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dodging a bullet

Jul 20, 2014 in blessings, the hip | 0 comments

As I stood in the shower Friday afternoon while getting ready to attend the temple that night, I winced in pain as I have every shower since May 2. Lifting my left arm up to wash my hair pinches something in the shoulder joint and it shoots down my arm and up to my neck. Inwardly, I thought “Argh, I am so tired of this pain! When will it stop hurting to shampoo my hair. It has been 11 weeks!”

Instantly Jeremy’s voice entered my mind. On Tuesday at our appointment he shared these thoughts, “We have dodged a bullet, a really big bullet, with your vagus nerve and jaw.” He expressed his gratitude and we both rejoiced a bit at how well my foot and hip are doing. I heard I was doing well. I heard things were improving. I heard I could increase my time on the Elliptigo. I heard my vagus was calming down. But I didn’t really think about it. I didn’t feel grateful down deep in my soul. I didn’t really hear him until I was in the shower.

But as I winced in pain in the shower and Jeremy’s word replayed in my mind, the voice of the Lord washed over me and I heard something else.

Tracy, we dodged a bullet. I blessed you with a miracle. Just a few short weeks ago, a hypersensitive vagus was staring you in the face, and now, your vagus is calmed down. Tracy, I love you. Take this gift and know I healed you.

His words surrounded me from head to toe and I felt wrapped up in a blanket of love and warmth and safety. I felt known and heard and blessed.

My God is a god of miracles. He can and will and is pouring them down upon us. May I always remember.

let’s add a minute

Jul 15, 2014 in the hip | 2 comments

Yippee-eye-aye!

Is that how you write that celebratory shout?

Regardless, I am shouting it from the rooftops! After six long months of injury – the pubic bone separation in January and then the foot dislocation a few weeks later – my body is ready to move forward. For the past two weeks or so, I have been riding my Elliptigo for two minutes a day and today I got the go-ahead to increase my time by a minute a day. So tomorrow it is three minutes. Then if that goes well, four minutes the next day!

In two weeks, I might be up to sixteen minutes. Oh my stinkin’ heck, I am so excited!

My jaw and head are still pretty sore, but they are improving and we are leaving them alone for now and hoping all the bones slide back to where they rightly belong without any more interference. It is challenging to move them without increasing my vagus nerve symptoms, so we are praying for the bones to move on their own as I keep drinking liquids and eating soft foods.

Today at my appointment with Jeremy we worked on the fascial tissues throughout the pelvis and made lots of progress in freeing it up. We haven’t been able to work much on my hip since I fell on May 2, so it is super exciting that my ribs and head are improved enough that we can get back to the hip.

the tooth fairy is coming

Jul 7, 2014 in children, family, pics, slider | 1 comment

Goodbye little girl with a smile full of baby teeth.

She lost a bottom tooth on Saturday night and her top two front teeth are super loose, they will be coming out soon. I actually have no idea how they are still in there – the one on the right can twist clear around in circles.

Photo on 7-7-14 at 3.40 PM

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Photo on 7-7-14 at 3.41 PM #2

Photo on 7-7-14 at 3.41 PM #4

Every single milestone brings a big sigh of bittersweet emotions from my soul. Seeing her lose her baby cheeks, her teeth, and her little girlness is so stinkin’ hard. I never thought I would have a home without a baby or a toddler – and now I am full blown into the lose-the-teeth stage for the last time. I want to ask the tooth fairy to hide piles of money under her pillow – surely having Annes hit the jackpot will assuage my heartbreak?

I was supposed to have a gazillion children and while I am so grateful for my four, each “last-time” feels like a knife wound.

It seems silly to cry over teeth, but I think I might.

one year later

Jul 3, 2014 in blessings, the hip | 2 comments

In spite of the aforementioned skull pain, today is a day to celebrate! One year ago I fell off a barstool while cleaning the shower for our Independence Day guests and broke my 4th metatarsal. Even though it was a small break, we did not know if it would heal or not. We didn’t know if the ligaments in my foot would be able to muster up the strength to hold the bone together. There was a good chance I would need to have surgery with pins and all that jazz.

