Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Why My Husband Is The Sweetest.

So fun news...I am no longer just a Housewife of Yuma County....I'm now a volunteer too!
Tyler works pretty closely with the higher-ups of the hospital, and when Machele found out I had moved here, she asked if I would be interested in volunteering. 
I figured since we wouldn't be here too long, getting a job would be silly, but volunteering would be fun! 
(Not to mention...looks great on a resume :) )
So I went through the training and tests, and today was my first day. 

 first day selfie...totally necessary
I am working with the Community Relations/Marketing department. I'm pretty excited, hopefully this will help me decide if marketing is something I would be interested in pursuing for school and as a career. Plus, the girls that run this department are super cool. And normal. 

And now the part about why my husband is the sweetest.

I came home from 'work' to find this sweet love note!

And then after running some errands, I came home to put the groceries in the fridge and noticed this one!

AND THEN when I got out my laptop to do some bloggin' and such, I found this!!

Love notes are the best. 
Also Tyler is the best.

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Breakfast at Joe's

This morning I got to go to breakfast with my sweet little sister and her friend Georgia!
Hearing stories of High School [the teachers, the classes, the boys] was so funny. 
That Georgia had me giggling all morning! She's such a hoot, I'm so glad Holly has good friends like her. 

Speaking of good friends, Sean Wade also joined us. We started reminiscing about our High School days...and as fun as Highland High was...I am SO glad that chapter of my life is over. :)
(Holly loves eating breakfast with me. obviously.) 
Looks heavenly, right?! 
it was. it really was. 
It was a delicious breakfast with lovely company and lots of laughs!

On a less delicious note; I mentioned in an earlier post that cute Tyler tweaked his back.
Turns out it's a little more serious than we originally thought.
He had an MRI done yesterday, and we go in to the doctors Monday to find out more info.
I'll keep y'all posted, but in the meantime, please keep Tyler in your prayers!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Ms. Lex
Grand Opening Party!

Thursday, April 24, 2014
(Come and go as you please!)

4494 E. Barbarita Ct.
Gilbert, AZ 85234

Come view the latest styles in
bubblegum bead necklaces!
All attendees will be entered in a
drawing for a free custom necklace!
**extra entry for each purchase**

Winner to be announced 
Friday, April 25th via Instagram 
(( follow @littlemslexbeads ))

Getting to know YUMA

So I've been here a little over 2 months, and I'm ashamed to say I really haven't done much exploring. I've stayed in my little 4 mile radius...too nervous to venture outside of it. 

But yesterday, things changed. I went on an Adventure!
(It was to get some donuts, but still, it was outside of my radius.) 
 And boy-oh-boy was it worth it. 
Donut Corral, as  you may have guessed, is a little ma-n-pa shop in the Foothills. 
They serve everything from donuts to pies to breakfast burritos. {Quite the mix} haha! 
The staff is friendly and knew mostly every customer in there by name. 
This is why I love small towns :)
 (yes, there were 6 in that box...but I ate one before I took a picture)

Donut Corral out-did themselves. They sure do serve a mean donut. 
I can't wait to expand my horizons and try out some more of these Yuma-only restaurants.
And yes, I'll keep y'all posted because I know you're dying to know all the details for your next trip to good ol' Yuma, AZ!! ;)

And now as I finish typing this i'm trying not to drip maple frosting on my keyboard. Yum! 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Our boy Nate was featured on today! 
It's an awesome article written by a friend of Nate's, Brooke Porter.
She did an amazing job.

Brooke nailed it on the head when she wrote, 

"It’s hard to not to have faith in someone who is caught smiling in every hospital picture, proclaiming to the world that he still plans on becoming a doctor — whether or not he gains functions in his legs again. Seems like this Aikele has more than one win left in his future."

Nate definitely has many more wins in his horizon, and we are thankful to be here cheering for him along the way!

View the full article HERE

I was texting Nate earlier congratulating him on the article and asking for an update, and he replied that he is feeling better every day. His only request is an IV filled with Diet Mtn Dew. Hahaha! That's our Nate, he really must be feeling better! :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Mornings...

