Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Day 2... My brain desperately misses caffeine!!!

So it is Day 2 of this madness... whole30. There are some things that are good, and well... no... nope. I've decided that this goes into the list of things I've tried that is just stupid craziness. It's right up there with HCG my friends! I'm hoping that things look up, but I can barely type this entry with my splitting headache. I think my left eye has started twitching. Because really... how bad is Diet Dr Pepper? It will be the first thing I have on day 31, which is November 12th... not that I'm counting!
I bought 4 cases of La Croix, because I honestly thought it would curb my cravings. Here's the truth... this is how sick I am... I like "feel" of it. I like the cold metal can. I like the sound of opening the can, I have the cold can sitting next to me during the day. I even like the feeling of the cold can on my lips... but then I tip up the can and my mouth is filled with a nasty bitter taste! It is seriously disgusting!!! I cringe, swallow, and set my nice cold can back down. I honestly do this every 3-5 minutes just to mentally try and soothe myself. I have opened multiple cans and have yet to drink the entire thing! I was seriously drinking 120+ ounces of DDP a day... and I can't even finish a can of this crap. Ughhh! There... now I've cried about it... on with life!

The girls raced their Pinewood Derby cars tonight. Mike took it more seriously this year... after not finishing so hot last time. This time Addi was 5th overall and Sophie was 9th. They both came in 1st and 2nd in their different individual races. They were so cute and fun to watch! Happy girls and a proud papa!

I've been thinking about my life lately. Kinda mid-life crisis type stuff. Just trying to figure out what the hell I want to do with the next 20-30 years. I've debated working, going back to school, or both. I've thought about continuing my line of work in the beauty industry... or doing something completely different. I don't even know what I'm passionate about anymore. I feel like so much about me has changed over the past couple of years. I'm not only physically limited, but my likes and dislikes are different. So my search continues! I absolutely love my job... but I'm not sure it's sustainable. I can do it for the next 5 years... but I'm not going to be doing lashes at 45 or 50 years old!
It's not that I'm unhappy... I actually LOVE my job... truly! I just am entering a new and different stage of life. My baby is now in 4th grade. I'm not sure how it happened... but it just did. Last thing I remember she was heading to 1st grade and I was excited to finish my salon and build my clientele. Then all hell broke loose and now I wake up here.
I realize I could play the "Super Mom" game, and some days I feel like I should play that game better. I could clean my house from top to bottom, make amazing dinners, volunteer every chance I get and run with the PTA crowd... but honestly, I've tried that. It didn't make me happy. I tried to pretend, compete, smile and put on the perfect show... but that's what it felt like... a show. I've jumped through all the hoops, but I've never been good at faking anything! I'm not sure if it's age or just life, but I'm a lot less worried about pleasing others. So I'm searching... still searching...

On to Day 3. I hope that I will say that it's worth it, but for now I just dream about an ice cold 'jacked' Diet Dr Pepper in my hand. Truthfully, I dream about bathing in it! If nothing else, after 30 days... I will appreciate it more!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Back at it

