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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Saturday, April 06, 2013

General Conference and making the boy blog

I love getting to hear the general authorities  speak. I love that we have opportunity to listen to the prophet and apostles speak to us, delivering messages to use for us in our time. So we listen/watch at home. I love that I can listen, ponder while I take notes, write etc.  I am grateful for my Heavenly Father, for the messages from our church leaders, and for the blessings brought to my life because of it.

In other news, I make the oldest boy design a blog template. He's been reading a CSS book that his Dad gave him. I am having him use that information and design a blog template and write on a blog.

He's irritated that I am making him work on something towards a specific goal. He is so smart but direction following is sometimes hard for him. This has proven to be quite interesting in the teaching aspects. He gets frustrated it wrong that I giggle because he's so frustrated?

Once he has something decent I will post an address so you can follow his progress if you'd like.

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Wednesday, March 06, 2013


1.sad and gloomy; dejected; downcast.
2.pressed down, or situated lower than the general surface.
3.lowered in force, amount, etc.
4.undergoing economic hardship, especially poverty and unemployment.
5.being or measured below the standard or norm.
While the dictionary says depressed is an adjective, I am calling this nasty thing a noun. It is a person, place, and thing all rolled into one. I have become this noun every once in a while and I fight it ever so vigorously.  I don't want to be THAT girl. You know the one who was diagnosed with a medical condition that while isn't terminal or life threatening it sure as heck is life altering, thus life is over girl.
 The neuropathy is not worse but it certainly isn't better. I go to bed in pain, wake up in pain, and depending on the degree usually end up with severe pain mid day.  There is medicine that might work better for the neuropathy but it's expensive so I can't try it. I don't have medical insurance so there are tests I've not had, medicine I can't get, and OT and PT I can't do because of it. My Dr. won't prescribe or even try something I can't afford, he said that would be like torture. Brian got a new job so maybe soon when the insurance kicks in I might be able to find some sort of relief.

I was taking this medicine, it's an old school anti-depressant. It helped a little but not a whole lot. The dr upped the dosage but all the medicine really succeeded in doing is making me numb. Emotionally numb that is. I couldn't feel anything emotionally. I had highs that should have been grand but I just didn't feel them. I didn't feel the lows either. I guess not feeling the lows was ok-ish. I stopped taking that medicine. The effects didn't out weigh the benefits. I didn't like not feeling emotions. Brian said that it wasn't pleasant to deal with me on them, and I was markedly different. 

When I stopped those meds everything felt on fire from the shoulders down. That was a 24hr sensation for about two months. I am now starting to be out of that constant on fire feeling. There are days when I am more stressed that it comes back with a vengeance. Those days I don't do much. I don't want to just wander emotionless through life, so this was a necessary step.

I still get depressed, and I feel it. I have plans to make, things to organize, and a life with an amazing husband and three deliciously brilliant and adorable kids to live. I won't sacrifice feeling those happy emotions to not feel the bad ones, or to not feel the physical pain.
With all those ramblings I leave you with this...
 Dust settle down, cob webs go to sleep, I'm rocking my babies and babies don't keep.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Everybody hurts...sometime

I hold this in most of the time. Today I just don't feel like it, so today I will blog about it. 

 From Family (n)
1.a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not: the traditional family.
2.a social unit consisting of one or more adults together with the children they care for: a single-parent family. 
3.the children of one person or one couple collectively: We want a large family.
4.the spouse and children of one person: We're taking the family on vacation next week. 
5.any group of persons closely related by blood, as parents, children, uncles, aunts, and cousins: to marry into a socially prominent family. 
6.all those persons considered as descendants of a common progenitor. 

I don't know what causes one to deepen or change what the dictionary meaning of a word is. I don't know why I had invested such meaning into the word, but I just did.

What I thought Family meant: 
Family was a group of related beings(brothers, sisters, mom, dad, aunts, uncles,and cousins) that were there and reliable, loving, caring, and if you could count on no one else, you could count on your family

What I have come to find it can mean: 
People who don't talk to one another unless they need or want something. Back biting and trashing of those who aren't there to defend themselves. Judgmental pow-wow's about what they think someone is going through. Hurtful comments made to one member about another. Showing more care for unrelated people then your own family. 

But I also know that family doesn't have to be related. Some of the most amazing "family" I can count on are not related to me by blood AT ALL. It can mean people who care about you even though you are separated by many miles and only can connect via internet and phone, A home and visiting teacher who were once assigned to care that turn into ones who genuinely care and you can turn to for anything, A "friend" who you've met online and never in person but they are the first to ask what they can do to help. 

When I got sick, I never thought that it would be those friends who are family checking on me, caring for me, caring about my kids and husband. I never thought that my own flesh and blood family wouldn't do those things. I never thought I'd meet such opposition or distrust or judgmental attitudes from them either. I struggle daily. I know I am not perfect, I know I have faults. But I also know that I have feelings that are hurt because instead of talking to me I have family who talks amongst themselves to decide how bad off I am. Instead of trying to understand what's happening with me, they compare me to every "other person with MS they know".

