Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Wrapping up 2014

When I think of the past week and the end of 2014 there is so much on my mind I can hardly contain it. Facebook has a "look at my year:" post going around. I did peek at what it said my year was and I have to say it didn't even cut the surface of what has happened. In reality I  could say this year has been the worse year ever and I'm glad to see it go, it's been full of pain and drama, but that is not entirely true either.
Yes I definitely had some down part of the year but I am full of gratitude for the year I have had.  I had a full year with my family watching my kids grow and how they  light up when they are happy and excited.

My husband and I went through the most trying time in our marriage due to my illness, it was a very emotional time and I truly hope we never have to experience anything close to that again. Though if you ask him he says he always knew I'd be ok in the end. My hubby is my Rock, my Soul Mate, my shoulder to cry on and  my catalyst to pick my self up and prove him wrong sometimes.God couldn't have given me a better man than he is. I love him dearly. 

I know I have said this before but I will say it again, because of what happened with my R.A. this year I found a true living relationship with God. I know that without it I would have been a complete mess. Life is different now, I know my place and purpose and what really matters to me. 

That was my 2014 summed up, full of Thanks for all that I have in my life 


Monday, September 8, 2014

How are things different now

 I had a long first post all typed out about my physical condition but I guess I didn't save it properly so one day I will re write that one but the question is How has this changed me? 

This has changed me in so many different ways.  I thought I had it all figured out. What I wanted and how I wanted to get it. What was important and what wasn't. To say the least this has flipped my priorities upside down in a way.  Not that they were bad but they were different. These days I just don't care as much about all the B.S.  You know what I mean all that stuff that you get concerned with that doesn't matter when you die and does not resemble the ideal for yourself. I joked with my husband that "my last nerve got broke" and I truly meant it, I don't want to get distracted by the crap that just doesn't matter. I leave things were they belong. Life is not about getting ahead its about enjoying where you are at. Let God handle the rest.  So no I don't worry about leaving work on time instead of staying late. I don't worry that the kids toys and stuff are all over my living room or that there might be dished on the counter or laundry to fold. They will get done when they get done. I don't define my life by these things and when I'm dead nobody is going to care.

My husband and kids are only going to care about the time I spent with them, and the memories we make together. The truth of the matter is that we have all these things distracting us from what is most important. Instead of striving to make more money or to be successful, I just want to get better at being me, a wife and mom.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

My 6th Month

My life has changed in the last six months. I figured it was time to share my story and keep blogging on. I have had Rheumatoid Arthritis since my early twenties. When I was first diagnosed I went through some difficult times but eventually got on the right medication Enbrel and really for eight years I haven't had too many flare ups or issues other than the common virus taking too long to go away. I had two successful pregnancies that took me off my meds and put me in remission for 10 months each. Other than the normal stuff that everyone goes through life was good. In 2010 I started getting random facial tremors at night, they weren't often and I told my doctor but didn't follow his advise to see a neurologist because they weren't often and I chalked it up to too much caffeine or lack of sleep.

 March 18th of this year I had a deep tissue massage, it was wonderful I felt great, I was actually relaxed for the first time in two years.

 March 19th I woke up at 5 AM and immediately knew something was horribly wrong. I couldn't feel my arms and legs, everything felt completely numb as though I had slept on every limb the wrong way. After I got out of bed it was apparent it was getting worse so fearing that I was having a stroke I had my mom take me to the E.R.  A full day in the E.R. but the CAT scan came back clear of any brain hemorrhage so they released me with an initial diagnosis of a pinched nerve in my neck and to follow up with my doctor, I left the hospital and went across the street to my Rheumatologist, He told me to stop taking my medication and see a neurologist because since my face was also numb at this point it could be something else. Well I was able to see the neurologist the following day. By this point I could not walk on my own without falling, I could not shower on my own, I felt like I was floating and had very bad vertigo. When I had seen the neurologist it was apparent that this was not a pinched nerve he feared MS, a chemical reaction or a brain tumor and sent me to get an MRI and a bunch of blood test on both my neck and brain but I wouldn't be able to get an appointment right away (Thanks to insurance red tape it took two weeks to get the MRI.) It was now the weekend, my son's 2nd birthday I hadn't slept in 3 days I was full of angst, all I could do was pray a lot. I was an emotional wreck, if I wasn't crying I was trying to figure out what was wrong with me and now I had a birthday party with my close family. This brought on inner strength, fear and an obvious false appearance that I thought everything was going to be ok. My close friend Michelle took me to church that morning, I wasn't even able to walk without help, so luckily the church had a wheel chair waiting for me. It was a very emotional morning I remember I just fell apart on the Alter steps praying for healing and to get through what ever this affliction was.   It was a very difficult time.