But it healed! Hallelujah! After nearly five months of kick-butt pain, 16 weeks in a myriad of different walking boots, specialized medial-post, steel-shank shoes for three months post-walking boot, and lots of BF&C, essential oils, bone building supplements, and heaps and heaps of prayers, it is healed.

Having a broken left foot did a number on my right hip and set me back significantly – probably lost about 6 months of hip progress because of the foot – but here we are at one year post break and my hip has recovered nicely. I am able to ride the Elliptigo for two minutes a day and we are starting to see some real progress with my hip. It would have really been helpful to only have the broken foot to deal with in the past year, but having the severely sprained right foot in February set me back significantly again. Now my hip and left foot are doing well. My right foot is healing from the fall at swim camp and soon I will be able to exercise for more than two minutes a day.

So, I say Praise the Lord. This broken foot could have been so much worse. I could have had surgery. I could still be in a walking boot. I could still be experiencing significant foot pain. But I am not! I can walk without pain and today, on this one year anniversary, I am going to rejoice.

i don’t think your skull is supposed to move like this

Jul 3, 2014 in the hip | 1 comment

Yesterday we spent a lovely day at the lake with 10-15 of our favorite families. Kiddos big and little played in the sand, on the tubes, and everywhere in between – they had a ball. And so did all the mamas. Some moms swam and played up a storm, others of us sat and chatted the afternoon away. I was in the latter group and had a great time visiting with friends and getting updates on all their adventures.

When I left I made what seemed to be a small mistake, but is perhaps developing into a large mistake. Do I dare even say that?

When I put our water bottle/sunscreen/miscellaneous supply basket into the car, I rammed my forehead right into the top edge of the car. I have no clue how I missed the vital piece of information of the car’s location or how I didn’t notice my head’s close proximity to it, all I know is it really, really hurt.

And once again, my heart rate shot up. The girls helped me lie down in the car for a bit and we called Richard to do his energy work magic on me and then I thought I was fine. I was able to drive home, hold a book discussion on My Name Used To Be Muhammed, and everything seemed fine. Then my head started throbbing. My jaw, forehead, temporal bone, eyeballs, everything was pounding and I limped through the last bit of our discussion holding my head and trying not to focus on the pain. By the time everyone left I was hurting quite a bit.

This morning Jeremy shifted all those bones back into place, which hurt something fierce. Poor Sheri’s hand must have felt like a tourniquet was on it with how hard I was squeezing it. It felt better for a bit after the appointment, but now my forehead is throbbing again. Ice and little talking are the order of the night. No more animated raging about the injustice in the world and wide gesticulations about prison sentences for converting to Christianity. I need to speak calmly and softly and not open my mouth wide at all. A tall order for me!

summer reading

Jul 2, 2014 in books, homeschooling, language & literature | 1 comment

Fisher and Annes and I have spent the past month or so reading Hanne’s Quest, a delightful little story about a little hen who must go on an epic journey to save her owner’s farm.

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We picked up this book at a used book store several years ago when I simply could not resist the lovely artwork.

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Mem Pockets, the owner of the farm, has a flock of speckled chickens who lay speckled eggs that she sells at the market every Friday. She loves her hens and treats them nearly like children. One day she gets a letter stating she owes back taxes on her farm and has thirty days to pay them or she will lose her land. She has very little income and no way to earn enough money in one month’s time. The hens talk together to hatch a plan and the oldest hen remembers an old legend about a special hen laying three golden eggs. Hanne, the smallest hen, decides she is the one for the undertaking and sets off on her journey to faraway places to fulfill the ancient legend.

My children were on the edge of their seats each day as they traveled with Hanne through frightening adventures and noble deeds. The chapters are just the right length for a read-aloud of one chapter a day.

