Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Scoop on Scabies and Lessons Learned

I think I can safely say that the scabies infestation we became aware of last month has been overcome. There is a lot of misinformation about scabies that I had to weed through and I learned quite a few lessons on the power of prayer and the power of priesthood blessings, and some unexpected lessons. I do want to share some of the things on my mind.

{Misconceptions About Having Scabies: Just to Lay a Few Things at Rest...}

Scabies is highly contagious--yes--but really, it's highly contagious among people you share extended skin-to-skin contact with. Has to be longer than a hug or a handshake. I spread it to Kaia and Morgan because 1) scabies really like child skin and 2) I bathe, dress, care for, and snuggle my little darlings. For some reason, scabies don't really like man skin, so Steven was never infested. If they tried to invade, they must have given up. Scabies mites like the warmest parts of the body, so in between my fingers is where they set up camp. I've worn medical gloves during the day and wrapped my hands during the night so as to keep the scabies on me and not allow them to re-infest my children. It worked.

Scabies is not an airborne disease, it can't spread by me opening my door, and they don't jump...they move 1 inch in an hour. They are seriously slow and need prolonged skin contact to transfer. They are the size of a pin prick, and unless you know what to look for, you can't really tell that they are there until your body builds enough histamines up to alert an invasion--that takes 4-6 weeks! The life cycle of a male scabies mite is two weeks, the female lives up to a month, laying up to 3 eggs per day...there's some molting and mating and burrowing that goes on during that two week period. It's gross to say the least. Scabies mites can live up to 3 days off of their host. Interestingly enough, scabies mites cannot live above 120 degrees of heat, nor survive below 30 degrees. We froze our day to day stuff like shoes, knitting (I had to have one project), wallets, belts, etc.

It's come to my attention from a couple of people that some misinformed ward members have put a nix on any kind of visiting us, no one is allowed to come over or drop something off, etc. Okay...let me put this one to rest because I have a feeling that we might be treated as if we have leprosy if this doesn't get cleared up quickly. We took extreme measures beyond what our doctor advised to make sure we were healed and that it didn't spread further. Yes, it's harder to deal with than lice or bed bugs because it's really difficult to spot these scabies mites with the naked eye...you can at least see lice and bed bugs. But it's not a chronic, forever infestation if you take the right measures...

The night before I went to the doctor, I asked Steven to give me a blessing because my "eczema" had gotten so out of control that I was contemplating getting on this extreme diet and I knew that I could but questioned if I should--if it was the right step for our family. In that short and sweet blessing, I was told that I would quickly find out what the problem was, that it would be manageable, and that I would be successful in treating it.

I woke up the next morning and knew that I just had to cave and spend the money we did not have and go be seen by a doctor. After a very short visit, we were immediately diagnosed with scabies. Yuck. My doctor advised us to wash the sheets, towels, clothes daily for the next two weeks, spray our mattresses and couches with RID. She gave us all a prescription cream called Permethrin that we put on from hairline to the bottom of our soles, allow it to stay on the skin for 8-14 hours, then it is washed off with a good warm shower. The doc said once we had accomplished this, we were free to go out and about as we normally do...reapply 14 days later, and we should be good to go. We might have been just fine, following those instructions, but I knew how I would feel about being unsure, so I decided to quarantine our family for those two weeks--it's only two weeks...I could do it. 

I came home and felt uneasy about things, so I started researching and reading all of the horror stories about scabies infestations. I decided that I wanted to take an extremely disciplined approach and limit the possibility of re-infestation as greatly as I could. I bagged everything and anything in the house that was a soft good and set it in the third bedroom, wiped out all of the closets and cleaned from top to bottom. Our stuff has been quarantined for 5 weeks now. By the time I unpack it, some of it will have been left for more than 7 weeks. If they were in our clean clothes somehow, they dead now...I left out one set of sheets for each bed, two towels for each person, and two complete sets of clothing for each person. Still, something was telling me I needed to do more. I FELT PROMPTED TO QUARANTINE OUR FAMILY FOR THE DURATION OF THIS INFESTATION. I felt extremely prompted to especially make sure that our ward family be protected from this infestation for whatever reason, I don't know, but I stand by my prompting. The doctor, when I called two weeks later to follow up, thought I was crazy for being as meticulous as I was. I CONTINUED TO FEEL PROMPTED TO FOLLOW THE DAILY REGIMENT I HAD DEVELOPED UNTIL I WAS GIVEN FURTHER PROMPTINGS.

