Tag Archives: Worry Wart

M.I.A.

Wow. You blink and almost 2 weeks goes by.

We’ve had the stomach bug here which totally sucks. Ok honestly, Ben is the only one that has been plagued by it so far. There is some serious pleading and begging towards heaven that it stops there.

You see, since I’ve been blessed with a mild case of¬†Emetophobia (fear of vomit and all things related) I’ve become an expert at avoiding it at all costs. It’s an obsessive compulsive thing. To me, you can never be too careful or go too overboard at preventing it from spreading. I hate it that much. Just read on, you’ll see.

I’ve researched the various viruses. I know their incubation periods, how they are spread and what kills them.

I’ve purchased hospital grade cleaner in the form of wipes and spray that I tear out only when this thing shows up since normal household cleaners definitely don’t work and even bleach is known to not work on some strains. The stomach bug virus laughs in the face of normal household cleaners.

Do you see the OCD yet?

Come late Sunday night when Ben is yelling our name and has made a mess all over his bed and the carpet, instead of melting down into a state of panic and nerves like I used to (it’s been a work in progress) I jumped into gear and ‘kill’ mode.

This included being aware that little vomit droplets could be floating in the air up to 6 feet from where it happened (depending on how violent the attack was) and if inhaled could infect you. It included treating all the towels used to clean, the soiled linens etc as absolutely lethal. Anything they touch, anything they potentially cross over most likely infects it and needs to be sanitized. They should be washed not just once but twice with either bleach or special cleaner. They can last on a surface up to 2 days!

I also just assume that after the mess is cleaned up and every surface that was touched in the process is sanitized that the clothes you are wearing are also infected including your hair etc so you should strip down and shower immediately afterwards and treat those clothes as also lethal.

Leaning more towards crazy than just OCD? I know.

This process has to done each time someone throws up otherwise the likelihood that someone else in the family gets sick skyrockets.

After the poor guy was feeling better over 24 hours later I knew that it wasn’t over and I couldn’t let my guard down just yet. This is when I’m actually glad that we haven’t taught or allowed Ben to learn how to clean himself after he goes to the bathroom because I know that I can do it more efficiently with significant decrease in risk of it spreading. For about a week after, the virus is still present in the poop so hand washing and sanitizing the bathroom are still paramount.

That’s where we’re at now. And also just waiting to see if all my OCD ideas actually pay off. If one of us get’s sick (2-4 days after) I’ll know and learn that sometimes you just can’t help getting sick no matter how crazy you are. That’s just life.

But boy, how I pray that my craziness does SOMETHING. ūüôā

Last night I went into a mini panic when I realized that William had used the chapstick that I gave Ben during his dehydrated time. Crap. Rookie mistake!

But as I just breathe and remind myself that there is nothing I can do and worrying about it does nothing, I was finally able to drift off to sleep.

And we are disaster free one more night.

Thank you Heavenly Father.

28 weeks?

The last 33¬†hours have been rough. No, that’s not the right word. They’ve been horrible.

It started out with my routine midwife appointment on Tuesday morning. Everything looked good. Then she measured my belly. Listened to the heartbeat. Said something like, “Wake up little guy!” ¬†it sounded slow to me and that was it. Then she¬†casually mentioned something about possibly needing an ultrasound just so she can be sure he’s growing properly and is the right size. I never had ultrasounds with Ben and William.

They (team midwife) explained that with my previous two babies I measured the same weeks gestation the baby was but with this one he’s measuring smaller. She said something about intrauterine restriction or something…and then that was it. An ultrasound was scheduled for two days later to have some questions answered and I was off.

My amazing midwife later apologized for not reassuring me more as I left that everything was fine and not to worry. Not sure it would have helped much anyway because that’s just what I do.

I found myself driving home (this was the ONE apt. David didn’t make it to) bawling my eyes out with worry.

His heartbeat was slower than normal, he’s smaller than he should be…all these possibilities running through my mind. ¬†It got bad.

Despite the fact that I later called my midwife back and heard her tell me that his heartbeat was actually just perfect and normal (this is when she apologized for not reassuring me more), I was still struggling.

To be compact, I had myself convinced that something was terribly wrong with my baby. Here’s the kicker though…I let myself believe it so wholeheartedly BECAUSE I believe(d) that my ‘trial’ had come.

You hear that everyone has trials, no one will be void. Life is hard and it’s supposed to be. You can’t progress and grow with out them. So my thinking has always been, “Ok, well I haven’t had any major trials in my life so something big must be coming…I wonder what it will be…and when.”

(Is it ironic that my song of the week is about life being too good that it must not be real?)

I was convinced that this was it. Here it was. It made sense! I’d been waiting and wondering what my trial(s) would be and here they were. No more wondering.

What is wrong with me?

To make things worse, this morning after the craziness of the morning (where btw, it didn’t help when Ben’s kindergarten teacher who when we met with her this morning for Ben’s assessment said, “you are so tiny for 28 weeks! I know she meant well but man for this situation it’s not what you want to hear) I started to realize that my baby hadn’t been moving around like he usually does. I didn’t want to panic unnecessarily so I waited some more. Besides, he WAS moving but only in one defined area and very weakly and not very often. ¬†I laid down for a while because that’s usually a time I can count on him becoming more active. Nothing. I finally shared my concerns with David through tears and he suggested drinking a sugary drink so I did. I laid down for a while longer…about an hour. Still nothing. Not like normal. Not his rolling and shifting and really moving…just a faint little kick every once and a while.

