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this pitcher can throw, but i haven’t struck out yet

Dec 18, 2014 in the hip | 0 comments

Life throws some pretty tricky curve balls sometimes. I’m a pretty good hitter, but I never saw this one coming.

On December 2, I had a fabulous appointment with Jeremy and was cleared to start exercising again after I had injured the inguinal ligament back in early October. We had just finished up a fairly uneventful Thanksgiving week and my body was doing really well. I was ready to start building some muscles and kick off the Christmas season.

On December 3, my dear friend, Heather, invited a group of us to go to lunch and fill her up with some love and laughter. We had a lovely lunch catching up on the events of all of our lives and laughed ourselves silly. I always lie down during our Red Robin escapades and this time was no different…except I was squished and my head was turned really wonky.

Somehow, the yucky position my neck was in reinjured my vagus nerve, stretching it out and irritating it right back into hypersensitivity mode. I stood up at the end of our meal, collapsed right in the restaurant and proceeded to have many episodes of passing out, shaking, and vomiting. It was awful. Probably the worst episode yet. At the time, I thought it was a one-time deal – I had no idea that I would not feel hungry for the next several days, that anything I did eat would come right back up, and that my stomach would ache for hours and hours and hours after I was able to get the tinsiest amount of food down.

Vomiting is probably my least favorite thing. I puked my guts out during all of my pregnancies and haven’t thrown up once since Annesley’s birth seven years ago because my body is DONE with the puking.

Until now. Oh my goodness, the puking. A few days ago, in the midst of an hour long puke-fest, I told Kez to text Richard and tell him I was dying. I didn’t really think I was, but I was not at all sure I was going to come out alive on the other side. I’ve thrown up in all my sinks, my garbage can, my trusty bowl that is my new companion, my bath tub, in multiple parking lots, in my hands, my hair, and all over my shoes. The worst was throwing up a huge puddle of protein/chocolate/green smoothie at a man’s brand new home – what a housewarming gift! After two weeks of this, I am about to give up on eating entirely. It is disgusting and painful and exhausting. I am now eating a very small meal about every 24-36 hours. I have kept the last two down and am hoping this means some healing is occurring.

A few days after the vomiting started, I passed out at church and injured my knee. The LCL is partially torn and the meniscus is torn. The LCL might heal. If it does, it will take 2-4 months. The meniscus will not heal, but it may be livable. We won’t really know until the pain from the LCL decreases so I can assess the meniscus pain by itself.

So I spend my days icing and elevating and sipping water and trying to figure out how to adjust to this curve ball. I am researching how to calm the vagus nerve and have come up with some ideas we are going to start implementing. As soon as I can get some ginger, I am going to start taking 600 mg 3 times a day. I am applying nerve calming oils to the vagus and digestive oils to my stomach. I am working on slow breathing, taking time to ponder, and working on being calm. I am trying to get up really, really slowly and keep my sympathetic nervous system calm, for when it ramps up, the parasympathetic system has to ramp up to balance it out.

Our December already feels so derailed from how I imagined it. I haven’t shopped for a single gift for extended family, friends, or neighbors. Baking goodies with the kids has not happened, nor has standing in shopping lines, looking at lights, or attending any parties, recitals, or concerts. Even getting our nightly Christmas book in has been a tremendous challenge when I feel so miserable.

This is going to be a new journey – new twists and turns I cannot yet foresee. I am trying to open my mind to acceptance for the road my body is taking us all on. My job is to believe and hope and work for healing AND accept with grace and dignity the journey I am on.

I don’t really know what the point of this post is except perhaps for me to get the disjointed thoughts swirling around in my mind out on paper screen so I can remember being in the midst of this journey when the next one comes and I need help getting through it. Just yesterday I read a post from the last time my vagus was acting up and rereading my words filled me with hope and faith that God can heal me this time, too. This may be a short jaunt into the land of non-digestion and knee injury or it may be our new life. At this point we have no idea where this road is taking us, but we do know we are surrounded by family and friends that love us and we are in God’s keeping.

nnnnooooooooo!

