Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tagged for Christmas!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper, but bags are fun cause I can keep them and use them next year.
2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial. It's just cheaper and easier for us!
3. When do you put up the tree? Hopefully right after Thanksgiving!
4. When do you take the tree down? Whenever we get home from traveling, usually around New Years.
5. Do you like eggnog? LOVE IT!!!
6. Favorite gift received as a child? Cabbage Patch Kids, tanning pass when I was like 14. My boss gave me a TV and DVD player the 2nd year I was at Smart Planet. That was AWESOME!!!
7. Hardest person to buy for? My dad
8. Easiest person/people to buy for? Probably the neices, until they are about 12.
9. Do you have a nativity set? Two, one from Taiwan and one from the Philippines.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Neither, we have sent Christmas cards once, I am bad at that stuff.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Uh, last year Ben wrapped a box of garbage(seriously) with a note at the bottom that said "You've been naughty this year, love Santa" ya, hilarious!
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I actually don't enjoy Christmas movies, at all.
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? We are procrastinators, it's usually 2 weeks before Christmas and it stresses me out
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Chocolate Roll, fruit salad,..sweets
16. Lights on the tree? Clear
17. Favorite Christmas song? Oh Holy Night
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Travel to Oregon on off years, and previous to this year we have traveled to Utah the other years. Now we live here so it's staying home. We like both and are glad we get to switch off.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? There's Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen...and RUDOLPH! (thanks Jess, just copied and pasted)
20. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Presents Christmas morning, except PJ's on Christmas Eve. Ben's family does one on Christmas Eve and I am still getting used to it.
21. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Being away from work when stuff has to get done kind of stresses me out. AND...not having kids yet and being asked why by people that just don't know.
22. Favorite ornament theme or color? We just have red and gold ornaments, but I like it. I love my mom's tree with her Santa Clauses.
23. What do you want for Christmas this year? Clothes, a vacuum, more money, a baby...haha, don't think that's something anyone can get for me, huh?
Now I am tagging...Lindsey, Kimmie, Tiff and Rachelle

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Surgery Update

I just wanted to let everyone know that the surgery went well. Ben might take a second to put one of his funny updates on, but mine is just information. Sorry!
I went in for surgery yesterday at 1PM up at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake. They did laparscopic bi-lateral drainage of my cysts, then burned them so that they hopefully do not come back so quickly. They also did excision of what endometriosis they could, which is more than either of my other surgeons have done and makes me very happy. Oh, and then I had my appendix removed. That was at my special request. I know, I sound like one of the wierd interns on Grey's Anatomy. Who asks to have a piece of their body removed? Well, if you knew the kind of horrible tests they put me through the last time I went to the ER just to make sure it wasn't my appendix, you would understand why I asked. I don't want them to ever have a reason to question it again. So, they removed that and then were done. The doctor came out and talked to Ben when they were done. He also gave him a video, which is so awesome to have but kind of disgusting to watch. Dr.Peterson told Ben that that all went well, but he did up by dosage of the suppression medication I am on because the endometriosis was a lot worse than he originally thought. I probably could have told him that, but no one believes me until they see it:)
So, now I am just recovering, which seems to be going pretty well. I was lucky to have a wonderful surgeon that seemed to know exactly what he was doing.
I appreciate everyone's thoughts and prayers. We are hoping this is the last of these, at least for a while.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


So, I wish I had more to share, more to blog about but I really don't. But, I get so frustrated when other people don't blog and I haven't added anything for months. I will just give you a quick life update on the Crisantos:

Fun: We have been traveling and playing a lot the past month or so. We had the chance to go to L.A. for Thanksgiving and spend the week with my entire family. It was so much fun and I was glad everyone was able to be there. Some of us stayed with Kristen's family, while the rest of us stayed at a house we had rented in Tarzana. The house was a perfect fit and gave us just the room we needed. We were one block off of Ventura Blvd and had quick access to everything we needed. We went out to eat, the girls went and saw Twilight, we played the Wii, had a YUMMY Thanksgiving dinner at Kristen's, played the new Guitar Hero World Tour, and just had a good time all around. We also got family pictures taken. That ended up being quite the fiasco. We didn't have a photographer, so Tiff had to use her magic skills with a tripod. Then, the park we had planned on going to for the pictures had burned to the ground in the most recent fires. There was still smoke when we pulled up. But, the pictures turned out beautifully. my sis-in law is quite talented. The weekend did also involve lots people getting sick, but we still all had a blast and I am so THANKFUL that our THANKSGIVING turned out so great!
We spent this weekend in Afton Wyoming, and I was able to go to Jackson Hole for my first time ever. It was fun, short trip. We will also be traveling to Oregon on the 19th of December for Christmas and to see Ben's little brother, Archie (the dog was named after him), who just returned from his mission. We are so excited!

Work: Ben and I have both been keeping ourself busy with work. We have great jobs and are really so blessed to work where we do and with the people we do. I have been very sick a few times in the last couple of months and it has taken both of us away from our jobs a lot. We are blessed to be where we are and have boss's that are understanding about our situation.

Health: Since I already mentioned it, my health has not been the best. I had another stint at the Emergency Room about a month ago. It was NOT fun and I would tell you all about it, but no one wants those details. I did end up being admitted this time, which I have never had happen. For the first time in my life I spent the night in the hospital. I never want to do it again! But, they did give me the chance to vote from my hospital bed, which I thought was awesome! I am actually having another surgery on Tuesday of this week, hopefully the last one for a while.

