Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Life

     I feel like everyone deserves some sort of explanation as to why I have been so sporadic in my posts over the last year and half.  It will be good for me as well so here it goes and it is going to be long and at sometimes very personal.

     I was in a car accident in the last week of August 2011 and damaged my shoulder.  It didn't help that within 10 days of my accident I was overseeing a very large service project and anyone that knows me at all, knows I did not take it easy.  I was one of the last ones there carrying freshly painted furniture back into the freshly painted rooms.  Not the wisest decision I have made but I got the job done and have been paying the price ever since because I permanently damaged my shoulder.  I have some really good days and some really bad days and today happens to be a bad day.  Carrying anything in my left hand today is not even an option because I will drop it and doing anything that requires me to reach over my head with that arm is really not an option ever.  Today will be not a very productive day but yesterday was.  I will take the good days and find things I can do on days like today and I am managing fine but makes DIYing a bit tricky as you can imagine but WE ARE ADAPTABLE!!!

     Life continues and so does the busyness School starting and my oldest child's senior year.  Which meant his last season playing soccer and he was the co-captain so pancake breakfasts and pizza nights at our home were on the calendar.   It was a busy time like we all have. I also happened to be the Primary President(the person who oversees all children activities for the children ages 18 months to 12 years- so were are talking all Sunday school classes, nursery, scouts, activity day girls) at the time so before Halloween we have the Primary Program to write, practice and perform.  When that is over you start to prep for the next year so fullness of life continues.  On the home front the great grandparents that live in CA came to visit and during their visit for Thanksgiving our Granny broke her ankle and ended up needing to be in a nursing home until she could return home which added a bit more to our families loaded plate.  The first weekend of December I was throwing a huge party with 25 people attending in our home and another one to follow 7 days later with 21 people and so the week between Thanksgiving and the party was crazy busy and MITS(Michigan Indoor Track Series)  started that week as well.  The day of the party was busy but I had my plan and I was prepared.  I dropped the kids off at school and had 3.5 hours to get all my shopping done for the party and the last minute cleanup of the house before I would need to pick up my kindergartner.  While I was shopping I felt this huge gush and by the time I returned home my pants were soaked to the knees in blood...NOOOOOOOOOOO this can not be happening today of all days (I had been suffering from PCOS(Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) and so I had gotten used to having crazy things like this happen) but today of all days.... really .  I quickly called a friend to pick up my little guy from school and I laid myself down and the bleeding stopped but every time I would get up to do anything I would pass huge blood clots and so the party prep continued but not as fast in pace and I took several rests(yeah for husbands that come home from work to take care of you to help with party prep).  The party went off without a hitch and by the next day the bleeding had stopped and party clean up was under way.  By the time night fell I was running a fever of 103.9 and that continued until I went to the doctor 4 days later and was diagnosed with walking pneumonia..or as I like to call it barely walking pneumonia and so was my son.  We spent the week hanging out together in bed full of antibiotics and the fever went away and oh yeah remember that second party at my home...yep we had it again not such a wise move but I had lots of help pulling this one off(thanks to my mom and sister).  By the time Monday came my son was back at school but me nope I was back in bed with a fever again.  To gather an idea of how bad it was climbing the stairs to my bed was a feat that took over 20 minutes because I would start to blackout from the lose of oxygen so I would go up the stairs 3 at a time and take a rest.  A pattern soon emerged.  Monday and Tuesday I would run a fever and then I would start to feel better do stuff, push myself to the limit on Sundays and it would start all over again and this lasted for 4 months.  Finally at the end of March I was no longer running fevers or having wheezy days...YIPEE!!!  I finally learned a lesson REST IS GOOD AND ASK FOR HELP.

     I was so excited that I was finally able to go visit my very dear friend that had a  lung disease and me with pneumonia felt it was best to stay away.  She was more than a friend, my husband would refer to her as my mom at church and she was, she truly was.  I remember I went to visit her on a Wednesday and she was doing fine we had a long chat and on Sunday I went and kissed her goodbye in the ICU...I was devastated by the lose and at the same time so grateful to have learned so much from such and amazing person.  I have never known anyone who was more Christ-like than her.  BE GRATEFUL FOR EVERY BLESSING, LISTEN TO EVERY THOUGHT AND ACT ON THOSE IMPRESSIONS!!!

