Thursday, November 10, 2011

MORE Than Yesterday

Yesterday....hmmmm....I feel a little bit bad about my post yesterday.  I was in a pretty deep, dark funk....not that things are super bright and SHINY this morning, but laying awake all night has brought me a little bit of perspective.

Okay, I didn't just lay awake all night....I cried, I prayed...and I realized.  I realized how I was going about this all wrong.  I've never had to bear this burden alone....none of us ever do.  How grateful I am for a loving Father in Heaven who can teach gently, and soothe the spirit of a worried mommy.

Last night we had a combined activity with the Young Men and Young Women.  Human chess.  I suck at regular chess...there was NO way I was going to get into human chess.  In hindsight, I wouldn't have had as much to think about last night if I had been involved with human chess.

I had one friend who told me about how much she got done when her husband was out of town...because they were so in love they just followed each other around when he WAS in town.  AWESOME!  I feel like that about Felix, but I don't act on it.  I need to show my husband more how awesome I think he is.  She gave me a wonderful sense of resolve to make sure my husband and my kiddos know how special they are and too not get caught up in the hype of life.

Then as I was leaving, I had a friend in her car (who always puts the best jokes on FB) that I had to thank for being SO fun and funny.  She told me she posted those jokes for a friend who is losing her courageous battle with brain cancer.  I was in awe of her before, but now....I gained a little bit of insight into what it meant to be walking as Christ walked and loving as He loved.  It may sound like a simple thing....and it is, but what a perfect example of how to just love someone.  I can't describe how my Spirit was touched by this little conversation.

Once I got home I had a few messages with words of encouragement and support...and as grateful as I was....I felt a little bit selfish.  There are sooooo many people with so much more on their plates than me.

THEN, I remembered a comment that someone (who I don't even know) made a comment on another friends post.  My friend posted "Pray as if everything depended on the Lord, but work as if everything depended on you".  The comment said, "My trick was to remember I am a Child of God and entitled to everything he has."  How did I gloss over that one so easily?

As I lay in bed thinking about that (and intermittently about how did I forget how bad yoga hurts after not doing it for a while), I realized how much truth there was in that.  It's not like I ever doubted, I just didn't give the comment the credit it truly deserved.

We are here to learn to work, play, love, live, learn, laugh, cry, and experience joy, sorrow, anger and ultimately happiness.  When Christ walked the earth, it wasn't peaceful, all of the time.  He had joy when the children gathered around Him, He had sorrow for those who hurt Him.  He had happiness at those who learned at His knee, and anger for those who blasphemed sacred temple grounds with dishonesty.  Hmmmmmm.....

Kind of like me.  I think I have had every single one of those emotions in the past week, month, year...etc.  Then I thought about the Garden of Gethsemane...and realized He had every single one of my emotions, my pain, my sorrow and my suffering, simple because He loved me enough to do so, and He didn't want me to ever be alone.  And if I make the right choices, and remember who is really in charge, I can achieve that perfect happiness that has seemed so elusive this week.

So it was a long night....in an incredibly good way.  My trials are still there this morning, but this morning I have greater understanding.  My priorities are back in place, and I don't think I'm the worst mom in the world (YAY!).

I'm doing everything I can, but this morning my "can" has a little bit more capacity.  I'm so grateful for these gentle reminders of love, compassion and understanding.

I'm a little more humble than yesterday because of the amazing people who surround me and love me and teach me.

Lessons Learned
1-5....Please see above.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

HUMBLE MUCH?

No.

Obviously.

If I were truly humble, I wouldn't STILL be in learning mode.

As you can tell by my lack of posting, and the general bad mood of when I post, I'm still learning.  There is a part of me that is seriously laughing on the inside because I thought after the incredible pace we had to keep in order to get moved, I totally thought everything would slow down once we got here.  Guess what, I was wrong.  Please don't tell my husband, he doesn't know I have the ability to be wrong.

Felix is still travelling a ton, which is a bummer, mostly because I miss him, but also because moving was supposed to prevent that.  Sigh....this week without him has been particularly hard.....

But, alas....the adventure never ends.  On his way to the airport this week, he was rear ended on the freeway.  The Honda Accord he was driving....WOW!  Held up AMAZINGLY!  The Dodge Charger that hit him.....not so much.  Guess we'll be taking that one off of our potential purchase list.

But ya gotta love my husband....when I asked him if he was coming home, you know since he was in a CAR ACCIDENT.....he was like, "Nah, I'm closer to the airport than I am to home, so I guess I'll go."  I'm stubborn, but not that stubborn.  I'm just sayin'.

Now I believe I previously mentioned that Caleb has been having a rough time with school.  Yeah.  He has been throwing up every morning before school.  Yup, it's that bad for him.  This morning....it was chocolate pudding....but that's another story.  I got really, really, really freaked out, and had multiple talks with him before he admitted he was having a bully problem.  It makes me so sad.  He's 6.

So I called the district, who didn't call me back.  Talked to teachers who said everything was fine.  And finally, talked to the principle of the Lutheran private school.  The school comes very highly recommended, and although it will be yet another adventure within our adventure....I am most hopeful about what they can offer.  We meet with them on Friday.

I continue working through things.  I am happy to report that my focus is no longer on me (that was really selfish of me....and I didn't like that), and now rests squarely on the shoulders of my babies.

Lessons Learned
1. I'm grateful for old friends and new, who have had the incredible patience to put up with my crazy.
2. I'm grateful for spiritual inspiration, because when I'm out of steam...I'm still prompted to go in the right direction.
3. Grateful that I am learning to be crafty, it keeps my hands busy so I'm not eating during my stress...(THANKS RACHAEL)!
4. Grateful that my kids are learning to be there for one another.  Although they have taken being BEST FRENEMIES to a WHOLE, NEW LEVEL!
5. Grateful that I can ramble when I write, so I'm not carrying the burden alone.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

DEFEND YER NUTS!

Well....it's fall in Missouri.  And as you can tell by the distance between my posts, keeping up on the blog has been a smidge of an impossibility.  So thanks ANDREA for the reminder that I need to stay connected with everyone and not get lost in my new little world!

So, since my story telling abilities are currently on hiatus, I thought I would share some of our adventures in "short" form.

**We live in a rural community.  There are lots and lots of critters running around ALL OF THE time.  So it isn't like we never see squirrels.  But with winter rapidly approaching, there have been more squirrels out a hunting and gathering than usual.  So we are on our way home from school and one of our neighborhood squirrels are sitting at the base of one of our trees.  As we drive up, Baylee yells, "Look! A squirrel!"  Noah yells, "Defend yer nuts!" and Caleb yells, "Think about the children!".  Yeah, I don't know either!

**I think I may have mentioned we live in a rural community.  We have a "lake" (more like a pond) in our backyard and the neighborhood has geese.  Geese are scary.  The kids were at school and I was getting ready to go and get the kids, which meant it was time to take the dog out.  So, without paying attention, I open the front door, the dogs goes racing out into about a dozen geese in the front yard.  The geese honk at the sight of the fuzzy, black poodle.....which completely freaks out the dog who starts barking and running away....which completely freaks out the geese who start honking, flying and scattering....which completely freaks me out because I'm afraid they are going to eat my dog.  So I start running and screaming and trying to save the dog from.....nothing, because the geese are all gone.  Welcome to my world.