So by this time I was a complete mess. I thought it was over. I knew something was terribly wrong. I was gone. David called our midwife and updated her. She told us to head into the local labor and delivery at the hospital. She called ahead and got us an apt with the on call doctor.

The drive there felt like an eternity. Thankfully my mom and dad were able to tag team it and watch the boys last minute.

I was able to get it together on the drive but once we were there I just broke down again so David had to take over doing most of the talking. I will say however that our particular nurse that got us settled was incredible at making me feel better and more comfortable.  She might never know what a difference she made for me today.

All the nurses were wonderful. They got me hooked up right away to the fetal Doppler thing and there it was, just what I needed to hear…his strong heartbeat. Tears of gratitude. He was OK. At least for now I could know that.

A little later they did an ultrasound and found that everything looked normal. They said he didn’t do a practice breath which they were hoping to see but that just because they didn’t see it means anything’s wrong. He’s still young.

His amniotic fluid is plentiful, his organs etc all fine. BUT he is measuring small…about 26 weeks instead of 28 like we thought I was.

We don’t know what this means yet. There is a possibility that I am only 26 weeks and I am doing my darnedest to be open to that possibility (even though I’m very skeptical because with conception dates in mind and a few other factors at play it doesn’t seem right to me – but hey I’ve been terribly wrong up to this point). If that’s not the case then he is a small 28 week old baby and we go from there. Could that mean intrauterine growth restriction? Something else?

We wont know anything until a second ultrasound in a few weeks to compare his growth from the one we got today.

The doctor that came in to answer a few of our questions was nice enough to do so even though it became clear the moment he came into the room that he knew we were ‘midwife people’ and that he didn’t intend on helping us much. ¬†We heard about his morals and the mess that comes from trying to blend two different philosophies…blah blah. We told him that we understood. ¬†Which we really do…to an extent. He answered our questions to the best of his ability.

When his time with us was drawing to a close however he said, “You two seem like awesome people though, so Ill have you come in about 3 weeks and I’ll do another ultrasound and see what I can see.” And that was that.

When I got home it wasn’t much longer before I got a phone call and it was Dr. Horsley asking if I had any other questions. He was very nice and suggested that I actually come in on Friday afternoon for a free of charge ultrasound just so he could get another look and kinda start over with a due date etc. He said he wanted a deeper history of my previous pregnancies and that we would go from there. (I’m trying SO hard not to worry that it was because of something concerning he saw after we left. See…there’s that fear over faith thing again.)

Nonetheless, it was very kind of him to call. I just hope he’s not trying to ‘save’ us from midwifery. Ha. The truth is I have always been grateful for the option of modern medicine…what a blessing if needed.

So that’s my story. I feel about 80% better than I did but there are definitely still some questions I have. Why is baby boy small? Now we wait.

So far what this experience has taught me is that I may seriously have something wrong with me. Not really new news. ¬†I need to figure out why I view the world and God and our trials in the way I do. And why do I allow my mind to take control so heavily. ¬†I mean I really really let myself believe there was something wrong. Why can’t I be positive and have faith instead of fear? Is mother’s intuition a real thing because mine was shooting red flags all over the place…maybe mine is just under the weather….and I guess the story isn’t over yet so who knows.

All I know is I have a lot to learn still. Oh and I love my husband…a lot.

What are your thoughts on trials in our lives..or the lack thereof?   How do you find reassurance through difficult potentially devastating times?

Southern Salvation

I’ve been struggling this winter.

So much snow. So cold. No yard. Stuck inside. Ugh.

About 2 weeks ago my mom and I were due to go to Southern Utah for the Lights Festival in Mesquite, NV.  It was going to be a quick but very enjoyable and needed break from the Northern cold.

But it didn’t happen. Last minute we decided that trying to schedule our driving times between 2 big snow storms was not worth it. Sad face.

So we planned a make up trip.

My cute cousin Ryan’s wedding + an available home = perfect!!

The wedding was on Saturday so of course we had to go late Tuesday so we would have all day Wednesday thru Sunday!

The home we were able to stay in was one of the many of my uncle’s, FIL. Beautiful. Big. Free. Freaking awesome.

Just across the street was a trail into the red desert where we could hear frogs and crickets.

Rock collecting was the mission of the boys.

Sun basking was mine.

Wednesday after we did the short walk across the street, the boys were drawn (without blame) to the hot tub on the patio. Although it wasn’t warm yet they had a blast splashing around.

First it was rolled up pants and ‘don’t get too wet!’ to underwear and ‘who cares!’

After that we headed to Zions. Wearing the same shirt btw.

The boys fell asleep on the way so we decided to take a Sunday drive. I’ll admit the purpose of where we went was to catch a glimpse of a property for sale in Virgin that I’ve had my eye on. 100 acres for oh only 2.3 million! It looked like paradise. A girl can dream!

