Sunday, February 28, 2010

I See Dead People


Yesterday was the first of four cadaver labs that I had to participate in for my anatomy class.

My carpool got there kind of early (my fault...I hate being late) and when we walked into the lab, I saw three beds with three body bags on them. Apparently I instantly went white as a sheet, because my friends were asking me if I was alright. I guess it's just been a little too soon since Mom's passing, because I just got an immediate pit in my stomach. Thankfully, the professor needed some time to set up, so we all decided to go hang out in the lobby.

Once we got back in, he had all of the bags open and ready to go. The bodies were very dissected, with most facial features removed, so that helped a lot. I still felt kind of anxious, but I was able to focus on what we were learning and forget that these were someones relatives.

Seeing everything in "real life" was fascinating! Pictures in books, or watching surgery videos just don't give enough justice to the amazing features of the human body. I was overwhelmed at the amount of information that I was going to need to memorize. However, at the same time, I was deeply moved by the sacrifice that these people and their families made, in order for me to learn.

We are getting new cadavers mid-way through the semester. That isn't ideal, since it's easier to just become familiar with the same bodily structures, but it is, what it is. The new cadavers were already delivered and someone thought it would be a good idea to check them out. Bad idea.

The new cadavers have not been dissected at all. It looked like someones dad had been taken out of his coffin after the funeral and delivered to the lab. That made it way too real for me and I walked out. After chilling in the hallway for a bit, I gathered up my stuff and we left.

I'm in no way second guessing my career choice...but somehow I'm going to have to find a way to disassociate myself. To a point. I'll always care...I don't think I can be a good nurse if I don't...but I'm going to have to learn not to turn and run. :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Lately, Josh and I have been addicted to Scrabble. We play on facebook throughout the day. We play for real, after the kids have gone to bed. It's not so much the it's that we're doing something together.

Tonight, as we cleared the board, I watched all those tiles fall back into the little black bag. All those words that we struggled to make...quickly fell into darkness and were gone. Everything that had been said...gone. It was now all jumbled up, ready to become new words.

How wonderful would it be, if we could do that in the real world? Take all the mean words...the bad words...the hateful words...and make them disappear? We might hear them...but we could instantly displace them, so that they no longer had power.

What a wonderful world that would be.

Until then, I'm gonna plug my ears.

La la la la la la la


I can't hear you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Don't "Do" Change

Yeah, yeah..."change makes the world go 'round", "without change, nothing is possible" and "change is inevitable"...I've heard it all before.


I don't handle change well. I like structure. I like consistency. I like to know that tomorrow, everything is going to be the same as it was yesterday. I am not a "roll with the punches" kind of girl. I like to know that I can depend on things to...remain.

Looking at the last year, it's a wonder that I haven't been committed to a place with three square meals, of happy pills, a day. So much has changed.

People have left and people have come back. People have disappointed me and people have surprised me. I've pushed myself further than I ever thought I could. I've been pushed further than I ever thought I could be. I've made new friends and found old friends. I've stood my ground and I've toppled over.

I've grown and I've...changed.


Such irony.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

What Are You Afraid Of?

I'm afraid of... children or Josh dying.
...hairy spiders.
...never feeling "good enough". children losing their innocence.
...failing at school.
...getting shot for flashing my headlights at someone.
...being a bad mother.
...public speaking.
...being laughed at.
...meeting new people.
...walking into a room of people I don't know.
...never getting all that I want.
...getting all that I want, and not being happy.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What Do You Do?

While discussing a friend's job responsibilities, he then asked me, "What do you do?". I really had to laugh, because "What don't I do?", might be easier to answer!

I gave him the short version answer, but it made me think so much...that I thought it would share it.

I get paid to deal with people's home owner's insurance policies.

I pay to sit in a classroom 12 hours a week, study another 18 hours a week and stress 168 hours a week.

I don't get paid to kiss owies, help with homework, do ponytails, braids and buns, make well balanced meals, clean the house - including extraordinary disaster cleanups, play barbies, smile when I'm tired, never have alone time - even in the bathroom, tackle Mt. Laundry Everest, not grimace when given a sticky kiss, drive here, there and everywhere, dry tears, tickle away a bad mood, be a therapist, judge and jury, tell the truth - even when it hurts, paint tiny toenails, stand my ground - when I want to give in, say "WOW! for the tenth time when someone says "Look, Momma!", repeat myself all day long, cuddle while watching movies, read stories, dig for worms, watch the same movie seven times in one day, make treats for the neighbors because my kid love to give, stress over sick kids, laugh at silly jokes with no discernible punchline or tuck kids into bed - multiple times.

