Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to post a quick Merry Christmas to all of you! We love and appreciate all of you and yours. You love and friendships enrich our lives MUCH!

~Christy and Dan and the rest of us

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas

Since I was a little girl, Christmas was the greatest, most fun time of the year. I always had a blast helping put up decorations and decorating the tree. There were parties and just general "good cheer" all around. For about the last I'd say about 10 years, I have not seemed to be able to have the same "happy" feelings as before. Now I know that as we grow older and more mature (I know I'm getting older, not sure about the other yet) that we change roles and it's about making our kids and others feel those happy feelings. This is where I start to feel very inadequate. I no longer have the physical or emotional ability to deal with many of the things that go along with this. I'm not fond of shopping, can't cook very much, (I used to be the hostess all of the time), and my kids and Dan have to hang the decorations. Even wrapping presents becomes a literal painful experience. My poor Megan has had to take on WAY more than any 14 year old should have to. I really want to have those feelings back. I can't teach my family how they should be feeling at Christmas if I can't put myself there.
This time of year has become very scary for me. Not only is it a time of year that I become physically unstable on my feet, even more than usual, but it is the time of year that I have had a relapse of the original "strokelike" event. At least for the last 3 years. I know that the weather is a huge part of this, but I have paid very close attention to life happenings since this happened to me, and have decided much of it is that it is the time of year where I try to be most normal. I want to be involved in things like I have been in the past. Don't get me wrong, I still do want to be involved, if not, I would probably go crazy or die. But after I had been singing at some event 4 nights out of 7 like last week, that this is a huge part of my neck and head pain. I love to sing. I do it anyway and then pay the price later. Also, it is a really hard reality for me to not be able to play the piano the way I know I have been able to in the past. I appreciate those who are believing in me and asking me to play. It makes me feel much more a part of things, even though I know I can't give them the best that I have known I could before. My fingers and arm swell after doing pretty much nothing, so therefore not only is my coordination while playing off, my fingers don't move like they should.
I wish I had a picture of our Christmas tree this year. I don't remember EVER having a tree as loaded with presents as this one. We finally had the financial means to give our kids a very good Christmas. We have probably gone way overboard, but we have never had one like this before, and probably will never again. The idea behind it is to have at least this year that our kids will remember. They have gone without a lot in the past. Not that things are what's important, but they are a little. We have encouraged our kids to do service projects, especially at Christmas, every year, this year included. We hope that it will instill at least a little bit the reason for the season. Jake was sick during the first major snow storm this year and it was really hard for him to not be able to shovel all of the neighborhood driveways. I don't know why, but this year it has seemed to be really hard to find opportunities. Wonder if we are not looking in the right places. It just seems like much of the world has become very ornery and bitter. It's very hard not to fall in to this. We were at the store the other day and all 4 kids had done their shopping, with their own money and when we left they all wanted to put their change in the Salvation Army bucket. It was a proud moment, until I heard some one say, why would that mom let her child go all the way back there just to put in a quarter? To my 8 year old son, that quarter was a sacrifice for some one else. Why would some one want to diminish that feeling he was having of helping some one he didn't know with what he had to give. I don't think he heard it, at least I hope not. I guess maybe I am having a depression spell, but I was proud of my kids for that moment, and proud of Dan and I for doing something right in teaching them. I don't feel adequate to my job very often anymore.
Well, I'm sorry that this has been a pretty sad post, filled with sorrow. I long for the old days of people remembering what Christmas is all about. My wish for all of you is that you have a very wonderful Christmas with family and friends and loved ones. May we all find that inner child at this time of year !
Love to you all- Christy
If it doesn't work by clicking on it, copy and paste in to your address box. Very good things to remember at this time of year.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

MJ vs B Russ

My Comments of the Flash owners blog.

Good thing that gambling in Utah is illegal - everyone would want their money back if they don't win. What a bunch of whiners. With the exception of a few people that said that someone in the ticket office told them that Jordan was there, everyone else went on the assumption, or the gamble that he would be there. This game was promoted as "WILL HE SHOW?" Most of the people said that they would never but another ticket - they never bought a ticket before - I cannot believe you are offended that he was not there. Lighten up, if you missed a Jazz game and gambled that he might show up, get over it!!! If you watched the Flash come back from a halftime deficit to win the game in an exciting finish, then you got your moneys worth and should come back and enjoy another game. Every sports fan in Utah knows that there is a dnba team in Utah county now - come and enjoy the family friendly entertainment at a good price. B Russ stayed and autographed stuff for the fans after the game, and people who's expectations were not unrealistic had a good time. Thanks Brandt.

-Dan

They Didn't See the Forgotten Carols

Dan has worked at the McKay Center for several years now. He is always gone working, almost constantly during this time of year. Concert and games avail. He starts in like October trying to find out which concert or whatever I want to see. I am an avid music lover, so the concerts are very cool for me. I have seen Kurt Bestor every year,( it's been just knowledge that I was going to see him) and this year when he chose to not do a show at MEC, I started wondering what else I would like to see. I had never seen the Forgotten Carols and had often wondered what it was all about, so that is what I asked for. I have to say, I can't believe I've missed it in years before this. I love the music of KB, but Michael McLean stole KB's title. This show is a miraculous thing that pulls you out of whatever place you're in and plants you in a better place. There was mention afterward about how civil the traffic jam was. I said that everyone was in the Christmas Spirit and a mood for giving and that's why. If it had been a loud basketball game, things would be different. I do truly believe this. I have left many a game there, and have never been just happily let into a line of cars afterward. I had noticed in years past , that Dan always came home filled with a different spirit after working one of these. Now I know why. Kyler also got to experience it this time as he was working.
Let me explain a little about this show. It's about a person who through their trials in life has become very closed and emotionless. Even ornery. The show takes you through a series of things and this person is encouraged to find their "Carol". It's all about looking inside ourselves to find out who we are and show love. To find our 'Carol". Afterward, Michael McLean comes out and talks and plays some more songs. Then he has everyone sing together. It has really had an impact on my thoughts. I am trying to look inside me and find my "Carol".
My sister came and picked me up last weekend and took me out for an afternoon. It was much needed and much appreciated. I have been so busy this month and needed the reprieve. The traffic and attitudes on the roads that day were horrible. I mentioned to her that none of these people had seen the Forgotten Carols and that's why they were so ornery. She laughed, and now this is a standard statement when we come across this attitude.
This time of year is very scary for me. All of my major relapses have been during December. Mostly do to the cold weather. Plus, I am not completely stable on my feet anymore, so the snow and ice make things a little treacherous. I have really tried this year to bury myself in service. I have days that I've done WAY too much physically and have to take some time to recover, but emotionally, trying help some one else who may be struggling has made a way for me to get out of my own struggles and feel good about myself for a while. Plus usually the person or persons I have been helping feel better, so it's good all the way around. I am very happy to be included and given some responsibility in my ward. I know that people were just looking out for me before, but it has been hard to not have much responsibility. I feel more included now. I can't do a lot physically, but I'm good at planning and organizing. This year alone I have been in on the planning of at least 3 Christmas parties, and a birthday bash. Family ones included. I'm not so sure that my kids are happy about doing the leg work, but it's good for them :-)
I am so profoundly grateful, especially this year, for the love of my family and friends. Especially Dan, and my kids. It's been a very rough year for me personally, and I would not have made it through this far if it weren't for them. I hope that they feel of my love and appreciation. I am grateful for this season, and for the reasons we celebrate it. I am working on looking to a brighter future, even if it means experiencing it from afar.
May All of You Find Your "Carol"
~Christy
PS- I typed this a 4 AM, I hope it's understandable :-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What I am Grateful For...