Steven gave me another blessing, this time instructing me that the success of healing was entirely dependent on my faith in the Savior's ability to heal, to instruct, and to bless. I was told I would be able to discern correctly from all of the research and reading I had done to know what was the right battle plan for our family. I was also reminded that Heavenly Father gave Adam and Eve dominion over all creatures...even the ones that creep! About this time, President Uchtdorf had given his talk and had instructed us to doubt our doubts and not our faith. It was a growing experience that I will go into a little more later on.

So, I stuck with it, much to the misery of our family...I thought we had been re-infested at the 2 week mark. After doing some research a week later, I discovered that our bodies were reacting to the scabies remains left behind, that we had not, in fact, been re-infested. We worked hard at using both conventional medicine and alternative medicine to beat this--as I felt prompted by the Spirit that it would work for us. At two weeks, we did a second round of the Permethrin cream and took advantage of the effects of Diatomaceous Earth. We took 1/3 part food grade DE and 2/3 part grapeseed oil and half of a bottle of doTerra's Clove Bud oil and combined it into a household spray bottle, used it every night after taking showers. Diatomaceous Earth cuts up the little scabies bugs and dehydrates them--kills them. Grapeseed oil clogs their feeding tubes. Clove Bud oil kills them. Steven and I worked DE into our mattresses and couches, covering them with plastic. We worked DE into the carpet. Diatomaceous Earth is amazing stuff and completely safe for humans and animals to be around. We also bought an enzyme cleaner called Kleen Free that interrupts the scabies molting process and forces them to leave the skin--this we sprayed on our plastic-covered mattresses and furniture, used to clean the tub and sinks, sprayed on commonly used things like door handles and light fixtures. I soaked my hands in Klee Free--it was amazing the first time I used it on my hands...about 15-20 scabies bugs came out of my skin. The skin on my hands felt quiet. That's when I knew we had really gotten somewhere. From then on, my skin had cleared, the devil itch had died down, and I felt strengthened to know that with the Lord's help, I figured out the combination of things I needed to undertake in order to help us kill the scabies and be cured. It worked, but it worked because the Lord had given His care and instruction to listen carefully.

We took an extremely vigilant approach to having scabies. I hope that our careful measures haven't given rise and made a mountain out of a molehill...when, really, we took a most serious approach to tackling this problem. We did a heck of a lot more than most people do to cure it, and we took extra measures to make sure it didn't infect anyone outside of our family. Please see this as a great love and respect for our acquaintances, friends, and ward family. We are not lepers...we are not dying. We're doing great and my hands look better than they have for a very long time...it seems that the eczema I'm used to battling has cleared up as well, although winter hasn't hit just yet...

