Thursday, October 23, 2014

Getting From A to C by Way of B

I know.

Not exactly a one step pathway is it?

Does it surprise you, though, that I would have to get from point A to point C by taking a jaunt to B?

It shouldn't.

It shouldn't surprise me either...

but, it still does.

(Flash back clouds and music inserted here.)

Since we moved here 2 1/2 years ago, Sister had been with the same teacher for 2 years. What a blessing. Her teacher, Ms. O, finally was really understanding Sister, Fragile X and all of the combination of the two. It was great. There was no more explaining Fragile X Syndrome to her teacher and explaining how it affects Sister and blah, blah, blah...

That's what it feels like sometimes when I have to tell about Fragile X over and over and over and over again.

Sister was comfortable with Ms. O, I was comfortable with the comfort level of Sister and Ms. O, and it was starting to get a little bit easier knowing that Ms. O just understood Sister. It was so nice not to have to "blah, blah, blah."

Then at the end of May this year Sister's teacher announced that she was quitting!

At the school race this past spring.


What!?

"No!!!" I cried in my head... OK, it really was out loud... several times... to my friends, neighbors and family.

I don't want to go through this whole thing again when things were going so swimmingly!

Aaargh!

I pouted most of the summer.

Sister pouted on the days she was not in summer school.

That made me pout more. Which made me feel like we had been betrayed by Ms. O. How could she do this to us, couldn't she have chosen another career choice after her prized pupil had graduated from her class?

Then, a few weeks before this school year started, I got a phone call from her new teacher, Dr. H.

Dr?

Hmm.

I've had to teach a lot of doctors what FXS is and I was ready to explain it all to this one too.

Me: "Hi, Dr. H. This is [Sister's] mom, Rachael. I am returning your call..."

Dr. H: "Yes, I was just wanting to get to know Sister better so that I can be better prepared for this school year."

Me: (in my head) Oh great he's already been informed about Sister and wants to know what tactics to use for each behavior and situation... ugh! I'm not in the mood to explain FXS today... (out loud) "Well, she has what's called Fragile X Syndrome... have you ever heard of that?"

Before he answers I have my response formulated and I am ready to go into my educate mode.

But....

Dr. H: "Yes. I know what Fragile X Syndrome is."

Me: (in my head) Ya, you probably remember the 5 minute blurb you read about in your doctor text book, let me broaden your horizons... "Oh, really. That's something I don't hear very often! How have you heard about Fragile X Syndrome?"

Dr. H: "I worked with Dr. Randi Hagerman for a few years at the M.I.N.D. Institute in Sacramento."

Me: (in my head) What? Is this guy for real? Did he just say what only my dreams could imagine? (out loud) "What?!! For real? You worked with Dr. Randi Hagerman? This is like a dream come true!"

Dr. Randi Hagerman is one of the most known and most knowledgable doctors in the world of Fragile X and is HIGHLY respected as an advocate and clinician for Fragile X Syndrome. I couldn't have thought of a better situation myself!

In talking with Dr. H further I discovered that he and his wife were on the research team that worked a lot in studying the affects of FXS on girls.

Seriously?

Here was this trial at the beginning of the summer that brought on anxiety and a little bit of anger and I couldn't understand why God just couldn't let me have one easy summer with Sister by allowing her to look forward to being with her favorite, Ms. O after summer break.

I just couldn't understand what the purpose of the trial was and got frustrated with God.

I wanted and easy A to C route.

Heavenly Father wanted me to appreciate the journey and the small trial made the little coincidence of Dr. H falling into Sister's life, look more like a miracle.



Now to another situation, where, I pretty much left things in the Lord's hands and said, "Hey, Heavenly Father (we're close like that... I just say "hey" and he's like "wassup?") I want to be in a play. My back is bad, my life is busy, and my kids are needy, but I really need something for myself. I am just going to put this in your hands and if I make it that will give me the faith that it's all going to work out."

I made it into the play, as you know.

Photo by Mark Philbrick, Courtesy of Scera

I thought this would be my miraculous recovery story of how my back was doing so much better and life at home would be nearly perfect.

Two weeks into play rehearsal and my back started experiencing pain that I have never felt before. I was suffering physically, mentally and emotionally because of it.

Again, I complained to the Lord and asked him why he would give me the joy of the play and then make me suffer through it.