I am so grateful for my family. I know that they don't always know it and that things get crazy, but I am very grateful for the opportunity to have a family. I often wonder how I deserve the chance to have my family. I just hope I have done and continue to do a good job with them.








I don't know if I will ever be able to find the words to express how grateful I am for Dan. He is simply wonderful. I know it has been especially hard the past few years dealing with my/our situation, but he is somehow able to take a deep breath and go to it. He takes care of me and our kids so wonderfully. We don't always see eye to eye, but we are the completion of each other. I can't imagine my life without him.
I am so grateful for my friends, you know who you are, and extended family. They are what keeps me going.
I am very grateful that I live in this country. Things aren't the best right now, but it is a great country and I appreciate the freedoms I enjoy, and do my best to respect those that have kept that freedom for me.
I am thankful to have a home. I am thankful that Dan is employed, and even has 2 jobs. That I am able to live comfortably.

I am thankful for Buddy. He likes to bark and is getting older and is not well much of the time, but he is loyal and loves me and is always there for me. I only wish I could take him on walks and play with him more. I love my dog!






I am thankful for Tazzy. I didn't think I could ever like a cat, let alone love him. He is wild and crazy(thus his name Tazmanian Devil- Tazzy for short) and he likes to scare us to death by jumping out in front of us unannounced. He is a good cat and likes to lay by me and purr.





All in all, life is pretty good. I don't say this very often. I just wanted to express my gratitude for all of the things I have and that I enjoy. I hope all take some time to reflect on what they have.
Happy Thanksgiving to All
~Christy

Sunday, November 15, 2009

An Update on Us

I have not posted on here for quite some time. I have been waiting for something deep or meaningful to say, but since that's not happening, I thought I would just give you all an update.
We have had quite a lot happening around here lately.
Kyler finished his Sophomore football season a few weeks ago. Their team had a pretty good record, I think 6 and 2. Not bad for the Sophomores and Freshmen. He had a 2 week break and is now into wrestling. He has been wrestling for several years, since I think 7th or 8th grade. He is pretty good. He was on the JV team during his 9th grade year, but just about the time that they were doing state competitions and things, he got really sick and ended up in the hospital where he was very close to dying. He didn't get to finish the season and was quite upset about it, but it was not his fault and he is still with us, so all is well.





Megan just finished a volleyball season. This year she was able to try out for a freshmen league team, and made it. They ended up winning 3rd place, or as Megan says..."The winners of the losers". Megan has been playing volleyball for several years as well. She is quite good and will hopefully be able to continue playing throughout high school and possibly beyond. We're very happy that she found something that she truly enjoys doing, and is good at as well.


(Sorry, wish I had a better pick) This is what she's best at though.




Aubree is in that stage of life where she doesn't know what she wants to do, so she has been the cheer sister that goes to the games and stuff and cheers them on, or stays at home and helps me out around the house. I hope that she soon figures out where she belongs. She is a truly loving girl, that trusts others, and has been hurt a lot.






Jake just finished his first season of tackle football. He LOVES football. You would be hard pressed to find him anywhere without one. We sort of have to lay down the law that there are no footballs allowed at church. He's very good at it, and does whatever the coach asks of him. He has played both sides of the ball and has a pretty good understanding of the game. He really enjoys playing and we hope he is able to continue on playing throughout his school career. It makes him happy.
All in all we are doing OK. Dan is back to working 16 to 18 hour days and is very tired, but he enjoys his job at the McKay Center. The people he works with there are really nice, and great to him and all of us.
I just had yet another surgery. This one was to fix the original ankle surgery I had in March 2008. It hasn't really been bad at all. The worst part of it is that I haven't really felt like I've come out of the sedation. Weird I know, but everyone, including myself, would probably faint if I was just normal. I am trying to learn how to just go with the flow. It's hard, but I'm working on it.
Well, that was just an update for now. Maybe something spectacular will happen and I will have something deep or meaningful to say soon. (I wouldn't hold my breath :-) ) Thanks to all who read this blog and who are caring and concerned for our family. We feel your love.
~Christy

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sorry, it's political again

I live in Utah County. I think it was declared the reddest of all red counties. I worked as a poll worker for the elections last year, and another worker literally cried when she found out that President Obama has been elected. I feel quite lonely in my beliefs here. I have a hard time seeing the Republicans as the religious party. I think that it is easy to reconcile with Democrats as the party that represents my faith and values. The thirteenth article of faith talks about doing good to all men, hope, and seeking out lovely things. I think this describes the democrats. I abhor abortion and am in agreement with President Obama when he said that no one is pro-abortion. I think that abortion as a form of birth control is wrong, and should be used sparingly and rarely. The twelfth article talks about being subject to presidents, I don’t think that means calling them Hitler or saying that he hates white people. I think that issues should be debated on the merits, not by name calling and defining people by one or two members of their circle of associates.

