Sunday, June 24, 2012

Life - Love - Happenings (The Very Strange and the Most Lovely)

It's been well over a week since I've blogged. I think it's so interesting that the times when I would like to record the life lesson's forced upon me are the times when I write the very least. Such a bummer!

So much is happening every moment of every day. I just can't keep up with it all. Leif came home this weekend. That is always such a wonderful treat. But having to say goodbye again is so disturbing in so many ways that we're not sure how often he'll be coming home any more. And besides that, the car Leif drives it trying to give out so we're nervous to have him drive over the mountain in the heat of the Summer. And starting this Fall semester he'll have clinical's and classes every day of the week. So we'll see what happens. Life is ever changing. Maybe we'll end up moving out there to Flagstaff anyway. Who knows... There is A LOT more to do out there and a hand full of great schools. So, who knows what tomorrow brings...
Well, I haven't written partly because there are some unanswered questions on the horizon regarding my health and I just didn't feel like writing about it. But waiting too long just builds up the list of updates. Anyway... Well, although I've felt better this last month and a half then I have in a long time. I started noticing a shadow of fatigue and weirdness the last couple weeks that was trying to make it's way into the scheme of things. Things like days or hours of extreme wellness and energy and then a crashing effect to end it. And my hair has been falling out like it did after giving birth. I got a rash on my arms that has gradually spread to my legs and face and has turned into terrible hives. And for a few days straight I had Horrible scary  headaches. And then I started to get sharp lower abdominal pains. And with all of that coming and going, I excused each of them away as hormones, cat allergies, sinus infections, etc. And then I found something that shocked the heck out of me and got my full attention. I realized that I am lactating. Yep, you read it right. No pregnancy, no recent birth, but breast milk production. And yes, it FREAKED me out! Needless to say, I got in to the doctor the next day.

They took lots of blood for testing and we're hoping for results tomorrow. The doctors' guess is that my thyroid is extremely out of balance uhh, ya think!?;) . Or I could have a tumor on my pituitary glad that is causing imbalance. But most likely just a funky thyroid. Either way, I have gradually felt more and more sick and I really look forward to finding the answers and a way to restore my well-being. The couple of days that I had Leif here to make it possible for me to sleep a lot was Heavenly. I knew I was tired when I was able to fall into a deep sleep while everything kept going on around the house. I think we'll be frequenting the video store and Netflix a lot this week.  I desperately wish there were summer programs/camps as an occasional option for my kids around here. I am such a bear when I get all messed up like this. It's horrible!  If you've seen the latest Disney movie called Brave, just picture me as the mother in the story. Yep, that's Jakob and I to a T!  A nightmare, really. But somehow, we'll survive.
Okay, enough about me and the lovely happenings within. Let's move on to the true lovely's. My Boys!
Oh how to put it all into words??? My sweet Jakob is teetering in the middle of wanting to be all grown up and rule-less and still wanting to be cuddled and reassured with the comforts of being a baby. It's a very delicate balance that I'm trying to navigate and not cause permanent damage. Seriously, whoever said boys aren't emotional never raised a son - or three! And then my precious Caleb and all of his tee shirt, shorts, and cowboy boots glory! One minute I just want to scoop him up and snuggle and smooch up all of his adorableness and the next minute my teeth are crumbling as I grit them and haul him to his room for time-out. Today he managed to dump out my brand new (and only pair) of contact lenses while he was in the bathroom. But in the same day he called me outside just to show me the beauty of the pink and orange feather clouds in the sky at sunset. How can you not Love these boys!? And my Sweet Sweet baby boy JJ... What a gift it has been to discover that sometimes all he needs to sooth him out of his strange tantrums is to be held in my arms for an uninterrupted moment. This is a new and cherished blessing. JJ loves to line up his toys as he plays. The other day I couldn't find him in grandma's backyard where I had left him and I found him up in our living room. He had pulled out a handful of forks and was poking them into the carpet all lined up in an intricate straight pattern.  If I ever come upon a line of trucks, or cars, or rocks, I know JJ's been near by. Jakob used to do the same thing when he was JJ's age. I need to compare photos. Caleb too as I think back on it. Such an interesting thing. JJ talks more at this age then either of his brother's ever did. It's really nice to here him babble and say things. And man can he tell a story. He'll go on and on (in his own language of course.)

