Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What message I choose to find...

I've seen lots of hullabaloo over frozen as of late. Lots of off the wall analysis of what it all means. The hidden agendas, the devils that Disney is imprinting into our children etc. I decided I wanted to get my peace out "on paper".

 So I've discussed this with my spousal unit, and we decided we adore the movie. The music is phenomenal, the story line is amazing and well done. We love the characters and most certainly LOVE the empowerment that Disney provides our children, daughter and sons alike.

Elsa is not the first princess who is hidden away, remember a certain blonde named Cinderella? How about that cute little black haired chick, what's her name? Ah, yes! Snow White. So this whole coming out of the closet agenda is crap.

Elsa is born with her gift.. the little troll asks born with it or cursed? We see right off she is born with a gift that no one quite knows how to deal with. She and her parents are counseled to not let fear get in the way. She is told that fear will be her biggest downfall. I don't know about you, but for me raising my children can be extremely crazy scary at times.  I have children who are gifted. I have children who are gifted WITH learning disabilities and emotional behavioral disorders. I can choose to teach them to embrace their gifts and stare their challenges in the face, OR I can hide them away, teach them to conceal their shortcomings, hide their gifts and talents so no one ever knows there is anything amazing about them. By embracing their gifts and facing challenges life throws at them, I am teaching them to know how to love themselves. I am teaching them how to be accepted and loved for who they are. ALL OF WHO THEY ARE.  Fear made the King and Queen hide Elsa away, they were afraid that people wouldn't accept her for who she was. She learned to fear, conceal her gifts and talents, and cower away in a room where no one could get close enough to really know who she is.  It is only until her secret is out that she feels freed from having to hide away. She finally embraces the take me or leave me attitude that I think all children should be taught. I want my children to be who they are, to not let anyone's thoughts change who God made them. I want them to love who they are, be confident that they are fabulous people and embrace that if someone chooses not to see that or doesn't like it; they can take it or leave it but they aren't going to conform to what others want them to be.

Next we come to dearest Anna. She is so cute and naive. She is starved for love and affection. She craves companionship, to the point of fantasizing about finding her true love in one night. Disney has often done this, the princess meets the prince, they fall in love and ta-da! Happily ever after. This time though, it's different. Disney is FINALLY helping our little girls realize that not all fairy tales need to end in meeting that boy and marriage after one date. I love that consistently throughout the movie Anna keeps getting told she can't marry someone she just met. Her sister, who Anna desperately seeks affection and approval from is the first. You can see she is hurt and that Elsa is just being mean. Then you see Kristoff tell her the same thing! Then he proceeds to point out why, asking questions and pointing out disgusting habits that guys might have etc. Never before have we seen our princesses having to think about what happens when we meet someone and get married without really knowing them.

Anna is filled with love, this is clear. She is confident she can help her sister because she loves her. She is positive she won't hurt her because Anna loves Elsa. Anna seeks out her sister, gives her all trying to save her. Elsa doesn't want to be saved, she doesn't want to go back to the isolation she'd felt for the past decade or so. I know that having family is love, loving when you get burned, loving when no one else would. Loving with the thought that surely they wouldn't hurt you. Sometimes though, through disappointment, anger, words said that aren't thought through, the hurt comes. However unintentional it might be, it can come. Most of the time we never see it on the horizon, but it strikes us to the core. We have to find it in ourselves to let the hurt go. That hurt can ruin us. That hurt can breed hate and coldness in our hearts. Anna we see struggles, she thinks she can find the resolution in someone else only to find that they burn her as well. She never asks for an apology, expects Elsa or anyone else after that to give her something to make things right. She finds that forgiveness, extends it and the true love that saves her is her own.

Kristoff, he's a new sort of character. He is a great supporting role. He teaches my boys that it's OK to work along side a strong female and be important, without being walked over.  He is witty, kind, loving, and has a great sense of duty and chivalry. He keeps his word, even when that ends up loosing his sled that he put so much work into.  Sometimes keeping our word is so much more important then what we may have to give up in order to do so. Kristoff also teaches my boys that again, fairy tales don't have to end in a wedding and happily ever after once the princess is saved. That it's ok to get to know who you are interested in before you jump head first into marriage.

I am not touching the Oakin claim beyond this; I believe he was acknowledging the family that was partaking in his sauna special. I do not think he was acknowledging HIS family. If he was, so what? Do we breed hatred for others? Do we teach our children that how someone feels and chooses to express themselves, no matter how much we may disagree with it, is deserving of hate and unkindness? I teach my children that our Heavenly Father teaches us to love all mankind, that it's not our place to pass judgement lest they may be judged severely.