I've been reading through old posts lately... getting good doses of my own advise. I read back and think "Wow... who was that girl writing that?" It's strange to see how things have changed in my life, how life experiences can shape and re-shape a person.
Recent experiences have changed my course once again. I find myself in a strange place of re-evaluating my life... in nearly ALL aspects of my life.
I'm debating whether or not to try and catch up, or just start today and move forward. I'm thinking that looking forward would be best. I'm afraid looking back would be too painful in some aspects. I would never say that I'm thankful for the negative things that have happened, but they have brought results that have helped me grow, learn, and expand my view of the future.
I have had to put distance between some of my family members. I guess maybe they put the distance there, and I just stopped taking the abuse of being around them over and over again. It has been both healing and also enlightening. It's amazing how much clearer you can see things when you're not swimming in the thick of it. The thick of selfishness, intentional cruelty and competitiveness. Speaking of...
I've given myself some distance with church as well. Again, not at first by choice, but the opportunity has taken me out of the fog. I feel like I've been slowly dying inside without even knowing it! The negativity of others criticism and being spiritually bullied by adults with the "power" to make me feel helpless in difficult situations was killing me... I was miserable. I am trying to figure out what exactly I truly believe, and how I want to practice what I believe.
On a positive note, yoga has been the best thing that has happened to me in a long time! I am taking better care of myself. I have lost quite a bit of weight this year, and I contribute it to taking a step back and realizing what I'm doing that isn't healthy for me... for my body, my spirit, and my soul. I found that some of the most damaging things in my life were people or things that should have been good for me and I was forcing myself into harmful situations out of guilt, or the feeling that I didn't have a choice. The truth is... I ALWAYS have the choice. I just have to decide that I choose ME. I choose HAPPINESS. I've learned that sometimes things are just no longer good for us, and we have to let them go. It doesn't discount the fact that they were once good... even great. However, things change... and you have to let go of things that are holding you down, or drowning you!
I've let a lot of heavy things go this year. Amazingly enough... I have felt lighter, physically and mentally. I feel better than I've felt in a very long time. I didn't know how bad it was until I started feeling better. It was very, very bad. I was in a bad place earlier this year.

So much of my life is different, and I'm not sure if it's been aftermath from the car accident, time, age, or just where I am at in life. I feel like things with family, friends, spirituality, career, education, kids... it's all changed. And although I feel like it's all changed for the better... it's so different than I expected. It's crazy that life can take you in directions you never expected.
I'm excited to get back to writing and blogging. I love taking the thoughts and feelings I have, putting it into words and getting it out. It's so therapeutic and helps me sort my craziness. Because let's be honest... no matter how much life changes... I'm still just as crazy!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Family Tree

So... my family tree is a strange one. I always pictured it something like this...

I have my Dad's family... who I didn't get to know very well until I was older, and my Mom's second husband's family... who I knew super well as a kid, but pretty much lost at the age of 15. Which was super strange because it left me at a very lonely place at a young and impressionable age.
Now that I'm older with kids of my own, I often think about the things that molded me as a kid... the good, the bad... the crazy.
This weekend I attended the funeral of my Mom's second husband's Mother. Which sounds a bit distant... but was the Grandma I saw the most often as a kid. She went by "Grandmother", and from the ages of 5 -14... she was one of my 7 grandparents.
I remember taking the 3 hour drive out to Vernal probably 4-5 times a year. We always went out for Memorial Day and a couple summer trips. My Mom's husband had 2 half-brother's that lived out in Vernal (I told you the tree was strange!), and one of them had kids the same ages as kids in our family. I remember how exciting it was when I was little to get instant cousins. They were the cousins I grew up closest to.
At the funeral this weekend I got to see those cousins again. I always wished I was part of their family when I was young... and honestly I still wish I was part of that family! The cousins my age were boys, but they teased me and taught me things I would imagine I could have learned from having brother's. I remember loving them as much as you can love boy cousins... but that love grew from a mixture of admiration, fear, respect, and sharing fun and crazy experiences growing up. This family had boats, snow mobiles, dirt bikes, motorcycles, and more toys and gadgets then I can even remember. They were the first people I knew to have a Nintendo (which we weren't allowed to have) and pets (which we weren't allowed to have) and when we were in Vernal it kind of felt like another world to me. A world wherein I thought all kids lived the most care-free and fun-filled lives! I think I felt that way because Vernal was where life felt the most normal to me.
Visiting now is different, but it still brings back so many fun and crazy memories. My cousins have grown and we now have children who are as old as we were when we had some of our adventures. I got to visit and see all of them... and what I love is that their family is still close and yet they have a realness that is so refreshing. I long for both of those things... and have neither... closeness or realness!
I came home from my visit and told Mike that "that" is what I want for my girls. I want them to stay close, raise their babies together, and be there for each other forever! I want my girls to have a strong beautiful family tree, with just enough branches to make it beautiful.

