Sunday, December 30, 2018

Attached at the Hip

This little guy is extremely attached to me. At home everyone tries to help me get a break and rest. But for the most part, it's me and him.   He follows me everywhere. I don't remember the other boys doing this. Really, I don't mind THAT much. But it's really hard physically to lug him around if need be. I'm SO grateful for so many friends who help me with him at church!! I'm grateful for the carrier that I have that goes on my waist and gives him a seat to sit on. I'm grateful for my family who take turns with him. And I'm so grateful for him! I really love having a baby right now. He's such a light in my life!!!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

A Suprise Visit

My brother Jared and his family came to CA for a vacation. We were able to spend the afternoon and evening together. I am Sooo Glad we had the time together!

Friday, December 28, 2018

Hard Things Ahead

I've promised myself that I will write every single day. So, here I am. In a way I'm glad that I don't have a lot of readers anymore. Because I am very rusty at finding good topics of discussion...

At the moment, I'll just talk about life. The day after Christmas we got some very stressful and discouraging news. The Nurse Practitioner that Leif was going to precept with (follow around for school) canceled. This is a HUGE deal. When she agreed to precept Leif I felt like an elephant had been lifted off of my shoulders. I can't imagine how Leif felt. So it's hard to have that stress back.

But I feel somewhat peaceful about the situation.  Or, I just haven't taken it back on. Although, today I think I came up with some good ideas on what we could do to find preceptors. First, I think we'll call on some of Leif's Travel Nurse recruiters and see if they want a side job of finding doctors to precept Leif. It takes lots of phone calls, follow up calls, emailing back and forth. So we need some help!! Leif doesn't have the time AT ALL. And my mind and social ability is only intact 6 days out of the week. So I'm useless. It's a nightmare!!

So, the second idea is for Leif to square away precepting with the doctors he worked with in Kanab or Panguitch (Utah). He would then work a 6 days on/8 days off schedule. He would drive to Utah on the days off. It is reminiscent of his initial nursing school degree experience. When he lived in Flagstaff and we lived 5 hrs north in Fredonia.

It would be a nightmare!! But we would survive. I only know that now because we have survived so many hard separations since then. When he went to Flagstaff it was the first time we were ever apart. I almost didn't make it. It took a horrendous toll on me emotionally to be without Leif.  But I am praying that I have learned coping skills from our experiences since then. And I just have a sure knowledge that we can do hard things if need be. We'll be working on figuring out the details over the next few weeks.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Tell Me About 40 Years Old!

Tell me about 40 Years Old. What are the traditions. What makes it Great!? What makes it Horrible!?  What should we do to celebrate???

Leif and I both turn 40 this year. Like, in a week! ;) 

So Much More Than PMS: PMDD.

Do you ever wonder if you have multiple personalities? I have. Instead, I have what is called PMDD. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. IT means within the 30 days of my menstrual cycle I litterally cycle through 5 different stages of being. When it's really bad, I do wonder if it feels similar to a Dissociative Identity Disorder.... Below I have written about MY TYPICAL CYCLE.  Starting now, I will label each post I write with the Stage that I'm in. I do this because as my cycle evolves, so will my writing voice...   It's quite a fascinating phenomenon, really. Albeit, hellish at times!

STAGE ONE (DAYS 1-6): Are a bloody migraine-filled mess. I try hard not to schedule anything outside of the house. For that matter, I try not to have to get out of bed for the first few days of this week because of the mess.  

STAGE TWO (DAYS 7-13): The bloody fog has lifted and lightened by this week. This is my week to make important phone calls, visits, Dr appointments, and grocery shopping. My mind is clearer and so is my heart. I find myself feeling more caring, romantic, and affectionate this week. Which is a blessed change from the other weeks in the month. However, this is also the week when my nights are filled with vivid nightmares and my days may be spent starting my next novel, maxing out a credit card on household organizing goods, or hyper-focusing on my friends and family and our relationships if I am not able to keep it all in check.

STAGE THREE (DAYS 14-20): By day 16 I have returned back to hibernation mode. My body wants to do nothing but sleep and eat sweets. My mind is filled with fog and anxiety about all of the stupid things I did or said during the last week of my energy filled whirlwind. My face, mouth, and throat are covered with autoimmune vasculitis; my body hurts all over, and my tongue seems to be directly connected to my frontal lobe which means sometimes you’ll hear me swear like an ol’ fashioned sailor.

