Friday, December 13, 2013

What's going on? (or in other words a SUPER LONG post about the last few weeks of my life)

Much has been happening.  Much, much, much.

At the end of November we were trying to get things in order so that we could refinance our house and lock in a better rate. (BTW ENG Lending is fabulous.  I highly recommend them).  We didn't want to borrow more money so we just went with what we owed on the house.  We were paying the closing costs and we had just enough money to cover.  Then we received a letter from our lender saying that we needed to pay $3,000 more for a "re-capture" of a current loan.   We figured we could swing that but we need to wait until Ty's next payday before we could close.  Stress levels were elevated.

Tuesday November 19 rolled around.  McKenna wasn't feeling well and wanted some apple juice.  I was busy getting ready to go to a Relief Society dinner and so I told her to take the Durango and go and get herself some apple juice.  As I stood in the kitchen about 30 minutes or so later I heard a large crashing sound.  I looked out the back door and could see that our fence gate was standing open.  We often get large gusts of wind that come through and blow it open so at first I thought "Man that was some wind!"  Then I looked at the trees and realized they were not moving.  It wasn't the wind.

McKenna had pulled into the driveway and she thought she had put the car into park.  She looked down, and leaned over to pick up the apple juice off of the floor of the passenger side, taking her foot of the brake as she did so.  When she looked up she realized she was moving and the Durango had hit into the gate.  It's a double wide gate and the East side had been knocked off it's hinges and the propane BBQ grill that was sitting in front of it had been knocked off the patio and fallen over.

Thankfully she was unhurt and we were able to get the gate back on the swing hinge.  I picked up the BBQ grill and attempted to light it but at this point it looks like it's a casualty.  I'm not proud to say that my first instinct was not to tell my husband about this.  I said to McKenna "Well just don't say anything to your dad."  A few minutes later though I had to retract those words.  I told her she really did need to let her dad know what had happened and she could either call him or she could wait until he got home.  She chose to tell him about it over the phone.

Both of the girls had been feeling poorly for a while so on Thursday November 21, I decided they needed to be seen by the doctor.  He confirmed that they needed antibiotics and we headed back home.  It was 4 p.m. as we drove on 1100 North heading East we were approaching an intersection (600 West)  that is notorious for accidents.  I never like driving through that intersection when there are vehicles waiting to cross traffic so I always pay close attention.  Vehicles traveling East and West do not have a stop sign, so if you are traveling North or South you have to stop.

There was a blue and gray truck, sitting at the stop sign on my right and a white car pulled up to the stop sign to the left of the intersection heading South.  It stopped completely so I was feeling pretty safe.  The speed limit is 35 mph on that road and that's what I was doing.  The white car then proceeded to pull away from the stop sign and into the intersection.  I slammed on my brakes as hard as I could and pulled the wheel to the right.  I think that the passenger in the white car and the squealing of my brakes alerted the driver to my presence and she hit her brakes as well.  I did my best to try and avoid hitting her but if I had pulled any more to the right I would have gone into the truck sitting at that stop sign or possible rolled the vehicle.  

Time slowed down and sped up simultaneously.  I felt like a speeding bullet heading for that car and yet everything seemed to move in slow motion.  McKenna was sitting in the front passenger seat and Jilli was behind her in the right back seat.  We ended up hitting the white car just above the passenger side tire right on the wheel well.  We hit with the left front fender going in at an angle. Because of this neither one of the air bags deployed....for which I was grateful.  We both pulled our cars out of the intersection and off to the side of 600 West on the South side of the intersection.

My girls were shaken up but both seemed to be okay.  I got out of my car and went to speak with the driver of the other vehicle.  She was a young girl who came up to me and said "Are you guys okay?  I am so sorry!  I didn't even see you!  I'm going to be in SO much trouble! I've only had my license for a month and I'm not supposed to have any passengers!"  I assured her that we were fine and asked if she and her passenger were okay.  She said that they were. She was really upset so I gave her a hug and told her everything would be okay.

 People from the surrounding houses came out to check and see if were were alright and someone had already called the police.  I went back to my car to get my license, registration and insurance info. I couldn't find it right away and said a not so nice word, (which the girls took me to task for.) When I looked at the insurance card it was out of date. Ack!

As I was sitting there this young driver who had just pulled out in front of me comes up to me with this plastic bag full of paper work.  She hands me all of this and says "Can you help me get the papers that I need? I have no idea what I'm supposed to get."  I told her what she needed and then her mom showed up and took over.  Her mom is one of the receptionists at our Jr. High.  Ahhh, the joys of living in a small town.

The police officer asked me what had happened so I told him.  I said that I hated that intersection and he agreed with me telling me that they have had fatalities there.  He also asked me if I wanted medical attention, McKenna was complaining of collarbone and neck pain, Jillian was scared but okay, and as the adrenaline from the crash wore off my back and neck were starting to hurt as well.  So I told him yes.  The ambulance showed up and I had to get in the back while they took my vitals and everything, my heart rate was in the 90's (which for me is pretty high since I'm normally in the 50's).  The first BP they took was SUPER high but thankfully it was just the cuff.   They checked out McKenna and Jillian as she sat in the Durango and they moved Kenna to the back just in case the airbags decided to go off.  They also sent out the VERY large ladder truck from the fire department.  I think that 600 West was shut down while the ambulance was there.  It felt like overkill but I figured it would be better safe than sorry.

