Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 A Year in Review Brought to You by the Letter H

Yes, I know....world's worst blogger.  I fully accept responsibility for that.  But it doesn't mean I'm done trying....so here is my year in review....proudly brought to by the letter H.

We spend WAAAAAYYYYYY more time in hospitals than we like to, but hey, we embrace the suck.  We have had wheelchair fun, fun with anaphylaxis (by the way...we REALLY, REALLY, REALLY like breathing) and ALL manner of fun with insurance.  By way of a public service announcement, if you need a little help fighting with the insurance giants....I'm your gal.

We have learned to stomach hospital food, which isn't all bad if you know what to stay away from.  We have also learned how to time appointments in order to avoid traffic, still make carpool and still eat without having to eat out every freaking meal.

We've learned to accept hospitals for what they are....a place of healing....and while we completely understand that in our situation "healing" is in the eye of the beholder, we know it is for our good (and I use "WE" loosely....because Baylee has to do the heavy lifting, the rest of us are support staff).  Although as 2013 comes to a close, Baylee is having to share the medical mantle as our medical adventures appear to be spreading and 2014 is looking to provide us with plenty of adventure to go around!

House Packing
Once we found out that we got to move back to Utah, I was kind of in high gear, I was in over drive.  It was all I could do to keep from being ready to go months ahead of time.....but I still did as much as humanly possible.....

House Unpacking
And 6+ months after making it back to Utah....I'm still not completely unpacked....leave me alone.  I have to clean out my shed and that's not happening until spring.  And I have to build shelves, and that's not happening until spring either.

It's been an incredibly humbling year.  We've endured many trials (but seriously, who hasn't?)!  And time and time again, Heavenly Father has answered many pleading prayers.  We haven't always understood why things were happening, but we learned that WHY doesn't change the circumstances (so even I stopped asking....eventually).  Most importantly, we learned that when we stopped fighting everyone and everything (ESPECIALLY Heavenly Father) and trusted in Him and His plan, it would all work out.....AND IT DOES.  Does it work out perfectly?  Not to my imperfect eyes....but to His perfect eyes, I'm sure it does and it is.  And I trust Him.  He has loved us, supported us and given us light in the darkest times, He has never abandoned us, and I will not abandon Him.  God's capacity for love is so much greater than my own, especially knowing my imperfections, pride (I could go on and on, but really, I won't), but it has been one of the most humbling experiences of my life to witness God's tender mercies this past year.  And as undeserving as I am, I am so grateful.

So, blah, blah....trials, trials, yada, yada.....just when we think we are over some things that happened in our past, something always pops up that makes us hurt all over again.  But you know....it's part of the process, so it's okay.  We have discovered that we are all on different time tables....unbeknowst to me (because I thought we were all supposed to get over things at EXACTLY THE SAME TIME), and that we can't hurry each other along in our processes.  That, in and of itself, has been quite a learning process.  I have faced quite a bit of backlash for my "Hurry along dear, the rest of us would like to be done now, so you have to be done now too."  Hearts and spirits are a funny thing when it comes to healing.

Our experience with healing has given me a profound understanding (that I'm sure is just a sliver of what I need to know) of the Atonement.  How grateful I am for my Savior, for so many reasons.  But in regards to healing, the Atonement allows each one of us to heal in a manner best for us, with our Savior by our side teaching, consoling, and guiding us back home to our Father in Heaven.

While healing can be painful, it is a truly beautiful experience as we come to understand the freedom the Savior offers us through this gift.

I'm so ready for this year to be over.  It has been an adventure to be sure.  There really can be no doubt.  And I am ready to leave it all behind and start fresh.

With all of the lessons I have learned from 2013, I know that I am a different person.  I'm ready to take whatever 2014 hands me....because I know that whatever it is, I'm not alone in facing it.

Lessons Learned
1.  Did you not read the blog?  This whole thing was a lessons learned.....
2.  See above.
3.  See number 2.
4.  See number 3.
5.  See number 4.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Time to Move On.....

