30 March 2011

Gimme a B...O...X

So, now that I want to get this thing going again, I've decided to move my family...yes, Idaho! :) It's actually been months of thought and prayer and struggle. I hate moving. Scratch that. I loath packing. Let's admit, packing is the awful part!! Plus, since we have to be out of this place by the end of next week, we will be living with my parents for a few weeks until we find something suitable, so all of our things will be in storage. So, having things in the appropriate boxes is crucial! I hate that kind of pressure!! All this thinking about moving started back in December. Though I love the hugeness of this place, I don't really feel "home" here (here being house, neighborhood, city...). I can't describe it other than that. I just don't feel like we are where we need to be. That, and I really want to be closer to my family. So, we finally found someone who will take over our lease and we're heading north! I never thought I'd say I'm excited to move back to Pocatello...but I also said I'd never live in Utah I'm gonna stop saying things I'd never do, because they all have come true (there are others, too, but I don't want to repeat them!!) :) I am excited to be closer to my family and some old and dear friends! See you on the flip side!

25 March 2011

Thank you!!

Thanks for all the well-wishes...I think I'm done pouting now :) and I made a killer flowerless chocolate cake last night! Boo-yah! If I hadn't been so overcome with the whole aspect of still being able to eat a delicious chocolate cake/brownie, I would have taken a picture!

I made whipped cream (sweetened with powdered sugar) and sandwiched it between two pieces of the cake, with a dollop on top, then sprinkled with fresh raspberries...mmmmm.

I might just have to make it again so I can show you properly :)

23 March 2011

Just have to laugh...before I start to cry

My whole life, I've been healthy, active, and except occasional knee pain, I have been able to be pretty active with sports, rock climbing, biking, the past.

There was a point while on my mission where my body simply shut down. I got heat stroke one day and never seemed to recover. I saw a few doctors in Switzerland and they both told me I was just depressed and needed to take medication. I adamantly disagreed. I was frustrated with being tired, I couldn't do anything because I was so tired not because I didn't want to. I almost came home, but then I seemed to start getting back some energy, so I stayed. Thus began, I believe, my journey into the world of an autoimmune disease.

The years since then, some have been better than others, but I've been plagued with chronic fatigue, made worse with exercise. Yeah, that doesn't work well when you want to loose baby weight :) The last few years, other physical ailments have surfaced. I was telling my doctor a few weeks ago, My body is just falling apart! And seemingly random problems were presenting themselves, and we couldn't figure out why...because we were looking at them and dealing with them as individual problems (fatigue, achy joints, abdominal pain, numbness in hands/feet, stomach pain, vertigo, rashes...).

So, after about 6 months of stomach/abdominal pain, I go to the doc and he's trying to decided between gallstones or an ulcer. He's leaning toward an ulcer, so he wants me to have a scope done of my stomach. The scope doesn't show an ulcer, but there are lots of red areas on my small intestines so he biopsied them. Ok, so I need to wait for that, but once again, I have a problem that has no solution. Whatever. Now, I'm really getting frustrated, and probably depressed, because I know I'm not crazy! Something is not right with my body and modern medicine is not helping! (yes, I realize that statement can open a whole other conversation, but I'm not ready for that just yet).

So, when I woke up the other day with swollen and sore joints in my hands (my hands and feet feel like they're on fire!), I about lost it! Well, I kind of did. I called my Mom to vent and cry and she basically said, you may never get a diagnosis, but that doesn't mean nothing's wrong. You will just have to know that you have limitations and deal with one day at a time. Fine, but I'm still calling the doctor.

Turns out, the little biopsies the GI doc took, came back positive for Celiac disease, an autoimmune disease (thankyouverymuch to my European and Scandinavian heritage). All of my problems over the years have all been symptoms of this disease, vague by themselves but together, along with the biopsy, make for a pretty convincing diagnosis.

So, now, with this diagnosis, I'm overwhelmed and still in mourning for wheat (cream of wheat with brown sugar and toast is my most favorite breakfast ever!). I can't even just take medicine for it to go away. I have to alter my complete diet and make a drastic lifestyle change! And yes, allow me this selfish moment to say "have to." I'm mourning here, can't you see?? I'm sure I'll get to the "get to" stage eventually...Sigh...

Then, last night, as I'm wallowing in self-pitty, I had a lovely visit from one of my visiting teachers. She brought me...wait for it!...

A fresh from the oven loaf of homemade wheat bread :)

Yes, I chuckled, then, after she left I had a piece with more day wont kill me. I can't even think right now about my pantry full of gluten...oi vey!

