August 4, 2009

JFR 2009

We have a Jewkes Family Reunion (as in extended Jewkes family) about every three years. We missed it last time around because it was a few weeks before Oliver was born. So, we made the trek out to St. George, UT for the much anticipated event this year. My Mom even convinced us all to come out a few days early to hang out with just my immediate family in Brianhead, UT (just a couple hours from St. George). Brianhead was so beautiful and we stayed at a great cabin at the resort that actually housed all 40 or so of us. We went running together a couple times, had some great meals cooked by Jenn, Rachel, and Jessica, spent the afternoon at Navajo Lake, and even managed to catch The Batchelorette.

Some of the grandkids posing in front of a lookout point at Brianhead. It was sooooo pretty up there.

Oliver and me overlooking Brianhead.

Hope this isn't too WT for ya'll, but Christian stripped (here he's pictured with his shorts on, but those were soon shed) so he could swim across Navajo Lake and back. It's a lot further than it looks.

Oliver was being very daring in the water and his shorts were actually soaked by the end of the afternoon.
Introducing the Jewkes Joggers!!! Jim, Jenn, Dagmar, Jessica, Julie, and me. Except for Dagmar, we're all training for the St. George Marathon in October. Jim is the mastermind behind all of our training and he keeps us motivated with tips and advice. Anyway, while we were in Brianhead, we ran to the top of a mountain. Yes, you read that right. 3.5 miles up and 3.5 down.

Christian so generously drove to the peak to bring us something to drink.

Taking in the view.

This looks a lot more dangerous than it was.

Oh, so picturesque. This is the view from the top.

Now, on to St. George. We got there on Thursday afternoon and spent some time in the pool at the resort we stayed at. That night we went to Footloose at the Tuacahn outdoor theatre in St. George. It was a really well-done performance and an amazing venue. The next morning Christian went on a four-wheeling excursion at my uncle's golf course. That afternoon we spent some more time swimming at the pool. Christian and I were watching Oliver swim around in the little kiddie pool area when oliver slipped on a ledge inside the pool and went under. Christian jumped in, hero-style, and saved him. He was only under the water for a few seconds and seemed to be fine when we got him out. He coughed a little and then wanted to get back in. My cousin, Jill, who was sitting there as well, mentioned something about dry drowning (rare but potentially mortal side affects of inhaling water into the lungs) and so we had him cough a few more times and didn't think much more about it. Well, at the same time, Oliver was getting a little cough that was going around among all the kids. Later that day when it seemed his cough had taken a turn for the worse, Christian decided to cover all his bases by calling a few nurses and doctors in our ward to ask for signs of dry drowning. As it turns out, the signs for dry drowning and his cough were about the same. So, we just kept a close eye on him the rest of the night. Christian woke up about every hour to check up on Oliver that night and he noticed around 1am that Oliver's breathing seemed fast, but again, this could just be from the cold he had. I woke up around 4am and shook Christian awake to alert him again to how fast Oliver was breathing. We both knew this was more than just a cough so Christian drove Oliver to the nearest hospital right then. In short, Oliver spent the next 2 days at Dixie Regional Medical Center for pneumonia. It was so incredibly heartbreaking to watch him go through the pain he went through. He begged us to take him home and to help him stop hurting. It was so heart-wrenching. Christian and I had to swtich off at the hospital so one of us could be with Amelia because they wouldn't allow her in Oliver's room. My brother-in-law, Dave, came and gave us all incredible, inspired blessings and Oliver recovered shortly after that. I know it was only pneumonia, not something life-threatening, but it was so hard to see my sweet little baby hurting. It gave me so much more sympathy for parents who have to go through this with their children for much longer periods of time and for much more serious illnesses. It also made me so grateful for people that donate toys and quilts to children's hospitals. It made his stay there so much easier. Also, he had outstanding nurses and it made me appreciate that profession so much more. Nurses can be such compassionate, caring people. Anyway, I'm glad it's over, but it sure made me realize how grateful I am for my little guy and also how we are all at the Lord's mercy. I know that He watches over us, loves us, and answers our prayers.