Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Zone

I enjoyed my day today.

It started off early with a dance class this morning, which was great! I didn't do great, but the class was great!

I keep dozing off while I am writing this.

I must be tired.

But let me tell you the biggest up of my day...


I  z

Hmm, it might be too late. I seriously dozed off during that.

I can't even remember the UP I was going to tell you about.

Now that's a downer.

Hold on... oh ya!!

I got a picture schedule cut and laminated today and was even able  to put it to good use.

Another UP was going to my parents' today for my mom's homemade pizza.

After her cooking was done she sat down and watched a movie with us AND play songs for Baby!

Day 59 of 365 Days of Up

Friday, February 27, 2015

The End

I really am on an UP note today.

I just am.

No big fantastical reason.

I am just high on life and ready for more to come.


I just got my laminator today!


Everyone should be excited about a laminator!

Well, OK, so it really isn't that exciting to most, but for me this is one of the signs that I am moving forward and taking on the new and ever-changing challenges of raising 3 children with Fragile X Syndrome.

I'm going to get back on doing the picture schedules again. I am even going to put together some more social stories. Laminating them at home, I think, will be less of a struggle to motivate myself to get things done and put them together.

Also, today was the last run of "Pinkalicious." The run ending isn't exactly an UP, but being a part of the show for the last month, making new friends, learning more about theater and acting, and being encouraged by director, Jerry Elison (one the best known directors in this area) has been an amazing and treasured experience.

At this morning's performance I even got put on the spot and embarrassed by some high school friends when they brought up a skit I had done back in the day. Needless to say, it was funny, yet awkward and they knew it was... stinkers.

Here's the image she caught of me doing my Michael Jackson move... OK, I know it doesn't look like MJ at all, but given the circumstances ...

It made it very official to watch them take the set down tonight:

Oh! And I got another YouTube video done today.

Here it is:

Little Actress

I've been studying up on some theater stuff and lost track of time so I'm not going to get deep tonight.

But, I will tell you my most memorable up for today, the director of the play I am in said to me tonight (with a big smile on his face), "Rachael, you are quite the little actress."

That meant the world to me coming from him.

Sorry so short, but now you know why I've been studying theater stuff all night.

I think I have built up the confidence to try out for another play.

More details of today, tomorrow.

Day 57 of 365 Days of Up

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Slap in The Face

I forget what my life is like sometimes.


I do.

And then I get a slap-in-the-face reminder.

I sat down today after all the kids were home from school and started on some design work I needed to have ready by tomorrow.

All the kids seemed fairly entertained... at least they weren't crying, bothering me, screaming or running out of the house.

Apparently, Brother was just feeding Ranger 3 bags of dog treats and wheeling around the bottom rack of the dishwasher on the kitchen floor after he had emptied it.

No big deal...

Just a possible clogged dog and probable rack replacement.

Same old, same old...


Anyway, I guess it just hasn't been the bestest day ever.

Now there were good things. I'll get to those.

For right now, I want to laugh at all that was wrong with the day so that I don't pile on today's stress to tomorrow's stresses.

Today was the perfect day for a sitcom.

For instance, when Marc got home from work he could sense my level of irritableness and, when asked, I told him about the recent happenings. During this I was making dinner and getting the kitchen cleaned up a bit. Marc was wiping down counters while I was trying to open a can of tomato sauce.

You would have thought that between 3 different can openers in the drawer that one of them would surely work.

To my chagrin, none of them fulfilled the complete task and I was resided to using a butter knife to pry open the can lid. It popped open, but it popped a little faster than I planned and it ended up splattering little spots of tomato sauce all over the counter Marc was cleaning, his shirt, my shirt, my face and the floor.

I stood there for a moment and processed what had just happened and unemotionally said to Marc, "It's just been one of those days." I walked away and Marc just calmly kept cleaning the counter. He had caught on from earlier that today was not the day to either try to be funny or sympathetic. This days was the don't-say-anything-because-no-matter-what-it-is-will-be-wrong day.

Smart man.

It was fun, though, to have friends over for dinner and conversation. Hopefully, while they were here, they didn't notice any tomato splatters I had missed.