I choose to see this movie as a brilliant lesson. I think the music is amazing, the storyline very appropriate, and the characters all endearing and lovely. I see empowering young ladies, strong young men, stupid wicked cute snow men, reindeer, and rock trolls.  I am happy to let my children watch this movie, listen to the soundtrack, and openly quote it.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Surgery imminent.

I can remember from a very young age times I have sat in bed with fevers so high I would hallucinate, the room would spin, and the floor would fall out from under me. I remember reactions from antibiotics that I was allergic to, swim and dive meets that I had to miss, and many play dates spent in bed with a throat so raw and tonsils so swollen I couldn't swallow.

I had the opportunity when I was 7 to have my tonsils removed, my mom passed. For that I thank her every day. The doctor wanted to remove them in office under local anesthetic via the cold steel method. Gratefully she said no. But, because of that I spent a good portion of the rest of my childhood sick with strep throat or some other form of throat infection and suffered from sleep apnea.

I remember my 8th grade school year. I was anxious to start yet another new school. I was so excited to be in a different place, I actually really wanted to be there. I woke that morning for school with tonsils so swollen they gagged me, I could hardly swallow, and talking was essentially out of the question. I got myself ready for school and hopped on the bus. I spent the whole day at school completely miserable. I am sure I infected a good few of my classmates with strep, but I didn't want to miss yet another thing because I was sick.

So here I am, nearly 33 years old, embarking on an operation that should have been ventured more then 20 years ago! I am apprehensive of the pain that will be involved. I am for sure NOT looking forward to the recovery time. I am looking forward to the weight loss benefits. I am 100% looking forward to the relief of throat infections and room in my throat to breathe.

It took some doing and lots of visits to the ENT to get this ball rolling and surgery scheduled. He drug his feet, ordered a slew of tests, and finally scheduled surgery. On 2/27, Thursday morning I'll be rid of these infection harboring lumps of uselessness in my throat. I will also be enduring a turbinate reduction at the same time. These two procedures should allow for better airways and a significant reduction of symptoms and a road to easier breathing, less need for antibiotics, and a better quality of life for me.

I will see if I feel so grateful for the surgery on Friday or Saturday =o)

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

I don't want to be like "SHE" any more!

I never thought being an adult would be so hard. I remember wishing and pleading for my childhood and teenage years to be over so I could be an adult. I wanted the husband, the family and everything else I thought an adult did. What I did not bargain for was the immense desire to be successful, to not struggle, to be the very best you can be, and even yet be better then you think you are. I never realized I'd have set myself these unattainable goals and then be so upset with myself for not reaching them.

I never imagined I'd compare myself to someone else and decide my way needed to be like their way. That I would tear myself down with these feelings of needing to do things the way "SHE" does them.  Now this "SHE" I speak of, well it's not just one person. It's like 500! It's every person I see who I think has it more together then me, in some way or another.

I sit here in front of my keyboard tonight pondering. I ponder why it is that we are so desirous to be like someone else. Why do we, as women, tear ourselves down, beat our selves up, kick our own butts, set these insane goals to be like "SHE". We do this and all the while "SHE" is doing the same flippin thing! Because of course "SHE" is a woman too. We have these pictures of women to live up to, but much to often they are made up or one sided.

We rely on social media to tell us what or how everyone is doing. We profile stalk, blog stalk, twitter stalk, and the ever dreaded pinterest stalk. We do these things to get ideas on how to be a better us. But really all we are doing is tearing ourselves down. I have so much to be proud of, so much that I can share with the world. I know deep down I'm probly pretty spectacular. But on the surface, I'm not so sure... I can't name five things that I think are stellar about me. I can't name five things that I really do great and could share that with the world. But I surely could name those things about any number of my female friends or even acquaintances. Sadly, I  know I'm not alone. I have, like many many other women, become victim of working on becoming like "SHE".

I have struggles that many will not. I have had struggles that many will never see. I have gifts and talents and things to share, but haven't because I have this immense feeling of not being good enough.

I don't want to be like "SHE" any more! I want to work on embracing me. Changing the things I can, embracing what I can't. Instill in my daughter that she just needs to be her. She shouldn't strive or want to strive to be like "SHE". That as a daughter of our Heavenly Father, she is amazing. She is of divine creation. Her spirit is just her own. No one will possess exactly the same talents, strengths, and weaknesses as she does; but that is exactly how it is supposed to be. The only way to do that is to embrace the things I want to teach my daughter and instill in her myself.   

So I will work hard on my list of 5, how about you?

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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Why I know there is a God.

So I recently heard the phrase, "if there was a God we'd have (money or insert what ever you want here)".  I was heart broken to hear it, and then realized that I needed to make sure that I had taught my kids different. I want them to know that life isn't about having things, having money, or getting everything and anything we want. If you always had everything handed to you, you would NEVER know when to express gratitude. If you never feel sorrow, how could you know you were experiencing joy? If you never suffered pain, how could you identify pleasure?