STAGE FOUR (DAYS 21-26): Unfortunately this week things don’t really let up, except for the fatigue, sometimes. By now, Marge has surely entered the scene. Marge is the name for my alter ego. She has the ability to destroy a marriage if she’s let out of control for too long. She is filled with anxiety and a fear of rejection. She suffers from PTSD related to the loss of our girls and an emotionally rough childhood. She can cut Leif to the core in one seething second if not reigned in and shut up.

STAGE FIVE (DAYS 26-30): If we’re lucky Marge has left the building by now and things have settled down emotionally and psychologically so we only have the physical yuck to deal with leading back into day one. This is also another time when I might be more up for a romantic evening if we get the chance.
Image Credit

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Hold Me Back

I just spent the day reading the book "Is It Night or Day?" by Fern Schumer Chapman. It is a story published by Scholastic that I borrowed from my boys' Christmas present stash. 
It was a Sad Story! And if you know me well, you know that I Hate books and movies with sad endings. Gratefully, this book ended on a somewhat happy note.
But all of that is beside the point that I began pondering while reading this book. I've been struck by this thought before. And it sounds almost boastful of myself. But it's not meant to be...
The thought that hits me every once in a while is this, "what if I am given all of these health struggles as a way to hold me back? To keep me from taking on the world... to keep me from running to give aid to everyone and everything i see who needs it. To keep me grounded and focused on what He wants me to focus on Right Now. What if?... And then the thought, "Okay. Then When?" ...  I ask, as my mind daydreams about all of the possibilities.
But then I remember. Not Now. "Hold Me Back." Keep me where I am truly most needed. Most helpful. Most happy. Most Right. Right Now.

An Amazing Christmas Season

What an amazing Christmas season it has been!! I was blessed with many good days and so much fun and joy to fill them up.
I relaxed on all of the traditions and just did as much as could be done. And great moments were had. We read a few Christmas stories. One that was written by a Dear family friend, Shelley Christiensen, called A Tumbleweed Christmas. We also watched a new show about Charles Dickens all about the back story of his writing A Christmas Carol. It was a Great start to the season! And then on Christmas Eve we watched A Christmas Carol.
The kids participated in acting out The Nativity with the primary. I am always grateful when they get that chance. We delivered cookie tins to our neighbors. I think it shocked some of them.  I really miss how it was growing up. We had a counter filled with goodies to Give and by Christmas Eve it was covered in goodies that had been Given to us. My kids haven't experienced that. And that makes me sad. But I'm grateful they've experienced the Giving!!! 
Of course, the highlight of the partying this season was our trip to Disneyland. We had such a great time!!! The evening light/water show was absolutely Stunning!!  We stood in awe the whole time. The fun and theme of California Adventure Park was more up our alley with a family of boys. Especially the Guardians of the Galaxy. The kids had a blast dancing in the streets with the characters from the show. Such a blast!!
We drove through the neighborhoods that weave through the harbor and looked at Christmas lights. They were amazing!  Apparently they are better in their back yards facing the water. Maybe next year we'll take the harbor light cruise.
Our tree was a huge hit this year!! We originally hung it from the the ceiling to make it high enough that Joshua couldn't play with it. But it looked strange. So, we jokingly decided to flip it Upside-down. It made us laugh so much that we decided to leave it.  It's been a great highlight.
I used our new china cabinet to display our more fragile and reverent Christmas decorations. I have Loved it!!! In fact, I'm going to leave some of it up permanently. 
Christmas Eve was special as usual this year. I asked Leif and the boys to go to the beach and watch the sun set. Ahhh, it turned out so neat!!! We gathered shells and chatted. Took pictures and the boys played in the sand. We got pizza and made cookies for dinner. We had peppermint ice cream for dessert.  Everyone was sleepy and the baby was fussy by bedtime. But we still managed to read the nativity story from the Bible.
Leif and I set out the gifts and then crashed. I slept like a rock! We got gift bags for the majority of gifts this year. I didn't have energy or time to wrap. It was a huge success!! 
Christmas morning was wonderful as usual. And then I was gifted a very long nap. So it was great! Leif made french toast for breakfast and I made a ham dinner that evening.
I have missed the days of my childhood when we hopped from party to party with all of the family we were surrounded with. I'm sad my kids don't know what that's like. But they are happy. And so am i! We are blessed with so much. Our needs are met and our hearts are very full of Love as the Christmas season should be.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Setting Down Roots

It's been a few years since we have lived alone, without another family. Seriously!
So since we will officially be staying here through Leif's Family Nurse Practitioner precepting. Which will be a couple of years, all told. We decided it's time to settle down and make this apartment "home."