Sister had a bit of a melt down while our friends were here. I wasn't surprised because of other things that had occurred earlier that day. I was trying to hug and talk her through it. I wasn't really getting her calmed down even though I tried.

At times like this when Sister falls apart I am able to realize the difference Ranger has made in Our Life. Ranger walked in the room while Sister was falling apart and she immediately went to him, talk to him, pet him and hugged him and she, within 5 minutes, was fine.

It truly is miraculous what a dog can do for children with special needs.

So, all in all, it was a decent day despite the few Brother mishaps.

But the UP I want to mention was having the opportunity to see my cousin's wife and their daughter on the front row at the play this morning!

Day 56 of 365 Days of Up

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Seeing more than I expected!

So back to last night, since I promised to add on...

I've been prepping our kids for 3 weeks now that Monday, February 23rd would be the day they would come see mommy in the play. I made sure to arrange for McKenna and Lindsey to come with Marc to help with the kids.

One adult for each kid.

I think the preparation helped because they made it through the whole thing!

I was even prepared with popcorn and drinks when they got there!

I guess Baby had a little case of ants in her pants, but for the most part they were good.

I even got to hear Brother holler out during my main scene, "Oh, Mother!" It made me night and almost made me break. I had even warned my fellow cast members to listen for him. Turns out they didn't hear him—I guess it's a parent thing.

Anyway, I was really excited, because afterward they were even able to handle coming to say "hi" to me and get a picture with me. All except Brother, he had a bit of a rough time and refused to be in the group shot.

One of the other big UPs of my night was having some special friends show up and surprise me! It was especially awesome because one of those friends is a very special friend to Brother from our old neighborhood. She was able to get Brother out of his funk and he was excited to see her and talk to her a little bit.

I am always truly humbled by the youth in Brother's life and how they really care about him. I love it! Thank you M for being you and being being sweet to Brother no matter his reaction!

After M and her family had left, Brother hid back in the corner again.

It didn't last long though, because Felesha, my friend from the cast, was able to connect with Brother and got him to come out of his shell. I was impressed at her time and effort to befriend him and make him feel comfortable.

I often take the time to explain Our Life, Fragile X and all that these two things combined can induce, but it is always nice to see that what I  have taught is actually put into action.

The other thing that is cute about Felesha is that she thinks my hubby is a hottie and it just makes me giggle to see her act like a school girl. Marc took a selfie with her and I think her smile says it all:

I was so happy too when Baby let me take a selfie with her:
This is the face Baby makes for most of her pictures now-a-days... reference below to her recent pic with Marc

I was also really happy to see Yaya at the play!

Oh, and I was so happy to see her parents too!

Earlier in the day, a couple ours before I left for the play I had a bit of a down moment. It started off happy because I was so excited that I was taking the time to redesign my header for this blog:

Then Marc came home while I was finishing up and after a few minutes he called down and asked, "Rachael, have you seen the Christus?"

I had to glue the hand on once because I knocked something over that was next to it and it nicked it just right. I thought that one of the kids had bumped it and broken it again. It is very special because my parents gave it to us years ago for Christmas and it is one of those really nice ones that stands about 14 inches tall. It's a centerpiece in our home.

I wasn't expecting to see this:

I about died when I saw it. I knew immediately it was Sister and I thought for sure it was permanent marker. I took a picture because I just had to. I was amazed she would silently do this while I thought all was well.

I told her to find the marker she had used and was so relieved that it was a washable one and proceeded to get the right cleaner and a dish cloth to begin removing the graffiti.

As I did so, I began to chuckle to myself as I noticed that she had given him a heart, some eyebrows and his crown on top.

And then, it became my up.

Our daughter knows enough about Christ to know that he is our king, he has a heart full of love and his eyes are the window to his soul (so of course you have to frame them with good eyebrows.)

That was yesterday's biggest lesson.

Today, was fun and rough and good.

The play is always fun:

Wearing these humongous butterfly wings always bring me UP

My fellow butterfly, Paige!

I had fun pretending to be a windshield butterfly...

And of course I had to do a selfie!
I got these pictures from my sister this morning from when they came to the play last Friday:

And there was a other stuff that happened today that made me reflect on what I have ahead of me in my parenting journey and all that I have in front of me in the here and now.

I feel inadequate, under-quallified, and overwhelmed.

