Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Every Single Minute

I had a thought this morning... "This week is going to change my life. Forever."

Lots of fun and stressful things going on, that will impact a huge part of my future are happening this week. It's crazy to think about.

But, then...I had an epiphany.

Seems obvious, doesn't it? But, really...read it again. Every single minute, of every single day, is changing your life. 

It's not just the big moments in my life, that have a major impact on it. Every single day, every choice I make...is changing my life. Even one small variation in my actions or decisions can alter my life in big ways. Everyone has had those moments where they look back and realized how one seemingly insignificant moment changed their life. It's those little moments that you think about later...not the big changes.

It's empowering, when you really think about it. I have a lot more control over the little changes and decisions in my life, than I do over the big ones. I can't control the nursing school application process. I can't control some boss's boss's boss's boss decision on whether or not I get a raise. I can't control other people. (Whoa...that's a big one.)

However, I can control my reaction to certain situations. I can control my attitude. I can control what I eat, when I exercise, how much effort I give my homework, going the extra mile at work, mending bridges with people, wearing my seat belt, choosing a deep breath instead of anger...all smaller choices/decisions, in the grand scheme of things...but ones that can generate HUGE changes in my life.


Every single minute, of every single day, is changing your life. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Yo, January...Where'd Ya Go?

Didn't we just celebrate Christmas and ring in the New Year? How in the world are we approaching the beginning of month two of 2012, already? This last month has flown by and I have a feeling that the next couple months are going to do the same.

So, what happened?

We took the munchkins to see all the Christmas lights down at Temple Square.
So pretty!

They look a little mischievous! :) We borrowed an extra kid for the evening. Ya know...cause I don't have enough of my own. ;) Actually, she is like one of ours. <3

Such a beautiful area to take artistic photos.

Silly girls!

Almost on top of the Conference Center.

I kinda love my "little" family.

Happy 51st Birthday, Mom! <3
The kids love sending Mom balloons.
We decided the main floor needed a change...
...and Avery's asthma had been acting up.
So, we ripped up the carpet...

...and decided to repaint the walls...

...to create a new family room...

...and a new office that is still a work in progress.

So, what's next?

Well, next month is going to bring a special little girl's 7th birthday, my state testing for my CNA, turning in my nursing school application, Valentine's Day, finishing touches on the office, redecorating the main floor and hopefully some more painting in the house. It needs the change and I need the cleaning and organizing that goes along with it!

One thing is for certain...time is flying and we aren't sitting around watching it! We are forever busy in this house!!

But...that's the way we like it. :)

Friday, January 27, 2012

I Cried Out For Help

I did something yesterday that I rarely do.

I cried out for help.

I hate asking for help. With anything. It makes me feel like I am failing and not handling everything that I committed myself to. I'm strong. I'm able. I shouldn't need anything from anyone else, right?


Yesterday was the peak of several horrible days with Avery. We know her moods cluster and come in waves...but it doesn't make riding them out any easier. I want my happy, silly girl all the time. I don't want to deal with, nor do I know how to deal with, the angry, violent, out of control child that I have most of the time.

I don't know everything, but I know a lot about certain subjects. I may not know a lot about cars or computers or geography, but if you have questions about parenting methods or anything medically related...I'm your girl. So, when I feel like everything I know is being tested, it's difficult. I don't want to admit that I'm lost. That I don't know what to do. That what I'm doing isn't working. 

I finally had to wave the white flag yesterday and call Avery's therapist. Leaving a crying voicemail for her was definitely not my most shining moment, but it got the point across. She called me back and fit Josh and I in this morning, without Avery. Just knowing she could hear my tension and frustration...and she cared...got me through the rest of the day.

Talking to her today made me feel so much better. Knowing that she deals with children like Avery all the time, makes me feel like it's not my fault. I'm not failing. It's not something I've done. It's not something I'm doing wrong. It's Avery. I can't control this any more than I could control it if she had cancer. Could this be because of her being a preemie and then surviving a traumatic illness at six weeks old? Perhaps. But again...not. my. fault. I've got to let how I'm feeling go, so that I can focus on what to do for her.

