Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Adventures in Car Trouble

Yesterday, I finally got my car fixed.  Sort of fixed.  I can't afford the $1500 bill yet and really could only afford to fix $400 of that turned into $700.  Oh well, my credit card company and I are now besties...

So, all weekend, that darn car was leaving me in a lurch and not starting.  It was so frustrating and my problems were compounded with pouring rain.  I would have just walked or rode a bike but my arthritis with the rain and cold was not going to have it.

Every time it wouldn't start, I would sit there and pray mightily and explain that I had to get to work, I had to get here and there...Then, with a deep breath that waited to exhale, I turned the key...

click...click...sputter, spew....then the engine turned over and began roaring again!  I backed into every parking stall just in case it had to be towed.  Thankfully, I made it through the weekend.

When I took the car in to my favorite shop, Clair and Dees, the guy at the desk checked with the  mechanic to make sure the parts were in and he said, "My mechanic really doesn't want you to take the car until the brakes are fixed.  He said you really need to stop."  You know me...I couldn't resist having a little fun with this guy...

"He thinks I need to stop?  Really?  Obviously, the mechanic doesn't know how much I love surprises!  Surprises and adventure...that's what I thrive on.  I really can't afford the brakes so it will be fine."

"Are you serious?  Cause, really, your brakes are bad!"
"Okay, I guess if you think I can't handle a couple of worn brakes, I will let you fix them.  I really need the battery replaced too because it kept leaving me stuck all weekend."
"Oh no, where were you stuck?  You should have called us."
"It's okay, I was stuck at the temple.  I just prayed and prayed that it would start and it did!!! I mean, seriously, if a prayer isn't heard at the temple, where is it heard right?"

I'm pretty sure this guy thought I was crazy but again...it was fun.  Life throws you lemons and you have to find a way to sweeten the deal with a little sarcasm.  

Yesterday was also my birthday but I'm sure thrilled with my presents I bought for myself, new brakes, new battery, new oxygen sensor for the fuel line...I was getting tired packing that oxygen tank around so my car could breathe!  Let's see...spark plugs, I love those!  I'm looking all cool showing off my new gear. My gas mileage went up 6 miles per gallon which is awesome since gas just jumped 15 cents a gallon!! What a racket that is!

I have $800 more to go before the car is back to its happy self but that will have to wait til I replenish my rainy day account!


Sunday, April 27, 2014


This is week 8.

If you've been following the medical drama, you will know that this is the week that our clinical testing should be back, if it isn't already.

I thought I would be chomping at the bit to get to Seattle and hear the word, the final word but it's not really happening the way I envisioned it.

The whole process has left me completely worn out and more frustrated than anything.  So many things are not right and it just makes me cranky.

I called to Seattle to see about getting appointments scheduled, keeping in mind the last conversation I had with them at Christmas.  They said they had a team of doctors that would meet with us and provide us with counseling.  Well, it doesn't seem like that is the case.  She made it sound like we would just be meeting with one doctor for a total of one hour.  That is completely different than the picture that was painted 6 months ago.

So, I'm in a quandary.  I just don't have it in me to drive to the other side of the country for one hour of information and 4-5 days of missed work.  I asked if we could skype or talk over the phone but that was a big NO.

I'm starting to feel cranky, ornery and a bit numb, except when anxiety attacks at the least appropriate moment.

I am probably selfish to think that I just won't go.  Eventually, they will wonder where we are and maybe then, a phone call will be acceptable.

It's hard to sort out all the feelings.  Maybe the real reason is that I'm just not ready to embark on this journey.  It makes me angry that I end up with nothing but bad news.  They get a raise, a write up in medical journals, all sorts of recognition and I get more bad news, more debt, and I guess I feel like they aren't taking this as serious as I am.   Their attitude towards me is sloppy and careless and I am hurt.

So, I think I may just put some time between me and the results.

It's never easy though... because you can be sure, I will be torn apart knowing the details of our future is sitting indifferently on someone's desk; another item to be checked off from their list of things to do.

Not only is there physical rigmarole but mental as well.  I'll have plenty to sort out this week.

