. Last year I won it again, so this year the pressure was on! From Lily mostly. I really just wanted to run as fast as I could. Robby decided not to run it this year, so that he could be there when I crossed the finish line; every other time I've finished and then I go and run about a mile going the wrong way to run it with him. It was fun having him and the kids there at the end this year to cheer me on. Before the race the whole week Lily kept asking me if I was going to win-I told her I didn't know but I'd try to run fast, so in her prayer that's what she prayed for-that Mommy would run super fast. This is at the finish line.
And after the race. While I was running Lily had fun splashing in puddles.
My time-this was the fastest I'd ever won a 5k; I'd never finished under 21 before. We have the picture from me finishing last year and it was 21.19, or something like that.
And I won! I kind of feel silly blogging about it, but it was a a fun part of my 2011 and when I turn this blog into a book I'd like to have it in there, I think. The trophy is sitting in our garage. I'm trying to not be like the Modern Family episode from last week, if anyone watched it! Sometimes Lily will have races in our back yard and then win the trophy.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lily my love

I want to write this in my journal, but it's much faster to type it up, and I know I'll turn this into a book eventually, so...

This morning while leaving the gym Lily was very excited at the idea of going to her friend Rachael's house this week to play... on her stairs. Apparently at Janica's and Mom and Dad's that was a bonus. Stairs. I asked if she'd like to have stairs sometime and she said, "Yeah, maybe we can get some for our house." I told her in order to do that we'd have to buy a new house and she said, "When my daddy gets home I'll ask him to get me a new house with stairs in it." I tried to tell her we couldn't just do that, but she wasn't convinced.

Then tonight she was upset with me because I was taking down the Christmas tree. I told her since it's after Christmas we have to put everything away for next year. She did not like this and said, "Do I have to put away my doll house?" I tried to then explain to her that she could keep all her presents that she got for Christmas. But I don't think she got it because a few minutes later she had a microphone and said, "I'm NOT giving this back to Santa Claus!"

Then in the bath I was wiping away the heart that was painted on her face while at the gym. She cried and cried that her heart was gone and was insistent we go to the gym to get a new one.

She told me that she fell out of her crib and broke her arm and had to go to the hospital. (This happened to Lance over our vacation-he broke his wrist at Janica's). I tried to tell her that didn't happen and it is a story (i.e-lie) and she said, "Yes I did!"

Tonight when she got out of the tub I wrapped her up in Emily's old towel and she said, "This is my towel that Emily gave me for Christmas. i got it for my birthday yesterday." I think she now gets that Christmas and birthdays are when you get presents.

While putting the ornaments away we found Lily's pink high heeled shoe that she picked out this year as her ornament. She did NOT want to put it away and told me her daddy told her she could keep it. She then took it and put it away. When I just went to put her shoes in her closet, sitting next to them is this little plastic pink high heeled shoe ornament.

I told Robby last night it's just amazing to me how much she understands and can interact. I remember when Emily was her age I had fun, but I always had a little ache that she couldn't communicate with me like a typical 3 year old could. So now that Lily can I find myself constantly laughing to myself over the things she says and does. It's hard to take her seriously sometimes, though I know to her the things that push her buttons are a big deal!

Monday, January 2, 2012

South Padre

In November we went down to South Padre Island. Originally we did it because we thought my mom was coming and she always says how she wants to sleep and hear the ocean, but she ended up not coming. We had a great time, though we missed her! We had really beautiful weather and the kids loved playing on the beach. And we actually ate good food. Really good food. We had just got our new iphones so my better pictures on it, and I haven't downloaded them to the computer yet. I also need to figure out how to blog from my phone, I haven't tried that either. Our camera is not taking the greatest pictures.

Halloween-just for me

I want to turn this blog into a book but need to get the rest of the year in to do it. So here's Halloween. I was pretty proud of their Peter Pan and Tinkerbell costumes.