I am disappointed that my church interferes with a non-members civil rights for religious reasons, and that I have to reconcile that with my own system of values, and my testimony of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. I need to exercise my faith, and trust in The Lord to guide me not only in this area of my life, but in all areas of my life. I like to think that the eleventh article of faith means that we allow others to believe that gay marriage is of God, and that if it bring two people together and forms a family that raises children in love, that should be their right.

I apologize for unloading in my posts. I used to sit at lunch with friends and debate issues and current events. I loved that. The only person that I really talk to about this kind of stuff now is my wife (and friends and family on FaceBook), and I can’t unload on her anymore because she is tired of the conflict. I like to think that I am fighting the good fight. I like to think that I am giving people whose only source of enlightenment is Fox "news" a different perspective of the world and world events. In my most humble opinion, the great divisiveness that is now part of this country's culture of right and wrong is the fault of the republicans. Don't get me wrong, the dems do it too, but watching this latest health care process just makes me sad. The dems cut and slashed and compromised to get one republican vote. Why? Why are they (the dems) trying so hard when no matter how watered down it is, when the republicans are not going to vote for it because it is a democratic measure? The republicans did not work at all to bring dems to their side when passing things, why are the dems such wusses when it comes to getting things done. Most Americans want a public option, and it will be good for the country. Congress should listen to the people that voted them in, not the paid lobbyists and just PASS THIS THING.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Reflection

Today is the 3 year anniversary of the day my life changed forever. Things were pretty good for the most part. I had a few issues I was dealing with, but for the most part OK. Trying to attain a college degree, working a full-time job and making fairly decent money. Dan and I had just bought our house a year earlier. It was that time that everyone had told us we would eventually reach. A time of happiness, security, and feeling accomplishment. It wasn't to last like that I guess.
As I look back and see the past 3 years I can see where there has been some good things to go along with the not so good things. I have learned that people with disabilities are some of the hardest working people there are. They may not be able to do a lot of the "physical" work that society deems work, but for them it's just getting out of bed in the morning sometimes. A great deal of what disabled people go through is emotion. In dealing with my own disabilities, I have not always done a great job with the emotion part. It's hard. To go from a do it all type person to not being able to do much of anything is very hard emotionally. I have learned a lot in this area, and continue to learn. Coming to accept ones disabilities is a pretty complete life change. I am one who has fought to keep my credibility during 3 years of unknown diagnosis and many professionals and not so professionals thinking I was mentally ill and doing this for attention. I hope that this is finally cleared up as they have come up with a few diagnosis and that it has come to light that I have several of my proceeding family members who suffer from the same issue. Just knowing that I am not crazy helps a lot emotionally. I now just try and deal with the emotion of not being able to do many things that I should, and previously did, be able to do. It's hard, and all I ask is for understanding and care during this time and I keep attempting to adjust to the changes that have been put upon me.
I have learned a lot over the past few years. I have learned that I can push myself harder than I ever thought I could. I do have a few VERY good friends who I count on A LOT. I also gained new friends, with one in particular I feel I've known my whole life. We are very close and very much alike. (You know who you are) I just wish that she was geographically closer.
I would be remiss if I didn't thank Dan for the love and care shown me during this time. He has ridden this roller coaster with me the whole way through. His life and the lives of my children have also changed and they have had to adjust as well. He is my rock, my strength, my eternal companion. I thank him for loving me every day.
Well, I just needed to express something. Every year this date goes by and it is an emotional day for me. This year I have a little more hope than last and hope that this trend of yearly improvement will continue.
~Christy

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Good Ole Days

So I've been thinking a lot the past few days about the old days. You know, the days when you could get up in the morning and go through the day and maybe only run into a few negativity's before going to bed. Now I know that I have not been the most positive person for the last while, but I do at least try. I am really disturbed by the way society in general has become rude and cynical. People just say what they think when they think it, even if it's not something they know or really believe. Usually just what came to their mind the quickest. We have tried to instill a sense of compassion and respect in our children, the problem is that they spend the bulk of their time with many who have not. What's more is that they are treated badly if they do follow these things. If I was a teenager today, I would be scared to death to act respectfully. Now I'm not saying they shouldn't be responsible for their own actions, just that it would be nice if others were too, including some adults. It seems that many claim and use their "right" to say whatever they want, but forget to remember and respect the way that they got that right.
I am quite disturbed by some of the reactions to recent current events. Whether we agree or not on things that are being done, we should still have the basic human compassion we were all given as human beings.
I apologize for anything I may have said that may have been offensive and ask forgiveness, all I ask is the same respect in return. It seems that if society would do this simple thing, the world would be a much better place.
I know that it's nothing new, but I am very sad right now. I can't get away from the fighting and arguing. If we have the right to these things, don't we have the right to ask for some peace as well? Just a thought
Sorry,
Christy

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dan


I know I have done this before, but I need to again.

Our lesson for Priesthood and Relief Society on Sunday was about our eternal family. This is something that I try to keep in perspective, not always succeeding, but trying none the less. Remembering that the effects of today are not just for a time, they are eternal. This makes one think a little differently than maybe they would if they were just believing it was for a short time. I put a quote on my last post that is definitely applicable here again, it was by David O. McKay. Read it if you choose, it's all bout looking forward but not forgetting that this time is part of eternity as well.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how I could let Dan know just how much I love and appreciate him. I know I am not the best at showing it all of the time, and for that I am sorry. I do recognize the things he does for me and our family. He literally works himself sick. This past week, with a little help from me, not much, and my parents, he canned 32 quarts of peaches, 12 quarts of pasta sauce, last weekend he did grape juice, and the week before that was the heavy lifter for another 3o+ quarts of peaches. He also did pickles a few weeks back. All of this on top of working 10 hour days at one job, and some at the other. Also included in this schedule are various practices and football and volleyball games. I do what I can, but I am slow and not much help. He cooks and cleans and pretty much does it all. It makes me cry to describe all of this and know how tired he is. Some how he keeps reminding me that it's ok, that I didn't ask for this to happen to me, that it's his responsibility to take care of his family. In the lesson I mentioned before, it talks about what is on the shoulders of men in the church. The priesthood is a huge responsibility and when you add all of the above mentioned, it's almost like the weight of the world is on him.

