Thursday, May 24, 2012

Following the Leader....?

We made our trek from Missouri to Wisconsin last week.

2 Cars
2 Parents
4 Kids
1 Poodle
and an
Assortment of life crap we couldn't live without

Let's just say it was eventful.  We switched cars twice....had to make sure the dog was getting enough water....yada, yada!  

So with 2 cars, it meant one of us had to take the lead...future note....update the maps on the GPS', so that we aren't trying to go in different directions!

But while we were wending our way across 3 states, I started to think!  OH NO!  We all know that usually ends poorly for me!  This time, I was noticing the different driving styles Felix and I had.

I realized how much better Felix is at....well....everything (except maybe shopping at Amazon [Yes, Keara....I am the master!]).  But driving, and because I'm me, I managed to turn something as simple as an 8 hour road trip into a metaphor for life!

FELIX AS A LEADER
As much as I hate to admit that anyone is better than me....dang pride....Felix is a way better leader than I am (until he gets to the end).  He was also so careful to make sure not to go to fast.  He would always signal way, way, WAY in advance to make sure that we ended up in the same place.  He even called me a couple of times to make sure I knew where I was going.

WENDY AS A LEADER
You've got your own GPS....EAT MY DUST!

FELIX AS A FOLLOWER
Calm, cool, collected.  Comfortable and confident in the direction he is going, he didn't stress if I got too far ahead, but typically kept up and stayed where I could see him in my review mirror.  

WENDY AS A FOLLOWER
YOU WILL NOT BEAT ME!  YOU WILL NOT LOSE ME!  Yeah, that's right....don't try and sneak away....Never more than a car in between us.  CAN'T....USE....CRUISE....CONTROL....ohhhh noooo!  I'm too erratic and spastic for that!

So uh....anyone that knows our personalities, should see the parallels in driving styles to who we are. If you don't....well, you don't really care then, do you?

Lessons Learned
1.  I obviously need to learn to follow.
2.  Oh hey!  I need to learn to lead too.
3.  The adventure is really going to be when I am on the road on my own with the kiddos and the dog.
4.  I don't make stops, unless I of course, request them.
5.  The adventure lives on!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Nine Months....and GAINING

Wow!  I know it's been a while.  The world has been somewhat a topsy, turvy place lately.  I'll give everyone a short, short version of events and then I'll get into the body of my post.

In case you hadn't heard.  We won our legal battle with United Healthcare.  It was touch and go for a while and I couldn't wrap my brain about how to pay for future care and the $21,000 medical bill created by just the first 3 months of this year.  However, Heavenly Father saw fit to intervene and softened some hearts that had the power to fix this for us.  Our bills have been paid (although United alternates...still...in between sending letters of rejection and letters of apology), the hospital still likes us and although we didn't share this with United (it was need to know...AND THEY DIDN'T NEED TO KNOW), Baylee has switched medications and we are in the scary part of treatment where we wait and watch to see how her body reacts.  Also adding to the fun, her new medication may or may not treat her eye condition (for more information on that, I happily direct you to http://www.pinkburstproject.org).  So we wait and we watch and hope and pray that if the medication doesn't work, we catch it before permanent damage is done.

Noah has turned 12, received the priesthood and was made a Deacon (for all of my non-LDS friends, message me and I will be happy to share more on what that means) and happily gets ready for church EARLY on Sunday's because he loves the privelege of passing the sacrament.  He is definitely 12 and girls are on the radar.  He asked me the other day who Kate Middleton was.  I explained she was married to Prince William and asked why he wanted to know.  He said she keeps popping up on Yahoo!.  I said oh.  I don't think he knew I was listening (although I have mercilessly teased him about it since), but I heard him softly say, "I love Yahoo!."  Love it!

Caleb just turned 7....making me feel very, very old.  Next year when he turns 8, I may have to have plastic surgery because I will be in so much denial about how old all of my babies have gotten.  He was concerned that he needed to shave for his birthday....but I told him he was good.  He is as loud and adventurous as ever....and if I can keep he and Noah from fighting over anything electronic, I would be amazed!  They also share a room now, and when they aren't getting along, they lock each other out and invariably one of them sleeps in the hall.

Savannah is 14.  I hate 1 Direction.  It is Savannah's fault I hate 1 Direction because that is all she ever talks about....no....that isn't fair.  She also talks about her friends that like 1 Direction.  (**Side note:  all of my cute pinterest friends...stop posting 1 Direction on pinterest....you're messing with my page!  :))  When she isn't bothering me about 1 Direction, she is studying, hanging out with friends and pestering her teachers about how she can start taking classes this summer so she can graduation 1-2 years early because she really, really wants her Bachelors Degree early.  If any of my children can do it, she can.  She attend the high school here (she is in the 8th grade) for math, and was invited to participate on the High School Math Team for a competition.  Although she didn't place....I still think it's pretty awesome that she was asked to be on the team.

Felix is working and travelling.  And working and travelling.  And when he isn't working and travelling, he is travelling and working.  He has to spend quite a bit of time in Wisconsin for the next few months, so as soon as school is out, we are going to be groupies and start following him on the road!