The medics said that we all three looked okay but asked if we wanted transport to the hospital.  I declined and said that McKenna and I would go into Instacare.  I wasn't going to pay $400 to go to the ER.  Thankfully the Durango was still functioning so we got the case number from the police and were told that the report would probably be available on the next Monday.  We drove home and I called Instacare (which is actually the same dr's office we had just come from and they told me that we could come in at 6 p.m. Then I called my insurance company and they gave me a claim number to give to Instacare. They also gave me the names and extensions of the people who would be working with me on medical claims and the auto part of it as well.

When we arrived at the dr's we had to wait a bit before we could get back in to see him.  Kenna was pretty sore and my neck and back weren't feeling too fabulous either but I was more concerned about her.  We actually saw a physicians assistant who we have seen before. (Shout out to Steve Ruiz!)  They did a cervical neck x-ray on both of as and a collarbone x-ray on McKenna as well.  My bones came through with flying colors but there was one vertebrae on McKenna's that Steve wasn't sure about so he put her in a soft neck brace and told her to wear it until the radiology department at the AF hospital could read it.

We left Instacare at 8:30 with prescriptions for anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers in hand.  Thankfully there was a drug store just a block away, with a drive thru window that was still open.  We got our meds filled and headed home.  Tired and sore but we both realized that it could have been much worse.  When we got home McKenna pointed out that we needed to take our medicine with food so I ended up having to make a box of mac and cheese because dinner had been pushed to the back burner (ha-ha) because of the accident and there wasn't much there to eat.

I took the day off from work the next day because I didn't know how sore I would be.  McKenna was a trooper and went to school.  I think she had a test that day.  Friday dawned, the kids went off to school, Ty and Jona were upstairs on their computers and I woke in bed.  I wasn't as sore as I thought I would be, thankfully.  But I knew I needed to call my insurance and get things going.  I wanted nothing more than someone else to just step in and say, "Don't you worry about a thing.  I'll take care of everything.  You just go back to sleep."  But I knew that wasn't going to happen.  So I sat up, got my notes of who I was supposed to call and started making calls.

Can I just say that USAA is awesome?  Because they really and truly are.  The people that I spoke with were genuinely concerned about me and the girls first and foremost.  I called the medical claims guy first and he was very helpful.  Then I called the guy for the auto half of it.

I don't know about you, but I'm not a "fall apart in the moment" kind of person.  I go into a calm "what needs to be done" zone and go from there.  This can be a good thing and a bad thing.  Because, while yes things get done that need to get done, the "falling apart" tends to occur at inopportune times.  Like when I was on the phone with the auto insurance claims adjuster.  And the fact that he was so sweet and kind as I basically lost it over the phone just made things worse.

And in the middle of this we were still trying to sign closing papers on our re-finance. One of the loan officers had actually called me to talk to me while I was at the scene of the accident. As I was speaking (crying) to the insurance guy, Ty came downstairs to tell me that we were, hopefully, still on to sign the closing papers.  He could see that I was upset so he sat on the bed until I got off of the phone.  And then I just broke down.  Again, I just wanted someone to take care of everything. I didn't want to be the one that was responsible.  I didn't want to have to "handle" any of this and again I knew that wasn't going to be possible.  So I cried.  And cried.  And cried some more.  Ty did his best to console me.

I got up and showered and dressed.  Made some breakfast and cleaned the kitchen.  We were waiting to hear back from ENG Lending to see if the closing was actually going to take place.  Ty had to teach a class at 4 p.m. so he told them that we needed to be done by 3:30.  I went and picked up the kids from school and Kenna was pretty sore.  We finally got word that yes the closing would be going through so we headed over to Orem to sign the papers.  I was still pretty much a weepy mess, so I'm not sure what they thought about that.  Oh well.

Saturday rolled around and it was pretty laid back. The kids went to bed and was laying in my bed doing some reading when I realized that I could hear water running.  At first I thought it was just the dishwasher going because I had started that a bit earlier.  But then I realized that it had been running for too long.  I got out of bed and and went upstairs to check the dishwasher, it said it was on the drying cycle so I knew that it couldn't be that.  I said something to Ty about hearing water running and the search was on.

We knew that if it was in the house we would be able to see the water somewhere but we couldn't see it anywhere and when we turned the water off inside the house we could still hear it running.  I asked Ty if he wanted me to call my brother to see if he had a water shut off key but he didn't want to do that.  He kept going in and out of the house saying we should be seeing water somewhere.  Finally at about 10:30 he went out and was able to shut the water off outside the house and we couldn't hear water running anymore.  We figured we would see what we could find in the morning.

Sunday morning dawned and Ty went and turned the water back on so that we could shower and get ready for church.  We knew there had to be a leak somewhere but we couldn't figure out where.  Ty kept walking around the house trying to place where it might be.  The kids and I got up and showered and dressed.  Then Ty finally came in and showered and got ready.  He said a prayer in the shower asking for help to find the leak.  When he got out and dressed he went back out to turn the water off and put down a towel to kneel on so his church clothes wouldn't get dirty.  He pulled the lid off the water meter and he could see water bubbling into the area and when he stood up and picked up the towel it was soaked.  We had found the leak.  It was in the main water line, on our side.

He looked at me and said "We don't have the money to fix this."  All we had left in the account was enough to cover our tithing for the rest of the year.  I said "Then we are going to need to ask for help.  Maybe you could say something in Elder's Quorum about it."  We climbed into the Durango and headed to church.

