Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Assignment

I just want to say in advance that I have not decided who I will vote for to be our next President.

The other day, I gave Chris and Kate an assignment. I told them that they had to listen to the speeches of the Presidental nominees from each party, then we're going to sit down and talk about it. When the kids told Greg about their "assignment" he rolled his eyes and laughed. He acted like that was the stupidest idea he had ever heard.

Honestley, giving my kids this assignment was meant to teach them to listen, then decide. When it comes to politics, especially Presidental or National Politics to many of us say: "...well, I'm a Democrat." or "...I'm a Republican." Really? Well do you really know how "your party" feels about certain issues? Maybe your opinion isn't as close to "your" party as you thought. I'm not saying that I'm completely innocent, but I try to be informed. No matter how depressed it makes me.

I have a friend (you know who you are) that completely votes down party lines. Well, I don't think that's the way the "framers" of the Constitution intended us to vote. But maybe I'm wrong. This friend and I always have friendly debates about this every autumn. I just feel that we were given the right to vote, but not vote blindly. Truth be known, I don't think my friend votes blindly, but I have to have something to argue about.

So, Barak Obama is accepting his party's nomination tonight, and I can't wait to watch it with my kids. I find it intresting that 45 years (to the day) after Dr. Martin Luther King gave his "I Have A Dream" speech, an African American man will accept the nomination of a major political party by narrowly beating out a woman. I don't know who has earned my vote, but I think that's something that I want see.

So tonight, my kids will complete half of their assignment, and I'm really intrested to hear what they think about things. Since their my children I'm sure that they'll have some pretty strong opinions about things.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Safe At Home

Well, today was the first day of school. And it was a tramatic day for me, not the kids, not Greg, just me. Infact, the kids were so excited I didn't even have to wake them up this morning, I'm sure that won't last too long. The kids got ready for school without any help from me, and were out the door.

I had a doctors appointment. My implant was programmed and my stitches were removed (I'm glad I don't have to do that again any time soon). I'm going to be going off my meds YIPEE!!!!!! Anyway, I got home and the house was just too quiet, and I didn't like it at all.

I spent the afternoon reading and then I heard the sirens. I kept thinking: "Would I be able to hear sirens from the Jr. High?" "What if something has happened, with Chris in Jr. High the kids aren't together anymore." And on and on and on. It got so bad I called Greg and Aly to ask them if I'd be able to hear the sirens if they were at the Jr. High. Nothing happened, but I'm a worrier by nature, thanks Dad.

Anyway, Chris came home and ran straight to the bathroom, apparantley today was 7th Grade Mob Day, and he was scared he was going to get beaten up if he went to the bathroom. ???? Long story short, he was fine, he had a good day and he seemed happy.

Then, the girls got home. They were so happy. Kate loves her teachers and Kolbie is so excited to be in Miss Curtis' class. So basiclly everybody had a good first day of school. 1 down 180 to go.

I was just in the front room laying on the couch listening to my children playing playstation, looking for an afterschool snack, and searching for a pair of lost flip-flops, and I was ......happy. I was happy to have my children safe at home. We're all so busy all the time, it was just great to have the kids home, happy and safe. The only thing that would have made that moment more perfect would have been to have Greg here with us.

Carin, my friend drove me to my doctors appointment and we were talking about some issues that are in the news, and later I was talking to my sister and it got me thinking about having a safe place to fall. I have been critical of friends who I felt couldn't let go of their kids at all, but maybe I've been a little too eager to let go. Maybe the best thing for my kids is to be safe at home. I know I can't keep them little forever, but what's wrong with not wanting my kids to be too jaded to soon? Having them here with me today, I literally felt at peace. But maybe I'm making more of Jr. High than I really need to. Who knows? Maybe it's okay to let go of your kids in somethings, but hold tight to them in others.

Why did I feel like I was sending Chris into a battle zone when he left for school today?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Another Lagoon Experience

As I said before, when we went to Lagoon, I spent most of the day observing the people around me. Here's an obersavtion for the record books:

We were walking over towards the Wild Mouse when a young couple walked past us. The guy was wearing a pair of black shorts and a "wife beater" tank top. The girl (notice that I don't call her a lady) was wearing a one piece swimsuit (I've scene string bikini's cover more skin) and a denim mini-skirt. The skirt was very, very mini. Well, the girl had a wedgie, and she chose to pick her wedgie by reaching under her skirt and jumping and wiggling. Greg saw the same thing that I did and started to chuckle. Katie saw it and asked me if I noticed it and what was that girl thinking? My reply: I don't know what she's thinking but that's not lady-like. Kate: Duh, Mom.

