Saturday, January 5, 2013

Big News!!

I have waited a very long time to be able to say this: I'm planning on moving back to Utah! Not just thinking about it, but actually planning. In the past several years when I've prayed about moving to Utah, the answer has been no or not yet. After much fasting and prayer I finally got the permission from Graham that I never thought I would get. He said he understands if I need to move back to Utah, and that I will be able to take the kids with me. When I asked Heavenly Father if I should move, the answer was "start looking into it". I actually haven't done much with that answer because I all of the sudden got the answers from Heavenly Father and permission from Graham, two things I thought would never happen, and I was scared to take action. There has been an ever increasing in prompting from the Spirit to move. After a conversation with a wise friend last night, I'm finally ready to take action and trust that the Lord will provide a way.

I spent about an hour looking at jobs in the Wasatch front today. I found 7 ophthalmic jobs in which all of them I'm well qualified. Versus about 1 job each month here in Spokane. There is an 8th one that is for a frame sales rep. Other than being an optometrist or an LDO (licensed dispensary optician, which takes at least 8 years to obtain in WA) frame sales rep are the next highest paying jobs in the industry. With my AAS in vision care technology, I will not have any issue finding a job back home. Spokane Community College is one of two programs in the country, so the training is rare.

So once I have a job, and the $1,000 it takes to rent a moving truck (hopefully with my tax return, or even better with an employer paying relocation fees) I'll be living back home!!

Things I'm looking forward to:

Family, family, family
Greater social opportunities
Blue skies
Fewer smokers
Better market to build my ASEA business
Hogle Zoo
4 hours to Moab!!

My prayer and goal is that this will all happen within the next 6 weeks. So stay tuned and I hope to bring even more exciting news soon!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Life Changing

I'm not surprised that it has been over a year since I have blogged. I lost all interest and barely spent any time on the computer. I didn't even remember my blog's name, good thing I had it bookmarked. I'm starting to blog again to document all the amazing changes that have already happened and will continue to happen in my life, and the lives of family and friends. The physiological changes are due to an amazing product that I'm so blessed to have a knowledge of, it is called ASEA. I'll provide links that go into more detail about what ASEA is and the miraculous stories that go along with it. Just imagine being able to drink in a few ounces a day, the cellular ability your body produces to heal itself. Sounds too good to be true, but it IS true!

New outlook and lease on life. 
Knowing what I know now, I can't imagine my life without ASEA. Well, I shouldn't say that, I knew what my life had in store for me, and it wasn't very hopeful. With fibromyalgia, mini strokes, vertebral disc degeneration, chronic fatigue, IBS and anxiety, it was difficult for me to have a positive outlook on what my life had in store for me. My life consisted (note past tense) of daily pain, constant foggy fibro brain and complete exhaustion. A life where I was limited by all of these things, and where certain conditions are guaranteed to get worse. A life where at the age of 33, I was swallowing at minimum 10 pills a day. For over 2 years, it was impossible for me to get more than 4 hours of sleep unless I took my rx'd sleeping pill. Even with medications I would still have all these symptoms that are disruptive to living a happy life. The fibromyalgia foggy brain was the symptom that I hated the most. Think of how you feel when you just wake up from a dream, and your mind isn't quite sure yet if you are awake or still dreaming. Imagine feeling like that all day long. Think of how the adults sound in Charlie Brown, and that is sometimes how you hear people. You know they are talking to you, but your brain just isn't processing it. This overwhelming state of the brain is my first and favorite thing to have out of my life. 1 1/2 hours after taking my first dose of ASEA, I was at work and felt an immediate change in my brain. It was as if a light switch was turned on in my head. I instantly felt the cloud lift as if my brain was flooded with oxygen. A new level of mental clarity that I can't even remember the last time I felt so alert. This mental awareness continues to stay with me and I'm loving every alert moment of my life.

