Life Design

Lately, during wound care, we’ve been having Max do more of the painful stuff: pulling off the pressure garments, pulling off dressing that’s scabbed together, washing off the open wounds, etc. No matter how careful we are, it seems to be way less painful for him if he does it himself.

Today it dawned on me that when Max manages the whole process, he also manages his reaction to it. Instead of being the victim of the process, he becomes the creator of it.

I believe that we partnered with the Creator in the design of our lives. We believe that Max chose this as part of his life mission. We are inspired to see him embrace that choice as he “takes the wheel” of the whole experience.


Amazing Progress

Miracles Today:
• Before doing wound care today, we sat with Max and looked at photos of his wounds since the accident, which gave us perspective during wound care for the incredible progress we’ve made.
• Max (and all of us) were grateful to receive love from my parents who just retired and moved to Utah!!!

• We compiled a log of all the ways we used the natural solutions. It felt like a miracle to look back at the way the gifts of the earth have supported us on this journey.

Here are the questions Max gets asked the most:
What happened?
Max was making a firework and it went off in his hand. That set off the makings of 10 fireworks nearby.
Where did he have skin grafts?
Neck, chest, arms, and hands.
Where did the skin grafts come from?
His thighs.
What will the skin grafts look like?
Everyone heals differently. On his neck and hands, he has sheet grafts. On his chest and arms, he has mesh grafts.
What does recovery look like from here?
Daily wound care until all wounds close up. Three hours of physical therapy every day for the next 5 months.
When will he go back to school?
His goal is to return with his friends in 2 weeks. We are praying for a smooth transition into full-time school. We will adjust based on his needs. We welcome your prayers to this end.

Let Go


-Max’s dear friend Mason came to visit from Portugal today. The power of a friend is a miracle.
-During wound change we bring a laptop into our bathroom so Max can laugh and be distracted. Humor is a miracle.
-Despite all the miracles, the healing, and the help from dear friends, I still walked out of wound change feeling like I’m not enough. I took my dinner outside so I could cry by myself. Even though I was so frustrated and tired, nature reminded me to call out to Heaven instead of just let the frustration escalate. I felt God asking me, “When will you let go of all the things you cannot control and turn them over to me?” I thought I already had, but as I reviewed my current list of complaints…. the pain from stretching the grafts never seems to end, I’m tired of watching my son cry, why can’t this burden be removed- why must it be carried by him, why am I having to experience the effects of this stupid firework- Where did my carefree summer nights and days go where we connect with and serve others… I realized it was all about the things that I was still trying to change or control. I felt Him say, “You can hold on to all of this, but it will weigh you down and drag you down or you can turn it over to me and I’ll swallow it up and I’ll carry it. You can totally choose.” He’s so good at keeping me in choice and my heart melts and just bends to His ways. I wonder why or how I ever forget, but here I am letting go again. I’m done with being dragged, it stinks. I surrender to Him again. I trust Him. Life is different, but I’m claiming it can still be sweet with Him.

Thank you for your continued prayers for Max’s return to mobility and healing up the last open wounds.

I Choose You


Miracles today:
Abi blew kisses to Max today just like old times(she is getting used to her brother’s new look)
Max cried for joy when he heard his grandparents were coming. (Good to have tears of joy)
The itching of skin rebuilding is intense, so loving lavender on the bottoms of the feet & in a capsule as a natural antihistamine.
Sweet visits from dear friends. 
Max sat down to a computer & played mindcraft (this felt like Heaven to Max- creating- if even virtually)

17 years ago today, Andy & I began a beautiful marriage & family. We got to celebrate it today! The celebration looked a little different, but it’s so full of love I didn’t notice that it didn’t include a fancy dinner or getaway. I am so grateful to do life with this man. He inspires me to be who I truly am each day by just being near him. I am so grateful for the faithful father that he is and all the love that he brings to our life & home.

Here’s the Sara Bareilles song we were loving in the car a little over a month ago before Max’s burn. Now, I see why it resonated so well. Love you my man. And so grateful I get to be the other half of you!!! I would do it all again with you.

“But then you found me and everything changed
And I believe in something again
My whole heart will be yours forever
This is a beautiful start to a lifelong love letter

We are not perfect
We’ll learn from our mistakes
And as long as it takes
I will prove my love to you

I am not scared of the elements
I am underprepared, but I am willing
And even better
I get to be the other half of you

I choose you”

– Nat


The miracle I’m most grateful for today is you. 
How can I count the miracles?