I am so grateful for their example to me, they give me hope and bring me happiness. They make me want to care for... water, fertilize, prune, spray, and really work hard to give my girls the strong and beautiful family tree I always wanted!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

I was just getting started!

The End. Wait? I was just getting started!!!

Sometimes I feel like I'm on a ride... I'm rarely in control of this ride. As soon as I think I know what's coming, or feel good about my course... I feel like someone pushes me off of a cliff and the next thing I know I'm in a nose dive that I can't seem to pull up from! Next thing I know I've crashed and burned... as I sit in my fiery and exploded state I always have the same thought... HOW DID I GET HERE???

I still can't find the balance of being true to myself and what I believe, and fitting into the mold of this crazy culture I live in. I think that the saddest (and at the same time the most hilarious) part, is that even when I'm on my best behavior I'm out of line.
I have opinions, I have feelings, I have a strong belief system, I have lived a life that has given me experiences which have molded me into the person I am today. I can't "fake it" very well, and certainly not for an extended period of time. I don't do "submissive" at all... AT ALL.
I respect honesty, and hold it higher than just about everything else. I admire people who are honest and forthcoming, people who stand firm. Even if I don't see eye-to-eye with someone, I respect these people.

I'm taking a break from life for a bit!

After my literal crash a couple years ago it took me a while to get back on my feet. I think this crash will take me a while as well.
I need to close ranks again! I get burned because I don't test the water, I don't do anything halfway. No, no... I have to jump in the deep end! I give it my all and I wear my heart on my sleeve. So when I get fired it shouldn't surprise me as much as it does, but it sure doesn't hurt any less! The problem is I don't know any other way!

It's nice to look back over the past years and read about how I got through other times similar to this one! It's just like THIS moment all over again! It's sad to read through previous posts and think... why do I keep doing this to myself? Why can't I learn my lesson? Hence the "time-out" I'm giving myself! And frankly, I've decided "time-out's" are okay! It's okay to "just say NO" for a while. (For some added humor to this depressing post... all the quotes I wrote are really air quotes I would make with my fingers while saying everything I just typed... I had to re-read through this last paragraph picturing myself talking... Whoa! That's a lot of air quotes!)

So I will cry, grieve, get pissed, cry some more... then I will eventually pick myself up off the floor and move on. Praying that I don't find myself here again anytime soon, praying I've learned some things and praying I've grown from this experience. That's a lot of praying!

Friday, February 7, 2014

On a more positive note...