Kids: The health always leads into this subject nicely. Ben and I met with a Reproductive Endocronologist in November. We had made the decision to move forward with IVF and thought we would have to do surgery and then have the go ahead. We weren't that lucky. The doctor felt that surgery was the right move (see above paragraph), but that my body is not ready to go straight to IVF. So, we will be on a suppression medication for 4-6 months after surgery and then see. I have been assured that the side affects of this medication are nothing like Lupron, so it shouldn't be that bad. But, it is disappointing to just have to wait again. We are still thinking and praying and deciding on what the next step is in the kids area.

School: Ben is almost done with his semester and just ready for the BREAK.

So, as you can see, life is just moving forward. I haven't been taking many pictures lately, so I don't have any to post. I hope this wasn't too much reading. We hope all is well with everyone and wish everyone HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Tomorrow is Bens 26th birthday and I wanted to pay a small tribute to the man who has become my best friend. I just love the idea of you guys getting to see a small part of who Ben is through these pictures. If you haven't met him, you are missing out. I wish I could tell you all of the wonderful things about him that I fell in love with, but there just isn't enough room or time. I will just tell you a few. Ben is funny, smart, diligent,sweet, polite, he loves kids and they LOVE him, he loves to watch and play sports and is always willing to try new things, he is great with his young men, he is a wonderful leader, a great friend, a total momma's boy, committed, honest, faithful, a great husband...I can go on and on. I am so blessed to have him in my life. Babe..I love you, I have loved you since the moment I watched you play your guitar in Chris's house in Sacramento, and each day I find something that makes me love you more. The past 3 years together have been amazing and can't wait to see what the future holds. Happy Birthday!

Monday, October 13, 2008

My wife is, well, special...

My wife is eccentric but that's why I love her. As for the whole even thing, when we first got married I would purposely rub one side of her arm or shoulder then I would walk away and not rub the otherside, it made her agitated, needless to say it was hilarious and awesome at the same time.I wouldn't make things "even" like she wanted. I remember it would drive her crazy. Also the whole repeated prayer, she still does that. Except this time, she puts curses on me, in Mandarin. Oh and some nights I'll have quick conversations with her because she talks in her sleep. One of these nights I'm going to record our late night, incoherent talks and post them on the web. I love my wife.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


My sister in law Tiffany is officially the first person to have tagged me. I think I have been glad to stay away from this, but I feel it is my responsiblity to do it since someone finally did tag me. So, I have been tagged to list 6 unspectacular quirks about me. Since most of you who know me, know that everything about me is spectacular, you know this is going to be very difficult. Just kidding!

1. I rub my tummy. It's a habit I have had forever and I am not sure where it started. I might have started to rub it to make sure my stomach wasn't getting any bigger, or it might be because I always had a stomach ache, but either way it became a habit. My sister, Rachelle, always points it out when I rub my hand across my tummy. It's just a small sweeping motion and most people probably wouldn't notice, but it is definitely a weird quirk.

2. I have a THING about being even. If someone hits me on one arm, I really will ask them to hit me on the other. I try to eat an even amount on each side of my mouth. Everything needs to be even and symmetrical. It's a little weird, and I am trying to get over it, but it's a quirk.

3. I don't do this anymore, but I used to have a little "chant" or "saying" that I would repeat every night before I went to bed. It listed everything/everyone that I cared about. I think it was kind of like a prayer of gratitude, but also a short little thing reminding Heavenly Father of the things that were important to me. I did it every night before I said my prayers. When I think about it now I think it is weird, but I could not sleep at night until I read off my whole list.

4. I have to unplug everything (other than the big appliances) in the house before I leave in the morning. I am always afraid my house will burn down if I don't.

5. I weigh myself at least every morning, usually morning and night. It's pretty much an obsession and I don't function well if i don't know how much I weigh that day. Ya, somewhat pathetic, I know.

6. I have a stuffed pig that I have owned since I was like 3 years old. It may not be a quirk, but it has stayed with me for 28 years and is still going strong. I used to sleep with it every night and it has lived everywhere with me. I even took it to China.

I am not sure who to tag, but I will post this and then figure it out!

1.Link to the person who tagged you
2.Mention the rules on your blog
3.Tell 6 unspectacular quirks about you
4.Tag 6 following bloggers by linking to them
5.Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs letting
them know they've been tagged.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Remember Who You Are?

While growing up, whenever I would leave the house, my parents would say those dreaded words, "Remember who you are". I didn't really understand what they meant, but I knew it was a reminder to make good choices or else. Now, as I am a little older and have had more experiences I have come to realize who I really am and why I need to remember. I come from a heritage of amazing people, my parents being among them. I also have grandparents that I am in awe of. These people have lived their lives in ways that show me how I should live mine.

Being LDS, we are taught to follow the example of the Savior. But, maybe the Savior is too distant for some of us, maybe we need someone closer to us, someone in our lives that has learned to follow the Savior and live their lives in a way that will bring true happiness. Today, I was reminded via email by my little brother that my family has that in our parents. I know that each of you has someone like this too. Ben has parents and grandparents that have lived awesome lives, and are another example to us. They are now a part of who I am. This is a reminder to each of us to look around, to find and follow the examples of greatness around us, to remember who we are and where we come from, to show respect to those people who have come before us. I am a Johnson and a Crisanto. Who are you? Please REMEMBER!

(Adam's email below)
"We are Johnsons, and for that alone we should be eternally grateful and walk around with nothing but a smile on our face every single day.