So off onto the dirt road we went! Google maps on our side we did our best to decipher where this place could be! About 30 mins later on the dirt road (a rough one at that!) we came to a fortress of a mountain with a pretty iron gate in front of a perfectly manicured gravel road that went up, up, up!!

Probably about 1 mile of switchbacks up the side of this mountain is was brought you to this property. Nope, we didn’t get to go up there. But it didn’t matter. At that point I knew that this is somewhere I’d never want to live. It was way too secluded.

So it was a memorable adventure. Without photos of course.

Zions was wonderful. We saw the 4 Patriarchs and then we did the back side of Emerald Pools. Ben was a champ. He hiked the entire 2+ miles all by himself! Apart from the last little chunk where Mimi gave him piggy back ride because his feet were wet and sandy (crossing river mishap).

William enjoyed himself most of the time on my back in his little carrier.

It was hard to leave but the time came and we headed to IN N OUT for some hamburgers (and shake for mama).

Thursday was a bit more rough.

Let me back up a bit.

Before we left for our trip I was determined and felt inspired to do my best at making it a ‘worry free’ trip. As of late I have been so over worrying. It feels as though worry has consumed my being so there is nothing left but all the horrible possibilities around me.

I have been making progress and getting better. And this trip to me was the perfect place to really put it into use.

Enter Thursday morning. Now, if you asked my mother she would tell you that it wasn’t as bad as I made it out to be. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe it was. We are on opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to worry. It’s a wonder we all made it as kids to adults. ūüėČ

William was in the hot tub with his cousins (they came down the night before to spend some time). He had his floaties on and I was close by because I knew that he wasn’t perfect with them yet.

Sure enough I noticed (thankfully because it could have been SO easy to miss because he looked upright) that his mouth and nose were under the water and he just couldn’t get in the right position to get out of it. I ran over as fast as possible and those few feet felt like a few miles. I pulled him out and he was struggling. Panicking and coughing in a manner that was concerning…sounded more like barking/vomiting.

Immediately all the what if’s running through my mind. I had read stories of kids who died from second hand drowning. It doesn’t take much water..and chlorine can highly complicate it. Or that’s what ‘they’ said. How much did he get? How would I know? What if? What if? What if?

Worry-free goal down the drain. Flush.

The next hour I was in full fledged worry mode. I spoke with David on the phone. I watched him like a hawk. I read things. Maybe we should give him a blessing? Nope. My gut, whether it was the irrational worry side of me or not said to take him in.

So off to instacare we went. Got there and the line was slow and so non-urgent. I felt uncomfortable.  So back into the car to the ER.

My only other experience with the ER was when Ben broke out in hives late at night as a baby. We didn’t know what they were. My experience here was as positive as it could be. I wanted to run away but knew that I couldn’t.

The doctors and nurses were amazing. They told me that I did the right thing (at least I think they did) and ended up doing a breathing treatment for him. After having that they wanted to monitor him for 2 hours. So that’s what we did!

Another champ right here. No crying at all except to tell me he was really hungry.

Meanwhile brother was with his cousins having a blast at a new park.  An amazing park. A dinosaur park with a life like volcano and a train!

The next day we went back so William could experience the fun and Ben was more than happy to show us around and of course ride the train again!

The doctor said I should look out for pneumonia that could possibly set in a day or two after but luckily as predicted he was just fine.

Thank you Heavenly Father.

I’m still trying to figure out what my lesson was supposed to be thru all that.

I feel like I did a pretty good job with not worrying after that. It was all about fun and memories. Suckers at Christensen’s, Children’s Museum, cartoons on the big screen, dinners at restaurants and more!

The wedding on Saturday was wonderful. I had never been to the Las Vegas temple and in March it was just perfect. I had the littles so I couldn’t go in for the ceremony but it happened so fast that I really didn’t mind.

Look at this cute couple. They don’t get much cuter than that.

I love my family all so much. It’s always great when there is an event like this where we can see each other for a while.

We just did nap times in the car mostly.

After the delicious luncheon we headed back to St. George but first we had to stop in Logandale to see Rob and Chelsea’s new place! And we ended up staying waaaay later than planned. But hey, I wasn’t worried right? ūüėČ

I even let my kids jump on the raised trampoline at 8 pm in the dark, unsupervised. Roll around in the dirt? Sure! 8:30pm? Whatever!

But just like my brother pointed out these will be memories forever in their minds that they just cant help but feel happy about.

AND THEY HAD SO MUCH FUN!

Sunday was church in our old ward which was nothing like we expected because it has changed too much. Then lunch with the family up at Grandmas house. More catching up and connecting with loved ones.

Did I mention my joy ride in my Brothers rental?

Ya, he rented a brand new mustang for the trip. He left it with his wife for a few hours. She was in the shower for a few minutes. I was revving down Dixie Dr.

I figured if something happened to me my SIL could say that I didn’t ask her to take it…she didn’t know! HA!

Oh what a beauty.  I do have a weakness for nice cars. I blame it on growing up with boys.

Anyway….

Monday morning we were doomed to be heading back to Logan.