I have to say though, that today, my UPs certainly outweighed my downs.

Besides, how could I possible be sad having gotten another YouTube video finally put together AND it was from Christmas so it brought TONS of happy Christmas memories!

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Adding to this post

I'm going to add more to this post later. This is all I have time for right now, but this should give you a hint of one of my UPs today:

Day 54 of 365 Days of Up

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Sleeping at Church

I fell asleep at church three times today.

Not just doze off for a mere moment, but the whole head-bob-wake-up-wondering-where-you-are kind of sleep.

Ha! It made me laugh. I was the snoozing, old lady today.

That wasn't my UP though. (tee hee!)

We had a program for our Young Women tonight and it went so well and was so much fun. There was a lot of work that went into it and it's nice to have it overwith. I actually took a bunch of pictures but I am being lazy and don't want to worry about getting them on here for you to see.


That was an UP, but not my best UP.

My best UP has been sitting here for the last hour with my hubby just sitting and watching Property Brothers.

Sometimes, just simple time is pretty special.

He's acting like he's asleep... not quite convincing...

Saturday, February 21, 2015


I woke up early this morning.

That's pretty rare on a Saturday because I get up early all the other days and try to get some "sleep-in" time when I can.

I had planned to get up early.

It's interesting, though, that even though I was planning on it there was a bit of annoyance when it was Sister's babbling and pretending that woke me at 6am. I went in and out of consciousness for about and hour and then finally got myself out of bed.

Sister had all her legos and books out and Ranger too.

She loves that dog.

I mean, really loves him.

Anyway, after getting Sister and Ranger set, I headed off to a dance class for adults at the Scera.

I never did dance as a kid.

Not even clogging, which in a small town in the 80's, was the bomb-diggidy!

I love to "dance" though. I quote that word because I just pretend to dance, but I still LOVE it!

I'm not good at it.

If I want to act in musicals I better get better at it.

So I went to a dance class.

I loved it.

I'm not good at it...


But, I've promised myself I will be.

Besides, even if I'm never amazing at it, it's a fun form of exercise!

Baby does some funny things quite often. I never know quite what to expect from her at any given moment on any given day. She's a box of surprises.

She can make anything become a doll, i.e. napkins, skirts, clay, dish rags and as of this week...

the two end banana were "talking" to each other
I also got to go on a date with Marc tonight while doubling with friends. Double dating is so fun, how can that not be one of my UP's!

Oh ya! And for the first time since December I was able to get my chalk out and draw! I decided to commemorate my mom's words, "Fairy Feathered Friends."

Day 52 of 365 Days of Up

Fairy Feathered Friends

We were about a 1/3 of the way through our play this morning when the background/music tracks didn't play through about 4 numbers (dancing and singing)! I wasn't on stage at this point, but I was amazed to see and hear how well they did without the music. It was awesome! I don't even know if the kids even noticed.

One of my fellow cast members gave me a book today to help me with auditioning. He was sweet and felt sorry for me being a little down about not making it to call-backs for Guys and Dolls.

It's nice to be surrounded by friends who are thinking of you and can make the best of a bad situation.

I guess that's part of why I am enjoying theater so much—the friendships.

I read 66 pages of the book that was lent to me and I think it might be helpful. I hope. Because now I am trying to decide if I have the guts to audition for another play.

At home today I met with someone who was getting everything set for Baby's permanent help and respite care. She made it as quick as possible since I only had 45 minutes before I was needing to get Brother to the meeting place to head out for their campout at the Sand Dunes.

I was so proud of him today. He was so happy to go and wasn't falling apart like usual.

I also feel so grateful to the leaders that are willing to be with him and keep him involved with his peers.

I was talking to my mom after I had dropped Brother off and we just got talking about fun things, funny things and old friends. My mom started talking about one friend in particular from her high school years and how this friend seemed to only be nice in certain situations.

She then said, "I guess he was just a fairy feathered friend."

I started to laugh and explained to her that the terms is 'fair-weathered friend."

We laughed for quite a while about that one.

Then it was time for dinner to be fixed and off the the night performance of the play.

I was excited for tonight because my sisters and their families and my parents all came to see me.

My mom even brought me flowers!

I felt really special.