14 March 2011

My trip to Manti

What did I do with an entire Saturday all to myself? I loaded my fam in the car, sans working DVD player...youduv thought the girls were going to DIE without a movie to watch! "Oh the travesty!" were Eliza's actual words. I got a good laugh, but I think she was serious...

I packed snacks, coloring books, paper, activity books, crayons (2 packs!), and not even 10 minutes into our drive, they "had nothing to do!" The world is coming to an end. "How long is this drive?" Two hours. "TWO HOURS?? What am I supposed to doooo? No iPad, no DS...sigh" I guess you could just stare out the window...but there are lots of activities in that book that look like fun...your choice.

After a few minutes, I heard rustling in the bag, little mouths chomping apple slices, paper being colored on, and all was quiet except the music. Even D and I were content sitting with the silence. I thought it was funny, D drives a semi truck all week, then on his day off, I make him drive a few more hours. But he assured me he doesn't mind driving our SUV, something about being able to drive faster than 30mph up a hill and no least he didn't fall asleep.

It was a beautiful spring day, warm enough to be without jackets. As we headed east from Nephi, the drive was a lot more scenic. Even the girls enjoyed looking at the hills and farms, looking at the old houses as we passed through small towns. We finally arrived in Manti and could see the top of the temple poking up above the trees. The old houses were adorable; Main Street had a Candy shoppe (where I spent $13.00 without batting an eye) and a good 'ole diner with homemade doughnuts and buns!! Mmmmm that was good!

The last time I was here was for the Mormon Miracle Pageant when I was 9, so I pretty much didn't remember anything. But this time, it was to be with my cousin to see her and her husband and baby girl be sealed as a family for eternity. Always a good time.

While we were in the temple (for two hours!) admiring all the pioneer craftsmanship, the girls were being entertained by another cousin. Apparently, they had loads of fun and were the center of the volunteer's attentions because our party was the only one there! After the session, we took pictures (my uncle took some really awesome ones!), went to the diner for some good eats, then headed home.

There was no complaining, no asking how long or what can I do. Each of them grabbed a blanket and stared out the windows at the landscape and the setting sun. Before long, they were both asleep. D and I enjoyed the quiet ride home, listening to a story-time radio show about an Irish singer.

And that was my day...did I learn anything? Aside from being in the temple with an amazing historian...maybe.

1: It doesn't matter how many activities or treats you pack, there will never be enough to do.
2: Old towns are amazing to visit, but I'm always glad to go home.
3: The local diner always has the best food.
4: Being active before a long drive helps everyone.
5: Family really is everything.

09 March 2011

"We were on a BRAKE!!"

I had the TV on while I was straightening up the downstairs and working on the computer the other day. It was the episode of "Friends" where Rachel decides Ross is too overwhelming and she wants to take a break. It's an episode where it's so uncomfortable to watch because you know what happens at the end but you can't keep yourself from watching!

Like when Rachel is pining for Ross after he stormed out and she's tried to call him and he wasn't home. Then, Mark calls and comes over trying to "cheer up" Rachel. But you almost gasp when Rachel's phone rings because you know it's Ross and you KNOW he's going to hear Mark... (sigh)...and then he hangs up :( Oh man. Yeah that would be awful. Team Ross!!

But, as I was watching all that, know what I was noticing?? How differently all of that would have gone if they had cell phones. Ross called Rachel from a Pay Phone for goodness sake! Interesting...after Rachel had some time to calm down, she would have been able to get a hold of Ross and he would have run back to her before Mark even had a chance to call. But that doesn't make good TV ratings, apparently.

Heck, they might've done it all through texts!

Then again, maybe not. Have you ever sent a "wrong message" with a text? I'm not talking about spelling errors, but those are funny, too. I mean when you text a message and even with a "smiley face" at the end, the receiver still doesn't get the idea you were hoping for. It can even happen with emails!

So, with all this technology, we can still mess things up or get the wrong message. Lesson: Never trust to something else what you want from your relationship. We are relational beings and no amount of texts or smiley faces can make up for a real conversation or physical attention. Unless your husband is a long-haul truck driver... then every "smiley face" is a big deal :) And so are weekends!

07 March 2011

Grab a drink and get comfy...

I was introduced to an article written in January from a friend's blog here (article she referenced is here). Both are great pieces. Please read them then come back to read the rest of my post. It will make more sense to you that way :)
Both the article and my friend's comments about the topic were so fascinating to read! They both really made me think...about blogging, about being a mother, about creativity, about loads of stuff. I loved how the author of the article was fascinated with reading about Mormon women and I loved how Stephanie's straight forward, tell-it-like-it-is style comes out. No criticism, just truth. Loved it, Steph and I don't think I told you that. Nice job.