Nothing says monday morning like a little leak!
(A little leak that floods the garage & living room)

Timeline of Today
5:00am: Tyler heads out to work, but as he opens the bedroom door, he notices a shrieking sound. After tracing it outside, he sees that there was a pipe that had burst open in the garage, ripping the drywall clear off and leaving a nice puddle covering the entire floor. (see below)

 Opening the garage, the water floods the entire driveway...
 ...and front walk way.

Walking back inside, he notices the living room looks a little glassy.
5:05am: I wake up, and hearing Tyler scramble around the house and that nasty shrieking sound, I hop out of bed to see what's up. 
5:10am: After searching everywhere, a nice neighbor who happened to be outside shows us where the shut off is. Tyler shuts off the water, and we begin cleaning up. 
5:45am: When we have everything on towels and shoved into the kitchen, Tyler heads off to work and I start vacuuming.

6:00 - 8:00am: 3 of these and a few towels later, the floor is finally dry! 

8:30am: Tyler gets some big fans, and still not being able to get in touch with the Landlord, we set them up to start drying both inside and out.

10:00am: The Landlord FINALLY comes and starts renovation.

By 10:30am we finally have running water, and I get to shower and officially start my day! :)

In the meantime, Tyler tweaked his back and has been in excruciating pain all day.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Wishing you a Happy Easter!

To learn more about the meaning of Easter, 
our loving Savior, 
His ministry on earth, 
and what we believe as members of His church, 
please visit :

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Last weekend, Tyler and I went in for a much needed Bike Fitting.
It was a little emotional, with the recent events, but I think it was really good for both of us. 
Thanks to Nate, cycling has become a passion for both of us (something he passed on to tyler, and tyler passed to me). 
It's something we love, and we don't want to give it up.

Tyler had been having some knee problems, and we finally linked it to riding. 
So off to Faster we went! 

It was so neat.
(If you're a cyclist and haven't been in to get fitted, GO. Right Now!!)
They set your bike up on the trainer, and after a series of questions about your riding & health history,  a pedaling you go! There are 2 cameras, one facing you straight on, and one facing you to the side. As you ride, the cameras record you, and then on the big screen the fitter takes different measurements and angles, to see what you're doing right & wrong. From those measurements, they know what to adjust on the bike, or what you as a cyclist need to adjust. 

 We got the 2D fit....they also offer a more advanced 3D fit. 
For more info, click the Faster link above and check out their site! 

Tyler and I learned we both hunch over when we ride and sit too far forward in the saddle, so our fitter gave us some good tips for better form. After a few adjustments to both of our bikes, we were pedaling faster and stronger.

We can't wait to get out on the road, we are excited to keep riding with our new and improved form! :) 

P.S. If you haven't lately...check out Nate's blog
As always, thank you for the continued love and support!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


First, I want to start out by saying that I have been absolutely overwhelmed and humbled by the amount of love and support I have felt over the past few days. The willingness of so many people to pray for and donate funds to Nate has been incredible. 
Watching my little sister take a nice chunk of her hard-earned money and put it into Nate's fund had me teary-eyed all night long. When I thanked her, her only response was "I wanna help Nate out and support you guys! :)" and when I found out my dad also donated a generous amount, all he responded was "Nate is family." Could I be any luckier to call them mine??
Not to mention, the MASSIVE number of people, some who don't even know Nate, that jumped at the opportunity to donate whatever they could. 

 I have been blessed with such an amazing family, and friends. 
And Nate, you're lucky you're so lovable. ;) 

So thank you. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart. You all are amazing and Tyler and I love each and every one of you!!

Now that I'm done being cheesy...I had to share what a genius my brother is.
Last Saturday, he found THIS awesome tutorial for a "Water Blob" and decided it must be made for the nieces!

 Turns out the adults actually had more fun on it than the little girls....Brookie was so frightened by it she started to scream when Chris tried to put her on it, and continued to whimper anytime he got anywhere near her. hahaha!

 We finally convinced Kiley to join us, but she would only sit on it if she had her towel. 
silly girl!

Brooke preferred sitting by Grandma & Grandpa on solid ground. 