On a better note...I had to take Shelbie to the Emergency Room today/tonight and I was back to my helpful, happy self...well, as happy as one can be watching your kid in continuous pain.  It was nothing like my little melt down last month when I lost my mother of the year award!  So, at least I was able to redeem myself.  Tonight, she is finally resting well.


Friday, April 25, 2014

Easter fun

I am a bit behind on blogging.  We had a great week with my parents so blogging took a backseat for the week since I had other things going on.

We did all sorts of great things this week.  On Sunday, we colored our eggs.  It turned into a contest of sorts and my kids accused me of trying to show them up.  We had a great time.  On Monday, we brought back an old family tradition of rolling Easter eggs.

We headed to the park and took turns rolling our eggs.  The point is, they roll into each other and the shells crack.  Once we had cracked all the eggs, we had a picnic.  It was really a lot of fun, much more fun than I remember it being when I was little.  We laughed and laughed and enjoyed all the people walking by thinking we were half baked!

Tuesday, we all took the day off and went to Jackson Hole.  It was nice just escaping this town for the day and being surrounded by the mountains, fresh air and lots of fun shops.

Egg decorating at its best!

Easter Egg rolling

Jackson Hole

Time for a Selfie!

Shelbie got stepped on by a bear.

They have these really cool bronze statues just off the square.  I made everyone sit down with them for a quick pose.
This is me and Einstein! 

Sam and George

Dad and Ben

Shelbie and Mark

Mom with Mark Twain

We really enjoyed having my parents here.  The kids love the extra attention.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Being the Boss

Sometimes, you just gotta be the boss!!  That's right...own it!

So, a few weeks ago, Sam was inquiring about birthday gifts for his 16th birthday coming right up!  He has had his eye on a long board at Zumiez for quite some time.  Not a day goes by that he doesn't find a way to work this long board into a conversation.  He hums and haws and beats around the bush until he finally comes out and says...

"Mom, your hair sure looks nice today!  Are you doing something different with it cause if so, it's working.  Definitely working...(This is how my boys suck up to me...always!) So, by the way, you going into IF anytime soon?  Ya know, I think that long board is still in the window there at Zumiez.  I thought I might mention that it's on sale too and that works out great since my birthday is coming up."

Of course, I act all poor and needy and give him the spiel about how I need to pay bills from getting so far in debt from unemployment and he has a homemade long board he made last year in art class and he will just have to get by.

But...today before work, I stopped by to take a looky lou.

I walk into Zumiez like the BOSS, like I'm all that and the guy says, "Hey can I help you?"

"I'm just looking at long boards." I reply all cool.
"Okay, so this is for..." he inquires.
"For me.  I want to do a little carving, a little sliding.  I don't just want a cruising board. Ya know what I mean?  I'm looking for some sweet trucks and wheels that aren't too sticky.  Makes it hard to slide, ya know?"

It was funny.  This guy with his 1" gauged ear holes and his face all decorated in safety pins was looking at me with 100 expressions of confusion.  He wasn't sure if I was for real or making crap up!  The thing is, I listen to my boys when they ramble on about their long boarding adventures so I just thought I would try out the lingo on this kid. So, I go on...

"I'm really interested in a Gold Coast but I've had the Sector Nine and they make a nice bamboo deck.  I'm just not sure about those ball bearings."  I was trying so hard not to die inside!  This guy was soaking it in and then he just went off like a cannon.  All of a sudden, he was stoked about showing me the features of all the boards they carried.  It was awesome.

I knew which board Sam wanted so after this guy's moment in the limelight, I told him which board I would take.  When he started ringing up the sale...I said, "Thanks so much for your help.  My son is going to love this board!"

"Whaaatt?  This isn't for you? I thought this was for you!"
"Nah...for my son."
"Oh man, you are one cool mom!"
"Yep, I'm going to be the Boss walking out of the mall with this bad boy!"
"Oh ya...crazy, you fooled me!"

I could not stop laughing!!!  Best day ever!  That was fun.  I know, I'm crazy.  I do the craziest things but that's how I entertain myself.  ha ha ha...!!

You wouldn't believe the looks I got through the mall.  There were no tags on the board so people thought I was some crazy old lady having a mid life crisis!  Priceless.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Fixer Upper

I recently had an epiphany.