Mom and Dad recently came to California to visit and I realized that I was jealous that most of you live closer to them, and to each other than we do. The main thing me and Tonna dislike about living in California, is that we are so far away from the people most important to us (and I want to ensure you, you are most important to us). I also want to remind you of another realization that I am reminded of after every visit I have with our parents…

I have simply to follow the example of my parents and I will be successful in every single aspect of my life. I came to this profound epiphany many years ago and I am still so far from actualizing it, that sometimes I disappoint myself, most especially in the way I treat my wife. But every time I talk to mom and dad, every time I think of them, and especially every time I am able to directly interact with them, I am reinvigorated to be less like the rest of the people I am surrounded by and more like them. I use the phrase “I have simply to follow the example” not because it’s easy, but because it is a single solitary goal to shoot for. An example to follow that will, in my opinion, lead to every single other desire that I want for myself and for the people around me. How amazing to know how to go about your day, how to interact with your coworkers and engage in business, how to carry yourself, and most importantly how to treat your spouse. I struggle daily with many of these things, but it is encouraging to know that I have such a sure foundation to build upon.

I have interacted with a great many people in my short 27 years, probably many more than most my age. Consequently, I have discovered that the world is filled with good people, but also with neurotic, weak willed, dishonest people who are unable to overcome their need to satisfy themselves or to put anyone else before themselves. They are filled with selfishness, greed, and with a pathetic amount of self-pity and emotions other than happiness. “Self pity is our worst enemy, and if we yield to it we can never do anything good in the world”-Helen Keller. I don’t think I have heard another quote that reminds me more of my father.

In my anniversary card from Tonna, she called me a rock. I think of that as one of the stronger compliments I have received because that is how I have always thought of my mother, and to be likened to her is flattering to say the least. She is an unwavering rock upon which I have always been able to depend, to look to for guidance and acceptance. Not only solid in her dependability, but in her character; exhibiting honesty, charity, and kindness of an unchanging nature. A few weeks ago, I had a Co-worker comment on the way I helped out my supervisor, who is generally an unkind and condescending person, especially towards me. This co-worker said she could never act like that towards my supervisor after everything she has done to me. I said nothing but I instantly thought “You were not raised by my mother.” How much easier it must be to treat people well after a lifetime of watching your parents do nothing but.

As I said before I meet many new people on a daily basis. But I have honestly never met anyone I strive to be more like than my parents. I just wanted to remind everyone who we are. And I wanted to thank mom and dad for coming to visit and especially for being themselves.

Adam and Tonna Johnson"

Monday, September 15, 2008

Amy and Justin's Wedding


HAWAII and more!

I know I know, it's been FOREVER since we have blogged. If life would just slow down a little bit I might find a few minutes to tell everyone what has been going on in our lives. August was a crazy month. We were in California for our friends wedding, CONGRATULATIONS Amy and Justin Thomas! 2 Weeks later Ben's Grandma, Maria Bugar, passed away so we took the weekend and drove to Oregon to celebrate her life and spend time with the family for the funeral. Then, one week later we were off to the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii. Goodness, that was a blast. I am sure everyone knows, but I will tell you again, Hawaii is awesome. We played, ate, swam, layed out at the beach, went snorkeling, ate Shaved Ice at Matsumotos, went on a Catamaran ride, experienced Pearl Harbor, did a session at the Laie Temple, saw men climbing trees at the Polynesian Cultural Center, took the Pineapple Express, hiked up Diamond Head and loved every second. Thank you to Cowdery for playing tour guide. We really had a wonderful time and will be coming again! (when we have more free airline tickets) It is a good thing that Ben and I love traveling together cause that was all August was.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Ok, so by now I am sure you have done a million of these, but I am interested to see what people have to say.

Here are the directions: 1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I have had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember. This can be about me or Ben. 2. Next, repost these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It is actually pretty funny to see the responses.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

About that bike...

Yes, I did crash on the bike; however, in my defense, I totally got like 10 feet of air, and did a back flip, and did a twist, and tied my shoes, saved the world from evil, watched a movie, and saved the my precious little Archie from getting landed on.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


So, in the past 3days I have been at the American Fork Hospital 3 times. On Friday I was able to go to the hospital only hours after my new neice, Addysen Capri Johnson, was born. She is a beautiful and precious baby. I am so excited to be there for another baby in the family. Mom and Baby are both doing great! It is crazy to see my little brother as daddy to two girls. Wow! Being in California for the last two neices, Hailey and Avery, was really hard for me. So, it's exciting to be around for this new little one. I went and saw little Addy Friday morning and then Ben and I went and saw her together Friday night.

That's twice, right? The third time wasn't such a positive experience. Today, I came home from my Relief Society meeting to find Ben lying on the couch with a wet cloth over his eye. He told me he had fallen. I looked at his eye and saw that he had definitely hit it on something, it was scraped and bruised. When I continued to ask for details he could remember nothing of the incident. I then proceeded to find out that he had been laying on the couch for two hours. I started to pry and found that he didn't remember even what day it was, why he was there, when I had returned, whether or not he had a bike (he bought a new bike yesterday). He kept saying the same things over and over and over again, "what day is it?" "what happened?" "my head hurts" "is my bike ok?"" "do I have a bike?" "what day is it?"...and so on and so forth. It was so scary. Anyone who knows Ben would have probably had the same first reaction I did, "Stop faking it, you're being dumb" because that is something Ben would totally do! It wasn't until he had kept saying the same things over and over again for at least 10 minutes that I realized this is for real. I called my mom, and started to bawl. I was scared. What a strange feeling it is to have the same conversation with someone over and over and over again and have them just not remember! I rushed him to the Instacare who proceeded to tell me they could not handle his case and to take him to the E.R, so off to AF we went. After 3 hours and a CT scan, we were told he had a concussion and some amnesia. Yes..amnesia. Scary! We were finally able to leave but, that was only after Ben had said to almost every nurse or doctor "You look familiar, do I know you?" Their response...."Probably because I was in here 5 minutes ago".... Ya, crazy! He didn't even remember Tiff had the baby. When I told him that, he freaked out. WHAT? REALLY, when? He is doing better now, but he is on close surveilance for 24 hours. I am just so grateful to have my husband back and acting "normal". I missed him!
Those are going to be our only hospital visits for a long while! 3x is plenty!

