Monday, July 26, 2010

Dream Vacation!!!

After a long hard week of packing up and moving to our new place, we were rewarded with a fun-filled week of vacation time to FLORIDA!!! We drove down to Orlando with my parents to take Kalai to Disneyworld for the first time! My mom did volunteer service and was able to get us all free tickets there. Thanks Mom! Kalai loved it which is a good thing since we went there to celebrate her birthday with the Familia side of the family. She esp. loved Pirates of the Caribbean (her first ride) and It's a Small World (her last ride). She loved looking around and see all the sites. It was a really fun age to take her because she was just soaking in all the information. She finally fell asleep during the Electric Light Parade on my parents laps. We took video footage of her so I will put a video up here later. After that, we drove down to PANAMA CITY!!!Michael's side of the family owns a beach house there and we were lucky enough to get to stay there for the week. It was fabulous to say the least! The ocean was warm, the sand was white, the sunsets were gorgeous and the company was great! We had a couple of friends from Birmingham (The Thornton's and the Stoddard's) join us for the week and it was a blast! We spent the whole week shopping, boogie boarding and tanning. Plus I had my parents there so that was an added plus! My mom cooked her way through The Pioneer Women Cookbook and also made her specialty and family fave- Tacos! So, lets just say, we ate pretty good that whole week. At the end of the week, we threw Kalai one last birthday party so she could celebrate her birthday with the Familia side and my parents got her the cutest gifts but I'm gonna have to post pictures of the gifts later...believe me, it's worth the wait! Also, I will post some pictures later of the big gift we gave Kalai. Anyways, here are some pictures of the trip. We got also got to have our family photos taken on the beach and I'm really happy with how they turned out. Thanks Dad! The rest of the pictures are of fun-filled vacation! I hope going to the beach house is a new tradition!


Here's a sneak pic of the photo shoot I did for my friends, the Thornton's, while at the beach. I have a few other photo shoots that I need to catch up on before I get to the rest of them.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fire Pictures

If you haven't already read about the fire that began in my complex, scroll down and read my last entry. Here are some pictures of the fire and smoke damage. We moved into our new place this past weekend. So many people helped us move. Thanks friends!!! We appreciate all the love,prayers and support we have felt during this time. We had a House Warming party this weekend to show our appreciation to our friends. There was a great turn out and the food was so good (thanks to my mom!). We are getting settled into our new place and I have had so much fun decorating it. I'll post pictures later of our new place.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Yesterday I was at my house packing up all of my stuff because we are moving. We spent ALL day cleaning and packing and hanging out and around 10:00 PM Rachel Atwood, my friend, called her husband Blake to see if he would come help her get their two boys loaded up and to go back home. The boys were sleeping and Blake was exhausted and so was she, so I invited them to spend the night since Michael was out of town.

I ran to the store and grabbed us some quick food to eat, and then came back and we started cooking it in the microwave. We sat down in my bedroom and started to eat some of it while the rest was cooking, and then my light started flickering. After the fifth flicker, we smelled smoke. So we ran into the kitchen, and it was filled with smoke. We thought it was from the microwave, so she grabbed a broom and started to fan it to clear up the smoke. But that didn't really work. I decided to open the back door and asked Rachel to open the front door to fan circulate some air, but when she opened the front door she yelled to me, "Carissa, there is a tons of black smoke caming in the apartment!". (we live on the upstairs floor of a small four house apartment and the access to each apartment is inside a stairway, so we couldn't just open the door and be outside).

We grabbed the three sleeping babies, and tried to go through the back door, but it was somehow blocked and we couldn't get through it. I broke the screen door because all of a sudden it was difficult to open. I ran into something and couldn't get out. There backway is usually always cleared out so I couldn't figure out what was blocking us but by that time it was so smokey it was getting difficult to see and breathe. It was evident we were trapped so we ran to my bedroom with three screaming babies, and at this point we were all breathing in smoke pretty heavily. My bedroom had the least amount of smoke, so we went in there and shut the door. Rachel called 911 and then we tried to get the window open. I'm pretty sure it was painted shut, but we were able to get it open. The firemen came and were able to put a ladder up to the window and helped us all down. The fireman came and I was told I needed to unlock the front door. Even though it scared me to death, I crawled to the front door and made sure it was unloocked. They told me not to open it so I crawled back into the bedroom and shut the door. When the fireman came in, it was so dark and smokey that they couldn't find their way. By then it was getting difficult to breath and I could feel the heat. They firemen put up a ladder next to our bedroom window and one by one they loaded us down beginning with babies to Rachel and me. Once my feet hit the ground, I was overwhelmed with relief that we were all safe. They firemen continued to work on the fire and kept asking me if anyone else lived up there and if I knew they were home. I told them I had a neighor named Daniel living across the way. Eventually the firemen had to saw a huge hole out of the roof. After the fire was incontrol, they let me go out to get some valuables and to check things out. I wanted to figure out why we couldn't get out the back way. Usually the screen door is so easy to open and we have clear access to the outside but this time the screen was difficult to open and there was a storage unit door blocking our way but I couldn't see cause of the smoke. The fireman said it was a good thing we didn't go out that way because futher down it was up in flames. I know that my Heavenly Father was protecting us that day and guided us into safety.

It was pretty tramatic. The man across the hallway, Daniel, died. The fire started in his apartment and we're pretty sure he was drunk. We saw him bring a big case of beer up to his apartment a few hours earlier. They think either he passed out drunk and left something on the stove or that his cigerettes caught something on fire. The fire never made it into my apartment, but there is tons of smoke damage.

It was actually really lucky that Rachel was there, because I would have gone to bed if she had left. Plus rachel had her phone with her so we could call 911 immediately. Our smoke detector didnt go off until after the firemen were there which would have made it a lot worse.

The firemen told Blake that in situations like this, it's not typical to have live rescues. I guess the fire was pretty bad.

Anyway, just thought I'd let you all know, since I'm still kind of in shock. The end.