Thursday, December 1, 2011



Jeff graduated with his bachelor's degree in Business Management on May 21, 2011 from California State University-Sacramento. We are all so proud of him. Now he is busy filling out job applications to see where the future leads us.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


We went to Disneyland last week and had a blast. This is a fun video we took of my favorite ride- California Screamin'.

 Shanna and Jeff about to go on Jeff's favorite ride- Star Tours

 Trapped in a toy box
Shan and Mickey

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Birthday Fun

Love these girls. So glad we could have a fun birthday weekend together! 

 Before the whipped cream smashing
 After the whipped cream was smashed
 The culprit...Steph is going down
Lucille's BBQ-November 4

I got spoiled this weekend with hanging out with my family and eating lots of yummy food for my birthday! We went to Lucille's BBQ for dinner on Friday night. Then Saturday morning began with breakfast at the Original Pancake House in Rocklin. Saturday night ended the festivities with cake and ice cream at grandma's- and a lot of sisterly bonding. 

My actual birthday is today and it has been nice and quiet, with church and a fireside to go to. Jeff made me dinner and some very delicious funfetti cake cookies. Yummmy. Thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday and celebrated with me.

Funfetti cookies! Yum Yum

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Happy Sunday!

We have been busy the last couple of months. I started school in August and will graduate in May 2012 with a bachelor's degree in Child Development. Jeff finished his Business Management degree and graduated in May from Sac State. We joined a softball league and had lots of fun on our team, "Freaky Friday." We played for a month and a half every Friday night, and finished 3 and 4. We went to Hawaii in April and Colorado and Utah in July. My sister got married! We went to our family cabin for Labor day. We are going to Disneyland in two weeks and can't wait for our family cruise in February! I will turn 26 next week and can't believe how fast time goes. We are so blessed, even amidst everything we went through this Summer and continue to go through.
Kauai- April 2011 with Jeff's parents

Jeff, Shan, Steph and Austin at Sacramento temple-
July 1, 2011
Jen, Mom, Steph, Austin, and Dad- July 8, 2011
Families are Forever


Cabin-Labor Day 2011
 Twin BFF's- Amanda and Jen
Shan and Jeff in Big Trees-September 2011

We know the Lord hears our prayers and has sent people in our lives to uplift and teach us. We couldn't be more grateful for the support and love we have from everyone around us- near and far. We are learning more intently what faith is as we go through the difficult trial of losing Boston. We are, somewhat reluctantly, learning that it is His will and not ours. We enjoyed every second of general conference and had so much hope in the future as we listened to the Prophet and Apostles. One of many of my favorite talks can be read here.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Our Baby Story

I’ve always wanted to have children since I was little. I remember growing up playing house and thinking about my goal of becoming a teacher. I loved babysitting as a teenager and I enjoyed having a sister that was ten years younger than me so I could treat her like my own “daughter.” When I was nine years old, I was diagnosed with diabetes and Crohn’s disease in the same week. I quickly grew up and began dealing with health challenges I never thought I would be dealt. However, my goal of becoming a mom and raising children never faded. I knew I could do it. I began college and decided to major in child development- I felt that was the best path to fulfill my lifelong goal of being the best mom in the world (after my own mom of course!).

I began dating Jeff and could tell how important family was to him. Whenever the topic of kids came up while we were engaged he would always say he wanted “to have as many children as the Lord blessed us with.” He was intrigued with his little nephew, Isaiah, and I could just tell that raising kids with him by my side was going to be one fun ride! We married in March 2007 and life was busy. School and work occupied most of our time and quickly health problems arose for me. As much as I wanted to add to our family, I knew that my health needed to improve so I could have a healthy baby of my own. Health problems continued and looking back I am not sure how I got through each day. I was having monthly blood transfusions and not getting better. It finally came to a point where Jeff and I didn’t want to wait to have children any longer, we knew the Lord would provide the way for us to expand our family. So, we logged onto and looked for adoption options. Then we filled out the paperwork, met with our bishop and we were about to write a check when I got a weird feeling. I felt like it was almost too good to be true when I took a pregnancy test and saw the plus sign on it. On January 21, the first reaction I had was scared. I knew my health problems might pose a problem on our little baby so I made a doctor appointment with the high risk department and made a plan to be the healthiest I could be for our baby no matter what happened.