Something is missing.
You might know the line from the movie Office Space, where he says he had been missing work, but not really missing work. Medication is what is missing, and I'm NOTmissing it! I went from taking several different medications a day down to 1. The only medication I take now is my 81mg of aspirin. My family and friends that know me well are absolutely floored with this. I feel the best I've felt in 10 years and am virtually medication free. Freedom from medication is something I thought I would never experience in this earthly life. Another thing that is "missing" from my life is fatigue. I'm amazed at the enduring energy I've had. I've been caffeine free since November and have not experienced sustained energy like this since my teens, and even then it was highly caffeine induced energy.

There is no such thing as a coincidence!
My buddy Danny is the one who started taking ASEA and then introduced it into my life. Danny and I met in early fall at a church activity. The church building we were at had 2 different firesides going on at the same time. One was for the 31+ crowd, the other for the 18-30. Danny and I both fall into the first age category, but we both decided to go to the younger fireside (Elder Holland was the speaker of the broadcast and that is why I went). After the fireside, I recognized someone talking to one of my friends that like me, looked not quite of the age group for the young single adult fireside. So I decided to go and introduce myself. We talked, exchanged numbers, and have been friends since then. When I look back, I see how easily things could have been just slightly different that night to where Danny and I might not have met. I'm truly grateful that Danny shared the story of ASEA with me. Danny's ASEA story is pretty awesome as well. He has had 2 back surgeries, where a medication-free life, left him in significant pain every day. When he showed me his ASEA journal I saw his pain went from and 8 to a 3 just after a few weeks, and I knew that there is something real to this. Finally (outside of the gospel) there is something I can be a part of that changes people lives!

This post turned out longer than what I was anticipating. I will continue to keep posting on the amazing changes occurring in my life and others. Oh yeah I almost forgot to mention this. I'm spraying ASEA on Jason's face to help with his severe acne. After less than a week, his skin is less inflamed and producing fewer blemishes! So I'm very excited to see the changes that it will make for Jason's brain and seeing how his body will repair his deep dyslexia and ADHD inattentive. Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


It might take me a while to get used to having a 12 year old. Jason will probably be 13 by the time I get used to it, lol. I have been having a significant amount of anxiety over this whole thing. I imagined my life to be very different than what it is by this time. I had imagined being a better mother than what I am. I didn't anticipate having the physical challenges and limitations that I have. I for sure thought I would be remarried, having my husband be the one to give Jason the priesthood.

So what can I do from here? I know I can't change the past and can only control what I do at any given moment.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

In spite of all this anxiety, I am happy with the changes and improvements I have made in my life. I'm spiritually stronger than I could have ever imagined. I have learned to rely on the Savior more than I ever thought I could. The depths of His grace and love are never ending. My kids are happy and healthy. I have shelter, food and clothes. What more could I really need?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mid-Singles Conference Reflections

Many of my friends can attest to how difficult it can be to be single, too old for the young single adults AND live in Spokane. Spokane started a mid-singles group last year, patterned after groups they have in Utah, California and other states. There are many single members of the church that go inactive when they are single and over the age of 30. Its hard to feel like you fit anywhere.

I'm SO happy that I went to the conference this year. I really enjoyed it last year too. Last year was about 2 months after I had some serious trauma and 1 month after losing my dear friend Brooke. I almost didn't go this year, thinking that it would be the same crowd as last year. I remembered how I was spiritually edified last year, just when I needed it the most.

I had a blast making new friends this year and was also spiritually edified. I felt like I commented too much in each of the classes, but there were times that I felt the feeling the Spirit gives you prior to bearing your testimony. I'm really happy I went and received some great inspiration and impressions.

I couldn't participate in the "get to know you" games that were Friday night. I enjoyed a conversation that I had with Cap. Blake George. I had the privilege of hearing him speak at a fireside and was really happy to hear him speak again. I sat on the side lines during the get to know you games that required physical activities that I couldn't do. But during this time, I had a chance to talk to Brother George. He is a great example of how you can serve our country and be a wonderful servant of the Lord. His Christ-like countenance strengthens my testimony of how the atonement of Christ applies to all aspects of life. There is nothing in this life that the atonement of Christ cannot conquer.