Anyway, after I read both of those pieces, and did some soul thinking, I moved on with the rest of whatever it was that I was doing that day. So, basically, I did nothing with it. I wasn't doing anything with my blog at that time and just had no interest or energy to do anything. I didn't know what, at the time, that I wanted to do with it, but whatever it would have been, I didn't do it.

Then, today, I was going through my blog list and came across this post from MMB: here. You'll want to read that one, too. It basically follows up on the other ones. Fun stuff!
After reading the article Stephanie references, my thoughts were something like, "Wow, that's fun, that some random person is 'blog stocking' total strangers (who hasn't done that)? And, she really finds the difference in lifestyle interesting? There's no mocking, no teasing; she has genuine admiration for these women who seemingly have lovely homes and children and are willing to talk about the frustrations of each but stay so positive while doing it."

Yes, I've gone to random people's blogs, just reading what they have to say for a time, moving on to others, staying with some. But I loved when MMB said this when referencing why MMBs are different: "We choose to focus on the positive. We choose to take even the worst of days, and learn something from it." And that was exactly the way I felt after reading the first article, but couldn't figure out how to express it!

Yes, life sucks sometimes, but because of what I have learned for myself, what I want to believe, I have learned that there is always something to learn! That's one of the largest purposed of being here and living! And that keeps me hopeful. Even if I have to use medication sometimes :) I know I don't have to be perfect. That also has been a long lesson...

But it sure is fun to read about :)

04 March 2011

My Dancers and another Lesson

Last time we went to Poky, my Dad signed the girls up for a Dance Clinic with the university's Bangle Dancers. They had a 3 hour dance class (with treats!! I think they were more excited about the Go-gurts...). Then, that night, with their cute t-shirts, we all went to the women's basketball game so we could watch the girls dance during Half-time!

Thanks, Dad! They loved it!

Belle is a natural performer :) Lydia is at the age where dancing around is still fun but she's still a little shy. Good thing she had Belle to watch and dance with!! Eliza, on the other hand, had some reservations at first, and is at a vulnerable age where other people's opinions are almost everything. She actually didn't want to go to the clinic. I forced her to go, trying to be positive, but it was one of those moments where, as a parent, you know that it will be good for her.
Then, after we dropped them off and were leaving, I was looking through a window at her, wondering if I did the right thing, worrying that if she really didn't like being with all those other kids...watching all the dancing girls and seeing my daughter move awkwardly and self-consciously...thinking "Is this really best for her, forcing her?"
I started to tear up (I know, I know) but decided to leave, knowing that dancing with a bunch of girls, while potentially dangerous (c'mon, we all know how little girls can be hurtful at times when someone doesn't fit in), I figured it would be something I could help her recover from. And, if it was disastrous, I wouldn't make her do the program that night.
There. Dilemma solved.
So, Teresa and I had fun doing my hair :) Then, we went to pick up the girls and go out to lunch. Much to my enjoyment, they couldn't stop talking about the dancing and the teachers! Yeah them! Yeah me! Okay, sometimes I do know what I'm doing with my children. Sometimes I yell, sometimes I let them watch too much TV, sometimes we have cold cereal for dinner, and then sometimes I lovingly make my children do something out of their comfort zone, knowing they will be stronger for it.
That night, at the game, our girls saw some of the Bangle Dancers walking around and they'd call out "There's my teacher! Mom, there's my teacher!" All three of them were actually excited to start their program. If Eliza was nervous, she didn't show it. Then, she was dancing with a smile :) and that made me smile (and cry, but you all knew that).

02 March 2011

Catching Up

So, what have YOU been up to these last few months? All interesting stuff, I'm sure. Christmas was fun, of course. And the New Year has, so far, brought so much change already!

Now, honestly, I love change. I embrace it. I really hate doing the same thing all the time. Sometimes, I get really crazy and change my laundry day...yeah. Crazy is my middle name. Seriously though, I really like to mix things up, and I've been feeling like that lately, like something needs to change...something's not quite right. I don't feel like I'm 'home' if that makes sense.

So, we're still renting, and I wanted to move here to a) get out of that tiny 2 bedroom place and b) enjoy more space :) As great as this place is, I still don't feel like we as a family are where we need to be. And, as much as I love change, I loath moving. Why do I keep doing it, you ask? Good question. And don't think I'm not thinking about the kids. It will just give them more to talk about with their therapist.

D and I have some planning in the works and he has a job interview shortly, so that will determine where we will go next. Either way, maybe the kids can learn to find adventure in things. And hopefully we can stay there a long time...