Dec 13, 2014 in the hip | 2 comments

Whine. Grump. Complain. That is what I feel like doing. I wouldn’t let Richard kiss me goodbye this morning and basically just told my two superhero friends to take a hike. This is the ugly part of a chronic condition that keeps rearing its head in painful, debilitating ways. Sometimes I let it win and drive me to the depths of despair and I guess today is one of those days.

Ten days ago, I went out to eat with my friends and then collapsed and puked my guts out for several hours. I thought this was a one-time event. But it has continued and wore me right down. I am not hungry, nothing sounds good, and when I do eat, the food sits in my esophagus for hours and hours. Then as soon as my heart rate goes up, the food comes right out. It is disgusting and messy and mortifying. We are thinking my vagus nerve got stretched when we were out to eat and it is going to take some time to calm down.

On top of that, I passed out at church on Sunday and fell so fast and hard that Richard and Amy couldn’t catch me. My right leg crumpled underneath me and my knee was bent all wonky up underneath my bottom. The very unfortunate result is an injured LCL, MCL, and meniscus. We have been icing and oiling it all week, but it is not feeling better, if anything it is quite a bit worse. I probably need surgery, which is a whole pile of pennies I don’t have and my connective tissue disorder doesn’t work well with surgery anyway. I am so discouraged about the whole thing…the pain, the inconvenience, the money, the long-term effects, the everything.

Most of all, I am feeling like a burden. A big, fat burden who needs to go away and stop being a burden on my family and friends and complete strangers…which is why I told Jen and Kat to take a hike, I have burdened them for far too long. I cannot stop crying and I am ready to throw in the towel. The thought of another big injury to learn how to take care of and try to heal is too much for me today.

with friends like this, i can stay in the race

Dec 4, 2014 in inspiration, the hip | 5 comments

I watched the Catching Kayla video a few weeks ago. Unlike most things I stumble across on the internet, this story has stuck with me, staying in my mind and teaching me lessons of life.

Kayla was a 14 year old girl who loved playing soccer when her feet suddenly started to tingle. The tingling spread until she had no feeling in her legs at all and she was diagnosed with MS. After figuring out a cocktail of medications that brought the sensations back to her legs, Kayla decided she wanted to run since she could no longer play soccer.

And run she did. Because of her courage and dedication, she went from a not-so-great runner to a strong, fast runner. Kayla has beautiful form and is a joy to watch run.

This part of the story alone was enough to inspire me. But there is more. During her runs, her body temperature rises which causes the tingling, numbness, and lack of sensation to return to her legs. In a way I can’t understand, she can keep running when this happens, but she can’t stop. Her coach has to catch her at the finish line and carry her out to the middle of the field to ice her down to lower her body temperature. When she collapses, she appears disabled and dependent. Her voice cries out “Help me!”

She runs with this wonderfully capable body and ends with a broken body that needs lots of help to be able to function again. She appears totally normal and I would think most people would never know anything is wrong with her.

Just like me.

I get it. I look normal. I can walk and talk and look completely and totally capable one minute and then seconds later be in a heap on the floor unconscious and incapable of taking care of myself.

Yesterday it happened again. A big group of friends had a lunch date at Red Robin. We laughed our heads off, ate delicious food, and buoyed up each other. Aside from lying down in our booth instead of sitting, I looked completely normal. I felt completely normal. And then I stood up. My heart rate jumped up to 130 immediately and I started to lose consciousness right there in the restaurant. The poor diners next to us were probably wondering what the heck was going on as my friends got my body to lie down, my legs elevated a bit (I think in someone’s arms?), and ran to get Jen’s Yukon. I started shaking a bit and I’m sure was a sight to see.

After a few minutes, I thought I was stable enough to walk out. I did okay for the first 30 feet and then I knew I was going down again. We made it into the car just as I collapsed a second time and this time passed out.