  • Caleb ran in from playing outside with the hose and mud and yelled "Mama! Come quick and see these creatures!" I thought for sure he had caught a tarantula or a mouse. It was a group of potato bugs and such. Pheww! 
  • JJ pulled out the shoes from the shoe closet a lot this week and tried on everyone's shoes for size. 
  • Jakob started swimming lessons and is thrilled to be the strongest swimmer in his class. He is thrilled to be able to jump off the diving board on his own now. Even if the teacher did throw him off the first time. Believe it or not he doesn't relate the story with the reality that she threw him. He just says he was scared to death but forced himself to jump. I saw the whole thing and I just about blew my top! Luckily I kept my cool and he's worked through the anxiety. Even if he was sick to his stomach the next lesson. Uggg! 
  • Caleb was in time out for some forgotten reason and he was furious at me. I heard him talking to himself, verbalizing how he was feeling and what he was thinking. Suddenly, I heard him say he didn't like me anymore and I heard him tearing down the car posters that he and I had worked together to tape up a while ago (I guess they represented a part of me within the room.) I wondered if he would tear down the poster of Christ holding a little lamb that was up with the cars as well. I went into his room a while later and found it fascinating that every car was down but Christ's picture is still up. Interesting...
  • I took the boys to a friend's house for the afternoon. On the way home Jakob told me that he and his friend (a girl) had climbed the mountain up against the house. He said that as they were climbing his friend called out "be free, have fun!" and his reply was, "but- Safety First!" I called Leif immediately to discuss the uniqueness of our son... I think we should be grateful(?)
  • Caleb has had quite the journey with the kittens. They have had to learn to just cry out when they're really scared or just deal with his "loving." However, he did almost (albeit accidentally) smash the kittens at one point. They were cuddled behind the rocking chair and he climbed up on the chair and it fell down on top of them. They were screaming and I was hysterical. I thought for sure he had finally ended one of them, and yes, I did tell him so. After making sure that surprisingly they were all okay I locked him in his room and promptly built a gate to lock the kittens behind for their own safety. Gratefully, the experience shook Caleb up and registered in his mind enough that I have only had to put the kitties away a handful of times. And some of those were to keep them from JJ. Ahhh, the joys!!
  • This evening I let the boys stay outside later then usual to jump on the trampoline in the cool evening. Suddenly I heard Jakob screaming at the top of his lungs over and over. I thought for sure I would come out to see a dismembered finger or something. When I walked down the stairs Jakob was holding his hand and his skin was green. From experience he knew that he needed to lay down, or faint. Luckily he laid down. But whatever had happened really hurt! He was having a hard time catching his breath and he asked me if he could puke. I told him No and calmly told him to follow my breathing. In the meantime I was trying to asses the hand without drawing his attention to it. It took a few minutes for him to get the oxygen regulated and his body calmed down. Thank heavens there wasn't any blood or we'd be Toast! Apparently Caleb accidentally landed on Jakob's hand while they were jumping just hard enough to hyper-extend it. Lovely! It's sprained enough that he couldn't climb up into his loft tonight. He and Caleb had a sleep over in Caleb's room. Such an annoying yet fascinating pain issue...  
  • My FIL bought me a book about behavior modification for children. Should I take that as a hint!?... Probably;) But I'll admit that I could use all of the help I can get with my boys. They are a handful. Cherished, but not easy. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Woman I Will Become

I feel grateful for many things today. I'll also let you in on a little secret. I feel proud of myself today too:) I've often thought that a sign of confidence and inner peace is someone who takes time to get out of their comfort zone to spend time with no one else but themselves... and they enjoy their time alone. I don't mean finding an afternoon to snuggle up on your bed to read a good book. I mean going to a movie or out to lunch. Alone. And feeling comfortable in your own skin with no one to talk to or be with.