My pain level is directly affected by my quantity of sleep, and I only got 3 hours Friday night. (It was totally worth it cause I met and made some new friends) So Saturday was a really bad pain day, in fact, its the worst I've felt in over 6 months. I was missing Brooke all day. I couldn't do any of the dancing and wished I had Brooke there to keep me company. I have wonderful memories of people watching with her at dances, being very entertained. I almost wish my chronic pain would have started before she died. I wish I would have taken more time to learn about how she is so graceful when faces with adversity. I've prayed that her example will be brought to my remembrance and that I will be able to have her attributes for facing trials.

I'm determined to have fun wherever life takes me. I love to people watch and enjoy watching others have fun. I will do all that I can, but even if I have to watch from the sidelines, I can always bring my camera with me.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Jason's Diagnosis

Early on, Graham and I knew that Jason wasn't developing along the average curve. When he was still a toddler, we thought it might be autism as Jason has a cousin with autism and demonstrated similar behavior. Jason has qualified under the category of developmentally delayed since 2 years of preschool and 5th grade. He did a re-evaluation test (IQ) test in May this year. And with that test he no longer qualified for an IEP allowing for the accommodations that has allowed him to progress and learn. Graham and I were obviously upset at this news and I knew with a certainty that Jason would fail without any of the assistance he was used to. Graham, being an attorney, at this meeting in May asked what our legal options were. The school psychologist said only a medical diagnosis of ADHD/ADD would allow him to continue to receive accommodations.

We went to our idiot of a family doctor, who I can't wait to get rid of. He then referred us to a specialist. We waited 2 1/2 months for Jason to do his evaluation. It was 4 hours long, and I had to pack a lunch for him. The psychologist was a very nice and friendly woman. When I picked up Jason, he said he had a lot of fun. He was in such a good mood for the next 2 days.

Graham and I had an appointment with the expert this past Saturday to go over the results. Jason was diagnosed with deep dyslexia along with ADHD, sub-diagnosis inactivity. (ADD is no longer a diagnosis, it all falls under ADHD with subsets) I had actually never been more relieved to hear a diagnosis as I had at that time. It has always bothered me that Jason was labeled as developmentally delayed, without an actual diagnosis. When Graham and I were shown how Jason did on his spacial/visual recognition testing, we were completely blown away. Jason had 4 minutes to study a very complex image composed of shapes and lines, we are talking really complex. Jason had to recall and draw this 3 separate times. Graham and I were astonished as we think either of us wouldn't do as well on that as Jason did. Jason is definitely a visual learner, with severe audio processing and retrieval deficiencies. This made perfect sense to me. Jason has never been able to tell back to me any details of any story being read to him, or that he has read himself. His right hemisphere of his brain is awesome. We need to "exercise" his left hemisphere.

So Graham and I have a lot of research and learning to do. We are both relieved and ready to start doing what is best for Jason to grow and learn. I know I will feel greater joy as all of our family is able to support Jason as wee see Jason grow in knowledge and confidence. I hope I will practice better patience in this new endeavor.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Positive Update

So yeah, I'm not doing a good job at blogging. Life has been so crazy lately. I moved a few weeks ago. It has been SO awesome to not have to worry about noisy neighbors and all the other crap that was going on. We moved into a large duplex that we share with the Crawford family who had just moved out of the Glenrose ward. It was wonderful how everything fell into place for us and I can definitely see the Lord's hand in all of it. I thought it would be difficult adjusting to NOT being alone half of the time, but it has been so nice. Bernadette and I could talk all night long. The Crawfords have a dog and it has been great having that therapeutic outlet. In fact, Angel is snuggling up to me as I'm typing this blog.