The cycle I dislike ever so much started with violent shaking, then passing out over and over again. My friends were holding me, assessing my heart rate, making sure I didn’t fall out of my seat, and doing all they could to help my body calm down. At one point I started throwing up which is about my least favorite activity in the world. These five ladies dealt with the awful stench, held bags in front of me, cleaned up the puke in my hair, helped me in and and out of the car so I could get it all out in a parking lot instead of a bag, and did all of it with compassion. Every time I would throw up, the shaking and passing out cycle would start again. Oh my. It was a doozy.

By the time the day was done I think I threw up in four different parking lots, passed out 10-ish times, thought I was going to be run over by Jennifer as the car started rolling into me on one of the throw up episodes, had a police officer come over to assess the situation of the shaking, crying, heaving woman who keeps losing consciousness, and thoroughly peed my pants during the endless retching…all out in public for all the world to see.

Oh, my goodness. Mortification sets in if I allow myself to think about it too much.

But this morning, I am thinking of Kayla and her courage to keep running in spite of the embarrassing things her body does at the end of the race. I want to keep doing the things I love even if it means my body falls apart. My body handles things pretty well if I stay home lying in bed or in my chair. I can do learning stuff with my children, direct the affairs of our home, send emails, and even do a little housework. It is when I go out that the troubles start. I don’t want to always stay home. I want to do fun things with my friends. I want to teach gymnastics and other classes. I want to be able to do my own grocery shopping. I want stay in the race.

And I think Kayla’s courage to keep running is the visual I need to keep running my own race even if it means other people see my body do embarrassing things. Life is worth living!

And because I have THE BEST friends who keep catching me when I fall, I can stay in the race. Thank you, dear ones, for allowing me to have a life outside of my home – I couldn’t do this without you!

welcome december

Dec 3, 2014 in blessings, family | 1 comment

We have had a long Thanksgiving week at my mom’s house. All my siblings came and it was really good to spend time with everyone. I haven’t been home since January…too long. There is something special about going home that fills up my inward parts like nothing else can.

We were able to attend church in my old, growing-up ward. Oh, the joy! Those people are my people. Although I have told them repeatedly, I’m sure they don’t really understand what an impact they had on my life. Their example of loving Christ, trusting Him, and being His hands in my life taught me much about discipleship. About service. About forgiveness and love and standing for truth. Two of my favorite people said the prayers…I loved hearing them give thanks to God. The whole three hours of meetings were full of happy reunions, hugs and smiles, and lots of beautiful messages about coming to Christ. My heart was filled to bursting.

The rest of the week was spent with my siblings and mama. We played Rook and Spades, cooked lots of yummy food (I actually don’t think I cooked anything, but everyone else did), took kids swimming a few times, and celebrated Annesley’s birthday. Mikelle spoiled us all with new haircuts. One day she did seven haircuts and two colors!

I was also able to go see my Jessica THREE times! Wahoo! She has moved to Wyoming and lives fairly close to my hometown, so of course, we had to take advantage of the close proximity and hang out a few times.

Now that we have been home a few days we are slowly getting our home ready for the month of Christmas. Our Christmas books are out and our tree is up, but not yet decorated. We are waiting for a time when we are all here together and (it is not the middle of the night!) to decorate and put out the nativities. I think the next time we will all be home when it is not sleeping time is Sunday. Ridiculous, but it is all for a good cause. This week is Blythe’s Symphony Concert and she is working two jobs on top of attending play rehearsals AND symphony rehearsals. She is leaving in the morning and getting home every night after 10:00. Long, long days for her.

I need to write a big ‘ol gratitude post and a post about Miss Annes’ birthday and I should probably post about today’s crazy shaking/passing out/puking debacle. (I really needed Jessica here today to witness the whole thing so she could write up a hilarious description and have us all laughing our heads off). Anyway, I may get to those posts or I may not. I don’t know. There is just not enough of me to go around.

