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Vi thinks she's sneaky, peeking up past my iPad while I read and snack on a bit of cheese. If she doesn't move TOO much, maybe I won't notice.... lol. (Also, do you see how big the text has to be now for me to be able to read it? Does anyone else have to read with outrageously large print? Help me feel better here, guys- I'm not even 35.) Anyway, she's being silly and adorable and I wanted to share, hah. I'll share the book series too- it's Lindsay Buroker's "Fallen Empire" series, and I read on Kindle because I can make it huge-inormous. I like her writing because it makes me feel like I'm reading about someone who lives in the Firefly universe; she's a total Firefly fan (you can tell, and it's not heavy handed but just right.) and it's like Firefly and K. F. Breene had a bookish love affair and it's result was Leonidas and the Captain. If you like the Warrior Chronicles or Finding Paradise by K.F. Breene (other absolute favorites) you'll really like these.
Wedding Party Friends
I'm so glad to have some fun pictures of my friends on this day. (August 25, 2006) Left to right this is Shae, Natalie, Halie, AJ, (he's ok, but eh) Jen, and Cara. This one is absolutely one of my favorites of the whole day. I want to get it printed up bigger to have up in my house, I'm just not sure *how* big I can get it... So again, L-R. This is Cara and Jen, the Steven and AJ, Cliff, Halie, Sean, Shae, Jeff, Natalie and Matt. I'm even in contact still with most of these people, I'm glad about that.
Violet keeps a close eye on me when I'm hurting- she's such a good therapy dog. She watches to make sure I'm not standing for too long (I get dizzy faster when I'm migraneous) and she also knows that I'm available for more cuddles, hah. I gave her a new bully stick today, and am now regretting it a but because it stinks.... but she loves it SO MUCH that I just can't take it away.... And she's enjoying the heat lamp with me- it's Infra Red light, and so relaxing for my head. It really does help my muscles take a sigh of relief.
My husband loves me! He's been making me tea lattes almost every evening for weeks, because he knows how much it helps my stress levels. It seems like it'd be a small thing, but it's become a tangible sign of how much he cares. I know it's him showing me how much he's thinking about me, and is trying to share his care. The tea is literally and emotionally warming. :D Plus, it's yummy! I've been loving the way he does it- a blend of hot cocoa and dandelion tea, which is a sorta caffeine free coffee imitation tea that has a lot of health benefits. It makes the coca darker, slightly bitter and OH SO YUMMY. If you happen to have peppermint mocha coffee creamer... sooooo goooood. So here's a picture of a mug of husband love. I get one every night, and it delights me every time.
Hilarious Dog Mom shoot
My mom is great- she indulged me in taking some really fun dog-maternity shots, lol. Violet will do anything for food. Like... anything. (I don't post these to make fun of mom pictures, I'm just doing it for fun, guys. So don't get all internet-y-offended.) But I *have* always wanted to take overly dramatic portrait style pictures with Vi, lol. I think being forthright with my childlessness is fine, even good. Bringing awareness to infertility is important. I think helping others find community when they're struggling is vital. If I hadn't known that there were other people like me in my community I would have been even more miserable than I already was. So I'm here. I'm here for you, I'm here for me. I'm here for the people who don't even know that they're here yet- that are still in denial. Just know that it's ok. You'll be ok. Even when you're not ok, it's ok. Just take care of yourself. You'll get to a better place. I never thought I'd get to a mental space where I was comfortable with being infertile, with being childless, and with "just" being an aunt. A wife. A sister and a daughter. I'm important as I am, and I'm ok with it. I only wish that other people felt that way too. So I will continue to try to help them see why that's so important to me.
Vi is a very sweet girl, especially first thing when I get up! She’s my medical alert dog, which means that when I’m especially at risk of fainting or feeling dizzy when I get up she will come and tell me. (You can see it here, when she’s nudging me insistently with her nose.) Anyway, I thought I’d share an example for anyone interested, and give you a little bit of puppy ASMR as a side bonus!
Stake Youth Conference in Sacramento
Throwback Thursday.... This was in 2004. Right around the middle on the left, in a little group, you can see me and my best friend Matt, with Brandon and AJ standing in front of us. Oh, and there's Chris, too! Cara and Halie are Right in the middle front, second row. Stephanie is in the very front middle (short people rules, I guess). My Dad is kind of starring the show, because the photographer had no idea what to do with a guy in a wheelchair, hahaha.
Putting up the Tree
FHE tonight was putting up the tree as a family! Maddie's favorite part was the beads, of course, from her daddy's mission in Texas and Louisiana. She was SUUUPER helpful. (Not) But had a blast, which is the important part. And I wanted to show you guys what I came home to after my St. George trip to see Steven- my loving cat, Mazzie, is always such a joy and so welcoming. See? I swear she plots my death multiple times a day. While making those little biscuits on my belly that feel so good on my cramps... so she can stay.
So... this is some of what PTSD is like for me. It's not talked about much, but if you have any questions you're welcome to ask. It's hard to relate to people when we never talk about things, right? I have nightmares, flashes, panic attacks, insomnia, chills, hot flashes, and wildly random paranoia that my husband hates me. It's crazy to experience, and started when I started having nonstop and inescapable pain from Endometriosis in my teens. It's only gotten worse and more constant since then, which is what makes it hard to cope at times. The important thing for me is mindfulness. Yoga, as typical as it sounds, and meditation, are the things that help the most.
Today I am going to be grateful for my mobility. #babewithamobilityaid I am choosing to be positive about how much ability I have, instead of focusing on any #disability I deal with. I might be in my thirties (shut up AJ, you are too) and have a walker and a cane, but that means I can be safe. I walk. That’s so much more than some. And a lot of the time I don’t even fall over, or run into people. (Sorry mom) #givethanks #gratitude #ableism #disabilityawareness This is what my "dizzy" feels like, and why a walker and cane is always a good idea now.... I run into things and fall over when I stand up from sitting or lying down. It's just my reality. If I'm super careful, sitting in stages over a few minutes, it helps. But *remembering to do it* is a major problem for me, because I'm also having memory issues, lol. So, the mobility aids are a godsend. I'm so happy to have them- they've saved me over an over again. Violet has learned to remind me when I've been standing for too long that it's time to sit or lie down. She gets anxious and pats my ankles and calves, or if I'm not responding anymore she'll go find Tim and tell him that I'm being silly. It's amazing to see how smart she is. Dogs are so intuitive and helpful!
Light the World
"Spread love wherever you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier." Mother Theresa I feel like this is a great focus for me right now, and it's my focus in general. It can be really really difficult to remember to look outward when in a lot of pain, or exhausted, or constantly battling to remember where I am or what I'm doing. But... bringing joy to others is a purpose that makes me feel fulfilled and happy. It helps me calm myself and feel grounded. I just need to remember *again, I have trouble with that, which has been an intimidating frustration lately* but I can even just look as far as Tim. He needs service, too, even more than usual because I need more help, right? So I can do small things that will accumulate to being a lot more helpful. At least that's what I've been thinking. I'm rambling, but I thought I'd share anyway... Maybe you can "Light the World" a bit, too.
I gave Tim a haircut
Nine years ago today! A funny before and after... This is an improptu Halloween costume- he told me that he wanted to have something on for answering the door. I thought it was ok, but I've done much better. But the haircut looks so great! Doesn't he look dapper?