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."
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