I'm still looking for a job. I'm trying to get more photography gigs, and am really excited about becoming a Dove Chocolate Discoveries Independent Chocolatier. Yes, I said chocolatier!! My launch party wasn't as successful as I wanted, but I'm really excited for my first hostess party!!

Kids are happy and healthy. They had a great time at Camp Morrow, which is the bible camp in Oregon they go to. This was their 3rd year. My listening to mainstream Christian music keeps them from being total outsiders, with them being the only LDS members there. Jason has grown so much. He actually grew 1/2 inch in the 11 days he was in Oregon! Its kinda freaking me out that he will be 12 next month, which means he goes into Young Mens, no more primary. How did I get that old so quickly?!

I've learned how to listen to my body. I know when I'm on a trajectory of pushing myself too much. I'm constantly learning more of relying on the Lord. I've learned how to find joy in whatever circumstances I find myself. Now, I don't always remember that, but I'm making progress. The last year has been the most challenging of my life. I'm truly grateful for the spiritual, emotional and parental growth that I have had. It hasn't been my doing, but with me relying on the Lord more. I'm eternally grateful for my savior Jesus Christ. I know that He lives and loves each and every one of us imperfect souls.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Quick Vent

Just needed to get this off my chest. Stay tuned for more fun things like the amazing trip to Utah, spiritual improvements, the kids first concert and photography opportunities.

Wow have I been slacking on blogging. You would think that with being unemployed I would have more time on my hands to do such. It has been 5 weeks since I lost my job. I have submitted over 30 applications/resumes and have only had 1 interview. Holy crap!! I've NEVER had any kind of issue finding a job. But I've also never been unemployed in an economy like this. The state finally made a decision that I do qualify for unemployment, so I can breathe a bit easier now. I was recently blessed with 2 photography gigs, of which I'm EXTREMELY grateful. I registered my domain name, and am in the process of getting a site up and running. I find myself so tired of looking at the computer screen after hours of job searching and picture proofing, that my desire to work on the site just isn't there. In fact, the only reason why I'm blogging now is that I can't sleep.

I miss doing my job. I DO NOT miss the drama, gossip, office politics, etc. But I really do miss interacting with patients. I feel like I would be very rusty if I tried to refract (1 or 2) someone today. I will also have the competition of new graduating students from the vision program next month. Even though this isn't the situation I was expecting to find myself in, I think I'm holding up fairly well.

My pain has been slowly creeping back into my life. I haven't been swimming lately. Mostly because anytime I'm holding my breath or straining in even the slightest bit, I get VERY light headed and feel like I'm going to pass out. I've had a swollen lymph node on my neck since December and I finally got it checked out. There is no malignant characteristics of this, and my doctor states it isn't related to my episodes of feeling faint. So my doctor wants me to do more blood work this week. (This is why I'm awake because I have to stay off my sleeping medication that dehydrates me for several days so the poor person drawing my blood has a fighting chance, lol.) So yet again, I feel like my doctor is ignoring symptoms I'm having and is dismissing them. I know the difference between feeling dizzy from low iron or blood sugar and what I'm feeling now. It is not normal to feel the way I am by doing the following things: bending over to pick something up, leaning my head forward or down to stretch my neck, carrying groceries up the stairs, shaving my legs, stretching on an exercise ball and many more. I purposely had not gone to my doctor for several months until the lump on my neck wouldn't go away. So yet again, I'm faced with the dilemma of not having any faith in my doctor and trying to find a new one.

Sorry for the rant, but it feels good to get these thoughts out. I should really start a personal electronic journal.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Get Ready Utah!!

I am beyond excited that I have the chance to go to Utah in 24 days!! I don't know yet if I will be one of the lucky few to get tickets to general conference from the Spokane stake. It would be an amazing experience for me and the kids. We are driving down to Utah Saturday the 2nd and back to Washington on the 10th. I took it for granted while I was in school that I was able to go visit family in Utah on a regular basis. It has been 9 months since I've been there and I will be overwhelmed with joy when I get to see my family and friends.