We have been plodding along in our family read-aloud, The Red Keep, for months and while I quite like the book, it is moving too slow for some of our family members. I’m sure there will be plenty of excitement by the end, but right now we are still in the laying the groundwork part of the plot and it has been increasingly hard to make much progress. It is my August book discussion book, so I will keep reading it, but on Friday night we made a switch to a new book, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.

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Oh my goodness, it is SO fun! The three introductions are hilarious and had us all laughing out loud. I have been reading the introductions to anyone who will listen to me for the past 5 days. When I heard about the Wingfeather Saga (the name of the series), I immediately went to the author’s page on Amazon. After reading his bio, I found his website, book blog, and awesome-sauce conglomeration of fellow authors, artists, and discussers of ideas, The Rabbit Room.

And to say I fell in love would be an understatement. When you read his bio, I think you will understand why.

Hey, folks. If you’re just discovering me or any of my work, it can be a little confusing because there are several facets to it. Here’s the rundown:

I write songs. I also record them to these cool things called CDs and put on concerts around the country. (And beyond! To my great delight, I get to play in Europe every year or so.)

I write books. Right now I’m three books into a fantasy series for young readers. It’s called the Wingfeather Saga. I just published book three (of four), in May of 2011. I also illustrated some of the pictures. (WingfeatherSaga.com)

I’m the proprietor of the Rabbit Room., a community of songwriters, authors, and artists interested in storytelling, faith, and fellowship. We have a yearly conference called Hutchmoot, which is as awesome as it sounds. (Hutchmoot.com)

I’m a proud member of the Square Peg Alliance, a happy band of singer/songwriters who write together, tour together, and eat together. (SquarePegAlliance.com)

I’ve been married for nineteen years to Jamie, and we have three sweet children: Aedan (15), Asher (14), and Skye (11). We live in a magical place we call the Warren, just south of Nashville.

The common thread in all this is my love for Christ and his Kingdom, my belief in the power of story and art, and my need for family and community. If I had to boil it all down, I’d say this: I want to use my gifts to tell the truth, and to tell it as beautifully as I can.

That ought to get you started. For a more in-depth look at what I do, visit Andrew-Peterson.com. Thanks!

Andrew Peterson’s approach to life, family, sharing his ideas, and making a difference in the world entered right into my heart. He is hilarious, generous, real, and is spending his life doing what he loves, an act of courage in this day and age of working jobs one hates.

The fourth and final book in the Windfeather Saga was released last week on his website and will be available for pre-order on Amazon with shipment on July 22.

Everyone is thoroughly enjoying this story, even my one child who is incredibly challenging to please with read-aloud time, so I declare it a solid winner. As soon as we have a spare $45, we will be buying all four books so we can delight in them again and again. Right now I have books 1-3 checked out from the library and local friends, DO NOT REQUEST THEM! Please, pretty, pretty please, let us keep them for a bit so we can get through them. We are reading as fast as we can. Promise.

starting to exercise again

Jul 1, 2014 in the hip | Comments Off

Except for my jaw/face/neck pain, I am in the best place physically that I have been in since the beginning of January, WAHOO! On Friday I was given the go ahead to ride my Elliptigo for two minutes per day. My first day was Monday and while my muscles were given a bit or a workout, my hip and feet felt great afterwards. Today I rode again and have to say, it is so stinkin’ FUN! I love it.

It is a different feeling than a bike or treadmill or anything else I have ever ridden. It is in a class all by itself and it is going to take a bit to get used to the different muscles being worked. I can close my eyes and imagine I am outside, spinning down the road super fast, weaving back and forth, having the time of my life. It amazes me how much my abdominal muscles hurt afterwards. They say it works the core muscles and while I didn’t believe them at first, after riding it for even the tinsiest length of time, it is obvious by the burning my midsection it does.