**We went to the zoo.  They have a big donkey exhibit.  They don't call them donkeys in St. Louis.

**Caleb has really struggled with being in the first grade.  And I mean struggled.  There has been a lot of weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.  We have attempted many different ways to get him motivated and hopefully get him over his highly emotional state of being.  We have considered switching schools or even putting him in a private Lutheran school.  But after a sit down with me and his dad, we finally got to the root of the problem, and switching school won't fix it.  Why?  Why is going to school so hard???  "Because we have to do school work."  --cue crying.

So you can see....never a dull moment...and there have actually been a kabillion-jillion thing, funny, sad, exciting, etc., but being able to take a minute to keep track of them all, has not been as easy of a task as I thought.

So thanks friends, for not giving up on me!  I'll try and do a better job of keeping YA'LL posted on our adventures!

Lessons Learned
1. Life is funny.  It is.
2. I'm still a mess....but I'm starting to pull it all together.
3. I'm glad the adventure never ends...it would be boring.
4. Sometimes, you just have to sit back and enjoy the ride....
5. If I'm going to be on the adventure of a lifetime, I'm glad it's with my funny little peeps.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I Suppose an Explanation is in Order.....

Given it's been such a rough few weeks, I suppose I should do a little bit better of a job explaining what is going on in my brain (or lack of activity therein).

To give a little background 411.  After Caleb was born, I suffered from postpartum depression.  I knew things were wrong...I didn't realize how wrong until one of my dearest friends called and said either you call the doctor, or I will call Social Services.  So to sum things up, I understand depression.  You could say that not only do I get it, but I 'get' it.

Since Caleb (and the adventurous 6 years it has been), I have had to really watch the depression.  I've had panic attacks, anxiety attacks and bouts with mild depression.  My poor husband is such a saint....

So in the build up to the 'BIG MOVE', I knew that I might have somewhat of a struggle when we got here.  I totally thought I was prepared....and I did really well....for about a month.

I kept trying to talk myself out of what I was feeling....or not feeling may be a better description.  I believe that depression is a different animal for everyone who deals with it.  For me....for this experience....I have been numb....very, very numb.

I have just been going through the motions of each and every day.  Every thing was getting done...at least as much as it usually did (by the way...did I mention I still suck at cleaning the house?), I could laugh with the kiddos....but I wasn't FEELING the laughter.  For lack of a much, much, much better explanation.....I'm not me.  And I'm really starting to miss me.

So enough of the background crap.  For whatever reason....maybe it was Felix getting sick....maybe it was Caleb getting sick, maybe it was Savannah, Baylee and Noah getting sick....but I actually think it was me getting sick that was the straw that broke the camels back (just in case you are wondering....I'm the camel).  Couple that with the plumbing problems, school problems....and life in general....well, not a good thing.

Now all of this crap being said.  I don't love it here....not yet.  This is a very small town, with not a heck of a lot to do, go or be.  To simplify....I'm not here yet.  My body is here.  My brain is here (relatively speaking)....but my heart isn't here yet.

Fortunately, just in the nick of time, might I add, I was called into the Young Women's organization....and when I am with them, or doing things for them....I feel alive.  And for that I am SO grateful.  They are fun, and amazing and talented and gifted and funny and accepting and faithful and everything I want to be when I grow up.

I realize that this is probably an extremely lame excuse....but, it is what it is.  I am who I am...and part of my survival (emotionally, physically, spiritually), is that I do know myself....probably a little too well.  And let's just say...we all get along just fine.

So now that I have made through the dark and dreary time (which lasted longer than the usual 24 hour period I allow myself to wallow)....I'm not quite back to 100%....but I'm getting there.  Because it is time to change my focus.

There are things I like about Farmington, and now I am going to start focusing on them, rather than the things that are not here (mainly friends and family).

I am not Pollyanna.  I am not even a 'glass half full' kind of gal.  What I am....is a tried and true person with enough experience to realize that with a little faith, a little hope and a little bit of acceptance of who is really in charge (not me)....things always (without fail)....do get better.

I could really, really learn something here....if I'm not too stubborn to stand in my way.

Lessons Learned
1. Acceptance is an important part of healing.
2. So is praying.
3. So is faith.
4. So is hope.
5. And most importantly, realizing that you aren't alone, that you are never, ever alone is perhaps the most important part.  And thank goodness, in spite of the fact that I have a tendency to give up on myself....Heavenly Father never does.  And it's really, really nice to know that someone will always have faith in me.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

I CAN Be Happy...If I Want To


So now that I have introduced us all, I should probably give a little something that resembles a talk.

It has been a difficult week, for many reasons.  Felix still has to travel and there were some hiccups related to school, and we are still trying to unpack.  It was one of those weeks where everything was against me.

As I ventured through all of the crazy this week, my mind kept focusing on happiness.  My happiness.  My kids happiness.  My family’s happiness.  And for whatever reason, I kept thinking about President Monson.

So I turned went to lds.org and searched for happiness and President Monson.  I found an article written by President Monson called Happiness-the Universal Quest.  It summed up perfectly all of the things going through my mind.

Our family has been given some unique challenges.  But everyone has challenges.  Each challenge is as unique as each individual. 

Challenges were not sent to us as curses from a cruel and unfeeling God.  Quite the opposite…challenges were given to us as opportunities.  While our challenges are different, our goal is the same.

Joseph Smith once said, “Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keep all of the commandments of God.”

Being LDS is a verb.  It requires action.  So are faith, testimony and happiness.  I love that we are not a passive people.  I also love agency, and the opportunity agency gives us to choose.  We can choose to be happy, in spite of our challenges and the difficulties we face in life.

We can’t hide from trials.  They are a part of life.  We can’t hide from temptation or things that are not virtuous, not lovely or not of good report.

What we can do is choose right from wrong.  We can choose good over evil.  Famed philosopher, Socrates, asked, “How is it that men know what is good, but do what is bad?”  It’s a great question.  But by choosing right over wrong, we become spiritually strengthened and are able to overcome anything that is placed in our path.

As President Monson said, “It must not be expected that the road of life spreads itself in an unobstructed view before the person….he must anticipate coming upon forks and turnings in the road…he cannot hope to reach his desired journey’s end if he thinks aimlessly about whether to go east or west.” 

The path will have twists and turns, but focusing on the end goal, will help us make it through the dark and difficult times.  Even Apostle Paul counseled in 1 Corinthians 9:24, “So run, that ye may obtain.”


A perfect is example is a story about Joe.   
Joe had been asked to get up at 6:00 in the morning and drive a crippled child 50 miles to the hospital. He didn’t want to do it, but he didn’t know how to say no.

A woman carried the child out to the car and set him next to the driver’s seat, mumbling thanks through her tears. Joe said everything would be all right and drove off quickly.

After a mile or so, the child inquired shyly, “You’re God, aren’t you?”

“I’m afraid not, little fellow,” replied Joe.

“I thought you must be God,” said the child. “I heard Mother praying next to my bed and asking God to help me get to the hospital so I could get well and play with the other boys. Do you work for God?”

“Sometimes, I guess,” said Joe, “but not regularly. I think I’m going to work for him a lot more from now on.”

We each have the ability and opportunity to work.  While the trials of this life are great, the blessings are greater.  2 Nephi 2:3 says, 

“Wherefore, thy soul shall be blessed…thy days shall be spent in the service of thy God. Wherefore, I know that thou art redeemed, because of the righteousness of thy Redeemer…”

I have a saying up where I can see it every day, it reads,

Life is an opportunity…benefit from it.
Life is a game…play it.
Life is a dream…realize it.
Life is a challenge…meet it.
Life is a duty…complete it.
Life is beauty…admire it.
Life is a promise…fulfill it.
Life is sorrow…overcome it.
Life is a song…sing it.
Life is a struggle…accept it.
Life is a tragedy…confront it. 
Life is luck…wish it.
Life is an adventure…dare it.
Life is life…live it.

