Friday, June 30, 2017

Words

The words you speak become the house you live in // http://www.empoweredyoganw.com #empoweredyoganw #empoweredkris:





This week has been sponsored by 'Words'.

Words that cut.
Words that question.
Words that appease.
Words that mean nothing.
Words that mean everything.
Words that bind, keeping a person in their place.
Words that crush.
Words that injure.
Words that lie.
Words that roll easily off the tongue without looking back.
Words that nick and mar as they stumble out and upon.
Words that are wild with anger.
Words that burn.
Words that ache and words that offend.
Words that are sad, crushing and confused.
Words that once spoken, will never be forgotten.

But then, when the words had all been said and what was done had been done...

There were other words.

Words that mended.
Words of truth.
Words to  heal.
Words of meaning.
Words that connect.
Words that build.
Words so softly spoken.
Words that came out of nowhere from forgotten friends.
Words to soothe and repair the broken spirit.
Words to knit a person back together.
Words to resuscitate, remedy and renew.
Words to encourage.
Words to restore peace, even if just for one moment; to steal away the words that left such stinging residue.

Words are powerful and never as temporary as we often believe they are.  Words leave their mark; marks which may fade but will never be forgotten.

I have witnessed both sides of words this week.  I have seen spoken words runaway with a fire to ignite what little was left in a broken soul. I have seen the love of strangers, armed with words she almost believed.  If nothing else, maybe for a scarce moment, she could see how she was deserving of better, instead of settling for bad.

And that's been my week.  And it's so very, very sad how easily we fabricate new versions of each other with the words we speak with such little regard and thought. So, those closest to your words, pick them up,  think they hold precious truths but they are merely words of lies and you are no longer who you thought you were, but now an image of unflattering words and you have no say...that is how you will be remembered.  Is there anything quite so sad?


Photobucket

Monday, June 26, 2017

Hold on thy way

We have had a tumultuous weekend!  I think a couple of posts back, I predicted some rough waters coming and come they have with Tsunami strength.

On Friday, out of the blue, I got a call from our Neuroimmunologist's nurse.  She told me that our doctor had opened up a couple of hours in her schedule in two weeks in order to see Shelbie.  I asked her if she had received results from Duke University but she said she couldn't say for sure.  So, I'm not sure what that will be about but we will be there.  I'm a little nervous but I believe that this might be the workings of God.  Shelbie is still not moving fluid from her lower extremities and she still has open sores and weeping.  It's a good time for this doctor to see what is going on and has been for weeks.

Spencer has just been struggling so much.  The poor kid never gets a break!  I mean never!  His car broke down.  It will need a new transmission and he doesn't have money for that.  He's been looking for work but his efforts have gotten him nowhere.  He's just in limbo.  But bless his heart, he keeps on trying to do what's right.  He tries so hard.  I don't understand exactly what God is doing with him but I have to believe something good is coming for him...it has to be!!  He has suffered for two solid years, since the very day he returned from his mission.

I don't blame him for wanting to give up.  In my coaching him, all I could think of were the words...Hold on thy way... When everywhere you turn brings more questions and fewer answers, remember what you do know.  I pointed out to him that although this looks and feels like another setback, he is surrounded with blessings.

I thought Sam was doing okay, besides pneumonia...but he's not.  That boy is so good at hiding his feelings until a point.  Well, that point  happened on Sunday.  He and Spencer had been in Salt Lake for the Nitro Circus show and on their way home Sunday, Sam got lost.  He was driving and somehow, no one was paying attention, ended up an hour West of Salt Lake instead of headed North to come home.

It's a bit of a funny story...He had a friend with them as well.  He is in 11th grade I think and his parents were a little unsure about him going with my boys overnight so they had been tracking his phone.  Well, an hour into the trip home, they called very angry!!  They thought he had lied to them about leaving to head home and here they were out past the Salt Flats.

The sad part of the story is that this is Sam's Dyscalculia raising it's ugly head!  He didn't know he was lost.  I think that was the last straw and by Sunday night, he was a mess.  I had tried all day to get him to talk but all he wanted to be was mad.  About 11:30 that night, he came into my room and flopped across the foot of my bed and cried and cried.  He has two more friends leaving on missions this week.  He is not keeping up at school, and...still feels pretty lousy with pneumonia.  He was feeling pretty worthless, and despaired.