I was excited to get my picture with them after the show:

Later on in the evening my mom sent me a pic she took on her phone from up in the balcony...

Pretty bad photo but I am the one with the pink butterfly wings...
I think my mom needs a new photo... I actually might look like a fairy feathered friend in this picture...
If you can't see my UPs for this day in my post, maybe you should read it again. (wink)

I must say, though, that if fair weathered friends are only there when things are easy then fairy feathered friends must be the ones by your side at all times, giving you this warm fuzzies!

Day 51 of 365 Days of Up

Thursday, February 19, 2015

I just want to go to bed

It's late.

I'm tired.

I'm kinda in one of those moods.





So I just want to go to bed.

But, I don't want to go to bed sour and shriveled so I am going to think of all my UPs today.

I found my green sunglasses I thought I had lost!

I got some laundry done today and the dishes!

Got a birthday card in the mail from my in-laws!

I got to talk to a childhood friend of mine for a long while and it was nice to catch up a bit.

I found out about a dance class I hope to be a part of so I can learn more and get better.

Kissing Baby's warm cheeks when she climbed out from under her covers this morning.


This helped. 

I think I am happy enough to go to sleep peacefully.

Good night.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Facebook Birthday Dilemma

So I have to admit something.

I purposely don't have my birthday listed on Facebook.

I guess I have this weird thing where I don't want people to feel pressured to wish me a happy birthday if they had to be reminded over a social network app. I just want them to say it if they want to.

So, that is why my birthday is not on there.

I don't wish people a happy birthday on Facebook because I don't want to be cheesy. I worry that they will be like, "Hmm. I haven't seen her in years, why is she telling me Happy Birthday?"

I don't know. I guess I'm weird.

But, after yesterday and having so many people write me personal messages for my birthday it made me realize that I haven't been a very nice friend.

I also realized that just because I'm fine with people not making a big deal over my birthday it doesn't mean they feel the same way.

I received gifts and service yesterday that made me so happy and feel so lucky to be me and be 38.

I realize that I need to be a better friend in that sense.

I'll work on it.

I hope, though, that my friends know that I appreciate them very much through the other things I do for them. I think I just have a different way of expressing myself in a friendship.

Maybe I just get too caught up in surviving my own daily life that I neglect the little things I can do for my friends.

Anyway, that was my thoughts.

I was talking to a friend today and she was explaining some things to me about my personality and it was very enlightening to hear some of my personality traits that really mold me and how I react to life around me.

I came to a realization during that conversation that for me, friendship is a strong and lasting reciprocation of true and honest respect and love. I also understand why I feel guilty about not taking the opportunity to wish everyone a happy birthday that I have a chance to come by... I really don't want to hurt anyone's feelings or make them feel unloved if I don't comment on their social media page. I'm hoping that whoever I am friends with know me well enough that me not saying "Happy Birthday" on Facebook negates my feelings for them.


that was my soap box.

My UP for today was receiving a great shoulder massage from my friend who is  massage therapist.

Happy moments!

Best 38 Ever!


Best 38th birthday I've ever had!

During my time getting ready for our performance this morning I received text messages and voice mails from friends and family saying sweet things for my birthday.

After the morning performance of the play the entire audience plus the cast sang happy birthday to me! I mean, what's cooler than 300 elementary kids singing you Happy Birthday while you sit on stage at the Scera Theater?!

Then I went to lunch with the cast and my hubby! Marc joined me and the girls for a little party lunch.

Then I came home to a sweet birthday message from a friend that she had left a birthday present on my door! It was a pot of tulips! My favorite flower!

Soon after I was home Baby got home and I had a little time to hang out with her until the Behaviorist for Sister came to do more intake work. That was the only "rough" part of my birthday was being thrown back into reality for a couple of hours as we discussed Sister's struggles.

But, the cool thing was that, in the middle of that meeting, a sweet friend of mine stopped by to give me a hand-made gift. It's adorable and I should have taken a picture of it, but it's a cool necklace made by using a sewing machine thread bobbin as the charm—so creative and so thoughtful. I just wish I would have had time to talk with her a bit, but I had to get back to my meeting.

Shortly after the meeting I sat down to check if I had any Facebook messages and "Holy cow!!" People were wishing me a happy birthday all over the place! Wow! I sure felt special!