If you have little ones at home, I would definitely suggest giving the Blob a whirl. 
Lots of fun shall be had!!  
**Helpful tip--the boys ended up using the backwash hose from the pool to fill it up faster. So if you have a pool, put it to good use. You can save a bunch of time, AND clean your pool! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Special Visitor

Check out who came to say 'Hey' to Nate today!
Professional cyclist Lance Armstrong surprised Nate and stopped by to give encouragement after hearing about his accident from one of Nate's buddies.

When I texted Nate about this experience, he responded:
"He was a great guy, and super sincere. I loved all of it. He inspired me to get through this and get moving however possible!"

Nate's sister Amyjo added: One question in particular that Nate asked was "How do you deal with the agony that you go through on a endurance climb?." 
Lance responded, "You get tunnel vision, you figure out what you need to do and you do it." 
"This applies well to cycling," Nate said, to which I replied, "It applies well to life."
Nate also said of Lance, "You see people that have gone through a hard time and made it out successful..." Nate is going to do that same thing. 

It was inspiring for not only Nate but our entire family to see Lance today. Mom was overjoyed. We would like to thank Mason McMullin for making this all possible. I don't know HOW you managed to get Lance Armstrong here, but we are all so thankful for you. 

Not only did Lance stop by, he also donated to Nate's fund! 
(donations can be made HERE)

So many people have been reaching out and supporting Nate, cyclists and non-cyclists a-like. 
From retweets to reposts, to emails, to donations, to all kinds of spreading the word, we truly appreciate the love and support that has been felt. 
Nate, Lance, Diane (sister), and Lori (mom)

To get even more updates on Nate, follow him at

Why we're in Yuma

I don't know if i've ever really explained why we are in Yuma. 
The easiest answer is Tyler is building a Cancer Treatment Center here.
But that's not very much instead I'll let him explain.

I work for a company called Okland Construction. We do a lot of commercial spaces, which include hospitals and health related buildings. I was asked to come down to Yuma back in August of last year to help build a cancer treatment center. I saw it as a great opportunity to learn and to grow, and it really has been a great experience thus far. Lexi & I expect to be back in the Gilbert area sometime mid summer.
Below I have attached a few photos of my project.

This picture is one that I took last year when we were forming the concrete wall for the LINAC vault. This is where they have their radiation machine. The concrete perimeter walls are 3 feet thick with a 4.5 foot concrete lid.

Part of the vault has a door lined with lead bricks. (shown above) 
The door totals in weight of 38,000 pounds.

In the center of the concrete lid, there is lead to help with radiation spreading out of the vault.

This last photo is just an overall view of what the building looks like. Its about 40,000 sq ft. and will be a great benefit to the Yuma community.
 Its been fun to see the community excited about the facility.

And that is why we are in Yuma. :)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Nate -- Update

 It is such a comfort to know that Nate has such a great support team full of amazing, caring friends. Tyler and I have been able to feel so much love from all of you, and it truly means the world. 

As a way to keep everyone in the loop, we (with the permission of Nate and his family) will be updating the blog with any new information that we receive. 

Nate and Skyler, a med school friend

Nate's sisters Diane and Amyjo have been keeping Tyler updated. 
Diane sent over this email today for all those who wanted to be updated on Nate's condition and the events that have taken place so far:

Everything is confusing and unclear because Nate does not remember anything from the crash, but I spoke to the race director, Andrew Willis, and although he did not personally see what happened, the riders behind Nate recounted this story to him: The course has two u turns before you get to the finish line. The riders had done a few laps already, so he knew the turns were coming up, but he was pretty close to the finish line. He looked over his right shoulder to determine what his lead on the other riders was as he came in for 1st. Since the course had those 2 u-turns near the end, when he looked over his shoulder he went off course and hit a tree.

Nate refused to give any paramedic contact info for a family member for some time. He didn't want to worry anyone. Finally the woman who admitted him to the ER was able to get a phone number out of him - he had my dads number memorized. I got a call from dad at about 8:30 pm on Thursday, the day of the accident, and left Dallas at about 10pm with AmyJo. We got here around 2am on Friday morning and got on the phone with the PA from the Nero team who said she admitted him and looked at his CT scan and MRI and saw partial tears in the spine. She scheduled surgery for 3pm on Friday the 11th. He slept and was in and out and was saying all kinds of crazy things - he had to be at work in a few hours, where was his bike? where were his biking clothes - they were really expensive so why would they cut them? 