Ben looking miserable, it looks much worse in person! The culprit, this is what I get for letting him buy a bike!

Sweet little Addysen Capri, what a cutie!
The cute family. We love you guys.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Me after completing my first organized bike ride..36 miles! Woohoo! Ben is on the phone congratulating me, what a sweetheart!
Justin and cute Avery in St George!
Ben and I at the Anniversary Inn
Ben's best bud, Jared.

So, I should probably take the time to tell everyone what we have been up to lately. It has been a VERY busy couple of months with a lot going on. I am not even sure where to start.

Medical: I am done with Lupron...hallelujah! Let's just say, there is a reason we only have to go through menopause once in our life. If you are ever curious about what it feels like to have a hot flash or what night sweats really feel like..ask me, the expert! Honestly, only 3 months of those shots and I was SO done. Good news was, no extra facial hair! Woohoo! I am just glad to be done. My blood test (CA-125) was normal(29), which was great after being in the thousands previous to surgery and the shots. I have since had both a regular ultrasound as well as a saline sonogram (WORST experience ever, I will spare you the details) and both confirmed that my ovarian cysts are back on both sides. We have started meeting with an infertility doctor and he insists that he will have to do another surgery before doing any kind of treatment. He also says his preference would be to do surgery and immediately start the IVF process. Since we don't have the money to do that, i think surgery will wait. Plus, who wants to have 3 of the same surgeries in less than 18 months? not me..
Ben is healthy as ever. Actually, he went in recently for a physical and his doctor could not stop raving about his healthy heart and how he could go out and run a marathon no problem!

KIDS: During the month of May we had the opportunity to start the training to be foster parents. I spent 36 hours in a classroom learning all about how to be a parent. i think everyone should have to take classes, they were so great! Ben only had to come to 12 hours, but I got all the good information. now we just have to finish our paperwork and a home study and we will be able to have kids in our home. We are taking our time. We want to do it, but we since it's summer we figure we have a few months. Since we both work, what would kids do during the day? Another thing we are doing to give us a taste of parenting..we got a job as weekend houseparents at the Family Support and Treatment Center in Orem. This is where Rachelle works and she referred us. We get to go once a month for a 24 hour shift and take care of kids. We did our first weekend this last week. It was great, but tiring. We had up to 11 kids at a time, all under the age of 11. We loved it though and it is great practice.

Fun: 2 weeks ago we had a great weekend! Ben and I went to a time share presentation (love em) and earned a free weekend at Anniversary Inn in Salt Lake. It was so much fun to just get away and enjoy time together. We got the Mountain Retreat room and although it was a bit dungeonish, it was just what we needed. The next day we met up with Ben's best friend, Jared, and his wife Amy and drove to St George to spend the weekend with some of my favorite people. My little sister, Jessica and her husband Justin and baby Avery are out there. we had a blast seeing their new house, swimming in the community pool, going on a bike ride and just being together. It was a great time and a much needed break. Then, this past weekend Jess and her family were in town, plus my very best friend and her husband were visiting. Kimmie was here, showing off her cute prego belly, and although I didn't get to see her much, I was so glad I got to see her at all. I wish all my friends were closer!

Oh ya....I also rode in the Little Red Riding Hood bike ride up in Logan last weekend. I only went 36 miles. My friends Tiffany and Jennica both rode 80...CRAZY! But, it was a big accomplishment for me. I might even try it again!

Sorry to share it all in one post, but life has been way too busy. Ben is in school full time and working full time. I am working full time. We both have pretty big callings and so on and so forth. I am sure you all know what I mean when I say that life has just gotten away from us lately. It seems like there is just no time to sit down and catch up.

Before and After!

So, everyone seems to think that I love my dog more than life. I thought you would all get a kick out of the fact that we both cut our hair this week. See below for before and afters. Let me know which you think is cuter?..
Archie shaggy and cute!
Archie after..still SO cute!
Carmen before....shaggy and cute!
Carmen after...not so shaggy, but still cute..right?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I just had to quickly give a quick "shout out" to all those who started on one of life's greatest adventure with me 10 years ago today. May 20, 1998 I entered the MTC, called to serve in the Taiwan, Taipei mission. Before that day, I was scared to death of all that the future held. It was the unknown. But, once my family walked out of those doors and I was all alone...things all fell into place. I hadn't been in the MTC more than 5 minutes when I heard a sister behind me telling someone she was going to the Taiwan, Taipei mission. I waited for her and introduced myself. She was Susie Jackson; tall, smart and gorgeous (just ask all the Elders that asked to take their picture with her). We talked and got to know eachother on the way to getting our tags and room assignments and any missing immunizations. It was upstairs, after talking for at least 30 minutes that we were informed we were to be companions! Wow, were we excited! That was just the beginning. We had two other GREAT roomies, Sister Mecham who was going to a different Taiwan mission, so she was in our District and Sister Hutchings who would be going to Hong Kong. She was the only sister in her district. By the time we went to class to meet the rest of our district and our teachers, we were having a blast. Those poor Elders looked like they were going to pass out from fear and anxiety and then enter the annoying sisters, laughing and gigging like we had been best friends for years! That was one of the best days of my life. The MTC was one of the best experiences of my life. I loved every single second of it, and the people I met there are still my good friends today. I have lost contact with some, but never will I forget the people that were there with me as I truly gained my testimony and became a Missionary! Here's to you, Sister Jackson, Sister Mecham, Elder Scott, Elder McGrath, Elder Leavitt, Elder Diderickson, Elder Eastman, Elder Skousen, Elder Thrift, Elder Wilde! I hope you are all doing well and know how thankful I am for you and for the experience that started that day and changed my life!
The best district ever! Ya, we look a little crazy and i had to take pictures of my pictures, cause my scanner isn't working! I know, ghetto!
The 4 roomies, always finding a way to make things fun!
Me and Sister Jackson...told ya, she's gorgeous huh?!
The district in front of the Provo Temple!
The last night of the MTC with our great teachers! We loved them. (take a look at Guan Zhanglao's hair, (elder McGrath))