      Easter Sunday I woke up and was not feeling well and so I felt like I should stay home from church and I did.  That evening as I was talking to my hubby I felt this huge gush of liquid(as I look back I feel like an idiot for not realizing what had happened) and before I could make it to the bathroom I was leaving a trail of blood dripping off of my feet(again remember PCOS).  The bleeding after almost 2 weeks had gotten almost non existent and so I planned this huge trip to Lowes with plans in hand to get the supplies to build some shelves, plus a bunch of other supplies to do some other projects and it is at the end of this trip that I am rushed to the ER with major bleeding, that was absolutely out of control. Of course by the time I get to the ER the bleeding has almost stopped and they told me to just take it easy because I was bleeding internally but it had seemed to stop.  The next evening we took cookies to some friends and I saw no harm in going along for the ride...I was wrong.  By the time I returned home the bleeding was the worst I had ever seen it and so I called the dr and I was put on flat on my back bedrest until I could get to the drs office on Tuesday...can I repeat flat on my back.  After bunches of tests and getting the test results from my stint in the ER.... I had a miscarriage.   We had been trying and praying and fasting for 4 years to get pregnant and so this was a huge blessing I could get pregnant again but sad too.  I have a huge testimony and eternal perspective on losing a child and know I have a child waiting for me.  I continued to be on bed rest for the rest of the week and needed to take it easy for a couple of weeks after because I had really lost a lot of blood over a few weeks time. PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED NOT ALWAYS IN OUR TIME OR HOW WE IMAGINED THEY WOULD BE BUT THEY ARE ANSWERED.

     Hello May I am glad to see you things are looking up.  I have simplified my life.  I have a testimony of trials and how much you learn from them and how much they can bless your life.  I have a new perspective on life and what is really important and I have new saying in my head, "When I am sad I stop being sad( you can add angry, frustrated, etc..in place of sad).   and I start being AWESOME!!!"   BE AWESOME NO MATTER YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE!!!

     My I am glad I had that saying in my mind because nothing really could have prepared me for the next series of events.  I get a call saying my sister was rushed to the ER having an allergic reaction.  It turns out this is not what was happening at all and it is a very personal situation and feel like this is not something I need to share here because it truly is not my story to tell.  What I can say is we are still in the midst of it.  Is it getting better yes, are there bad weeks absolutely, but she is on the road to recovery.  What I can say is this my plans for my life after the kids went back to school changed dramatically.  My sisters life had to be simplified and she was incapable of doing it. After a family meeting of sorts it was decided I would simplify everything that had to do with the children.  I would go there 3-5 days a week and clean and purge and organize.  I would listen and laugh and cry with her.  After 2 months I had everything in the kids life in order. I had cleaned out their clothes, toys, closets. I organized their games, books, and crafts.  I made a family command center and a play room.  I came up with a layout for their main living space that would work better for them.  I implemented some simple parenting techniques that to this day are working.   When I wasn't there I would watch old episodes of Super Nanny and Hoarders so I was better prepared for the next visit.  There were lots of teaching moments and lots of lessons learned by her and myself as well.  Can I say the entire experience was gumdrops and rainbows,  no it wasn't.  Can I say I would not change a moment of it... absolutely.  SERVE OTHERS, USE YOUR TALENTS TO BLESS THEM, DO WHAT YOU CAN DO!!!

     In the midst of the work with my sister we had Aunts and Uncles visit from CA and a celebration for our Granny's 91st birthday in September. We had boat rides, and fishing, and bonfires with her and the family and  a few weeks later we found out she had bone cancer.  We picked up our son from college(oh yes in between all of this we did have a son graduate from high school, run at States for track and run a marathon, and leave for college) and went out for lunch as a family and told the children Granny had bone cancer.  My children are precious they prayed for her everyday and fasted for her too.  It was after one of these fasts we realized we had not explained ourselves well enough when we told them she had cancer.  Their intent of their prayers was for her to be healed and so another family meeting was arranged and we had to let them know she was dying, that there was nothing the doctors could do for her cancer.  The news was very hard on them and some harder than others and so we went to visit her, I am grateful we did because the day after the visit the 3 younger children became sick one by one. They all had different illness.  One of them ran a fever for 3 days, one had scarlet fever, and our youngest had a terrible cough.  None of them were sick on the same days, this left us able to fulfill a responsibility of pulling off a trunk or treat/ chili cook off at church and by the time we returned home our youngest was running a fever Happy Anniversary Honey!  Sunday was important that I was at church it was the day I was being released as the Primary President and it was an emotional day but it was just in time apparently.   Monday was upon us and  all had went back to school except our youngest, he just seemed so tired and his coughing was very limited but once he started coughing it was bad and then in a split second during one of his coughing spells he could not get any oxygen and his lips started to turn blue and in one gasp he said, "can't breathe and the next breath, "need doctor".  I have had incredibly scary moments as a parent but none could have prepared me to look into my blue eyed babies eyes and see he knew he was in trouble.  I will never forget that look of desperation and love.  He was saying mommy I am scared and  I love you and good bye with his eyes.  We ended up getting him to the hospital and they took care of him right away.  He came home, tired and diagnosed with pneumonia, croup, and bronchitis.  Yep not a good combination.  By Saturday we felt everyone was well enough to go say hi to Granny.  We picked up college child and went to visit.  In the 2 weeks we were home with sick kiddos she went down hill very quickly and was unconscious by the time of our visit and we ended up saying our I love yous and goodbyes to our sweet Granny and 12 hours later she was gone from this earthly plain.   With the funeral in CA we needed to  cancel our anniversary plans and made hotel reservations at an indoor waterpark.   This was just what the dr ordered for some healing of our children's hearts, to let them know there is still a life for us to live and we can still have fun despite difficulties in life.  LIVE LOVE LAUGH...DON'T TAKE A MOMENT FOR GRANTED!!!! OH yes and remember the ask for help we hired someone to come and clean the house...YOU CAN"T DO EVERYTHING!!!