Then another friend stopped by and brought me a bouquet of balloons and we had the chance to sit and talk for a long time! We laughed a lot too! I have no picture of that either, but the balloons look great on my banister!

After that we headed on over to our friends house and they made dinner for my birthday and even bought me an ice cream cake! I haven't had one of those for years! It was delicious! I even got to blow out candles! I love that because it makes me feel all giddy like a little kid again!

Oh and I did get pictures of that.

That face is so me... not that I'm proud of it... it's just me! Ha! 

Baby was so excited to help me out!

Right after the gift of dinner and cake I ran home to get my music ready for my audition for Guys and Dolls at the Scera.


I auditioned for another play.

I don't think I am what they are looking for honestly, but I really, for the first time ever, felt like it was a really fun audition! I just felt more confident and less like a shaking leaf. I just had fun and I will remember this audition as the one that I finally felt like auditioning is something I can handle.

Then I was able to hang out with friends at a meeting for our Young Women's group.

It was a meeting.

Not a party.

It was still fun to be with them anyway.

Then I came home, talked with Marc a bit and now I am sitting here blogging, thinking about what an incredibly UP day this has been!

Happy UP Day!!

I'm 38 people!


I might look it, but I sure don't feel it!

Oh, P.S.

Here are a couple pictures Marc got of me grooming our dog, Ranger yesterday.

Day 48 of 365 Days of Up

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Is everything smaller?

Brother loves Salt and Vinegar chips.

I mean, LOVES them!!

I think I buy at least 5 bags a week—not snack size bags, but full size bags...

until today...

Today I went to the store to buy some more Salt and Vinegar chips and I had to keep looking around to find the normal size bag of chips...

apparently 7 3/4 ounces is the new normal size!


What happened to the other 2 ounces?

Are we trying to go all European and get America to eat healthier or in smaller portions?

I doubt it! It's just another way for Lay's Chips to save a dime!

Dang it!

Don't they know that my child practically lives on Salt and Vinegar chips?!

That and Granny Smith apples and popcorn.


Anyway, on to the rest of the day.

It was so fun to have my in-laws come to the play this morning and then come to the house afterwards and we turned it into a family outing with grandma and grandpa by taking a drive in our new van. We even tried out the new Zaxby's here in Orem. It was pretty good, but their fries sure leave something to be desired. But, hey, it's the chicken they're known for and that was really good.

My view from the back seat of the van, which has plenty of leg room in case you're wondering.)

When we got home from our little holiday jaunt out and about I gave my mother-in-law, Lynne, a haircut.

I still had the stuff out so I gave Brother a haircut.

I was on a roll, so I decided to try my hand at cutting Ranger's hair... I really don't want to pay money to have him groomed so I have been watching videos on YouTube and just trying to spy a bit while watching the groomers at PetSmart... and voila! he looks like a schnauzer now! Cute little guy! I think I took a pound of hair off him.

BEFORE (we were letting his hair get long so we could groom like a schnauzer and to keep him warmer in the winter)

AFTER (I'm still learning, but it's not horrible)

Sister was helping me give him a bath after his haircut and I didn't realize she had been taking pictures on my phone while I was scrubbing away.

Another big UP, was staying after the performance tonight and giggling and chatting with some of the girls. I basically invited myself to the conversation, but the happily welcomed me in and we all had a good time together!

These shots are from last Friday's show. I brought my camera and just had a great time! (These photos were not taken by me, just my camera...)

Day 47 of 365 Days of Up

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Almost there...

I'm so close to 40...

I can't believe it!


But thank goodness I am not there yet because I am just not ready, and I'm just not that old.

I'll be 38 soon.



It seems like last year I graduated high school and it will be my 20-year high school reunion this summer!

I feel, inside, that I am only 23 yet I am 15 years ahead of myself whether I want to be or not.

Pretty amazing how time goes.

I got to celebrate my birthday with my family tonight.

It was fun.

My mom made my favorite treat—cherry turnovers! Ah! So delish!

I think I have had her make them for all my birthdays the last 3-4 years instead of cake.

Photo bomb by mom.
How can I not have an UP today!

Day 46 of 365 Days of Up