As we came into the chapel and sat down I could tell that Ty was struggling.  We sat on the bench and then one of the counselors in the bishopbric came up to us leaned over and said "Does Jona want to make an announcement?"  I realized that they wanted Jona to go up and announce his mission call to the Orem Digital Processing Center.  I looked at Jona and he said that, yes, he did want to go and make that announcement.

As we sang the opening hymn about Thanksgiving I began to break down and cry.  The past few days and everything was hitting me all at once.  It was difficult to sing about being thankful when SO much had gone poorly the last little while.  Then as Jona got up to share his mission call both Ty and I pretty much lost it.  We both had tears streaming down our face and Jona told the ward where he had been called to and then he bore his testimony of how the work that he had been called to do was, indeed, missionary work.  All of the pressure.  All of the heartache and worries kind of came down and I was just trying to hold together as best as I could.

I learned later that people who had been watching me had started to cry.  They were aware of how happy we were for Jona and how pleased we are with this decision that he's made so they thought that our tears and emotions were all tears of gladness and joy when, in reality, no one really knew the extent of the emotional roller coaster that we were riding.

After sacrament meeting was over Ty went to speak with the Elder's Quorum president.  And I went to lead the music in primary.  Man I love that calling.  I love hearing those kids sing.  The music and their pure spirits brought me so much comfort.  A sweet sister offered me a hug before I went in to primary.  She didn't know what was going on but she knew that I needed a hug.

After all the church meetings were over I was scrambling to talk to people to see if our kids could go and stay at other people's houses until we could get the water turned back on.  The people of our ward were amazing.  Our kids were welcomed with open arms and hearts into the homes of their friends' families.  We also were offered beds and showers.  We figured that the two of us would be okay there at home.  We had a large jug of water to drink and we had some water we could use to help "flush" the toilets if we needed to.

My sweet sister-in-law called and told us to come over to their house for dinner that night.  Jona was going to be staying at their house as well.  She fixed a delicious meal and even made lentils for Ty.  It was a nice evening spent chatting with my brother and his wife.

They had announced in Elder's Quorum that a family in the ward needed help with a leak in the water line.  Someone in the ward had access to a small backhoe and we were informed that they would be there Monday night at 5 p.m. to start digging.  We had called for an emergency blue stakes marking to happen.  I went to work Monday and came home and set to work making chili and scones for whoever showed up.  Guys started showing up right at 5 p.m. they had to wait on the backhoe a little bit but that didn't stop them.  The grabbed shovels and started digging.  The backhoe arrived and they were having a bit of a time finding the water line.   They finally located the line and the leak.  The pipe was so old that it was just rusted through.  As they would dig more holes would appear.  But they had the line dug out and ready to be fixed by 9 p.m.

I called my brother, Andy, who is a plumber and he spoke with Ty.  He said he would come over Tuesday to check it out and see what we needed.  True to his word he came, looked things over, and knew just what we would need.  He had to go to work but said he would be over as soon as he could to switch out the pipes.  He did an amazing job.  I had to work a full day that day but the we had water back on at the house by before I got off off work on Tuesday.  When Ty went to turn the water back on to the house, that was when the city side of the meter started leaking water. He called the city and they sent someone right out to take care of it.

On Monday we also heard back from the radiologist about McKenna.  They wanted her to come in and do a CT scan because it looked like there was a definite fracture on one of the vertebrae and they wanted to be more certain.  So we took her in and our dr wanted to see her on Tuesday.  We took her in and he confirmed that yes there was a fracture to the tip of the left side of the C3 vertebrae and told her she would need to be in that soft neck brace for a full month.  She could take it off at home if she was just watching tv or reading but while she was out and about she needed to be wearing it.

So much was thrown at us all at once.  And I am grateful for it all.  Each different challenge helped us grow and see the good in people who surround us.  I know that part of the reason that we had so many trials all at once is because Jona is getting ready to go through the temple and serve a mission. Satan would like nothing more than to see us down and discouraged instead of focusing on this amazing thing that is coming our way.

Through all of this we have been truly, truly watched over.  We were able to refinance the house,  the accident could have been much worse than it was, people stepped up to help us out of the tight spot with the water line, the Durango was fixed (THAT deserves it's VERY OWN post!) I could go on and on.  When I look back on this it will not be with bitterness, I think that it will be with fondness.  And I think the word that will continually come to my mind is very appropriate for the Thanksgiving season and that word is...


Wednesday, November 13, 2013


It has been a long few days.  There were moments where I didn't pay attention to details and that inattention made me feel dumb. My patience was tested and I had to decide whether to act or react. There are moments that I was not proud of.  No one else was around to see some of these specific moments, only me.  And I am so much harder on myself than anyone else is.  Other times people were there.

Yesterday McKenna reminded me that Young Women in Excellence was that night and that it was Sunday dress, I am not proud to say that I rolled my head and my eyes back and a long sigh escaped my lips.  "Mom, you don't have to go." she said.  I wanted to go, it was just one more thing coming my way and I reacted.  I wish she hadn't witnessed that. I wish I had taken action and told her how excited I was for it. Alas what was done was done.