I told her how much it hurts me to see how this is affecting my other children. I hate knowing they are afraid of their sister...and they have every right to be. I hate knowing that they must, at times, feel pushed aside, because I have to deal with Avery. Sadly, that doesn't seem like it's going to change any time soon. Right now I have to deal with Avery. I have to focus on Avery. I have to help her cope and learn how to deal with the anger inside of her. I have to teach her how to relax and verbalize her emotions, rather than lash out.

No, I'm not failing...but, I have to be better. I don't know how to find more time in my busy days. But I have to. I don't know how to find even more patience. But I have to. I don't know how to reason with someone that is angry and unreasonable. But I have to.

What I don't have to do, is do it alone.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mom

Happy Birthday, Mom.

If you were here, we would be celebrating with lunch and a girl's day out. Bay would be begging to come along, insisting that she was old enough to hang out with the adults. :) Instead, we will be letting balloons go at your grave, like we did last year to commemorate the day you left us. The kids like knowing that they can send you mail in Heaven. :)

May 2011
I miss you, Mom. I say that a lot. I love you. I say that a lot, too. There's so much more I want to say, that I can't. Like...I'm sorry. And I hope you're proud of me. And I hope you have seen how hard Josh is working to graduate from college and to support our family. And the kids need you. Bailey talks. A lot. And she needs you to listen. Ryleigh still cries. A lot. Because she misses you. Avery needs you. A lot. Because you understood her more than anyone else. Lukey doesn't remember much. At all. And that breaks my heart. Peanut knows your pictures. You are a photo on the wall...not a person who loved to laugh and tell jokes and bake cookies and tease and give hugs and read stories. And that makes me cry.

But, I rarely let them see me do that. Because I want them to associate you with happiness, not tears. :)

Happy Birthday, Mom. Once again...we love and miss you. Every. Single. Day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Me Thinks...We're Nuts

I have to work today. We both have homework. I have CPR class today. The kids are on half day and will be home most of the day. The kids have piano today.

I think...

...we should rip up our carpet and install wood floors.

Yeah. Cause nothing says "sane", like adding to the every day insanity.

(Hey, when you find wood floors for .68 sq ft and you realize that you can learn to love them for that price, in order to get rid of carpet that contributes to your daughter's asthma...you act on it!!)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I Was Here

Something...my classes, my life, memories...something...has been causing me to reflect on my life a lot lately. What I've done. Choices I've made. Who I was. Who I've become. Who I'm becoming.

(I know, I know...my last three posts have been about dying, death, preparing, ect. No, I'm not dying. Just...reflective.)

I want to know I've made a difference in this world. I want to know that I have made someone's life better and that I have in some way...changed the world. Or someone's world. I know that I'm not the only one...isn't that everyone's goal? What else would be the point of life, other than to leave this world better than when you got here?

Perhaps that is the meaning of life. It isn't about lessons that we are meant to learn. It isn't to endure trials to make us stronger. Perhaps the meaning of life is to strive to contribute to society, leaving others better off than before they knew you. I pray that I've done that and that I have opportunity to do it many times over, before I leave this earth.

I want to know that I made someone smile, because someone has made me smile. I want to know that I made someone laugh, because someone has made me laugh. I want to know that I made someone think, because someone has made me think. I want to know that I made someone change, because someone has changed me. I want to have saved someone...because someone has saved me. I want to give of my knowledge, my talents, my love, my faith, my forgiveness and my understanding, because at one time, or another, someone has given all of those to me. I want to know that I have given back more than I have taken and loved as much as I have been loved.

"I was here. I lived. I loved. I was here.
I did, I've done, everything that I wanted
and it was more than I thought it would be.
I will leave my mark, so everyone will know, I was here.
I just want them to know that I gave my all,
did my best, brought someone some happiness.
Left this world a little better, just because...I was here."

Monday, January 16, 2012

So When Your Heart Stops Beating…?

"Let it stop."

I completed my CNA course yesterday. (YAY!) I can now contact the state about taking their tests and then...*drumroll*... mail off that nursing school application that I've been talking about for years.