Again from 2 Nephi 2 “…men are that they might have joy.”

I challenge you each.  Be active.  Choose happiness.  Have joy.  


Lessons Learned
1. Sometimes the prophets really are speaking directly to you.
2. Heavenly Father REALLY does me better than I do.
3. I'm my own worst enemy (I learn this one A LOT!)
4. My trials are light if I let Heavenly Father share the burden.
5. I don't have to MAKE myself miserable.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

BEATDOWN BUS

Wednesday.  It really just kind of sucked all the way around.  I can't even be nice about it yet, and it has been days.

Wednesday started out kind of rough.  I had to hurry and get kids out of the door because Baylee had her first appointment with her new rheumatologist at the childrens hospital in Saint Louis. And since it is about an hour and a half away, and we had to find the office...we had to leave kind of early.

So we went, we got there...still had to drive through some scary parts of town, but this trip I realized we get to drive past Anheuser Busch's beer college.  Yes, boys and girls, the beer college.  Don't be jealous.

We found it and to keep this much shorter than it otherwise would be....here is the summary.

--We were there for two hours, meeting with various people in the office.
--They did an amazing history and workup.
--Her left ankle is 'thickening', which means the muscles are starting to, well, thicken.  And more or less stop acting like muscles...which means her ankle has not so much time left.  She is losing flexibility, which will eventually cost her mobility.
--She gets her first treatment on September 1st.  But here it is in the oncology clinic.  So we get to hang out with all of the sweet babies getting actual chemo.  We are both nervous about it, but are looking forward to making the best of a difficult situation.
--The new doctor says that many of Baylee's issues don't add up and that he plans on spending time on her file to see if we can't get to the bottom of things!  YAY!

So we made the drive home.  Ate in the car...yuck, I hate eating while driving.  And I got Baylee to school before lunch was over and she at least got part of the day in.

I got home, got work done, cleaned the house and got ready for them to come home.  But no amount of preparing would have been enough.

The kids came in screaming...and crying...and Caleb wasn't talking.  So like the previous section--here is the summary.

--Caleb and his seatmate on the bus, starting playing "Scrub Nubs"...think "Noogies".
--Out of the blue, his seatmate said, "Secret attack!."  Put him in a head lock and started hitting his head against the bus window.  The bus was in motion, so the driver couldn't do anything.
--Sixth graders moved over and started encouraging the fight.
--Caleb got a few good face hits in.
--Savannah got out of her seat and broke up the fight.  She got in trouble for getting out of her seat.
--Shortly after that they were home.

So....they were all upset and didn't want to ride the bus anymore.  Yeah?  Me too!!!

I called the district transportation director, who had already heard about it and she was awesome...but I pulled the kids off of the bus anyway.

I managed to not cry until I went to bed that night.  The kids were already upset enough as it was.

Lessons Learned
1.  Like any mother, I can't be every where, every moment.  It still doesn't take the hurt of not being able to protect my babies away.
2.  Grateful my kids stood up for each other.
3.  That I am hoping more than I thought I was that the reason I am here will be made clear.
4.  As much as I am against my kids hitting....so grateful Caleb did.
5.  Finding Bully Beatdown on MTV is not helping my anger issues right now.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Just Take My Money....PLEASE?????

So we've been here for three weeks, I figured I could try and get the cars registered and get my license.  I kind of have to get the Durango registered because the tags expire this month.

I had called a friend from the ward to find out where....thank goodness it was in town so I didn't have to drive FOREVER to get there.

I grabbed all of our car stuff and headed down to the office.  I am such a newbie in town, I have to use the GPS to even get to the other side of town.  But it is a big stretch from one side to the other, I'm just sayin'.

I got to the office, pulled out all of original loan documents, several years of registration and found out none of it mattered.

I had to get loan information, past and present (because we refinanced), special tax waivers, blah, blah, blah.  I also have to have an I.D.O.D.  What's that?  VIN check and Odometer reading.  Seriously?

So I start running around town, getting everything I needed (including an hour at the state inspection station) and head home for the other paperwork.  I also have to call our previous lienholder.

For whatever reason, even though I had all of the information, I wasn't in the system.  I finally get through to a real person, tell them what I need just to have them tell me they can't give it to me.

So I have to call the bank back and they have to call and get the information.  It will be here in 48-72 hours.  Phew...I have a new best friend at the bank.

Then I find out I need to have a birth certificate to get my drivers license.  Since when?  Do you have any idea how long it has been since I've had to even get a new license?  And back when I moved to Utah from California, they didn't require birth certificates.

So I download the paperwork for San Bernardino (after finding out my mom never had my birth certificate because I'm so old, it was never required FOR ANYTHING), fill it all out and bother my best friend at the bank AGAIN!

She notarizes my paperwork, and off to the post office I go.  Not very encouraging to see all of the mail bins in the back of the building....I hope my papers make it.

So then I remember I have to fill prescriptions because we finally got our new insurance cards!  YAY.

Until I went to transfer all of our prescriptions (and yes, there are a ton) and of everything I had to get...guess what wasn't covered....my Ambien.

That will just be bad for everyone.  I'm just sayin'.

Lessons Learned
1. I am an even bigger fan of Not Moving after today.
2. I don't want to play anymore.
3. Paperwork sucks.
4. Have you met me on no sleep....it's not pretty....and the events of the day, plus no Ambien is just an accident waiting to happen.
5. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I WON!!! I WON!!!

Ahhhhh......victory is SUH-WEET!

So the Operations Manager for T-Mobile called me....although it wasn't in the promised 24 hour time period.  They called back in 27 hours.

He was reasonable.  Who knew T-Mobile had reasonable people that worked for them?

So he started on the usual...
...when did you have trouble?
...what about a tower in your home?
...what about an engineering request.

I had already done all of that.  I explained that to him.  I told him I would split the cost 50/50.  I said I just wanted to be done, but it was a  matter of principle at this point.

He said hang on until I can look at the report from June.  When he came back he said he had to clarify what the report said.

Here's the summary:

We checked things out.  We know there is a problem.  We already spent our budget and can't fix the problem.  So we are letting you out of your contract at no cost to you.

Oh.

WOWEEEE!!!!

I actually did it.

Lessons Learned
1. I can do some things.
2. I do have a brain...and I didn't even have to see the wizard.
3. I wonder if my children will be able to admit I was right.
4. YAY!
5. SUPER YAY!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ummmmm.....T-Mobile says WHAT?


So, even though I have tons of funny stories to tell...they are just going to have to wait.  I have a much more pressing issue.  Anyone familiar with my Sears saga, you know what's coming.  Anyone who missed that part of fun in my life...please go HERE for details.


So, ever since I found out we were moving, I have kind of been freaking out about cell phone coverage.  I know how bad Felix's reception was, and he was with Verizon.


So I checked out T-Mobiles website....now this was before we were moving and we were trying to decide what city to live in....and Piedmont (where Felix is working) has NO coverage by anyone but AT&T.  Okay, we weren't living there.  We had narrowed down our search to the Farmington area....T-Mobile had coverage. And it looked like it was in the GOOD range.  Awesome.  We were going to be okay.


But I called T-Mobile anyway.  I talked to a Customer Service Representative who confirmed that I would have GOOD coverage within the city limits and MODERATE on the highways.  Which meant that I could get sometimes spotty coverage "here and there".