Immediately upon finishing dinner I hurriedly slipped on a skirt and some boots, ran a comb through my hair, hopped in the front seat of the Durango and McKenna (with her newly minted licence, YAY Kenna!) drove us to the church.  They had tables all set up with the girls' projects on them.  For the first 15 to 20 minutes each girl stood by her project as parents and family members walked by and asked questions.  McKenna's project was for the value of Knowledge.  She learned how to tie a quilt. (She also learned how expensive it can be to make a quilt.)

Then we sat down for the program.  There was the opening prayer and a hymn.  We stood together and recited the Young Women's theme

Then each of the values was presented by a young woman in the ward.  McKenna did a wonderful job of her presentation on Integrity.  At this point one of the young women came forward to share her value project which was learning to play the violin.  She chose her favorite hymn "If You Could Hie to Kolob".

As this beautiful young woman stood at the front of the room full of her family and her peers and played her piece, the Spirit spoke to me.  She played that hymn on the violin imperfectly perfect. Some of the notes weren't quite right but she didn't stop, she kept on going. As she continued to play I watched her parents.  I could tell that they were pleased with her efforts.

Sitting there on the back row, I was given a small glimpse into how our Heavenly Father views us.

We each have melodies to share.  And each day we are given that chance to go out and put our melodies out there. That can be scary.  Sometimes the melodies are loud, sometimes they are soft.  Some days the melodies are bright and cheery and people are drawn to them.  Other days they are somber and dark and they seem to keep people at bay. Sometimes we hit every note and other times we fall flat, or we are too sharp and sometimes we even break down.

During all of this our Father in Heaven is sitting in the audience.  He can't play our part for us, we have to do that on our own.  So He sits.  Watching quietly, lovingly.  He sends us His support from above. We know that He is out there. There are times when may not be able to see Him because we are blinded by the footlights or the spotlight, but He is always there, sitting on the very front row, cheering us on.  It matters not to Him if your melody is large or small.  It may just be one note.  It may be that you have one particular piece that you are trying to figure out and it feels like you keep playing it, over and over and over and OVER.  He cares not.  He just loves to hear you play.  He never tires of hearing that same piece over and over.

He waits patiently for you to graduate to your next melody. He knows what our next piece will be even when we don't. It may be a major piece with many difficult and hard to understand parts or it may be a simple joyful melody.  It may last for a minute, an hour, a day, or years.

Last night I could almost envision His smile as He watched these beautiful daughters of His share the melodies that they each have.  And let me tell you. Those girls?  Their melodies?  They are rich and amazing.  Even when they are nervous about sharing they are still willing to do so.  And they are beautiful, each and every one.  There was a symphony in that cultural hall last night.

If you have time listen to this song called Glorious, it's only three and half minutes long.  It fits so perfectly. Read the lyrics as you listen, or just read the lyrics...

Written by Stephanie Mabey, Performed by Russ Dixon

There are times when you might feel aimless
And can’t see the places where you belong
But you will find that there is a purpose
It’s been there within you all along
And when you’re near it
You can almost hear it

It’s like a symphony just keep listening
And pretty soon you’ll start to figure out your part
Everyone plays a piece and there are melodies
In each one of us, oh, it’s glorious
You will know how to let it ring out

As you discover who you are
Others around you will start to wake up
To the sounds that are in their hearts
It’s so amazing
What we’re all creating

It’s like a symphony just keep listening
And pretty soon you’ll start to figure out your part
Everyone plays a piece and there are melodies
In each one of us, oh, it’s glorious

And as you feel, the notes build, you will see

It’s like a symphony just keep listening
And pretty soon you’ll start to figure out your part
Everyone plays a piece and there are melodies
In each one of us, oh, it’s glorious

Today, if you will, take a minute to listen and you will hear melodies all around you and, most importantly, within you.  Figure out what your melody is. And whatever it may be....know that He is listening and enjoying your part, He always is and He always will.

Friday, November 8, 2013

I weigh 236 pounds

Or there about.  It depends on the time of day and what I'm wearing when I step on the scales.

(And no I don't have a problem telling people my weight.  OBVIOUSLY.  It is just a number. It doesn't define who I am.)

But let's say someone was describing me to you and they told you I weighed 236 pounds how big would you imagine me to be?

Take a look at this info-graphic talking about the shrinking size of airline seats and the growing size of (I'm ASSuming) an average sized human.

Do you see that?  That extra large graphic that they have at the end.  Look closely and see what the weight is for an average female.

166 pounds.  I wish you could hear me screaming this in my head.

166 POUNDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Look at the graphic.  Look at it.  The rounded abdomen, how the arms are bowed out an around like the poor 166 POUND person couldn't put her arms straight down because....HELL... SHE IS HUGE!

Now let me tell you something else.

In college I weighed 163 pounds.  That was when I was in top physical condition.  I was a college athlete.  I worked pretty much daily.  At that weight my size was between an 8 and 10.  I felt pretty good about myself.

But hey, now? After seeing this graphic.   NOW I know better.  NOW I see what I REALLY must have looked like to everyone else.

I must have looked like a fat $#%.

So, I wonder what I look like to people now?  At 236 pounds.

Gosh I shouldn't even be able to walk.  I should be like Violet in Charlie and the Chocolate factory and have to be rolled around.

It is no wonder there so many people with body image issues.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Has it really been five years?

Five years?  That just does not seem possible.

Five years since I last saw your face, kissed your cheek and felt the roughness of your beard against my skin.

Five years since I last heard your gruff voice say my name and "Love you too" whenever we parted.

Five years since I last saw those beautiful, piercing blue eyes and that amazing grin.