My stomach problems got incredibly better and my diabetes was difficult but manageable with the team of doctors I had. I continued taking my medicine and vitamins, I got healthier and felt great. I didn’t have a day of morning sickness and I slept great. My high risk doctors followed me closely and I faxed in blood sugars every couple of days so they could adjust my insulin levels. We found out at 15 weeks that we were having a boy and we thought the name Boston sounded like a great name for a cute little boy playing little league.

I got sick around 9:30pm on the Sunday before the fourth of July. I began throwing up and feeling awful. I had just entered the third trimester and I heard that is when morning sickness comes back. So I just figured I had morning sickness or food poisoning. I noticed more swelling than normal but I attributed that to the summer heat. Meanwhile, I stayed home and kept throwing up. I called Kaiser’s advice line and they told me I should be okay if I could keep food down some of the time. I stayed home Tuesday because I still wasn’t feeling great. Then Wednesday morning I had an ultrasound appointment. I was 29 weeks. Jeff and I went to Morse Avenue and saw our little guy with a heartbeat of 150 bpm. I was happy to see a heartbeat since I was so sick earlier in the week. I went to work after the appointment.

The next morning I had a high risk appointment in Roseville. Jeff was going to be at work, so I decided to take my sister Jen with me. I picked her up and off we went to the doctor. The nurse took my blood pressure and told me I needed to go to labor and delivery immediately. I wasn’t nervous yet, since yesterday’s ultrasound was normal, or so I thought. My sister and I joked the whole way to labor and delivery and I even told them I couldn’t stay long because my sister was getting married the next day.

They got me in a room and they gave me a gown and hooked me up with fetal monitors. The nurse began looking for the heartbeat and she couldn’t find it. I thought she was a new nurse and didn’t know what she was doing. She called in Dr.Zimmerman to check for the heartbeat and he looked over to me and said there was no heartbeat that he could find, he even called in another doctor to check. I told him “no, you’re wrong, my ultrasound was fine yesterday, his heart was beating.” And he looked straight in my eyes and said “your baby passed away overnight, I am sorry.” I was in shock, no tears, no frown, no screaming. I was silent and I was hurting inside but I still didn’t want to believe it. I wasn’t going to believe it. I needed my husband to tell me it was all a mistake. My sister was there with me in the room and my dad had shown up because my sister told him to come. Soon, Jeff came and didn’t know a thing. We have been in plenty of hospital rooms together while I have been the patient so this was not something new to us. He waltzed in and I was stone cold with my eyes focusing on a picture in the room. My family left the room and I burst into tears. I cried and cried and looked up to Jeff and said “we were so close.”

The next four days were a blur. I found out I would have to deliver my stillborn son and that my blood pressure was dangerously high- 195/120. I had developed severe Pre-eclampsia and would have to be hooked up to magnesium to prevent seizures and wait until after I delivered to have my blood pressure come down. My high blood pressure and condition had cut off the blood supply to my placenta and Boston wasn’t getting the blood he needed. I didn’t sleep unless I was knocked out through IV meds, I didn’t eat because I wasn’t hungry, I missed my sister’s wedding because I was in the hospital. The doctor’s gave me a day to think about everything that was happening and on Friday night they asked me if I was ready to go into labor. They gave me medicine to start labor and nothing really happened. I was then given pitocin and within an hour I went from a three to a ten. I got an epidural, it took three tries and didn’t really work because my body was so swollen. I felt the pain of contractions and labor but it wasn’t too bad. At 3:20am on Saturday, July 9 I delivered my sleeping son. He was 2 pounds 6 oz. and 16 inches long. He had long toes and a button nose. He also had lots of hair. I loved him the second I saw him, I knew he was mine and that I was a mother. We got to spend the morning and afternoon with him next to us. We were able to hold him and take pictures with him. It was the most precious day I have ever had. I could literally see Heaven in my little boy’s face. His spirit was with us in that hospital room.