I have always tried to be that middle. I have always wanted my kids to be happy and to give them the things they want, but not everything they want without any work. I have mostly succeeded I think, I know I have given in a few times when I shouldn't have. I know there were times when working mommy syndrome kicked in.

I know for sure they are gaining life altering experience right now. With Daddy as a full time student, we are learning that instant gratification is NOT happening. We came to Idaho with nearly nothing. We left tons of things in Georgia, we've had to learn to give up tons.

I have noticed that my children are smiling more. They enjoy life, and being outside. We may not have oodles of money, but they for SURE are experiencing joy that has been suppressed for quite some time because of where we lived.

We have been blessed with a home, food in our tummies, people who love and care for us, and each other. I know there is a God because he has given me these things and the experiences and opportunities to recognize them.

 I'll gladly give up stuff so that I can see my children's smiling faces.

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

The difference a year makes..

It's been a year. What seems like maybe indeed the longest year of my life, a year none the less.

It started on May 22 with some weird tingling in my toes after a rather long ride in the car. I have back problems from a former car accident and just assumed I had been in the car too long. By the 24th the numbness and tingling had traveled up my body taking more and more of my feeling with it. I went to the ER that day, scared to death that something really really bad was happening.  I posted this on facebook that night:

"at Athens Regional Medical Center, being admitted for who knows how long. Saw neurologist he seemed worried but didn't know just yet what to say. MRI and other various tests in the scared to death"

I don't even know if Brian knew how truly scared I was, and I don't think I'll ever truly know how scared he was. 

I went through MRI scans, heart monitoring, a failed lumbar puncture, a lumbar puncture under fluoroscopy, and finally on June 29th a diagnosis. Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) was first described by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot in 1868. Yet, after more than 140 years of research into the disease, much remains a mystery. There is no known cause, and as yet, no cure. However, there are treatments that can slow the progress of the disease and manage the symptoms, and new research is expanding our understanding of this unpredictable illness.

What is MS?   for the quick explanation think of an electrical cord that has been chewed by a dog. The plastic coating has been damaged and while some of the wires are exposed the lamp works but the light may flicker but still sorta works, then once you wrap it up with electrical tape it works better and maybe only flickers when it's moved or messed with. Your nerves have a fatty coating called myelin and it protects your nerves. MS means multiple scars...your immune system attacks the myelin and exposes your nerves causing nerve damage. As the myelin heals it scars up and then protects the nerve again. It doesn't make the damage go away but can make some of the symptoms lessen. When you over exert or get too hot or too cold it can make symptoms re-surface or existing ones worse.

The course of the disease varies greatly from person to person. It is impossible to predict the severity or progression in any given individual. To better develop appropriate management plans, MS is divided into four classifications:


MS comes with a whole slew of symptoms and they all pretty much suck. 
I currently exhibit fatigue, neuropathy isolated to my arms and hands, tactile and sensory issues, and some cognitive and emotional dysfunction.

If you have questions ask me.. if you have judgements, flippant remarks, unkind words, or general snarkiness please leave those things at the door. I did not do this to myself, being overweight didn't cause it, drinking diet anything didn't cause it (FYI I don't' drink diet anythings, they taste gross and make my throat feel funny). I know I need to loose weight, eat better, exercise more, those things don't happen over night. It's not OK to hurt feelings so sometimes your "good intentions" or things you say "out of love" really hurt. If you don't understand how it works, can come about etc ask! I may not have an answer and I may need to try to search it out but I'd much rather questions then judgements.

I know it's hard to deal with a disease that will not get better, and in fact over time will only get worse. It's hard to process what life will be like, at least for me that is the case. It's hard to think about all the what if's. What if I loose the ability to walk, talk, see, use my hands all together? These are all very real things that could happen.  Luckily for me I have a fantastic spouse who helps to keep me grounded.

I have recently decided to try to go to school. My passion is photography, I wavered assigning that as my major because I got a case of the what if's. He told me to do it any how, even without MS I could loose the use of my hands or even my life at any given time Heavenly Father decides to call me home.

So this coming year I hope to be working on my degree, strengthening my family bonds, striving to be the best mother I can be, to be a better wife, and most importantly to not dwell so much on the what if's of life and just LIVE.

My life is forever changed, but it is NOT over and I will do and be all that I can until I am called home to my Father in heaven.

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Friday, May 03, 2013

I entered a contest...

I entered a contest for the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation. I wrote quickly and from my heart. I never expected to win anything, just to get my heart out there... While I didn't win the grand prize, I did win a runner up prize .

I never imagined the challenges that I would have being faced with this condition. I never imagined having to relearn to be me, to do what I do, and to be happy with who I am. I am constantly still relearning limits, trying to push through, and forever working on body image.