I am a fixer upper.  That is my official title I am giving myself...

Spencer wrote home this week and he is sick.  This is the first time on his mission that he is "Sick for real!"  If you know Spencer, you know he doesn't let much of anything get him down and he has to be really sick before he will stop to take a nap or rest or even disrupt his day with a doctor appointment.

The interesting thing is, on Sunday when I wrote him.  I felt impressed to include in the last line, "I will be praying for your health and to overcome any obstacle that comes this week." I don't normally say that.  So, when I found out that he really is sick, I wasn't super surprised.  I know that Heavenly Father is going to watch over him because of the prompting I received.

This is my first time with him being gone that I realized there is nothing I can do.  It's a pretty hard place to be considering I'm the fixer upper...the one that likes to fix everyone's problems including my own.

I also realized that I have been in this place for 6 months as we wait for the clinical testing to come back.  I want to just fix it all before I hear the bad news.  I have spent countless hours...I'm talking in the middle of the night hours, pouring over research articles, studies on diet and how it affects our body and the list goes on.  I just want them fixed.  I don't want to watch this progress.

This obsession has now spilled over to other people in my life and I am trying to fix them.  Oddly enough, over the past week, I have had 3 or 4 people ask me to help them with their health dilemmas.  These aren't even friends but mere acquaintances.  That must be a tender mercy because I can channel my desire to fix things, on things that I can actually make a difference with, rather than a genetic disease that is going to run it's course no matter what.

So, rather than focusing on my own problems with few answers, I have been able to focus other, productive things and the research I have been doing is fascinating.  That keeps me grounded and my mind from wandering away to dark places.

I read an article yesterday about a man who lost his 2 year old daughter.   He had to find a way to make something good of the tragedy.  You can read his story HERE.  He writes one line that strikes a chord in me,

“The only way I can handle this powerlessness, I figure, is with the power to give someone else joy.”  Larry Carroll.  

That is a perfect line and exactly how I feel...powerless.  All I can do is take what power I do have left and use it help others.  So, if that means I can help a lady with her mother in law with Alzheimer's, or a friend with recurrent and chronic kidney stones, or the person with depression or anxiety or Juvenile Arthritis...then that is what I will do.

I am grateful for the blessing to be a fixer upper! Right now, it's saving my soul and really, if you think about it, nearly every problem in life can be solved by giving time and service to others.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

This is juicy...

I want to buy a juicer.  Just a juicer to juice juicy things.  I am not interested in drinking my carrots or celery.  I'm not interested in juicing peanuts or avocados or any of the other crazy things people load into a juicer.  Incidentally, just for fun, I Googled if you can juice an avocado and the answer is NO.  In case you were wondering...but apparently, people have actually tried it!!! Ha ha ha....Those crazy juicers!  That's the juiciest tip you will read here!   ANYHOO...

Off I go to Amazon because...they have an awesome collection of everything you need and a bunch of stuff you really don't need but think you need.  I'm beginning to think after my 10 min. of window shopping that I really don't need a juicer.  Mostly because...you can't just buy a simple juicer!!!  I'm exhausted and in the effort I made in trying to process just page one of options...I could have eaten a whole orchard of lemons!

Here's what I'm up against...

Do you want an extractor instead?  Is a juicer the same thing as an extractor?
Do I want a center knife blade or is centrifugal force enough?
Is 400 Watts going to do the job or do I need 850 Watts?
Then they have juicers for first time juicers and pros?  Isn't a juicer for first time juicers THIS?

I'm a first time juicer but I don't want THAT, I want to feel like a pro.
Then, we get into masticating juicers!  I have no idea what that is and really, by this time, I'm just thinking...Do I really want to do this anyways?  I didn't have time to buzz over to Wikipedia to read all about what Masticating means so I guess I will just be in the dark about that feature for...maybe the rest of my life.  I hope I don't regret not learning about that...I hate living with regret!

But...I forge ahead and continue shopping.

Do I want a fast juicer or a slow juicer?  Well, I think the picture above is the slow juicer so...I want a fast juicer.  If I wanted a slow juicer, I would just buy that thingy.

6500 RPMs or 16000 RPMs?  I'm not looking for a car engine...just a freaking juicer!!!

Still...we haven't even addressed the issue of pulp!   Here we go!

