Pneumonia/Black Forest Fire

Last month, when
Lila was at the end
of her treatment cycle
 I brought her
to the doctor.
Something was off.
Fever, low energy,
lack of appetite.

The doctor checked her 
and found no infection.
Her pulse ox was
between 93-96.
No worries, right?

I told the doctor that
I knew something 
was brewing.
I told her that Lila
can go from fine to
gasping for air
in about 45 minutes.
We've seen it happen.

The doctor told me
to keep a close eye on her
and take her to the ER
if she got worse.

That evening I put
Lila to bed and checked
her pulse ox after she
went to sleep.
She was between 79-84.
Not good.
Nick put her in the car
and I took her to the ER.

Thankfully they put her
on oxygen as soon as
we got there
and sent us for
a chest x-ray.
We were headed
across town to
Children's Hospital
to be admitted.

Lila got to scratch
riding in an ambulance
off of her bucket list.
Something her mama
could have gone her whole
life without doing.
Scary stuff. 

We got settled in
at Children's
around 4:30 a.m.
That was Monday night/
Tuesday morning.

Lila is a tricky 
little patient.
She had the day 
nurse fooled into
thinking that she didn't
need the oxygen cannula
on while she was awake.
Thankfully she still
had the pulse ox probe
on her toe so the oxygen
was cannula was promptly
put back in her nose
when she started dipping
to 77-79.

On Wednesday she had 
improved a bit so  
the doctor said we could
go home with Lila
on oxygen.
we couldn't go home.
My husband had
gotten the reverse 911
call at home.
was threatening our home
and we were being evacuated.
Thankfully we have
amazing friends who came
over and helped Nick
pack up a lot of our

There was another catch.
Lila could be released from
the hospital only if she would
be staying somewhere that
had air conditioning.
Because the smoke from the
fire was affecting air quality
and she still had pneumonia.
We were planning on
going to a hotel

but our friends
Brandon and Jennifer
had family that
offered to let us
stay at their house.
They were on vacation
so their house was empty.
We were so blessed 
to be together,
in an air conditioned house,
without feeling like we were
imposing upon anyone.
In spite of the circumstances
it was an ideal situation
and we couldn't have 
been more thankful.

On Thursday we saw 
on the news that mandatory
evacuation calls had
gone out to some houses
that were only under
pre evacuation status.
We found out that we were
 only under pre evacuation status
at that time.

We decided to go out
to our house to grab a
few more things.

We took turns going in,
leaving the girls in the
car with the car facing
out so that we could
leave quickly if
we needed to.

As soon as I walked into
the house the phone rang with
a reverse 911 mandatory
evacuation call.
I ran upstairs to grab
a few things then
went back out to the car.
I told Nick that we had 
gotten an evacuation call
but he still wanted to 
run in for a minute.
That minute lasted
too long for my comfort.

I'm not a honk the horn,
yell out the window 
kind of girl.

That day was different.
I was honking the horn,
yelling at Nick to get
in the car.
I was scared. 
I would have run in to
get him but I
didn't want to
leave the girls.

I had waited about 5 minutes
when a state trooper
drove up our driveway
telling us to get out right away.
Nick was coming out of the
garage as the trooper
pulled around our
circular driveway.
Nick told the trooper that
we were leaving and the trooper
sped away, on to warn
our neighbors that they 
had to leave.

As we drove out
of the driveway I 
couldn't stop the tears.
I knew it could absolutely
be the last time we ever
saw our house.

As we got to the end
of our driveway
the trooper was
marking the mailboxes
signifying that everyone
had been told to evacuate.
I'm not sure why,
but I lost it. 

Here are 
some photos I took
not far from our house
after we left that day.

Watching the fire move closer to our house.

Fire retardant drops along Highway 83

National guard, police and media were everywhere.

Helicopters dropping buckets of water

By the time they got
the fire contained enough
for us to go home it had
come less than 3 miles
from our house.

Our driveway is right across
the street from Fox Run Regional Park.
The small road by the tree symbol
is our road.  Our driveway is about
1/2 mile long and our house sits
in the middle of the small road and
the larger road to the right,  which is 83.  
They made a huge effort to hold the fire 
so it didn't cross 83.
Thankfully they were able to do that.

Three days later
we were allowed to
return to our home.
Our home.
It had been spared.
 We got home a few
minutes before Tif did,
who had been out
of town with her dad's family.
It was a sweet reunion.

Home sweet home.
There's nothing like coming home
to an undamaged house 
after facing the very real
possibility of losing it all. 
It was overwhelming.

My favorite tree


The Black Forest fire
is being called
the most destructive
wildfire in Colorado history.
The fire burned
22 square miles.
Over 500 homes
were completely destroyed.
2 people perished.

We will help to rebuild
this community that we
fell in love with on
our house-hunting trip
eighteen months ago.

The messages of
gratitude to the
first responders
are everywhere.
They truly are heroes.


The word doesn't seem
to do justice to
the way I feel in my heart.

Grateful doesn't even begin to cover it.


  1. I've been following this on your Facebook page - yet this recap story still brought tears to my eyes. So thankful Lila is doing better and your home was spared. I continue to pray for those who lost their homes in the destruction. Thank you for sharing!

    -Becky Strauch

  2. So sorry for everyone who lost their home. I'm glad yours was spared : )