 MS effects each person differently, it can damaged any one of the many nerves in your body to any degree. There is no typical or standard. I wish I could be like one of those every other people with MS that it doesn't grossly effect their lives. But up until I was diagnosed, I only knew one person with MS, and I am so beyond grateful that my MS isn't to that extent. 

 I pray that with time it will get better. I pray that the nerve damage heals more, that I learn to cope with my disabilities better. I pray that I get to feel the way I did before. I pray that I have good days and that I will remember to be thankful for them. I pray that I can learn to forgive those who have hurt me, as well that those who I have hurt will forgive me. I am thankful for those friends who have become family to me in the way I'd expect family to be. I am thankful for my real family too, I just wish that I things could be different. Maybe in time this too shall pass but until then, I hurt, and some of that hurt is deeper then others. 

The emotional hurt sometimes is worse then the physical.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love is in the air...

Love - a wildly misunderstood although highly desirable malfunction of the heart which weakens the brain, causes eyes to sparkle, cheeks to glow, blood pressure to rise and the lips to pucker.  ~Author Unknown
 Love is a  grand thing. Love can span any distance known to man, it can break down walls that otherwise would be rock solid, it can turn men into a puddle of mushy goo, and turn tears into laughter. Love is just a beautiful thing. 

Love also comes in all shapes, sizes, and flavors. You love your kids, but not the same way you love your spouse or significant other. You love your friends, but not the same way you love your mother.

A hallmark holiday or not, I love love, and I LOVE valentines day.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

There is more yet to come..

First off, RELAX and don't get too excited...There is indeed more yet to come for us and our Humlettes.

 Rest easy it's not happening any time soon. I have had this argument with myself, my mother about having more kids. I ultimately would like at least one more. My Mom flipped her lid because in her mind I can't have any more kids because I have MS. I have had to remind her that I have had MS my whole life, I was only just diagnosed with it.

When I went to my follow up with my neurologist this past week we discussed this issue. Not because I am chomping at the bit to have more kids right now, but because he was considering changing my medicines. I get large welts after every injection. The welts last for two to three days and I get a bout a two to three day reprieve before I have to start all over.
This was about 20 minutes after the injection, it's the size of an egg. By the next day it will expand to the size of a baseball about and be sore, then turn a purplish color.

So Dr. Pitts asked if we planned on having more kids. First I was kinda shocked that he asked (because I felt like MS had taken that too), but I put out a non-committal answer of "Well we'd like to have more but we don't know where that will go."  He was asking because while the oral med doesn't have the skin reaction side effects, it is contra indicative to women of childbearing years if they plan on having more children. Copaxone is considered a category B drug, one that isn't tested on pregnant women but in lab tests for animals it doesn't effect their young. The pregnancy registry turned up no adverse effects. He said it's possible and certainly ok if we want more kids it just takes some planning. Stopping meds etc. Since I do not get pregnant easily, he wants me to keep taking it until I find out I am pregnant and then stop until I have consulted with a maternal fetal specialist.

Now I have the ok to have a baby, I do not feel my family is complete, but I also do not feel like right this second is the time to try to have another baby. We have plans that we hope to know about shortly and then we can talk about our family.

 The biggest thing for me is that the one thing that really means the world to me are my children and being a mother. I felt like MS has taken so much from me, that having more kids was going to be one more thing gone. Now I know..

There is more yet to come!


I was given so many blessings this year, I felt the need to write them all down.

We have a home, Brian has a job, I have healthy children. I could go on about all the "normal" things one is grateful for but that would be boring. I want to share my gratitude a little deeper.

To start, I am grateful for my family, not just my children and my husband. I am grateful for my WHOLE family. Mom, Dad, Brothers, Sisters, Aunts, Uncles , Grandparents...EVERY single one of them. Being the youngest of 8 really has been an adventure. We have had trials, triumphs, failures, arguments, disagreements all the normal sibling stuff. I have prayed for each one of them every day. Some have needed more prayers then others at times. Each one of them holds a very special place in my heart.

I am thankful for our trials, not because I am some masochist or anything. I am grateful for them because it shows me that when I am at my deepest darkest hour, I have a Heavenly Father who cares enough, and loves me enough to send support. Without those trials I am not sure I would recognize these things as easily.

I am thankful for my friends, I don't have a lot of "real life" friends. I have a handful of friends whom I have never met in person, but I consider them some of the best friends I have. Whether they are the friends I have met in person or the ones I have met online, they are all sent to me to help me through these trials.

It has taken me just shy of two weeks to put these words down, I have done a lot of contemplating and planning and I really am feeling like I have a direction to point myself into. For these things