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Tuesday, April 22nd 2014

5:11 PM (2506 days, 4h, 47min ago)


  • Mood at peace
  • I'm Thankful For the friends I met through this journal
I have been thinking about this blog a lot lately. I am so thankful for the friends I met through my posting, through my journey with grief. I will never delete this journal, as it is my heart laid bare, but I do feel that my need to post is gone. My baby girl has been gone ten years. This was originally meant to be a journal to chronicle the life of my Trisomy 18 child. When she passed just two months after I started the blog, it turned into a grief journal. It was and remains an history and testament of my love for her and my path through the grief journey, both for myself and my family.  

My singular hope and prayer for this journal now is that it can and will help others on their journey through the grief of losing a precious member of their family.

Always and Forever remembering my Audrey Grace.
0 What they thought... / Tell me what you are thinking

Sunday, October 5th 2008

11:55 PM (4530 days, 22h, 3min ago)


  • Mood content
  • Weather about 85 degrees, 60% humidity
  • I'm Thankful For watching my son learn and grow on a daily basis
  • Deep Thoughts Honestly, kids need quantity time. Quality time is a fallacy. You never know when a teachable moment will come along and you need to be there when they have burning questions that need answers. If not from you, then who?

I cannot believe it has been so long since I updated "for real."  I have had a number of posts of things I have passed along, but not many for about the past year!


We now live in GA.  We are living in a one bedroom basement apartment.  One loft bed, one full sized bed, one dresser and one closet!  One living room, one bathroom, and a functional kitchen (minus an oven) round out the apartment.  I recently paid off my car.  I have a part time job that I love.  I work for the Boys and Girls Club at a local middle school.  Love my kids.  I bring my now nine year old son with me every day and he gets to experience middle school... sorta.  We are still homeschooling and loving it.  I have recently been recovering from a flare up of the Epstein-Barr Virus (mono, chronic fatigue syndrome) I have in my system.  Once you get the virus in your system, it never goes away - kind of like the Varicella (Chicken Pox) virus.  Symptoms go away, but the virus doesn't.  At the same time, I had strep throat.  My thyroid levels are falling even though I am on supplements.  But, I'm coming back up now and almost feeling normal... well, normal for me

As for our homeschool, we have done some varied short term and longer term studies.  We have studied some on pyramids, dinosaurs, mummies, World War II, Labor Day, Grandparents Day, Banking and Interest, saving, tithing, spending, finding bargains, the Appalachian Trail, native peoples around the world, gardening, addictions, pet care, how to do laundry, cooking (he can make a few things on the stove without my direct supervision), played team sports: baseball and soccer, hiked a few places and visited a waterfall, studied art, built all kinds of imaginable things with blocks, legos, magnetics, tinker toys, ran time trials of matchbox cars, studied nutrition and how it affects our moods and how we feel, participated in "Word of Life" at church, read numerous books, participated in quite a few homeschool group activities and field trips... I could go on, but I'm running out of brain cells...

I have photographed a wedding.  I have made a few contacts that have not resulted in paying jobs yet, but I have scheduled another wedding for May.  I do still keep taking tons of pictures, though, gaining new insight as I practice.  I love my DSLR, even though I think the focus if a bit off... but, so is mine some days.

We have one 11 y/o dog and two six year old cats.  We might be getting a two year old lop eared bunny in the next few days.  My Bug wants to raise chickens.  We may consider it in spring.  Right now, I think it will be getting too cold for them to survive and thrive.  I don't want my Bug to have to see anything else die.  He still talks about Audrey pretty often and still has days where he's feeling lonely and misses her a lot.  We pop popcorn, turn out the lights, flop on my bed and watch movies.  The closeness without having to talk seems to help revive him.

We are entering the season of festivals around here.  We had a biggie this weekend.  I worked a booth for BGC.  It was quite hot, but we had fun.  We have several festivals and arts and craft fairs coming up.  We'll be spending a lot of time out and about and learning about our local history.

Well, it is almost midnight here and I really need to get some sleep!  Bless you for visiting and reading.  Have a super day!


0 What they thought... / Tell me what you are thinking

Friday, April 4th 2008

4:55 PM (4715 days, 5h, 3min ago)

Medical Stuff

  • Mood wiped out
  • Weather storming, tornado watch
  • I'm Thankful For insurance
  • Deep Thoughts .... ow ....

