thankful thursdays 11/9

Nov 9, 2017 by

Boy howdy. This back injury has me reeling. It hurts a whole, whole bunch. I am clinging to faith and hope and love, but often slide into despair and anger. Because it’s hard to hurt this much and have no idea when it will end.

  • Tens units are the best. So grateful I have one.
  • My Rezzimax Tuner is also the best. I alternate between my tens unit and my tuner and if one of them is on me, I can function. As soon as they are taken off of me, I writhe in pain again.
  • I’m so grateful for amazing children who are taking care of me during the day.
  • Blue skies make all the difference for me. If I can see the sky outside my window, my soul feels a million times more hopeful.
  • I’m so grateful for dear friends who drive me to events so I can still participate, make a place for me to lie down, and don’t bat an eye at all the special care my body needs.
  • My children are blossoming. After years of struggling with reading, my little ones are reading and reading well. I’m so proud of the hard work they have put in and the time they have had to develop in their own ways. Miss Annesley is reading Little House in the Big Woods to me and we are having so much fun with it. Hearing her happy voice read about Laura’s adventures makes these long days in bed much more bearable.
  • Two more weeks until I go to Mexico for more stem cell treatments. I am SO, SO hoping for a miracle for my back.

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thankful thursdays 11/1

Nov 3, 2017 by

It is food for my soul to take some time and ponder the blessings of my life.

  • I am grateful for the past many weeks of consciousness. I haven’t passed out fully since I got home from Mexico on September 1. I did have one small episode on September 15 at gym and one almost episode on a trip to Utah on the 16, but I didn’t actually pass out either time and haven’t had anything close to an episode ever since. It is AMAZING!
  • My bed is glorious. I spend far more time in it than one would think is wise, but oh, my it is just so comfy. The past few weeks my back has been hurting something fierce and lying in a comfortable bed has been such a gift to my recovery.
  • I’m so grateful for the human beings my children have become. They are now 21, 17, 13, and 9 (almost 10!) and while we all have character development we could improve upon, I am genuinely pleased with who they are and how they are living their lives. They are kind, caring, honest humans.
  • Warm baths are near the top of my list right now. My back has been spamming for the past few weeks and I’m so grateful to have a comfortable tub I can soak in comfortably.
  • The beautiful reds, oranges, and yellows of the season bring a smile to my soul. As my beloved Anne says, “I’m so greatful to live in a world with Octobers.” Now that it is November, it is mostly drab.
  • I’m grateful to be mentoring Worldviews right now. It is a TON of work for me and I wonder if I am up to the task, but I love discussing big ideas with my students and immersing myself in the mountain of books we are reading.
  • My amazing husband has a new job this year and he is loving it! He feels like he is actually making a difference. I’m so, so grateful he has this opportunity and that his work is being valued.
  • I am especially grateful for the Giver of All Good Gifts. He is ever reminding me of who He is and who I am.
  • This is the beginning of November, the month of Thanksgiving. I hope to open my heart more fully to gratitude and to His bounteous gifts this month…and always.

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roller coasters in my soul

Oct 29, 2017 by

I don’t know what is wrong with me. Taking the time to blog has become nearly impossible. I got out of the habit when my hands were injured at the end of October 2015 and even though I can usually type now without gobs of pain, I haven’t figured out how to carve out the minutes in my day to write.

I am hoping to change that. I really, really miss taking the time to ponder and share the inner workings of my soul. And I SO miss having a record of our life.

I think I have said similar things the last ten times I have posted. Hmmmmm. How boring is that? Pretty boring.

It is Sunday evening and I am vacillating between peace in my soul and an angtsy-overwhelm feeling at all the things I need to do, want to do, and “should” do. My husband is taking a much deserved nap across the room from me. His gentle snores are music to my ears as they signal to me that he is actually getting good sleep. My oldest is standing on the washer and dryer creating a “Speak Life” motif on my giant chalkboard. (I had a dream of her doing it before she left on her mission, but it didn’t happen and now that she has been home for nearly 7 months, she is finally giving me this gift. YES!) My youngest is writing a story and has been plucking it out on the computer for several hours. She keeps running upstairs to ask for my input on character’s names and telling me more of her story. Sabbath Day music is playing and filling my soul with God’s love. Our one and only boy is drawing at the counter. All is calm and my goodness, it feels wonderful.