Sunday, April 6, 2008

I ain't scurr'd

Thats right folks, that is me in the pictures getting my face, nails, and toe nails painted. I won't be ashamed to admit that is was very relaxing. I hadn't cut my toe nails in awhile and one of the girls got the privilege to cut, file, and paint my toe nails. She will be blessed for her kind hearted service. I can definitely see why girls love going to a Spa to get "treated", though my treatment wasn't 5 star I was more than willing to lay down and be pampered. So what if I had make up on and got my nails painted? If it meant 8-12 year old girls having fun and me taking a short nap, then BRING. IT. ON. Like I said, I ain't scurr'd. I would've even paid them had they given me a foot massage, I got no shame. I would've used my bartering skills to have my feet massaged for a quarter of the going rate. I'd have low-balled them saying something around 1 or 2 dollars for the foot massage, and then used them being high on all the sugar and sweets to my advantage and sweet talked them into believing it was a good deal for them. You may all question my sales-men skills, but let me ask you; how do you think Carmen ended up marrying me?? Huh? Huh? Yeah, I got skills. I got skills with a Z even! Like, skillz. Thats how gangstah I am.
So this weekend we all had the opportunity to watch/attend/listen to General Conference. I hope we all took some time from our schedules to watch or listen. It was as uplifting as it was sanctifiying. The men and women who spoke were specifically chosen to help lead and guide us in this dispensation. It was true when the speakers pointed out how strong the presence of the Spirit was. I know I felt it. Isn't it amazing how simple the Gospel works? Really, if you boil it down, it's all about having a broken heart and contrite spirit. Once we feel an impression or prompting from the Holy Ghost all we need to is be obedient to it and simply follow it. How can you go wrong with that? And if we do fall short, there's a way where we can change, be forgiven and start all over again. It seems those two simple principles are the two basic gears that run this whole process. We live in an exciting time. All around us there are many, many blessings being placed upon our brothers and sisters. I am so grateful for my wife, I've learned tremendously through her example. She keeps me grounded, yet acknowledges my goofiness and has the patience to let me be myself. She is my friend. She has taken care of me and helped me know that God does have a plan for us, that He lives, that his Son lives, and that I can be forgiven of my sins. My relationship with her has helped me cherish my testimony of the Restoration, of Joseph Smith, and continued revelation, and that I know this is the only true and living Church. I know all this because I love her. My love for her was born out of my love for the Gospel. They are one and the same, without either I could not survive. Thank you honey for everything you do. And yes, I'll be more than happy to walk the dog. I love you.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Party Time!

I never knew 8-12 year old girls could be so fun. we had my neice, Monika's, birthday part at my house last night. First we had all the friends and family over for Ice Cream Cake and then just the girls stayed for a sleepover. We had a blast! Monika blowing out her birthday candles (by the way, Happy Birthday Mom (Grandma))
Savannah, Me, Monika, Sara and Taylor, after gettin back from Wal-Mart buying junkfood and picking up chick flicks.
So, I gave the girls little "spa" baskets, with makeup and nail polish included. Looks like Ben got to be their model. What a good sport, I think he may have even enjoyed it!
Taylor was the first one to fall asleep...they warned her!
Sorry, this is a mistake picture, but I can't figure out how to get it off.
So, last night was a ton of fun. I have many more pictures, maybe I will put them on Facebook!
I love my neice and am so glad she came to my house to have her party! Thanks Monika, Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart!

Today is the anniversary of the best day of my life! I can say that honestly too. I married my best friend 2 years ago, on March 11, 2006. I didn't even realize then how very right the decision I had made was. I waited 28 years for Ben and he was worth it! I don't tell him enough, but I am so lucky to have him. He is the best thing that ever happened to me. There is a song that expresses perfectly how I feel about Ben. "He is everything I need that I never knew I wanted, He is everything I want that I never knew I needed". The Lord knew what i needed and what I wanted better than I did and he gave me it in Ben. Thank you sweetheart, for loving me and taking care of me. Happy Anniversary!

Cheesy, I know, but it was so fun!

That's Ben for ya!

I loved my cake!
I know, i am obsessed with China, but everything was so perfect!

Aiden and Regan, the life of the partyThe Crisanto Men

Throwing snowballs, no rice for us

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Internet

So, I just have to quickly say that although I don't know what I would do without it, sometimes the internet is a curse. Let me explain. I am lucky enough to be starting a new medication tomorrow. Ben and I both feel good about it and feel like it's the next step in realizing our goals for the future. I will be getting my first of three monthly shots tomorrow morning. I have realized one very important thing, once you have decided on something and know you are going to do it, DO NOT research it, DO NOT look it up on the internet, DO NOT! I may sound extreme, but the past few days I have been looking up this medication online and it is scaring the crap (excuse my language) out of me. I have to continue to remind myself that no one shares their good stories, people only want to share the bad. All I have been reading online is how awful the side effects are, how I am going to feel like I am 60 years old instead of 30, how CRAZY I will be, how fat I will get, how bad my skin will get, how much hair I am going to lose, how much sleep I will not get, how much my bones will hurt, and so on and so forth. It's all bad, no good and it is scaring me to death! But, I got an answer. I prayed and I know this is what I am supposed to do. This is the right thing for us and I have to move forward with faith. So, I may hate the internet at this moment, but I am so blessed to know that we receive personal revelation from the Lord. He knows what is best for us, and He will let us know what that is, if we ask. There is a plan for each of us and how glad I am to know that!
Oh...and everyone that is reading this...please remind me I said all of these things when I am in the thick of it!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Girls Weekend

