Friday, December 31, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Saturday, November 20, 2010
OK, here are the pics...
Monday, November 15, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Around 23 years ago I was 14 years old and having a pretty hard time in life trying to figure out where I belonged and what my future held. Everyone has always told me that I think too much or analyze things too much, but it's who I am and always have been. I grew up, for the most part, in a household/family of adults. My nearest sibling either direction was 6 years younger than me. Process wise, I was always several years older than my real age. The reason I bring this up is because I'm pretty sure the thought that ran through the heads of most of you reading this was, "Why was she worrying so much about her future when she was 14?" I believe that I was being prepared for the life I was to have in the future. It was about this time that I met a boy. I really didn't like him much, as I thought he was sort of reckless. I was really good friends with a person who was also his friend. Then one night, this particular boy borrowed my sisters car and got in a car accident. I had teased and poked at him every time he returned with her car (he had taken it several times) this time was no different. The deal was "you wreck it you buy it" I happen to answer the phone when he called to tell my sister and brother-in-law what had happen. As usual, I teased him and the answer I got was a very quiet "could you please let me talk to either Marsha or Mike, it's important." At that point I realized this was not a joking matter and got Mike on the phone. So after everything was taken care of that night, I witnessed this "boy" telling my sister and her family that he would make things right, that he gave his word that if he wrecked it he would buy it, so he would buy it. I know that this doesn't sound like a big deal, but it was to me. He showed so much honesty and dignity as a 16 year old young man that I wanted to know more. Yes, he was pretty reckless, but all of a sudden that seemed like a very judgmental thing for me to hold against him. Recklessness doesn't have anything to do with a persons worth. As far as I know, I wasn't even on his radar and was probably somewhat of an irritation to him, we, through a crazy happening on New Year's Eve that year found ourselves at a church dance together. I believe that it was not really an accident that he wrecked the car, or that our friend got sick and went home from the dance. It's how we finally got together. Over the next year and a half, we would go through some pretty crazy things. Dan joined the Navy and went through boot camp, I had some pretty major health issues. We had school and all kinds of other things to deal with, but in the end the two of us came out of it together. We got married a little over 21 years ago. Putting that wedding together with the Navy to deal with and many other things was crazy, but we did it. That year and a half when we were 15 and 16 years old was the foundation for what our life together would rely on. Over the years that we have been married we have had some pretty tough things to get through, as does everyone, but we understand that we have each other to rely on.
The reason I tell this long story today is because we have come to a time in our life when this solid foundation seems like it has been beaten with a sledgehammer. We both know that when you have something that solid and sure that everything possible is going to try to shake it up. We moved to this street 12 years ago with 3 little kids and a hope for some stability. We were led here by a higher power. We know this. After having one more child and more life experiences, it became time to take a look ahead again and again we were led, or maybe I should say others were led to us. That's when our neighbor across the street came to us out of the blue one day and offered his house to us. It came together fairly easy and we moved across the street and about a year and a half later bought our house. Finally we were living the life we had dreamed about. After years of struggling with going to church and holding jobs (on my part) we were doing pretty well. Dan was the Young Men's president, I was doing various things, but we were very involved and feeling very much at home here. Things changed with callings and stuff and we just rolled with it. In 2004 Dan had throat surgery to remove a tumor. In 2005 we were impressed to bring Dan's parents here for a while. Still not sure of the reasons why, we did that and feel that we have done what is right. In October 2006 I had what was thought to be a stroke. This has been a constant struggle for 4 years. I can no longer work, and am very limited in everything. This changed everything for our entire family. Dan all of a sudden had the entire weight of taking care of the family on him. Now is when my thoughts go back to the 16 year old reckless boy. He has taken on extra jobs, taken on many of the household duties, while still working a full time job and for most of the time holding several fairly pressing church callings. Kyler was in the hospital clinging to life during this time, Megan was assaulted, Aubree was thought to have a brain tumor. It has been A LOT to get through. Dan still gets up every morning, even when he is so sick he can't move, and goes to work. Over the past couple of years, Dan has had a very hard time in regards to happenings in the world and the way in which the church has handled things. Confusion and doubt has crept in bit by bit. There are many things that I personally have wondered how certain reactions could be right and have had my own times of feeling like falling away, but have been able to see things differently. Not necessarily more correct, just different. As of the past few months, things have gotten so intense in this regard that Dan has experienced very serious judgment and in some cases plain meanness and slander by member of the church. I as well have been "pitied" by some that really have no idea of what's really going on. I am a strong person who has gone through some very hard things in my life. My husband is and has been the rock that is always there to sure me up. Remember my earlier statement about honesty and dignity? Well, Dan is a person that does what he feels to be best for him and his family and nothing or no one will stop him. He will stand firm even if it makes him look bad. This is where there are serious problems. I heard a quote the other day that sums things up in this regard, it is..."Things are so seldom the way they appear to be, that appearances really tell us very little about the people we meet." President Monson spoke of just this at womens conference a few days ago. This is where some of the confusion and doubt have come in. Many seem to pick and choose the doctrine they are going to follow. Many have no problem telling others what they should be doing without doing it themselves. We have been taught our entire lives that we should respect others feelings and free agency, yet it sometimes turns out that just the opposite happens. Everyone is different and has different ways of getting through life. EVERYONE! Everyone is a child of God. EVERYONE! Even if they are necessarily living the way we believe in. But most importantly, we should not make ourselves judges of how others should live, especially when we don't always know all of the facts and realities of their lives.