But you know what? I'm okay with it.

Because that's what I do.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sometimes...You Just Have To Listen

I totally got put in my place the other day. It doesn't shock me that it was Avery that did it...anyone who knows this girl, knows how she is. She is never afraid to speak her mind...and while that can drive me nuts, it's also one of my most favorite qualities about her.

Avery: "Momma? Do some Mommies and Daddies play with their kids?"
Me: "Yes..." *confused*
Avery: "How come you don't play with me?"
Me: "I do! Don't you rememer that we played Candyland and Chutes and Ladders yesterday?"
Avery: "Yeah...but I really want to play babies."

I won't lie...I almost burst into tears. I try so hard to be everything to everyone and although I'm sure she didn't mean it that way...I felt like a failure at motherhood.

It's not often that I can have one on one play time with them. Typically playtime includes a large chunk, if not all of them, because that's what I have time for. Playing games, playing Wii, baking cookies, playing at the park, doing arts and's just how I've done things. I plan these times and projects, like I do everything else in my life. With a timeline and precision.

But, here was my 5 year old reminding me that sometimes, she just wants something as simple and basic as me sitting on the floor...holding her dolls.

Don't worry, baby girl...Mommy's listening. Let's go play.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Typical Day

"Momma! Momma! Momma! HI!"
As I slowly open up my eyes
Her huge personality and smile
Really contradicts her size.

I reach down, to pull her up
And we snuggle till the sun
Footsteps coming up the stairs
Means my day has begun.

And so begins the careful dance
Of eating and gathering clothes
How I manage, without losing my mind...
I don't think anybody knows.

Drive here and there, and back again
Criss-crossing the county map
Throw in work and playtime and mess...
And I'm ready for a nap!

But there's laundry to be done
Along with dishes, meals and floors
Getting tired, is never an option
I need to hit the gym and stores!

Mid-afternoon and they're all home
There's tasks and homework to do
"Hi honey, here's dinner, I love you, good-bye!"
Mommy has school tonight, too!

Mandibular notch and temporal bone
All running around in my head
There's so much to learn and so much to do
More than one tear, has been shed.

Then it's quite late, when I get home
I sneak into their rooms for a kiss
Is it wrong that I really like them
When they're sleeping and still, like this?

I fall into bed, at the end of the day
Tommorow has more stress to bring
But, I'm smiling...because, I love my life
And I wouldn't change a thing.

~Leeann Garrard 02/2010~

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Sunday! :)-

Valentine's Day is so silly to me.
Why do I need a day to tell Josh how much I love him?
I love him every day!
"We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love."
~Author Unknown

Friday, February 12, 2010

Don't You Know What Causes That?

Even in Utah, I get looks from strangers, at the size of my family. If they dare to ask how old all of the kids are...their eyes get even wider.

"Don't you know what causes that?"
-Why yes, I'm actually quite educated and I'm aware of how babies are made.

"Why did you have them so close together?"
-Well, it's what worked best for my husband and I...thank you, for your concern!

"Isn't it hard?"
-Absolutely. Most things worth doing, are.

"How do you do it?"
-Lots of duct tape and alcohol. Don't worry, we don't let the kids drink. Much.

"Are you done?"
-Well, you know, I hadn't run my family planning by you yet, so I wasn't sure...what do you think?

Don't worry, I don't actually get snippy with anyone. But, I won't lie...sometimes people's comments irk me.

I love my family. I love the legacy that Josh and I have created. It is a lot to handle and sometimes we feel overwhelmed, but even at our lowest points, we would never change what we have. We have been through a lot together. We already have so many memories. Happy memories. Sad memories. Good memories. Bad memories. Many more memories to come.

I don't ever feel like I'm restricting my kids, because we have such a large family. We may not be able to go on grand vacations to European countries, but I love making s'mores around a campfire and getting the sticky kisses after. We may not own a luxurious house, but we own a loving home, that my children feel comfortable and safe in. We may not do private schools, own fancy cars, have massive trust funds set up, or have the typical 1.8 children...