I didn't give it another thought....until I took my first trip out in June.  I lost signal outside of St. Louis and didn't have it for at least half of the ride to Farmington (which is a full hour and a half).  Inside the city I got coverage....If I stayed in our hotel room and didn't go anywhere.  Just driving through the city limits I would lose signal and who knows when I would get it back.


So I called T-Mobile.  We put in a service order, so that T-Mobile could decide whether or not things were going to improve for me.


I didn't call back for the 'results'...you had to wait 72 hours until much later in the week.  And when I finally did, they had no plans to improve things in the area...but that I would be fine.  I talked to them then about cancelling...but funny me, I wouldn't pay $800 to cancel our 4 lines.  However, Grandma's was only supposed to be $100 (another long story), and when I mentioned she had passed away, they waived it.  But I kept the phone for a while (a playtoy for Baylee).  We ended up cancelling it in July.  I still had another $600 to worry about.  Well, I think that is going to have to wait until after the move.


I believe I started calling T-Mobile within a couple of days of getting here.  We were sitting in our empty house waiting for servicemen (who couldn't do their jobs) and our stuff.  I would literally be sitting still, holding my phone or looking at it as it sat on the floor and I would lose signal...HOW DOES THAT WORK?


So I called, and I complained and they said there was nothing they could do.  I said okay and decided to call another day.  And I did.  And I complained, and I explained that I had 2 children with chronic health issues and how dangerous it was for me to be without cell phone coverage.  The solution (WAIT FOR IT): how about we put a free booster in your home and we can guarantee coverage inside of your home.  My response:  I'm kinda funny, but I have a MOBILE phone in order to be MOBILE.  How exactly will that help me when I'm MOBILE?


Let's just say that conversation ended with not a lot getting done.  And I believe I called 2 more times without anything getting accomplished.


I think it was Tuesday of the following week, and I still did not have anywhere NEAR reliable coverage when I walked into the AT&T store (one of many here in town) and got new phones for all of us.  I'm sorry, I'm not risking my babies.  Our sales person said that she used to work for T-Mobile, gave me a few key phrases and told me I could get out of our contract easy peasy.  Awesome.


So that Saturday, Felix and I decided to use the magic words and get out of the T-Mobile contract.  Sadly, the magic words didn't work.  Our call ended up getting escalated, we got told we had to pay up if we cancelled and an address for the customer service department that might decide to do something.  We even offered to pay half.


It is now the Friday after that.  I haven't written the letter or called T-Mobile because I was so mad from our last phone call that I needed a whole week to calm down.  But this morning, I decided TODAY WAS THE DAY!  And I had to go to WalMart and I knew I got pretty good reception there.


The call started before I got into the store and it was the usual...First:  It's your fault for moving.  Second: Well if you cancelled when you found out the coverage wasn't the same, it would have been $600, so what is the big deal now.  Third: We can give you guaranteed coverage inside of your home....yada, yada, yada....


After I explained I wasn't an attorney, but I understood the basics of contract law...i.e. Each party in the contract received consideration for their participation....T-Mobile was getting my money, I was supposed to be getting service.  When one party did not receive their consideration, it could be considered breach of contract.  So instead of this getting ugly, let's do something amicable and split the cancellation fees 50/50.


Then there was the whole conversation about Terms and Conditions....blah, blah, blah.  I understand Terms and Conditions, I know what I signed up for, I also know that it was not divulged that my coverage would be LESS THAN GOOD, LESS THAN MODERATE, and practically NON-EXISTENT.  Which is about when I started losing my connection...in the middle of WAL-MART.  At this point, I asked for the next rung in the ladder....meaning, please send me to the escalation team.


And then T-Mobile was gone.  A supervisor called me back in about 5 minutes.  I still think it's funny that I lost T-Mobile in the middle of complaining about their service and coverage.  Am I the only one that sees the irony in that?


Anyways....I went through the ENTIRE same conversation with the supervisor.  I finally told her that I am not stupid and I understood how this worked, it was just a matter of me calling back, T-Mobile getting sick of me or by luck of the draw, getting someone who was flexible.


THEN THE BOMBSHELL-----DUM, DUM, DUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.....


She told me that if it were earlier in the year, she would totally work with me.  HOWEVER---around the first of the year, all of the cellular carriers made an agreement that NONE OF THEM would discount or offer flexibility or waive any cancellation fees.  WHAT THE?????????


Quick...let's get to the end.  Blah, blah, blah....why don't you get a PAY AS YOU go cell phone on another carrier so you can have a phone for emergencies when your T-MOBILE doesn't work.  Yes, they really said that too.  I finally told her to please move me up to the next rung on the ladder (which she told me it didn't matter how high up the ladder I went, because of the aforementioned agreement), no one was going to waive or discount the cancellation fees.


So I am supposed to have a call back in the next 24 hours from the next rung up on the ladder.


In the meantime, I have time on my hands while I am waiting for the call.  And what do I do when I have free time (that I don't really have) and I'm really, really mad?  Well, I research of course.  Somewhere in that not completely stupid part of my brain, I was having stirrings of recollection from my business law and advanced accounting classes.


Now....I shall share what I have found.


FIRST: please refer to http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/search/display.html?terms=contract&url=/ucc/2/article2.htm#s2-106  This would be Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) which discusses Contracts, contract definitions, breach and obligations of contract parties.


SECOND:  please refer to TITLE 7 > CHAPTER 9 > SUBCHAPTER II > Part A > § 192
(§ 192. Unlawful practices enumerated) of the UCC.  Pay close attention to superscript (F) about the manipulation of the market to control prices....SUMMARY: It's a NO-NO!!!!

THIRD:  please refer to TITLE 12 > CHAPTER 6 > SUBCHAPTER II > § 617

§ 617. Engaging in commerce or trade in commodities; price fixing; forfeiture of charter; acts forbidden to directors, officers, agents, or employees


This would be the part of the UCC that talks about Price fixing (or collusion...for all of you smart people).  Guess what...it's a NO-NO too!

Sooooo, when 'Next ladder on the rung guy' call me....I think I may have to discuss these very fascinating parts of the Uniform Commercial Code with him or her.  Then I think I should mention, that a certain merger between AT&T and T-Mobile is currently under review with the Securities and Exchange Commission because they are concerned about the effect the merger will have on the market...Specifically-a monopoly.  I think the SEC might wanna hear about current business practices, among ALL cellular carriers, but mostly between AT&T and T-Mobile, that may already be trying to manipulate the market in their favor, therefore setting up a monopoly, or at the very least an ogliopoly (do you have any idea how long I have wanted to use that word in a sentence?).


BUT, before I forget...one of the most important things I discovered.  And that would be: 
FOURTH:  US (202) 942-8088...the number for the SEC.  Cuz guess what?  Dex knows DC too!

So.......I'll keep ya posted.  And if you know anyone who hates these guys as much as I do right now....let me know.

Lessons Learned
1.  I might be a little wordy....but not stupid.
2.  Do you think I have a case for getting the rate at a minimum REDUCED....?
3.  Who thinks that AT&T and T-Mobile should be stopped...ME, ME, ME!
4.  I don't think I'm being unfair....but if I am...tell me, I can take it.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Am a WICKED SuperMom!!!

So, as previously mentioned, we have been making weekly trips to Lagoon.  I had to negotiate, bargain, beg and plead with the kidlets to  not make me go on Wicked.  I lost.  It was apparently make the mommy face her fears day because they were cruel....they were very, very cruel.