     Life started to settle down again and into the holiday season we were heading.  I all of a sudden realized it was the Thursday before Thanksgiving and I had not even thought about Christmas.  For some reason I was extra panicky about it and decided that right then I would make a list and the next morning we would shop for the items on the list.  I am not one to like to shop when the stores are busy and crowded and so this seemed like a good idea and so we did it.  I have never had such a smooth shopping experience in my whole life...found everything I wanted and stayed under budget as well!!!  We enjoyed our Thanksgiving in our pajamas and enjoyed our laid back day.  My husband is a retail manager and so this was really going to be our last day before his really busy season started.  Yep again we were having 2 Christmas parties at our home but this time they were back to back, one on Friday, one on Saturday and all went well and on Monday after the kids went to school I climbed back up the stairs and went to bed for the day.  Spent the week getting the house back together and preparing to pick up my college boy to be with us for a whole month....YAHOO!!!  We had a very laid back few days with him and we were now heading into the last week of school for the other 3 children.  Monday was spent preparing for the week and also to have some families over to go caroling.  Christian and I did have lunch together and came up with a plan for the rest of the week.  I guess I should have had in the front of my mind this quote,  "When you make plans, God laughs"  Tuesday was like any other Tuesday...welcomed friends children into our home before school, took them to school, read with my sons class, and as a last minute change in plans I decided to run to Target and use my $5.00 coupon on $30 of frozen food.  Why I felt the urgency to do that I would soon find out.  I was happy I had 5 freezer meals in my freezer for nights during Christmas time we would just like to have fun and not have a lot of clean up.  Perfect!  I come home with my goods and hear the beeping of my answering machine.  I ignore it...I am a phone call and message ignorer until I am ready to make the call or have the time to talk....so I ignore the beeping, talk to the college boy and for some reason instead of making lunch I check the messages.  It was the emergency room telling me I need to call them back right away.  Immediately I think my college child is here, I was just at the school those children are fine, my husband is in another city, it must be my sister.  Again not prepared or was I???  I call and after being transferred again and again I get to who I need to talk to...it is my MOM she has been intubated and being taken too the ICU and I need to get there right away, I am the next of kin and her medical advocate.  I immediately call my husband and say to him through tears, " I stop being sad and be awesome, right?" When I get off the phone with him I take a deep breathe and say to myself with such fortitude BE AWESOME BE AWESOME BE AWESOME and I felt this huge calm blanket over my whole body, I knew everything would be fine.   I make all the necessary arrangements and run to the hospital.  I was clear headed and able to make some big decisions.  I would often be told I needed to leave the room and then I would be brought back and then leave again.  I had sometime to ponder in between the phone calls and going in and out of the room.  In these moments in the waiting room I was incredibly grateful for the panicky feeling that led me to have all my Christmas shopping done, that my son was home from college and would be able to help with our younger children, that earlier in the day I felt I need to run to the store for freezer meals(that I never buy ever).  She stayed in the ICU for 4 days, 2 days longer than they anticipated and 4 more days after that on the regular floor.  During the first 2 days it was decided she needed to come live with our family for awhile and so our homework room was turned into a bedroom, walkers were obtained, and plans were made and our home was disinfected from top to bottom and then gratitude filled my soul.  For our home the home we were not planning on buying, the home that wasn't even on our short list, the home that was a gift from Heavenly Father, an inspired temporal thing but a huge blessing and was needed at this time and I see His greatness, His wisdom and I am humbled with gratitude for that testimony.  LISTEN TO EVERY PROMPTING EVEN THE LITTLE ONES AND ACT ON THOSE IMPRESSIONS, THE LORD IS IN THE EVERY DETAIL OF OUR LIVES!!!    

    Here I am today, my mom is back at home taking care of her mom and I am writing this all down so I will always remember the lessons I have learned, so maybe you can learn one or two too.  I hope this helps clear up why I have been away. 

     This last year and a half reminds me of a scripture in the New Testament, John 9:2-5  "Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?  Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned , nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.  I must work the works of him that sent me"  I feel that same way all of these things happened in my life to testify of Him and I must work the works of him that sent me. 

LOVE, JULIA