Either way, welcome December. May this month bring peace and love and greater connection with God.

goodbye lina

Nov 20, 2014 in children, family | 1 comment

Our oldest is an animal lover. She has rescued and tended animals since she was a wee lass. At the age of three she started rescuing injured birds (and I can’t even count the number of birds who owe their lives to her care). The Christmas she was 3 and 1/2, her beloved cat, Spike (Spike the 1st, as she would later have a string of cats, rock babies, and actually dolls named Spike), got caught in our engine on our way to a Christmas Eve party. I thought the cat needed to put out of its misery, but she dutifully and lovingly nursed it back to health with a variety of herbal salves and lots of prayers. At the age of five she would sleep outside with her chickens in fancy party gowns from the dress-up bin. She could tame wild, scratchy, claw-your-eye-out cats and love even the most reluctant ones into becoming her ardent admirers. A few years back her Sarah developed a blood clot and died. Blythe hand-fed her and cancelled all out-of-the-house activities for two weeks while her favorite feline companion slowly passed away. She has been able to bring chickens, kittens, and puppies back from what seemed like certain death over and over again.

But last night she couldn’t.

Last night, this animal-loving girl, ran over her own cat, Lina. Lina tried to get to Blythe and dragged her body over to the house before choking on her own blood and passing away right in Blythe’s arms.

My heart is hurting for Blythe, my strong, brave girl. She has had to bury many animals in her short life. Somehow, she keeps opening her heart to love another. I am so, so proud of her and her courage in dealing with the harsh realities of animal ownership. She is made of some tough-stuff.

delightful moments

Nov 18, 2014 in family, homeschooling | 2 comments

After a lazy day of puttering around the house, getting letters sent out for next month’s baptisms for church, working on a big book order for the new Tuttle Twins book, and having learning time with the children dragged out over a long, extended afternoon, we had the surprise of a delightful evening.

Fisher, who is currently in an I-hate-doing-math stage, surprised us all by solving some tricky puzzle math problems and giggling while he did it! Then I read with Miss Annes our FIAR book of the week, Ferdinand, while we snuggled up together. Then I quizzed Keziah on all of her questions for her Sword of Freedom test coming up tomorrow and we laughed ourselves silly while naming all the battles, soldier numbers, acts of Congress, generals, landmarks, and all the other factoids she needs to have solidly placed in her brain by tomorrow. She keeps saying she is going to flunk her test and I, thinking she is an honest child, believed her. But she is not! Lands alive, that girl has this stuff down. She knew it up and down and inside out and would shout her answers with sass and absolute silliness. The answers she didn’t know inside out, she said such ridiculous things at the top of her lungs that I peed my pants a wee bit.

Oh, this girl. I love her. She reminds me so much of myself and what I would have been like if I hadn’t been living in my own childhood home of chaos.

We finished off the night with two chapters of the Wingfeather Saga…we are on the fourth and final book and I am so excited for the next few weeks of reading!

Some days as a homeschooling mama are long and hard and frustrating, but then there are moments like tonight that feed my soul and light my fire all over again.

Tonight was one of those moments.

a moment of normal

Nov 13, 2014 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

Tonight I feel like a normal human being. A human being who doesn’t pass out, can walk through the grocery store, and walks at a normal speed. I haven’t felt this normal for weeks and especially not for the past five days since the shaking incident on Saturday. I spent Saturday – Wednesday in bed recovering. Then yesterday I was moving vvvveeeerrrrryyyy slowly as I made my way through the halls at iFAMILY and then to the Cross-Country Awards Banquet and then the Evening of Excellence program last night.

Jeremy worked on my inguinal ligament again today and said all the shaking on Saturday set me back on my healing time quite a bit. He would really like me to find a brace to hold my hip socket in place and give the muscles a break so they can heal. And while all of that is kind of depressing, I walked normally today. Normal speed, normal gait, normal heart rate, normal everything.

AND I TOOK MY BOY ON A DATE! Like a normal mother. A date with yummy food, a trip to the bookstore for a new Star Wars book (goodness, he is obsessed with all the Star Wars stuff!), and a quick trip into Sam’s Club for some staples like cheese, sour cream, and tortillas.

Oh, my stinking heck. What a blessing to feel like a normal human being for one afternoon.

changed for good

Nov 11, 2014 in blessings, inspiration, the hip | 2 comments

Remember when I was preparing myself to receive an outpouring of love…boy howdy, did that love come! My dear friends, Tasha and Bob and their ten children, organized a whole army of other dear friends who swept into our home and yard and transformed it. They scrubbed and washed and organized and repaired. It was like one of those Extreme Home Makeover shows without the fancy sponsorships, television crew, and team of professionals.