I wanted to go on Wicked right away so I couldn't chicken out....but as usual, it took us a while to get going.  We finally made it to the ride and guess what....Caleb was tall enough to go.  Oh hurl!

Have you ever seen a booster seat made for roller coasters?  Yeah, that is totally on every mothers list of 'WORST NIGHTMARES'.  Savannah, Sara, Kyle, Noah and Caleb accompanied me to my journey of death.  As we were standing in line I told the kids, "Okay, here's the deal....if I cry, throw up, wet my pants or die....NO ONE EVER FINDS OUT."  They agreed.

We got on....why was everyone else so excited?  This is the roller coaster of doom.....especially since I have developed a horrible fear of heights.  If you can't remember why I am afraid of heights, you can look here.  http://heffalumpsnwoozles.blogspot.com/2009/08/12-tank-of-gas-and-intestinal-fortitude.html

So we get in, we get buckled and we go into the tunnel.  Now, I don't know why I thought it started slow, it's a polarized roller coaster, so it has to go fast.  It took off and my gut reaction was to close my eyes.  They never opened.  In hindsight, part of the problem is that I couldn't watch Caleb and he was sitting right next to me.

When it was over, everyone else was giggling.  I was checking myself for vomit and pee.  Nope....all good, I made it.

So of course, because my eyes were closed they are making me go again next week (with my eyes open).  Once we got out of the ride, I realized I hurt from head to toe.  I had pushed myself back into my seat and was holding on to Caleb's harness so tightly (because I was going to save him if he fell out), that all of my muscles were taut and IT HURT.

So we cooled off with a little Colossus (double loops....why am I totally fine with that?  Because it doesn't pause at the top....), and headed back for a snack.

A while later we went across the part on the Sky Ride....yeah, even that is terrifying.  Especially when it stops for those who don't know how to get on/off and you are at the peak of the ride and the freakin' wind starts blowing....it was awful!  I did that 3 times.  I'm so done with the Sky Ride....imagining how many bones would break if the cable happened to snap at various points on the ride, just takes way too much out of me.

And finally....the Ferris Wheel.  Why is it I always get stuck at the top?  Why?  Why?  Why?

Lessons Learned
1. I'm done facing my fears.  I know what they look like now....I don't need to see them again.
2. I really would do anything for my kids.
3. I don't know how I am going to get through Wicked with my eyes open (Caleb went a second time with Savannah and Sara and that was even worse to watch from the ground).
4. As the mommy, I should be able to set limits, right?
5. It's all good...I didn't cry, wet my pants, vomit or pass out...no matter what you've heard!

Monday, June 27, 2011

We're Gonna Die.

Ahhhhhhhhh......what a wacky adventure life has been lately.

After the paint, poop and pool extravaganza, it hasn't seemed to really slow down all that much.  I seem to be trapped in the perpetual cycle of the 'fastest-longest' portion of my life.  I know that sounds really bizarre, but I truly understood what that meant in the three days leading up to Grandma's death.  If you haven't experienced it yet....you will.

My mom and my uncle took some serious time and cleaned out all of Grandma's stuff.  I thought it would help...sadly, it just made me miss her all the more....because now, even more of her is gone.

So.... as we have been traversing this SUPER exciting path to moving (have I mentioned what an extraordinary home-body I am?), I have been working like a mad woman.  Why?  Because I am renting out my house and my OCD won't let me rent it unless I have done EVERY SINGLE project I have ever thought about doing....EVER!  Sigh.

So, I have had a basin sink installed in the laundry....everything that ever considered leaking fixed, the air conditioning fixed and conditioned...etc.  I know....why did I wait to do all of these project?  Because I thought someday or getaroundtoit would never get here.

I have painted the master bedroom, bathroom, every single door in the house (all 28 of them), the laundry room, Savannah's room, Savannah's bathroom and today I took down all of the wall hangings so that I could patch all of the holes and then do touch up painting in EVERY SINGLE ROOM.  Have I mentioned that I'm pretty sure I have a touch of OCD?  And I haven't even ordered the carpet for the room that is too disgusting to rent as is....

In the past week, I found out the New York office forgot to approve our move, discovered Delta needs 30 days to guarantee our pets are on our plane, and that the pets have to be dropped off at 6:30 in the morning.  Oh, but let's not forget the health certificates that are going to cost A FREAKIN' FORTUNE!

And just for kicks, the relocation company has tried to convince Felix that I should drive across the country (by myself) with four kids, four pets in the middle of summer.  My dear, sweet husband told them that he wanted to stay married to me so that is not an option (bless his soul).....


In my spare moments, I have flown to Missouri and signed papers on our new house.  I have found renters (WHO I ADORE) to take care of my house and in between home improvement projects, I have sat in my closet, rolled into the fetal position (or rocked) all while sucking my thumb.  

I have really wanted to blog....but I can't type when my thumb is in my mouth......

Because I am still shooting for mother of the year, I promised my kids the best summer ever....which includes weekly trips to Lagoon.  My OCD gets involved on occasion and I sit in front of the computer rearranging 'projects' so I can make up for lost time spent on roller coasters....  Tomorrow, my children are forcing me to go on Wicked.  We're gonna die.

BUT, last week, when the boys went to the Father/Son camp out, I decided I needed a night off.  So girls' night it was.  I let them pick the restaurant, but I picked the movie.

We mostly enjoyed Olive Garden....after an argument about whether or not we could have dessert when none of us could finish dinner and then STILL get treats at the movie....NOT!  I was paying, so let's paraphrase with I DON'T THINK SO.

After dinner it was off to the movies...Yeah, I picked Super 8.  RIGHT ON!  Number one...I love disaster movies!  Number 2...I heard it was Goonies on steroids!  Number 3...if I could pay to scare the crap out of my kids and make them still need me even for a moment, then it was totally WORTH IT!  Needless to say, I LOVED IT...and the soundtrack (which was amazing) is getting released tomorrow!  WOOHOO.

On our way home, stuck in the maze formerly known as Thanksgiving Point, we (I) decided the freeway was the best route.  Until I turned and realized I was behind a semi getting on the on-ramp at 25 miles per hour.  I just followed (slowly) and without even thinking said, "We're gonna die."  Savannah looked at me and said, "WHAT?  WHAT DO YOU MEAN?" as she frantically looked around the car for something careening at us at break neck speeds....then she realized I had just lost my mind.

So Saturday rolled around and Felix and I were immensely blessed to attend the sealing of two of our favorite people in the whole, wide world at the Mt. Timp Temple.  I had told Felix the story about the on-ramp on our drive to the temple so it was still fresh in my mind as we sat in the sealing room.  I looked around (it probably appeared that I was staring) and realized how much I loved all of the people in the room (even the ones I didn't know...but my heart was bursting with joy at being there, so I really do love them too!) and realized that when 'We're gonna die' actually happened, I was still going to be surrounded my people I really love (even if they did have to take a trip DOWN to see me on occasion!).  

After all of the CRAZY in my life, it was a perfect moment to celebrate the blessing of now....and forever!

LESSONS LEARNED
1. Don't sweat the small stuff....it's all small stuff.  (Hmmmmm.....seems to be a recurring theme in my life)
2. Perspective...it's all a matter of perspective.  In the eternal scheme of things, as long as I have my family and loved ones, that is all that matters.
3. It's going to be extremely difficult to leave here.  But Heavenly Father never closes a door without opening a window....and the window has a beautiful view!
4. I need to accept things I cannot change, instead, I need to change how I view the things I cannot change.
5. It's time to stop wallowing and start showing a little gratitude....where much is given, much is required and a simple thank you is a good first step.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Paint, Poop and Pool

I believe we have already discovered that no day of the week is free from my shenanigans.  There is always something going on and there is usually a fifty, fifty chance that it is going to be filled with chaos!

