Most years I find I am grateful for the usual things, my family, friends, good health, things like that.
This year I find myself grateful for things that are a little out of the ordinary for me.
After spending 11 days up at Primary Children’s Hospital with Kiera, I realized how grateful I am that I am able to be home to take my kids, and the kids in our carpool, too school every morning, take care of my niece after she gets out of kindergarten, do my house work, be here for my kids when they come home from school & care of my dogs.
This experience also made me grateful for friends, neighbors, ward members and even strangers!
I had so many people come out of the woodwork that stepped up and took over all my daily duties!
My dear friend Alisha took care of my dogs. She’d come and feed them, take them out to play, and even bring her kids over and they all spent time giving them attention. On some days, we had a visit from a ‘house cleaning fairy’ that would wave her magic wand, and the dishes got done, socks got folded, and rooms got cleaned! It was amazing!!! I LOVE fairies!
Our dear friends Jon and Melanie brought us up a very valuable distraction! Most nights Kiera would cry in pain, and had a hard time taking her mind off her pain, but Jon and Melanie brought up a large selection of movies from their home for us to watch! Kiera LOVED going through them! When she was not doing therapy she was watching a movie they brought for her! I’ll have to admit, it was a good distraction for me too!
My sweet Mark had to take over duties that he never really needed to before! All the normal duties of a house wife became his. Though he was drowning in stress, he was a huge support to me and the girls!
We had many wonderful visitors! Family ward members, school friends of Kiera’s, and friends. It was great to see the faces of so many who care for us!
Mark and Savannah would come up to the hospital nearly every day after she got out of school, and they would be there till 8:00 or 9:00 every night. And because Mark wasn’t home much, we had a lot of people bringing in dinners for them! Alisha would let them into the house and they would put it in the fridge. What a blessing that was for them not to have to prepare anything!
And I quickly realized how grateful I am to be able to cook my own food! Every day I ate hospital cafeteria food, and for most it’s fine, but being gluten free I quickly found that I did not have much to chose from.
Some days for lunch all I could eat was squash, fruit and a drink. Some days I was able to get a tiny salad, when they had them, but some days their salads had chicken on it that was cooked in sauce with gluten.
Breakfast was actually fun for me cause I could eat almost everything! So every morning I’d have eggs, sausage, hash browns and bacon! I will miss that! haha Not healthy on a daily basis, but at least it was something I could eat!
After the first night of me sleeping on a hospital parents bed, I was instantly grateful for my own bed! I got achy from the beds, and from sitting in the hospital rooms with nothing to do.
One mom from Kiera’s class was kind enough to pick up Savannah from school and bring her right to the hospital to me so Mark could stay at work longer!
My mom also did this too! She picked her up, took her with her to a couple B-day parties that we had to miss.
My mom did a lot of things for us during this whole thing! One day that she was there visiting, I got a bad migraine, and I was so ill I couldn’t sit up cause I would get nauseous and vomit! The nurses said I had to leave, so Mark stayed with Kiera that night, and my mom took me and Savannah home!
I have to also mention how grateful I am for Rachael who came up to stay with Kiera while I ran to watch Savannah’s first violin concert! That was a drive for her, and I was SO grateful to her for her sacrifice!
Also, Melanie and Debbie came up and gave me a nice massage as we visited! At that point I think every muscle in my body was in knots, and though their touch was on tender points, it hurt SO GOOD!!!!!!!
I would be stupid if I did not mention the nurses, techs, therapists & doctors that worked around the clock for Kiera, and many other kids! All of the people that worked with us were fantastic, and a few were exceptional! One sweet nurse made Kiera a poster that said “Kiera is FREEKING AWESOME” LOL
Another nurse clicked instantly with Kiera, which is rare cause of how shy she is. Kiera started belching her famous big burps and the two of them giggled and made jokes about it for over an hour! It was adorable!
We learned that the hospital has its own church branch up there, and we were very excited to all be able to attend church together at the hospital with Kiera! We have never been in a room with a more powerful spirit before! It was So strong and overwhelming, that Mark and I had a hard time keeping it together through the short half hour sacrament meeting. Then, for anyone interested, they had primary lessons that they would bring to your room if you asked. So we did that, it was very sweet!