I have never been this person before. I often define myself by who I am with and who wants to be with me. However, before Leif left for school I knew that this was the time to find the confidence and inner peace that I have admired in others for myself. Now is the time to rearrange things so that I am my own best friend and God is my number one source of peace and companionship. And so today I took a step in the right direction.

Thanks to a wonderful mother in law who encouraged me to pick up the phone and talk to people if I need help instead of relying on text messaging and Facebook, and to a good friend who called just at the right time today for me to miss her call and force me to act on this advise,  I was able to ask this good friend to watch my boys for a few hours so I could take myself out to lunch and then to the library.

Thank you dear FayLynn for your wise advise. And thank you dear Michelle for you invaluable willingness to help me with my wild little angels. This afternoon was wonderful! I treated myself to my favorite salad at Houston's and even indulged in a piece of chocolate cream pie. MMM! I took a book with me that I've been trying to read for days. I ended up reading enough to find out that I don't like it and was thrilled to know that I had the time alone to go find a better book. But the best part was that I caught a glimpse of someone today. She felt loved. But she didn't require the love she felt in order to feel peace and confidence in the world around her. She is the woman I will become one day.

Some Things Just Don't Make Sense. But Then Again...

Tonight I have been reminded of something so vitally important in our life here on earth. It is that no matter how hard we try, no matter what we think, God has a plan for us. It is His plan. Yes, if we ask it shall be opened. But it will still be in His way and in His time. There are some people that believe that if you believe hard enough with your mind and connect it just perfect with your heart that you can bring your will to pass. Some people would define that as faith. In my experience, however, sometimes faith means allowing the laws of God to take place. That means that sometimes science, nature, life, and death some time are just the required result. Now, I believe in miracles! I believe that He can over-rule the law. However, if that happens it is because it is part of His plan.

Does that mean that prayer is useless? Does that mean that hope is for naught and without fruit? No. It just means that in the end we must realize that there is One who sees the whole picture. From beginning to eternity. One who, though humanly incomprehensible, has no malice or negative intention toward us in any way, shape, or form. One who has a perfect love for us. So when we pray and plead with our Father to give us our hearts desire. Eventually we must resign ourselves to the fact that if we changed His mind by our endless pleadings, wouldn't that mean that we asked Him to change the perfect plan for our life? Maybe as hard and seemingly impossible as it may feel, we should pray not for a change of plan, but for the courage, peace, and patience required to accept the jigsaw-plan that we see here until we can see the full picture later.

Sometimes it feels impossible to find joy in the circumstances that we're in. Impossible to see the perfectness in "the plan." It just makes no sense. In fact, sometimes it feels as if God himself is out to get us. Sometimes we feel like something has to change or be fixed before we can find peace in the journey.  And these are the times when the human soul is tried to its core. Refined. Do we wait until we reach our destination and miss the whole point of our human existence? Or do we surrender our humanness and allow him to show us the beauty along the way? That my friend's is a question that only we can decide the answer to for ourselves.

By Robert J. Hastings

         TUCKED AWAY in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves
on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We're traveling by train and, from the 
windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at
crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from power plants, of row
upon row upon row of cotton and corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of city skylines and
village halls.

    But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination--for at a certain hour and on a
given day, our train will finally pull into the station with bells ringing, flags waving, and bands
playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we
pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.

    "Yes, when we reach the station, that will be it!" we promise ourselves. "When we're 
eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL 
Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!"

    From that day on we will all live happily ever after.

    Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no station in this life, no one earthly
place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The station is an illusion--it
constantly outdistances us. Yesterday's a memory, tomorrow's a dream. Yesterday belongs to a
history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday's a fading sunset, tomorrow's a faint sunrise. Only
today is there light enough to love and live.

    So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn't the burdens of today 
that drive men mad, but rather regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and
fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.

    "Relish the moment" is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24, "This is
the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it."

     So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more
mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot oftener.
Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we
go along. The station will come soon enough.