{Lessons Learned}

My mom, bless her heart, constantly advises me to find out what I'm supposed to learn from a trial. She must feel like a broken record, I'm sure...and I sometimes just want to bemoan my sufferings and be validated. I was really good about keeping positive-mostly--for the first 3 weeks. Weeks 4 and 5 have been extremely difficult. We're now at week six. I've learned a lot.
  • I have a greater understanding of the Savior's involvement not only in my family's comings and goings but His involvement with our health. I know the Savior a little better now as a healer. Some people call him the Master Physician, which I think is so intriguing. He made our bodies. He knows how to fix them--if it is in line with the will of Heavenly Father. 
  • I have never known such isolation and loneliness. I learned a lot about myself--my needs. It sure confirmed my suspicion that I don't do well without the friendships of my ward family and friends and extended family, I don't do well without opportunities to serve other people. I rely on my relationships for strength--and I understood for the first time why it's important to physically show up and be there for other people, because it was then that I missed that kind of support myself. At first this made me angry, because just when I needed support I felt that I couldn't ask for it because I didn't want to ruin someone else's life by giving them scabies. I really honor and love the friends that took the time to stop by and run us supplies or a dinner or an activity for the kids. I hope they have been blessed tenfold for taking just a little bit of time to break my isolation and offer some relief. One of the sisters walked right into the house, like there was nothing to be afraid of and stocked my fridge with some lovely apples and staples like milk and butter. She was a nurse, so I suppose she knew better than I did that this was not as scary as I had made it out to be in my mind. But it meant a lot. And the two priests that came over and brought us the sacrament after all those Sundays we weren't able to go and partake...I will never take that ordinance for granted ever again or take for granted what those teenage boys do for hundreds in our ward--they provide a dose of the power of the Atonement, administered weekly. I sort of think of them as the Savior's pharmacy technicians now. Thank goodness I kept it together while they were here, but I sure lost it once they left. I understand myself a lot better than I did before. There is more to mortality than breathing in and breathing out and taking care of the basic needs of a family--and that it's a noble undertaking to be involved in church, to have friendships, to go experience the outdoors and to stop often and serve another person. 
  • I learned that life can be whittled down to just a few basics to survive. I also learned that just surviving is kind boring and draining. I miss the beautiful soft things that make a house cozy--throw pillows and curtains and a closet full of cheerfully, colored clothing, furniture that breathes (I hate using plastic on our couches!). I am grateful for all of the soft things that make life a little bit more comfortable. I am grateful for what we have. We have more than what we need to survive...that means we're crazy blessed.
  • I learned that children can adapt to really hard circumstances and be perfectly happy (although there were plenty of cabin fever moments). I have spent more time with them then I have before. Before I knew it, we had created a new daily ritual-tradition of nap time after lunch--I sit in the chair in their room, curled up with a good book, and sit there with them until they drift off. They comply with nap times a lot better than they have before. They have driven me crazy and made me ache for time to myself which I couldn't have because there was no where for me to go and no one for me to visit with...I learned that I really do need a night off each week and I am itching to get back to that Tuesday night off of Bliss. And I learned that I really need to develop better habits when coping with fighting children. Still working on that one. 
I haven't yet reached the point where I have enough humility to say that I am grateful for this experience, I know I will get there one day and hopefully soon. I have learned a lot. It has changed the way I look at a few things and I know I will be cautious/borderline-paranoid for a long time about trying clothes on at the store and sterilizing hand me downs and things we buy at second hand stores like DI or Once Upon a Child or Fashion Runway. I am really looking forward to being around people again. I am worried that I might have a bit of shock being around more than just my two children and husband. I am grateful for the prayers and fasting that others have done on our behalf. I am ever so grateful to my Savior for His help, the angels the stopped by (on this side of the veil and on the other side of the veil...), and the phone calls that came every once in a while. I hope we never, ever, ever have to go through this again!  I am happy it is over...on to new adventures, please!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Life Test #713--Fail

I haven't been posting again and I know, it's lame. I do what I can.

Steven volunteered to be one of the six priesthood holders for our ward's Girls Camp--3 shifts, Steven volunteered for the last shift. He got up yesterday morning at 4:30 am and left at 5:30 am. I, of course, cannot sleep when he's up getting ready for a long-haul kind of day, so I verbally ran through the list of things he needed to take, we double-checked everything and said our goodbyes. He kissed the kids asleep in their beds, got in his car and headed to Sawtooth National Forest. He spent the last $25.00 in our account to top off his tank so he could get there and back. How were we going to pay for gas for the next two weeks? How is he going to get to work? Would there be enough time to make up the two days pay missed? I don't know. Sometimes I feel like I'm trying to convince myself that it will all work out, that we're going on faith--when really I feel like we're absolute idiots for tempting fate. This would be the first time that Steven would be away from all of us for more than 12 consecutive hours. And he was 15 miles away from the faintest bit of cell reception. You probably can see now that trouble was a-brewin'...

I went on a walk/jog last night to try to wear myself out and better my chances of actually getting some kind of sleep. Steven used to work overnights, right? I would be fine. Except I could call him at work if I was feeling scared or had insomnia. I could call my visiting teacher if an emergency happened here at the house. With both Steven and my VT (she's a YW leader) up at Girls Camp and out of cell signal, I realized quickly that I was more vulnerable than I've ever been as a young mother of two.