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

A Challenge To Re-find and Refine Your Spiritual Gifts

Tonight, I spoke to you dear sisters about your special spiritual gifts and propensities. Sisters, I urge you, with all the hope of my heart, to pray to understand your spiritual gifts—to cultivate, use, and expand them, even more than you ever have. You will change the world as you do so.
As a starting place, I extended a prophetic plea to you to shape the future by helping to gather scattered Israel with four invitations. This gathering is the greatest challenge, the greatest cause, and the greatest work on earth today!
My dear sisters, we need you! We need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your wisdom, and your voices. We simply cannot gather Israel without you.
President Russel M. Nelson

I wonder if Facebook or Instagram "feels it" when President Nelson, Prophet and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints challenges all of the youth and then all of the women of the church to partake in a "Social Media Fast"? :)  I'll bet they do!! :) I sure have!!

President Nelson spoke in the General Women's Conference meeting Sunday night. During his talk he challenged the women to pull away from social media for ten days and spend the new found time focusing on revisiting and exercising our "spiritual gifts."  Within the hour after the closing prayer suddenly all of my Friends were "signing off."  I knew something important had taken place.

I hadn't been watching the Women's Conference because our internet had gotten bad. But you better believe I climbed back on and listened to what he had said.  I was touched by is message for sure!! I feel that I have been prepared for this for months. Just not quite able to make the leap and sacrifice. Honestly, my vice is Netflix and Binging on shows. ;)  So when he said to pull away from any media that wasn't helping us reach towards our potential, you better believe that's when I felt the pang and heard the hypothetical snapping fingers (DARN!!) And Leif's Snicker as he said "Your Netfilx!" I mean come on, Greys Anatomy is So Uplifting and Insightful for my spiritual growth!! NOT!! LOL! LOL! (eye roll!)

Sooo, here I am. Two days in, and I'm blogging and surviving. :) A little lonely for my outside world of friends and ongoing dialogue throughout the day. But I am grateful for the chance to go back in time about 8 years and reflect on how I am and WHO I am after being sucked into the vast and all consuming world of the internet. Its pretty profound. I have to say. I'm Thrilled to have this chance to make time to truly write again. Long, lengthy, pondering's. Where I puke out my whole life story onto the page. Instead of a little blurb here and there with a picture. The problem is, no one will be able to take the time to read all my ramblings anymore. LOL!  We've all lost the ability to just sit and read... and read... and the end. I guess that's not all bad. I'll remember to hold back the real deep personal things I want recorded for posterity to the end of my posts. Knowing that they won't be read about as much. ;) Just Kidding.

My next goals are to seriously take time to read the scriptures every day. My own personal study time. Something I haven't done in Way Too Long!!

So, in the end, there is Absolutely Nothing wrong with the challenge that our prophet has issued. I know that it is from the Lord and if we take the extra time and use it to grow closer to Christ, we will be blessed with a reminder of our Grand Potential as Daughter's of a King!

Sunday, October 07, 2018

General Conference

TRADITION!!! (Insert music emoji) (Insert "Papa" from Fiddler On The Roof!" :) :)  We sure Love our family tradition of watching General Conference together. :) This General Conference proved to be another spiritually edifying and momentous one.  President Nelson seems to be ushering in a new season in the restoration of Christ's church here upon the earth. The Church is now world wide. More members living outside of the USA then within. And since The Church is run as a whole. Following the exact same process and procedures throughout the world within every stake, down to every ward and branch; new changes were made to accommodate. These changes feel sudden to some. But truthfully, they have been coming to past step by step, drop by drop, for many years. And changes may become the new normal as The Church continues to grow, and the world continues to change. The only constant on this earth, is CHANGE! 

Change doesn't mean that the past was wrong. It just means there is a New Right. So, now instead of attending church on Sunday for three hours (Sacrament Meeting, Sunday School, Relief Society/Priesthood/Youth Classes) We will now follow a two hour meeting schedule. With one hour for partaking The Sacrament and speakers/council and one hour for another class. Rotating throughout the month.  With the changes comes an increased responsibility for us as parents to teach a new Family Centered gospel teaching curriculum within our homes at some point throughout the week. So, nothing surprising; just steppin' up The Game Plan a little bit. 

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Momentous Changes to Church Meetings

President Nelson announced today that church will only be two hours long. And we will be following a new curriculum as a family in place of that hour lost. "Home Centered, Church Supported gospel learning.