I have been having problems with my back since last August when I fell loading the U-Haul.  I think we are finally getting something done about it and about some other issues.

If you know me, you know I am not crazy about medicines.  I have not always been like this, but the more I learn, the more I believe in the body's ability to heal itself, given the right tools.  God didn't throw us together slipshod.  We are his workmanship.  I have found some like minded medical professionals who use modern diagnostic techniques and believe in my desires to keep drugs to a minimum.

I had an MRI back in February.  They focused about mid back to the end of my tailbone.  Turns out that I have two bulging disks (L-4 to L-5 and L-5 to S-1) and degenerative disk disease (arthritis) in my lower back.  I was told years ago that I had arthritis in my neck.  I am also experiencing arthritic symptoms in my hands.  My blood was tested and, thankfully, I have no sign of the arthritis being Rheumatoid, even though it is in my family.  The arthritis isn't being fully addressed yet, but the back problems are.  I am in physical therapy three times a week.  I am still at the point that I feel great while I am there (getting electrical stimulation, deep tissue ultrasound, massages...) but feel pretty wiped out when I get home and can barely keep my eyes open.  I think that should improve with time.  Seems we are starting out slowly, as there is quite a bit of inflammation in the area.  Once that is under control, we will move to gently stretching the affected muscles and teaching them how to work again (after over seven months of pain, they seem to have forgotten to do anything but try to avoid pain).  After that, we will work on specific exercises to strengthen those muscles and help keep them working correctly.

Now, another issue.  When we still lived in NC, I was experiencing peri-menopausal symptoms.  It looked like my body was preparing to enter menopause, even though I was only in my mid-30s.  They ordered blood tests, but that day, I didn't have to time to sit around and wait to be called to donate my blood!  I never got back in there to get it done.

I mentioned it to my Nurse Practitioner and she said she didn't like to do blood tests for that anyway, since the blood test only tells you what is going on outside of the cells - floating around in the blood - not what is happening inside of the cells, which was where we really needed to look.  She sent me to a compounding pharmacist to have a test done.

Turns out, this test is $150 and not covered by insurance.  The compounds the pharmacist would specifically make for me to address my very specific needs would not be covered either.  Hmmm.  I spoke with the pharmacist (a very nice man).  We are going to wait a few weeks to do the test, until I can afford it.  Meanwhile, we did a lot of talking and he asked a lot of questions.  I even filled out a form on the severity of symptoms.

This is what he believes, from the symptoms, is going on:  he believes my ovaries are shot and no longer produce the estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone my body requires.  When that happens, my body, still needing those hormones, began a few new processes.  My adrenal gland began to put out more adrenaline.  That is to say, it produced more cortisol and DHEA.  The cortisol is converted into progesterone (which is basically like an estrogen booster... it really can't do anything without the estrogen).  The DHEA is converted to testosterone which then is broken down into estrogen by a specific enzymatic process.  What the pharmacist thinks is happening is that the testosterone is not being broken down into estrogen.  So, my "male hormones" are high (hence the beard, uh, stray eyebrows?) and my female hormones are almost non-existant (severe PMS, heavy periods). 

To top that off, because of the adrenal gland being in overdrive for several years, I am experiencing adrenal exhaustion.  My adrenal (fight or flight) gland is about ready to give up the ghost!  I have to wonder if the fibromyalgia is not a result of having so much adrenaline surging through my body for so long that I have become hyper-sensitive to pain?  Also, the lack of energy?  Perhaps, like a drug, my body got so used to having that adrenaline that it can barely function now that the adrenaline is being used for other functions?  Just thinking out loud...

It was also discovered that I am borderline hypo-thyroid.  I have an extremely low thyroid level in my blood, which of course, also affects energy, the ability to lose weight... I have been started on a NON synthetic thyriod supplement.

The pharmacist also recommended a number of nutritional supplements (vitamins and minerals) to help bring my body back into "normal" mode, so to speak.  Once we can do that test, he can make up a cream with specific hormones or whatever I need, I will rub that on my inner wrists each morning to get my medicine (more readily absorbed than ingesting them).

I am so thankful to still be under K's insurance, at least for the next month or two, as I am not sure how I would be able to afford any of this without it.

If you have been wondering where I am... take what I have just written, add in seasonal depression, homeschooling an 8 y/o son, participating in church activities, homeschool group activities, sports... it has been crazy.   