I did not sleep well--or rather at all. I think I finally dozed off about 2 am...I didn't stay asleep for long as I kept waking up to a small creak from the house or hearing the kids shift positions in their beds. I turned on movies to try and get myself out of panic mode. Oy vey. I fell back asleep around 4 am. And then Kaia woke me up at 5:30 am. I told her to go back to her room and look at books and magazines quietly so I could get some more sleep. She ran into her room, slammed the door--which woke Morgan up to a rude start--and proceeded to scream and shout. At this point I'm feeling raw. I can feel the panic building up in my chest, while the anger rose in my throat. I closed my eyes and focused on breathing. Steven would be in cell signal around 10:15 am and home around 11 am, I could survive until then. Kaia and Morgan decided to cry and whine for most of the morning. I watched the clock for 10 am, then for 10:30. No calls. Then at 11 am, the blessed event, he's got cell phone signal again. But, my heart sank and the tears started to sting my eyes..he called me to explain that he's an additional hour and a half away, and that he and the other priesthood holder are still on duty while the girls went swimming at a hot springs. He would hopefully be home by 4 am. WHAT? How was he going to get home? He wouldn't have enough gas! He just assumed I'd be okay with this? EXCUSE ME?

Fail, fail, fail. I lost it. I went nutters. Steven's saving grace was being far away from this tempestous, contentious, hysterical woman.

So, we learned a few lessons today. And the day is still frickin' young, so there might be more lessons yet.

#1. Don't volunteer for extra church duties if you don't have your affairs in order. Using the last of the gas money for a good endeavor doesn't mean the tank is going to magically refill itself. Sacrificing stupidly does not promise miracles.

#2. Being out of cell phone signal causes the wife (me) to have panic attacks. These get so much worse when on very little sleep, having frayed nerves, and when dealing with bratty behavior from the fruits of my loin. This was not at all a pleasant experience. I had no idea it was going to be so out of control. Better get a prescription for Xanax or Valium if this situation comes up again... Prepare ourselves for this situation a little better...like seeing each other the day before. Or maybe not getting into this situation again... Or perhaps going out of town myself to visit family (this means our affairs need to be in order...meaning the MOOLAH needs to be there). Or giving myself an allowance to spend lots of money on yarn and fabrics and give myself a fiber high. Better yet, let's employ all three.

#3. Communication is without a doubt the #1 priority on my list. Screw romance. I just want to get to a point where dealing with non-communication and miscommunication isn't such a common way of life.

#4. Have a little more zen when the plans completely do a 180. I suppose I would have handled this much more swimmingly if I had gotten through at least one REM cycle, had seen Steven the day before and not been at odds with each other the whole week long, had eaten breakfast, and had given the children some Melatonin since I knew that putting them to bed at 10:30 pm would mess with their sleep schedule.

So, here we go:

Dear Tiffany,

I hereby certify and validate that this experience was horrendous, frustrating, and dramatically different than what you had hoped for. I also grant permission for you to laze about today and forget about the house and laundry, and employ only the minimum survivalist parenting tactics.

It's okay to be pissed about this. Carry on, warrior.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Honesty is the best policy, after all...

I have no idea how many people read this blog. I'm guessing about five readers. In all honesty, half of the time I post, I wonder if there is anyone else out there who is reading this besides my two cousins, my mother, and  two of my friends, Candice and Safa. I'm hoping that because my audience is on a limited scale, in addition to the fact that these five people love me despite my plethora of bad habits and flaws, I may embark further on my journey towards whole-heartedness aka being vulnerable. Disclaimer: This post is terribly, modestly, honest.

