Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One Year Anniversary

Although the date has come and gone, I have done a LOT of reflecting.

In just one year we received the most devastating blow I hope to encounter in my lifetime. I have run the gamut of many emotions, many, many times. I have endured surgeries (all two of them, in my whole life), chemotherapy and radiation. I have lost everything that I defined myself by, except one boob and the nether-regions. I gained more weight.

I gained more self worth. I gained a stronger testimony of my Father in Heaven and his love for me. I gained more appreciation for the trials that others have to face. I gained a deeper love for my husband, children, family and friends than I could ever express. This life is so precious and such a beautiful blessing.

I learned that I can do anything, and I mean anything. I learned that people who love you will do anything for you. I learned that people who don't know you, would give anything to ease the burden or pain you are feeling. I learned the true and honest meaning of charity. I learned that prayer is the most powerful tool available to us.

I have been blessed. I have been loved. I have been carried and strengthened. I have not been forgotten and I have felt His power many times.

Congratulations... right.

This morning, Ken once again, congratulated me on "bleeding for a whole month and a half and not dying... You know, most things would die." Well, obviously he forgot what happens after you have a baby.

One of the greatest blessing about not being in menopause anymore is that my "bikini line" has retracted from my knees, back up to the actual spot it is supposed to be. Stop laughing. I am not even kidding. It was awful.

Monday, March 12, 2012

I believe there are many pivotal moments in our lives that bring us to the understanding of how fragile the string tying us to this life truly is.

I have been forced many times over this past year to think of my own life and my life after. It is painful to go there. It is heartbreaking to think of what I would leave behind. Am I afraid to die? No. I know where I am going and whom I will be with. But it pains me beyond belief to think of those I love, left behind to pick of the pieces, make sense of them and slowly carry on with their lives that lay ahead. All of the “what” and “what if” questions plague me.

Sadly, on Friday, this fragility was snapped back into focus as one of our good friends passed on. He was injured in a tragic accident and has left his beautiful wife and their four, young, sweet little ones to sort through these pieces of their own life.

My heart is so heavy and broken for my friend and the families touched by this accident. I was able to visit with her for a while yesterday, and to say the least, she is still as amazing as she has always been. We found some moments to laugh together and remember, and other moments to fall apart... The weight of this world now rests upon her shoulders. And though, in our trials we are never alone, it is completely normal to be aware of this weight we will now carry.

In feelings of desperation for answers today and reading from many different talks from the leaders of our church, I came across this one, appropriately named. I found much comfort in its words. So I want to share it with you.

“Why do we have trials?”

“I have often pondered, Why is it that the Son of God and His holy prophets and all the faithful Saints have trials and tribulations, even when they are trying to do Heavenly Father’s will?” Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said. “Why is it so hard, especially for them? … Why such terrible tribulation? To what end? For what purpose?”

Elder Hales answered those questions in his October 2011 general conference address, saying, “As we ask these questions, we realize that the purpose of our life on earth is to grow, develop, and be strengthened through our own experiences. How do we do this? The scriptures give us an answer in one simple phrase: we ‘wait upon the Lord.’”

Waiting upon the Lord

“Tests and trials are given to all of us. These mortal challenges allow us and our Heavenly Father to see whether we will exercise our agency to follow His Son. He already knows, and we have the opportunity to learn, that no matter how difficult our circumstances, ‘all these things shall [be for our] experience, and … [our] good’ (D&C 122:7).

“Does this mean we will always understand our challenges? Won’t all of us, sometime, have reason to ask, ‘O God, where art thou?’ Yes! When a spouse dies, a companion will wonder. When financial hardship befalls a family, a father will ask. Yes, ‘weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning’ (Proverbs 30:5). Then, in the dawn of our increased faith and understanding, we arise and choose to wait upon the Lord, saying, ‘Thy will be done.’”

Elder Hales spoke of what it means to wait upon the Lord, noting that in the scriptures, the word wait means to hope, anticipate, and trust.
“To hope and trust in the Lord requires faith, patience, humility, meekness, long-suffering, keeping the commandments, and enduring to the end,” Elder Hales said.

As K crawled up onto her Mom’s lap and we looked through pictures, my heart shattered. Not only for her, but also for me. How could my own children possibly understand the gravity of life’s situations should our life face this same challenge? How do you help them to understand? How do you help to ease that pain in their little eyes?

Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said that understanding Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness is the key to learning to wait upon the Lord.
“Among the most frequently asked questions of Church leaders are, Why does a just God allow bad things to happen, especially to good people? Why are those who are righteous and in the Lord’s service not immune from such tragedies?”

Although we do not know all the answers, Elder Cook said, we do know the important principles that allow those facing tragedies to face them with faith and confidence in the future.