And I now have proof, that Friday is not exempt from the policy.

With our impending move, I have had to do a lot of work around the house.  You know I am totally cool living in squalor, but if I am going to rent out my house I have to have everything just right or I will feel really, really bad.

My most recent project has been the laundry room.  I have had a utility sink installed, been working on some texturizing, repainting the baseboards to get rid of the very outdated blue.  So I had to do another coat and I left the can of paint on the washing machine.  Now, the lid was on, but not hammered on.  So this is what I woke up to on Friday morning:


Yes, that would be an entire gallon of paint on the floor.  Sorry the picture is blurry, my tears may have had something to do with that.  But alas, I decided to let it dry and see if we could peel it up.  That was the goal anyway.

So we were also lucky to have my cousin and her kids with us for the week.  I'm glad they were there, but it also marked the beginning of  taking down grandma's rooms.  It was very bittersweet.

I walked to Grandma's room with my tear-stained cheeks to grab some papers or something.....whew?  What was that smell?  Oh man....someone left a serious stinker.  I flush, the nastiness rose to meet me.  SERIOUSLY?

I grab the plunger and get to stepping.  Nothing, absolutely nothing.  Great.  I have errands and all sorts of chaos going on that morning.  In between trips to the store and everywhere else, I come home and plunge.  Nothing.  Felix tried.  Jill tried.  Nada.

I get the pipe snake (and a mask) and get to work.  It won't budge.  I had flashbacks of flaming toilets (for reference: http://heffalumpsnwoozles.blogspot.com/2007_11_01_archive.html) and became despondent.  I couldn't go through that again!  So I called a plumber, but he couldn't make it until 5.  Hey, it's Friday and if he's willing, that works for me.

In the meantime we headed to the pool.  We all definitely needed some relaxation.  I got out to take Caleb to the bathroom and then decided to stay out for a few minutes.  Next thing I know, Savannah power walks up to me, complains about the lifeguard that wouldn't let her run and tells me Baylee has a bloody nose and she is bleeding 'ALL OVER THE BATHROOM'.  I power walk to the bathroom and confirm what she said.  Baylee's nose is bleeding so severely the toilet paper rolls are have soaked.

I left her to get first aid help.  They sent first aid in the form of 1 (one) (uno) (un) gauze bandage.  I said she is bleeding ALL OVER THE PLACE.  They said that it would work.  Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

When we got back to the bathroom, the first aid tech said, "Wow she's a bleeder."  Yeah, I told you.  She got set up with her magical, single gauze pad and went and got more supplies.

We managed to get it slowed down, but after a half an hour, she was still bleeding and I said we would finish up at home.  So we had to fill out an incident report....YAY....those are always fun.  Which is right about when Baylee was getting to the passing out point.  We made it to the car and home and discover the bruise on her face from where she was pushed/fell and smacked her nose.


So after a long while more, we got her to stop bleeding, showered and fed....although each bite was a smidge painful for her.

All the while, the plumber was working on the toilet of doom.  He is the best plumbing in the world.  Not only can he handle that manner of funkification (new word....working towards dictionary fame, please start using freely), but after he cleared the toilet, he took it apart to make sure everything was good.  (P.S. Carl Larsen is the greatest....he has done wonders in helping me get the house ready for moving!)



But it's all fixed now, and I go in on occasion just to flush.

At the end of it all, Felix, Jill and I went to Gloria's and yes, I pigged out.  I even got dessert and ATE IT ALL....so there.

Lessons Learned
1. Stop blaming Monday, it can happen any day of the week.
2. Expecting the unexpected doesn't quite seem to cut it in my world....I've got to come up with a new phrase that describes my special kind of wacky.
3. Life goes on, even with paint, funkification and bloody pools.
4. I was really glad when Saturday hit.
5. It's Monday today.....so what.....anything can happen, and it usually does.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I WOULD RATHER......

You know....I am obviously stressed when I can get soooo worked up over something as benign as an Oil of Olay commercial, and a Cover Girl commercial, and a L'Oreal commercial....etc.....

I was watching TV last night, since I couldn't sleep (which is normal when Felix is travelling)....now, I am watching something on like Tru TV and every single commercial during the break was a beauty commercial.  And I got ticked off....

As someone who has always struggled with herself, never thin, never pretty, never anything like everybody else, I have always had a particular distaste for some model on TV telling you why she's prettier than you.  BUT, my self esteem is not the point of this.

I noticed last night, that all the ads were geared toward being younger looking...erasing time, erasing wrinkles...you know, typical finding the fountain of youth stuff.

So here is what went through my mind last night as I was seething over nothing:

I would rather have loved and lost, loved and won, had pain so I could be grateful when it wasn't there.

I would rather have experienced agony and defeat, so winning would taste sweeter.

I would rather make mistakes and have the opportunity to learn, than sit and watch and do nothing.

I would rather laugh and make laugh lines, cry and create lines of sorrow, than feel nothing at all.

I would rather have seen, heard, done, cried, laughed, tried, fail, moved forward, fallen backward, gotten up and brushed myself off than have not lived.

I would rather have my experiences evident, than try to hide, diminish, mask, camoflauge the bits and pieces of the world that made me who I am.

I would rather have it show that I have lived, laughed and loved, instead of appearing to have experienced nothing.

I would rather make it to the "Fountain of Experience" than the "Fountain of Youth".

Lessons Learned
1. I really hope that I am moving out of my funk if I am making such ado about nothing.
2. I really don't want to be what you see on TV, reality is so much better.
3. I wonder how much airbrushing it takes on TV to look that flawless.
4. I am so totally flawed....why hide it?
5. I am who I am.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

So I'm Not Job.....What Now?????

As I have traversed this wacky little path that has become my life, I have tried to live by the mantra, "I'm trying to be Job and NOT Jonah."

For those of you who don't know who these fine gentlemen are, Job is one of my heroes.  He so awesome, Satan had to get permission from God before smiting him.  Satan gave him every plague imaginable (including boils he had to lance, scrape and burn himself) and yet, after each trial, he gave thanks to God that he was still here.  Jonah on the other hand, was given a mission from God, and instead of doing what he was told the first time, he went the opposite direction, had to get scooped up by a whale and turned in the proper direction.  He DID do what he was told...but it took a little more prodding to get him there.

Well....I think it has gotten pretty obvious that I am SO not Job.  I honestly and truly hit the 'proverbial' wall last week.  I don't think I can take much more.

So, without giving too much information, I need to figure out what to do about it.  And yes, suggestions are welcome.

So far here is the plan of action:

1. Stop shutting myself in my little bubble.  My bubble is a little bit bigger than a personal space bubble.  It pretty much encompasses my house, but I still cringe when people try to pop it and come in.  I am working on an open door policy, which is absolutely frightening for me because it just makes me think about what I am going to be missing after we move.

2. Say thank you more.  To Heavenly Father, to my friends to my children.  That really is a more Job-ish thing to do, and it something I think I have been lacking in lately.  It's hard to be grateful when you aren't getting what you want....but, then again life isn't about what you want...it's really about what you NEED!

3. Stop stuffing my face.  Or, at the very least, if I am going to stuff my face try and throw a few more vegetables in the mix.  My best friend told me that even she could tell I was SO done, there was no point sticking a fork in me.  I told her at this point, I would even eat the fork if anyone came near me with it.  To simplify, eating forks is bad (plastic or metal)....

