Welcome to my journal. Grab a cup of your favorite beverage and peruse my ponderings.
I am an Air Force Veteran, soon to be Ex-Army wife, freelance photographer, and the mom of two beautiful children. I homeschool my nine year old son and we love it. My daughter, Audrey Grace, blessed our lives for almost seven months before she went home to Jesus' loving arms.
It is often said that God won't give us more than we can handle. I used to believe that. I don't anymore. I believe that God won't give us more than He can handle FOR us. It is only through my faith that I can make it through this rough time in my life.
Follow me as I write about my daily life to include dealing with an impending divorce, my husband, my son, my faith, my ADD, my fibromyalgia, homeschooling, dishes, laundry, an elderly dog, three of cats, my part time job, my various hobbies, my scattered thoughts and ponderings (check out my new page: 101 Things You Didn't Know About Me). . . and you are welcomed to come with me as I work through the grief of losing my precious baby girl to a random genetic disorder called Trisomy 18 on 8 May 2004.
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!
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
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
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!
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."
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.
See following email with subject line, "Come join us at the Midwest Homeschool Convention" for details!
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.