  Long story short I finally got the blood and MRI and the results showed my blood work was fine, that my neck was fine but my brain did not have lesions or a tumor but had bi-lateral ganglia hyperintensities.  He sent me for a spinal tap which showed no MS or virus, so then after two months we have no cause other than my R.A. flared up and caused inflammation in my brain stem leaving me with axonal peripheral neuropathy.

Just typing these words feels like it was all a blur, I couldn't have gotten through it all without my husband Sean, he was my rock , taking care of me and our two littles through all of it and still is. I am so blessed to have him.  I also became much stronger in my faith and really felt the comfort of the Lord. The first month was really bad emotionally, not knowing if I fell asleep if I would wake up in the morning, I was terrified to sleep and was utterly exhausted. Then my church held an Easter walk through. It was really neat there were several exhibits describing Jesus' life that you went through alone listening to a recording with headphones. There was a cross and the narrator said to write down your burden on these little papers and pin it to the cross. so I wrote down my fear and disabilities, after that I really did lose the fear. I kept sleeping and waking up and one day I was standing in the shower holding onto the window ledge and just looked up and seen a rainbow. At that moment I knew things were going to be ok, different and challenging but ok. Little by little I was walking better and by June I was able to go back to work.  All in all that has had challenges also, I had to learn to write again, drive again and I am still working on typing correctly using all my fingers, I get physically tired easily, lose my balance sometimes but I try to keep a positive attitude and just keep appreciating each day as a gift staying close to God, Loving my family and not getting upset about the little things that in the end don't matter.

If you made it this far...thanks for sticking it out, it feels good to let this story go. I hope that my words can be an encouragement to someone somewhere who is going through a difficult time. 


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Wednesday Night

I absolutely love the Wednesday Night Bible Study at our church.  I can’t tell you how many times my week has been just sliding in the gutter on Monday and Tuesday, then on Wednesday nights I get some form of Wisdom through our study and it makes all the difference in my attitude and perspective.  When I die I don’t want my tomb stone to read she was stressed out and a good employee.  I want my life to mean so much more.  Most importantly I want my kids to know that I loved them and that I was a great mom to them.  I want my husband to know the good sides of me not the bad.  I want to express more of the good in me.  Sometimes that is hard to find.

 I will admit that when things don’t go my way I can get a nasty and negative attitude.  I have been working for years on the negative.  I remember once as a kid, I was probably ten years old, my parents had a boat and we were out fishing.  I can’t remember the circumstances as to what brought it up but I distinctly remember my dad telling me “Sue you are the most pessimistic person, you need to fix that”  I don’t even know if I knew at the time what that meant, but I remember it clearly.   I have used it almost as a crutch my whole life.  "Oh well I am just pessimistic that is just who I am". 

Now as an adult I am learning that It’s so draining to be negative.  It sure does not make my life more enjoyable,  nor it does it make my family’s life more enjoyable.   The Lord wants us to have Joy and I feel like this has been a work in progress in my life.  Of course as in true nature as soon as you decide to change something for the better you are constantly bombarded with circumstances that are going to test you  and try to break you.  That is just how the Devil works.  Over the last couple of years ( I can’t believe it has even been that long) I have been tested, I have been provoked, and I have failed more than I care to admit.  I am trying, I am trying to enjoy my life more and the people around me.  It is difficult not to get wrapped up in the negative and as my Pastor put last night " we accumulate junk...and we need pruning". As the saying goes Misery loves company.   So back to my clarity from last night’s Bible Study.  We are Studying the Book of John chapter 15 The Vine and the Branches.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 

As we were in conversation about what this passage means, I had a revelation that all the things I fight, the things that I am challenged by daily are all a part of my pruning processes.  Our pastor asked us last night if this passage would change how we react to those circumstances.  Would we be more compliant with the lessons learned and applying the biblical principals?  You may know the saying “WWJD?”  What would Jesus Do?    I have really never thought of it that way.  I have come as far as to tell myself that this is coming at me because I am trying to change, but sometimes I slip back into my old routine.  More so recently and I know it is a part of me that I need to continue to work on.  So to answer the question, YES.  Since I know that pruning is a part of the process to build my character to be more like that of Christ  then I don’t necessarily want more trouble to come my way but I will stop, remember this passage, dig deep and ask myself  WWJD?  Then try to respond appropriately because I know on the other end I will be better for it. 