4. Take something off of my plate.  I don't know what yet.  But something has to go.  I even tried to quit one of my jobs yesterday, but they said I could work at home just as easily from Missouri, so they said I couldn't quit.  Have I told you how much I love Alpine Innovations lately?  But this was an awesome jump start for #2 because I think I said thank you about a kabillion times.  But back to number 4.  I may have to actually start accepting help, even if it does tarnish my super tough 'Wonder Woman' exterior....my Jell-O interior will be better off for it.

5. Breathe.  Yeah, you hear people say all of the time, I forgot to breathe.  Well, I need to apologize for all of the times I made fun of people for saying that, because I really did forget to breathe the other day.  It was a little scary, and then I had to question why I wasn't one of those people that forgets to eat, because I could really roll with that right about now.

One thing at a time right now.  God is in the details, because I'm certainly not.  He can handle things, even my tears, lame jokes and ranting.  He is much more appreciative of my smiling and laughter, but thank goodness He accepts my total package.

So even though I am NOT Job, and I'm probably a little bit more Jonah, today I am going to be grateful that Heavenly Father loves me for me....I don't have to be anyone else.

Lessons Learned
1.  I tend to wind myself up without preparing a way to wind down....that falls in the breathing part....if I breathe, it will all be okay.
2.  As terrified as I am by life right now, it's all going to be okay.  I was promised it would be.
3.  It's kind of sad my kids are rolling with things so much better than I am....but thank goodness they can be strong for me when I need them to.  I think it will be time for their nervous breakdowns next week.
4.  As much as I want to believe chocolate cures everything, sadly, it really doesn't.  If you don't believe me, ask my thighs.
5. I have yet to decide if I want the next three months to go fast or slow......I guess it isn't my decision to make.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I'M GONNA BE SHINY! I'M GONNA BE SHINY!

You know how things never quite work out the way they expect....that seems to happen to me A LOT!

The day after Grandma died, Felix got a phone call. "Hey Felix, we think you would be perfect to run the new divisions in Ohio, Wisconsin and Missouri." Of course we asked them to wait a week so that we could get through the funeral. And we did.

Felix started talking to the people involved the next week. Then my dad went in for knee replacement surgery the Wednesday after Grandma was buried. By that Friday, his blood sugar went COMPLETELY out of control and started causing other problems with his major internal organs. That was exciting. He was only supposed to be in the hospital 3 days. Because of all of the complications he was having, he was unable to do the therapy that is SO necessary after joint replacement.

Felix and I went and spent time with him that Friday, and saw how bad things were. To keep an extremely LONG story short, after his blood sugar improved and his kidneys started functioning properly, he developed blood clots in his lungs, then one in his leg....after several weeks, he was able to get into the rehabilitation facility to get his body where it needed to be. He went back to the hospital to get his staples removed, nearly collapsed and was admitted to the ICU. After a night or two there, he went to a regular room where he continued to battle some of his physical demons. After a few more days, he was able to go back to rehab. And after six and a half LONG weeks, he is finally home.

In the meantime........we have found out that Savannah and Baylee both have growth plate related injuries because their growth plates are NOT closing......and because of Baylee's arthritis and some related strength and pain issues, both are starting physical therapy. Meanwhile, Noah had chipped his elbow and Felix damaged the tendon in one of his feet. Oy, and let's not forget that Baylee has new inflammation in her eyes, and absolutely CANNOT back off of her infusion therapy and has some new meds to hopefully combat the possibility of long term damage.

Backing away from the medical drama that never seems to end, I've been slowly working through Grandma's things. Taking her food to the food bank was one of the most difficult, yet rewarding things I have EVER done! Having sorted her clothes yesterday, I realize how much I am ALWAYS going to miss Grandma.

So back to the job drama. Felix began travelling to do interviews. One interviewer would say we didn't have to relocate, while another said there was ABSOLUTELY no choice. It went back and forth and back and forth.

Finally they made an offer, we countered, they countered, we said no. Then they came back and said, absolutely you can have what you want. So....it would seem we will be moving to Missouri at the end of July, beginning of August.

So why air all of this dirty laundry??? Mostly because, it has been an emotional journey....I am never going to feel the same about February and March....and maybe the beginning of April. But in spite of ALL of the crazy, I've managed to walk away with a new perspective.

One of my very favorite parables is the story of the Refiner's Fire. The vivid picture of being placed directly in the fire and then carefully molded, again and again, until you are perfect and shiny. In fact you are so perfect, the Savior's image can be seen in you.

Well, that is where I am right now, I keep getting thrown into the fire. Sometimes I get hit with the realization of just how stubborn I am. I realize that my stubborness is going to be reflected in how many times I go into the fire, how long I stay in the fire and how long it is going to take before I am polished like I need to be.

I am so grateful to have a loving and PATIENT Heavenly Father that will take the time to mold me in His image. I am so grateful that I can completely trust in Him, because with all of the chaos in my life....I don't completely trust myself.

Since I am the mayor of crazy town, and figure that no matter where I live I am always going to be in crazy town.....I just have to keep reminding myself of exactly HOW shiny I am going to be....and that is REALLY, REALLY shiny!!!!

Lessons Learned
1. Whoa.....I know, right?
2. There is always calm within the storm.....not just before and after.
3. I'm glad to know that I am strong enough to listen and OBEY....although I didn't say that I wouldn't mope and complain a bit.
4. Change is good....right?
5. So much to do, so little time.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

OH HAIL!

I walked down the stairs, arms loaded with this and that....yeah,we have a lot of this and that around these here parts. I walked through the playroom and took my first step into the theater room, when out of nowhere....

AHHHHH CHOOOOOOOOO!

Caleb and Caden were playing Little Big Planet 2 and I scared the dickens out of them. They both jumped, spun around and screamed.

I was laughing, but I apologized for scaring them. Caden said, "You scared me!" Caleb said, "You scared the hell out of me!"

I said, "What did you say?"

He said, "You scared the hell out of me!"

I said, "Please don't say that word, it isn't nice."

He said, "But mom....."

I said, "Caleb, I said don't say that word!"

He said, "But mom....."

I said, "CALEB!"

He said, "I just don't know why I can't talk about the little ice balls that fall out of the sky!"

Lessons Learned
I don't think I can come up with a single one!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

One is the Loneliest Number

Not that I would know....I'm NEVER freakin' alone.  I'm thinking it may be high time to do some serious hiding in my closet or something.

In the past 4 1/2 weeks Baylee only managed to make it to school about 5 days.  Yeah....5.  Admittedly, I was completely freaked out about what my mornings were going to be like without Grandma....turns out I haven't had to worry about that.

On those 5 miraculous days when Baylee did make it to school, the other three gallantly tried to fill the space with falling down the stairs, infected fingers and torn tendons.  They are so sweet!  I don't know how I got to be so lucky!  We even had a leak in the kitchen ceiling that required a plumber...again...totally not alone!

Given all of this 'giving' from my sweet little babies, I could really use some alone.  You know the whole "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" thing.....I would like to check that out.

All right, I'll be honest.  I really am glad that everyone has been around.  But I think it may be time for me to start processing some of the stress in my life.  I can only avoid it for SO long....at some point, I'm going to have to face reality....although I have heard that 'Reality is a  nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there'....perhaps I should take on that philosophy instead.