I sometimes have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming. How did I get so lucky? I know many people who do not have what I have. I can't understand the dynamic of it being any other way. I was raised by a man who took all of this very seriously and married a man who also does. I know no other way. I wish everyone had this.

Well, I will keep this relatively short(Compared to previous posts). I hope that Dan knows how much I and our children love and appreciate him. Even if we're not always showing it. He is my rock. I don't know what I would do without him. I guess I don't need to worry, he is mine for eternity.

~Christy

Monday, September 7, 2009

A Full Explaination of the Previous One Word Post

Sorry, this one will be long, but it's the only way I can do it :-)

Well, I don't know how many of you noticed that I have not posted on here for a while. I purposefully didn't post because I was really having a hard time finding anything nice to say. While obviously that hasn't always stopped me, I just really had a feeling something good was coming. It had to, I was sinking to the bottom. I knew it, but really couldn't find a way to climb out of it.

As most of you know, I have been fighting with Social Security since January of 2007(to do the math is 2y9m) to approve me as disabled. I was almost 34 when all of this happened and am almost 37 now. In approximately 5 weeks, it will be 3 years since the day I got sick.This process has been very long physically and emotionally for me and for my family, Especially Dan. At the point in time when I got sick, I was bringing about 3/4 of the amount Dan was and we were doing pretty well financially. An experience we had worked hard to have. Life changed VERY dramatically on the 18th of October 2006. Anyway, after 2 episodes of this happening and 1 month in the hospital and weeks of outpatient everything, Dan filed for SSDI.
After waiting for what seemed like forever, I was told I had a hearing on May 21st of this year. As many of you have previously read on this blog, this hearing did not go well. I had what seemed like the meanest judge in existence, and no chance of ever getting approved. I was so let down by this, it felt like just another person who didn't even believe me that I was going through what I said I was. I am a person who is all about doing things the right way, correctly. Just ask Dan, it drives him insane sometimes. Losing my credibility is one of the worst things that could happen to me. I have been turned away and told I was unbelievable so much, that it just about put me over the edge. Anyway, to my surprise, the judge continued my case. I was FUMING mad that day, but Dan kept reminding me that this was really a good thing, that it gave us time to solidify my case. I had pretty much no hope, but tried to take his advice. I was just too tired to go on much more.
SO fast forward to August 26th, 2009. This was when my hearing had been rescheduled for. We went up to the courthouse like normal, then we spoke with my representative who told us that she was hopeful, but that not much had changed. We discussed it and decided that Dan would be held out as a witness. If things looked like they weren't in our favor, he could go in and basically back up my story. Thankfully, that never happened. When we were first in there, things were very tense and unhappy. This judge really doesn't show any kind of emotion. They went through all of the technicals, then it was my turn to speak. I basically told her that I felt sad that the world has turned in to such a place, that when a person tried to do things the honest way, this is what happens. Then I proceeded to tell her that I have 4 kids and a husband and a home that I could no longer take care of or help out in pretty much any way anymore. That if I could be better, I would be. That I don't like what has happened to me nor do I want to have to be unable to do the things that a 36 year old wife and mother should be doing. At this point, I started to cry. I apologized for this and told her that I did not want to cry as I felt it made her think I was not being honest, but it happened anyway and I couldn't stop it. She asked me why I hadn't seen certain doctors, at which point I told her that I didn't know these docs existed and if I did, I would have seen them. She then told me where to find them. You could have knocked my rep over with a feather. I explained previously that this judge has no feelings, remember? She then asked the doc she brought in of his opinion, he said he couldn't put his finger on a decision and was leaving it to her. Then she asked the Vocational Specialist that she brought in of her opinion as to whether I could work a job and the answer was like the best sound in my ears had heard in a VERY long time. She said... "No Way, Not in my opinion, NO". We were then excused and I was wished a good day by everyone, including the judge. The door shut behind us and my rep said something like... I don't know what it was that you did, but the judge actually had what looked like tears in her eyes. She never helps anyone, and certainly isn't cordial to wish anyone a good day. We then met Dan who had been pacing the halls and spoke for a bit. We were told that generally if it's favorable, it's quick, (Quick meaning 4-6 weeks) and non favorable will take a while. Then we left. We were cautiously optimistic but not letting ourselves get too sure. I however, waited about 3 days before I started having the mail checked like 14 times a day. I just felt like it was going to be there.

So Friday, September 4th, 2009 Dan went out and checked the mail. He started saying as he came in the door..."Can I open it?, Can I open it?" This is what was in his hand... (sorry, blocked out my address for safety
So we sat down at the table and he opened it up. I think my heart stopped for a minute there. Then, this is what we saw...

I know that this is hard to see, but that top line and the 3rd line say..."Notice of Decision - Fully Favorable" and..."This decision is fully favorable to you".

I sat back for a minute while Dan read all of the technicalities to me. I think I pinched myself a few times to make sure it was real. Could it really be over? Could all of the emotional roller coaster of the past 3 years be over? I couldn't believe it. I cannot explain the relief that came over me once it all settled in. I thought Dan was going to cry. He said to me, "This will be so good for us, it will be like getting a raise". It's true, if things go the way we think they probably will, he won't have to work himself to the bone and then come home and continue doing it anymore. Now I realize that this doesn't make me better, and that there is much more to go from here, but the joy of this pressure being gone is immense.

Also, a revelation came with this letter. One that said that I have a diagnosis of Degenerative Disc Disease in my Cervical Spine. Nothing anyone can do to help this from what I understand, and it took me a minute to get past the fact that my docs knew this and didn't tell me, just let me go on thinking I was going crazy, but at least now I know some of what is going on with me and feel as though my credibility has been reinstated. Life is OK for the time being. We now wait to find out the numbers of the financials, but I should get insurance and pay retroactively to early 2007. We are back to the waiting, but at least we know the outcome will be better than before.

I hope that during this time I have not completely alienated my friends and family. It has been a very hard 3 years for our family and especially Dan and I, but we are looking forward to a better future. This is a quote that Dan sent to me yesterday, I think it's fitting here.

“Some of us look forward to a time in the future

salvation and exaltation in the world to come

but today is part of eternity.”

- David O McKay



I hope that all of our family and friends are getting answers to their prayers. We are beginning to see ours and know that it is in no small part do to your prayers in our behalf . Thank You all.