Do I want a pulp collector or a froth separator?

Do I want an extra large pulp bin so I can juice longer?  I'm not planning to make a day of my juicing...I just really want a little bit of lemon juice and then carry on with my list of more important things to do like...living, not juicing.  This is not going to be a way of life for me, a hobby or a sport!  I'm not going to be entering my juice in the fair and I'm not in 4H.

There is the auto pulp ejection feature which sounds interesting because I don't like pulp.  This is from the makers of the Omega juicer- it must be the end all and be all of all juicers!  ;)

There is even one juicer that comes with a DVD!!! It didn't say what the movie is but I guess this model must be for the juicer that wants to juice for a long time.  Must be the slow juicer. I don't have time for a movie first thing in the morning so I probably won't buy this one!

I love some of the juicer names like the Juice Fountain, Duo Dual Disc Juicer...that name pretty much says it all doesn't it?  I wonder if the guy that came up with that got a big promotion?  Genius!

How about the Ninja Master Prep?  Or...the Jack Lalanne PJP Power Juicer Pro Electric Juicer!  Remember Jack Lalanne and his infomercials? Classic.

Well, after all this, I'm not really sure what I want anymore.  Maybe juicing just isn't for me because the thing is...I have a life. I have a life beyond my kitchen and a few exotic fruits.  I'm not really sure how juicing can be healthy because I now have an ulcer from trying to select the right juicer for me and ulcers are not healthy.  Not only that, I'm pretty stressed about juicing, not to mention anxious.  Maybe I'll just stick to my daily dose of Pepsi!


Sunday, April 13, 2014


This has been an interesting week full of drama and service and lots of work!   I wasn't sure I would make it through with my head above the water but I did.

It's no secret that things have been really hard around here.

I have often thought, and even said, that I think life is harder since Spencer left.  I have to search longer and deeper for the blessings that everyone talks about, who has a son or daughter out on a mission.  Then I thought, maybe the blessings are in seeing my son grow so much in the gospel and discover what true happiness is.  That has been a tremendous blessing.  The blessings are there and plentiful...just different from what I was expecting.  And, the fact that Satan can't seem to leave us alone for one single minute, testifies to me that maybe we are on the right track.

This week, I got a beautiful letter from Spencer.  His letters are so tender and so full of gratitude for being raised in a good family that just did our best.  We are far from perfect and have had our fair share of screw ups but at the end of the day, we could say we did our best.  He has never taken a single thing in life for granted.  He knows that being able to leave on a mission was a tender mercy.  He knows and recognizes in his letters to me that he is not going to waste one precious minute of his life and this mission.

I hardly feel worthy of the kind things he says to me about being his mom.  He says things like, "I am in a lot of debt to you and the Lord.  My trials weren't really trials with a mother like you to help me."  or " You are my hero.  You have been a great example of everything; morals, goals, actions, integrity, love for God, faith. Your actions speak louder than words and I can hear your actions from here!"

It's hard to hear him say these beautiful words because if he only knew how hard it's been for me to just get up every day the past few months.  If he only knew how much I have struggled with the adversary, he might not be so proud of me.

Today in church, a friend talked about how they have been stuck at a crossroads for a few years but recently were given some opportunities and blessings that allowed them to move on.  She said from the other side, she can say she is grateful for the struggle at the crossroads.  I get that.  Things always look better when they are seen from the distance of the rear view mirror.

I realized that I need to be grateful for the struggle while I'm still stuck at the crossroads, or even mired in the soggy ditchbank!  I use to be able to do this much easier than I have been lately. We use to spend our struggling time in play and laughter but lately, that just hasn't been a priority.  Play and laughter have taken a back seat to just trying to make a living.

I feel like I have let so many people down lately including my family, my friends and even strangers.  I had a great friend drop by Thursday night with my favorite Lindor Truffles!  She just said she was thinking of me and wanted to bring me a treat.  She went on to say how she talked to her Junior High Class about our family and how we exemplify perseverance.   I was humbled again.  I think I have exemplified something more along the lines of whining and complaining!

I have had moms from my SDS family private message me, telling me they appreciate our example of cheerfulness and faith in God when things are rough and wish they could be more like me!