BUT……..

My mom graciously saved our souls for one more glorious day. Afterall we hadn’t even been to Snow Canyon yet!

Monday morning we went on a short hike with some family. The familiar smell of sage and red dirt was like manna to my soul. Why do I love this place so much?!

This day we did do real nap times and boy oh boy did they need them!

After that it was back to Snow Canyon to play in the sand dunes!!

Really, if William was given the choice to do only one thing for the rest of his child life it would be dirt. Anything to do with dirt or sand. Just as long as he’s playing in it. It would be a toss up I’m sure between that and coloring or drawing though.

I do have to throw in this funny story though….

Monday afternoon before we headed to the dunes I wasn’t feel all that great. ¬†A week of eating the way I was (restaurants etc) my guts were feeling it. So I asked my mom if she would stop in the nearest store to get me some fresh ginger I could chew on.

At this charming little market near Snow Canyon out the door comes this cute store clerk with a ginger drink that he swears by….Kombachu. There in the parking lot in my car he lets me look at it and tells me all about how it comes from fresh ginger and how it’s carbonated so it helps with indigestion etc. He was even going to open it up so I could try it! It sounded perfect! So I said, “I’ll do both!”

On the way out of the lot, I unscrewed the lid and took a swig. EH. Something was weird. I screwed the lid back on and looked at it closer. This is what I saw…

Notice the paragraph at the bottom?!

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

My mom says, “Too bad you read the label you would have had a lot more fun tonight!”

HAHAHAHAHA!

I said, “I thought it smelled funny!

Holy cow, I almost got drunk in St. George. That would have been a funny story to tell the hubby when I got home. And no, I’ve never had alcohol before so I really would have been drunk.

So instead of getting a buzz in the dunes I just chewed on my piece of non alcoholic ginger. And felt much better.

The glorious sun eventually went down behind the mountain and we dragged ourselves home. A simple dinner of carrots, bell peppers and yogurt with oatmeal was had and then bedtime.

The next morning was cleaning time and getting read to leave. For real this time. William hid in the closet. I wanted to join him. Do we have to!!?

It was a wonderful time and really was my salvation at a dire time. It breathed new life into me and I am grateful for that. Next time I just have to bring my husband so I don’t have to miss him.

Thank you MOM for an amazing time!

Goal Fever

Its that time of year again. Goals.

I love making goals. It happens naturally and randomly for me throughout the year.

There are a lot of things that I want to improve on or change, things that I hope to achieve and they are the things that don’t require me to write them down. They’re there. Always there.

This time I have one goal that I want to zero in on. One thing for 2017 that needs my better attention.

Everything else will kind of just happen as they are things that I’m reminded of every day, things that I’ve been working on for years or things that I am excited about doing.

This solitary goal for 2017 however is going to be pretty difficult and will require my constant care.

In short, I want to worry less in 2017.

I realize there isn’t really a way to gauge something like that but that doesn’t matter. All that needs to occur in 2017 is that there is less worry in my heart than there was in 2016.

My mom has¬†given me a book to read called, “Letting Go” which she claims will change the life of anyone who reads it and is exactly what I need. I am excited to read it and start my journey to a less worrisome me.

It does go deeper than just worrying less but I don’t feel the need to get into those deep dark corners of my mind.

Worry is not healthy. ¬†It’s taken it’s toll on me and I worry (HA!) that if I don’t get it under control it could kill me.

I don’t know what my journey will be like, it may involve a professional, maybe this book will be the ticket, maybe both and even more than I can imagine as I sit here at the very beginning of this year. I have no idea but I do know that it’s good and is what needs to be done.

Other than the fact that I am still recovering from the Influenza virus and will not be ringing in the new year like I want to, I am excited for 2017. I generally love change. I love new beginnings. I love fresh starts. I can feel it in my bones that it’s going to be a good year.

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!

Deck the Halls, Be Merry and Bright, Joy to the World! Right?!

How do I begin. Here we are up in beautiful Garden Valley, ID for Christmas. ¬†We’ve been looking forward to this for quite a while now and the 2 weeks previous to our departure I took every precaution to ensure the boys didn’t pick up all the bugs that were going around like wildfire. ¬†After all is there anything worse than being sick on Christmas?!!!!

I was even going to keep Ben from Preschool the last week when they were doing all their fun Christmas activities. David sweetly suggested that might be too much and so we let him go.  Monday and Tuesday were great. We were set to leave on Friday.  Wednesday night we got a mass text from his teacher that her whole family came down with something including her so school on Thursday would be cancelled. Dun dun dun!!!!

Did I mention that earlier that week I had come down with something eerily similar to food poisoning? Ya. Never had that before and now even as I write this I know that it could have been so much worse. I didn’t even throw up I just got really close and then felt gross for the next 2 days. We still don’t know exactly what happened. I am convinced it was bad turkey that was just a day or two too old and David thinks it was a bug.

Thursday comes and we realize after some inspired promptings that we need to leave that day instead of Friday because of bad weather.  So off we went!