This week has been a busy one! Honestly this year so far has felt like we are in "turbo" mode. Between working,  keeping up with the kids, church service, housework, school volunteering, Mike's new job venture and everything else... I like I have to start every week bringing my "A" game.
Working has been so much fun! I was trained in eyelash extensions back in October. I haven't worried about building up my clientele yet... I'm still focusing on perfecting my skill. I have a steady clientele of women who I love! I'm so thankful to have found something I can physically do, not to mention enjoy! My studio had just turned in a sad storage room. I honestly couldn't even look in there... it was depressing! I didn't know what I would do with that space after determining I could no longer do hair. The person who did my lashes knew about my current struggles and suggested I try doing lashes. I debated it back and forth... my only regret now, is that I didn't do it sooner!
I did have a brief job in 2013 at JetBlue. I look back on it now and think that it was good for me to go through that experience. I absolutely hated parts of it... but it was what I needed to pull myself out of the strange place I was in. I will have to go back and update much of 2013, but this little part of my year is a huge part of how I got where I am today.
I love my job! Somedays it's harder than others, my knee still gives me trouble... and this time of year it really struggles. However, I love the similarities it has with being a stylist. I love my clients! It is so fun to help women feel better about themselves. I will ride this train as long as I can... who knows how long lashes will be around, but hopefully I have a few years ahead of me. I have 600 more hours to obtain my Master Estheticians license, and that seems like a good path after lashes. I would love to work part-time at a Dermatologist's office. So we will see where life goes... if I've learned anything these past couple years, it's that life can surprise you!.. plans can be changed and I don't have control over much.
Mike works at home now... which has been interesting, to say the least! I didn't send out any info this year with our Christmas card. It would have read something like, "Mike's currently unemployed, I'm attempting to try work again, we are still fighting battles physically and legally, and thankfully the kids are resilient and hanging in there!" It just didn't seem like the most uplifting note to try and write. Sure, I could sugar-coat things... focus on the highlight reel... but it just seemed like too much work this year. I also tried something new... with Thanksgiving cards, trying to eliminate stress in December. Last year for Christmas we decided to go on a family trip! We didn't have have to do shopping and presents, it was a perfect getaway during the yucky weather. We didn't get to stay home for Christmas last year, and since I had surgery in December, it was not the best. Our family trip was perfect timing and after jumping through the hoops again this year, I really thing we have decided to just to family vacations for Christmas presents.
Anyway... Mike is working from home. He's started his own company and is much happier. Fingers-crossed that things will work out and he can be successful in this venture. His partners work out of our house as well. Which adds a different element to our home. For one... I have to get dressed! Like put on a bra before I leave my bedroom. Our house and bathrooms have to be "company ready" everyday. It's probably a good excuse to clean... but if I'm having a bad day, I do feel like a prisoner in my bedroom. I hadn't realized how used to a quiet house I was! It's not a big deal, considering I work 3 days a week... but my days off are not quite the "me time" I'm used to.
My church calling has been quite the challenge for me. I love the YW's and wouldn't change that. But I have had some hard lessons. It's still an ongoing challenge. I just pray I can learn what it is I'm supposed to learn and things can get better. It's been a bumpy road, and I'm learning a lot of things about myself. I am seeing my strengths and weaknesses... mostly my weaknesses amplified. I'm trying to manage my physical pain and frustration while accepting mass amounts of criticism. I'm back under a microscope and learning to cope with it. I'm learning patience and forgiveness, and praying for the same from my peers. I absolutely LOVE the girls and can have all the compassion and forgiveness in the world for them! I feel like my focus is (and should be) on them and helping them navigate through difficulties in their lives. I love serving them. It definitely adds a different dynamic to have both my girls in my class, although Cori just went into the older class. I'm still sad about it! There are a couple people who are supportive and I couldn't do it without them!
I was able to go to camp this past year! (no worries... I didn't put a bra on over my clothes!.. I was on my best and most proper behavior for an entire week!) Honestly, I was super surprised to get to go back. I thought that ship had sailed, and figured there was a big sticky note on my church file that said "This woman is banned from Girls Camp forever!" (We do have a new Bishop, so I'm betting that's how I slipped through) I was able to attend, and loved being back. It was a completely different experience, but I loved it! It was quite the physical undertaking, and I paid for it when I got home. But, was definitely worth it!
That's probably the most frustrating part of life these days. Trying to balance my limitations and pain management... and still be a decent person. My therapist has helped me, but having chronic pain has changed me. I'm learning to let go of things, or people, that are not good for me. I try to focus on the important things and not dwell on the limitations. I have to end my day with the list of things I was ABLE to accomplish, however short it might be... and not look at the list of things I didn't accomplish. I celebrate my victories, even the small ones. Just getting out of bed some days is a victory! I am thankful to have so much support and love... but mostly understanding from those close to me. Like I said before... I'm working on patience, and praying for others to give me the same consideration.
I also understand that everyone has their own trails and challenges. I don't for a second believe that my trials are harder than anyone else's. I've never been one to compare or keep track of who has it easier and who has it harder. I will NEVER say that I'm thankful for my trails... in fact that phrase is probably my biggest pet peeve... but I would say that I've learned a lot about myself and I've grown in many ways. I have been so blessed in life, in many areas. I'm sure to many people... my struggles are nothing to complain about. There are definitely so many other things in life that are much harder to endure. I have received criticism for portraying such a front, but I can honestly say that I've never compared my situation to anything except my own life. So something that is the hardest thing I've experienced is just that.. solely based on my experiences.
Just for reference and updating 2013... here is what I would consider the highlight reel...