At the same time, my entire living room is full of thousands of pieces of clothing as I am finally doing the giant clothing purge that Keziah and I started back in 2015. I’m staring at my back door which needs a handle and lock so it can open. This makes me think of my basement doors which do not shut all the way and desperately need to be replaced because they let in so much cold air. The fake wood floor in front of those doors needs to be replaced because they are separated and yucky from water damage. This makes me think of the stinky carpet that was ruined in the wall leak we discovered the day Blythe came home from her mission back in April. Then my thoughts go to my bedroom windows that do not seal well and let cold air in all winter along with ice and the subsequent water melting. And then my mind jumps to the need we have of alternative heat – a wood stove that is not dependent on electricity to keep us warm. There are so many things that need to be fixed: sprinklers, vehicles, fences, roofs, couches, flooring, baseboards, tubs, the fridge, the dishwasher, screens, cupboard doors, vacuums, leaves, trash, and many other things. Another winter is coming soon and they most likely will not be taken care of before the cold is upon us.

It all feels so overwhelming. And impossible. There is not enough money or time to solve these problems. When I focus on them, I can easily burst into tears.

So, I keep going round and round in my brain between the peace and love in my home and the feeling of going crazy with fear and want and overwhelm. The reality is we have a lovely home in a beautiful place and mountains of blessings. We have running water, toilets that flush, appliances that make our lives infinitely easier, thousands of books, food to eat, and more luxuries than probably 90% of the world. We also have a hole lot of love and laughter.

Focusing on the good is what I need to do. I’m amazed at the mind game it is to stay on the positive side of things and how quickly I can fall apart when I start thinking of all the things I need to fix and all the ways I am falling short. The last few months I have been on a roller coaster ride of emotions swinging wildly from tears to anger to laughter and joy and back to tears again. I don’t know if it is lack of sleep, peri-menopause, CRAZY period emotions, not turning enough to God, or basic character flaws. The emotion of the minute changes on a dime and my dear husband and children have no idea what to expect from me anymore. They see me crying more often than not, but in the midst of all the crazy hard emotions, there has been heaps of joy and peace and love as well.

I’m really trying ever so hard to focus on the good – to connect with each one of my family members’ souls each day, to spend time communing with God, and to savor the small moments of peace. But the tears still come. I cried my way through the sacrament today. Then when we sang “How Firm A Foundation” for the closing hymn, I sobbed as I took in His grace and mercy and love into my soul.

And then I stood up and hugged an old friend from Ghana who showed up in my church services today. Up and down and all around, I never know what is going to come out of my mouth or if I am going to burst into tears of sadness or tears of joy.

Is this normal? Is this the result of dealing with a chronic health issue for a very long time? Is this the result of selfishness? Insanity? Hormones that are swinging wildly? A husband who works a zillion hours a week and doesn’t have enough time to fix all the things? I don’t even know. I just know it is hard. It is a fight, each and every day, to stay in a place of peace and love and calm.

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thankful thursdays 7/20

Jul 21, 2017 by

Sunshine and blue skies and beautiful trees are oh, so good for my soul. I need more of them in my life. I have spent much of the past few weeks cleaning and decluttering my home while recovering from a brain MRI (the gadolinium contrast made me sick for several days) and it has felt pretty soul-sucking. But yesterday, I went kayaking and remembered just how much I love being on the water. It is medicine for my soul in a way I cannot describe.

  • Today I am really grateful for my Keziah. This girl has worked and worked and worked the past few weeks and has been the muscle behind all the projects going on in our home. She has cleaned the storage room and sewing room and been a decluttering maestro. She has little attachment to things so she was able to help me sort out what really needed to go. This girl is a cleaning wonder.
  • Insurance is on my list today. I am philosophically opposed to the whole Obamacare program and it is terribly disturbing what it is doing to our country as a whole. However, I am one of the few it has been a blessing for and while I still disagree with the program, I feel a need to say thank you. In the past month I have had genetic, brain, spine, heart, and blood tests totally over $10,000. My insurance has paid for all of it except a couple hundred dollars. Such a blessing!
  • My dear husband. I’ve been a bit of a bear to live with lately. Maybe I am always a bear, I don’t know really. In spite of my prickliness, my gem of a man has been kind and forgiving and helped me work through super big emotions. I love this man. So much.
  • My body is doing FABULOUSLY well at the moment. I am making heaps of progress physically and this week I made it into the gym at PT! I believe it is the first time since Fall 2014! I have been riding my Elliptigo on short, little rides and now Jeremy has given me a list of exercises to do at home each day. This is HUGE. Since 2012, I have made it to this point four or five times and then gotten injured within two to three weeks. This time I am hoping beyond hope to stay on the healing side of things and be able to actually grow some muscles.
  • I’m thankful for new bookshelves. Keziah bought them since I have no pennies to spend at the moment. Kat helped me assemble them. And I have been slowly filling them all week. They fit perfectly and hold far more books than our last set-up. I have big plans for Richard to eventually build cupboards below them and add crown molding so they look like built-ins, but I have no idea when that will happen.
  • Last summer Kat planted me some daisies right outside my bedroom window. I love them. They are blooming and those little flowers bring me joy every time I see them.
  • I’ve become a little obsessed with Caesar salad with feta cheese and craisins. While the feta and craisins might not actually be good for me, I have convinced myself that eating a giant bowl of romaine slathered in Caesar dressing and the delicious aforementioned extras is super nourishing to my cells.
  • I’m so grateful for friends who have listened while I have fallen apart over the possibility of something being wrong in my brain. At times it feels really, really big and they have let me cry and rant and rave and have given me big hugs, wise words, and heaps of laughter which makes it a bit more manageable. Thank you, dear ones.

