Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ahhhh fall

Yesterday was crazy windy and today I woke to a skiff if snow and iced over car. That said, it's been a beautiful few days. Even Wal-mart seemed peaceful. 

I'm refusing to take credit in this change of perspective but I am grateful for it, even if it is the calm before the storm. I will be better prepared to weather the storm this way. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Thank You for Today

Nothing of amazing miracles has changed in my life, if anything things have gotten a little more complicated since yesterday.  Today was the kind of day that is the reason that Sunday's are my favorite day of the week.  I feel emotionally and spiritually tanked up, and even if it is just the calm before the storm today was overflowing with peace.  I'm remembering in my heart, not just my head how profound of a feeling peace can be if we allow it into our lives.

I value today from before I got up out of bed likely until I fall asleep tonight for how much hope it has brought to me.  I know that mountain is still before me, but I can do this.  I've climbed mountains before, more alone than I am now.  I may not know this particular mountain well but I've surrounded myself with support and I have faith in those leading me along this trail.  I still have to climb this mountain by myself but I have a cheering section that I trust implicitly.

I don't know how to adequately describe how grateful I am for today, it may not have brought miraculous circumstance changes but it has been a tender mercy that was desperately needed.  Phone calls brought reassurance, talking with strangers brought peace and hope, a walk with the kids let me crunch through fallen leaves and soak in one more day of sunshine before winter darkness arrives. Somehow the caramel cheesecake belongs in here too, it was wonderful.

I remember now why I worked every Saturday for over a year, it's because there was a time that every, or at least most, Sunday's were like this.  No matter how I felt going in, coming out on the other side of Sunday was significantly better and usually lasted close to 7 days if I worked hard at it.

Thank you from every fiber of my being for today.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Better after

There is a blog out there titled Better After. Mostly DIY redoing, recycling, upcycling projects. Furniture from yard sales or thrift stores remade into beautiful pieces type stuff. Some if the before and after shots are amazing. The after pictures hardly resemble the before.

I've adopted a similar motto for catching up on neglected housework. Better today than yesterday. Each day I clean up more of a mess than we make, ideally something extra in each room. Ideal doesn't always match reality an sometimes nothing is better today than yesterday. 

Unfortunately better after isn't always (or ever) a linear motion. When redoing a room or piece of furniture during is much more chaotic, vulnerable, and downright messy than before was. It gets worse (harder) before it gets to better after. 

I don't have a detailed map of what lies ahead but I know that it will be better after. I also know that inbetween here and there is a lot if shaky ground with very vulnerable areas and I can't take things I've been hiding behind with me, they aren't allowed. 

I do not necessarily have faith that I can do it. I do have faith in those surrounding me and who is leading me on the journey. I don't know what lies on the other side, I will let you know when I get there. No, I don't know when that will be either. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

This Mountain Before Me

Last night I made a conscience choice to climb this monster of a mountain in front of me instead of walking around it and pretending it doesn't exist.  It's there, I'm going to conquer it. It's going to take me relying on 'my people' for I don't know what yet. I guess at this point I'm just packing all my mountain climbing gear.

I have either talked to or plan to talk to all the people I need to know that I'm climbing in case I start to fall. My journey started with a lot of tears and a Priesthood Blessing. Other homework will have to wait until next week, but that will give me time to gather my gear together.

I don't know what will happen to the blog. For the last year this has been my shoulder to cry on, celebrate with etc. I write more anytime I tackle a mountain but I see this being very personal and specific. I may password some entries, I may go back to my paper journal.  I don't know just yet. If you want a password to a private entry just ask. I may not say yes, but I won't be offended. Maybe that will be tonight, defining my mountain. 

It's time for me to get to work, but starting my morning quiet and thoughtfully has been an amazing blessing. I hope you all have a great day. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It's quote week apparently

Sometime after my last blog post this quote from Elder Holland came across my Instagram feed a couple of times as well as Facebook more times than I could count.

I have a love hate relationship with the quote. I absolutely adore Elder Holland and his talks are amazing. It speaks to hope and future strength. Perhaps an implied end to hard things. The take heart part is difficult when in the trenches though. Good news!  It could get worse!  

When I went on trek two years ago I came home exhausted, dusty, spiritually tanked up and had more hope than I'd seen in a while. While relaying part of my trek experience I told someone (Kris?!?) that none of the pioneers that made it to Salt Lake Valley made it by sitting down as the storm blew across them and their handcarts along Rocky Ridge. They kept walking, carrying those that couldn't walk regardless of how hard things seemed.  When it was all over they were grateful for the experience. 