Maybe I'm too Old School, but what the heck happened to manners? They sure don't seem to matter anymore. From getting flipped off during rush hour traffic to belching at the dinner table, what's going on? I hate to say it but my Grandmother would be disgusted with the fact that manners don't matter anymore. I won't say I'm perfect, but I do try, and I don't allow my children to forget manners either. Maybe I'm just too "Old School".

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Lowest Of The Low

My family and I spent Thursday at Lagoon. I loved being with the family but Lagoon itself was very boring to me because I was afraid to go one anything that would cause my pain level to skyrocket. I did breakdown and go on Wicked, it was really fun.

Being at Lagoon the main thing I did was people watch, and trust me Lagoon is an interesting place to watch people. The five of us were standing in line for the Log Ride and Michael Kirby, a kid we met through baseball was in line just ahead of us. As we were talking a group of people got off the ride and one of the guys got into a "adult size stroller". Michael turned around and said to me: "See that guy he's not really handicapped, they're just doing that so they don't have to wait in line." To be honest, I tried to ignore Michael. I honestly thought that he was judging the group unfairly. I even told him that you can't see every handicap.

Well, about 45 minutes later Greg, Chris and I were standing in line to go on Wicked, and who should arrive? The group that Michael was talking about. But, SOMEONE ELSE WAS SITTING IN "THE STROLLER"!!!!!!!! Then a while after that I was sitting waiting for my family's turn on the Bumper Cars to end, and who should arrive? You guessed it, the same group. AND SOMEBODY ELSE WAS IN THE STROLLER!!!!! AND THE TWO OTHER GUYS THAT I SAW SITTING IN THE STROLLER WERE PUSHING HIM AND WALKING WITH THE GROUP!!!!!!!!

Seeing this I literally got sick to my stomach. Then I got mad, really mad, but not mad enough because I didn't do a darn thing about it. I honestly don't know what I could have done, if I had said something to them I probably would have gotten a knuckle sandwich. But maybe I should have told a security guard or something.

I can't believe how low people will stoop because they can't be patient and wait their turn! I saw Michael after seeing the group the third time and told him what I saw, and that I was sorry for being so snotty to him. He said something interesting. He told me that he thought that what they were doing was wrong because he thought that they were making fun of people with disabilities.

Even now, when I think about this entire incident, I think it's really sad. Sad because these peoples lives are so pathetic that they have to drop to new lows because they are trying to feel important. Sad because these people most likely think they were being funny. And the saddest thing is that I didn't do or say anything when I should have. I'm disappointed with myself.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My Breaking Heart

Over the last few months I've been reading a blog called Baldy's Blog. It was written by a 26 year old man that lived in England who was dying of Lukemia. I went to his blog today, and read a post entitled: Adrian Passes Away. And my heart is breaking.

Adrian had a bone marrow transplant, and went into remission, but unfortunatley his cancer returned. He decided against any major treatment, so the fact that he has passed away isn't much of a surprise. But why does my heart hurt so much, for a man I never met or even talked to in any way?

Adrian had spent the last few months of his life trying to get the English government to teach about bone marrow and organ donation in public schools. This is something that I can appreciate since my dad is currently on a list for a liver. The thing that struck me the most, is that this man knew he was going die and chose to spend his time trying to make things better for other people who are sick. How many of us would have "stuck our head in the sand", and just spent our remaining time with our families and friends? I know that I'm not strong enough to do something like he did.

I guess the most we can really hope for at the end of our lives is that this world was made a little better because we were here. Adrian taught me lots of things, but I guess the thing that I will remember most is: use the time you have wisely, and we can all make a difference.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. Many of whom helped Adrian with his petition to the governement. I think that I'm going to find our if I can be a bone marrow donor, I don't know if I can because of my health issues, but it's worth my time to find out.

Thank you Adrian!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Redeemed Team?

I've been watching the Olympics A LOT!!! But one thing I refuse to watch is Men's Basketball. If you've read my blog for a while you know that I'm not a fan of basketball. I think I should change that opinion: I'm not a fan of professional basketball, I can handle college and high school basketball. But I digress, I DETEST the Olympic Mens Basketball team!!!