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Tale of the Little Mama in a Grandma Body

I have had an outpouring of Love from my friends and ward members today. I wasn't able to make it to church today. And people noticed. And not only noticed, but Reached Out to see how I'm doing. That doesn't happen everwhere. Thank you Dear ones!!
Many have asked for an update about how I'm healing from my Shingles episode and all of the other crazy things going on with my body. So here it is, The Tale of the Little Mama in a Grandma Body. The saga continues:   First, the shingles rash is healed. The skin is still tender and itchy. In general, I am still experiencing quite a bit of pain throughout my body. Mostly in my elbows and hands. But that isn't new. It just feels more amplified. My left elbow is pretty intense. Also, without a lot of anti inflammatory meds I have waves of "hit by a truck" days. Days when only the bare minimum gets done.
School has started for the kids. I love it, of course. But the schedules are strange here. JJ gets out one hour before Caleb and Jakob. So I walk to the school with Joshua and we all hang out for an hour until everyone is out. It would be a great scenerio if I was in remission. However, since I'm not, I battle the sun and fatigue; from the basic walk, socializing, and updating with the kiddos. By the time we get home at 4. It's mandatory nap time before dinner.
Gratefully, my family is familiar with how life rolls when I'm down. But it's a tiny bit more complicated with a baby in the mix. 
So last week, I had two teeth break off at the gum line. Yep! You read that right. They broke right off. That's part of my journey these days. I have a hereditary condition that makes my teeth brittle. My siblings and I are at the point in our life where we can't put the inevitable off any longer. We have to rebuild our mouths. One sibling has crowned the teeth, another doesn't have the bone structure for the implants needed. So, dentures, it is. I meet with the dentist tomorrow to start deciding my fate. 
So you remember the brain/pituitary gland MRI my doc requested? Well, there wasn't a pituitary micro tumor. So we don't know why my prolactin level is high. But, they did find a cyst at the base of my brain.  Truth! It's in between my skull and my cerabellum. So it could be the cause of some of the headaches. And if I start getting dizzy, then we'll know why.
Are you wondering why I posted this with a pic of chocolate chip cookies? Well, that's because they are currently part of the strongest sweet chocolate craving I've battled in a Long time! I worried that I was diabetic again (was during pregnancy. ) But my blood sugar is fine and I'm not dying of thirst. But it's crazy hard to keep from eating a bucket of cookie dough in one day. The struggle is Real!!!  Hormones, chemicals, and their balance. It's a delicate art to get them balanced.
For now, I will finish this volume of The Tale of the Little Mama in a Grandma Body.   Heaven knows it's been long enough. Have no fear friends. All is well, enough. It could all be so much worse. 

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Divided. Flourish.

Divided. My life is divided into many many different pieces. Places, people, passions, hobbies, responsibilities, trials, goodness, mother, wife, sister, daughter, close friend, social media friend, church member, school member. And on, and on. I am divided. I long for the islands. I love the convenience of city life on the coast. I miss my quiet life with family and farm animals. Storms rolling in and green pastures. I love following everyone as we write tiny blurbs and share a pic with each other throughout the week. I miss long blog posts and heartfelt discussion. I love Netflix. I miss reading.
My goal is to find who I am NOW. HERE. and to Flourish.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Happy Birthday Leif

HAPPY BIRTHDAY  today to the Love of my life!! Leif Baron there are no words to completely express how much you mean to me. Thank you for bringing so much joy to my world and to all who you come in contact with. I Love You!

Happy 39th Papa!

Celebrating Papa's birthday at the beach. We had such a great couple of days with him during his days off. The boys shopped for special gifts (Jakob got him a Massaging roller. JJ got Life Savers, because Leif is a "life saver" and Caleb got him a Lava Lamp.) We ended the party with a trip to Sizzler for all you can eat shrimp for Papa. The kids have officially declared it their favorite restaurant. Which is a gift in itself. We Love You Papa!!! You're your son's Best Friend. Who could ask for more!?

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Grateful for Strength

Before I fall asleep tonight I am finally going to take a moment and sing praises to my Father in Heaven who saw fit to restore my strength after years of illness and fatigue. Every single day I find myself at least once, often more, in awe at how it feels to be able to care for my family completely. My life is not without its challenges. But my heart's desire was granted after years of pleading for the ability to be well enough to truly live, and raise my children. For this blessing I am forever grateful to my Lord!! #Hehearsourprayers  #Histimingissure  #nevernevernevergiveuphope

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