 It's that time of year again.  Hunting season.  The boys have been on the mountain.  I know that they miss having you with them.  I miss hearing the excitement in your voice and the enthusiasm that you had for this time of year.

I miss you.

But I know that you are watching over your family.  I know that you are out on the mountain with your boys as much as you can be.  I know that you are busy and happy.  I know that you miss me. And I know that you want me to be happy.

I am happy, Dad.  I just miss you and that is okay.

Because I know that missing you will not last forever.

I know that I will see you again someday and I will be able to place my arms around you and give you the mightiest hug ever.

And then?

Then we will, never, ever have to say goodbye again.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sharp Right Turn Ahead

Life, it comes with twists and turns and sometimes even when we know there is a turn ahead, one that we can clearly see coming, we still aren't as prepared as we thought we were.

My oldest boy has autism.  While that was a twist in my life, one that I didn't see coming.  This is not what the post is about.

My oldest boy has autism.  To me, having autism has not limited Jona.  He is very high functioning.  He went to school and attended regular classes, even excelling in school work.  That's not to say he didn't struggle.  Jr. High was a difficult transition but isn't it for most kids?  He struggled with finding friends although the kids in his school always seemed to like him.  His Senior year he found a group of kids that welcomed him into their circle.  Which was nice.  He took drivers ed and passed and even got his learners permit to drive. He went out on a date (albeit it was only one date and the girl did the asking.)  He struggled and still struggles with the social aspects of life but he's a pretty regular young man.

Last June he graduated from High School. We are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and in our church when a young man turns 19 they are asked to serve a two year  proselyting mission (Young Women in the church can serve a mission at 21).  Nineteen (and 21) was the age, until October of 2012 when the prophet, spoke at our semi-annual General Conference and lowered the ages to 18 and 19 respectively.

I can still remember standing at the sink in my kitchen and hearing these words come through the radio...

"I am pleased to announce that effective immediately all worthy and able young men who have graduated from high school or its equivalent, regardless of where they live, will have the option of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18, instead of age 19. I am not suggesting that all young men will—or should—serve at this earlier age. Rather, based on individual circumstances as well as upon a determination by priesthood leaders, this option is now available."

I remember chills running through me and having to grasp on to the counter.  I remember having to catch my breath.  I remember thinking, "At this time next year Jona could be serving a mission."

Well it's "this time next year".  We submitted mission papers.  Because of the autism they wanted to do a pre-mission evaluation.  Jona had to fill out some questionnaires, as did Ty and I.  Then we had to go in and speak to a counselor, who basically asked us some of the same questions that we had filled out on the questionnaire.  At the end of our session with the counselor he told us that in most cases where there is a diagnosis of autism a full time proselyting mission is usually not recommended.

Going into this process we have had faith, and have said time and time again that "We know that Jona will go where he will be able to serve the best.  He will go where the Lord wants him to go."  

After the evaluation we waited.  Waited to see if a mission call would come in the mail.  Or if there would be something else.  

It turns out it was something else.  The something else came in the form of a telephone call that our Stake President wanted to meet with Jonathan.  Jona took that call and told us that they hadn't asked for us as parents to be there so when the time came for the meeting we weren't thinking we wouldn't be needed.  Ty was packing to go out of town and I drove Jona down and was waiting out in the car.  I told him that if he needed me to come out and get me.  He was in the building maybe 5 minutes before coming out and telling me that the Stake President wanted me to come in as well.

As we sat across the desk from the Stake President I was pretty sure I could see one of those life turns coming full speed ahead.  I thought I was prepared.  But when the words came out of his mouth stating that Jona was excused from serving a full time proselyting mission, I found that I wasn't.

This turn had way more g-force than I expected.  This turn was squishing my heart.

I watched as a sense of relief seemed to flood over my son as he heard those words.  I did my best to smile and nod my head as I listened to what else the Stake President had to say.  I listened as he spoke of the Family History mission located up in Salt Lake where he could live away from home but that it was a highly sought after mission and there were certain qualifications that needed to be met.  Jona needed to be 19 and had to have lived away from home for a year were just the starting qualifications.   I listened as he told us of YSA (Young Single Adult) missions that are available, where Jona can serve from home.  I listened as Jona gave the Stake President his email address so that he could email him more information about the YSA missions as this was the first experience that our Stake President has had with them.  I shook President Allred's hand and Jona and I went back out to the truck. 

On the way home I asked Jona how he felt.  He told me that he was okay and that he had felt like he wouldn't be serving a proselyting mission.  I asked him why he hadn't said anything about that feeling to us.  He had a difficult time with the explanation to that question but the feeling that I got was that he didn't want to let his dad and I down.

When we got home Jona went into the front room and I stood by the sink, in that same spot that I stood a year ago listening to the prophet lower the age requirements for missionaries.  Ty came in and sat on the bench in front of the table and looked at me.  I couldn't even speak.  I couldn't even say the words.  I just shook my head, no. 

I was shocked (and still am) at the effect this was having on me.  I had known all along that this was a very real possibility.  I could tell that for Jonathan this answer was a huge relief.  Why, then, was this causing me such pain and heartache?  I knew that there were still options for him to serve in other ways.  Ways that are just as valid and important as him serving a two year mission away from home.  Why was this so hard??  I tried to quell the tears as best I could but they continued to flow.  At family prayer I cried some more.  And that night Ty held me in his arms as I cried myself to sleep.