One night was particularly bad for Kiera, and all the medications they had for her were not helping her pain, it was 11:00 at night when I asked if she could find out if there were any LDS men who could give Kiera a blessing. I had heard over the intercom several times through out the day, every day, a request for an LDS employee to contact the operator. So, I did this at 11:00pm. And at 11:30 two men in scrubs walked into the room, one with a long scruffy goatee. They gave her a sweet blessing and went back to their work. It was a unique experience for me, but it seemed like it was part of their daily routine. How grateful I was to them! A few minutes after they left Kiera was able to finally get comfortable and fall asleep!
One thing that has surprised me is we have had people we barely know, and complete strangers, that have been donating money to help us with our over whelming hospital bills!
I have SO much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, and I don’t think I can list them all, but this was a small attempt.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
This year I hope you all find big things, and simple things to be grateful for!
If you are reading this blog,… I am grateful for you!
I have spent a lot of time thinking about what makes up my self worth.
Wikipedia says: “Self-esteem is a term used in psychology to reflect a person’s overall evaluation or appraisal of his or her own worth.”
I have thought about all the things I have accomplished in my life, some of which include: being a stay at home mom; home schooling my girls, and my sisters kids, for 4 years plus preschool; learning sign language; learning to play guitar; learning to crochet & other artsy things I have tried and enjoyed.
Some might not view these as “important”. Some people may focus on traveling the world, or becoming someone of social, political, medical or scientific importance in order to feel a sense of accomplishment or worth.
This got me thinking of Mark’s roll, and his worth to me. Because if not for him and his support, and ability to support our family, I would not be able to do these things.
In these economically hard times, it has become an almost insurmountable thing for a mom to stay at home and raise her kids!
I know as people we all seem to under appreciate our selves and our own worth, no matter what we have accomplished in our lives! We are our own worst critics!
And what a sad thing that is!
Everybody has great worth, regardless of if we have done great or small things. Its just a matter of perspective, and finding that your own worth is much bigger then you can see for yourself!
If your too close to something its hard to see the full picture. For example, by focusing on one flower…
You’ll miss the diversity of each flower and how, together, it creates an array of complimentary colors and smells that make something exquisite!
Then I got thinking, its not about what we do in life, but how we view what we’ve done in life.
I can look back at my life and say “I have not accomplished a single thing! I have been stuck at home, going no where as life passes me by!”
Or I can say "Wow! I have been a teacher, a mentor, a cook, a maid, a counselor, an artist, a singer, and a friend to my kids and my family’s kids!
If you ask me….that is pretty groovy!
For a while I felt like a failure because I had to stop homeschooling my children due to my many health issues that got me down, not only physically, but mentally too.
My self worth took a nose dive!
Perspective is imperative to seeing your own self worth!
Look at the whole bouquet rather then just one flower.
I may not have a career that is a high paying well respected job in the eyes of others, but in the eyes of those who it matters most, my job has been the best in the world! Its certainly not been an easy road, but it has been worth every second of sweat, tears and joy!
So, take some time to define what self worth means to you, step back and see the whole picture.
Find your own self worth.
I have decided that Saturday is not the best day to go, but despite the long lines we had a fun time!
While I was there, I realized that at this same time last year we took our girls to Lagoon, but Mark had to push me around in a wheel chair because my plantar faciitis was so severe I could only be on my feet about a half hour a day!
That combined with the fact that Kiera also was able to stay on her feet the whole time we were there, was a thought that made me radiate with ‘warm fuzzies’!
It really made me reminisce about the past years experiences and I find that little things bring me great joy! And things that were frustrating, aren’t quite so bad anymore. For example:
Kiera being able to walk away from me when after being asked to do a chore, or stomp her feet in a little tantrum. Those things don’t bring the amount of frustration that they used to!
I seem to feel gratitude that she can do those things, even if its not exactly the behavior I’d like to be seeing.
And things that are usually not even noticeable I really pay attention to. For instance, Kiera walking up or down stairs still brings a feeling of “YES!” to me! (Especially me not having to carry her up or down the stairs!)
Kiera running or skipping just THRILLS me! Very simple things that most people wouldn’t even notice are just a thrill to me! And I Love it!