About an hour into our talk, Spencer came in to provide 'back up'.  I was so grateful to have help.  Spencer was able to give Sam a blessing and it helped I think.  I convinced Sam to spend the night at home and take the day off from school today which he did.  He slept for 13 hours!! He got up and ate  a late lunch and started on some homework but could not stay awake.  He got nothing done and now he is even more behind!! But, he probably needed the rest.  His lungs still sound horrible.

As I sat on my bed with each of my kids as they spoke of the hard things they are going through, I had this overwhelming thought...

    put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou            standest is holy ground.

I haven't always been able to look at these kinds of struggles with any degree of holiness, mostly frustration and even anger at times.  Clearly, I have grown up in my parenting just a bit.  I don't like watching people struggle.  I especially don't like watching people make horrible decisions that will clearly make their life harder than it needs to be but I knew in those moments, that God was working something within them. He was building them...building their character.   There was a wrestle in their spirit that could almost be seen with my physical eyes!

This kind of thing has never happened before.  I was grateful for the moment and will count it as a blessing.  Nothing great came of our talk.  They felt heard and validated; witnessed but nothing was solved or resolved.  Maybe it wasn't nothing...I hope they left feeling safe and loved no matter what!

It has always been an interesting thing for me to watch how God chooses to scatter us or how sometimes, we scatter ourselves.  Whether he scatters a nation, a people, a family or an individual...there is purpose in the scattering.  It may be painful and difficult, lonely and isolating but it is never a waste of time.

I think it's safe to say, we have been in a season of scattering.  What a beautiful thought to consider all the ways God gathers us back.  In a way, these long talks I have with my kids in the midst of their trials are a gathering.  I hope they will always know where they can go when the winds of the world, knock out their power, shift their course and scatter them about.  Wherever I am is where I hope they know to gather!

Until we get past feeling scattered, we will hold on our way!
This song is just because I like it and it seems fitting.



Photobucket



Saturday, June 24, 2017

Good Intentions

I'm calling today's post...good intentions because good intentions were plentiful on this beautiful Saturday.

I had all kinds of good intentions for today.  I had high hopes to fix Sam's bed, wrap up some projects that have looming deadlines and that's about it!  I figured I had a good 9 hours of drafting to do today, a job site to visit and all that was after I worked in the temple this morning.

I took a nap last night from 1:00 to 3:00 am then got up wondering where Shelbie and her friends had disappeared to but left every light in the house on...girls!  They got home after a little field trip up to the Teton Valley, around 3:30 am and then I went back to bed until 7:00 when I got up to say goodbye to the boys.  They are going to the Nitro Circus performance in Salt Lake tonight.

Back to my day...

Instead of leaving the temple promptly to start my well thought out day...I ran into an old acquaintance at the temple who was substituting for a shift.  We aren't good friends but we are stop and visit kind of friends.  Her father was well known in the higher up circles of our church and wrote many great books.  My friend M. always has the greatest stories and touching, inspiring thoughts and she genuinely cares about my family.  Her husband died in a glider plane crash the year I was divorced so she's been single a long while too.  Our visit was over a half hour but what a great use of my time this morning.

When I got home, I was so sick of my dirty, dirty car so I decided to do a quick wash on the driveway.  This turned into a two hour project of detailing the inside too.

The girls finally woke up and wanted lunch so we headed for a greasy but good Big Jud's burger.  Then it was Walmart...job site...and finally home to start working on the computer...except...I was so tired, I took a nap!

Who naps on a Saturday night?

Long story short...I'm behind...still but that nap felt amazing!  I should really try sleeping more.

All kinds of good intentions...

Also, at the temple, I ran into some people I know and they said, "Why is your hair grey?" I love the shocked response I get over my hair...it never gets old! Yes it does!

"My hair is grey because God sees fit to bless me with a grey hair kind of life!"  and then we had an awkward laugh.  Good intentions I know...but still!  Enough with the hair comments!

At Walmart, I was in the toilet paper aisle.  Toilet paper is the hardest thing in the world for me to buy.  I always feel like I'm getting ripped off so it takes me 20 min. to actually calculate which brand give you the most square footage for your dollar!  It's a problem I should probably talk to someone about!  LOL.  Anyways...I'm doing  my thing and this incredibly handsome young man walks past me and then doubles back.  He was probably in his late 20's.