~ Christy

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Changing of the Seasons

Fall is returning and has brought our lives back with it. I love summer, but I really need to get back to life. Christy attended her final hearing for Social Security last week and while we do not ever count on anything when it comes to the government, we are looking optimistically to the future.

Kyler is playing football and has practice or a game every weekday. He has done his fair share in the fundraising department and is feeling the effects of getting tackled by young men that are bigger than him and running at high speed.

Megan is trying out for a volleyball club team. The cuts are tonight and we are confidant that she will make the team. She has been playing for three years and has been going to camp for the last two. Her skills have improved and she is not afraid to sacrifice her body for the ball.

Aubree is the social butterfly of the group. She helps us out at home and keeps up with all her friends on Facebook.

Jake is playing tackle football this year. He has been waiting from birth to start playing. He practices everyday and has his first game is this weekend.

I finally go back to my part-time job on Monday. Nothing happens there in the summer and I miss the people that I work with and getting out and working with the public.

Our lives are a constant maze of interacting projectiles that meet up for a meal a couple of times a week, but it works for us. All of this running around has kept us from the gym for a few weeks, but that situation will be remedied soon.

Those of you who known me well know that the current political debate invigorates me. I worked and was a student at UVSC when the Michael Moore/Sean Hannity controversy was stirring. I loved the energy on the college campus. I loved the dialogue between the opposing views. In watching the news coverage I was amazed at the many good things that were said about Teddy Kennedy from people across the political spectrum. He made mistakes in his life and those mistakes guided his future life decisions. He was known as a politician that reached across the isle to get things done. Both sides now have their own ideas about what Teddy would do now, but here is my opinion. Health care needs reform, and politicians need to reach across the isle and get it done. Each side of this debate listens to their own pundits and commentators and get pushed back into their own corners and make no effort to come to the middle. There is no longer a Walter Cronkite to give us the news as it is, there are only “news” channels to spin everything their direction. I hope that America can learn to just get along…

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stay Tuned... for the Next Episode In This Drama

OK, so the past week I had an MRI, another sleep study, a Spinal tap and tomorrow is another physical evaluation. While I know that I cannot do much of anything, I am very nervous about this. All of the tests always come back normal or something close, but obviously I am not OK and this doctor knows it. This is the only thing really holding me together. I managed to escape the spinal headaches from the Spinal Tap, at least I think I have, which is great, but what I didn't have before (probably because I was paralyzed and couldn't feel it) is a very severe backache. Not just a normal one, one that goes from the top to the bottom of my spine. I guess if I was a spine, I would not like a great big needle jammed into me. I'm sure this is normal, but not comfortable. My hope is that going through all of this will find something and give me some answers. I can't trust that it will though. I have seemed to have lost my ability to not react when I get one of these "everything came back normal" answers. A little worried about myself. Anyway, whatever.
I do know for sure though that the sleep apnea I have is completely neurological. There is nothing obstructing my airways. Getting my tonsils out wasn't a total waste. The scary part is that it's "simply", don't you love that word "simply" , that my brain tells my body to stop breathing. No real way to treat this except with a breathing machine at night. This doctors office has been wonderful to help me find a way to make this work. The last one pretty much said, "Here is your machine, Good Luck". I had problems consistently and they would never help me. Anyway, maybe this will help me a little. After the last test, the guy doing said he thinks I got some much needed deep restful sleep I probably hadn't had in years. He was right. I felt pretty good the next day until I had to walk too much and felt like crap when I went to bed. Oh well, such is my life.
Well, I'll try and update some more after I get some answers from all of this. Asking that all of you cross your fingers, and toes and pray and whatever else you can think of that this might all go through for us. We really need things to go better for us/me. Thanks
~Christy

Monday, August 10, 2009

Breathing In and Out

So, in the last week or so since my last post, we were able to get both of the boys into football, take care of the school fees, and get some groceries. Things at least give off the appearance of coming together. But as there is always an opposite and equal reaction to everything, so it is this time.
Kyler is down to the wire with getting ready for football season to start. They are doing 2 a days this week. While this may be great for Kyler as far as conditioning, this means that we have to make at least 4 trips to Mountain View every day. Now Dan is doing his best to take some of the pressure off of me, this is soooo tiring, especially when there is anything else, like a doctors appointment during the day. Kyler had to have a physical today in order to play. While this is also a good thing to do anyway, my word. There are so many questions and so many papers to fill out, that it was something like closing on our mortgage. Once all of that appointment was wrapped up, there came that lovely announcement, "You need some shots". To Kyler, you may as well say I'm pointing a gun at you head as tell him he's getting a shot. He is very phobic of needles. Not fun, but he's ok. He did fine. I also took Aubree with me, because she needed a shot, and when she got there, she needed 3 others as well. UGH, I don't think I could have had a worse pair for whining than the 2 of them together. Oh well, I won out and they are both just suffering now. Whatever!!
We got Jake registered for football on Saturday. He has been somewhat patiently waiting for this time to come when he could play tackle football. He played flag for two years and so this is the year. Now, not only will I have Kyler needing to be everywhere, so will Jake. (Breath Christy, breath!!) We did all the volleyball for the girls in the spring, so maybe I'll live.
So in the midst of registration for school, football all around, haircuts, shoes, new clothes, etc, my leg has started to revolt and pretty much stop working today. Now everyone wants to say that it is my stress level, I am more inclined to say that I have been doing WAY too much lately and simply can't keep going at that level anymore. I was discussing with Dan earlier that the stress comes after and because of the problem. It doesn't cause the problem, the problem causes it. On top of all of this, I have this hearing hanging over my head. I really am scared to death of this judge. I don't think I can take being told I'm faking it anymore. Obviously I'm not faking it. Too much is hinging on this. I have worked for years and paid my dues, I deserve this. I am tired of being denied what I've earned and honestly need, because of those who have scammed the system. It seems to effect all sides of my life.
Anyway, sorry for the whiner post. I am just trying to remind myself to breath in and out.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Power of Prayer