...but we have love, laughter, joy, excitement, surprises and hope...times FIVE.

Plus, knowing that no matter how much they fight...deep down...they really do care about each other. They laugh, more than they cry. They giggle, more than they argue. They play, more than they fight. They love...and that means I've done my job.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

P.S. I Love You

Dear Little People,

I am here to love you. I am not here to do everything for you. If I don't teach you how to do things for yourself, you'll grow up to be lazy, selfish and incompetent. So, I'm going to give you a little crash course reminder, on how things are done around here.

When Mommy tells you to clean your room, I mean: Clean. Your. Room. I do not mean shove things under your bed and call every item of clothing on your floor "dirty". Do not bring me a pair of Hawaiian shorts to be and I both know that it hasn't been above 30 degrees and you haven't worn them in five months. If they fell got thrown off the pile on your shelf, kindly refold it and put it away. Do not try and convince me that you wore them last Tuesday. I was born at night...but it wasn't last night.

If it's your job to take out the garbage, do not think that because it's not falling on the floor yet, that it doesn't need to be done. Shoving as many things as you can into the bag, does nothing more than cause the bag to rip, when you pull it out. I'm not easily persuaded and I will not allow you to try to convince me that you don't need to pick up the mess on the floor (that you just made) because, "Sweeping isn't my job...". Uh huh...clean it up!

Lifting the toilet lid does not constitute giving the dog water.

Making your bed, doesn't mean balling up your blanket and shoving your pillow in the corner. I don't let your Dad get away with doing it like that...I'm not going to let you, either.

If you are told to clean the bathroom...I mean with soap. Yup. No lie. Please use a different Lysol wipe for the counter, than the one you used on the toilet. Also, please refrain from spraying Windex on my toothbrush. That wasn't funny. My teeth are already have a streak free shine.

The vacuum does not like Barbie shoes. Or play-doh. Or shoelaces. Or 8 x 11 pieces of paper. Or your sweater. Or water. Or entire bowls of fruit loops...with milk. Or mud. The dog does not like the vacuum, either.

The kitchen does not have blind spots. When you sweep, but fail to do the corners...I can see that. I can see the half eaten chicken nugget, two pennies and 1/4 cup of not try to convince me that it is an illusion.

Lastly, emptying the dishwasher. Sigh. Please put the dishes where they go. While having a scavenger hunt can be fun...I don't want to do it every time I need the measuring spoons or the egg separator. Thank you for adding a little fun to my life, but you do enough of that by leaving me containers of bugs all around the house, during the summer.


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Avery!

My beautiful girl turned 5 years old today! Time flies so fast and I just cannot believe that she is 5 and getting prepared for kindergarten.
She is my feisty, little girl. She's headstrong and strong willed and temperamental. She's sweet and kind and lovable and never fails to make me laugh.

~Avery and my brother, Michael~
~The kids were so excited to play this game!~
~Yesterday we went out on our Mommy/Daughter date. We went shopping, so she could pick out her presents, then went for pedicures and then out to lunch at McDonald's (her choice, of course!)~
~Pretty toes! We had so much fun!~

Avery, I love you, my beautiful girl. You always surprise me...yet, you never surprise me. You make me laugh every day and every day I feel so blessed to be your Mommy.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Week Four of Eight - Version 2.0

This week was a bust, also. My ankle throbbed most of the week and between sick kids, school and Josh's surgery, I just didn't have time to rest it. I did do the elliptical twice, but no running for me. It was fine during the exercise but immediately after I got off, it was intense pain. No amount of stretching made it feel better.

However, it's now the end of the week and it's a whole new story. It seems pretty stable and hasn't bothered me in a couple days. Soooo...I figure if I wrap it, I can attempt to get back into running. I sure hope so...I've really missed it!

Friday, February 5, 2010

CAUGHT Brown Handed!

Luke got the chocolate milk mix down, to make himself a glass of chocolate milk. Well, he didn't put it away, just left it sitting open, on one of the chairs.
So, Josh came around the corner to find Pres SHOVELING the mix into her mouth. Apparently, she really likes chocolate!
That's my girl! ;)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Humor Follows Me

Well, we went in this morning for Josh's inguinal hernia repair. Poor man has been in pain for quite a few weeks. (Kinda what you get, when your wife has told you for YEARS that "things" don't look normal and you should have them checked out...) Ahem.

