...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A "wheely" great hope for spring

My plants are starting to come out of hiding.
I love it when their tiny, little, green faces start to stretch toward the sun.

And some of my plants give me a little chuckle as they start to grow up.
"Wheely" great aim and a hole in one for that sprout (don't worry, I freed this little guy of what would have become a tight squeeze).
Good times in the garden.

It's fun to watch my yard come alive.
The tempting flavor of spring is slowly edging its way into my world, and I love it.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Crohn's Flare: the slow advance of encroaching doom

Ok, so maybe that sounds a bit more ominous than it really is.

The fact that I am an unwilling carrier of Crohn's disease is not really news.  I was first diagnosed in 2011 and Crohn's and I have had a relationship in varying degrees ever since then.

At the moment, we aren't really getting along (well, from my end we pretty much never get along, but sometimes he is more quiet about his presence in my life than other times...this isn't one of those times).  At the moment my foul friend is flaring.

While I wouldn't call us buddies, Crohn's and I do have a union or sorts and I have accepted his solid grasp on parts of my life.  I don't share these things looking for pity or concern, I honestly hope that the things I have learned and experienced can maybe bring some comfort, peace, or hope to someone else who might be facing similar struggles.

For me, wandering into a Crohn's flare is a very slow process.  It starts with minor discomfort or pain which niggles its way into my abdomen over the course of a few weeks, slowly increasing and branching into other symptoms until I eventually give the issue more of my attention.

Once I realize for sure that things are not getting better (which usually takes 6-8 weeks) I head in to see my gastroenterologist, who prescribes a nasty piece of medicine which I love/hate but which will -- in time -- tackle the issues and bring me back to my own quirky version of normal.

The thing is, the plodding forward progress of symptoms make it very hard to recognize there is a definitive problem until it has become something big.  It's kind of like when you take your kids to see relatives who haven't been around them in a while and they comment on how much your sprites have grown, but to you they don't seem different because you were there for the day by day, minute by minute changes so the growth doesn't stand out as much.

But, to me, it also means that my focus is not on my disease.  It means that I am so caught up in living my life that I don't take note of every single minute change that pops up.  It means that although I take Crohn's disease VERY seriously, it is only one SMALL facet of my life -- one that is a side note, not a volume of its own.

Yes, I have Crohn's disease.

Yes, it is inconvenient and painful and unpleasant.

But, no, it does not run the show.

Friday, February 5, 2016

That's the night that the lights went out...

So the other night we got an impromptu emergency preparedness drill.

Ok, actually, the power just went out and our kids panicked and you might have thought it was the end of the world around here for a little while.

But we opted to treat it as an emergency preparedness drill so there you go.

We lit our handy dandy oil lamp (kids thought that thing was just for show...nope...actually I don't much care for how it looks, but it is super helpful in a blackout) and the panic level edged down a notch or two.  Despite what the picture shows, the oil lamp does light a room really well and does NOT need batteries (which is fabulous because we can never find those things when we need them because our kids tend to pilfer them for toys and such).

Round two of emergency preparedness 101 had us concerned about the temperature our kids would face as they tried to sleep.  We piled them all into one bedroom (which conserves body heat and eases tiny dark-terrified minds with the comfort of company) and pulled out our brand new from Christmas propane powered space heater (thanks Mom and Dad).

Um, yeah, I am in love with this baby.

We had it on low and it was pumping out heat like nobody's business.  We didn't even have the fan turned on (mostly because that requires batteries and we couldn't find any...see note above).  The kids were almost too warm (which is a good problem to have in the winter when the power is out).  It was comfortable and cozy and lovely.

Aaaah the glow of a freshly set space heater.

Really, we came through this whole power out for a couple hours thing in pretty good shape.  Our biggest problem was our bed.

You see, Josh and I recently purchased a new bed (since the previous one had supported our aging bodies for 16 years and was tired and sagging and no longer willing to put up with us) and we bought an adjustable bed that can lift the head an feet up and down hoping to help alleviate someone's back pain (and maybe someone's snoring as well).  

The problem comes that during the day I set the bed into almost a sitting position with feet high because as I read or work on the computer while sitting on the bed it is more comfortable.

But that position is not actually great for sleeping, and with no power we couldn't make the bed lie back down.

I love sleeping sitting up...on my bed...in the cold.

It wasn't the most comfortable start to a night of sleep ever.

But, the power fairies smiled down on us and we'd only been in bed about 20 minutes (staring straight ahead because heaven knows you don't roll around much when you're in a bed shaped like a letter "s" that fell over) when the lights all came blazing back on and everything was back to normal.  Just to be on the safe side I didn't put he bed up so high today just in case we had a repeat tonight.  I'm a planner you know.

Sometimes it is good to be reminded that we can manage without the fripperies of life (like power, and wifi) and it was good for our kids (and their parents) to have to think around the problem and see that all was well despite the dark.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Day Trip to the Provo City Center Temple

Yesterday we went on an adventure.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is currently holding an open house for the newest temple here in Utah, the Provo City Center Temple.

Tickets to tour the temple are free, but we had a hard time getting them...especially because we were trying to book a spot for eight people sometime after school but before bedtime on a day when we didn't have lots of other things going on.

It just wasn't working out.  We tried and tried and there would always be no tickets available for our group or times that just wouldn't work for us.  It was frustrating.

So I decided to scrap the whole plan and approach it from a new angle.

Instead of working around schedules I booked tickets at 10:00 in the morning on a Tuesday and informed the kidlets that they would be missing school for the day.

They weren't exactly disappointed.

And it may have been the best playing hookey incident we've ever had.

The temple was gorgeous (of course) but what I loved best was watching my little sweethearts discover the beauty and intricacy of the work inside.  I loved hearing them ask what "what happens in this room" or "why are those there" as we walked the immaculate halls.  I think this temple tour really touched them and that was something I could not have forced...and something I'm glad they didn't miss.

It was quiet and serene and peaceful and just fabulous.  We were very grateful for those who helped guide us on the tour and those who volunteered time and effort to make our day such a wonderful experience.

After our tour it seemed appropriate to make it a day and stop for some lunch.  We let the kids choose...so we ended up at Golden Corral.  Well, ok, that will do I guess.  At least everyone could get what they wanted, and plenty of it (and we may have even given in to seconds on dessert...ridiculous).  

Daytime trip to the temple:  highly recommended.

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