 I have lost a lot of who I am; one thing no one can take from me was my God given gift of motherhood. Even when my babies don't need me any more, or don't think they need me any more, I will still be their mother. I have memories to cherish, memories to make, dreams that have came true, and dreams yet to have.

I am ME, I am not going ANYWHERE anytime soon!

The topic : Before and After adapting to MS. How I continued to fill a need in my life when MS got in the way.

Before MS I was able to snuggle, stroke, and lavish in the stolen moments of their slumber. I took for granted being able to feel their delicate skin, to stroke their soft hair. I never realized I needed those moments as a mother. I just took them because it was easy. I stole those moments when they were still and quiet.

After MS I lost the feeling in my hands, I have neuropathy in my arms and hands. Most days the pain is so significant I can't even touch my own clothing. I have learned to adapt by stealing snuggle moments while they are awake, I use my cheek to feel close to them because it has feeling. I write in my blog to get out the frustrations of my loss. I have however gained an appreciation for those moments I did get and for the new ones I am creating with them because at least I have them.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The African Tribe

There is a tribe in Africa where the birth date of a child is counted not from when they were born, nor from when they are conceived but from the day that the child was a thought in its mother’s mind. And when a woman decides that she will have a child, she goes off and sits under a tree, by herself, and she listens until she can hear the song of the child that wants to come. And after she’s heard the song of this child, she comes back to the man who will be the child’s father, and teaches it to him. And then, when they make love to physically conceive the child, some of that time they sing the song of the child, as a way to invite it.

And then, when the mother is pregnant, the mother teaches that child’s song to the midwives and the old women of the village, so that when the child is born, the old women and the people around her sing the child’s song to welcome it. And then, as the child grows up, the other villagers are taught the child’s song. If the child falls, or hurts its knee, someone picks it up and sings its song to it. Or perhaps the child does something wonderful, or goes through the rites of puberty, then as a way of honoring this person, the people of the village sing his or her song.

In the African tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them.

The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.

And it goes this way through their life. In marriage, the songs are sung, together. And finally, when this child is lying in bed, ready to die, all the villagers know his or her song, and they sing—for the last time—the song to that person.

So as parents not a member of this particular tribe, I struggle when I have to punish my kids. I ask my self often when my kids do wrong how do I respond? Well it has depended on the offense most times. In my house hitting seems to be quite often the offense, I don't do hitting. I especially don't do boys hitting girls. EVER, my boys are to love and respect women and that love and respect starts with their sister. There is bickering, there is disobedience and those are usually dealt with with time outs and extra chores depending on how old you are.  

I have yelled too much, I have spanked, I have resorted to punishments that I have never thought I'd ever do. I am human. I am over worked, under paid, and stretched thin when it comes to this mothering business. I love my children with all my heart and there are some days I want to take a mommy break but in the end I wouldn't change my life for all the world. Still there are times I struggle KNOWING that I've made and are making the right decisions when it comes to molding my children into the people they need to become.

I have most recently had to deal with an incident with my oldest that I never dreamed I'd face.  I found myself furious, hurt, scared, and then all I wanted to do was wrap him in love. I didn't want to punish him; no thoughts of grounding, details, sentences, or any other sort of our typical punishments for wrong doing came to mind. I just wanted him to know he was loved. I wanted him to feel safe, secure, and to feel his most magnificent self worth. I wanted him to feel his Heavenly Fathers love as well. I needed him to know that no matter the wrong doing he still had worth, and even still his worth was more precious and costly then any gem or gold in the world. 

This response triggered some deep thoughts on my worth and my place in this world. The first was that I really didn't know what I was doing but by darned I sure was trying my hardest to help my little ones turn into pretty spectacular big people. That as human as I am, even my self worth as a person, daughter, and mother were equal to my own children. I wasn't worth more or less and that in our Heavenly Fathers eyes we are all his children and worth every effort that He has put into us. I KNEW my children were worth every piece of my heart and soul I poured into them. What I was having trouble feeling, was that I was worth every piece that MY parents and Heavenly Father had put into me. 

So while I try to repair my skewed view on my own self worth, I'd encourage everyone to find peace. KNOW that you are worth every bit of heart and soul that were poured into you. If no one else, your Heavenly Father sees your worth and He pours every piece of his divine work into you because you ARE worth it. Especially when we make mistakes. 

I wish our society could adopt some features of that African tribe, that during crucial life experiences and transitions, we are shown more love then disappointment.  You know though when you are in tune with who you are supposed to be and when you are not. When you are feeling on top of the world, you are more closely in tune with who you are supposed to be, when you are feeling awful then you are not. 

Sing your song, keep singing it even if it's out of tune in parts...A great musician recognizes when they are out of tune and makes adjustments to be in tune by the end of the song.

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