During the consultation last week, she warned him that with the location and severity of his hernia, there's a small chance that he could become sterile after the procedure. I wanted to jump up and down, clap and bake her brownies.

Well, we got to the hospital and the nurse was talking to Josh about what to expect and that he'll need to be driven home....yadda, yadda...usual hospital stuff. And then? She calls me Josh's Mom. Mom. As in, MOTHER. Meaning...I LOOK OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE GIVEN BIRTH TO A 29 YEAR OLD. Yeah, I totally gave her a look that was a cross between, "Are you effing kidding me?" and "I want to punch you in the face." She quickly recanted and blamed it on the fact that his records still state he's single...but, whatever.

So, they take him back and I'm sent to the waiting room for the next 2 1/2 hours. I brought all my schoolwork and fully intended on studying. Buuuut...I was so tired! Getting up at 4:30 am is not for me and I just couldn't keep my eyes open. I closed them for just a second and then I heard BANG!!! That loud noise was the sound of my head cracking against the wall, because I had fallen asleep and my head rolled back. I quickly sat up and peered around the room, at the other people, trying to see if anyone noticed. Needless to say...I didn't fall asleep again.

A bit while later, the doctor came to tell me that he was out of surgery and everything went well. She said it wasn't the worst hernia he's ever seen, but it was still a pretty large one. As she's telling me how the "membrane" went all the way down into his testicle and he's most likely had it since birth, I can see out of the corner of my eye, all the people staring. I tell ya...say testicle in a crowd of any ages and everyone will perk up!

About 30 minutes later I was allowed to go back, because he was starting to wake up. Being funny like I am, (well, I think I'm funny...) the first thing I say to my groggy man is, "So? Did they tell you the bad news?" He looks a little worried and perks up. Trying to keep a straight face, I say, "They had to castrate you." He just cracked up. That man knows me, too well.

So, it's been quite a few hours, we're home and he's doing well. He's not in too much pain (Thank You, Loratab!) and I get a good chuckle every time he shuffles to the bathroom, with a bag full of ice stuffed down his pants!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Everything I Do...

...I do for you.
I am a lot of things.

I am a wife, a daughter, an aunt, a granddaughter, a cousin, a niece and a friend.

I am a student, a writer, a listener, a runner and a hard worker.

I am moody, under confident, strong willed and easily irritated.

I am kind, thoughtful, sentimental and an over achiever.

None of this matters.

Or, at least none of that matters as much as the fact that I am a Mom. (Or momma, mother, mama, mommy or MOOOOM!...depending on who's calling me and what they need.) :)

I'm aware of what that title means. That title means that I am responsible for raising children, that will grow into adults and have a major impact on the world. I am raising people, who will one day contribute to society...and I want their contribution to be something of worth.

I am raising them to be responsible, intelligent, giving, hardworking, self reliant and respectful. Everything I do in my life, is with the keen awareness that I am being watched. They watch the choices I make and the reactions that I have.

They see that Mommy works hard at school, so they know how much I value an education. They hear Mommy apologize for making mistakes, so they know that mistakes happen, but apologizing with a humble heart, means that they can be forgiven. They see Mommy and Daddy kiss, (even though it gets met with a loud, "EWWWW!"), so they know that we love each other and work as a team to make this family run smoothly.

Everything I do in my for them. I made the choice when I had them, to no longer put myself first. I can be tired. Sick. Sad. Worried. Stressed. None of that matters, when it comes to them. I will always put them first and make decisions, with their best interest in mind.

When anyone calls into question, my ability as a mother, I react in typical "Momma Bear" fashion. I will lash out, furiously and fast, because nothing cuts me deeper than someone implying that I am anything, other than a great mom. There is no other area in my life, that I work harder at, than Motherhood.

After the initial shock wears off, I realize that it is MY mistake. MY mistake for allowing someone to make me doubt myself for even a split second. MY mistake for allowing someone to hurt me in such a way.

I know inside...deep inside, where you can't even lie to yourself...that I am a wonderful mother. I may have failed in other areas of my life that day, but I go to bed every, single night...knowing that I have truly done my best that day, for my children. No one will ever...ever...convince me otherwise.