Again...I am humbled.  I know I need to do better.  I am trying to get back to my strong self that handled trials with the greatest of ease...not really, but a whole lot better than I have since Christmas!

I don't want to be happy when I am finally viewing things at a safe distance from them in my rear view mirror. I want to find that happiness and joy now.  We are getting there.  Every day is a chance to try again.  This week, despite saying goodbye to my friend who passed away and some other hard things...it was a good week.  I am already feeling stronger and ready to get back in the ring.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Good for the soul

It has been such a whirlwind of a week.  My friend that I was helping to tend to, passed away on Monday.  As always, it was sad.  From the time she was diagnosed with Colon Cancer to her passing, it was just 12 short days!  12 days!!

I had another friend who had a baby last week so between meals to the new arrivals and meals to the departing, I have been busy but it's the kind of busy I like.  It's good for the soul.

Even though it has added to my load, it has not exactly felt like a burden.  It's the kind of additional work I like because it stops my head from worrying about a hundred other things.  Nothing like helping someone else with their problems.  I think the funeral will be very hard on Friday since I will be participating in the music and that is always a really hard thing for me to do but since the family asked...

I got a letter from Spencer this week, a hand written letter...that is also good for my soul!  I don't know how I lucked out with the kids I have.  Considering all the crazy we have been through, we have done okay.  Spencer mentioned all the things we have gotten through, including raising a 'rabble rousing red head" (his words, not mine.) Everyday he gets to be on his mission is another gift from God.  A miracle, really.

Sam on the other hand, didn't share the same sentiments of our family that Spencer did.

Something came up, I can't quite remember what started it but Sam said, "Well, if you ask me, it's no fun coming from a broken, messed up family."

I about came unglued... inside of course, because I have tried so hard to keep this family together and to raise responsible, moral children who are happy and well adjusted.  I have tried to keep them centered and grounded and to put them first, no matter what.  Instead, I calmly said, "Tell me what part you think is broken and needs to be fixed."

"Well, duh!!  My parents are divorced and that's just messed up."
"Yes, it very well may be a mess but tell me about what's broken.  Broken means it doesn't work so aside from my marriage, what is broken in our family?"

He thought for a few minutes..."Well, I don't know.  People just say we are a broken family."
"Hmmmm, people that haven't spent anytime in our home?  People who have no clue what goes on behind our 4 walls?  If you can't think of anything in our family that is broken, besides divorce, then tell me what is not broken."

He went on to list some really great things we have going for us.  I added to his list and when we were through, he decided that maybe some people who perceive us to be BROKEN were maybe just judging us and at the end of the day, we may be messed up, but we are not broken.

It's an interesting idea...a broken family.  I love this idea... Kintsukuroi- to repair with gold or silver, understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken. There was a time when we were broken maybe...but not anymore...

Even approaching this topic of 'broken' with Sam was good for my soul.  I like it when my kids are candid and honest; it helps me know where they are in their heads.   They don't always talk about their deepest feelings so I feel really blessed when they finally do open up.  I could tell it has been bothering Sam for awhile and could easily become a point of anger and rebellion.  Now that I know he has these feelings, it's something we can work on and that is good.  Good for the soul!


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hard and Bad

Is there a difference between these two sentences...'It's really hard.' or 'It's really bad.'

I have often said, "Life is hard right now.", "We are struggling."  I have even been known to say..."Life sucks!" However, I have never said, "Life is bad."  Ever.

This week, I ran into a friend at the store and she asked about the kids.  Well, the kids have had a rough week.  We have been in and out of the hospital, Sam has a badly sprained finger, nausea, vision loss off and on and to top it all off, I have been a really crummy mom without an ounce of patience... so...it's been hard.  Well, I told her, "It's been a tough week."  She politely asked in what way so I proceeded to tell her.  Honestly, to her, it probably just sounded like word vomit.  To me, it was probably word vomit too, but for some unknown reason...I keep trying to find validation and understanding and part of me thinks, if I use enough words, at some point it will make sense. It never does...

Anyways, my friend said, "Doesn't anything good ever happen?"

That started the whole train of thought...To me, that sentence implied that my life must be bad; if it's never good...