Soooooo, I have been the world's worst blogger....and it isn't for lack of things to blog about.  Ooooohhhh, there has been plenty to blog about.  PAH-LEN-TEEEEE!  But there has been some processing that has needed to take place, and some healing....and some putting schtuff into perspective.

So let's chat a little about the going's on....

Missouri was rough on my family.

As a family we faced a few difficult situations.  Any one on its own could have caused us to curl up into the fetal position and cry.  Instead, the lot of the situation took us down a path we never would have foreseen.

One situation in particular created a whole bunch of "sub-situations".....ahhhhhhhh, adventure.  And to think....the entire thing started because I was worried about my friends.  ***SPOILERS***  Well---that's all your gonna get.  There will not be details.  We made a decision not to discuss outside of our family.  Sorry.

What I can tell you, is that as a result of my decision, a ginormous target was painted on my family.  There was physical abuse and emotional abuse.  We were painted as liars (and that was the nicest word that was used), portrayed as a family of Judas' and generally as a group of ne'er do wells who had ulterior motive to harm.... We were pariahs and destroyers.  And each and every moment of every day, my children were at risk and in danger.  It was a pretty heavy burden to bear.  I still feel a smidge (and by smidge I mean the weight of the world) of guilt that my children suffered.  And yet, knowing everything we were required to go through, and understanding the price of our decision, I know it was the right one and I would do it again.

SOOOOOOOOO....having said that....it's time to move on.  Because in spite of the stress we were under, the blessings dwarfed the trials....OVER and OVER and OVER again.

So let's have a little chat about blessings.

I have been blessed with a husband who is wise...wise...oh yeah, wise.  And he likes me.  So that's a pretty great combo.  He was able to talk me down from some pretty awesome hysteria, and build me up from some pretty low lows.  And he taught me some amazing lessons about personal value, my value as a Child of God, my role as a wife and mother and that it's okay for me to embrace my inner geek.

I have super strong kiddos.  And I have known this for a while.  But WOW!  I mean, super WOW!  They heard a lot of things about their mother, about each other (sometimes from people in positions of authority who should have known better) and yet did the right things.  They were never rude or disrespectful.  And when they disagreed (which they did mightily on occasion), they did it in the privacy of our home.  When they questioned things that as parents we couldn't answer, they learned to go to Heavenly Father on their own....and even more, they learned to listen for answers.

We learned lots about free agency.  Our own and others.  And how awesome the Atonement is.  That even when we try really hard, sometimes we still fall short....but the difference can be made up through the Savior.  And as much I hate to admit it, He has had to make up a lot of short falls for me the past year (I have quite a temper when the Mama Bear gets involved).  But knowing that the Savior gave His own life so willingly for me has humbled me immensely.  And needing the Atonement so desperately the past little while, I hope to a better job offering the pure Love of Christ to others as it has been offered so freely to me.

And we LOVE tender mercies!  And Heavenly Father seemed to throw TONS of them our way.  Our St. Paul family is one of the greatest joys we were given.  We loved going to Lutheran School!  It was so much fun to learn about another religion and discover the similarities and differences!  But what was even more awesome was being around a group of people who were so grateful for the Savior and lived it!  In absolutely everything they said and did!  It was a tremendous experience for us all!

There were so many people who brought us joy.  Each one was an answer to a (most likely hysterically) uttered prayer.  I could try and list names, but I would invariably forget someone and that would make me sad that I hurt someone.  But even now, I am thinking of all of the people who touched my life and I am grinning from ear to ear.

And we had an amazing support system in family and friends, who unbeknownst to them were an unbelievable strength to us!

So Missouri was hard.  Would I do it again?  In a heart beat.

If I had to sum things up....which I always seem to find myself having to do....there are always silver linings.  Everywhere.  In everything.

Lessons Learned
1.  I have a long way to go....but I know I'm on the right path.
2.  When you count your blessings, and name them one by one, you find there aren't enough numbers for all of the blessings.
3.  Peace is an amazing gift....best when shared.
4.  Joy is a state of mind.
5.  Gratitude seems so inadequate a word for the things I feel.