We didn't call family and tell them this decision had come down. It wasn't that I was ashamed or worried about what they would think.  I was just that I don't think I could have said anything to anyone without breaking down. 

These past couple of weeks I have had to take a long look at why I am struggling so with this.  Walking out to the mailbox to check the mail has taken on a different tone.  Seeing and hearing other parents talk and post updates about their missionaries, while still enjoyable, stings.  It's just been hard.  Not every second of every day kind of hard.  Just every once in a while something will hit unexpectedly, kind of hard.

This is the best explanation that I can come up with.  When we learned that Jona had autism someone directed me towards a poem called Welcome to Holland written by Emily Perl Kingsley...  This is how I feel now, except change "your going to have a baby" with "going top send a missionary off"

Welcome to Holland

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this…
When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum, the Michelangelo David, the gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland." 
"Holland?!" you say. "What do you mean, Holland?" I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy.
But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. 
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to some horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place. 
So you must go out and buy a new guidebook. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. 
It's just a different place. It's slower paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around, and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrandts. 
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy, and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned." 
The pain of that will never, ever, go away, because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss. 
But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland. 
 As of now I'm still learning that "Holland" is not a bad place to be.  I'm looking around for a guidebook and trying to get the feel of things.  This really is the first time that Jona hasn't been able to do something that his peers are doing.  It's an adjustment.

We are still waiting to hear about the different YSA missions that are available.  Our family and friends now know and have given us much support and love.  

And this year as I listened to General Conference I had a different experience.  My heart and soul received comfort as I heard the very end of Elder Holland's talk "Like a Broken Vessel".  I had actually gone into another room to put some shoes on when I heard these words, it was like they were amplified a thousand times so that I wouldn't miss them.  And I got the same chills as I did a year ago.
"I bear witness of that day when loved ones whom we knew to have disabilities in mortality will stand before us glorified and grand, breathtakingly perfect in body and mind. What a thrilling moment that will be. I do not know whether we will be happier for ourselves that we have witnessed such a miracle, or happier for them that they are fully perfect and finally free at last."
 This turn has been a hairpin of a turn but, I know that Jona will serve where he is supposed to serve and he will be AMAZING wherever that may be.  I am looking forward, with faith, to see the road straighten out before us and I'm looking forward to see where he, where we, will go.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Clicking and Vibing

You know how there are some people that you meet and you just click?  Smiles form.  Laughter ensues.

And there are other people that you don't click with right away but gradually as you learn more about each other the click comes. The smiles come a little more slowly and the laughter may be a tad more subdued but it's there. And it gets louder with time.

There are also the people that you really think you click with.  People that you would love to hang out with and do things with but that clicking doesn't quite feel mutual.

Then there are the people from whom you get a definite dislike vibe.  That as you chat with them or are in certain social situations with them you get the distinct feeling that they really don't like being around you. There is no effort made to come and chat with you in social situations.  There is just "the vibe".

It's not that they hate you but you don't really have a lot in common and in the course of trying to find some compatible conversation piece to land on you find that you are grasping at straws.  If you bring up your interests to feel out where there may or may not be a common interest they show a kind of disdain or distaste for the things that you enjoy and you can tell that they don't really want to know more about you?  They don't want to smile with you. Or laugh with you.

They are the ones that you feel that that your absence would make them infinitely more comfortable than does your presence?

What do you do in situations such as this?  Do you work harder to try and make that dislike go away?  Or do you just make it so your absence is pretty much all that there is?  Avoiding them and any interaction with them?

Me?  I do the second part.  When I come across those people with whom I get "the vibe" from I just back off.  Sometimes I get "the vibe" from the people that I've clicked with before.  So I back off.  If I feel that me being around some one is causing discomfort or annoyance I remove myself from the immediate surroundings of that person.

Maybe I should fight through the discomfort. I don't know.

I've been told in the past that I have given off "the vibe".  That there are people out there that think I dislike them.  Which is weird because I don't think I feel that way.  I guess there are people who annoy me but I do my best not to let people know if that is the case.  Because usually it's something on my end and not on theirs...if that makes any sense.

When I hear that someone has said "Well I think she hates me." when I have never voiced that opinion, to me that is someone who is "projecting" their feelings.  (Basically this person actually doesn't like me and is then projecting those feelings to me saying that I don't like them....clear as mud?)

THEN I think "So I am I projecting 'the vibe' onto people?"

Where do "gut feelings" or "instincts" fall into this whole arena?  I really don't know.

I do know that usually when I am feeling "the vibe" there is also a "gut feeling" that goes along with it and thus my desire remove myself from the situation.

And you know I'm not even sure where I wanted to go with this or even where I'm going with it.  I just had these thoughts rolling around so I wanted to get them out.

What are your feelings about "clicking" or "the vibe"?  Does this happen to anyone else or am I the only one?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sharing - It's harder than it seems

My husband is a yoga teacher and not just any yoga teacher, he is a great yoga teacher.  Yoga is his passion.  He loves it and it shows.  He knows his stuff.

He also has technical talents working with computers.  And while his dream is to be able to teach yoga full time, right now his job as an IT programmer is what pays the bills.

Yoga has changed my husband. He is not the same man that I married. In fact he goes by a completely different name in the yogic community and even on Facebook.  This change did not happen over night.  Sometimes the changes came in monumental leaps and other times they came in whispers and tugs.  This change has not been a bad thing.  It has been good.  Difficult but good.