Monday, June 11, 2012

No Worries... I'm Fighting!

"Some people are like rocks thrown into a sea of problems. They are drowned by them. Be a cork. When submerged in a problem, fight to be free to bob up to serve again with happiness."

Elder Richard G. Scott 1996 General Conference

I Need to Hear From You!

Ok this is me being very open and up front. I am in one of those places right now when I just need to know someone is out there. So if you stop by here, let me know k? Thanks in advance.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Post Visit Blues and a Song Dedication (Never Alone, Lady Antebellum)

I need to write tonight. I really want a huge bowl of ice cream too. But it's late... and I'm too tired to get the ice cream out. But then again...

Leif came home for a visit this weekend. It had been two weeks since he was able to visit last. Honestly, I'm not sure what it was about this visit, but WOW! I've had a hard time turning off the tears. I started last night and again when I had to see him off and, uggg.... If you've ever felt the reality of a true aching heart, you know that it is no fun. I've felt much like I did the first day he left for school. However, there is one huge difference. At that point I really didn't know if I was going to make it alone. I had no idea how the kids were going to react. And, although I knew the Lord said He would make things work, I had No idea How he would do it. Now I have a few more answers and a stronger conviction of our Father's Love. I will make it through this. I am not alone. Kids are incredibly flexible and resilient as long as a few specific needs are met. And truly, I stand all amazed at the Love Jesus offers me.

There are two Really hard things about Leif being away at school. I am lonely. Busy, but lonely. And I am terrible at taking care of myself nutritionally. I need to force myself to go to sleep earlier. I find myself staying up for hours after I put the kids to bed just because that is the only time I am alone. But toward the end of last week and into this weekend my body has been screaming at me for better care. I am so grateful and thrilled to say that I've lost around 20  pounds since Valentines day. I know this has blessed me in so many ways. I've taken medicine to help me along the way. The medicine has been a blessing in more then just weight loss. I feel like in may ways I have come back to life. But the appetite suppressant forces me to be responsible and eat even when I don't feel like eating. I'm being responsible, but not great.

I'm babbling...

I just needed to talk tonight. I also need to get to bed. Tomorrow is another day and it will be a good one. Like my Jakob told me today, "no one can make you angry!" Wonder where he got that!? Smarty Pants! But he's right.  Peace is a choice. I will make the choice to wake up and find the joy in tomorrow, come what may.

Leif dedicated this song to me a little while back and I will try to remember it as I take on this upcoming week. He made a video with our own pictures. But I can't put it on here right now (it's on our Love Letters Along the Way blog.) So I found this one instead. Thank you My Love for finding these words that fit your love so well... I hope you readers enjoy them as much as I do.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

As the Roller Coaster Rides

I said that I would be coming up with something fun to motivate me to post on my blog every day.Well, I changed my mind. Unless I titled it "As the Roller Coaster Rides." ... Hey, that just might work.:) No, really, as much as I want to try to remember all of the miracles, blessings, lessons, and struggles of my every day life as a not single, but often alone mother, I just don't have it in me some nights to find the words. Especially on the weekends.

I seem to be making a trend. I cruise along with a few bumps along the way throughout the week, and then I Crash over the weekend. Even on the weekends that Leif has been able to come home to visit. I honestly can't figure out why. But I have managed to pitch a fit against Leif three weekends in a row. It's insane! I long to be the wife and mother who at her funeral her family and friends will insist that they have never heard a murmur of complaint out of her mouth. - So not going to happen. But I do wish...

Some how Leif and I manage to fight against the blows from the adversary. But Man it is such a pain!

Well, I wasn't sure what was going to come out when I sat down to write tonight. Just the vissisitudes of life, I guess. Over all I stand all amazed at the blessings overflowing during this time in my life. But sometimes I let my guard down and my mind thinks a little more egocentric and it gets very carried away. I become very lonely. Luckily, the drops in the ride don't last very long and I find myself smiling more often then I scream. And that my friend's,  is As the Roller Coaster Rides.
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