"Excuse me?  You're not married?"
"Me?" as I look around to find someone young and gorgeous he might be trying to pick up.
"Yes."
"No.  I'm not married."
"Oh my gosh, you are beautiful.  You should be married. There has got to be some lucky guy waiting to find you."....It was something to that effect.
I think I snorted while chuckling..."Well, thank you! That's the nicest thing I've heard all day."
"You're welcome.  I mean it."
"Thanks!"  and then he walked off.

I'm pretty sure that this guy was with his friends one aisle over, having a game of truth or dare and I was their target.  At least he said something really nice as opposed to throwing a water balloon at me! Anyways...good intentions regardless.

So that was my day!  I did get one project sent off tonight and now to clean this mess of a house!  



Photobucket

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Proof there is a God


Okay, this is another health insurance rant...because, why not?  I feel like ranting this week and it just so happens that this week is all about how to drive me crazy.  The best way to do that, is mess with insurance and medical bills.

Yesterday...I got our EOB for Sam and Spencer from their immunology appointment on May 12th.
Here is a picture of one EOB...for one child!  There is another one coming...



This is my reality...$7,248.37 is what our medical expenses are for Spencer for one month!! I will be getting a matching EOB on Samuel soon for close to the same amount since they both had the same tests done at Immunology.  Over $14,000 for the two of them alone in one month!! Not only that, even with bills like this, I still have $3000 more dollars to pay before I have reached my out of pocket maximum and insurance starts paying 100%.

It takes me just over 4 months to make $14,000.   In 6 weeks, Samuel will be costing me an additional $10,000-$13,000 a month for the rest of his life as he starts plasma transfusions.  If any one of them decides to move out of network...we will lose coverage until open enrollment time.

Are you overwhelmed with these thoughts?  Me too.  Everyday, I worry about the day I can't afford to keep this up either because I can't work, run out of work, lose insurance or the very real fear that insurance will become completely unaffordable.

Having a chronic, life threatening illness is expensive in every way.  It's demands a toll be paid that you don't have financially, or emotionally.

BUT...in all the math that doesn't add up, we find GOD.

HOW?

These tests and the billing was done exactly 36 hours before Samuel lost his insurance.  36 hours is not very long.  One day...if his appointments had of been just one day later, this bill would likely be 100% out of pocket.

So, I am feeling blessed in a small and mighty significant way.  I have all the faith in the world that God can continue working miracles like this.  My faith waivers in myself; my own ability to put all I have in the Lord.  To trust that somehow, it will all work out.  To trust that maybe I can work 16 hour days even though 14 is killing me.  God never seems to make it easy but he always seems to make it work.

Photobucket

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Borrowed Trouble


365+ Quotes, Facts and Wisdom on Dream, Life and Future | #quotes #facts #motivation #inspiration #wisdom #success:

Had another small blow to our stability this week...after the insurance debacle with Sam, I got a letter from our insurance company, yesterday, to say they will no longer be servicing us as of January 2018. They are pulling out of the exchange.  Their reason is that it is not profitable for them to serve individuals.

At first I felt my blood pressure rising and my anxiety edging into panic but then I caught myself.  Open Enrollment is still 5 months away and lots can happen in 5 months.  I have been with Bridgespan since 2015 because they were the only company I could afford, even on the exchange.

I was listening to some podcast about a couple who was complaining about not being able to 'Invest' in healthcare...what exactly does that mean?  If I invest in something, I expect to get a return, bigger than what I started with.  I must be 'investing' in the wrong insurance company because I am in the red by $25,000 with my 'healthcare' investment.

I don't want to get political and poor me but seriously...I feel like Washington has no clue what it feels like to do this day in and day out.  I work harder and longer than any man I know.  I don't use public assistance of any kind and yet the ACA and the new plans Trump and his chimps are churning out for a revised healthcare are completely out of reasonable reach to a family like us.