In the space of eight short hours, they hung my bathroom door, fixed my dining table, fixed my beloved green table, repaired the back door, fixed the garage door, hung a rain gutter, and prepared the roof for a snow stop (Who knew there was such a thing! We just might be able to get in and out of our front door this year without having snow blocking the doorway!) They fixed the gaping hole in the deck, secured the deck banister so no one (especially me!) will plummet to their death, and repaired the deck stairs. They scrubbed out the fridge and freezer, cleaned out the pantry, washed every single canning jar and replaced them back on the top of the kitchen cupboards, cleaned out the inches of dust from said cupboard tops, and removed the ridiculous waste-spacing lights that people use when they put greenery up there instead of canning jars. Piles and piles of garbage were hauled off, trees trimmed, leaves raked, lawn mowed, and flower beds cleaned out. Our three bathrooms were DEEP cleaned – oh, my goodness, I had no idea they could even be that clean. Our messy school room was completely organized from top to bottom. The chandeliers were cleaned strand by strand, all the bookshelves dusted, and windows washed.

On top of all of this, they filled up our freezer with freezer meals, meats, and other goodies, our root cellar with potatoes, and our refrigerator with deliciousness. So. Much. Love.

I wish I had before pictures so you could see what a huge impact they made.

The newly repaired and pressure-washed deck. Isn’t it beautiful!

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Dustin and Troy fixing the deck stairs. These two were energizer bunnies, going from project to project faster than I could think of more broken things.

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Marie cleaning the lights. None of us are tall enough to get to those lights even when we stand on the table, so they are completely neglected and covered in dust most of the time.

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One of my little math students cleaning out our scripture-holding bookcase, she did an excellent job – it has NEVER shined like it did when she was done with it!

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Look how they transformed the yard! I’m not sure who worked outside since I never made it out there, but I think it was Kimberly, Dwayne, Cosette, Adam, and an army of youth.

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Bob, the jolly man behind this whole project. I love him so, so much. He teased me all day and got me to the point I could look at him with a smile on my face instead of tears running down my cheeks.

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Tasha will hate this picture of her, but it is just too picture-perfect of Bob’s antics to not post it. They were the brains behind this whole undertaking.

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Madi washing hundreds of jars.

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Keri and Dustin removing the ridiculous cabinet lights.

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The lovely Vanessa cleaned out my kitchen cupboards which were stuffed with who knows what!

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Jennifer tackled my disgusting bathroom…oh my goodness, the sparkles she created!

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Liz may die that I put her hiney on the interwebs, but look at that pantry! Look at those cleaned out shelves. I kid-you not, those shelves have been a death trap for months. Every time we open the doors, there was a risk of being attacked on the head by falling jars, pasta, raisins, or herbs. Always hoped for herbs.

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Near the end of our clean-up day, Liz took Annesley to a fundraiser for another friend of ours…a little baby with cancer. She brought her home all decked-out and happy as a clam. Way to multi-task Liz, fundraising carnivals AND pantry renovation AND growing a baby all at the same time! She also left us with a roast in the crock-pot that we thoroughly enjoyed late that night. I’ve never had a roast taste that good…it was amazing.

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Three of my favorite boys laughing their heads off while they scrub the dirt off their arms from working outside.

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Even the little ones worked. Thank you Mr. Levi!

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Sometimes the little ones played.

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And sometimes they ate.

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Jenn washing windows, I can’t even imagine the muck she faced on this task…I fight mold in this house constantly…and I haven’t been fightly valiantly for quite some time! She faced it head-on and eradicated all the yucky black spots that build up around the windows and transformed the glass into clearness.

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Since I spent much of the day crying, there is not a single good picture of me. My face is red and splotchy and I look like a beached whale in my chair. Jess kept me company wrapped up in my quilt…and I cried and tried to smile and laugh with my friends.

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At one point, Kat brought our her completely addicting apple dip and I was able to stop crying long enough to get a few pieces out of Jessica’s hands before she snarfed it all down.