Well, the past few days have been very interesting for me. My emotions have been very heightened , even more than usual, not sure why but the roller coaster has been huge. I have heard so many times that things are at the worst just before something good happens. I am holding on to this theory with everything I have in me. Things have been exceptionally hard for us the last week or so. It seems that this happens every year just before the beginning of school. Things start to fall apart. This year though, seems to have a little more kick. There are things that I can't go into.
It has been nearly 3 years since I got sick. We are still fighting the same battle now, as we started fighting then.
We got Kyler and Megan's fee schedules for school last week. I think a heart attack could have easily ensued after opening Kyler's. Between the 2 of them, if we add up all of the yearbooks and pta memberships, it's close to $500. Plus all of the extra things Kyler has had to have for Football, etc. He is playing Defensive Guard. In his defense, he paid for his really expensive cleats, and has tried quite hard to sell banners to get his fees waived. Thanks to some that generously donated, he has had a little success with this. Not enough to get the waiver though. There is a Luau on the 15th of this month that he is selling tickets for in case anyone wants to come. We always find a way to do it, but are really having a hard time this year. I guess maybe I say this every year. It just seem that no matter how hard we prepare, we still end up shorthand when the time comes. Anyway, I am trying to find a silver lining.
So, we have had a few interesting experiences this past week or so as well. There have been some interesting lessons that I have been able to hear during the last few weeks of church. I guess I should say some of the lessons weren't necessarily taught as much as experienced. It amazes me that some how there is a lesson given when I am going through just that thing. I have really struggled for a while now with feeling like I was being ignored by God. I do know better, I do have faith, but this sickness has gone on way too long for me to handle happily. I do try, although probably no one knows I do. Anyway, over the past couple of weeks I have gotten to know a few people better than I had before and at least in small part, appreciate my trial. I have a neighbor I mentioned before that is facing the reality that her 8 year old daughter is going to die. I have watched her very closely lately and am in awe as to how she is dealing with it. I have come to learn that we are given the trials we are because that's what WE can handle. I hope to never have to know what she feels. To my surprise, she has said to me that she wouldn't know how to deal with what I'm going through. To me, there is no comparison, but I guess we all see things differently. I won't go as far as to say that I am happy and grateful for my trials. I haven't hit that point yet, but I really am trying to see something good.
As I mentioned before, we are really struggling in the financial area....AGAIN. So we were trying the other day to figure out where we were going to get bills and grocery money, etc. Well, we participate in a program called freecycle. This is where you post on email when you have things to get rid of and then people who may want what you're giving away express interest and so it's something like one persons junk is an others treasure, only it's free. Well, after this conversation with Dan, I replied to a post and went to pick it up and there were 5 boxes and 3 bags of food. A true answer to a prayer. Well, then we realized that we had run out of all kinds of dishwashing soap and were looking for ways to get that when again it appeared on the email and I picked up 2 Costco sized boxes of it. I know it sounds a little corny, but I see these things as real answers to prayers. We are tired of having to count on others when we should be able to make ends meet, so these are things that feel like are a way to keep a little bit of dignity in yet another of our crisis' .
Dan and I and our kids had not attended a ward activity for quite some time until last Friday. We had really felt out of place for a long time, but we decided to go to this activity and have fun. It was yet another prayer that was answered. We had a lot of fun and felt acceptance like we had felt before. Also, after several months of nothing, Dan was extended a calling and he accepted. It is a calling that neither one of us or anyone else had ever heard of, but it was perfect for Dan at this time in his life. He is very busy and couldn't accept anything that he had to do more than on Sunday, at least for the most part. He is now an Assistant Ward Clerk - Historical Clerk. He gets to attend all of the ward activities and take pictures and notes and basically compile a history for the ward. Also he is the back up if the Ward Clerk is gone. This is good, because he has been that before and knows his stuff in this area. He makes jokes about it, but this puts him back in the Bishopric, sort of, and I am happy that he is finally back in the middle of things. I have prayed for months for something to come up like this. Bishop gave Dan a beautiful blessing when he was set apart and it was really what we needed to hear.
I have another hearing scheduled with the Social Security office. I don't know how many of you remember or heard about the horrible judge from before, but I get to see her again. I am so scared I can't even explain. My representative has assured me that my case is stronger than before and that I am a very credible person. This is nice to hear as the judge and many others have let me know just how non-credible they believed me to be. This time I have a written diagnosis made by a doctor, (who wrote SSDI code in there so the judge couldn't deny it), even though none of us agree on it, and the evaluation that I flunked severely in my corner. I am still scared to death. I don't know what we are going to do if this doesn't get approved. Not only would the income help us and put my guilt for causing all of this to bed, the insurance is the biggest help. I have to keep getting medical help, but the expense is making it so I can't sometimes.
So yesterday I went to a doctors appointment that apparently I had cancelled. I had no recollection of cancelling it, but it worked out for the best. While I was there, they scheduled another sleep study for me to see if there was any improvement after having my tonsils out. I did this study last night and without the doctor saying it, things are sooooo much better. I knew it, but now I am pretty sure I have the information to prove it. This really hasn't changed much in regards to my other issues, but at least I get some good sleep when I finally get there. I am fairly certain, and the docs have said, that if my tonsils hadn't come out, I would have died in my sleep.
I know the last post was pretty bad as far as attitude goes. I really am trying to stay positive, it's just really hard some times. My kids have really been out of control lately and I am not able to stop many things from happening, nor help to fix them. This causes me a lot of emotional anguish. School really can't come soon enough at this point. A regular routine and some structure will be really great.
One last thing. Today was a great day for many people that I know and love. My great nephew was adopted by some wonderful people who will care for him and love him. I know that this was a terribly hard decision for my nephew and all of his family, but they did what was best for him, and his sister who was also adopted by another wonderful family. I hope that they all find peace in their decision. This was another answer to many prayers that have been said in their behalf.
Prayers are being answered all around me, and some for me/us. All I can do is try to hope that my/our diligent prayers will soon be answered.
Christy