 My life isn't bad.  It's not about bad or good things.  It's about hard things and that doesn't mean there aren't easy and good things in my life too.

My friend Damen, the young man who received a new liver last week had a really bad day recently.  He was in all sorts of uncontrolled pain and he sort of just snapped.  I'm sure he wasn't thrilled with his level of frustration but seriously...he has endured so much!!! He has been sick, really sick for a year or more! There were some who needed to remind him that he shouldn't act that way, he should be grateful he got a liver.  I don't think for one single minute that a moment of fatigue and frustration ever made him appreciate the liver less than he should have.  I was a little miffed that people couldn't just support him in is fear and sadness at that moment.  Who knows all the emotions he was dealing with...Someone died for him...He can only be going through some intense feelings and maybe those feelings come all at once and what is a person to do in this circumstance?

Then, I had a friend who has a little boy with all sorts of problems, including bone marrow failure, post an update on Facebook saying she was done with this trial of faith but she added, her son is a trooper and happy despite all the setbacks.  Again, a few people jumped all over her, accusing her of blaming God when really it was the devil causing these problems.  She wasn't blaming God at all...just needing a little reprieve.

Again...I had to consider what all this meant.  There was a lesson to be learned this week and I was determined to learn it.  Then, I remembered this video I saw several months ago.  Watch it...it will change your life...maybe not now, but someday, you will need this.

So, I started thinking about the words..."It's suppose to be hard."  Another phrase I have thought about is "I never said it would be easy..."

If we truly want to be disciples of Christ, it's going to require some work.  Hard. Work.

If you are going to ask me about the HARD things in my life; like a disease that is stealing away the quality of life for my kids...you are going to get hard answers.  An answer that may be raw and full of emotion depending on the day and the level of fatigue.  The answer will most certainly be rough and possibly scrape your ears as the words pass through and that will make you feel awkward and overwhelmed.

I could apologize for that and I could make sure each syllable gets a fair coating of sugar to make the words sound sweeter but those days are over.  I'm done pretending it's easy when it's really not.  It's hard.

But...Here's what I learned today!

  1. HARD doesn't mean BAD.
  2. Even GOOD things can be HARD
  3. A lot can be learned from HARD things...and that's GOOD
  4. I am growing more like my Savior in all these HARD things I have to face.  
I think when conversations like I had this week happen, or when people who have struggled for so long and hard and stared down their own mortality, finally experience a moment of overwhelm...we label it as BAD.  We assume they are handling the situation badly.  We assume they have lost their hope, their faith, their gratitude, their trust in God...We make all sorts of judgments but do we acknowledge that maybe it's just hard?

Hard is good...it means we are growing and progressing!

HARD/ hard/: Arduous, strenuous, tiring, exhausting, wearying, grueling.
                      Diligently, industriously, steadily, struggle, with effort, painfully- great mental effort!

Yep...HARD pretty much describes my life.  But, we tackle every day diligently, industriously, with effort despite the pain and the mental taxation.

BAD/bad/: Poor quality, inferior, defective, second rate, careless, miserable.
                  Not such as to be hoped for.

Well, it's true, I didn't hope to have a bad life.  I don't have a bad life.  I have never thought my family to be second rate.  I have allowed people to make me feel inferior and defective but never have I come up with that thought on my own.

My life isn't bad.  My days aren't filled with bad things.  My kids aren't going through bad things.

Sometimes, I cry.  I cry a lot, especially lately.  Sometimes, I am exhausted and weary and tired.  Sometimes, I am weak and don't think I can do one more thing.  Sometimes, feeling weak makes me sad and sometimes, all the feelings and hard things come at once.  Sometimes, what is required of me is arduous and strenuous, because...

My life is hard...And...That's Good.  I am right where I am suppose to be, in the thick of discipleship. 


Friday, April 4, 2014

The Dying, Brene Brown, and other happenings.

Nothing like spending time with the dying to finish off the week.  Seriously.  I am being very serious when I say that there is something so profound to be standing in the room of someone so close to the gates of Heaven.