This change and with him immersing himself ever deeper into yoga has brought with it another aspect.  One that isn't as good.  One that isn't easy.  It's one that involves sharing my husband.

And I have found out that I'm not very good at this.  Not good at all.

2 1/2 years ago he, along with one of his students opened up a yoga studio.
Last week just before we celebrated our 20th Wedding anniversary the decision was made to close the studio.

He wrote and posted this, Closing the Studio, the morning of our anniversary and then we left for four days.  Upon our return I guess there had been some fallout from this announcement.  A comment was made about a worry that there had been some "outside pressure" to close and that my husband wasn't being truthful.

First of all, my husband is nothing if not truthful.  Ask him to tell you the story of when he decided to skip a class at the U of U while we were engaged and I found out, if you really want to know.

And second of all because I am human and because it is all about me. (<-------sarcasm .="" i="" nbsp="">know
it's not all about me.  In fact I struggled with even writing this post and I may not even publicly post it but I needed to get this out.)
I felt attacked.
Where would the most "outside pressure" come from if not his wife?

I have tried to be supportive and to be honest we have had multiple discussions where he asked me if I thought he should quit teaching because I was struggling with the amount of time his teaching and being there for his students was eating up.  Each time my answer was, absolutely not.  Until the last time, which was a couple of months ago, and then I was silent.  The decision for him to close the studio was completely his and his partners.  I had no voice.  It wasn't my studio.  It wasn't my decision.

 Let me explain something. For 2 1/2 years (actually longer than that if you count the teaching he did before he opened up the studio) I have been "sharing" the time that I have with my husband. And, damn, it's been hard.

Because, as I said at the very beginning, that while yoga is his passion, unfortunately right now it does not pay well (monetarily).  So he has been working two jobs.  He works four, ten hour days at his computer job, Monday through Thursday.  Waking up at 4:00 in the morning and leaving at 5.   He would get home at around 5:30 depending on traffic.  There were some days because of traffic that he only had time to come home and quickly change or I would take workout clothes to the studio for him to change into. (I think one time he even taught in his street clothes.)  Our family,specifically the kids, saw him for maybe one hour, four days out of the week.   Even his days off were preoccupied with time spent discussing the studio with his business partner or working on the website or teaching plans.  They had workshops and other classes that were held on Saturdays, not every Saturday but they were a regular occurance.  Yoga in the Park on Saturday mornings in the summer.

On the nights that he taught, his classes would "end" at 8 or 9 pm and I would wait for another two or three hours for him to come home because someone else wanted or needed his listening ear. That is another thing my husband is good at, listening and I love that about him.  There were many nights I would just climb into bed and fall asleep before he would ever get home.

When a crisis would arise, as they tend to do, it felt that more often than not he was away at the studio and it was difficult to get a hold of him. And for whatever reason in the past 2 1/2 years it feels like we have had our fair share of crises.  When the kids would come home from school and announce that they had a concert or a play that they were performing in, the tension would rise as the dates and times were announced.  If it was on a night that he was teaching it the tension would break into frustration.  It was frustrating for him because he wanted to be there to support his kids and he also wanted to teach. Frustrating for me because, struggling as I was, it felt that he was irritated to even be informed about these performances.

Planning time together either as a family or as a couple was difficult because I would see something that sounded like it would be fun and it would end up being on a night where he was teaching.  And then there was the aspect that since he was never really home the time that he was able to spend at home he wanted to be at home instead of going out and doing something.

 Phone calls would come from someone needing his support or a listening ear when it was supposed to be "our time" together.  Emails would be sent and if they weren't immediately answered he was "ignoring" or "avoiding" people, feathers would be ruffled and feelings would be hurt and then extra time away (physically or emotionally) would be needed to smooth things over.  As a couple we discussed boundaries. He has such a big heart and wants to help and love everyone that he can have a difficult time setting boundaries.  Boundaries were attempted to be put in place and they kept being tested.  To say the least was difficult.

All of this is a very abbreviated version of what has gone on the past 2 1/2 years. His birthday was almost breaking point because he celebrated with his "yoga family" not with me or the kids.  I almost went to his class that night.  I have to say that I'm glad that I didn't.

I do feel that I could have voiced an opinion that was for him quitting and closing the studio, and I feel that I would have been highly justified in doing so.  And I never did.

I want to say now, I don't want him to stop teaching. It's what he's good at and it's what he loves. The studio will remain closed and right now he will continue to teach in our local parks on Wednesday evening and Saturday mornings.

It's not the teaching that I struggle with.  It's the sharing. I used to think I was good at sharing.  Now I'm not so sure.

I'm working on it though.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Life is full of them.  We look towards them, sometimes with joy and excitement and other times with trepidation.  Hopefully we look back on them with fondness and without sadness or regret.  Sometimes looking back can include all of these emotions.

This past week I was witness to one of the bigger milestones in my oldest son's life.  He graduated from High School.

Pleasant Grove High School Class of 2013. 

 He graduated from mine and my husband's alma mater.  He also had two grandfather's, a grandmother and many aunts, uncles and cousins who attended this same High School.  Our family doesn't fly far from the nest, it seems.

Here he is walking over to get his diploma.  When he raised his arms and stood there for a second or two I couldn't believe it!  It was out of character for him to do something like this.  But I LOVE that he did it!