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fulfilling Our Destiny

OK, so I have really been trying lately to be more positive and upbeat. Today is just not one of those days, sorry. It just seems like whenever I feel like things are going to get better, I have to be sent back to reality. Reality being that something new or a continuation of the old crap is happening. Almost as if whenever I might seem happy or settled, that we can't have that. I must be stressed to the limit. Like it's a law or something.
So for the past while, I have been thinking about what my/our reasons are for being here. When I was a young girl, I thought it was that I was supposed to go places and help people with my musical talent. I was accompanying something or performing in something constantly as a girl and early teen. One day, I just didn't have the desire to do this anymore. I wanted my talents to be for me, not for everyone else. I still try to use my talents to help people, but nothing like before. I don't know if this happened because I had fulfilled this part of my destiny or whether I stopped short of it. Then I thought that to fulfill my destiny was to be a wife and mother. Well, I am still both of those. I think for the most part I do a good job as a wife; although, since I have been sick, Dan has had to take on so many of the things I would normally do that I feel I have been robbed of having the chance to fulfill this part of it the way I feel I should. I feel like I was doing a pretty good job of helping out financially, domestically, and emotionally before, but now it is as if I am the cause of the downfall of these things. As far as being a mother... Well, I thought I was doing a pretty good job at one point a few years ago. Now I pretty much feel like I am just that lady who is only around to make their lives miserable. I used to go places and do things with my kids. Now it's just too much for me to simply go shopping or something. I have been told so many times that I never do anything and all I do is sit and make them work. They never get to do anything fun, etc. One of my children actually tells me I get mad at them only, no one else. Tonight I couldn't even get any ones attention to help me do dinner. One child doesn't thing they need to ask me anything, that I'll just have to deal with whatever is going on. One child has taken on so much responsibility since I got sick that now they think they are the parent. The other just thinks no one likes them. What does this say about the state of my home and family. I am supposed to be the glue that holds us together. How am I supposed to be the glue? I can't even hold myself together. I feel like I am failing miserably at this part of my life. This can't possibly be how it's supposed to be. Poor Dan is doing everything he can. He has to go to work and stuff. How did my house get so out of order? How did I become so obsolete?
My wish is that I hope to be able to continue on and fulfill this part of my life. That part of being a wife and mother. The way I should and want to. I don't know if this wish will ever come true, but I sure do hope so. I love my family too much to not try.
~Christy

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Superstition

I have never really been one to believe in superstitious stuff. I certainly don't get into the readings and things like that. I do though believe in a higher power. One who is all knowing and gracious and loving. It is sometimes a very hard thing to remember when you are going through trials. I often wonder though if there is a tie between superstition and faith. Really, isn't what most people call "superstition" the belief in something you can't see? Now I don't want any of you reading this to think that I am into some kind of weird thing, it's just a question I had.
Five years ago I had the opportunity to have a job working as an Executive Assistant to the VP of Academic Affairs at then UVSC. It was right after the new President Sederburg had come there. It was also the first year of Summer University, which is a week during which the faculty and staff of the school attends classes and has fun activities. I think it was an inspired idea Pres. Sederburg had. Anyway, I had the opportunity during this time to help with the set up and preparation for this. I had an interesting conversation with the Pres. as we were walking to the opening event of this. He wanted to do a little thing that was like he was a psychic or something, but was worried that it would offend the LDS population in the school. He was not LDS, but one of the best upstanding men I have met. I explained that while LDS people don't believe in "Psychics" and contacting the dead, that we did believe in a sort of faith, and that we could take a joke. That if some one wanted to be upset or offended by that, then they were not being the way the LDS religion teaches anyway. He went on with his psychic joke and it was great. Anyway, we had many chats after that about what Mormons really believed, and it has made me wonder a lot about the question I asked before.
I got a fortune cookie the other day and it said that luck would be coming my way. Then the next few days following I read my horoscope and it said that my luck would be changing and things would fall into place regarding a very personal situation, or something like that. Now I tend to listen more to prayers and blessing and such, but I found it interesting when I received in the mail it had a letter in there informing me that my new SSI hearing had been scheduled. My representative for this called today and said she thought it looked very promising this time. I have to wonder if this is the only way that I am paying attention right now or something. It is not the usual way I get prompted, but I believe that when we are being led in a certain direction, it really doesn't matter how you get the message, just that you get it. I have a very strong testimony of the spirit. It has lead me through some pretty dark times and situations, but I am also aware that some times I am hard to get through to. Maybe it's through these other things that I am getting the message. I am aware that I may be a little stubborn. Just a little though.
OK, I am guessing that maybe I have rambled on and maybe not made mush sense. I guess that's what 1 AM might do to a person.
On a more serious note. I have a neighbor that is really having much to deal with in her life. She has an 8 year old daughter who has an inoperable brain tumor. I have watched and talked with her and am in awe as to how she is handling this. I have my problems that are difficult for me to handle, but I think about hers and realize that mine don't feel as bad anymore. I can't imagine, nor do I want to, what she is going through. Jake is 8 and I look at him and think of the future. It would be very hard to know that there wouldn't be one. Anyway, I am really feeling sad for my neighbor, but she and her family now this is the way it should be and so all of us should take an example from the strength and faith of this family. They are in my prayers and I hope many others as well.
Hopefully I'll think of something more significant to write about soon. Plus maybe I'll write it when I am totally awake.
~Christy

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sorry Ladies, I Got the Best One

He is going to be mad that I wrote this, but I don't care, I Love Him

This picture above is my favorite picture. It was taken at the Senior Ball during Dan's senior year in high school. I love it for so many reasons. First of all, just look at him. Blonde hair, blue eyes, tall (A big deal for me) and well, he's just gorgeous. I had told my parents from the time I was really little that I was going to marry a tall, blond hair blue eyed guy. I got that and a whole lot more in Dan. Even at this point in time, which had to be somewhere around December 1988, I knew that Dan was the one. If you look in his eyes, you will see that he is a very loving compassionate person, which is the bonus that I got in being the one who gets to share my life with him.

This picture actually makes me cry sometimes. This was the picture taken at the beginning of boot camp. He looks so sad and scared or something. I really love this picture though. I call it his puppy dog eyes. I remember the day he joined the Navy. It seemed at the beginning to be the worst day of my life, but by the end of the day, he had reassured me that this was the best thing for us, that he would have a stable job and income, that we could get married and not have to be apart after a short time in boot camp. Dan has always put his concern for me before his own.


This picture is of Dan waiting in line to board the Carnival Pride cruise ship. Since he had been out of the Navy for 15 years, I guess it was safe to try being on the ocean again. We left out of Long Beach, which is where we lived during his time in the Navy, and where Dan's Ship, the USS Duncan was ported. It was a little weird to be back there and Dan refused to crack a smile until we were on the ship. He really just worried that it would never happen. We really had the best time of our lives. It was a great way for us to be able to spend time together and renew our feelings for each other. Having had me being sick for so long before this trip, the relaxation for him was huge, although he was always right there worrying about me and if I was ok. Once again putting me first before himself.

