On June 1, 2010 our two year old, "Little Air Bear," was diagnosed with Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Type M7. After enduring 146 days at Primary Children's Hospital, Erin is now in remission and living a full life at home with our family. Her strong will and constant happy smile is an inspiration to us all. Through our difficult circumstances we found great strength and peace in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you for checking in on us.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Festival of Trees

Over two months ago my friend, and old college roommate, Angela Hatch Maxwell (whose little brother Steve also happened to married my little sister Erin) asked me if she could do a tree for our Little Air Bear at the Festival of Trees.  I was so touched and cried and hugged her when she asked.  Little did I know how much effort she would put into the beautiful tree and the great gift that she and so many others gave us through that tree.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Festival of Trees, it is organized and orchestrated by volunteers through the state and relies on the generous support of those who decorate and purchase trees, wreaths, gingerbread creations, playhouses, centerpieces, and quilts.  More importantly, every penny raised helps children at Primary Children’s Medical Center.  The Festival raised $1,522,497.22 in 2009!

Here is Little Air Bear's Tree Display. 
It was located at E-9.

The whole display.

Erin's picture in her red dress and white head band.

The gorgeous tree.

Little Air Bear (red dress & white headband)
and Daddy Bear, reading the Christmas story.

Mama Bear overlooking her family.
She was even wearing high heels!

Cecily Bear playing her piano.

Caleb Bear reading books.

The Nativity. 
Thank you to Angela's brother-in-law who built the stable.

Thank you to everyone who donated and purchased the tree.
It was a HUGE surprise! 
We didn't even get it at first.  We were so clueless.
I thought we were just coming to check out the tree and see how beautiful it was, but in the end we found out that it is being delivered to our house on Sunday by UPS who donates their trucks for this cause.
I wish so much that Erin could have been able to come see her tree, it was such a magical experience.  But, I think she will love to see it at home and play with her little bear.  She is such a loved little girl.

And truly how thoughtful that the tree came with a little extra something.

Thank you so much!


Our wonderful night didn't end there.
At 11:20 pm we picked up my sister Annie from the airport.
She was the best missionary in the Sweden Stockholm Mission
Welcome home Annie!

I have felt the Christmas spirit so much stronger this year than ever before. 
It is through our trials that we are blessed. 
Blessed with friends, family, love, and most importantly,
an understanding of
our Savior's love for us!


  1. Oh, Jill that is so wonderful!! What an awesome surprise and what great friends you have! I loved the little display featuring your whole family. And that little bear with a red dress and headband is just too much! :)

    I've never heard of the Festival of Trees before this year - what a great thing! I really want to check it out in the future. I keep hearing about lots of incredible stories behind many of the trees. And hooray for such a worthy cause, too. The amount that was fundrasied last year is awesome!

    I love hearing about all the wonderful things that people do for our little fighters SO MUCH! I bet you feel like this, too, but reading (and experiencing) such incredible acts of kindness and thoughtfulness really do bring me so much strength and hope to face the challenges that come. There are so many wonderful people all around!

  2. Your tree looks amazing. What a wonderful friend you have! I loved that she dressed the bears up like your family and Erin's had the same dress and head band. Such a clever idea.

  3. What awesome friends and family you have! What a blessing to be surrounded by them. I love the bear family and "air bear." So cute. What a fun surprise. You guys are amazing, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Merry Christmas!

  4. You got some great pictures of the tree. I hope you have fun with it when it comes on Sunday! I love that picture of you and Annie. Everything seems more complete having her home.

  5. Wait a minute...your sister married Angela's brother? That is crazy! What a small world... The tree looks beautiful. You all make very cute teddy bears. :)

  6. Wow! Angela did such a great job on the tree. I'm so glad your family gets to keep.

  7. Haha no way! I totally know Annie from dance classes! Craziness!!

  8. Yeah!!! I'm so glad you loved it!!! It has been just the neatest experience! We had a lot of fun doing it and thinking about you guys! My heart's been totally endeared to you all. I just have one favor to ask... When Erin comes home will you take a family picture with the bears and send it to me?! I'd love to see you guys with it.

  9. Angela, we will take lots and lots of pictures and send them to you.