Here he is receiving his diploma (well actually this was just the case, they had to pick up the diploma outside right after the ceremony)

Me and my boy.

I am so pleased with Jona.  With the choices that he has made.  He has autism and while he has an incredible mind he struggled with handing assignments in, working with people in groups and being able to express himself the way that he wanted to.  Seventh grade was especially difficult but after that he worked.  He worked really hard to get assignments handed in on time and to do the work he was given.  That's not to to say that he didn't need a reminder or two from mom and dad but his grades have always been good grades and I always looked forward to parent/teacher conferences with his teachers.

 George, Ty, Me, Jona, Kenna and Jillian
The Family

 One of Jona's biggest struggles is in the social arena.  He stumbled onto the "Brony" community and found a love of the new version of the tv show "My Little Pony".  He really connected with this community and show and the message that it sends out.  One of inclusion and that everyone is different and that's okay.

For his seminary class this year he was asked to participate and either do a talk or a musical number.  He chose to do a musical number but he didn't choose a hymn or a traditional Christian song he chose one from the MLP community called "It's Great To Be Different".  If you want to listen to it you can go HERE.

These are the words to the chorus and then the words to one of the verses.

"Isn't it great to be different?
Isn't it wonderful to be exactly who you are?
When you learn to start accepting yourself
You'll become a shining star

I just wanted to tell you that the hardest thing I've faced
Wasn't the teasing or the pain
It was convincing myself I wasn't stupid, strange, or lame
And helping others do the same."

Isn't that amazing?  Isn't HE amazing?

I knew it would be hard to pick him out among all the other graduates on the floor so I got him a Brony sticker to put on his graduation cap.  It says has a pony with the words "Every pony equal. Every Pony Loved" at the bottom.

Here he is showing off his diploma

And jumping for joy that he's done!!

To be perfectly honest I am unsure how I feel about this milestone.  I have so enjoyed watching him grow and learn.  And, in all honesty, he has taught me so MUCH.  He has made me become a better mother and a better person. 

Jona is now getting ready to put papers in to serve a two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  It is the next milestone.  

He will be an incredible missionary.  I know it.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Do you ever want things to happen and yet get the feeling that they just aren't going to?  Does that even make sense?

If you have feelings like this could it be the Spirit prompting you not to move forward or do these feelings cause it to become a self fulfilling prophecy?

I don't know.

All I know is that I have just felt blocked at every turn.

And now I feel horrible because I didn't try harder to "make it work".


Monday, February 4, 2013

Good times in Wally World Parking Lot

Friday afternoon I went to WalMart.  My printer was out of ink and I needed a card reader to get pictures off of my SD card.  So McKenna and I hopped in the Durango and scooted off to our local Wally World.  I know many people voice their deep dislike for this store.  I'm not a huge fan but in all honesty it is where I do much of my shopping. I have never had a really bad experience there.  Until this day.

I had was finished up with my shopping and was pretty pleased.  They had a USB card reader for around $8 and I had gotten a black ink cartridge.  We were back in the Durango and ready to get on home.  I put the car into reverse and did a quick look to see if anyone was coming.  Nope.  Put the vehicle into motion, look in the rear view mirror and see black car, back up lights aglow, heading straight for us.

I throw the car into drive as fast as I can and as I start to press on the gas I hear and feel the "bump".  Oh joy.

Then as I am pulling the Durango back into the stall I hear the driver of the other car start to yell....


Seriously, at the top of his lungs, so that the entire parking log can hear.

I look at McKenna and say "Great."

Getting out of the car I didn't even look if there was damage to my car I walked over to the gentleman and said very quietly.  "I'm sorry.  Is there any damage?"  I couldn't see any as I walked up to the car.  He is still kind of huffing and puffing. Looks at his bumper and can see that it's okay.  He then kind of sheepishly apologizes.

"I'm sorry."  He says, "I am trying to quit smoking."

I assure him it's all good.  We do another look to make sure there isn't any damage.  I can see his wife sitting in the front seat looking back at me.  She seemed kind of scared/embarrassed.  He says that we don't need to contact insurances, though he is covered he tells me.  As he is getting into his car he again apologizes for freaking out because he is trying to quit smoking.  I tell him good luck.

As I go to get back in my car I glance at the bumper to make sure there isn't any damage.  There is a group of people walking up to the store who have witnessed the whole incident.  And one of the guys says to me  "That guy needs to go to some of those yoga classes on the back of your car."  (Referencing the vinyl lettering that is advertising my husband's yoga studio)  I chuckle and say,

"He said he's trying to quit smoking."

Although, the yoga classes would probably help with that as well.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I wonder

I wonder.
Just what am I going to be?
I used to be more.

More sure.

Time has changed that.
Time and experiences.

I am different now.
and yet..

There are walls.
(or maybe I should say more walls)

I have never 
really cared
for  walls.
Still there they stand.

They have surprised me.

Should they?
I was the one who built them.
Even disliking them as I do.

They are difficult to get around.
A maze of sorts.
At times even my  own thoughts
get lost.

My heart is placed at 
the center.
Will it be found?
Does anyone care to look?

Or, will they,
seeing the walls.
Getting a sense of the maze.
Just circle around 
the outside.

This is too damn hard.

I wish I were
brave enough
to break through the walls.
Or at least.

Give the finders
A map.
Or clues even.

But I'm afraid,
they won't use them.
Or worse.
They won't even want to.