Family trip to Mexico
JetBlue job
Lexi's jump team performance
Girls Camp
Sophie's baptism
Back to School Party
Sand Hollow
Halloween Festivities
Mike quitting his job
Christmas at home!

Between my recovery and second surgery at the end 2012 we did have...

Yellowstone/Jackson Hole
Sand Hollow
BYU in Notre Dame/Chicago

I am much more positive these days! My "pain journal" details the harder times and nitty gritty details... but life is good! I'm back on my feet... literally... and thankful for this journey called "life". There is so much good around me, and harder times makes me more thankful for that. I have good friends and family members who love and care for me. I have a loving husband who is my best friend, and 4 beautiful kidlets. I'm thankful for the gospel and specifically the Plan of Salvation, the knowledge that my family will be together forever. Also, that this life is a time to be tested and thankfully I have the opportunity to repent and be forgiven for my mistakes and shortcomings. I love the Lord, and recognize his hand in my life everyday!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


So I just posted all 46 of my 'Pain Journal' entries. They are crazy sad and super depressing... in fact, I tried editing a few, but it was too much for even me... and I wrote them! I'm kind of scared to put them out there... they are super detailed, very raw, and extremely personal! I did leave out a few pertaining to family drama. It's been a rough road, and 2012 is not a year I would ever want to revisit...ever.
In leaving out all the family drama, I feel like there is not enough credit given to my sister J. She seriously uprooted her life and lived at my house for months. Mike, the girls, and myself owe her a lifetime of favors, because we honestly wouldn't have made it through that year without her.
Coincidentally, her hubby graduated that year, and now they live 2 miles down the road! She is my best friend and one of the few individuals who stood by me through EVERYTHING. Her example of love, compassion, and care is beyond words. Our family will be eternally grateful for her service!
There was also many in my ward who fed us and checked-in on us over that year! Again, I could never express my thanks enough. My sister-in-law who helped clean and cook as well... and friends who just came and visited. There were so many days I was stuck in bed and my spirits were down. Just having true friends who cared enough to come visit with me meant the world. I was just getting through life day-to-day, and they made that possible.
I had to (and still are in some ways) dealing with the loss of friendships and relationships. I started going back to my therapist, and he has given me so much insight and perspective in helping me move forward. He said something to me that hit me hard... He said "Sometimes, big events and things happen in our lives, and we see our ledger. We see all our relationships in "black and white". It's not an easy thing to look at!" He went on to describe how when we see those relationships for what they really are... they aren't always what we may have thought. I've had to deal with situations where I thought someone was a close friend, but in looking at the ledger... they weren't. Either our relationship was based on artificial things or one of us getting more from the other. I've had to realize the difference between friends (or even family) and clients! I didn't realize that to many people I was just their hairdresser!
I assume my marriage could have had the same issues. When one person can no longer give... the dynamics are changed, and you see the ledger of your marriage. I feel blessed that we made it through 2012, and the ledger thrown in our face was a good one! Not that it wasn't a rough road... it taught us a ton! I was a pain in the butt, especially on my meds. I think about all Mike went through and it brings me to tears. He was amazing!

I am super excited to get back to writing, it is the best free therapy. Things are so much better now! I'm in a better place and I am accepting my "new normal". There were times I didn't see myself ever getting to this point... so it feels so awesome to be here.
Today we met with our lawyer for the last time. We were able to close the chapter on this horrific period in our lives. Things have definitely changed forever... but we are so ready to move forward and put everything behind us. It feels so great! Happy Happy Day!