On the way to the hospital on Thursday we were listening to ESPN Radio and they asked an intresting question. If you would watch Michael Phelps swim or the Basketball Team play, what would you watch? I'd have to say I'd watch Michael Phelps, but if the question was: Would rather watch paint dry or the Basketball Team play what would you watch? I'd pick watching paint dry.

If the basketball team were made up of the best college players in the country, it might be more intresting. The team they have now has made it almost impossible to lose, and I hate that. I feel watching a team play that cannot be beaten is boring, and a bit insulting. Why all this big talk about this team? They win by so many baskets it sickening! The big talk was about Greece and how the team needed to avenge a loss in the last Olympics. What's the fun of watching a team that can't be beaten?

I know I'm probably in the minority, but I feel that watching a team that can lose is more exciting than watching a team that's unbeatable. I guess my main questionis: What's the point? What's the point of watching a team that not only can't be beaten, but wins by huge amounts every game? What's the fun in that? Maybe I'm wrong, maybe they will lose, but I doubt it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Mom

This is my Mom. Anything good about me comes from something this beautiful woman taught me.

My Mom will love me no matter what, and that's pretty amazing to me. My mom has always been a working mom, but I never felt like there was anything more important than our family to her. There have been times that have been difficult for my mom, but she has shown me over the years that she will do anything for her children. Even if it's painful.

Mom amazes me about so many things. She can always change my perspective about things. And she loves to tease me about the silly things I do. The best thing about my mom is that she is happy if we're happy. The main expectation that Mom has had for me over the years is to be happy and productive. When I'm happy with my life, Mom's happy. When I'm not being productive or am doing something I shouldn't she is the first to tell me to shape up.

Mom for me is grace personified. With Dad being sick Mom's in a position that she never thought she would be in. Most days she does an amazing job of keeping things going. She can even deal with me and my emotions about Dad being sick. Mom has dealt with the realities of Dad being sick in such a graceful way.

Mom loves being a Grammie (grandma) to all her grandchildren. Her face lights up when she sees her grand kids, it's a great thing to watch. She tries to have snacks at her house just for the kids (and when I say just for the kids, I mean just for the kids -- I got scolded for eating those snacks). She loves those kids so much.

My mom is my truest friend. She is always on my side (except when I'm wrong), and is the first one to tell me I'm wrong. My Mom is someone I can laugh with and tell secrets to. My Mom is the first person I go to when my heart is breaking, and when I'm over the moon happy.

Sometimes I worry because I'm afraid that she feels like she's not as important to me, as my Dad is. But she's just as dear to me as anyone. Abraham Lincoln once said: "Everything I am is because of my angel mother". That's how I feel about my Mom. Everything good about me comes from something she taught me. Thank you Mom for just being you! I love you!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

My Dad

This is a picture of my Dad, he's one of the best people I know. I think he's amazing!

As a kid growing up, my dad worked allot of funky shifts. He wasn't around as much as he wanted to be, but I never doubted how much he loved me, my mom and my sister and brothers. He has always been devoted to our family, even when things got difficult.

When I was in about 6th grade my dad when back to school, to get his teaching certificate. If someone were to ask me to describe my dad, I would have to say that he's a teacher. My Dad is one of those people fortunate enough to find something that he does well and loves and turned it into a career. Growing up I always remember that my dad's calling in church was Gospel Doctrine Teacher. I remember having people comment on what a great teacher my Dad is. I remember feeling so proud of him. My Dad finished school and started teaching 6th grade. He spend the next 15 years or so teaching elementary school.

I just got off the phone with Dad, he's concerned about my upcoming surgery. He called and wanted as much information about the procedure as possible. I thought that this was very sweet since Dad's not feeling to well lately himself.

Growing up over the years, I turned into a Daddy's Girl. My Dad turned into a trusted friend, I've told Greg that I hope he and our girls can have a tight bond like I do for my Dad. One thing about my dad is that he has never put up with all my crap. He's the first to tell me I've done a good job, but he's also the first one to tell me to get over myself and to stop acting like such an idiot. I guess the thing I love about my Dad is that he sees me for who I am, and what I can become. He tells me to stop my bad behavior and is my biggest cheerleader when I do something great.