So going to Lagoon with family and staying all day was Fabulous! I really found pride in watching Kiera holding hands with her cousin, running to get in line for a ride, and just holding my hand walking to the next ride.
I couldn’t go on many rides, my funny equilibrium doesn’t allow me to walk straight if I go on most of the rides there. But I had a great time non the less! I did find a kids ride that I really really enjoy! There is one called the Ladybug, and another that does the same thing called the dragon, and they are VERY small versions of the Rocket. It was kind of funny that I was the one who kept asking for that ride, considering its more of a kids ride, but because of my dizzy brain, it was something I could go on, and it was a small thrill! It made me laugh every time it dropped! It was great! I had to bribe Kiera to try it with me, and once she was on it, she said “Lets do it again and again!” hehe
Savannah and Mark went on all the “cool” rides like Wicked and Colloses. Man, my Savannah is Really growing up! It’s while to see our little girl actually looking more like, and acting like, a young lady instead of our “little girl”.
We are going to try to bounce back on a day when we can hit more rides without being in line forever! :)
This was such a fun experience!
I loved being able to see fish bigger then my head swimming around my head!
This kind of fish, I think it called a Lion fish, they are SO FREEKING AWESOME LOOKING!!!
I’ve always loved watching jellyfish! There is something peaceful and serene about watching them! But this place had the most massive oval shaped tank for theirs! The picture doesn’t show the size, but it was from ceiling to floor, and probably 6 feet or more across.
There was a very beautiful tank with a very active octopus in it. It was tricky getting a picture of him that wasn’t blurry.
We had a great time playing with the sting ray’s tank. Touching the string rays as they swim past, along with a couple other creatures, was a lot of fun for all of us!
Mark took a couple video clips from our water proof camera of the sting rays and other creatures from inside the tank! This was pretty freeking groovy if you ask me! :)
One of the most Rock-Tastic parts of this place was the hallway type rooms we walk into and top to bottom was fish, sharks, turtles saw fish and other creatures swimming everywhere!
I wish the camera got better pictures, but with a flash on glass, its kinda hard!
Special thanks to Dayv, Alisha, and their in-laws, for hooking us up with a great place to stay, swimming fun and awesome dinners. Their sweet sister in law, Rachel, even made a gluten free dinner and desert just for Kiera and I!!! I was very impressed, and very flattered that she put that much thought, time & effort into our family, which had been total strangers! They all treated us like family, and that was very special! So thanks everyone!
We left Thursday night, and stopped in Cedar City and stayed at a hotel with a pool. We got there just before 10:00pm and swam till 11:00. This was FABULOUS because I’m not used to driving for 4 hours straight, and my body was so stiff and sore! The girls were EXTRA excited that they not only got to swim, but they got to stay up super late to do it! :)
The next day we traveled about another 4 hours, through Vegas, and to Hoover dam.
I’ve never been there before, and so it sounded fun. But, by the time we got there we were all ready to kill each other from a combination of being in the car far too long, and the Nevada 115 degree heat!
We took the official tour of Hoover Dam. It was pretty cool, and very educational! They took our picture on a green screen first, and imposed the background in later:
We started with taking a trip down a VERY long elevator to the bottom of the inside of Hoover Dam. We walked through these huge concrete tunnels.
Then we went into a large concrete room that had a HUGE concrete tube that carried the water through the dam, and the entire room was very loud and vibrating. The guide told us the sound and vibrations came from the water flowing at incredible speeds through the tubes!
Then we were taken into a very large area that had these very large turbines. I don’t remember the function of them, but here is a picture with a vehicle by it to show its size, and to show that the area down there is so large they have cars to take workers through it!
After our tour inside the dam we went outside and got to look over the edge of the dam, and it was FREEKING MASSIVE!
Mark is afraid of heights, and so he tried to get a picture of it, but couldn’t quite get there, so I took the camera to get a photo. But, photo’s just don’t do it justice!
Outside was a very odd statue of two men with wings reaching for the sky. It was too hot for me to stop and read about what it meant, but they were both VERY large, so it was photo worthy too!
Another large and cool statue we saw represented the workers that spent 5 years, working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to construct the dam.
When we finished we were all MORE then done with that ridiculous heat!
Considering that Kiera has been working up her endurance with walking, she did pretty well! But you can see from their faces, they had enough!