I mistakenly compared where I was with my current load of trials for that time as my personal Rocky Ridge followed by jokingly saying at least I'd better not still be out on the plains. I thought I could see an end and as such a beginning. What I didn't realize is that really I was in a crowded train car on my way to Missouri still. 

Anyways, endure to the end. You can't endure to the end passively just letting time pass in hopes that things improve. You (meaning me) have to keep going, each morning getting up out of bed and making the best decisions we can for that day. Hopefully today is better than yesterday. Things are slightly better today than yesterday and much better than Monday. I don't know when harder ends, and I don't know that I can yet 'take heart' but I've stopped thinking that I'm doing something wrong for things to keep getting harder.  Sometimes harder just happens.

Chin up, Buttercup 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Discouraged and lonely

If you either follow my blog or have had very many conversations about when I'm struggling you probably have heard how much I lean on Henry B Eyring's talk Mountains to Climb. The Mormon Message from that talk is amazing too. In that talk he says "at the bedside of someone ready to give up the fight".

I had "give up" days last week where I gave up on housework and my accompanying better today than yesterday philosophy. Where I came home from work and ate some crackers and milk for dinner, considering that a success. Where I came home from a Bishop's appt and sobbed in my driveway.  I've pictured what my mountain to climb video would look like and the after is too far away to picture or dream about. Lonely is so difficult for me, it feels like I'm a living version of the Tin Man, just hollow inside. Add a dose of self doubt and it's a miserable feeling. 

Where I am now feels like forever, I don't know that I have the strength to get through this, and if I do what is next?  If I give up now will things stop being so hard? It feels as if my ability to cope has been completely over estimated. 

Being a single parent outright sucks sometimes. There is no one there to give you a hug and say that everything is going to be okay, you can get through this together. 

That said, things are still better than they were. It's harder, definitely, and I miss things that I never had in my marriage but better than they were. 

I have Visiting Teachers coming by today and a bit of cleaning to do so I need to get off of here for now. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Gratitude List

Working on my perspective here.

  • Grateful for better living through pharmaceuticals, it's making my life tolerable for the time being. 
  • Grateful I know where all my kids are and that they are safe. 
  • Grateful for the best friends and neighbors. 
  • Grateful I can have an early bedtime tonight so I can do it all again tomorrow. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

"love him no matter what"

I worked all day for Sunday last week, missing once again Conference talks. Fortunately I was able to download them to my phone so I could listen to them on Monday's long ride home alone. I need to listen to them again because regardless of the topic I kept coming back to the story in Henry B Eyring's talk about the Grandmother going to see her grandson in prison wondering her own version of why me?  Her answer was “I gave him to you because I knew you could and would love him no matter what he did.” Not so shockingly I bawled enough I probably should have pulled over coming down the canyon on I-70. 

The rest of the way home I kept thinking of this, from different perspectives. 

The obvious that Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of us. Not just at the times we are doing well, but all the time. When we are struggling,  when we've stumbled then tripped and it feels like we can't get up, when we question, doubt, and don't believe we are loved.  If I project my feelings as a parent I believe that those times we are loved even more. 

I don't believe that love is only an emotion. The bigger definition is as an action and the overall way that an individual treats those they love.   As part of God's love for us He ensures that there are people around us who love us, no matter what. 

I've been in a place where I pushed all of that support away and it was dark, cold and very lonely. Looking backwards, it was my fault. Some of the same people who are there for me now I realized I've pushed away in the past. The good news is the people that were put into my life are also patient and forgiving. 

I also wonder if there is more power in love than I realize. Sure it makes one happy and can bring hope and relief while not realizing that one is loved is discouraging and lonely. I know that much, but I wonder how much stronger of a force love is, and if we will ever realize it. 


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Real friends

I was browsing Pinterest humor and found this ecard.

I don't have many (any?) friends who would help me hide a body but I do have friends who I've shown up on their doorstep without even a word of what was wrong they knew I needed a hug. I have no doubts that they would have done anything in their power to help, all without needing a why.

On one late night call that had a friend come to me I was asked what was going on. I didn't have the time or even ability to put into words at that moment what was wrong. With no clue about what was wrong I was given the most powerful blessing I can remember. 

I have people around me that I cherish deeply because they care about me, not just the what. So, for all those friends that I hold so dear and are understanding of most everything thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me tear up and my eyelids overflow over a funny e-card. Most (all?) of you have no idea how you have changed my life. 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013


I'm sitting here reflecting back on the last few weeks of roofing. List style.