This may disgust you, but that's our stash of treats for the weekend...swedish fish, doves, twizzlers, M&M's and so much more~
Jennica and Linds in the kitchen...making more treats
mmm, yummy and pretty fruit pizza
yep, we bought matching coats and don't we look good. I am poor, the girls got pedicures and i am the one in the holy socks, hee hee!
My 3 best friends getting pedicures. Yes, being pampered is definitely an important part of girls weekend
Hmmm, that's quite the look Kimmie.
Oh, now she looks all sweet, when she knows the camera's on her. BTW, Britney Spears brought us 4 together, I will be forever grateful!
Sweet Lindsey, can you believe she's a mother of 3 and a dentist's wife, how did we get so old?
Nica, looking beautiful and chipper, as always
So, just a quick update on the above pictures. Me and my best friends from college (and after) Jennica , Lindsey, and Kimmie get together and do girls weekend every year, or more. This is our third in the past 12 months. It is a blast to get a way and spend time just doing girl things. We talk....and talk and talk and talk. We shop, we eat, we watch tonz of movies, we get makeovers, we just do fun girl stuff. It honestly is something I look forward to for months. I love these girls. As you can see from the pictures, we had a great time.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Two words: No Cancer

For those of you who don't know, Carmen went in to have a Laper-something-octomy (where the doc drains her cysts) but because of tests that came back positive for cancer our doctor also looked around to see if there was cancer and found no signs indicitive of cancer. The doc took a biopsy of the cysts and the tests will come back next Wednesday but needless to say we were pretty excited and relieved (he's positive that they'll come back negative). Well, I would something spiritual or deep, maybe even philisophical but I don't know what else I could say, except thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. I know that they helped. The doctor did say he found something unusual though, while he was draining the cysts he found what seemed to be a foreign object, that "object" turned out to be an alien. Yes, that's right folks, my wife was harboring illegal aliens, just joking. Seriously though, the alien object was taken to a local research laboratory to be tested, it turns out the alien was a growth, the growth was harmless however it affected Carmen's ability to differentiate her affection towards her husband versus her dog. The object named, carmenlovesherdogmorethanben (it's latin for "carmen loves her dog more than Ben"), somehow had turned symbiotic while increasing in size, it amazingly turned Carmen's affection towards our dog into an infatuation, basically the symbiote injected enzymes into her blood stream altering normal levels of affection. The doctors' and I concluded that it is this reason is why Carmen treats our dog like a child, a human child, that can speak and communicate like humans do when in reality it really can't and that the only thing our dog is capable of is licking itself and eating tampons. The doctors have prescribed medications that will help re-balance Carmen's sanity and diagnosis is that she will be well and whole once again when I fatten and roast our dog on a spigget to eat.
*Please note: there will be a lua-ow at the Crisanto's home in about a month's time.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

too much to say, too little time!

I really don't have a lot of time to write, but it's been way too long. Our computer died and we had to get a new one,(thank you to Ben's mom and to Nate for helping us out with that).
VERY important, MORE important than my health issues, my BABY brother got married on January 25th in the Manti Temple to Melissa Rose and I am SO happy for them and proud of them. I will write more about that later, along with a bunch of other things.
So, I will give everyone a quick update on me. the last you all heard I had to go back in and do the CA 125 blood test again. well, good news was that it had dropped from 2000 to 645. Bad news was that normal is 35, so 645 was still too high to ignore. The oncologist had me come back in and apologized for having missed it the first time. He told me again that he was confident that it wasn't cancer, but that he would suggest I do a PET/CT scan to get a better look at what was going on. We went in the following week and did that. I will write another post on the details of that, it was very entertaining. This week we went back into the oncologist to get the results and were informed that even though he (the oncologist) was still confident it's just the endometriosis, the radiologist reading the scan didn't agree and felt that there was definite possiblity of malignancy. So....long story short, I am going into surgery on Wednesday, February 6. The doctor will be doing a diagnostic laparoscopy. They will look inside, see what it looks like first and he will remove tissue. While I am still under do a biopsy and get the results. If it comes back that its not cancer he will just remove the cysts. If it comes back that it is, he will remove whatever has been infected, could be one ovary, could be both, could end up being a complete hysterectomy. Obviously, that's a big word for anyone that isn't done having kids yet, let alone someone who hasn't even started. We feel confident that it's not cancer, but have faith that no matter what happens the Lord is watching out for us and does not give us anything we can't handle.
I love you all and appreciate your love and support.

Monday, January 14, 2008

hello again

So, it seems everyone else is figuring out this blog thing, the picturus, the captions, the backgrounds, the links. I just can't do it! Oh well, I will figure it out, it just seems to be taking me a lot longer than everyone else. Haha, if anyone wants to give me lessons, i am totally up for it.
I got a call from my gynecologist today, Dr. Watabe. It turns out that the Oncologist thought my CA 125 level was normal....not sure how that is possible, since I had a conversation with him about it..but, I guess he wasn't listening. I had to go back in and have blood drawn today to check it again. If it is still elevated I will be going back in to meet with the Oncologist on Wednesday. We will just wait and see what happens. It's a little frustrating because it makes it feel like last weeks appointment may have been useless, but I really feel like things happen the way they are supposed to. Anyway, it was a week of relief and hopefully that lasts, but we will see.
Hopefully my next post will have to do with something other than my health. By the way, I just have to say that my husband really has been the best through this whole thing. He does so much for me and really is willing to do anything that will make me happy. I love him so much and hope I can do better at showing him that!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Okay, this is the last one!