The life lesson that I am ever so buried in right now is how to be honest. Honesty seems to conflict with being kind more often than not. I have tried out "being kind" for several years. In some cases, it was exactly what I needed to do in order to keep peace and let go of the small crap that seems to get under my skin. But in other cases, I was doing friends and family members alike a huge disservice. I have become absolutely, horribly terrible at saying "No" when I need to give myself a break and voicing "Yes" when, indeed, something has hurt me or royally @#!*% me off to no end. It's a passive aggressiveness hiding in a counterfeit peacemaker's cloak. I also feel like I'm constantly walking on eggshells, making sure I always say the right thing, rehearsing future discussion points over and over, obsessing over how someone might react to something. It's exhausting. I'm tired of listening to myself think. Would I be bold enough to adopt a radical honesty policy? No way. That kind of transparency makes people around you uncomfortable. But, it is something that I need to practice more. I think it might move the mountains that seem to hedge my relationship path.

So, onto being honest. Here's your first taste. Brace yourself.

Nah, it's not that bad...but it's not something I'm proud of.

I have a huge swearing problem. I have never said the F word--ever--never ever ever. And never the Lord's name in vain--that's just crazy bad business. The D word and the A word and the H word...sometimes the S word...that's where my problem lies. It's more like tempered farmer swearing. But rarely does it actually make it to my lips. When something frustrating comes up, and I push it aside instead of managing my emotions...without fail it always ends up with me yelling inside my head and I habitually swear about whatever I'm furious about.

Example: We have had a lot of crap hit the fan. A lot. Financially, yes, in addition to a few other areas. I am going to reveal something that may shock the socks off of you. The second life throws us a curve ball, which then hits us in the head and then proceeds to explode, I have a crap-mantra that races through my head instantly.

It's George Clooney's voice whispering in duress:
" @#!*% , we're in a tight spot... @#!*% , we're in a tight spot!"

I have a George Clooney swearing problem.

So, enter my current life lesson. Steven and I, for the first time in the six years we have known each other, are being totally honest. There's a lot of ugly stuff surfacing...things that we were bothered about or didn't mention to the other person because we were trying to "be nice." Anyways, with all of that complete honesty coming out...there has been some actual swearing. (Gasp! I know...I am so human...I'm working on one flaw at a time, people...) In the past, if either of us swears, the other one gets all crazy offended and judgmental. With all of the honesty coming out...the swearing has become a bigger problem. It never happens in front of the kids. It's not our finest phase in life. I think we'll attack the dragon first and then address the demon later. 

With all of this honesty going on, I find myself easing up on being so harsh with myself and Steven, with others that I care about. Hopefully I'll keep the pendulum swinging back and forth until I strike the balance between being openly honest and appropriately kind. 

I remember a quote above a hallway door that I would see coming back from Miss Pineau's AP English class. I do confess that I have found it to be very true. And very freeing. Especially for one such as myself who has significantly less brain cells than when I was in high school, when remembering things was as effortless as breathing.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A snarky kiss will get you n o w h e r e, Bub.

Nothing says, "I'm here. You're safe..." like a kiss on the forehead. 
It's the small things that make all the difference. 
I've tried to explain it to Steven so many times. He smiles and shrugs. He kisses my forehead without knowing just how powerful it is. I love the way I feel when I get a kiss on the forehead; I feel steady and calm even though I'm terrified seconds before. Steven is pretty good at it. But something has been holding him back from being a forehead-kissing pro. Drumroll............Steven is a 

Sometimes he thinks he's real funny and he'll blow a small zerbit on my forehead. Tonight, though, he decided to kiss my forehead "Shawn Spencer" style. There was a recent "Psych" episode where Juliet blows Shawn a kiss, but instead of blowing her a kiss back as ya do, he smacked his lips with a wide smile twice or maybe three times, I'm not entirely sure. Steven thought it was hilarious. I just thought it was ridiculous. But, Steven being Steven, decided to make it his own. So I was given a "Shawn Spencer Smack" on the forehead. I was not amused. He then apologized profusely and then rectified the situation by placing three good kisses on my forehead. It  b a r e l y  restored my faith in his kisses. Next time, he might not be so lucky...

What is it like being married to an irreverent, snarky, pot-stirring tease? 

It's exhausting err frustrating...um, well....it's the cross I have to bear whilst being his wife...the trigger for bipolar hysterics...it's...it's...