Lessons Learned
1.  I get very project oriented when I don't want to think.
2.  How come cleaning my house is NEVER one of the projects I get oriented to?
3.  I believe my children have ABSOLUTELY worn out the word Mom.
4.  It is amazing how hard it is to play hide and seek with yourself.
5.  You know....the second I am by myself, I'm going to regret it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

When I Grow Up.....

.....I want to be my grandma.

This last week, week and a half, completely took my family, me especially by surprise.

On Saturday, February 12th, we were on our way to Primary Childrens for Baylee's monthly infusion when the neighbor called to see if we were home because there were police cars and eventually fire trucks and ambulances.  Uhhhh, no.....not home, except for grandma.

I'm going to keep a long story short because this part isn't the point of my post.  Grandma had a mild stroke.  She actually started improving Saturday afternoon, but by Saturday evening, started going downhill a little bit.  Sunday morning Grandma had taken an obvious turn for the worse and we called all the family to gather.  Grandma was able to issue the Do Not Resuscitate order herself that day.  And she stayed awake until the whole family made it to see her.  Everyone that couldn't come, was able to to talk to her on the phone.

Early Monday morning, Valentines Day, grandma had slipped into a coma.  And late that night she passed away and was reunited with my grandpa after 32 years.  It was beautiful, it really was.  Ohhhhh, how I am going to miss her, but not for long, we'll be together again.

Now, the point of the post.  As my family spent time together, going through documents, making phone calls and mourning our loss, I learned a few lessons.  Lessons that need to be shared.

1. When you talk to someone, make sure they have your full attention.  When you give someone your full attention, they feel like they are the only person in the world to you.  Grandma had such a gift for that.    It didn't matter which one of her children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren she was talking to, when she talked to us....nothing else mattered.....Just us.

2. Compassion is learned, more importantly it can be magnified.  This ties in pretty heavily with number one.  I talked to so many people that told me how much they loved my grandma.  They all said that she laughed with them and cried with them and that she was always there when they were in a tough spot and needed some words of encouragement.  Part of compassion is being available.  It doesn't matter how much you support someone, if you don't make an effort to be there.  And being there sometimes means a note, a call, a hug or an even simpler touch that acknowledges someone's presence.  Again, grandma was SOOOOO good at this.  I think it helped that she loved to chat, but even if she didn't....when she gave of herself....she gave her whole self.

3.  A sense of humor is a terrible thing to waste.  I guess I come by it naturally....but grandma has taught us all how to laugh at ourselves, and there is nothing wrong with that.  A little self-deprication goes a long way.  Laughter is the best medicine and in the middle of trials and tribulations, nothing makes it more difficult for Satan to creep in and take over than laughter.  Laughter soothes the soul, brings people together and forges bonds stronger than any other.  Laughter through tears develops your heart and soul and puts them through the refiners fire.  Strength comes from the ability of have emotion, as long as it's a balanced act.

4.  When you find your talent....SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!!!!   Grandma had a huge gift for working with special needs individuals.  She brought so much life and light to so many.  My brothers Bishop told him that special needs individuals are the way they are because they were the Generals in Heavenly Fathers Army.  They worked with Arch Angels to bring forth His work, and this was the only way to protect them from Satans influence.  How beautiful.  And what kind of beautiful individual to see the worth, value and beauty of these individuals.

5.  Live well, laugh often and love much.  Who could be a better example of finding joy in seas of turmoil than my grandma.  She did amazing things with very little and used every asset and gift Heavenly Father gave her to make the world a brighter place for everyone.  She loved freely and without condition, and just wanted to make the world a little bit better for everyone.

There are so many lessons, and so many gifts that my grandma gave me and many, many others.  I was and am a very, very lucky girl to have been privileged to not only have known her, but to have her be my grandma!

Marion Tanner Peters
March 21, 1925 to February 14, 2011

Thank you Grandma....for everything.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A-Z About Me....Because I Never Back Down from a Challenge

A- Attached or Single?  Attached....to my phone, computer, chocolate....

B-Best Friend? There really are many.  But I'm gonna have to go with my hubby.  He is the only person I have been able to hysterically cry in front of and not have them run away screaming!

C-Cake or pie? Cake....with lots and lots of butter cream frosting and a giant class of milk.


D-Day of choice? Sunday.  The only day of the week not involving an alarm clock and me running someone somewhere (unless of course it is the doctor or hospital....and that does happen on occasion)

E-Essential Item? MY SENSE OF HUMOR....Life is too crazy for me not to have it.  My sense of humor, while bordering on the possibility of me being institutionalized, is what gets me through each day.

F-Favorite color? Blue....all shades....I LOVE BLUE!

G-Gummy bears or worms? Gummy Bears....preferably chocolate covered and frozen.

H-Home town? Santa Ana, California.  Yeah, I rolled with the homies growing up, and the vatos, and the gang bangers.....

I-Favorite indulgence? Reading.  When I have the chance I read like a maniac.  If I have nothing else to do, I can do 4-7 books a week.

J-January or July? July!  'Cuz it's my birthday, even if I don't admit and won't let anyone celebrate...it's my month.  And since I share a birthday with Lizzie Borden....it makes it a month worth celebrating!

K-Kids? Girl, Boy, Girl, Boy.  I'm too organized to have done it any other way.

L-Life isn't complete without? Family.  I don't know what I would do without my babies.  My family is my everything.

M-Marriage date? 10-14-1994

N-Number of brothers and sisters? 2 brothers, 2 sister....again...that organization thing, thank goodness my mother understood that.

O-Oranges or Apples? I love oranges, but hate peeling.  I like apples and like that it requires very little effort on my part.

P-Phobias? People.  Do I get extra point for there being 2 P's?

Q-Quote? “Life is about falling. Living is about getting back up."  I have no idea who said it, wrote it or whatever...but it definitely fits me.  (Although another personal favorite is "If the shoe fits, it's ugly."

R-Reasons to smile? Yes, I have them.  I have lots of them.  Sadly, or not, I am such a freakin' Pollyanna.....

S-Season of choice? Summer....without a doubt.  Sun, sun and more sun.  Although I did just have 3 pre-cancerous lesions (due to sun exposure) removed, I might have to start liking another season better.

T-Tag 3 people: Jill (because she is currently updating her blog), Melanie (because I love her pictures and I bet she would add a bunch) and Liz (because she doesn't have anything else to do)  LOL

U-Unknown fact about me? I have a seizure disorder....no questions, there is a reason it has remained unknown for so long, and it would have stayed that way, but I panicked and realized that I'm pretty transparent....what you see is what you get.

V-Vegetable? Is chocolate a vegetable?  Oh, you are asking if I'M a vegetable....not yet....but I have days where it's debatable.

W-Worst habit? Faking that everything is okay ALL OF THE TIME.

X-Xray or Ultrasound? Ummmmmm....have had so many of both, but I'm gonna go with X-ray.  One day I may have been exposed so much I'll turn into a superhero.

Y-Your favorite food?  That's a really dumb questions for someone with Apathetic Gorgism (A.G.- I name it myself, because I don't care how much I eat, I don't care when I eat, etc.)

Z-Zodiac sign: Cancer.  I have always struggled with that.  I'm a crab.  I'm a disease.   Yuck.


Lessons Learned
1.  I don't think any of these are big surprises.  
2.  I don't know if it is a good thing that I'm so see through...but going with the idea of yes, it is....I guess no one can claim that I am hiding anything.....EVER!
3.  I really should back down from challenges.
4.  P.S.  Anything related to food, NOT FAIR QUESTIONS.  I have a love/hate relationship with food (i.e. I love food, and I hate myself for it)
5.  I'm afraid everyone will know exactly how boring I really am now.

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