I'll let you know when I learn more

0 What they thought... / Tell me what you are thinking

Sunday, February 17th 2008

12:46 PM (4762 days, 8h, 12min ago)


The Fear of Failure keeps us from Trying to Succeed

The Fear of Losing keeps us from Trying to Win

The Fear of What Everyone Else will think keeps us from Stepping Out Boldly

The Fear of Ridicule keeps us from Declaring our Faith in Jesus Christ

Most of All, Fear Stifles Hope


-Rich DeVos


0 What they thought... / Tell me what you are thinking

Monday, January 21st 2008

7:41 PM (4789 days, 1h, 17min ago)




"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

— Martin Luther King Jr., 1929-1968

0 What they thought... / Tell me what you are thinking

Wednesday, December 19th 2007

2:39 PM (4822 days, 6h, 19min ago)

Beware of Garbage Trucks

  • Mood getting ready for my son's father to visit
  • Weather 40ish, drizzly
  • I'm Thankful For The Blessing of Children
  • Deep Thoughts I am so very blessed! As people have asked me what I wanted for Christmas, the only thing I could think of was "slippers." I have since come up with a couple of other things, but I am so very blessed...

I got this in my e-mail inbox this morning and thought it significant enough to pass along.



Beware of Garbage Trucks
by David J. Pollay

How often do you let other people's nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? Unless you're the Terminator, for an instant you're probably set back on your heels. However, the mark of a successful person is how quickly she can get back her focus on what's important.

Sixteen years ago I learned this lesson. I learned it in the back of a New York City taxi cab. Here's what happened.

I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right lane when, all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded, and missed the other car's back end by just inches!

The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us.

My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was friendly. So, I said, "Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!"

And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, "The Law of the Garbage Truck."

Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it. And if you  let them, they'll dump it on you. When someone wants to dump on you, don't take it personally. You just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. You'll be happy you did. So this was it: The "Law of the Garbage Truck."

I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people: at work, at home, on the streets? It was that day I said, "I'm not going to do it anymore."

I began to see garbage trucks. Like in the movie "The Sixth Sense," the little boy said, "I see Dead People." Well, now "I see Garbage Trucks." I see the load they're carrying. I see them coming to drop it off. And like my Taxi Driver, I don't make it a personal thing; I just smile, wave, wish them well, and I move on.

One of my favorite football players of all time, Walter Payton, did this every day on the football field. He would jump up as quickly as he hit the ground after being tackled. He never dwelled on a hit. Payton was ready to make the next play his best.

Good leaders know they have to be ready for their next meeting. Good parents know that they have to welcome their children home from school with hugs and kisses. Leaders and parents know that they have to be fully present, and at their best for the people they care about.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their day. What about you? What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more garbage trucks pass you by?

Here's my bet. You'll be happier. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so.. Love the people who treat you right.
Forget about the actions of the ones who don't. Believe that everything happens for a reason.

If you get a chance , TAKE IT! If it changes your life , LET IT! GOD didn't say it would be easy... HE just promised it would be worth it!

0 What they thought... / Tell me what you are thinking

Thursday, December 13th 2007

2:55 PM (4828 days, 6h, 3min ago)

A "Bug-ism"

Recently brought to mind:


Walking through the halls at UNC when Audrey was still with us... Bug had started biting his nails when we moved back in with his daddy.  I was trying to remind him whenever I saw him biting them, "don't bite your nails."


So, as he walked in front of me, I saw his hand go towards his face.  I calmly said, "Don't bite your nails."  My sweet four year old came back with, "I'm not biting my nails; I'm picking my nose."   

0 What they thought... / Tell me what you are thinking

Sunday, December 9th 2007

5:22 PM (4832 days, 3h, 36min ago)

The Spoon Theory

  • Mood extremely low on "Spoons"
  • Weather 60ish and very humid
  • I'm Thankful For Days with a lot of spoons
  • Deep Thoughts could use a spoon of ice cream about now.... :0)

I found a story, written by a lady with Lupus, that helps explain chronic diseases like Lupus, Fibromyalgia, MS and so on.  It is on her site:  http://butyoudontlooksick.com


It is not allowed to be reprinted, but I can link to it.  Please do go and read about what it is like to have a condition that no one else can see, but is very real.