I can't go get a full time, normal job because of the situation with my kids and even if I could, the employers aren't offering benefits.  That leaves an individual having to scrounge up some insurance- on the exchange.  Now companies are bailing from that because it's not lucrative so it's a vicious circle.  What is a person like me suppose to do?  Without the exchange,  I will be looking at premiums for my high risk family over $1000 a month with a $13,000-$15,000 deductible.  I work 14 hours days, even when my kids are sick or in the hospital. I can't work any harder than I do.  I am taxed a regular tax and a self employment tax and that adds up to about 30-35%.   It feels like a no win and I'm not sure what the answer is.

I heard someone say last week, "There's no sense borrowing trouble from tomorrow." That's a pretty true statement!  So, I'm going to adopt that mantra for now.  We have plenty of trouble today.  

I've been going to the gym faithfully everyday.  It helps me get rid of some restless energy.  I have to laugh at the warning sign on the machines...I feel pain, faint, dizzy and short of breath just getting myself out of bed in the morning.  I really should consult a physician about the dangers of waking up every day!  Especially if I wake up with a 'Quick Start'!
                            

There's my feeble attempt at humor today.

Anyhow...Sam seems to be improving.  I've been thinking about the plan to keep him on antibiotics indefinitely and I don't think that is going to work very well.  He's my child who gets C-Diff at the drop of a hat so that much medication will kill his already shredded GI tract.  That will be something to sort out when we get to the doctor's appointment for follow up.

Photobucket

Monday, June 19, 2017

Not An Option...

It's been sort of a crazy weekend.  Sometimes, I don't realize just how hard and crazy until, from out of the blue, I start having a little anxiety attack and hit panic mode.  And oddly enough...it never happens in the moment.  Tonight, it happened at the gym while on the elliptical.  When I realized I was crying, I looked down and was going 10 mph and had already logged over 2 miles!  It was as if I was running away from my life.  I thought my heart was going to pack up and leave for being worked so hard. Anyways...

Sam has pneumonia again!  I think this is the 4th time this year.  He's had a cold for over a week and then Sunday morning, spiked a fever.  A sudden rise in temperature after a week or more of a viral illness is almost always something serious.  Sam has always been in tune with his lungs so when he came home flushed and fevered, I said, "Well, do I need to take you in?  Do you think you have pneumonia?"  He nodded yes.  So off we went and that was confirmed.

So, before going back home, I stopped at Walgreens to fill the scripts and they told me I didn't have pharmacy coverage. We went back and forth and I made them call my insurance company.  Sure enough, they confirmed that it had been suspended.  The pharmacist said, "So, do you still want to get these medications and pay cash?"

I'd be lying if I said without hesitation that I would take the meds.  Instead, I had this little debate inside my head, wondering if Sam would live without it and by some miracle get better.  But, he is winding up at school and he really can't miss anymore school so I bought it.  Spent the last money I had for two weeks. So...I was a little bugged.

Today, I spent two hours on the phone being shuffled from one source to another trying to figure out what happened.  The problem is, we have three different insurance companies between the four of us.  Sam has his own policy that I pay separate premiums and what not for.  This is not by choice but by Obamacare, 'He' dictated what we each would get.  What Sam has, falls under the umbrella of Medicaid only not the free Medicaid...I pay just like I do a normal policy which makes no sense. When Sam turned 19 in May, they just dropped him off the plan but didn't add him to another. So, for a month, he has had no insurance which means...I've got some major bills coming my way!

The last person I spoke to was very helpful and after gathering the facts and assessing the problem, she said, "Okay, let me put you on a brief hold and try to sort out what in the world happened."

"No!!! (practically yelling at her) You can't put me on a brief hold! I am about to have a stroke that my son hasn't had coverage for a month and I just need you to tell me that you will be able to get him on my policy even though it isn't open enrollment time or now that coverage has lagged...preexisting condition problems. I just need to know that you feel confident I will be okay....like today, it will work out..."

"It's going to be okay.  I'll fix it for you.  Everything will be fine.  Is it okay if I put you on a brief hold now?"

She probably got off the phone  and yelled across the room of operators to her manager Bill..."Hey, I've got a whoopticopter on line 12, I'm gonna need back up!!"