Well,life is much better! I went to see the Oncologist yesterday and although nothing is ever definite until you have surgery,he feels very confident that I don't have cancer. Actually, he feels like the cysts will resolve themselves and that all of my symptoms, including the blood test, are indicative of endometriosis. I wasn't pleased with just saying, "oh, the cysts will just go away themselves" because I have been through this before and they didn't, but he did say I would come back in a month and do another ultrasound to make sure they are getting better. Also, he told me I MUST do something about the endometriosis, so he put me on a low dose birth control that I will be taking continuously. So...I guess I can no longer say that Ben and I are trying to get pregnant. For the past 18 months I have really tried not to do anything that would hinder my fertility, but it seems that my body is doing that on it's own. Hopefully this will means no pain! That would be GREAT.
I have to say that I truly appreciate everyones love, concern and support. I started my blog just at the right time. It makes it easy to let people know what is going on in life without having to have difficult conversations with everyone. Plus, sometimes I really think we are all too good at acting like everything is great, when it just isn't. It does us all good to be served and to serve. I truly realized how loved I am over the past week. I have a wonderful husband, family, friends, ward, in-laws and co-workers. I really am surrounded by great people!

another-nother update

No seriously, they hurt. I'll be sitting and they'll start hurting. I'm also finding that in the mornings, my right shoulder, hurts... Oh and yeah, Carmen went to the doctors and they gave her some medicine... No biggy. Something thats really odd, the past couple of days I've choked on some wicked water, like I'll be drinking water and like, out of nowhere, I'll start choking, it really hurts my throat. Oh I forgot a couple of days ago, Carmen's stomach hurt...
I've been getting some crazy mad shin-splits lately...

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

another update

So I thought I would give you all a further update on our situation. I am feeling much better physically, so that is a blessing. On Friday I went in to see Dr. Watabe to have another ultrasound and to find out what the next step was in the process. The ultrasound was pretty uneventful, I have been through plenty of those. We went in to meet with the doctor, expecting him to go over the info in the ultrasound to figure out when we would be going in for surgery. I was really hoping that everything could wait until after Wednesday, Jan 9th, because I had this business trip that I really did not want to miss. Well, Dr. Watabe walked in, sat down,and said, "remember the blood test we had you do yesterday?". He proceeded to tell us that the normal level for the CA 125 blood test is anything under 35. They expect someone with endometriosis and my issues to have an elevated level, maybe about 50 or 60. My levels are at 2000. He proceeded to explain to me that with such high levels and the type of cysts that I have, they want me to go directly to meeting with an oncologist. So, that was how I left. "Well, you might have cancer, so enjoy your weekend".
I walked out of the office feeling totally fine. My little sister, Jessica, had a similar scare about 3 years ago and it all ended up fine. Then again, my older sister, Kristen, had also had a cancer scare that ended up being a reality. In a way, I think that made it easier to swallow. I have seen someone go through it and, although I would never wish it upon anyone, cancer doesn't mean a death sentence to me anymore. So, my initial reaction was good. I felt fine, wasn't worried at all. It wasn't until later that the fear set in.
I decided to look up stuff on ovarian cancer on the internet. Bad idea! I could not find anything about the CA 125 level being so high and I just didn't know what to make of that. It scared me. I honestly cried myself to sleep that night. I didn't know what to think. I woke up multiple times (the dog didn't help with that, he likes to wake me up). I finally just got out of bed at 5:30 on Saturday morning. I just couldn't sleep. I decided to go to the Temple, which truly was the best thing I could have done at the time. At the Temple I felt so much better. I realized that the Lord has a plan for me. I am doing everything I can to be led by Him, and what happens is His will for me. It may be hard to understand, but I felt a confidence in whatever happens.
Later that day, I finally found some articles that made me feel alot better. There are multiple articles about ruptured ovarian cysts causing such an elevated CA 125. I felt SO much more confident after reading that.
On Sunday, many of my family members fasted for me and our situation and I felt the power of knowing you are loved and supported. Sunday evening I was able to receive a priesthood blessing from two of my brothers, my dad and my husband. That was a once in a lifetime experience and one I will be forever grateful for. My brother, Nate, blessed me with comfort and I have felt that over the past couple of days.
I have since found out that the original oncologist that I was referred to is not covered by my insurance and have had to change my appointment. The situation ended up turning into me having an appointment tomorrow, instead of going on my business trip to California. I feel like I have let people at work down and I hate to feel that way. But, I felt strongly that I must put my health first and no matter how confident I am that I don't have cancer and my situation isn't extra serious, I need to do what the doctors tell me. So, I have an appointment tomorrow morning. We will hopefully be able to get some questions answered and to get surgery scheduled.
Oh, also, amongst all of this craziness, Ben and I have been released as Activities leaders and given new callings. Ben is now the Secretary in the Young Men's Presidency and is so excited about it. I have been called as the 1st counselor in the Relief Society Presidency. Although I am nervous and feel a little unprepared for this calling, I have great confidence in the other members of the presidency and look forward to learning from them.
I know this has been a LONG post and only hope you all realize that writing this down is not only to keep you all updated but just for me to keep record of the goings on in our lives. Thanks for being patient with me!