I would love to do any family or senior pictures while I am there. I will be running a special off my regular prices for this trip. Family pictures will be $250 and senior pictures will be $325. Senior pictures are a bit more because of the extra time that is taken for multiple outfits and sometimes multiple locations. I still don't have a website up and running to select pictures to keep. So I proof all the acceptable poses and burn them to a CD. I also give copyright release so the client can print however and whichever they chose. I will be available in the Wasatch front Monday April 4th to Wednesday April 6th, and also late afternoon/evening on Saturday the 9th. I will available in Moab Thursday afternoon til Saturday morning. I've always wanted to do family pictures in Moab. I can't picture a more beautiful backdrop. I'll have to bring my tripod and try to get a few of me and the kids.

I'm extremely excited that the kids and I are going to stay in Moab for 2 nights. I have only taken them to Moab once and they have been anxiously waiting to go back ever since then. I guess the love for Moab runs in the family :) There is a mid singles event going on during those days in Moab, and most people are staying at a campground with no running water. The kids and I will be very comfortable in our "cabin" that we reserved at the Slickrock Campground. Swimming pool, heat, air conditioning (which both come in handy in April since its possible to need either one), but more importantly flushing toilets and showers. With my medical condition, I probably won't be able to do some of my favorite hikes like Delicate Arch, Corona Arch and Aztec Butte. I will still have lots of fun spending time with the kids and taking in the amazing sites and hopefully meeting some great people too.

I also want to know if any of my Utah friends are signed up for Groupon for the SLC area. If so, I would be interested in knowing about any deals for Hogle Zoo or the aquarium that I would be able to use while down there.

It will be a busy week for me, but I can't describe the relaxing feeling I get just thinking about being surrounded by family and the red rock of Moab. Now I will just need prayers that my pain will not hinder my ability to make the long drive back and forth.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

One Word

For having a new blog, I really haven't done much blogging. Its been a rough last month for me. My pain has unfortunately been increasing in intensity and location. My doctor finally said I word yesterday that I've been dreading to hear, fibromyalgia. He is finally sending me to an actual pain specialist. I don't understand why it has taken him 6 months and a lot of break downs in his office for that to happen. So I'll have to take time off work for yet another appointment. I have an appointment with NW Arthritis next Thursday to get a definite diagnosis. I'm nervous that I might have fribromyalgia, but at the same time, I feel like there will be some relief in finally knowing what is going on, and have a game plan to overcome it. I surprisingly had this feeling of relief when I found about my disc degeneration. My employer is growing less patient with my time off requests even though they are prearranged and for medical reasons. Found out at the dentist today that I need to get a crown on a tooth, yet another thing I need to take time off for.

I had a very strong spiritual moment in the adult session of our stake conference a few weeks ago. The evening was centered around understanding the scriptures from Isiah that were used to make the music for The Messiah. I had always heard of the refiners fire but never really understood it. I learned that the refiner attending the crucible is always watching very closely and intently. I was given the knowledge through the Spirit that Christ is always by my side and never leaves me unattended in my crucible. There have been many times of desperation and hopelessness. But then I snap out of it and realize how many people I have in my life that love me (too bad a lot of them are far away). I also know that there are people on the other side of the veil that are actively cheering me on and giving me strength.

Life seems like a roller coaster. Some days my pain is less, making my responsibilities seem not so burdensome. Then other days my pain is off the chart and it hurts no matter what I do. I try to remember this scripture: 1 Ne 18:16 "Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions." I try not to worry about keeping my job. I have a clear conscience that I'm doing the best that I can. If that isn't good enough, then I'll accept the consequences. I know whatever comes my way, if I rely on the Lord and do my best, things will work out.