To make a long story longer...Sam won't be able to have insurance until July 1st.  I am a wreck.  I want to wrap the boy up in plastic bubbles and put him in the back of my closet until July 1st. I have no choice but to storm Heaven with prayers that nothing happens to him...and he is suppose to be going to Salt Lake this weekend to Nitro Circus.  Ugh... The woman at Idaho Health was really nice.  As she was typing away, she injected little updates like...Well that was easy...Nice, not a problem there.  I think she was just saying that so I wouldn't start crying.  When we were through, she said, "Now, are you going to be okay? I want to make sure you will be alright." LOL!  I will be okay, it shakes my core sometimes.

Not having insurance is NOT AN OPTION.

I texted our doc in Utah to find out if he had made a plan for the boys' immunology health and told him Sam was sick again.  His response was that he sent me an email with his concerns for the boys but especially Sam.  I didn't get that email.  He is out of town but we will head down there in the next couple of weeks.  The doc told me that he wants Sam on antibiotics indefinitely and will likely start plasma transfusions as soon as we can get that authorized.

I told Sam what might be happening and he is pretty upset.  It kind of changes everything now.  No mission for Sam.  That's pretty heartbreaking but I'll save that for another post. And...$26,000 in medical bills per month is giving me an ulcer.  I have no idea how we are going to make it even with insurance and come July 1st...I start all over with deductibles!!!  So maddening.

Then...May called me this morning and the Sheriff had arrived at the mental hospital to transport her back up here to the County Jail.  I feel sick for her.  She was going to try to call me once she got here, if they would let her but I didn't hear back.  She will have to see the judge and then who knows.  Does this seem like it can even be real?  She is 86 years old and could be my grandmother and she is sitting in a jail cell tonight.  I feel sick.  It shouldn't even be an option! If they don't let her drive...then what is she going to do.

I am actually not surprised by these turn of events.  We have had a little break to regroup, and sometimes, I think God creates these breaks to teach us new things for the next round of fiery furnace trials.  I have had these amazing streams of consciousness and increased knowledge and understanding so it makes sense that he will now create some opportunities for me to practice what I've learned.  How exciting!  How scary...I guess digging in my heels is simply...not an option!


Photobucket

Father's Day

 Today I honor my dad.  

There are the typical stories of how much fun we had growing up.  The games, the made up songs and scary stories on warm summer nights when we went camping.  He was always up for an adventure whether it was a mountain to climb, a river to run or some culinary experiment in the kitchen and we had some of those...namely, some sweet and sour sauce that really became a sweet and sour wallpaper paste.  I think we ate it anyways! 




He has always had the most fun with my kids.  There have been times when  he surprised them with his dares and challenges and it made me laugh.  He has taken an interest in their hobbies and hopes and they have always felt loved by their grandpa. 
When I think of my dad...I think of his smile. 


Mom and Dad, Shelbie and Sam in Jackson in 2014. 

Four generations of musical talent.  I love this picture.

This past little while, when I think on why I love my dad, I love that he has been a worthy, righteous man of God.  I love that he loves my mom.  I love that he is a critical thinker.  Whenever he is faced with a problem, he spends a lot of time pondering the solution.  When we were growing up, he rarely raised his voice in anger.  When we would get ourselves into trouble, he would take some time to cool down and think about the consequences.  I've tried to do that as well, but I'm not that good yet.  

I love that he facilitated my mom's hopes and dreams.  He carved out a place in his business for her to excel in hers.  He always supported her porcelain doll hobby and business, hair dressing and quilting. Not only  did he support her in her dreams but he really showed a great deal of interest in them, attending doll shows and getting excited when she won so many awards and ribbons.  

Those are a few things I love about my dad.  Our family has been blessed with his protection, and provisions for us to be the best family we could be.

















Photobucket

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Planning for Happiness

I spend more time than most, it seems, worrying about the amount of suffering I feel.  Somehow, I have this idea that if I'm not happy, then I'm failing at life.    Maybe it's because of adages like...

"Life is what you make of it"
"You can choose to be happy no matter what."
"Happy mind, Happy life"
"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react"

I seriously obsess about the fact that I'm just not trying hard enough to have a good attitude because people who are perpetually unhappy are choosing that.  Apparently.  It bugs me to think that I am choosing this hard life.  It bugs me to think that other people think this about me and I know that they do...I see the little smears of pity on the corners of their lips, as they pretentiously say, "When is life ever going good for you?"