So glad we did that! For more reasons than just the weather. Friday morning Ben wakes up with a sweltering fever!!! He progressively gets worse and around 9 am throws up once. CRAP!!!! ¬†Our Christmas vacation is officially ruined (or at least that’s what I have been trying to talk myself out of-attitude right?)

And in case you are wondering I am not angrily blaming David for talking me into letting him go to school. I realize I can’t shield my son from everything bad, not without him missing out on many a essential experiences.

Anyway…

We had decided on Thursday night when we got here that we would do Christmas on Saturday instead of Sunday because then instead of begrudgingly dragging the boys away from their new toys to go to church at 9:30 we could have the whole day to relax and take our time. Everything was going perfectly!!! Just as planned, or better!

Little did I know that taking our time is exactly what we would be doing. ¬†Poor Ben woke up with a fever and still felt horrible on Christmas morning. He hadn’t thrown up again since the morning before and by Friday night was eating a little bit. But everything just wasn’t the way it supposed to be! Can I just say how hard it’s been dealing with the very thing I was trying so wholeheartedly to avoid! I can’t believe it happened! But that’s life.

There was my perfect little happy boy lying on the couch looking like death trying but not succeeding at opening his presents.  Break my heart right open.

But because of Ben’s illness, today had been something like I’ve never experienced before at Christmas. Stockings first….nap and snuggles. Breakfast and then more snuggles. Little bit of playing and then another nap followed by opening a few presents. ¬†After that we tried to relax and watch a movie downstairs and Grandpa and Daddy plowed the driveway of 9 inches of fresh snow! Then some more present opening and then some lunch and another nap! After nap time we opened the last of our presents at about 2pm!

This is the way to do Christmas I’ll say! It was so fun dragging it out like that. It may not be for everybody but for us this year it worked and it was really nice.

After lunchtime we did give Ben some fever reducer because it just wasn’t going down and he woke up from his nap finally able to fully appreciate the cool things he’d received. His smiles and happy sounds were music to my ears.

The bad news was that William woke up from nap with a fever. CRAP AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!

No throw up.  No headache. His spirits seems to be high still so maybe we will get lucky and get by with minimal suffering with William.

Oh how I hate sickness. It really gets me. Especially in my kids.

I will say that¬†I was taught a good lesson here when I saw how David and his parents reacted to Ben’s sickness…his throwing up more specifically. If you know me you know that I have a mild phobia of vomit and it’s a bigger deal to me than the normal person. Ha! So here was Ben moments away from being sick just absolutely miserable in his daddies arms at the kitchen table…everybody talking. Here I am absolutely panicking inside wondering what the heck I was going to do and how we were going to get thru it.

The big moment happens and that’s that. ¬†Talking continues as normal. Grandpa comes to the table with his breakfast, moves the bowl of vomit over a bit so he can sit down and enjoy his breakfast. What?! K, this is weird.

Grandma says, “Isn’t it wonderful what the body can do to take care of itself like that?”

I’m thinking, “Wonderful!!!?”

We clean up and take him downstairs to sleep.

I’m thinking, “What just happened?”

But after a while I start thinking and I realize that what just happened around me with my son being sick is closer to the reaction that I SHOULD be having than the one that I tend to have. What I witnessed with my in-laws and husband is closer to a normal and healthy response.

Throwing up does not mean he or anyone else is going to die.

Yup. I’m serious. I have to remind my sub conscience of this.

I am scared. I am a mess. I am down in my room breaking down for a moment or two. In part because my baby is suffering and I want to make it stop and in part because I’m…well I’m weird and I think vomit is the worst thing that can happen to a person.

My husband thinks maybe I need therapy. Maybe he is right. I think he is.

This is Christmas.  This is Christmas.  THIS IS CHRISTMAS????!

.

.

.

.

.

.

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But you know what? It really is OK.

Somehow we will get through it and the memories are made. The boys are at the table (the very one Ben threw up at) playing with their legos happily and merrily.

It is going to be alright. Christmas is not ruined.  We (I, more specifically) did get through it. No one died. Hahahaha it sounds so ridiculous!

Pictures of our very different than planned Christmas will be forthcoming.

The difficult part for me now will be letting Ben go back to school before April. ¬†Er…. Ever.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Breathe.

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Where is the Peace?

In my last post I mentioned writing in my journal about something that was profound for me. I feel the need to share it here as I know there are others who are like me and may be struggling with the same questions. I can’t say that I have it all figured out and that it’s made everything 100% better because it hasn’t. It’s a daily struggle but I’ve at least been¬†shown the right path to take.

I have ALWAYS struggled with the reality that while I live my comfortable blessed life there are others who suffer tremendously by no fault of their own….simply different circumstances. I constantly wonder, “Why was I given this life I have and not another? Why are there so many who are given more unfortunate lives and not one like mine?” ¬†“This is too good to be true” has been a mantra of mine; sub conscience as it may be.

Just take a stroll through the internet and you’ll not just read about the suffering but you can actually SEE IT. It’s horrific and shocking. ¬†It naturally makes those of us sitting in immense comfort ask, “How can I sit here and enjoy the blessings all around me?” ¬†It’s a fair question…I have been asking it forever. Seeing those things makes it’s near impossible for another caring human being to carry on like normal.