Dan has announced to me that he will not be returning to church. That he feels that if he does he is putting on a show to give me, our kids, and others a false sense of what he believes. He does not feel he should pretend that he is in agreement with the way some of the church leaders are doing things. That some of them are contradictory in their teachings from what the doctrine is. That many members of the church are taking these teachings to an extreme that is not good as well. This is no ones fault and no one elses problem. It is his personal feeling at this time. He believes in the doctrine of the church and has a strong testimony of it. He simply cannot be in agreement at this time with many of the ways this same doctrine is being taught. There are some leaders that have been wonderful to us and tried to help us through this time. They are wonderful friends and their love and support is very much appreciated and returned. I hope they know that this statement does not apply to them. This goes right back to the honesty and dignity I have mentioned so many times.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I believe that when church becomes more of an aggravation in your life than a blessing, it becomes time to step back, take a break, and evaluate where you are in life and where the forces are that drive you forward instead of pressing you back. I believe in God, the Eternal Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in The Holy Ghost. I believe that Joseph Smith saw God, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I believe that the church is true, but that the people in it are flawed. I believe that church is not the place to push your political views and that people should not assume that just because someone belongs to the same religion, that they belong to the same political party and share the same political views. I believe that too many people decide to push their judgment on other people. I believe that in this area too many people look down upon people that are different from them and shun those have a different belief system. I believe that marriage as a legal institution is a civil right and should be inalienable. I believe that love should rule the world. I believe that everyone deserves love and respect no matter their station of life, situation, or hand they have been dealt, and I believe that church should be the place that the love and respect should be felt the most. I believe that the family is the building block of society where every child should feel safe and loved. I believe that a mother and a father raising children together in love and happiness is the ideal situation. I believe that life is rarely ideal. I believe that good families come in many different sizes, shapes, and make-ups. I believe that some in this nation are blaming an entire religion for the actions of a few of its zealots. I believe that art and beauty to one person is offensive trash to another, and both people are entitled to their opinions and have to right to state their opinion without judging another because of theirs. I believe that someday I may return to full activation in the church, but for now, I just need a break from the judgment, the prejudice and the political agenda from some of those I attempt to worship with.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Three days ago I was walking through my kitchen, not very quickly because I don't do anything fast, when I slipped on something and had a very non graceful fall. While I don't remember passing out or anything, I found myself lying flat on my tile floor in horrific pain. I have a problem with my neck that is ongoing and if I lift my head to far backwards I pass out. The theory is that I flung my head back too far and must have passed out for a second. After lying there crying for a minute, Dan helped me into a chair. We were confident everything was going to be OK and then one side of my face (any guesses which one?) swelled up and my leg and arm lost all function instantly. At this point between the pain and the loss of function it was decided that I needed to be check out by a doctor, but I couldn't walk. Dan called the paramedics and they came in and strapped me to a board, taped my head down and had things holding my head still. Very much taking precaution in case I had broken my neck or something. They took me to UVRMC where I can't get in to much because it gets me very upset. Lets just say that if it hadn't been for the doctor that they finally called to get rid of me, I don't know if I would have made it out of the hospital without being taken straight to jail for tearing up the ER. They did do an xray and made sure my neck wasn't broken, but that was it until the last doc. He gave me a shot for the immense pain I was in and did a bunch of neuro tests where he determined that I was not faking it. Long story short, I was brought home and carried in the house and just like the doc said, started getting feeling back the next morning. I am still very weak and slow, but getting better. It's just very hard to be back in this pace again, trying to fight my way to "normality" whatever that is. Sometimes I just get lost.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I have been taking the new camera out and having fun shooting as much as possible. I shot my first paying job, a wedding, and really enjoyed it. There are many, many photographers out there with much more talent and experience than me, and I am in it more for the fun of the creation of a beautiful picture, but it would be nice to make enough money to cover expenses.