He kept asking when he would be able to feel his feet and legs. They didn't have any final answers before surgery, and we were all hopeful the tear was incomplete so that he could feel them after surgery and some PT. Nate doesn't remember much about what happened before surgery. He remembers nothing from the crash. 

The surgery entailed reconstructing the spine from T8 up to T4 and also some work on L1 in his lumbar region. The T7 and T8 vertebrae controls anything from below about the nipple line or mid ribs. During surgery, the surgeon was actually able to see the chord, which is not typical, (they usually just see the vertebrae and reconstruct the), but because Nate's tear was so severe, they saw the chord. The tear was described as a traumatic dural tear with leaking cerebral spinal fluid (csf). We have to monitor for headaches because with that csf leak, you can get spinal headaches. [I have heard of pregnant women getting them when they have epidurals - I hear they are terrible.] He has had a headache, but not a strong one that indicates the spinal headache. Anyway, the chord was completely severed and snapped right back into place at the time of impact. They used bones from his pelvis and screws and metal to stabilize the spine and to protect the chord from any further damage. Nate is now able to move his upper trunk freely without risking any further damage to his chord. They cut into him right from the base of his neck all the way to above his butt. A long incision. 

His left arm has a fracture that the Otho team said they were originally going to reset during spinal reconstructive surgery while he was already under anesthesia. I am not sure why they changed their minds but he is just in a splint for now. (I think the break can heal on its own and their plan right now is not to reset it.) He needs that hand for practicing podiatry, and he is continuing to ask questions about it. He feels like there is a metacarpal fracture, but x-rays show there isn't and he should regain full mobility in that hand. 

The break in his left hand is on his radial steroid and ulna. The break is non operative so they are just going to let it heal itself with a splint. The neurosurgeon who reconstructed his spine is actually glad they just splinted it because he said that in PT it is better to have full use of the hand rather than it being in a cast. If it is in a cast, Nate can't do the exercises that focus on his upper body strength he will need if he is in a wheel chair - which he will be at least temporarily.His face has no scars or road rash. The only visible scars are on his hands and arms, and are minimal. So his skin on his legs and body and face and neck look really good - still handsome.

The neurosurgeon said Nate is an ideal candidate for some of the most recent and innovative spinal rehab studies. Some of the best work they are doing is in Toronto, Miami, Seattle and Houston. He strongly recommends that Nate go to the best rehab facility, but having family and support from familiar people is vital to the success of his rehab program. Once he does pick a rehab program, any visitors are encouraged to come at that time. Visitors are actually better for rehab than here in the ICU. 

They moved him from ICU to intermediate care (IMC) last night. Today they are doing a physical therapy/occupational therapy evaluation at 3 pm to see how he responds to sitting up out of his bed. After they do the evaluation (getting him out of his bed for the first time and actually sitting in a chair, lifting his body, etc.and see how he responds and how strong he is, that will determine when they will discharge him from this location.  

He is on Zofran and another pain med that keeps him sleepy. He is really involved in what drugs they are giving him; how many mg and what their plans are. He knows all this medical terminology that I don't know and he is really involved every time someone comes in the room. I think it exhausted him so much that he is FINALLY sleeping now. (This is the first day I have actually seen him rest.) He has his phone on him, but it hurts his eyes to look at it. He likes waking up from naps and seeing text messages and voice mails. He was super excited to talk to his mission president and presidents wife yesterday.

Because pain meds really slow down gi tract movement, Nate is super bloated. He looks 5 months pregnant. The stomach bloating pushes on his broken sternum and hurts a lot, and the bloating is giving him constant hiccups. The only time I have seen him frustrated is when the hiccups wont stop. When he finally falls asleep, he is woken up by hiccups. He's tried sugar, gargling water, being scared, pulling on his tongue, tickling the soft palette of his mouth with a cotton swab, etc....because every time he hiccups, his broken ribs really hurt. 