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Today is Ash Wednesday.  This is something that I never recognized growing up as a kid.  In fact as a child we rarely attended church despite the fact that my Grandfather and most of the men in my family are Preachers.   As an adult, I have had my challenges in life and have turned to the Bible to make sense of it all.   As a parent I feel a sense of responsibility to teach my children what took me 35 years to figure out.  That God is a loving God and does not just sit and judge us at our death. I started listening to Kenneth Copeland Ministries online which gave me a great understanding of what I was missing and helped put the pieces together. Then a couple of years ago I found a church in my area that I like and began going irregularly.  Since October I have been going pretty regularly and have really enjoyed going.  Our life is so busy this is the time on Sunday mornings I can sit and be still and just put the important things into perspective. Kind of like recharging my priorities in life each week.   I also enrolled our Daughter into the Awanas program on Wednesday Nights and she attends Sunday School Sunday mornings.    She likes it and at this age it is more play time with new friends, but she is getting the foundation lessons.  Wednesday Nights while she is in her program I attend the adult Bible Study led by our Pastor.   We have been studying the book of John and the days leading up to Jesus's Crucifixion.   I guess that is why this Easter just means so much more to me.  I don't want the kids growing up thinking that it is just about the Easter Bunny ,candy and gifts.  I really want them to understand the reason why we celebrate.  I just haven't figured out a really good way to do that yet because I also don't want to be one of those moms that shove religion down their throats.  I want them to have a good understanding so that they would love Jesus not feel that it is an obligation or to go through the motions without the emotions.
This year I decided that we should recognize Lent as a family.  So on Monday night at dinner I explained the reasoning the best I could.  I asked Riley what she thought would be a good thing to give up over the next 40 days.  She said chocolate milk,  Sean said Face book,  I suggested T.V. in the evening between 5pm - bedtime 8pm.  I explained this would give us more time to do things together as a family. Everyone was on board with that.   So when I came home yesterday Riley was already eager to turn off the T.V.   so we actually ended up starting a day early.  There is not much time that I get to spend with the kids as a working mom.  My Super Husband Sean is the stay at home parent.  I have been trying very hard to leave work on time but when I get home it is 5:30 or later and I only get to spend about 3 hours a day with the kids.  I want that time with them to be quality time.   So we did not have the T.V. on Monday night or Tuesday night.  We played outside, had dinner, did bath time, story time and played games as a family.  The kids also went to bed easier and on time.  I am going to document how the week's go and what we are learning through the process.


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Week is Here

Thanksgiving week is here.  I have been looking forward to this week for a very long time. I scheduled the week off of work to spend the holiday at home with my family.  I have been thinking for the last month or so about this week. At first I was day dreaming of all the activities I could cram into the week with the kids. The more I thought about what I could do the stronger a thought came to me to just slow down and enjoy the moment. I really want to soak up this time with the kids and enjoy the Holiday.  We did a bit of shopping yesterday and we will be spending Thanksgiving day with my parents. It will be a nice week at home, but since we are staying home I am trying to make it special and not just a regular day at home. Ryan is at the age now where he is into everything, so I don't know when the tree will go up. More than likely closer to Christmas. However, since we can't really decorate our tree this year with all the glass ornaments, I think it would be super fun to have Riley help me craft some new ornaments this week that Ryan can't break.  Here are some ideas.

Paper stacked Christmas trees for pre-k

TUTORIAL Paper towel roll star ornaments for kids to make...cheap, easy, light, and they actually are pretty!  You could also use just four petals for a different look...or maybe glue a bead on the end of each point and see what that looks like?

Coloured glass ornaments for kids to make!!

christmas ornaments to make | ... decorate for christmas this is also a simple project to make with kids

Fun to make for kids

I think it would be really cute and she would have a lot of fun doing them this week. So off to the craft store tomorrow for supplies.  Plus I really need to finish the quilt I have been working on for her this year.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Teaching a family when your not a teacher

So I missed the weekend with my writing every day.  I am trying to be more mindful of not missing a day but sometimes the day gets away from me completely.   I have though a lot about what I should write this week.  The theme that keeps coming to mind is what are we teaching our kids?   Now I am not talking about home school or ABC's.  I am talking about what kind of habits or life style are we teaching our children?  Sometimes we don't see who is watching us, but they are ...oh they are!.  For one in my house I have to watch what I say when I cannot do something someone else wants me to do. As an example I cannot say things like I can't run and play tag with you because my knees hurt, back hurts etc.   Why?  Because then when I ask my daughter to do something I hear the same excuses back.   So I know she is watching and learning from what I do and I am making a point to be a good example for her to follow.  I was lucky enough to witness a mom in action this weekend.  She wanted something from her son. She said please and thank you.  Later, he wanted something from her and he said please and thank you.   That interaction stayed in my mind.  Now as a parent it is hard to do the correct and polite thing 24 - 7, but that is what we have to do or at least be mindful of that they are watching and learning from what we do.   My challenge to myself this week is to make a list of what I catch myself doing that I would not want them to do. Then I will formulate a plan to change my actions.  Change doesn't start in a blink of an eye.. at least I can start an awareness and begin change from there.