I talk to my Dad almost everyday. I call to see how he's doing. My dad's illness (Primary Schlerosing Colongitis (sp?)) has changed so many things for our family. But it hasn't changed how I feel about my Dad. My Dad is my hero!! Who's yours?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

How I Really Am Part 2

I'm sure some of you read a post I had a couple of months ago titled: How I Really Am. Basically I vented how crappy my life was at that time. Well, I thought it was time for an update!

Many things have not changed for me. I'm still in a great deal of pain daily, and am hoping to have my Pain Control Implant placed this coming week. I still can't drive, and I'm alone often. BUT! I'm very, very, very grateful for so many things in my life.

First, I'm grateful for friends and neighbors who have really gone the extra mile with service. I'm grateful for Carin and the great example, and amazing friend she had turned into for me. She has really come through for me in so many ways. Thank you so much for everything!

I'm grateful for members of my ward and neighborhood that have helped me and my family with amazing service. I've had meals brought in, and even had people help clean my house!!! The service that has been given to my family is such an example to my family. The kids have even commented on how great everyone has been!

I'm grateful for my wonderful husband! He puts up with so much! He listens to me complain about so many things and still makes me smile almost everyday! He really has started to try to understand how I'm feeling and puts up with so much.

The other day, I had spent most of the day trying to clean the house, and was finishing my day helping wash Kolbie's hair. I was feeling miserable but was struck with realization of how much I love being a mother. Motherhood was not something that I pictured myself doing as a teenager, and was scared to death when we decided to start our family. I have always been afraid that I would fail my children in some way. I'm not a perfect mother, but I love being the mother of Chris, Kate and Kolbie! My kids are amazing, and I love them more than anything in the world. I love that they cry on my shoulder and can be make me laugh almost everyday. I love teasing Kate, talking sports with Chris, and reading with Kolbie. I even love the less glamorous parts of parenthood like taking care of sick kids and discipline. My children have brought me so much joy. I always thought it was so corny when moms would say that their children are the lights of their lives, but now I truly understand what they meant. I love being Chris, Kate and Kolbie's mom!

So I guess how I really am is: grateful for my friends and neighbors, grateful for a loving husband, and happy being a Mom to the 3 greatest kids I know! That's how I really am!

P.S. There was a comment posted on that blog that I felt I didn't handle very well. Whoever you are I'm sorry if I offended you.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Best Calling In The Church

I have decided that I have the best calling in the church. I'm a Mia-Maid advisor, and I love it. For those of you not familiar with the church, I teach 14 and 15 year old girls. I consider it a privilege to be associated with these kids. In short, they are amazing and I learn more from them than I could ever hope to teach them.

I wish I could say that I'm good at my calling, but I'm not. Like so many other things, I've got a lot of room for improvement. For instance: I don't work on my lessons nearly as much as I should, and I don't go to the activities (we have weekly activities) like I should. One thing I can tell you is that I love those girls, and think about them everyday.

My sister-in-law, Jaylynn is the Young Women President (she basically heads up the program), and that puts some pressure on me to try to do a good job. I don't want to let her down. Since I've been in this calling I've gotten to know Jay better, and I really like her, and enjoy being around her.

One thing about my calling is that when I prepare my lessons I really try to follow the Spirit, but sometimes when I do that I feel like the girls are just sitting there staring at me, and aren't really into the lessons. I don't get it. Maybe I'm the one who benefits, maybe the direction is for me. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I went to the doctor today, and he removed the leads from my back. It didn't hurt, it actually felt really weird.

As it turns out I may not be able to have the implant after all. I was reading in the binder that they gave me the other day at the hospital, and it says that you can't have lithotripsy (the procedure that blows up kidney stones) if you have the device. I asked the dr about it and he said that he'd look into it. It's definitely a deal breaker for me. With the amount of kidney stone I produce, I can't take that option away. The only other option would be surgery, and I don't know how big a kidney stone has to get and they have to cut you open (as opposed to using the scope). This is very discouraging to me because I didn't really realize how much the implant was helping until it was gone today. I just really want to get this all done and get my life back. It didn't take away all my pain but it took away most of it. I feel like I can't really ask for more.