I don’t know why tragic things happen to people or why this had to happen to us. Life has not been easy since our little Boston passed away. But we do have hope in the future, hope that we will see him again, hope that our eternal family will one day grow larger, and hope in the gospel. We will meet again and forever be joined in the eternities. Today is my due date, the date Boston was supposed to come into the world and bless our lives. However, we find comfort in knowing that he is in a better place and blessing the lives of others. We are grateful for the time we had with him here on earth and he will always be loved and never forgotten.

We love you Boston. Love, Mommy and Daddy

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Our Boston wall, done by Jeff's brother Phill.

Today has been a hard day- someone made me cry. I thought I was prepared for people saying things and I vowed not to get offended when it happened. But it was so much harder than I thought. I couldn't keep the tears from coming. Each day has it's ups and downs and yesterday was a great day. But I only know yesterday was great because I have had not so great days.

"For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility." -2 Nephi 2:11

I know the atonement is real and the only person who knows exactly the way I feel is my Savior. This talk has brought me comfort lately.

"I believe that mortality’s supreme test is to face the “why” and then let it go, trusting humbly in the Lord’s promise that “all things must come to pass in their time." -Lance B. Wickman

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Tiny Footprints

These are my footprints,
so perfect and so small.
These tiny footprints
never touched the ground at all.

Not one tiny footprint,
for now I have wings.
These tiny footprints were meant
for other things.

You will hear my tiny footprints,
in the patter of the rain.
Gentle drops like angel's tears,
of joy and not from pain.

You will see my tiny footprints,
in each butterflies' lazy dance.
I'll let you know I'm with you,
if you just give me the chance.

You will see my tiny footprints,
in the rustle of the leaves.
I will whisper names into the wind,
and call each one that grieves.

Most of all, these tiny footprints,
are found on Mommy and Daddy's hearts.
Cause even though I'm gone now,
We'll never truly part.

“Dear Heavenly Father, I do not know how I can go on. I have nothing left—except my faith in Thee. I feel, Father, amidst the desolation of my soul, an overwhelming gratitude for the atoning sacrifice of Thy Son, Jesus Christ. I cannot express adequately my love for Him. I know that because He suffered and died, I shall live again with my family; that because He broke the chains of death, I shall see my children again and will have the joy of raising them. Though I do not at this moment wish to live, I will do so, that we may be reunited as a family and return—together—to Thee.”

None of us makes it through this life without problems and challenges—and sometimes tragedies and misfortunes. After all, in large part we are here to learn and grow from such events in our lives. We know that there are times when we will suffer, when we will grieve, and when we will be saddened. However, we are told, “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.”

I testify to you that our promised blessings are beyond measure. Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us. My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.

-From an excerpt from Thomas S. Monson's talk, "Be of Good Cheer"

Monday, July 11, 2011

Boston Lee Cardenaz

Because we know you care about us, we want you to know that on July 9, 2011 our wished for baby passed quickly through our lives. We are saddened, but we know that we will see him again. You can help us through this difficult time by letting us talk about our sorrow when we feel the need, allowing us to cry when we want, and not pretending everything is okay when it's not. We are grateful for the atonement of our Savior and our testimonies of the plan of Salvation. We are a forever family through temple blessings. It will take time, but with your support we will make it.

*Graveside services will be held next week.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Guess who is going to swim sectionals?! This gorgeous girl...and she is going to rock it. Jeff and I have loved going to her meets and cheering her on. She always does great and she is ALWAYS improving her times. We love her and are so proud of her. Way to go Jen!

P.S.- Baby boy is doing great...he is now the size of a soda can and I am halfway through the pregnancy!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


This year has gone by so fast already and has brought great blessings. Life is going wonderful-we leave for Hawaii on Wednesday (same day as our 4th wedding anniversary), my health has been improving each day, Jeff graduates in May and we are expecting a little baby boy in September. Miracles happen and we are so grateful to be a part of them each day. Life is good... and we are a forever family!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011!

Shanna and Jeff at the North Highlands Community Center

Glow Pretzel by Jeff

Nice stache'

T.M.I...nuff said