This last week, these thoughts were bringing me to my lowest state. I felt lost and worried and angry and confused. For some reason I even came across this on Pinterest. What?!6735ba488cd15b0ba7596b24f24911b6

I felt all these things and more. I got more and more confused. I am not a depressed person but I felt that true happiness was something that I would never have! How could I when there was so much suffering. This stupid picture I saw that day just took me down lower.

Which is what brought me to my conversation with my husband David.

When I unloaded my thoughts to him he lovingly listened and then simply said, “You’re right, you don’t deserve this life. ¬†You get what you get and it’s what you do with it that counts.” ¬†Nobody deserves anything they get…to say that means those innocent people suffering deserve that life and that’s very untrue. We are all beggars and can only look towards the Savior for redemption. We don’t know the particulars behind the reason why the Earth is the way it is but we all get what we are given and it’s how we live that life that matters. Every soul has that journey to take with God no matter their circumstance…we are not the judge…He is.

“Duh” I thought to myself.

I haven’t been on Facebook for months but since logging on a few times in the past week or so to check on my daughter Lucie I have realized something. ¬†These things we SEE on Facebook are not productive. I feel strongly it is not the right way to be informed. They instantaneously transfer us to the other side of the world to an area we otherwise would never see or were MEANT TO SEE. ¬†SEEING the destruction and the blood on little people’s faces do nothing but horrify us and make us sick to our stomachs. At least this is the case for people like me, people who tend to think this way and sort of get into a funk when they see these things. ¬†To explain more there are also people like my husband who don’t waste time worrying about why things are the way they are but instead are driven to do something about it.

Before you jump all over me…I believe that if we are meant to do something to help that specific person or child or cause then the Lord will guide us through that journey. We would know and be inspired as to the next step to take and we would shut off our medias. I am saying that this is what we SHOULD BE doing. Serving, helping, crying with these people because then the destructive thoughts of, “Why me?” are swept up in service….in DOING something….not just witnessing it over the World Wide Web. That is destructive, not productive.

So next time you SEE something horrific on Facebook that makes you wonder, “How am I supposed to go living my life in such peace?” I want your next thought to be, “By using my blessings and gifts to make a difference. That is why God gave me this life…to help others.” Whatever and however you make a difference is your own journey and process. ¬†It’s different for everyone but I promise you that Heavenly Father wants us to be HAPPY. There is no shame in being happy. There is only shame in not spreading that happiness by service. Most of the time that service is mostly needed and intended for the world that is found immediately around you. There are those who will be blessed to take their talents and happiness across oceans or states to affect a greater population but big or small, local or foreign it is the same in the eyes of our Savior. He did not die for us to live in worry, shame and hopelessness.

As we serve more locally around us there will be a domino effect that spreads across the world. I am not so naive as to think we can rid the world of all suffering and evil but I know there can be a real difference made.

But first…LET’S GET OFF FACEBOOK and step back into the REAL world where our natural emotions can be put to good use with the help of our Savior and instead of wondering what our purpose is, we can know that we are fulfilling our purpose.

On Monday we finally got William in for his year old shots. Ya he is 3. In governments terms we were running quite a bit behind but we obviously we not too worried about it.

Well, I can’t say that actually. I was extremely worried, just not about being late.

I won’t get into it here and now but I am sure you know all about the hype about ‘do vaccinations cause autism?’ and whatnot, well short story is both sides have merit it just comes down to which is less risky?

ANYWAY!!! After his shots he reacted the way he normally does..fever and not feeling good but this time it was bit worse. And I was freaking out. He is finally feeling better so that’s good but we were feeling so bad after his shots we decided to go get a treat.

And then it turned into a lot of treats! Freakin Kneaders bakery display.

But we don’t do it ever so we were thought its ok. Cookies, chocolate pie, chocolate milk and suckers for William! Sheesh! Talk about sugar rush!

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Ya it was fun but it’s been a week now and they are still talking about eating more sugar so it’s gonna be a while till we do THAT again!

California Dreamin’

We got back from our Newport Beach California “vacation”¬†a week and a half ago. Maybe you are wondering why I put “vacation” in scare quotes. Well I’ll tell you why.

Unfortunately this trip could not be defined to me as a vacation. I guess technically, if you were to look up the definition of vacation yes it would be…I did in fact vacate my permanent place of residence for a period of time to participate in recreation or whatever elsewhere.

But to me a “vacation” is also something oozing of relief from current cares and a time with significantly less stress than you were experiencing at home…a recharging of batteries.

Now don’t get all offended. Especially my family. I did have some serious moments of recharging and relaxation…but truthfully they were fleeting and oh so short; overshadowed by the stress and worry accompanying the trip. And yes these small moments were worth every bit of stress.

I’ll just jot it all down and get the negativity over-with asap. There was the 12+ hour drive with restless kids, a potentially carsick teenager and a ticking time bomb of a husband with all his back and hip problems. The struggle of familiarity of food and trying to be healthy so we all felt good, the outbursts of not feeling good because of said food, trying to keep the 3 Sherwood ghosts from frying like dried worms on a sidewalk and from being swept into the strong ocean currents constantly! Oh ya there was a shark sighting! Sleep oh essential sleep…just yikes. Cooking and cleaning too! Hello that’s not a vacation! Random and seriously unfortunate spout of Lucie throwing up (poor girl) and then of course all the car troubles! More on that later! But now for the positive stuff! Cuz it really was fun amidst all these things!