Well, how embarrassing that God sees fit to keep my heels pressed to the refiners fire.  Shame on me for not being overjoyed with the revolving door of trouble...but then again...maybe if I had a better attitude, it is really a revolving door of happiness!

 Then, it doesn't help that we open Instagram or Facebook and see these perfectly, perfect images of people winning at life.  The room that is pulled together in a flawless state.  The love birds, the hunny this and girl of my dreams that. Amazing trips to incredible places.  There are challenges galore that dare us to be happy for 30 days...or worse...100 days.  They call them projects!  Projects?  To be happy?  Is that what happiness has to be...a project?

We rarely post about our mediocre lives.  Why is that?  We are all, nothing more than mediocre so why keep up the pretenses of perfection?  I'm going to start the Mediocre Project. I think maybe I will post pictures for 30 days of my unmade bed, how mediocre is that?  It's so mediocre its perfect!!

So, anyways, my point is...that crap we tell each other about happiness? Is nonsense.

Nothing that builds character, empathy, compassion, courage, peace and even joy, comes from moments of happiness.  Those deep traits of unchanging character comes from...
Suffering...the deep waters, the grit and grime of slogging through life, the trials, the refinement, the setbacks, the lousy decisions, the anger, the words we shouldn't have said, the loneliness, the struggle, the dead ends, the fears, the obsessions, the backtracking. the stumbling, the less than perfect...why would you want to miss all of this juicy suffering for a dip in the shallow end of

Happiness?

Happiness is not what life is about.  It's a rest stop.  A fleeting moment before you hit the trenches where the real experience and meaning of life is.

Surprise...if you are suffering in life, congratulations!  You are well on your way to a real, human experience that money can not buy.

So, how about these adages...

"Life is all about how you suffer! "
"You can choose to be happy, or you can stay in the arena and wrestle with the struggle."
"Happy life...shallow human being"

Seriously though...How do you like this quote from David Brooks...He is seriously my new obsession and joins the ranks with Brene Brown, Deepak Chopra, Byron Katie, Hafiz...

"Someone in internal struggle is building themselves."


How much better would life be if we really understood this and stopped judging each other's building or worse, tearing down what we work so hard to build?  Life is messy and hard and that's all there is to it.  The secret to suffering is that we suffer well.  How do you suffer well?  Make something out of the suffering.  Give it meaning.  Do something productive with it.  Connect with another suffering soul, witness their soul searching, soul building; blessings disguised as suffering.  As Ram Dass said, "We are all just walking each other home."  I love that thought.

Tonight, I shared a real, honest moment with a friend at work.  We dumped all of our suffering out on her desk...her husband's cancer, her ne're-do-well child, my kids, my jobs, the chronic everything...and stirred it all together, and sifted and shared and laughed and cried a little inside and witnessed each other and worked a little on her building of her soul and a little on mine and it was awesome!

We are all just mediocre doing the very best we can...what a holy place that can be if we let it.

Finally..."We plan for happiness- we are formed by suffering." David Brooks.   It's a liberating thought...there is absolutely nothing wrong with a little struggle.  I feel so much better!! How about you?



Photobucket

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

What's Up?

Oh life...you can tell already this is not going to be a post about how bored we are!

Someday, maybe you'll hear that but life has been a whirlwind of events.

Last night we had another trip to the ER with Shelbie.  She has had a swollen leg for a couple of weeks and sores have broken out and just weep all day, through her pants even.  I've been moderately concerned but that worry escalated over the past few days as her blood pressure dropped to extremely low levels...95/40.  The side effects of a very low blood pressure got out of hand last night and when she had a hard time making sentences and slurring words was more her rhythm, I decided to take her in to the ER.

It's never easy for us to go there.  It's always hard to rehash the history, over and over.  It would be easy if she had something like cancer...everyone knows that.  Instead, when they ask for a history, it ends up being a monologue and not a funny one.  Although, it can be.  It all depends on my mood I guess.  Just when they think I'm done talking, they interrupt with a courteous "I'll let the doctor know." but I start in with the second verse of things they've never heard before...There are several awkward moments and they just want me to shut up and I just want to be heard so they understand the weight of the situation.  Without all the back story and details of how each organ is failing, they think we had nothing better to do with a headache than show it off in a $200/hour room!  Meanwhile, the woman they brought in on a stretcher next door is 69 with chest pain and she fills the ER with importance but we...just have some low blood pressure.  It's frustrating.