Thursday, January 3, 2008


So, I just have to first say thank you to everyone that commented on my last post. I am so blessed to have family and friends that care so much and I appreciate all of your prayers and concern. I will give you a quick update, since for the first time in about 48 hours I am feeling close to normal. After I wrote on the blog yesterday morning I slept for a few hours and then went into work at about 11AM. I have only recently started a new job and the last thing I want to do is miss work. Ben wasn't very happy with me for making that decision, but I needed to go in to find out about my insurance and stuff also. I went in at 11 and got off after 6. It wasn't a very good day, honestly. I was still in a lot of pain, was taking plenty of pain killers which were making me feel really woosy and out of it, but weren't really touching the pain. So, I tried my hardest to stay in my chair as much as possible and not walk around. By the end of the day I was feeling really tired and really nauseated. My mom came and picked me up and I went straight to their house. I hadn't eaten at all so I thought maybe having a little food would help me feel better. BAD idea! Within minutes of eating I was in the bathroom. I was throwing up all night. I am sorry about the details, but it's hard to express how sick I was without the details. It really was shocking. I was in and out of sleep, everytime I would open my eyes I would start puking. I really was worried that I had overdosed on pain killers or something because it just felt like my body was trying to get rid of something. The doctor said though, that with the size and state of the cysts the nausea is normal. (it didn't feel normal) Anyway, finally at about midnight my uncle was able to prescribe me some anti-nausea medication and I finally slept through the night. I didn't end up going to work today, I was still way to sick and way too weak. All day I felt like I was in a fog. Ben and I went to the doctor at noon and talked about the situation. The doctor wants me to have surgery as soon as tomorrow. When I told him I have a business trip I am going on next Wednesday and I would like to schedule the surgery around that, he wasn't very happy with me. I guess I am going in for another ultrasound tomorrow for him to see if the cyst has shrunk. If so, he thinks it can wait. If not, he would prefer me to not go to California. Not a good way to start a new job. Also, he thinks he may have to do a cesarian type incision. I hate that idea, for many reasons! Anyway, I really hope things work out. I am sure they will.
Oh, update on the insurance. I will be covered with my work insurance, which is good. The bad thing is, it is an EXTREMELY high deductible plan. So, somehow, somewhere, we are going to have to come up with that money. I did find out that my work has a Cafeteria Plan that lets you put money in an account for medical expenses. It is pre-tax and you choose an amount and you can take that full amount right away, even though the money to pay it back is just removed from your paycheck. So, instead of having to pay thousands of dollars at one time, it will just come out of every paycheck. I signed up for that, because in a situation like mine, I know we are going to use that money and it will be a lot less painful to pay for it one paycheck at a time.
Anyway, sorry if this was too much detail, but it's kind of theraputic for me to write it down. Again, I appreciate everyone's prayers and concerns and know that the Lord will watch out for us and everything will work out.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Unpleasant surprises...

So, just one week after Christmas, a day full of many pleasant surprises, we have been granted some not so pleasant surprises. It is 7AM on January 2, 2008 and I have not been to bed yet. Ben and I just had the fun experience of spending the evening in the emergency room. Why the emergency room in the middle of the night? Well, last night at about midnight I was getting ready for bed. Mind you, I was really sick yesterday with a soar throat, earache and achiness so I hadn't even gotten out of my pajamas all day. Getting ready for bed consisted of brushing my teeth and washing my face. During that process I was struck with extreme pain in my pelvis. Now, to be honest, this is not an uncommon occurance for me. Having stage 4 endometriosis pretty much guarantees me my fair amount of pelvic pain, but this was pretty extreme and it came on really fast and really strong. Within 5 minutes I was crouched on all 4 in the middle of the living room unable to move, crying, sweating and eventually throwing up (sorry for the graphic details) everything I had eaten for the entire day. The vomiting lasted for about 30 minutes, I was sweating profusely and felt like there was nothing I could do to escape the pain. In the middle of this I asked my wonderful husband to give me a priesthood blessing, which he did. Honestly, within minutes I had stopped vomitting and was able to move onto the couch, a grand feat considering the pain I had been feeling moments before. I am grateful for small blessings. After the throwing up subsided, the pain spread from my pelvis area to cover my entire abdomen. Thankfully I have a father who can be woken at 1AM. He called my uncle, Kevin Johnson M.D. and I was instructed that if the pain was not gone within 30 minutes after taking 2 vicodin (sp?) we should go to the Emergency Room. Let me tell you people, that was the LAST thing we wanted to do. The timing of this was awful. I was covered on Ben's health insurance until 12/31/2007 (yes, 2 days ago), and became eligible for my health insurance as of yesterday (a vacation, so none of the paperwork is filled out or turned in). We had no idea if any of it would be covered. I have expressed to you how stressed we have been about pay for an emergency room visit and everything that may go along with it was not the option we wanted. We waited...and waited...and waited. Finally, at 3AM, after 3 hours of tremendous pain, we decided we needed to go. We proceeded to the American Fork hospital, me decked out in my pajamas, a bathrobe and a winter coat over top. I looked hot! So, we were there for 3.5 hours and after multiple tests it has been decided that I will be going in for my second laparscopic surgery in 12 months. The doctor, (who by the way was Steve Young's brother) wanted me to come in for surgery today, but I explained the whole insurance situation and asked if it could wait a day. He told me, "it's up to you, can you handle the pain?". So, it looks like I will be going in for surgery in the next couple of days. We are PRAYING that everything with the insurance works out, if not, we might be beggin on the streets by the time this whole thing is over. I know the Lord will provide, but it's a scary position to be in.
Sorry to give you all the details, but it was quite the adventure and one I wanted to share! I hope everyone had a happy new year and a better night that I did, haha!