It started out with a night at Grandma and Grandpa’s and the kids pulled out their legos. It was a family affair. Plus we love visiting this home and the people in it.

 

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When we got to Vegas David was in dire need of deadlifts which are the like the one thing that make him (and his hips) feel better. There was nothing to be found by way of platform and barbells around so we got creative and tried to deadlift the back end of the cars. He got them up but he couldn’t straighten out his hips at the top which is the crucial part so it didn’t really work. ūüôā

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We ended up going to a local gym on the way out for about 20 mins so he could deadlift. And it worked! He was miraculously good for the remainder of the trip to Cally!

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And so were these boys.

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This is me attempting to relax and read on the beach. Fleeting. I don’t think I ever got past chapter one.

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Toys in the beach house were ALMOST more entertaining than the beach. Almost.

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Walk from our house to the beach…not far at all.

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Watching the sunsets

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Lucie and Lachlan were champion boogie boarders. And they had fun doing it.

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Sandcastles of course!!

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Papa taking a turn!

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We tried to make planking and push ups a nightly tradition. Can’t decide if sand makes it harder or easier!

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Olive makes the cutest photo bomber ever!img_20160928_182523

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Twirling in the sand!

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And we all fell down!

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“Mimi, will you take me to the water!!?” William

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Our last few moments in the sand and water. It was bittersweet for me. And on the way home our trusty Acura decided to give up the ghost in none other than ‘Death Valley’. It’s like the most unoriginal thing ever. But man did it make for good memories.

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Waited for our tow truck a little over 2 hours while we sent our kiddos off with Mimi and Papa. Tow truck took us to the rental car place where I jumped out and not so easily rented a car to take us to Ogden. But not before we emptied our car and tried some last ditch efforts on our car that were unsuccessful. We drove tired eyed to St. George and crawled into bed.

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Next morning we packed the kids in the rental and headed home. Before we had to drop Lucie off in Salt Lake we were lucky enough to meet this cutie at a gas station in Beaver and have some fun with him.

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Instead of renting another car in Ogden to Logan my awesome brother came and rescued us with his big ol truck…transfer all the stuff…again!!!

All in all a pretty fun time for the kids. I need to learn how to relax a little more on vacations because not taking them in not an option.

Despite my blog title I’m definitely not California Dreamin right now. Just Dreamin. ūüôā

10 Things about Me

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  1. I’m a worry wart. A pretty bad one. But I have come a long way. My motivation to change was ironically the worry that I would make myself ill by worrying too much. “Give it to God and go to bed” is my new motto.
  2. If my life turned into the movie, Sliding Doors, my alternate life would consist of me being a member of the FBI or some other equally awesome group and being so good that I get taken up the ranks and turn into some completely badass (who swears) woman who fights the bad guys and saves innocent lives.
  3. Sometime in the very near future I plan on taking adult ballet classes. I’ve been obsessed with this form of dance since I can remember. I don’t care if I’m old and too tall. I’m doin’ it!
  4. Even today when I think of my mission and being ‘Sister Stephenson’, my eyes well up and I can wallow in sadness, gratitude, despondency and joy¬†all at the same time. What an incredible experience (once in an eternity even) and I still wonder if I’ll ever ‘meet’ Sister Stephenson again in all her power and authority.
  5. The depth of my love for music is in measurable. And to say that my sense of smell is dominant compared to my other senses is a understatement. Here is something to chew on….Can you imagine if songs had smells? Oh I can. What a world that would be.
  6. I really hate chard…and I don’t care for rice.
  7. There is a name for it, Thalassophobia. Yup. I got it.
  8. I’ve broken my collar bone, had 3 stitches under my chin, had my widsom teeth removed and I have a mild form of Pectus excavatum. ¬†One rib cage is kinda concave or lower than the other. Cool eh?
  9. I would rather eat chard than watch a violent movie. I DESPISE them. What nonsense.
  10. I love being a ‘step mom’. I’ve never felt like one. Just ‘mom’ to sweet Lucie who has called me that since she was 5. I feel so honored and blessed that I’ve been able to learn and grow in ways I wouldn’t have had she otherwise not been in my life. I love my Lucie Lu.

IS it really ‘Social’ Media?

I’m back. It’s strange how our lives go through ebbs and flows isn’t it? ¬†The last 9 months or so I couldn’t even dream of writing on my blog. I didn’t have once ounce of desire. And now it’s changing.

I’ve been going through what I¬†like to call a social media identity crisis. Let me try to explain. Me and Social Media (FB, Instagram etc) just don’t really ‘get’ each other. We’ve been trying to make it work but mostly it just ends up giving me the finger. But this is because I was judging it for what it wasn’t. I thought it was a friend, a confidant and no one likes being something they are not so why wouldn’t we be butting heads?