We have to have faith in our future. And faith in our Heavenly Father’s plan for us. We have to “believe, trust, and align our lives so that we will understand our true eternal worth... and be worthy of the precious blessings our Heavenly Father has in store for us.” (You matter to Him. President Ucthdorf October 2011)

Principles of Faith

“First,” he said, “we have a Father in Heaven, who knows and loves us personally and understands our suffering perfectly.

“Second, His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Savior and Redeemer, whose Atonement not only provides for salvation and exaltation but also will compensate for all the unfairness of life.

“Third, the Father’s plan of happiness for His children includes not only a premortal and mortal life but also an eternal life as well, including a great and glorious reunion with those we have lost. All wrongs will be righted, and we will see with perfect clarity and faultless perspective and understanding.”

“There are many kinds of challenges. Some give us necessary experiences. Adverse results in this mortal life are not evidence of lack of faith or of an imperfection in our Father in Heaven’s overall plan. The refiner’s fire is real, and qualities of character and righteousness that are forged in the furnace of affliction perfect and purify us and prepare us to meet God.”

There is much comfort knowing that through this gospel, our families are forever. That through our brother Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice we can all attain this glorious gift and that the wrongs in our lives will be righted.

Continue in Patience

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the First Presidency spoke of the blessings of patience and trusting in the Lord’s timing.

“The children of Israel waited 40 years in the wilderness before they could enter the promised land. Jacob waited 7 long years for Rachel. The Jews waited 70 years in Babylon before they could return to rebuild the temple. The Nephites waited for a sign of Christ’s birth, even knowing that if the sign did not come, they would perish. Joseph Smith’s trials in Liberty Jail caused even the prophet of God to wonder, ‘How long?’

“In each case, Heavenly Father had a purpose in requiring that His children wait.”
I can testify to you that although it is not easy to have patience in our Heavenly Father’s plan, many blessings and small miracles are brought forth to us in our greatest times of need. We are not forgotten. We are not alone.

Called to Wait

“Every one of us is called to wait in our own way,” President Uchtdorf continued. “We wait for answers to prayers. We wait for things which at the time may appear so right and so good to us that we can’t possibly imagine why Heavenly Father would delay the answer.”

“[Some] answers [don’t] come immediately. [Although] God’s promises are not always fulfilled as quickly as or in the way we might hope; they come according to His timing and in His ways. I know for sure that the promises of the Lord, if perhaps not always swift, are always certain.”

As we know, there are going to be dark days ahead for my friend and her children. She will ask these questions herself... just as I have and still do at times. But I know she will find comfort in the words of the scriptures and the words of our prophet and all the other leaders of our Church. I know she will not be alone and that the Lord’s angels will encircle her, lift her and carry her through when she has nothing left to go on. I know she will be blessed far beyond measure.

As I asked earlier, please pray for her and their little ones. Pray for S’s parents and all those in mourning. The power of prayer is an amazing force and blessing to those lives to which it is applied.

May God bless your lives always. May you also find peace during your times of trials and know that these blessings are available to you if you but have faith.

I Want You To Live

I know that there are people who read my blog that are friends with L.  Her cousin posted this on her FB page and I thought it was too beautiful not to share with other's who don't know her and won't see this. 

A prayer in our hearts.

These past few days have been one of prayerful thought as we have lost a dear friend to us. My mind is like a lost child in a maze, frantically searching for their way out pausing often to re-group and offer a quick, desperate prayer for guidance. I feel my thoughts are like a fog and as I break into that clear sky I know all will be well, that I am being guided, only to plunge back into the thick of it.

I realize, that not only my life has unexpected path's, but those we love also have sharp corners in their path of this existance. I pray that my feelings come together as I write this post and that I am able to make some sort of sence for you.


It seems it is not going to happen as I have been staring at this computer screen for over an hour.

Please pray for our beautiful friend Lara Hall and their 4 sweet little ones at this time. Also pray for Steve's family who is also suffering this tragic loss just as deeply.

Friday, March 9, 2012

My kids.

Last night at the supper table, we had a lot of laughs. C was being his normal, crazy, head shaking (side to side causing him to loose his balance every time), knee bouncing weirdo.

K was laughing at her own jokes. She said, "Mom and Dad, I am going to tell you a hilarious joke ok. Your really going to laugh really hard. Ok, ok. How many eyes does a cow have?" Then she starts thinking really intently, eyes searching her brain for the perfect statement... "1000!!!" Endless, crazy laughter. Then she told me I have a nipple on my nose. Then Ken stopped us from all laughing because that is not appropriate.