I was so mad and frustrated and confused.

But, I found so much joy in the play that I just kept getting through it. I had scheduled surgery to be done after the last night of the play and I had received a post-surgery back brace to help me through the pain.

The pain was getting so bad that I became desperate that I begrudgingly went to a alternative medicine doctor that my cousin recommended.

One "adjustment" (I call him the witch doctor) and some vitamin K for my restless leg and 2 days later I was on the mend. I was able to start doing my yoga and elliptical again.

You know what they say about back surgery? They say, don't do it unless you absolutely have to. It's painful and is a long recovery (6 months for the type of surgery I need). How was I gonna do back surgery and my lifestyle with 3 special needs kids?

But, my pain was horrendous. I saw no other option besides surgery.

I had it scheduled for tomorrow.

I cancelled it last week.

I was so happy and thrilled being in the play that there was no way, unless I was paralyzed, that I was not going to be in it. During the run of the play my back started feeling so much better after the witch doctor adjustment that I was able to do the last 3 shows without my back brace.

Heavenly Father knew how much pain I was going to be in and that I would want surgery ASAP. It must not have been the right time to have surgery, because he got me through the most extreme pain I've ever faced and now I can hopefully not have to have surgery anytime soon.

I just have to have faith in the Lord's timing.

And don't worry I apologized for giving him the "what for" once I started seeing how things were working out.

I'm not saying that I won't ever do the surgery.

I may have to one day.

In fact, I keep joking that he just needs me to wait until we get through this Parade of Pumpkins thing and then the extreme pain can come back...

Anyway, these two little journeys reminded me of a little video clip and I want to share it with you so maybe you can see that we shouldn't just assume that God has forsaken us during our hardest trials but is giving us peace of mind that what happened was what was supposed to happen.



Friday, October 17, 2014

Where'd you go?

Is that what some of you are wondering?

I think that everyone needs photos and design work by the end of October...

it's a bit crazy!

Not to mention my cousin, Tiffany, and I are getting this Parade of Pumpkins thing going.

What? You haven't heard of it!

It's the biggest fund raiser in the state for the Fragile X Association of Utah!

I mean... that's epic!



Anyway, between that, work, kids' school, photography, kids, meals, money managing, exercise, canning tomatoes and trying to figure out the next play I want to audition for... I guess blogging took a back burner for a bit.

(frown)

I even have video ready for my YouTube channel vlog and haven't even gotten to that yet!

What?!

I even had the opportunity to take pictures of my niece, Kelsey, who is getting married!

What?!

Yep.

It took me back to when she lived with me and we would take photos for fun while she was waiting for her date to show up... this was before I started really being a photographer...

Flashback Friday!!!

 —Blog Post from when she turned 18! here

 —Homecoming her Senior year! here

Now I have to show you her pictures from when she was almost 18 and the pictures I took this week...

She's still just as beautiful! Just so grown up!








P.S. She made her bouquet for the pictures!!! What?!! They are made from paper and book pages! So talented!

Oh, and she even brought her necklace to wear with her dress that she wore that year to Homecoming... pretty cool! I love this necklace!


Anyway, it's been a very interesting week...

I really still need to tell you so many things!

Here's a list so I don't forget:

About Sister's new teacher
Update on my back and the surgery
How Baby's coming along in talking and other things
Brother's cool school stuff

Don't let me forget...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

My Excellent Adventures!

I just recently finished watching "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure."

I laughed so hard at this movie as a youth, and I laughed hard as an adult because it is so ridiculous!

Seeing this show reminded me of my younger days when movies were edited for TV, Disney showed movies every Sunday for family time, and ATARI was the coolest invention for gaming!

Then I started remember my hairdo, my outfits, my words... yep, my words!

My school binder said it all:

Radical Dude!

Bogus!

Cool Dude!

Rad!

Awesome!

I was so profound...

Anyway, after I finished this silly movie from my youth I decided to start another movie from my youth.

Ha! Ha!

It wasn't a blockbuster by any means.

In fact I wanted to watch it because a friend in the play I've been in is going to be in the Miss UVU pageant! And our director has been helping her along.

So, the movie I watched was the 1995 Miss Spanish Fork Pageant.

I know, not that exciting.

But, oh, so funny!

I just had to show you the clips of me because humor and fun like this should be shared and not stored away in a shoe box.