This picture is of us standing on the beach in Mazatlan. Dan took over 1200 pictures during this trip. He wanted to make sure we had a way to remember it.

So Dan has really been trying for about a year now to get fit. This is a picture of him during one of his lunch breaks last year. Can you see the Y in the background? He would hike to the Y quite often.( For those of you not native to Utah, there is a local mountain here with a concrete Y on it, signifying BYU) He has started to do this again this year. It's about 1 mile straight up and then obviously another down. He had knee surgery about 10 days ago and has already been to the Y with Jake. The knee doctor was like "Cool, well then I guess you are good to go". Dan really works hard to try and be healthy, and also to take our kids when he goes so they will be healthy too. Plus then they get to spend time together.


This is a picture of Dan with my favorite Flash Fox. I guess you could say these are two foxes. :-) Dan loves his job at the McKay Center. He has made many friends there and they love him. Dan works many long hours to make it so me and our kids can have a house to live in and all of the things we need. I hate to sound repeatative, but once again, he has put our needs above his own.



I hope that Dan will forgive me for posting all of this. He doesn't like attention drawn to him, but I feel very lucky to have been the one who gets to spend my life with him. He is a wonderful husband and great father. He would give the shirt off of his back to anyone in need and is one of the first people you will find helping some one, with no regard for himself. We had a lesson in church today about Charity and how it is the Pure Light of Christ. I think that Dan magnifies this and does carry this light in him. I hope that he knows how much I love him and our kids love him. Really, almost everyone I know or have talked to loves Dan. How could you not. The love and care and compassion that he has shown to me especially over the past few years is simply amazing, and I will never be able to express the gratitude I feel for having him.

~Christy

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

It's Been 20 Years and we Still Like Each Other



Today is Dan and I's 20th wedding anniversary. It is hard to believe that it has been this long since we got married. It only makes sense, we are getting older and have teenage children, I guess that how it works. I have been thinking all day long what I might say in this post. I am a sap when it comes to things like this. I also don't believe paths cross by accident.



On July 8th 1989, when I was 16 years old, I married my soul mate. Yes, we are different in so many ways, but we complete each other. Dan was is and always will be my very best friend and soul mate. We were meant to be together. I am happy that he wrecked my sister's car so that we could become friends and then best friends and then husband and wife and mom and dad. (sorry for the run on sentence, I told you I am a sap) I believe Dan was a rebelious teenager so as to be able to meet me, even if it was by "accident" ! Although we have been to there and back, we have worked through things together and found "our" way to live our lives. Marrying him was the best decision I have ever made.









Fast Forward to today, July 8th 2009. (The pic was in February). Yes, we are a little bigger and a little slower. But if you look in our eyes in this picture, you will see the same love and joy as the previous one. We are still in love and I would say more in love than we could have imagined. Life has handed us many challenges, but we are bonded in a way that is strong and unbreakable. I am amazed at how lucky I am to have found him. Together we have conquered and accomplished much and created the family we hoped for.


I Love You Dan. Here looking at 20 more and an eternity !!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Busy week

This has been a very fun and busy week. After Christy's surgery,

I took Kyler, Aubree, and Jake (Megan was babysitting) to the movie UP! in Disney 3D.

Jake had a little trouble getting used to the motion of the picture, but got used to it after a few minutes. We all just loved this movie. After the movie we got subways and played in the park.

We went to an Owlz game.



Yesterday. Christy's sister and her husband invited us to go four-wheeling with them up by Strawberry. Everyone who wanted to got to drive the four wheelers, even Jake. We all came home burnt and sore, but we had a great time.







Tonight we are having a bbq at our house and lighting fireworks. Should be a lot of fun. I love summer. Christy is doing much better. She slept last night without the aid of any pharmacutical products. Thanks to all the concern and assistance provided to our family in the last few weeks. Dinner (and lunch, and even breakfast) were provided by our many friends and family members often after the surgery and our children were looked in on and taken care of. There have been many night that I have spent in the hospital with CHristy in the past few years, and it has never been easy, but it has been much easier knowing that there are paople we can always count on to care for those that we love.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

An Update

So I just thought I would pop in and say that we are doing ok for this minute. Life isn't ever easy for us it seems, but we are moving along.

We are not sure whether Dan is going to have his knee surgery on the 9th or not, but we will see. I really hate places that claim to be non-profit, but hold your health hostage if you can't pay up front. Anyway, off that soap box.

Many decisions are in process of being made here. We are still waiting for Social Security to make some kind of determination, but things are seemingly coming together and looking somewhat in my favor. I never let my hope get out of hand though. Reality stinks when I am not prepared for it.

The move to St. George is still a possibility, different circumstances than a month or two ago, but nevertheless another decision to be made. All but one of the kids have decided that they want to give it a shot and move. They weren't coaxed or anything. It's nice to see them thinking about things and taking their decisions seriously. Stay tuned for more information on this.



Megan and Aubree both went to the Atoa Volleyball camp. Sam Atoa is the coach of the UVU volleyball team. They enjoyed themselves a lot. They both got cool shirts and UVU volleyballs. We are happy to see our girls getting involved in things.

Kyler continues to be involved with training for football. He is starting to look pretty tough. He will be on the sophmore football team at Mountain View High School this year, providing we are still here. He recently got a job working at the McKay Center at UVU. He is really excited. He did this pretty much on his own. He had to submit and app and interview and everything. We are really proud of the determination Kyler has shown lately to move forward with his life. Especially after the year he has had.

Jake is still adjusting to life without Max here. He has spent a few days with him, but finds himself not knowing what to do with himself. He will be starting tackle football in a few weeks. He is really excited.



Dan and I are just trying to get through tough times and make decisions that we feel are best for our family. I am doing my best to heal and Dan is doing his best to keep things together and moving along. It can't be easy for him to have to take on everything because I am down. He is tired and beat down, but he is strong and doing a great job.

Hopefully Dan will post again soon. I told him that he needs to post more so people don't get sick of me.