Anyways...not sure what is going on but it doesn't look like she has congestive heart failure which was my concern because of the lymphedema in her leg and low pressure.  Cardiac enzymes and EKG looked good, at least initially.  It seems that this is her vasculitis and malfunctioning autonomic nervous system creating heart arrhythmia.  It was an exhausting night. Tonight, she is sort of improving, if I use my imagination.

Out of the blue this afternoon, Spencer got a call from a kid in Utah who invited him to help video some things in Las Vegas for Wayne Newton!  Yes, THE Wayne Newton...the guy that owns the car wash there on the Strip!  Just kidding...the Wayne Newton who put Vegas on the Strip! (it sounded better in my head)  They will also be shooting video for Ferrari, and some other fast cars.  And get this...He will be staying at Wayne Newton's house!  This kid is around Spencer's age and owns a videography business...he sort of fell into it. Spencer has been trying to connect with people to mentor him so this call was a miracle!  Within an hour, he was out the door and will be in Vegas tomorrow.  

I haven't seen much of Sam this week.  Only three more weeks of school and he will be moving home.  Right now, his bedroom is in parts and pieces.  I started re-doing his bed and then lost my interest.  Oh well, you have to pick your battles right?

Lots going on around here.


Photobucket

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Wonder Woman...

It's been months of ongoing stress around here...that's nothing new but as a family, we use to be so good at unplugging from the hard times to escape into something resembling fun and not tragic. We haven't done that for a very long time, in fact, I can't really remember the last time.

On Tuesday, Shelbie announced that we needed to go to a movie.
"Like, right now?"  I asked
"Yes, why not?" She said
"Well, it's 11:30 in the morning?" as I said it, I was wondering if that was even a valid reason.  Who says you can only watch movies between the hours of 6 and 10 at night?  "I have a major interview tomorrow and presentation?  I should stay focused?"  I had all these reasons that I was trying to coax my head into believing and they weren't working.  "Ya know, that's a good idea, let's go!"

Really, it was the best decision.  I use to be spontaneous with the kids but then life happened, and kept happening.  It was kind of fun to be sitting in an empty theater, at noon, on a Tuesday.  The movie the kids had selected was Wonder Woman.

I am not at all into comic people, super heroes, science fiction, good guy bad guy, beat em up kind of movies.  I'm really into movies about crazy people who defy the odds, rise above their crazy, something riveting like that.  I think the reason I don't like those kind of movies is because Hollywood had to go complicate things because now, they are all friends.  Like Batman or Bruce Wayne or whoever he is, is friends with Wonder Woman...when did that happen.  Other than Robin, I thought he just worked on his own? Now, they are all getting into each other's story line and I don't know, do the DC comic guys like the Marvel guys or are they enemies or have they never met? See...it's too complicated.

My point is...I wasn't thrilled to be seeing Wonder Woman but I was happy to be spending time away from work and with my kids!  But honestly, it was an amazing movie!  I love that she was portrayed as a gentle, woman, full of compassion and love yet had a strong sense of purpose, meaning and leadership.  So many women today are feminists but they are crude and disgusting and rude and just want to start a fight over nothing and they do it in the name of womanhood which is so offensive to me.

Spoiler Alert... (Not really...)

There was one part in the movie when she looks around the scenes of WWII, on the front lines, in a bunker with dying women and children and the men are hopeless and wounded and full of despair and women are mourning and crying and it's this overwhelming scene of suffering and she is moved with compassion. She jumps out of the bunker and straight into enemy lines and of course they open fire on her.  The film pans out and from above she is in the middle of a war between good and evil and she is shielding the bullets and it sends chills up your spine.  And actually, I think we were all a little teary eyed. It was such a clear image of how I feel most days.  It's hard work raising yourself or a family in this world.  Everyday, I do everything I can to shield my family from the horrors of the world and sometimes, we have to do it alone. And we aren't Wonder Woman...or are we?