One other funny thing is...

When I did this pageant, I was still healing from ACL surgery on my right knee.

I was laughing as I was wearing a back brace for most of the run of the play and here I was watching me do another first in my life while wearing a knee brace.

I'm such a basket case!

I guess I have to prove that I really want to do things, no matter what.

Now, you need to watch the video, and laugh. Oh, and yes, it's VHS, poorly recorded and NOT in widescreen, but I was able to get a pretty decent video with my iPhone of the pretty awful recording...

(Oh, and as a side note: I have some news about my back, but I want to write a post all about that later. Just don't let me forget to tell you...)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Climbing Peaks

Marc and I have figured out how to keep ourselves going mentally, emotionally and physically.

We have started doing things on our own that we truly enjoy!

I have my play (which only has 3 more shows left).

He has his backpacking/climbing adventures.

We still spend lots of time with our kids, with each other, as a family, just now, we have our own thing to revel in and be proud of.

It's really fun!

Marc enjoys watching my play and seeing me so happy and youthful.

I know this picture is blurry, but I LOVE this one because Brother got in on the picture! He thought Wednesday was cute!



Our cast shirt! How cool is that!



I enjoy watching Marc's face brighten each time he talk about a new mountain to climb or lake to hike to.

The crew that went on this last trip!


Standing at the top of the first climb waiting to attack the next one to the top.

At the top!!!


I decided to make a "Our Life YouTube Episode" about Marc's latest adventure. It was such a huge adventure and a first of its kind for him, that I just had to share it with everyone.

I also wanted to show just a clip of the little stuff at home, so you'll see both.

In a weird way, though, when you watch the video and compare Marc's adventure with my everyday...

There are peaks and valleys in both.

Highs and lows.

Happiness and sorrow.

Thrill and boredom.

We all have peaks in our lives that we must climb.

Some have more crags and crevices to grab onto along the way and others are so shear that the only way to make it up is with the help of ropes and bolts.

But, we all make it somehow.

Just when we think we can't we keep going.

When you are half way up the shear side of a mountain and get too tired to keep going, you don't just jump off and give up... you take a rest, reassess the situation and keep going up, even if it is slow.

You may not be climbing the same peak that I am ascending, but you are climbing none-the-less.

Do all that you can to get to the top.

The view is worth the climb...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Successful Fails

So I have figured out away to never fail.

Ever.

It's quite simple.

You just have to always succeed.

Always.

How is that possible?

It's all in the wrist... just kidding...

It's all in the attitude.

I'm not kidding.

I fail a lot.

And I do mean a LOT.

It gets me down sometimes.

Even discouraged.

Sometimes even down-right depressed.

But after today's Successfully failed photo shoot with my children I have decided that failure (as far as life challenges go) is all in the eye of the beholder.

Let me use these photos to explain:

This photo of Sister is a success after many failures at trying to get her to smile "normal" after realizing I forgot to change my aperture. So she started off successfully, but I had failed in my photography skills for a moment and missed the success.

Instead of giving up, I kept on keeping on... even when she was fine with failing herself:

OK, smile Wrong aperture.

Her real smile! Wrong aperture.

A little forced...

A little worried...

maybe she needed to go to the bathroom...

There! Got it! It's not perfect, but it's success!

Brother didn't take quite as long because he is older and has done this a million times so it is all old hat to him. He had a few squints and moments of looking away but we had a few good ones to choose from.

Looking away... and his handy apple is making an appearance.


squint


Handsome


too cutesy...

Ahh. Perfect!

Then there was Baby ...

The first 10 minutes were this:



So I gave her a break to hang with daddy for a bit before trying again...


 We still had lots of crying and then, our friend and neighbor, Amanda handed Baby her iPhone...







Goofy smiles, not looking at the camera and a purple iPhone in the pic...

Epic fails...

Right?

Nope.

I'm keeping these for her school pictures because it captures her personality in all it's glory!

So...

complete success.





This is how I have to approach life.

Have to.

I think I would be too depressed to face my successes if I wasn't able to accept my failures.

Maybe right along with yelling, "Nailed it!
when I succeed, I will start yelling,

"Failed it!"


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Our City Date and the Girls

I like to post my YouTube clips on my blog because not everyone who follows my blog is subscribed to my YouTube Channel.

So here are the latest episodes in "Our Life."