It's interesting. We'll leave it at that.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hello, Helen. Goodbye...Helga.

Today I plucked and waxed my eyebrows. It felt good. Life feels so much better when you feel more like a Helen of Troy and less of a Helga of Trouble. No offense to those who are named "Helga." I've decided that I need to take care of myself. Not that beauty is all that matters, not that I'm not--err--content with what I'm rocking right now...It's just that I don't feel confident. I feel squishy and lost...two things which never go together well, e v e r. Speaking of which, I don't care what every one else is saying, I want to lose 50. I'd settle for 35. Steven and I are going to--come @#!*% or High Water--take a getaway trip to this DIVINE bed and breakfast down in southern Utah this fall or next spring (see: http://thecrescentmooninn.com/).

The luxurious B&B in Kayenta, UT. Been dreamin' of escaping to the Crescent Moon Inn for a year...
 And I want to feel like a hot mama by then. So, baby steps. Unfortunately Mother Nature messed with my plans to get my butt in gear exercise wise. So it's yoga for this week, walking daily next week...and we'll see what comes next after all that. Next month's menu is going to be less Macaroni and Cheese (which I kid you not, we have eaten Mac & Cheese 15 times this month...can you tell I haven't been functioning?). Time to get back to cooking from scratch and have the bulk of our diet be fruits, vegetables, nuts, and meat. Butter is non-negotiable though. :) I also am dying to try this "Sassy Water" detox recipe:

Sassy Water 
1 Cucumber Sliced thin
2 TBS grated Ginger root -- you can use a microplane (just be careful don't injure yourself like Matt)
1 Whole Lemon - Sliced
14 Mint Leaves
Add to 1 Gallon of Water and Drink daily for 7 days!

The month of May shall be a fresh, new month to start renewing my energy and to boost my esteem. And to detox from all the junk and crap I ate in April...

And I want to start maintaining a confident, neat, comely appearance. No more crazy awful eyebrows. And I am dying for a hair cut--haven't had one for a year and a half and I feel like Mahana. Maybe I'll just throw caution to the wind and spend my last tiny paycheck on a haircut.

I have not let myself go...I knew what was happening...I chose to diaper my children instead of investing in haircuts and hair dye and pedicures. I chose to pursue other things than taking the time each week to pluck my eyebrows. I rarely have occasion to "goose up" (as Steven puts it...) aka gussy up. But I still have to look in the mirror and see Tiffany each morning. It felt good to take care of the kids. It feels good to spend a little time on me.

Shaping those brows got me on a kick. I want to keep going. I'm going to try a couple of things I've seen on pinterest and see how it goes. And who doesn't love a Queen Helene Mint Julep face mask...it's in the works. I also want to paint my toenails a fabulous color and get my heels under control. Fetchin' genetic trait. I hope Kaia doesn't have to deal with the obnoxiously dry and cracked heels that seem to mock every step you take. And then you feel all self-conscious when you wear flip flops which just should never be the case. Long live Teva flipflops. I live for the warmer months when I can live in flip flops.

Pinterest Experiment #1: The Blackhead Buster

Take gel facial wash (I am going to use Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap...because it's so lovely...) and mix 1 T of baking soda, 1 T sea salt. Apply to damp skin with a cotton pad. Leave for 5 minutes...

The link wasn't working, but that was in the description. I'll let you know how it goes. And what I did to get it off of my schnozz.

UPDATE: It did indeed help with the blackheads on my nose and chin. It did not extradite them, which would be too good to be true, anyways. I'll keep searching for a good blackhead remedy.

Pinterest Experiment #2: The Heelinator

A simple and very moisturizing exfoliating foot and body scrub that is easy and fast to make at home.
Recipe type: Beauty
  1. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients and add essential oils or scents until desired scent is achieved.
  2. Store in airtight container and use a teaspoon sized amount to exfoliate feet or body as needed.
  3. Rinse after use.

All while catching up on last night's episode from The Voice. Woot woot! This is gonna be good...

Monday, April 22, 2013

Dealing with yet another disappointment...

Tonight, I made the absolutely worst mistake...I listened to my voice messages. Right before turning off the light to fall asleep. Poor Steven had to talk me off of my emotional rocky cliff.