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Keziah and Courtney stopped working long enough to paint their faces. They are SO silly…and SO fun.

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And even though her face is painted, this is one of the few pictures I have of Keziah (in her WHOLE life!) where she is not making a crazy face, so I have to share it for posterity.

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We didn’t get any pictures of Becky and Jennifer (the third Jennifer that was there that day…and my Jen, of the Jen, Kat, and Jessica gang) cleaning out my despicable fridge and freezer. Or of Amanda cleaning the upstairs bathroom that hasn’t been deep-cleaned since I broke my foot cleaning the ceiling last summer. Or Paula and Bonnie who washed laundry. Or any of the work done downstairs. Or Amy labeling all my canning jars. Or any of so many things. I basically laid in my chair and cried and sent my camera out on picture taking tours with various youth when my brain would turn on and remember I wanted to document the awesomeness.

I have been involved in and spearheaded lots of save-the-world projects. It is something I LOVE TO DO. And I have witnessed the power of people working together to raise money, put on events, spread love, and bless lives. I have been on the receiving end of lots and lots of kindness and generosity. So none of this is shockingly new to me. But I have never felt the power of community to transform hearts the way I felt it this day. This great outpouring of service done with such a beautiful spirit of love has changed me in a way I cannot describe. Throughout September my spirit was full of grief unspeakable. At times I wanted to shut myself off from the world. I could not bear to talk with people, which if you know me at all, you know talking with people is my life-blood. This day filled me with a deep hope…a hope that goodness will always triumph, that ordinary people can do and DO do extraordinary things, that my little family is known to God, and that while my garden of vegetables is hopelessly flawed, my garden of friends is overflowing with a most bounteous harvest.

At the end of the day, I laid in bed and sobbed. Deep, convulsing sobs. I poured out my heart to God in gratitude for this great kindness. Then I wrote a thank you letter to my friends…and many of them blessed me again by writing back.

To my Dear, Dear Friends,

Oh my goodness, our hearts are full of gratitude at the enormous outpouring of love and service you have blessed us with. As I have sat in my living room in the early morning hours these past few days, I have been overcome with feelings of deep, deep joy – joy in the work that has been done to take care of our home, joy in the relief this has given my dear overworked husband, joy, most of all, in our relationships with so many wonderful families. Thank you for teaching us the power of community. Thank you for showing us the impact a group of people committed to doing good can have. Thank you for taking us into your hearts and truly loving our little family.

To EVERY SINGLE person who came and helped and to those of you who sent your love, but were unable to attend, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. There are not sufficient words to express the feelings of my heart. Please know that you did far more than clean and fix a home. You helped repair a broken soul and infuse our entire family with hope.

To Kat and Jess – thank you for helping me get through the day. I couldn’t have done it without you. Truly. I needed to look in your eyes and see that I was safe…over and over and over.

To the Lamoreaux Family – Thank you for being willing to pray for our family and listen to the answers God sent you about what we needed. Thank you for insisting this project go forward even when I threw a fit and vetoed it. Thank you for having hearts full of joyful service.

Thank you for Being The Good In The World – you have taught me, once again, to Believe There is Good in the World…so much!

And as if their service wasn’t enough, they filled up my soul with love notes!

Tracy,

We want to say thank you so much for letting us come. You have touched all of our lives in such a deep way. Without you there would not be such a strong community willing to join together to do such amazing service.

I know it was probably so hard to let us come. In fact, when I got home that night and saw the whirlwind that we had left our own home in that morning, I thought “I would DIE if everyone came here!”. But I want to honestly say that I was impressed with your home considering the amazingly difficult health challenges you have had for so long.