Friday, March 22, 2013

What the future holds

After passing the one year mark, there are many things in life that have now officially changed. We are no longer making the adjustments in our life... it's more now like the adjustments have made us a different life.
The Dr appointments are over, Physical Therapy has done all they can for me... it is up to me to continue on my path. A total knee replacement is somewhere down this path of mine, and while I'm not anxious to go under the knife again... I know that my limitations will only increase until that day comes. I've been told 5-10 years, but optimistically 15 years if I can lose weight and take care myself.
People like to say things like "You look so great... " adding a comment about me not having a cane, or my limp is be coming less noticeable. People say "It could be so much worse!" or "At least you can walk!" I agree with all of those things... they all sound good. The truth is, I'm not happy with being disabled or limited... even if it is better than the alternative. I wish I could say that those things made everything better, but it doesn't.
I try to be positive about things on the larger scale... such as work. I can't stand. My circulation is terrible, and the nerves that have been cut give me sharp pains if I stand or sit without moving my legs. Physically, a long day at my job was already taxing on my body, so what used to be a difficult task for a healthy body is now an impossible task! After giving myself the time needed to heal, prayers, and much debate... I have decided to officially close down my business. This is difficult on many levels for me. First, it is my creative outlet. I enjoy it so very much! Second, and more importantly, this is was my career... my plan in life... what I went to night school for 2 years away from my kids for! I invested a lot of time and money into a skill/trade... that I depended on.
Sometimes I hear a voice in my head that laughs at me and says "That's what you get for making a plan!" It's as if when I think I'm in control of my life, something happens that reminds me I have no control at all! I really don't understand, because I felt very strongly that this was my journey... Less than a year before the accident I took out a small business loan to finish a salon in my basement! I put blood, sweat, and tears into finishing that salon EXACTLY the way I had dreamed it would be! I had been building my clientele at the salon I was working at two nights a week. Everything was timed just right. So it's hard to process that 6 months before my baby started school full-time, my career ends!
So I still have a Small Business Loan, and I am shutting down my business... not good.
I am serving in Young Women's, which I'm super excited about. So I am trying to prepare myself for Girls Camp in June. I know I can't 'hike', but I'm hoping to be able to at least walk to distances I need to be able to get to the lake, the challenge course, and the amphitheater on a daily basis. I have been given a daily workout, but I miss the massage and heat from Physical Therapy. I received an amazing blessing when I received this calling, so I have great faith that the Lord will help me be strong... even for that week!

We aren't "camper's", we are people who stay in a hotel... on the first floor of a hotel! We aren't "hiker's", we are people who drive around and see the sites from inside the car! We aren't "athletic", we are fans! I find myself planning things around the number of stairs there are... if there's an option, I take the elevator...
It's really really hard not to get down. It's hard not to be bitter about the changes. It's difficult to know that some of these obstacles in my path are  now permanent road blocks... and I have no other option but to go around them.
I'm working on weight loss. Which is not easy for me... given the inability to do any cardio besides biking without resistance... my weight loss is solely based on a disciplined diet. It is slow... but steady.
On a daily basis I just feel like an old person! I love Aleve. I can't handle walking on cement floors for longer than an hour. So Wal-Mart, Costco, etc. I went to Temple Square, walked from one end of City Creek to the other and I was done! After a walking on cement for a long period of time, or doing a lot of stairs, I'm usually sore for a few days. I still swell after a long day.
Household chores are also a challenge, and always will be. I have to rely more on Mike, wait for him to help with things. I can't climb ladders while holding things. Yard work will prove to be challenging... simply because I am still working on kneeling, and there is a good chance I will never kneel completely! So I can do some yard work while standing, but not much. I will have to re-think my flower beds. I need to simplify things outside in the ways I've simplified things inside. Less is more!
So what does the future hold? All I know is life is moving forward! I have to find a way to maneuver
around my roadblocks.