I am missing family and friends very much. Although I rarely feel lonely. Sounds odd, but I used to feel lonely all the time. But since I'm relying on the Lord for so much, that feeling rarely enters my heart. I had a wonderful time at my sisters in Pasco new years weekend. It only costs me a tank of gas round trip, so I need to visit her more often. If you are either family or friends reading this and you aren't within a 10 mile radius, know that you are ones that I'm missing. Hey, even if you are in the Spokane area, I might be missing you anyway. Friday nights are when I'm usually available to hang out (hint, hint) lol.

So, I'm basically trying to see the good in my life, count my blessings, and do my best. I have a lot about myself that I'm trying to improve. I thank you for any prayers or support that you have given me.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A new year, a new blog

It had been since August 2009 since I last blogged. I don't remember making a conscience effort not to blog, so I don't know why I stopped. I have plenty to say, maybe I wasn't valuing what I did have to say?

The year 2010 was filled with a lot of challenges, and many blessings too. The blessings seemed more like smaller tender mercies of the Lord, while the challenges were very large and overwhelming. The major blessing last year was that I had a job offer before I had graduated. I really do enjoy my job. Sometimes I think to myself that I can't believe I get paid to do what I do. Another great thing is that the kids are healthy and happy. Jason has made a lot of improvement at school. He has lessened the gap of how far he is behind in certain subjects. I have been the recipient of much generosity, love and support. I hold on to and cherish any blessing that comes my way. I was so overwhelmed with blessings last month that I would frequently cry with joy.

The list of challenges is pretty overwhelming. It seems like it all started in June. I had a major emotional and physical trauma happen to me early that month. That event really shook my faith in a lot of things, mainly people. I started isolating myself after that event and feel like just recently I'm coming out of it. Then in July, my dear friend Brooke passed away. I have really missed her, especially the last couple of months. I could really use her advice on how to handle poor medical diagnoses. I had 2 medical procedures that took away my option to have any more kids. Those that know me, know that I haven't desired to have more kids for a while now, but having that option taken away is quite different. I've had back pain off and on for about 9 years now. In August, pain was constant, severe, and nothing like I had experienced before. I had to be an advocate for myself and wouldn't take an idiopathic diagnosis as an answer. It took months of blood tests, bone scans and MRI's to finally get some answers. I have been diagnosed with osteopenia which is pre-osteoporosis. I've also been diagnosed with mild degeneration of my cervical and thorasic discs, and moderate degeneration in my lower back. This is causing nerves to be pinched, causing a lot of pain. Nerve pain is not like any other pain I've had before. There is very little to no relief.

I have really been struggling to accept the fact that I have a disease that is guaranteed to get worse, resulting with an 90% chance that I will need back surgery by the time I'm 40, and 100% chance of back surgery in my life. I'm already very limited with the amount of housework I can do. The kids really do the majority of the house work, and if I try to do all of it, I end up just causing myself more pain. I am still trying to see the positive of all this happening. The kids are learning compassion and service at a very young age. They show unconditional love that often overwhelms me.

I learned last year to not play the "what if" game. Although I still entertain different scenarios of what my life will be like, I don't obsess over it. A thought that occurred to me this past weekend is if I'm ever going to remarry. I'm taking several years off from dating anyway for several reasons. One of those is not dating again until I would be past the age of where it would be expected of me to have children. The thought that I had recently was how can I even entertain the idea of marrying someone, when that person would have to do the majority of the house work and basically take care of me with the certainty that I'll have back surgery. This isn't fair to anyone and I will not put myself in that situation just so that person could grow to resent me and my physical limitations.

So please be patient with me. This new year will consist of me adapting and learning how to stay positive while living with chronic pain. I have a lot of spiritual, emotional and mental healing and growing to do. I thought I knew how to rely on the Lord, but the past 6 months I've learned to rely on Him more that what I thought was possible. And I know I will learn how to rely on Him even more. The power of the atonement is not only for our sins, but all of our trials and all manner of suffering.