Sure, there were some cleaning and repairs that needed to be done, but nothing out of the ordinary needs of a home. I straightened books on bookshelves and admired the great literature you have in your home. I picked up toys and my heart warmed as I observed the wholesome games and toys that you have thoughtfully chosen for your children’s development. We sorted through dress ups and I thought of the times I’ve come to your home and seen your children dressed up and enjoying their imaginative play. I vacuumed up some popcorn and thought of the times I’ve been with you enjoying popcorn and lots of laughter and happiness. I thought of how much time Courtney has spent with Keziah in your home and all the crazy fun memories they have. I remembered passover dinners, and classes and other great times you’ve orchestrated. And even without all the huge projects going on, you have a way of loving those around you, finding what their talents and strengths are, and lifting all of us.

We love you and appreciate the day we got to spend serving your family!
Tasha

Today was amazing! None of it would have happened if you hadn’t spent the last 16-ish years building an amazing community of wholehearted compassionate powerful people. I am eternally grateful to be part of this community and to call you Friend. Bob-Tasha Lamoreaux thank you for organizing this! I keep spontaneously bursting into tears. My heart is so full.

Kat

We love, love, love you and your family Tracy! Thank you for impacting our lives and the lives of our children…and for allowing us to give back a little to you.

Keri

You are so sweet. It was our pleasure. Could not think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Honestly! You’re such an amazing family.

Dustin

An amazing group of people that all love you, Tracy because you make a difference in the lives of others. What a great way to give back. You guys are all awesome! Wish I could have helped out too because you have made a difference in my life as well as my children’s lives.

Michelle

Thanks for being so Christlike to us! Thanks for setting the example you do, and for allowing us to try to return a little of your service! You and your hubby deserve this and so much more! We love you! So many people love you!!!

Bonnie

I cried reading about all of the good that has been returned to you this last week. I cried because I couldn’t be there personally (but I sent Madison and Alex). How I wanted to be there to DO something in return for all that your family has done for us. I love the comments that Tasha made and I feel the EXACT same way. All the deep joy you felt is because in a way, you do so much for everyone else. You are just getting what you deserve: JOY in boundless amounts :) I am so glad that Richard was able to get some extra hands to help fix up your home because I know he works so hard for your family. What a blessing to have so many that love all of you and put their love to work. That is true wealth, the love of family and friends.

I love you, and thank you for all the times you spent driving my Madison with you to the traditional Conference trips, etc. You are a light and an example to me and my family that only gets brighter.

Jana

It has now been several weeks since this day of love and the feeling of being wrapped up in God’s arms is still with me. I am in the midst of trying to heal a pretty bad injury to my inguinal ligament and feel pretty discouraged by the condition of my physical body, but the light that filled my soul on this day of awesomeness has stayed with me and raised my spirits more than I can adequately describe.

p.s. That post title? Yes, it is from Wicked…because I knew you (all of the YOUS), I have been changed for good. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

communing from bed

Nov 9, 2014 in sacred sabbaths, the hip | 2 comments

Another Sabbath spent in bed. Yesterday I had a really bad seizure/passing out/muscle cramping episode at the end of our monthly baptisms…so I am in bed today trying to recover.

Communing with Father through genealogy, good music, and looking at my trees out the window is good, but also a bit lonely. I wish I was at church with my family, partaking of the sacrament and singing praises. I wish I was shaking hands and smiling and chatting with my fellow church-goers.

Creating my own Sabbath day holiness has been a journey. I have had to sort out what I need to do to connect with God deep down in my little toes…because I have learned that while I might survive missing church, I cannot survive the week with any degree of peace, hope, and let’s face it, sanity, if I have a Sabbath without connection with the Father.

So I sing and ponder and pray and reflect and stare at the sky and write and thank. The Spirit washes over me and through me and in me and I remember who I am and who He is and what this life is all about.

It is enough. It is not what I want, but it is enough.

time for some big-girl panties

Nov 6, 2014 in my life as me | 4 comments

My Jessica is moving.

Today.

The past many days have been spent packing her up and snuggling in bed laughing and crying as we savor these last few moments together. We have not had a good night’s rest for over a week.

Out of nowhere, my eyes fill up with tears and they run down my cheeks.

Oh, this is hard.

I give my heart solace by convincing myself she will be back. She will return to Idaho and her dream of a little farm. We will eat 3 minute chocolate cakes at midnight once again. But, oh, the pain of not having her right down the road is breaking my heart.