Lesson #1: Never listen to voice messages before bed. You will inevitably pay for it.

My mind had just slowed down to a sleepy pace and then BAM! it's off racing again. It was a voice message from one of the mom's whose child I tend. She talked with her hubby and their kid and decided that they were going to find a different situation that would better suit their child's needs. So, I was fired via a phone message. Kinda lame. We're barely able to make ends meet on our own and now...oh, now I don't know what will come of all this. This is the second in-home employment opportunity that's been pulled out from underneath my feet just this year...and in both situations the parents are doing what's best for their child, so I can rationally understand but it doesn't take away the sting of disappointment or the waves of anxiety that come crashing over me. We were counting on this income. Things were finally working, and smoothly for that matter...I feel angry. I feel like I've bent over backwards to accommodate the family and their needs, regularly facing inconsistency (they cancelled on me often) and a bit lower pay then I would have liked. I've been tied to my house and the schedule so that there were never any conflicts. Their child was fun to have over, but had some pouting issues (which Kaia has adopted...oy vey) and frequently spent the day telling me white lies about this, that, and the other. It was going to end at the end of May. I don't understand why it had to end when we had 4 more weeks to go. Quite unnerving for me. To put it as Jane Austen would, "I can hardly keep my countenance."

What am I doing wrong? I don't get it! I've been honest, I've been patient, I've been easy to work with.

I'm trying to see the silver lining. If anything, I've learned that a signed contract is absolutely vital. And that I must require payment for each day they contract me to keep my schedule open, so if they cancel, I don't have to worry about coming up with the funds to diaper our children.

Steven is being great, telling me to shrug it off and let it go. That it will be nice for me to have a break. That I'll get that time back to be just with our children. That perhaps the Lord isn't letting me get comfortable with working and being a full-time mom. And logically this all makes sense. Is it penetrating my soul yet? No way, Jose. Right now, I'm feeling a strange union of anger and chaos. It burns the soul, it burns...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

And....we're sort of back...

This is where I am at:

I haven't been blogging very much lately...hardly at all, really. And the truth of it is that a few major calamities have surfaced and I've been absolutely overwhelmed with trying to cope with it, keep up with regular day-to-day life, and maintain the ability to keep breathing. I'm not sharing details. It's personal and hard to deal with as it is...But just know, I am totally struggling and totally aware that I am not alone. I haven't blogged lately because the things that are on my mind aren't ready to come out yet, if ever, and not because I am repressing anything--rather I am trying to respect the process of healing and all that comes with it.

I'm sorry if you're upset I don't post pictures of us. I'm not in a place to tackle the weight of keeping pictures posted. Someday soon. I will keep posting these little pictures and quotes. They make me happy. Like giddy happy and when I look at them, I feel like I can breathe again. One of my favorites right now is this one:

Right now I am processing life literally by the hour. If God ever gave me a talent that I absolutely adore, it's the ability that I have been given to compartmentalize. I see each new hour very much the same as other people view a new day or a new month, or even a new year. This brings a lot of order to my universe when I feel like aspects of my life are getting eaten alive by a big black hole. So each hour, I process life as it is--which can be rather gruesome at times--and it balances me, steadies me, allows me to live the truth instead of clinging onto what was not. Acceptance. What a beautiful step in the grieving process. Don't get me wrong, the other steps are great, too. It's awesome that we have emotional reflexes that are predominant in every human being. It allows us to truly relate to any other person at any given time. The grief cycle gives room for connection, to ourselves individually, to those around us. I love when I cycle through and rest on acceptance for awhile before I get whisked away for another battle round.

I read the below quote a lot as well. I have to accept today for what it is, myself for what I have become, my circumstances for what they are. But that doesn't mean I'm ever going to stop believing that He in all of His mysterious ways will be able to completely heal the gaping, festering wounds credited to mortality. This quote seems to keep alive in me something that is vital to the workings of the Atonement: hope. I have to pray, to have dreams and a clear vision of where I want to be, and I've got to believe that after all I am able to do, He's going to get me there.