Me?  I've been keeping it all together, getting new renters, finishing my Personal Progress, driving to and from the hospital and quite frankly....asking Heavenly Father lots and lots of questions.

So...PHEW!  That wasn't as short as I wanted it to be....but hey, there has been a lot going on and I have left a TON out!  But given the sheer insanity of the last few months, I just have to get this out.

When we made the decision to come to Missouri, we prayed, we fasted and knew that this was what we were supposed to do.  BUT....we were coming for "The Job".  "The Job" is what pays the bills and  hey, people work for money not fun (and if anyone tells you different....they're lying!).  Well, since Felix wanted to stay employed and I wanted to be able to pay bills, we just needed Heavenly Father's blessing to come and we received it.  Soooooo, we came to Missouri for "The Job".

However....little did we know (and by 'we', I mean me), how much more was in store for us.  Moving was not JUST for "The Job"....it was for me and my family....because we needed to stretch and grow.

"THE JOB"
Let's talk about "The Job" first.  Oooohhh, so many promises were made to get us here.  Felix wasn't going to travel.  His work schedule would normalize and he was going to have so much more time for the family.  You can see where this is going...right?  Well....he is gone more now than ever before.  Sigh.  We miss him.

"THE JOB" Helped Us Gain
But what have we gained?  Oh my...we appreciate each other SO much more than ever  before.  We make the moments count (instead of counting the moments).  We could have all the time in the world, but if we didn't use it, it wouldn't matter.  It matters....it matters to us!  Time with each other...exploring, talking, laughing, learning....we may not have a ton of time together, but the time we do have his richly filled with love and enjoyment!

"SCHOOL"
Let's talk about "School" now.  "School" has been rough.  Savannah was threatened, Noah was ostracized, the school ignored Baylee's 504 (her disability documentation), and Caleb was beat up and emotionally abused until it physically took a toll.  "School" was very, very scary there for a while.  But I would like to point out....it WAS!  What have we gained?

"SCHOOL" Helped Us Gain
Yeah, I give snippets on Facebook.  And most everyone knows my funny little Mormon kids go to a Lutheran school....and let me just share....WHAT A BLESSING it has been.  The kids are happy, well-adjusted (for my kids) and learning!  They come home happy, keep their grades up (mostly), and look forward to attending.  We have learned that being "Mormon" or "Lutheran" doesn't mean you are good or bad....that is up to the individual and the choices they make.  My children who had thus far grown up in a very sheltered Mormon environment have learned to be comfortable with their faith....and it is their faith.  Even Caleb has learned to pray for guidance and direction while he is learning Lutheran doctrine at school and Mormon doctrine at home.  We have gained many opportunities to discuss faith, and how faith doesn't belong to one religion or another, it's a personal thing.  We have gained opportunities to explain that people who do not believe as we do, or who make choices that are different than our are not 'bad', simply different...and that most importantly, it is not our place to judge.  Our job is to love.  And we are learning to do that whole heartedly (all of the time...with other people....it's a little harder with family :))

"CHURCH"
Church and the Gospel are 2 different things.  Did you know that?  Did you know that while the Gospel is true, people still have free agency and are able to choose actions for themselves.  This means that people have to learn right and wrong for themselves.  They have to learn good and evil for themselves.  Which can sometimes cause immense sadness, for themselves and others.

Can you tell I've been under stress lately?  That I've dealt with some things inside the church that took me by surprise?  Yeah.  And no....I'm not going to discuss.  Let's just say that my heart still hurts.  Sometimes I'm still surprised by the things that have transpired.  Sometimes I wonder what the heck happened and how did I get here.

"CHURCH" Has Given Me
I had a testimony before I came.  I did.  I trusted Heavenly Father.  Although, I am still me and love to question (even after I received answer....I'm the girl that says, "Are you sure?"), I trusted that Heavenly Father would answer my prayers, guide and direct me and then let me make my own choices (even if it was different than His will).

So what has this all gotten me.  My testimony is now made of stone.  I know who is in charge (and no, it isn't me).  I know that MY prayers are heard and answered by a loving Father.  I know that He knows who I am.  I know what it feels like to make stand.  I know what it feels like to stand alone (although I always feel funny saying that because I know I am never alone).  I know what it means to plead for understanding, patience and charity.   I know what it means to beg for forgiveness for my failings. I know what it means to have to separate my thoughts from the whispering of the Spirit.  I know what it is to feel peace in the midst of a storm.  I know that I will never "be enough" for anyone or anything...but I do know that as long as I am trying to do what is right, my shortcomings will be made up through the Savior's Atonement.  I suppose I can easily sum things up with 2 words....I KNOW.  I cannot deny the gentle, yet sure answers I have been given.

So...the adventure lives on...right?  Yeah....it lives on....but now, I'm gaining on it!

Lessons Learned
1.  There are so many...where to I start?
2.  I am lucky to be me.
3.  Because I have been blessed with amazing angels called friends.
4.  I am blessed with guardians called my family
5.  I am blessed.

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