0 What they thought... / Tell me what you are thinking

Sunday, December 9th 2007

12:59 AM (4832 days, 19h, 59min ago)

Mean Mommy

A Letter: To Whom It May Concern
by Kara Murphy
Dear Mean Mommy,
        I am writing, once again, to protest your visit to our house yesterday. I would have thought that my last litany of complaints would have given you pause before you returned, but no. You seem to come and go at will. Well, I have had enough.
        First, you never give me any warning that you are coming. If I knew you were coming, I would be able to prepare for you as I do all my other guests. Why must you always arrive when the house is in such disrepair? In general, we do a fair job of keeping things picked up, but without fail, when the house is at its messiest, you show up. Not only that, but you time your arrivals when I feel my worst. Your last visit was after a sleepless night with our newborn. Before that, it was during a stressful time when the bills were late. No one should feel free to visit at tax time, especially when I have put off important record-keeping until the last minute. I suppose you would not think twice of arriving at our door immediately after we have just had back-to-back company. These are not the times to make unannounced appearances at our house!
        Even if we were aware of when you were coming, I would still not appreciate your attitude. Must you whisper those words to me all day long? You can’t do this. You are failing. Another woman would do a better job than you. What are you doing to your children? It isn’t enough that you pick on me, but must you also be so grumpy toward my children? All day long, you nag and complain about them. Do this. Do that. Hurry up. Get back to your work. You are a broken record and you need to be replaced! Don’t you realize that children are not finished products, yet? They are adults-in-training, but they’re not there yet. And must you be so impatient with them? Sometimes, you are like a steamroller, plowing through the house. I would hate to get in your way! You are running us all over.
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        But the worst of it is your appearance…you look so much like me, my children may not realize the difference between us. They might actually think that you are me! I have had to apologize repeatedly for your troublesome ways.
        This is it. Your reign of terror must stop. Please leave and never return.
        And should you be tempted to come back, just remember that I am onto your tricks. Your wiles will not fool me any longer. I am going to fight to keep you away. And I know the best way to do that, too.
God’s word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against Him. —Psalm 119:11
        First, I have determined in everything, to give thanks seeing that this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning me. (1 Thessalonians 5:1 8 )  I will rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4) for I am learning, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11, 13) When those doubts begin to creep in I will be confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in me will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6) 
        If you could just stop blustering and ordering everyone around long enough you might see an eternal perspective. You would realize that there is so much more to life in Christ than the day-in-and-day-out ups and downs. Step back for a moment from the immediate stressors. Why, there isn’t a hair that falls from my head that the Father is unaware of. He cares for birds and flowers in the field. How much more does He care for me and my family? (Matthew 6:25ff) Not only that, but He is working every circumstance in my life for my good and for the good of my children who love Him. (Romans 8:28 )  Since I know that I must be sober, to love my husband, to love my children (Titus 2:4), I will be gentle among my little flock, even as a nursing mother cherishes her children: So being affectionately desirous of them, I will be willing to have imparted unto them, not the gospel of God only, but also my own soul, because they are dear unto me…even when I must labor night and day. (1 Thessalonians 2:7-9a) And most of all I will remember that charity—an antiquated term for our word love—suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity—or love—never faileth. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ) 
        If I have to, I will get really radical. When you show up, I intend to meet you at the door intent on bodily harm. For I see who you really are.  Because I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20) 
Prepared to do battle,
A Loving Mama
Thought Provoking... Mean Momma shows up at my house, too.  I will more often seek to throw her out, as stated in the letter above.  How 'bout you?
0 What they thought... / Tell me what you are thinking

Monday, December 3rd 2007

9:26 PM (4837 days, 23h, 32min ago)

Never Been Unloved

Never Been Unloved

By Wayne Kirkpatrick and Michael W. Smith


I have been unfaithful
I have been unworthy
I have been unrighteous
And I have been unmerciful

I have been unreachable
I have been unteachable
I have been unwilling
And I have been undesirable


Sometimes, I have been unwise
I've been undone by what I'm unsure of
But because of you, and all that you went through
I know that I have never been unloved

I have been unbroken
I have been unmended
I have been uneasy
And I've been unapproachable

I've been unemotional
I've been unexceptional
I've been undecided
And I have been unqualified


Unaware, I have been unfair
I've been unfit for blessings from above
But even I can see the sacrifice you made for me
To show that I have never been unloved



Sometimes, we still need to know how very Much God has loved us through Jesus Christ ad how, no matter what we have done, he still loves us.

0 What they thought... / Tell me what you are thinking