  • You followed your heart and called off your engagement with Brent!
  • You chose me (17 years ago today)
  • You inspired me to stop working for “the man” 14 years ago
  • You brought 6 miraculous bundles of joy into our family
  • You followed your heart when it told you to listen in your first oils class
  • You invited me to join you full time in our oils business 5 years ago

You are the girl of my dreams, my partner in creation, my best friend. 
I can’t imagine doing life without you.

– Andy


We went to the hospital for physical therapy and wound care. Max’s hands look great. His wounds are closing up. His range of motion is improving.

What a miracle that our fingers and toes work, that our cells regenerate, that our wounds heal, that our bodies are so resilient!

We celebrated the miracles by going to Café Rio.


One of the tricks of daily wound care is removing the scars and dead skin. Usually, we do this with warm washcloths. It’s a slow process, and it’s tricky to keep Max warm, comfortable, and not riddled with pain. Today, Max took a bath for the first time. We were amazed at how easily and effectively the scars and dead skin floated off. Swim pools are out, but the doctors say baths are in. Life is good.

Patience hasn’t been one of my virtues. I like to “make things happen”, be a part of breakthroughs and progress, and just get things done. This whole experience is teaching me to trust the process more and truly be patient. While I want the skin to be all closed up and look normal in a day, that’s not a reality. What I do see however is line upon line, little progress here and there. Thank Heaven for the progress, growth, and healing we are all having today. It truly is a miracle. Bottom line is if this experience brings me nearer to my God, it’s a success.

“Nearer my God to Thee” has been one of our favorite through this experience and this arrangement by our dear friend James Stevens is lighting up our world!
Feel this:



Thank heavens for family – seems to make all loads lighter!

This “every day trust fall” we are in continues. Relying on Max’s words tonight, “if I could do it again, I wouldn’t change a thing.”
I trust. Here I go falling again.

Prayers are welcome for:
Open wounds to heal, his new skin to be flexible, his full range of motion & full energy to be restored (45% of his muscle mass was lost to atrophy)

Tender Mercies

Tender mercy: Today, I showed Max the chain he was wearing when he was burned a month ago. Max said that his counselor had given it to him at camp. His counselor had asked him to remember the phrase “in totum” which is Latin for “be whole”. Then it hit me that the first mantra we used in the hospital when Max woke up and was having dreams of his body parts all over was simply: “I am whole’. We repeated it and taught Max to say it with us through a few dark days. Today putting the pieces together helped us see more of God’s hand in this experience. Max spoke of how that phrase resonated and brought him peace amidst the confusion, darkness, and pain.

Miracles and tender mercies surround us.
“I … will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all .. because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.”
Max even went to sacrament meeting today! Beautiful Sunday together with our sweet family  🙂



The miracles today:
-Max walking up our front stairs and driveway. He is getting stronger. 
-When anyone else would just feel tired & justified, Max so wants to start school at the end of the month. He wants to do rigorous physical therapy and challenge himself daily to get there.
-I am grateful to be alive, here together at home, our little ones having joined us again after playing with cousins for the week. I remembered being in the hospital and praying to be home. I will remember the miracles and blessings no matter what.
-I am grateful to be done with wound care for another day. I am grateful he’s another day closer to healing.
-My body is tired of waking up in the night and remembering the essentials for healing in the day, but my heart is full of hope for my brilliant boy.
-Max wrote for the first time today. He picked up a pen and this is what came out- unassisted. “I am blessed. I am empowered.
I am strong. I am healing.
I am inspiring. I am inspired.”

I am
Love this thinking! Grateful for mental healing.

Pray for continued healing of the open wounds and the perfect healing for Max. Pray for rest that we may all be renewed and get the pain managed in a healthy way. Pray that his grafted skin can operate as much like his normal skin as possible. Pray that Max will be ready to go to school when the time comes! Pray for strength for others that are in pain.

New Normal

Even though today felt a bit normal, it was sprinkled with miracles. I’m leaning into this new normal:)

  • Awesome haircut by Alona here at home (to clean up that hospital cut)
  • Physical therapy at the burn unit- it’s a miracle to get out of there without full on sobbing several times:)
  • One of our main concerns has been hand and arm range of motion – in the past 3 days Max has gone from 110 degrees to 150 on his trickiest skin graft. Miracle!
  • Wound care at home (found 5 more staples and praying that’s the last of them)
  • And we even dropped in on a going away party for our dear friends the Huddlestons. (Max wanted to go, did great with questions & hugs, and did well recovering from all the excitement.)