One of the things we did on our final day of class, was watch an HBO movie called, "Wit". It originally aired in 2001 and stars Emma Thompson. She is an English scholar, who becomes a victim of metastatic stage IV ovarian cancer. The movie documents her journey through a rigorous chemotherapy treatment, emotionless doctors and a nurse that truly cares for her patients.

It was incredibly hard to watch this and remember Mom's treatments and realize, once again, how much pain and fear Mom must have hid from all of us. She was such a strong woman and I become more aware of it now, as I reflect back on that time.

This particular scene in the movie, touched me. Prof Bearing makes the decision to sign a DNR, choosing not to be resuscitated, should her heart stop beating. This scene cuts it off, but the movie goes on to show the nurse leave and Prof Bearing curls in a ball, hiding under her blankets, in fright. I can't imagine what it would be like to make this decision, personally. I can't imagine what it would be like to decide and accept that death is coming...and being kept alive in my current state is no life at all.

Additionally, this reminded me again that while Josh and I have done many things right in the event of our deaths, we still have a few things to finalize. I wonder how many people my age, with children have actually done this. I know that it's an important thing to think about, however hard it may be. I know they will be taken care of financially...but I want the peace of mind in knowing that should my heart stop beating...they will be loved as much as I love them now.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Was Reminded

I've put in roughly 80 hours in the last week between class time, clinicals and commuting; it's been exhausting! If it weren't for my good friend Michelle, I would  have lost my mind, at times. Having her there, by my side through it all, made it bearable. I knew most everything that was brought up in class, however I was reminded of so many things.

I was reminded how germy our hands are and that we should be washing them. About every other second. Goodness are our hands filthy! (And did you know that it's cleaner to lick an armpit than french kiss someone???)

I was reminded that the medical field was MADE for me and it really is my passion. I absorb anything medically related the way a sponge absorbs moisture. I love love love it!!

I was also reminded to be thankful. Thankful every single day that I can walk. That I can talk. That I can feed myself. Dress myself.

I was reminded to be thankful that I can handle such private matters as going to the bathroom and showering, alone...minus my children's fingers wagging under the door.

I was reminded to be thankful that I can swallow and breathe...without thought, effort or pain.

I was almost pooped on. I was almost hit. I was spit on...twice. I got soaked during showers. I got my toes ran over by wheelchairs. I got thanked profusely by people thankful that I was taking time out of my day to help them. I got to help people eat, who couldn't feed themselves. I got to help dress people who couldn't do it otherwise. I got to listen to people who just wanted someone to hear them. I got to see pictures of my residents with their loved ones, from days long passed. Their wedding days...the days their babies were born...the days their grandchildren were born...the day their great-grandchildren came to visit. I got to see how other resident's lives changed in an instant because of accidents. They were living my life; married with children and a future...only to have it taken away.

In a matter of hours, I fell in love with a couple of my residents. The man who almost hit me and spit on me? I understood his anger and I took him under my wing the rest of the day. He rewarded me with a semi-smile and by looking into my eyes...the only way he could communicate. The resident that wouldn't eat? She just wanted me to sit and talk with her...which distracted her enough so I could feed her a big bowl of cream of wheat.

 Overall, I was reminded that life is short. Life is precious. We will all be older one day and we shouldn't take one single day for granted. We are all a text message away from a head on, that could take away our ability to walk, talk, or even function like the adults we are now.

My friends, live your life. Live it today. Live it for you. Live to make yourself happy and live to make life better for those around you. One day...one day, far too soon...life as you know it will cease to exist. Don't give yourself the chance to look back on your life and have it be filled with regret.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Where Have I Gone?

I'm here!! :) I'm in CNA class all week and have hardly had time to breathe! It is a one hour commute each way and I'm in class for ten hours. It is making for looong days!

Christmas was amazing and I can't wait to upload my pictures and share some of the fun things we did. Soon. Soon.

So, where am I? I'm learning how to brush teeth, comb hair and change briefs. Yeah, I'm learning how to be a Mom. ;)

I'll be back!