Christy is losing weight like crazy and is almost halfway to her goal.
Kyler got his driver’s license and would drive across the street to borrow milk if we would let him. He’s really handy for those quick trips to the store or taking the other kids to their errands.
Megan is babysitting and helping out around the house.
Aubree is also helping around the house and misses her friends over the summer.
Jake is anxiously awaiting the beginning of football practice.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Monday, April 19, 2010
OK, so after quite some time of battling my weight and having no success, I started looking into other options like the lap band or the sleeve and the gastric bypass. The first thing I checked was the possibility of the insurance paying for it. If the insurance wasn't going to pay, there was no way for me to do any of it. After my research, I discovered that Medicare would in fact pay for it as long as I had 2 qualifying sicknesses and had tried other things. Well, believe it or not, with all of the docs I have seen over the past 3 1/2 years, no one was tracking my regular health. I had been told that I did not have diabetes, that my blood pressure was unregular, but they figured it was from anxiety, and a list of other things. I decided in December that I was going to find a new primary doctor and have a physical. I needed one anyway, and if things worked out, then we could maybe push through some kind of help.
I went to see Dr. Darryl Stacey in mid December. He did a physical and a full work up on me. He knew of my previous history and issues that I deal with. The conclusion came back that I had pretty bad diabetes, and that my blood pressure was so unregular that I needed to be medicated for both. He then wrote a letter to the surgeon that I had asked to do surgery and told her what was happening. By the end of January, I had appointments set up for the surgeon and was well on my way for the surgery. I had originally planned to get a lap band, the least invasive of the three, but after further study and talking with the surgeon, we decided to go ahead with the Bypass. I went through the Surgical Weight Loss Center, Doctors Christina Richards and Daniel Cottam. This is one of 2 places that were available with Medicare. They did everything. They wouldn't schedule surgery until the insurance had cleared and it only cost us $500. I started the process the first of January and by mid February we had surgery scheduled for the end of March originally. The process going so smoothly and easily really gave me a peace of mind that I was doing the right thing.
The surgery didn't actually happen until April 12th because of some unforseen problems with my health, but it did go forth on the 12th. I had been on a liquid diet for 7 days before. This amazed me that I actually did it. The doctor reported to Dan that the surgery went "perfect" and then promptly put me in the ICU. I have always had an unusually high heart rate. This apparantely concerned the doc so I was put there as a precaution and spent 2 days there. I live in Orem and the hospital and doc are in East Downtown SLC. She didn't want me to have problems and be that far away. If I could just convince people that the ICU was a precaution, it would be good. Many don't understand the changes that have happend with this surgery over the past several years and have been very concerned.
As of this morning, April 19th, exactly 7 days, I am down 22 pounds and Dr. Stacy took me off of all my meds. My BP has regulated well and my Blood Sugars are pretty great. It is soooo nice to see results from working hard to do something. I have struggled with meight for years and just couldn't make it happen. This gives me renewed strength to go on now that I know I'm having success and can actually see it. Hopefully soon I will post a new pic so you can see the progress.
Thanks to all of you who have helped and supported Dan and I and the kids through this. I am well on the mend and doing well.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
I'm sure that she will tell you more later, but Christy's surgery went perfect (according to her doctor). She had to stay an extra day in the ICU because she had an elevated heart rate and so she didn't com home until yesterday. She had the surgery at Holy Cross Hospital (now known as Salt Lake Regional Medical Center) in Salt Lake. A creepy place where a homeless guy met us at the door when we arrived. Salt Lake Regional Medical Center was formerly known as Holy Cross Hospital, which was the only Catholic Hospital in Utah for over a century. The hospital was sold by the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1994 and renamed. The hospital is built on a block that was a hill and the whole set-up is just weird. The main entrance is on the second level of the parking structure. Christy would not let me take pictures of her in the hospital, but I took some pictures of my kids and have been playing with my iPhone - Pictures below.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Jake and Aubree have been fighting - we got them to stay still and smile in order to get a few shots:
We've been trying to keep them out of trouble
Christy is enjoying her liquid diet week and having the kids home
Megan has been babysitting and I have been taking pictures.