I have received quite a bit of crazy medical news over the past few weeks and I am researching, trying to process it, and sorting out what I want to do with the information. More tests? Submit to various treatment plans? More appointments with more doctors? It is a bit overwhelming. At times I burst into tears. Other times I try to distance myself from it and force myself to think of other things. Some of the most helpful things I am doing are taking the time to think of what I am grateful for, remembering God’s hand in my life, and doing the new exercises Jeremy has assigned. Those are things I have control over and are actually growing muscles and building mental toughness.

Today I started another grow-my-sanity practice. I have a daily devotional book based on the writings of C.S. Lewis that I am going to be reading one day at a time and then writing my thoughts. I think this is going to be both centering and heaven focusing. Creating a new morning routine is pretty challenging to me, but maybe, just maybe, my good friend, Jack (C.S. Lewis) will be a strong enough pull to help me get out of bed and spend some time communing.

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summer has arrived!

Jun 13, 2017 by

June is nearly half over and summer is here! We just completed our 14th year of Swim Camp. There were 49 families camping with us, 110 kids in lessons, and many other children not in lessons. SO MUCH FUN.

The next few weeks are full of family reunions and camping with Tami (cousin), Mikelle (sister), and my mama on the banks of a beautiful, slow-moving river the kids will play in all day long. This summer we will also have our regular trip to the Wind Rivers, a wedding for my niece, Andie, in Fort Collins, and many days at our local lakes and rivers to kayak and paddleboard and soak up sunshine.

Summer time is just what I need. Amazing how it comes around every year at just the right time to fill my soul up with family, nature, time on the water, blue skies, and Vitamin D from that glorious sun.

I am recovering from my trip to Mexico for stem cell treatments four weeks ago and I can feel my torn ligaments healing. It is ever so slow, but it is working. We went kayaking and paddleboarding on Memorial Day and my hands were able to paddle. It hurt my shoulder with the still recovering subscapularis tear to pull on the paddleboard, but kayaking was okay. It must engage a slightly different set of body parts. My goal is to be in my boat and on my board as much as possible so I can grow some serious muscle. Last summer I was able to grow 5 lbs of muscle between May and September because of all the kayaking I did. I lost nearly all of it over this long winter of injuries. Now, I want to grow more and then NOT get injured and be able to keep growing muscle all winter long.

Bring on the sun and sea (or beautiful rivers and man-made lakes which populate Idaho!). Bring on the family time. Bring on the camping in the majestic mountains and fresh air. Oh, how I love summer.

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thankful thursdays 5/25

May 25, 2017 by

I met with my geneticist, Dr. Ball, at Primary Children’s Medical Center, on Monday. It is a pretty big deal to meet with him. It is a big deal emotionally, physically, and mentally and I’m still recovering days later. It’s time to take some time to focus on gratitude.

  • I’m grateful there is a geneticist in the intermountain west who knows EDS inside and out.
  • I’m grateful Kez and Dallin took me down to SLC and listened to me go round and round about how maybe the whole thing is in my head. They may have laughed at me, but they listened and helped me sort through the tangled web of thoughts running on repeat in my mind.
  • Sunshine is feeding my soul. Oh my goodness, I love the sun streaming through my windows, shining down on my body, and glistening through the trees.
  • Dallin. This young man has my heart. He is Keziah’s best friend and we love him. His goodness brings me so much joy.
  • We had a crazy windstorm on Wednesday and lost hundreds of branches and one big tree. I’m so grateful nothing came through our windows or roof or smashed our cars.
  • I can feel the stem cells kicking in and energy is starting to increase a wee bit every day. I’m still super exhausted, but I can feel a difference and others are seeing a difference.
  • My dear Richard. He is working so hard, so many hours trying his darndest to make ends meet and to take care of all of us. He comes home wiped out, but still plays catch with the kids, does laundry, cooking, or whatever else needs done, and most of all, he loves us. He is almost done with the school year and it will be so, so good for him to have a bit of a break.
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