I am also going to take advantage of this no-major-injury time, to refocus on my MELT Method work. I ordered the soft roller and ball kit months ago, but then my pelvis was injured, then my foot, then my ribs, neck, & jaw, then my foot again, so I haven’t been able to do anything but survive until the last week or so. I am hoping to find a MELT partner to come do the ten minute workouts with me each day. Sheri? Kat? Jenn? I think if I have a partner, I will be much more diligent. Who wants to join me for morning Elliptigo, MELT, and green smoothies?

please keep running sentra

Jul 1, 2014 in blessings, family | 2 comments

The broken Subaru story has now expanded to a broken Subaru + a broken Suburban. On our way home from Utah on Saturday night, we started hearing a horrible grinding sound coming from the driver’s side axle area. We pulled over, did some investigation in the dark with cars whizzing by us at 80 mph, and decided we had to baby it to the next exit so we could get off the side of the road.

We figured it had to be the u-joints or the transfer case and shouldn’t drive it further. We started making phone calls, waking people up in the middle of the night, and were able to find some superheroes wearing their capes. Tami quickly found us a hotel room and a ride to get there. Unfortunately, when we got to the hotel it was full – her reservation had been made after midnight, so it bumped us to checking in that afternoon after 4:00 – and there were no rooms available to sleep in right then. Nor were there rooms at any other hotels within a 20 mile radius.

So, this dear woman who picked us up, a sister of my friend Boo, took us to her home in the middle of the night and let us crash on her floor. She had just gotten home that night from a cross-country road trip and needed to be sound asleep herself, but she came and rescued our little family and gave us a safe, warm place to sleep. I need to find out what her favorite treat is and send her a pile of them.

The next morning, Tami came and got us, took us back to the broken Suburban so it could be towed, and then drove us the 2+ hours home. Superhero, that girl is!

The repair shop called and said it is the transfer case. Ouch. $2100 bill. So, we are figuring out everything we can sell to come up with enough money. And lovely things are happening! Yesterday, we got a refund check of $215 from our mortgage company for an overpayment of escrow! Never in all our years of having a mortgage have we received a check. I about fell on the floor when I read the words. A woman came and bought our lovely Apple Gathering painting that hangs in our front room and left an extra $50 for it. I sold a set of books for $145. Today I will list our beloved Duplo table with all 645 pieces we meticulously counted last night. Today I will be combing my house to come up with other things I can sell and slowly, but surely we will get there. The treadmill is next on the list, hmmm, what else is here that can get us some cash?

For now, we are stuck at our house and crossing our fingers the part for the Subaru comes in today so Richard can fix it tonight. Thank goodness his little Nissan is still chugging along so he can get to work!

thankful thursdays 6/26

Jun 26, 2014 in thankful thursdays | 3 comments

It has been awhile since I have posted a gratitude list and for the good of my soul I need to take some time to do it today.