Well I’ve come to realize what SM really is…TO ME. And we are getting along better now. ¬†Mostly because I am trying to ignore it and it’s… well it’s always ignored me. ¬†Things in my life have changed because of this new found info.

I have some hypotheses.

Do you ever miss the 90’s? The 80’s? The aspects of it that didn’t include SM, smartphones and being so connected? Having to call someone’s home to get a hold of them and if they weren’t there leaving a message? Maybe needing to use a payphone in an emergency? Don’t they seem like simpler times? I miss them.

My theory is that Facebook and other social media platforms (whatever you call them…I don’t know!!) will one day be the thing we (humankind) look back on and say, ‘oh ya that was why this happened or got so bad. This probably wasn’t the best way.’ ¬†I don’t know maybe I am crazy or wrong or both.

But there is something to be said about being so connected with a WORLD that we once weren’t capable of being connected with. It wasn’t something that we were prepared for. Our minds, hearts and spirits weren’t coded to take on such a load of information, feelings, opinions, of an entire WORLD! (This obviously will be different from person to person but I believe it to be true for most¬†people even if it’s masked by the pride of ‘being informed’ or whatever.)

Not long ago¬†it wasn’t so easy to touch a screen and see the HORRIBLE THINGS going on across the world. It doesn’t make it any less horrible if you don’t see it but it does make living YOUR life a bit easier. Selfish? No, I say it’s SMART. Because then you are in a better place to actually do something about it…if that turns out to be what your calling is.

Sure, we are supposed to be there for others, help others.¬†I realize there is a balance between being educated and informed and being ignorant and it’s important for each of us to find that balance. ¬†I believe however that most of what goes on in Social Media serves no purpose…meaning no one means to do anything about it other than just spread the news and tag their opinion on about it. What does this do? ¬†Nothing but spread fear and dispel hope.

Just until about 20 years ago we all lived in our own sphere and that’s what we knew and that’s what God intended. He put us there after all. ¬†He wants us to better that sphere and if our sphere extends further out into¬†the world then what an amazing experience it would be! If not, at least we have lived in our sphere the best we could. But somewhere along the way our spheres got all screwed up.

I believe we’re here for each other, to lift and serve others, to care for, be concerned for and share memories with people…here’s the kicker…. IN THE FLESH. In OUR¬†spheres. That’s where our influence is needed and means the most. SM is a sphere messer upper. Suddenly our spheres become as big as the world’s sphere, the same as everyone else’s and blurry. Do you see it? Suddenly we are bombarded with too many emotions, information, duties, callings, problems, etc.. The list goes on and our little sphere that was once there is gone.

The people who you find yourself immediately around, the neighbors around you, your coworkers, your family, the people from your church or community project, the ones you even see and associate with around town. Flesh. Not fabricated, incomplete images and words of someone. They need you. Right now they need you. If your life leads you to helping and solving the political problems of of this nation other nations or states then that’s amazing but chances are right now your little sphere needs you more. IN THE FLESH.

What’s going to happen when we don’t have flesh to flesh connections anymore? What happens when there are no individual spheres being taken care of?

And don’t sit there and think this will never happen because of course it will. It already is.

We may be inclined to use Facebook because we do YEARN for a connection with someone. It’s a natural desire. And FB has made it so easy to do so. But it’s not real. We need to break free from it and make the connection real. CALL that person. RECONNECT with them. GO TO LUNCH with them. ¬†TRAVEL a few (hundred) miles to do so. Plan, save and look forward to it. ¬†IT MEANS SO MUCH MORE. Don’t you think?

God didn’t intend us to be so disconnected with those who are immediately around us so that we can be falsely connected with everything and everyone else. We need each other. Your neighbor needs your assuring voice, your cousin needs your warm hug, your brother in law¬†could use a playful gesture and your body language, your friend needs to hear and see your tears with them.

I’ve noticed in myself that the use of SM¬†can cause loss of confidence, loss of reality. ¬†It can cause a deep loss of hope that I’m pretty sure is not natural. ¬†Being exposed to the worlds every crisis and tragedy so easily can be very damaging.

I am all for helping but no help is being dealt by sitting at our phones and computers and sharing our opinions. We need to get up and step OUT ¬†INTO our WORLDS, RECREATE OUR SPHERES. To our homes, to our communities and find ways to accomplish what we believe will HELP. ¬†Let’s help make the REAL WORLD a better place..ONE SPHERE AT A TIME.

I fear if the world continues to use SM the way it is now, we are on a bad path. Can you see it?

Please don’t mistake these opinions and words as something that I’ve mastered and am somehow now qualified to teach the rest of the world. I still need help and practice and I can’t do it alone. SM is addicting and is going to be very hard to break free from. And maybe breaking free from it completely isn’t realistic or the whole answer but I do know that Social Media is not the¬†way to the¬†answer. And may even be blocking it from our view. If we can make subtle changes and bring it down significantly I believe new things will be brought to our sight.

I am going to continue this thought process and see what additional ideas and solutions I can come up with. When I have some I’ll share them. Please share any ideas/thoughts you have as well. We need to get back some of the pre-SM aspects of life.¬†We need to take out the ‘media’ of it and just be more social.