I have been privileged to stay at the bedside of some very valiant and special women as they passed from this life to the next. Just in the past two years, I have watched 3 of my close friends pass away.  Without a doubt, each experience has been Holy.  Without ever experiencing it, you would think that the sadness hangs heavy in the room but sadness doesn't even dare, darken the door of one dying.  Fear itself steers clear in that moment when the inevitable is embraced.  I feel like this opportunity to be with my friend is a gift, a good gift from God. I learn so much and grow closer to Heaven.

The room fills with humility.  Reverence for life, the gift that we often take for granted washes over you.  The connection to God is undisturbed and the feelings of his love are gentle and clear. It's a dedicating moment to one who has fulfilled their divine purpose.  Above all, holding the frail hand of a dying person is welcome shift in perspective.  To see all the chaos of daily living just fall away because it really doesn't matter is staggering.

So, I am leaving this week with gratitude for the opportunities I have to experience and learn about death.

In other news...I am taking part two of Brene Brown's course, The Gift of Imperfection.  I am so excited to work more on being imperfect!  How fun!  Really.

Here's a recap of the week when it comes to family:

Shelbie is back on her feet after over a week of sickness, the fog is lifting and we are climbing out of our fatigue.

Sam has an injured finger...maybe broken but we will have to wait until the swelling goes down a bit to see for sure.

Sam also got his first parking ticket at school...it's my fault I guess because I didn't get around to filling out the paperwork for the parking permit.  Oh well, it was a great way for us to work through something like this.  He was really scared to show me the ticket.  When he finally told me, I knew he was expecting a big reaction of anger and disappointment so...(my favorite parenting technique) I did the opposite of what he was expecting...I high fived him!!  I love surprising my kids...they pay attention and it ends up being a great time to teach and they are open to talking.  So, no big deal...a parking ticket.

I am looking forward to the weekend as we watch LDS Conference and glean a little peace and perspective!

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Every Life...

I like this thought and need to remember that every life has good things and bad things, even my life.

You know what?  There have been a lot of good things, all mixed up in the rotten things.

For starters...I have the best kids.  Kids that are quick to accept an apology and who might be the only ones who understand the mood swings of this road we are on.

I have a missionary.  I have a missionary who thinks he is in Heaven.  A missionary who worries about his mission being over too soon...that's how much he loves it.

I have work to do that is challenging and fills up the time and pays the bills.

Despite the daily health challenges and moments that pass when the kids are super miserable, they pass.  The bad moments pass and everyone bounces back and for the most part...considering their situation, they are doing pretty good.

We have each other.  It's true what they say, the family that struggles together, stays together...oh wait, I'm not sure if anyone really said that but we stick together through the thick of it.  We always have and we always will.

The Big Pile of Bad...

We are 4 weeks into waiting for the genetic tests to be done.  They can take anywhere from 6-8 weeks so, maybe we are half way through this waiting game.  It has been rotten, truly a big pile of bad stuff.  You know why?

Because...I know what the kids have.  I'm not suppose to know but accidents happen.  Not only have I been wrapped up in the chaos of that and dealing with the fallout but I have been sworn to secrecy that I can not tell anyone what it is.  Not until we are sitting in the doctor's office in Seattle where we will get the official word.

Do you know what it feels like to live with the most horrible news of your life and not be able to tell a soul?  Do you know what it feels like to have this knowledge and not a doctor on earth will speak to you about it yet, let you process it with them?  Do you know what it feels like to read the letters from your missionary with this new knowledge underscoring everything he says...reading between the lines...worrying...wondering?  Do you know that you look at your kids differently when you know something like this? Do you know that it is the loneliest place to be?

Do you know that still...there is a part of me stuck in denial.  Waffling back and forth that it can't be.  What if it isn't?  What if they thought they were right but they really weren't?  What if the clinical lab doesn't get the same result as the research lab?  So many questions and that has me tied up in knots...

A short fuse...
Sleepless nights...
More anxiety than I have ever experienced
Sad days...long days...

But remember...there is still a big pile of good things. Good things that are still good and I hold on to them.  And even though I have been less than a gracious host to my trials since about December, I am trying.  I am trying every day to be better and to be happy.  Not everyday works out so well but that's how it is.  My life.

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!

29 gifts!  My traditional way to start the new year...give away 29 acts of service in 29 days is back in my life and week one is done! Eve...