  • glad I can roof, would be okay NOT roofing anytime soon
  • my roof is bigger than I thought. 
  • kids were pretty amazing while I was working (extra shifts and extended shifts thrown in) and roofing trying to get things done. Kaede ate more turkey sandwiches than I'd expect in those couple of weeks
  • I'm glad it's done. 
  • if you want to grow closer to someone reroof with them. I'm willing to bet any hard working project will work too
  • grateful for tender mercies and outright miracles. 
  • weird ankle stuff aside, my body is grateful it's done. My elbow held out amazingly well (see above) and weird ankle stuff waiting until the roof was done (see above)
  • 2 weeks of windy but otherwise cooperative weather was amazing and never happens around here (see above)
  • the roof that love built. I am so grateful to Dad, without him I don't know what would have happened. Home Teachers and neighbors who stopped by to help toss old shingles saved me more than a day, without a doubt. 

I still don't have a done picture without the air hose in the way but as soon as my ankle lets me I have one more chimney to caulk and gutters to clean -- may as well hang Christmas lights too -- I will get it then. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

It really shouldn't be this hard

Yes I have an iPhone, yes I love it.  However, iTunes and I don't always get along.  It could have something to do with my ancient computer, it could have something to do with the fact that I think I should be able to do everything straight from my phone.  After all, 90% of my blog posts I type on my phone.

I have a road trip ahead of me tomorrow, 3 hours of it alone, and finished my audiobook on my last solo road trip.  I worked for the Relief Society session of General Conference so I was planning on downloading it onto my phone and listening through my Roadster.  Good plan right?

Except it's not working.  "open in iTunes" isn't an option for me.  I'm updating my iTunes software hoping that something works a little better then.  Listening to General Conference shouldn't be this difficult, right?

Anyone have any good suggestions for audiobooks?  I really enjoy Nicholas Sparks audiobooks but there is also a part of me that doesn't think I can handle another Nicholas Sparks story.  Everything else I've listened to has been long enough ago I can't remember.  Long podcasts you love?  Anything I can download and listen to along the freeway would be great.

I know I'm rambling, but I'm tired and I need to both find clothes for tomorrow and switch laundry so the girls have something to wear that's clean and I'm working on staying awake until the washer beeps at me and/or iTunes updates enough I can figure out how to download the Women's Broadcast.


Friday, October 4, 2013

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is Dad's birthday and while I'd love to have him here, I'm grateful he has stayed at home and in a very un-Dad-like move has stayed at home not doing much.

A few days ago I posted a picture of me on the roof and commented that I wished I'd have had a Wonder Woman shirt on. Really, replacing the roof isn't a huge deal  to pretty much anyone but me. However, my Dad is a super hero in my book. From helping me with the roof (okay, I was helping him) to little things like nearly always being willing to grill Moroni Barbeque Turkey and growing up never questioning that Dad would always have my back, no matter what but not to the point of shielding me from consequences. We were accountable for mistakes we made or bad decisions. 

This is really the picture that needs a superhero cape.  Wait, I can see one there can't you?   

Kaede helping Grandpa with the gutters

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Project New Roof: Done

It started to sprinkle as I was calking around flashing so I don't have a picture from today. The air hose, tools, everything is down. The dumpster goes away tomorrow, giving me a small window of time to throw away stuff. 

Time to start seriously thinking about paint colors. Winter isn't very far away. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Just one more thing

After my last post I made the mistake of saying out loud "I can't do it, I can't even take one more thing"  I still had backpacks to go through, voicemails needing my time and attention, and emails requiring action. I was nearly overwhelmed into a puddle that night and nothing productive happened.

The next day I didn't get "just one more thing" I got bushels full that sent me listing all of the things that don't really matter like stocking up at the caselot sale.   I took several big deep breaths and started prioritizing. Extra teen in the house for a while?  Check. Everything arranged for my work marathon this weekend?  Check. Kinda. Driveway {mostly} cleared so that the dumpster can be delivered?  Check. 

Why the dumpster?  Dad picked this weekend, the weekend of my night shift working marathon, to start reroofing. 

It's definitely needed, every storm has brought down more grit and occasional shingles. 

End of day one looked like this with some of the things you can't take photos of like 40 minutes on hold with Home Depot to get a quote, running to GP to look, measuring the roof. You know. Fun stuff. 

Wait, I forgot. I had to work after all that. 

***looking behind the scenes I realized this never published, so here it is***