He was so dehydrated when they went in for surgery that after surgery he was drank so much that he got what is called a post op ilius. They tried an NG tube which was HORRIBLE. It is a thick plastic tube that you insert through your nose and it goes down your throat and sits in your stomach and vacuums out liquid in your stomach. It was awful. That is the first time I heard him complain of pain. He said "I know what pain is and this is the most awful thing I have ever felt." The tube pumped out some liquid, but did not relieve his abdominal pain so I made the nurse take it out, even though they wanted to leave it in 24 hours. The hospital has been good about letting him call the shots. 

The cycling world, I have come to find out, is really like a tight-knit brotherhood. They take care of each other. We have had a lot of support from ER docs and cyclists here that take the news super bad. I am tired of making people cry when I drop these bombs on them about his condition. 

Honestly, I am not lying when I say he has been extremely positive. The most frustrating thing for him right now is the hiccups. He has not been resting much because he likes to have people around. (Luckily he is finally starting to let his sleep be a priority today.) He loves to have us read him the scriptures and say prayers with him. He is making jokes and talking to everyone super respectfully. At one point he said "s#!t" when the nurse put the NG tube down his nose, and he was apologizing profusely after that. He has been really kind to me, and I know that must take a lot because he should be really frustrated at this point with not being able to moving anything.

Please help us earn money to offset the medical costs associated with inpatient rehabilitation, by donating at 

Thank you so much for all your prayers, and for all those who fasted with us yesterday.
Nate is a fighter, and with continued prayers we believe he will be able to make miracles happen through faith and the help of our Father in Heaven. 

We love you Nate, hang in there!!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dr. Aikele

This is Nate. 

Nate and I met the summer of 2006.
 We were neighbors while attending BYU-I, but we really started to hang out when we were invited out on a weekend Lake trip to Ogden. While on the trip, I realized how much fun Nate was, (we spent half the trip trying to throw each other into the water while on jet skis) and how much he encouraged me to enjoy life more. After that summer we roomed together off and on throughout the rest of college and the fall thereafter. 
I have a lot of fun memories with Nate-- from failed attempts chasing girls, to late nights of the video game 'Singstar', to having to drive through certain states to help insure that his unpaid tickets wouldn't catch up to him, hahaha!! Nate quickly became one of my best friends, and has since been a large support to me. He has helped me through some tough times, but also helped me find the fun and joy in them; from helping me become an average skier,  to sharing his passion of cycling and encouraging me to ride after I had my surgery on my back. 
When I had to get surgery, it was a hard time for me. I couldn't walk or stand for more then 10 minutes with out a lot of pain. As I began physical therapy, cycling became a big impact on my improvement, and it brought hope back into my life and has become a big part of me. 

Nate was in a cycling accident Thursday. 
His spine was fractured, paralyzing him waist down. 

Nate's recent accident has been an emotional time for me. I have a hard time associating my new hobby without visualizing him at my side cheering me on, especially because cycling was a huge part of him as well. 

Nate will be in the ICU for the next few weeks, and is in need of as many prayers that we can give. 
The road ahead will be hard, but Nate is one of the strongest people I know. 

I know that this experience will bring me and others closer to the Lord and to exercise faith, hope, and prayer in his behalf.

Please keep Nate in your prayers.

 I am excited for the future and the new experiences that Nate, Lexi and I will have together.
We love you Nate!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Wifey Wednesday - Cheesy Chicken over Rice

If you're looking for a quick, easy, delicious meal, you found it!
 It's a perfect blend of spicy, cheesy, chicken goodness. 
But hey, don't take my word for it, try for yourself.

Cheesy Chicken over Rice

2 to 3 chicken breasts
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
1 tomato - chopped
1 can mushrooms (optional)
1 can chopped green chilies
(Ty prefers brown…but white rice is wonderful too)

 Cook chicken in frying pan and cut in bite size pieces. Season to taste.
(I use Lawry's Seasoning Salt and Seasoning Pepper, [my go-to's] and then garlic salt and onion powder) 
Add other ingredients except for the cheese and stir.

Heat until warm, then top with cheese and let melt.  

Serve over rice.
[ and if you're an awesome wife like me, toss some fruit on the plate too. But not too don't want to look like a fatty. ;) haha just kidding…I really need to work on my side-dish skills…or learn to like salad. either/or. ]