  • Summer! Oh, how it feeds my soul to see the sun shining and my trees blowing in the breeze.
  • Time with Richard. Because he doesn’t work for the school district in the summer, we get a bit more papa time in the summer. This past Saturday was his first Saturday with us since last September and it was heavenly.  We took Fisher and Annes camping overnight at a campground just a few miles from our house. The kids got to fish right up until dark since the river ran alongside our camp spot. Richard and the kids were up early to hit the river again. It was such a delightful get away and reminded me how much I adore my family and being outdoors with them.
  • Our Happy Jar. I read about it over on Hands Free Mama and decided to give it a whirl. Fish and Annes love it! It is helping all of us to notice the good and be the good.
  • My Aunt Eileen sent me a box full of delicious rhubarb jam! My grandma made rhubarb jam every summer and sometimes I was able to help her. One of my favorite childhood memories is crawling down into grandma’s cellar to get a jar of homemade jam for our morning toast. Now my children get to experience a lil’ piece of my grandma and their heritage.
  • Our homeschool group had a curriculum fair yesterday and for six whole buckaroos I came home with a bag full of wonderful treasures.
  • Read aloud time with my family. Fisher and Annes and I just finished Hanne’s Quest. It has been a fun book with just the right touch of mystery, wonder, and courage. All of us are still plugging through The Red Keep – it is taking us awhile because the big girls’ schedules are so inconsistent. My goal is to reinstitute a solid plan for family read-aloud time.
  • My new website is coming along nicely and I love my adorable tree made by the super-talented Jessica. I should be ready to launch this new change-the-world venture in the next week or so.
  • I haven’t been able to rearrange the furniture all year and it has about killed me. A few days ago Blythe helped move all the furniture over to the carpeted room and the table to the wood room. We were able to deep clean both rooms in just a few hours! My soul needs things to be rearranged fairly frequently so everything feels fresh and new and now that it is taken care of, I feel like I can move forward with a clean slate into my summer projects.
  • Our girls were able to go on trek last week with our old ward. This experience of pulling a handcart through the desolate high-mountain plains of Wyoming has changed them for the better. I am so grateful our former bishop invited them attend and that they were able to work hard to earn the money to pay for it.
  • My jaw is improving. I can talk pretty normally now and the headaches are subsiding some. The bones across my face still ache something fierce, but the lower jaw is not hurting nearly as much.
  • Our car broke down a few days ago, but thanks to my handy husband, we think we have it figured out. The new part should be on its way to us soon and we will have a working car in the next week or so.
  • Last night I finished reading My Name Used To Be Muhammed. My heart broke so many times while reading it. I ached for the harshness and violence of Tito Momen’s life and wanted to wrap his precious little boy heart up in my arms and let him draw to his heart’s content. I wanted to prevent his father from hitting his mother ever again. I wanted to turn a whole culture of control, violence, and fear into a culture of love, patience, and trust. But I couldn’t do any of those things. I CAN mourn with those that mourn and do my darndest to raise my children with the love I wanted Tito to have. I can encourage other families on their paths. I can be a voice for empathic parenting. I can teach and love and serve. The experience of reading this book was painful and I am grateful to have gone though it – my heart is expanded by the suffering and courage of Tito.
  • A few weeks ago when my jaw was in so much pain, my friend Marie showed up unannounced at my house with her seven children, including her baby who has Down’s Syndrome and a whole host of health problems. I tried to send them away with protestations of “We are fine, we don’t need any help!” but Marie looked into my eyes and said, “Please Tracy, let me do something for you. I need to get out of my troubles and do something for someone else. Please let me help.” So I did. I know that dark place of being weighed down by my own troubles and knowing the only way out is to get out of my head and go serve someone else. She and her children mowed my lawn, washed my dishes, took several batches of blankets and towels to wash, and gave me piles of love. They brought carrot juice, delicious herbal tea, and willing hearts and hands. I keep thinking back to the beautiful morning and well up with tears…there is so much love in this world.
  • Tonight we made dinner for the missionaries (Tami’s Famous Chicken Tortilla Soup) and now we are going to have Family Game Night. Such a lovely evening.

first day at the lake

Jun 25, 2014 in blessings, family | Comments Off

A day at the lake watching my little ones run and swim and giggle is exactly what I needed today. I have been working non-stop on my new website and the iFamily schedule and website all week. Today we took advantage of the sun and windless skies to go to the lake for the first time of the summer.

And it was perfect.

They played on our one working inner tube, built sandcastles, searched for frogs and snakes, swam underwater, and ran around like little children without a care in the world. Just like they should.

I laid in my chair and read a book and smiled as I watched them squeal with delight.

Oh, I love mothering!

p.s. Yes, a post about trek is coming. Yes, my jaw is improving. Yes, I am doing well this week. Yes, I will be at the reunion…these are all for my dear mama who keeps asking me, but doesn’t want to pester me. Love you mama…see you in a few days.