As much as I want the implant, the surgery to have it put in scares me to death. They have to cut me open in 2 places, I've never had that done before (which is pretty amazing considering how many surgeries I've had). They also said that they wouldn't knock me out under general anesthesia (sp?). I'd be under conscience sedation. What the heck does that mean anyway? They only thing I know for sure is that I won't remember anything (at least that's the way it's supposed to be, right Carin?:)

I guess this is where my faith has to come in. Do what you can, and hope (and pray) for the best. I just hate feeling like I have no control over my life. The thing that's really funny, is that I probably never had that much control to begin with.

P.S. Should I be worried that one of the options on my spell check for lithotripsy was deathtraps? :)

Monday, August 4, 2008


This little monster is my Pain Control Implant Device. When things are all done, it will be implanted into my hip, but for now it's coming out my back. I went into surgery on July 31. They didn't knock me out all the way, but they gave me medication so I don't remember anything.

This thing was inserted into the Epidural Space (between my backbone and spinal cord) and blocks pain impulses from going to my brain from my right flank (right side, lower back). This machine is a miracle for me. It really helps, I'm not 100% perfect, but I'm feeling much better. I told my Mom last night that I wasn't sure if I was going to get it implanted. Greg and I have talked, and I am going to have it implanted. The thing that was holding me back was fear. They still won't knock me out totally and that scares me. They'll have to cut me open this time, and that is scary to me.

I'm going to the Doctor tomorrow and he's going to remove the leads. I'm really excited. I can't wash my hair without help, and I can't take baths or showers. I do get cleaned up, but I want to take a bubble bath. Having this thing hanging out of me is uncomfortable, and painful. I've also been bleeding on and off since Saturday. AND IT ITCHES!!!!!!!! I've been taking Benedryl off and on since Saturday night.

Enough complaining!! The benefits of this little wonder is: NO MEDICATION!!!!! I will be able to stop my pain medication!!!! That is such a big deal for me, since I've had problems with medications in the past. The idea of not being on medication is like a dream. Kolbie said: " Mom, you'll be able to drive us places like other moms?" Yep that's exactly what it means! I have to admit that comment did bring out some guilt, but oh well. I'll be able to go back to work and do something for a change.

Please remember me in your prayers (thank you if you have been) so that I can get this thing implanted without complications. I want to be be "like other Moms".

Sorry if the picture grossed you all out!

Saturday, August 2, 2008


I remember watching an episode of MASH where everyone was bored. I remember Hawkeye saying: I'm BORED! BORED! BORED! BORED! BORED! BORED! BORED! BORED!

That's how I'm feeling today. This is one thing that I really HATE about being sick, is that I get so bored!!! When I finally can't stand it anymore, I'll get up and do something I shouldn't then, I'm down in bed again for a couple of days. The real problem now is that I can't bend or lift anything, so even if I want to do something I can't. Greg, so his credit, really gets after me if I do too much. I've spent the last day working on my Haunted House cross-stitch and I'm really bored.

I've had it with being down and out! I'm ready to be "back in the game". Everyone always say that I would love to be able to just stay in bed all day and do nothing. Trust me when I say, no you don't. There's only so much TV to watch, books to read, cross-stitch to work on before you go NUTS!!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Update -- So Far So Good

Just a quick post to let you all know that I'm feeling pretty good after my placement surgery yesterday. I feel like a pin cushion. They couldn't get everything to work in one try so they had to make several attempts before things went into my back the way they wanted. They ended up using a 14 gauge needle (that doesn't mean much to me), so if you know what that means, please let me know. All I know is that it's a big needle.

I'm happy to announce that the pain I was experiencing before the surgery is being controlled very well by this device. Basically I feel an "electronic" buzzing in my back and legs. Apparently the nerve that is causing me so much pain, is right next to the nerve for my legs, so that's why I feel it in my legs as well. It's interesting though, because the sensation is different depending on the way I'm sitting or laying. I turn my head and the feeling is different. It's really cool.

There was a rep from the implant company that was there yesterday, she helped me program the device. I asked her if she has met the guy who invented this thing. She said that she had, and he's a sweet old (97) man, who is very sweet and humble. I told her if she ever saw him again, to give him a big kiss right on the lips for me. She laughed and said that she hears that a lot. I'm amazed that there are people that are smart enough to create things like this. We are all so blessed to be able to benefit from their work.

Anyway, so far so good. I'm going into the Dr on Tuesday to have the "leads" removed and to talk about what the next step is. I'll let you know more then.