It was so overpowering.  It reminded me of the true purpose of women.  God needs strong women.  He needs strong women who know their purpose and their worth.  Before this point in the movie, Wonder Woman didn't know what powers she possessed until this very moment.  So it is with us...we often don't realize the strength and power within us to change the world, even if it is just our little corner of the world, or a family, or a child, or ourselves!  Everyday, we shield the people we love from the evils of the world.  We serve willingly and tirelessly because it is in our very nature to care and nurture.

The men who were with Wonder Women were so incredibly respectful of her power and they worked together, each in their own strength, not threatened by each other.  It was the most powerful message and for the first time in a long time, Hollywood did something good with their talent.  Finally a message about women that made sense to me.  She was so gracious and compassionate.  I was really surprised that I like the movie so much.

You should go see it, my rambling didn't spoil anything for you, trust me!  And, bonus if you like Wonder Woman to start with.  Oh, I will say this, I was pretty bummed I didn't get to see her spin around and go from a pant suit to her swimming suit with glitter.

Just a reminder...we all have wonder within us.


Photobucket

Thursday, June 1, 2017

What has become of you?

It was a rare day, the kind when I had no appointments, no streams of phone calls which is amazing since I have over a dozen design clients right now, three from out of State, like Virginia, Texas and Colorado.

On days like today, I can catch up on drawing and spreadsheets, as I tether myself to the computer and crank on my jams...Today, my 'jams' as the young people say, were Deepak Chopra,  Caroline Myss, Steven Pressfield, Brene Brown, Elizabeth Gilbert...you get the drift.  It was this steady stream of inspiring thoughts, podcasts, presentations and ideas all day long!

I know that I'm not the person I use to be, I'm not the person I want to be and somewhere in between, can feel like an exhausting race to realize who I'm suppose to be.  It's easy for me to get stuck and spin in a million things that will change nothing for me but keeps me numb to hard work of changing a self or finding a self.

Here are some snippets that were deeply inspiring today...

Brene Brown- Do not confuse communication with connection.
                        You can't narrate someone else's life
                        The minute you deny your story, it owns you.
                        Be in the scene you're in, don't play the scene you wish you were in.  (I LOVE this                                             thought...I just wish I could live this thought)

Caroline Myss- "How do you know you are on the right path? You don't betray yourself."

Steven Pressfield- Where do we get the idea that we aren't worthy?

Deepak Chopra- I love Deepak, I always have.  If you haven't read the book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success for Families...do that now!  I read that with my kids every summer and we would practice one law every week throughout the summer.  It was empowering!
                            Belief creates your reality
                            You can't change a thought with a thought...thoughts are born, experienced and die

And then, I heard a few quotes by some of my favorites...

 Rumi- "Why do you stay in a prison when the door is wide open?"
Rollo May- "It's an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when they have lost their way."

But the best of all... By Hafiz

This place where you are right now, God circled on a map.  Wherever your eyes and arms and heart can move against the earth and the sky, the Beloved has bowed there- Our Beloved has bowed there, knowing you were coming."

Have you ever heard such a beautiful string of words?  This quote may have changed the way I look at my circumstances.  No matter how hard, or easy, or happy, or sad, or wrong, or misplaced, or strenuous, or fearful, or exciting a moment or a place is, it's where we are suppose to be.  Every place has holiness in it.  Every place is sacred, a place prepared for us, consecrated for us, circled on a map... where we commune with the Spirit, learn, grow, change, struggle, wrestle, become.  That is the very essence of life! That's it. No matter how fast or slow we stumble and sprint through these circled places of Heavenly charting, is not what is important.  What's important is that we remain engaged to stick around and see what happens next.

It can feel more like shame to admit your life isn't all sunshine and butterflies flitting around cheerfully.  Shame can crush your spirit when the rash of bad luck strings you along with no end in sight...It is embarrassing at times.  Embarrassing that your life is so big and unbelievable!  Unbelievably hard and impossible to understand.  Feeling stuck and lost can do a number on the threads of self worth you are trying to hold yourself together with.

But...somehow, this quote is the pass, the get out jail card, a quiet whisper from God..."I've been waiting for you to get here...welcome!"  There is so much comfort in this thought.

So...What has become of you?  This journey has become you.  You are your journey; a composition of the beautifully hard life you live, the things  you can only gather when standing in divine circles on a Heavenly Map.


                         




Photobucket