W was trying to tell us a story but I was so intrigued by his little dimples and his missing front tooth that I can't really remember what he was saying. It didn't matter. We were all laughing and enjoying our supper.

Ken was daydreaming, as he often does while we eat... sometimes it is really hard to pull him out of his own little world. He comes too with an eye-popping look of excitement and gingerly laughs at.... wait, he's not sure what we are laughing at.


This morning the kids woke up a little on the hyper side of life as we are going away again this weekend to see cousins and RUN THE RACE!!!! I am just as excited as them to see everyone again. I just feel so completely loved and accepted, no matter what, when we are together.

I finally got the kids off to school and contemplated crawling back into bed and pulling my warm sheet up over my head and dozing off. Just as I was about the head in to our room, I heard the Superman theme song being hummed from the basement, by a sleepy little boy, pulling on his house coat and putting on his slippers. It instantly melted me and we had a good cuddle when he came upstairs.

Have I ever told you how blessed I am??

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"Wha'd you say??"

So this other Mommy's blog that I follow (whom I have stolen other clips from before) posted this a few weeks ago. I came across it last night and just about died laughing. Oh, how special some people really are. Hope she doesn't mind... enjoy.

"I had the craziest conversation with a cashier at the grocery store.

Cashier: Can I see your ID?

A: Sure

Cashier: Wow, you really cut your hair!

A: Nope, I lost it to cancer.

Cashier: Oh, brain cancer?

A: No, breast cancer

Cashier: *shakes head* I don't get it. How do you lose your hair from breast cancer?

A: *explained how chemotherapy works*

Cashier: I know. I worry about breast cancer all the time because I lose hair all the time in the shower.
That really sucks. Everyone dies when they get breast cancer.

A: Actually, more people live than die. Have a great day!"

Seriously where do some people come up with this. I would actually just keep my mouth shut. Talk about saying all the wrong things at the wrong time. But, none the less, good for a laugh.


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Q & A

I was thinking it might be kind of fun to have a Q and A. I am sure I have thought of almost everything to tell you about this journey for me, but I know that some of you have questions and I am more than happy to help with them. You can post them anon. and I'll get to them. I might wait until I have a few so I don't just randomly post them all the time. Maybe none of you really want to know anything else about me. In such a case, I will make up my own questions so you will never know. ;)

Battling the pounds.

Battling weight sucks. We all know that. I hate to say that it is no easier for my after having this diagnosis. One would think that I would be terrified into eating properly. Sometimes I am and sometimes I could care less about what I feel my body. But that feeling of despair after makes me upset with myself.

I am ALMOST to my pre-cancer weight (loved "pre-pregnancy weight" much better!!) which is still not healthy, and I still want to loose another 40-50 once I get there. But I find it really hard. My habits are slowly improving, and I am doing my best to eat well. It is rough though when some days I just want to nap and then by the time I am awake it is a little late for a healthy supper. I would never want a Nanny. I would want someone to clean my house for me and cook me and my family a healthy meal every night. That would be awesome. Then I could play with my kids and not worry about everything that I still need to try and get done in my days.

Having said all that, I am not giving up. I have worked out 6 days a week since January (minus a few here and there when I was sick) and even if I haven't lost much weight, I feel stronger and better than I have in a long time. The rest will happen when it does. And I just have to be happy with that.

Prepping for the 10K

Well, the "big" day is almost here. I am excited and nervous all rolled into one. I have been prepping for this run since the beginning of January. I NEVER thought I would be ready in time, and I still don't think I am ready, but I am at the end of my training schedule and I am out of time. So even if I am the last one up the hill at the end, I will finish. No matter what.

Days when I had a hard time I told myself, "Ummmmm, you did surgery. You did Chemo. You did Radiation. You can darn well do this. You got this. This is easy compared to this past year. Keep it up, you're almost there." It must have worked because when I really, REALLY didn't feel like running, I still found the time and motivation (even if it came from so deep, like, down by my toe nails) to have that time for me.

I have watched every Superhero movie several, several times with my baby C, as I plugged along and he sat on the couch. I know it was just watching TV, but I was glad we were in the same room and I got to watch him. He's such a sweetie when he wants to be by opening my water bottle and making sure that I wasn't alone.

I have been able to watch my kids play games together - tag, hide and seek and Xbox. They have played with their toys and their dress up clothes. I have laughed while the dog escapes all sorts of tents, forts and blanket wrap-ups just as the kids capture him and start all over again. All the while, I was keeping pace. Maybe not fast, but still going. And I was just so thankful to be able to BE THERE with them. They make me smile and drive me nuts all in the same breath. But I am sure your kids did/do that too...

So I will let you know how I did when I get home. Unless of course I am the last one up the hill... I might not be home yet.