Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sharing Gifts

We got a sneak peek of the 3-minute documentary we were filmed for on Monday.

I am so impressed at what our friend put together. It's amazing!

I can't share the video, but I hope it's OK that I stole a little clip from it for you to see:

I am just so thankful that someone who has the talent of making films was desirous to share his talent as a service to help spread the word about Fragile X Syndrome.

I'm truly amazed.

I love being surrounded by talented people who are willing to share them freely to benefit and change others' lives.

I just spent the last 5 hours surrounded by the cast of "Mary Poppins."

This cast is spilling over with talent and not just in acting and singing.

I see those who share their love of cooking and baking to feed the cast and brighten their day. I see those how can make everyone smile, give hugs freely, share laughter, inspire, lift up, and teach.

I love that we have all been given talents in all shapes and sizes to help all of us who are in all shapes and sizes.

It's truly amazing and "practically perfect" that we all have a chance to interact and know each other and share our gifts.

Being blessed with talented and giving people in my life is something I am definitely thankful to say is my UP today.

Day 149 of 365 Days of Up

Oh, and P.S. Other than Baby throwing up one of her antibiotics she is still getting better. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that I can keep her from spitting her meds out...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Walking Alone

My UP today is pretty straight forward: Baby is doing better!


Her foot is still blue and purple and swollen, but her fever and lethargy are gone and she is happy instead of irritable. She's been hopping around all day as happy as a bunny and smiling about everything.

I know it was through prayer and a blessing that she is able to heal through this so quickly.

I'm so thankful to my Heavenly Father for watching over us.

In those moments of "hard" I tend to think He looks away for a bit, but I quickly realize each time that He always watches over us. It's not always what we want, but we just have to trust in Him.

I think that is the hardest part is not giving up on God. I think we tend to give up on ourselves and other people so we automatically conclude that God must give up on us.

I'm so thankful He doesn't.


Remember this poem:

Footprints in the Sand

One night I had a dream.

I dreamed I was walking along the beach
with the Lord..

Across the sky flashed scenes from my life..
For each scene, I noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand,
one belonging to me, and the other to the Lord..
When the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that many times along the path of my life
there was only one set of footprints.
I also noticed that it happened at the very lowest
and saddest times in my life.
This really bothered me 
and I questioned the Lord about it:
"Lord, you said that once I decided to follow you,
you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most 
troublesome times in my life 
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why 
when I need you most you would leave me." 

The Lord replied:
"My precious child, I love you and would
never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints, it was then
that I carried you."

by Mary Stevenson

I heard this poem so often as a youth I started not liking it. It was so cheesy.

But, I guess I haven't heard it for a while and realized that sometimes even cheesy can be inspiring.

Last night Marc and I sat up in bed talking about our kids and all the sweet things they do. We had to giggle and smile about them.

We love them.

A lot.

One of the questions I was asked for the interview this past Monday was, "If I had to do it all over again, would I?"

I don't know if the answer to that will make the cut for the video, but as I went through these last few days with a really sick Baby and thoughts of possibly spending time in the hospital, I remembered all the time I spent with our kids in the hospitals at various times of their lives. I haven't forgotten the experiences, but I've forgotten the anguish and disparity I know I felt then. I'm realizing, now, that those must have been the times the Lord carried me through so that I could survive it all without falling apart. Now, mind you, I fell to my knees, but I didn't fall apart.

I don't know if all of this makes a whole lot of sense, or even matters to you.

I just had to say it.

I just had to take the time to testify that Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us and does not, will not, can not turn his back on us.

Just a flashback at one of the hardest and happiest times of Our Life when Baby was born,
but we had to keep her at the hospital for a while because of breathing issues and jaundice.

We never walk alone.

Day 148 of 365 Days of Up

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Fish and Cookies

Brother went to his last day of Junior High today.

Tomorrow is Lagoon Day (Utah's Amusement Park) for the 9th graders and I didn't think it would be a good idea to have him go to that, so he gets to stay home... unless he wakes up in the morning and wants to go. His original teacher is out still from her neck surgery so it's not all that exciting for him to go tomorrow if he can't say goodbye to her before he heads off to high school.

She is an amazing teacher and it is hard to let go. She brought him so far and helped him so much. I really wanted to get a cool gift to give her, but I'm a last minute kind of person. (frown) I should have gotten a gift a long time ago, but I just figured I'd go sometime before school ended.

I just didn't know that Baby was going to be so sick this week.

Ya, she stayed home today too because I couldn't get her to wake up so I took that as a sign that she was still feeling sick and needed her rest.

I got Brother off to school without a hitch because he was so excited about yearbook day.

Even got Sister dressed and excited for her big dance festival at school. I had to tell her that I wouldn't be there because of Baby being sick still. We took pictures so she could see how cute she looked.

I wanted to cry about having to miss her dance. She has been talking about it and singing the song for the last month or so. I had been so excited to see her, but knew that someone would record it for me so I could at least see that. Shortly after she had left for school I got a text from Dr. H letting me know that she wouldn't do the dance and was clinging to his for dear life not wanting dance. I was so sad. I wished that Baby was better so that I could have seen Sister dance if I had been there. I kind of wanted to cry, but to get my mind somewhere else I started my yoga and exercise, talked to my sister on the phone while I did so and even got some vacuuming done.

Then I heard Baby playing in her room so I went to check on her.

When I walked in she was trying to get me to leave and kept yelling at me, "Don't touch my body!"

I was a bit confused by that until I noticed her foot—it had swollen even more than the previous day and it was now bluish and purple!

That didn't look good.

I took her to the doctor and he took her in between other visits. He told me she has cellulitis... not fun. No wonder she was in so much pain, running a fever and having a tough time walking and standing. She had a bad skin infection. Somehow the mosquito bite had attracted an infection of some kind.

She doesn't do well taking antibiotics and so I asked if the doctor could give her a shot instead.

I felt bad.

I got shots for medicine when I was a kid and it hurt. A lot.

But we had to get antibiotics going sooner rather than later so that we would be able to avoid time at the hospital. I hate the hospital.

I've done that with my kids all too often.

So I figured it was worth trying if it keeps her out of the hospital.

She screamed louder than I have ever heard her scream and it took everything in me not to ball my eyes out and sob just from hearing her in so much pain and knowing that she had such a bad infection.

She wanted a sucker and I didn't have one.

I couldn't take her into the store and I couldn't leave her in the car...

I went to my sister-in-law, Chelsea's, house because she always wants to help and Aaron always has candy stashed at the house.

Apparently Aaron had eaten most of his stash because she could only find frosted animal crackers, Swedish fish and some Minion fruit snacks. Baby loves those things so I thought we had a winner.

I think she was still upset with me so she just kept screaming and throwing the bag at me.

So instead of breaking down into tears I ate the Swedish fish and cookies that were in the bag.

I never knew those to things could be considered comfort food until today.

I cheered up a bit and Baby even decided to have some cookies with me.

We both cheered up.

Cheering up is an UP, right?

I smiled, too, when Sister's teacher sent me this picture of her at her Mickey Mouse reward pizza party:

It was also an UP when Brother brought home his yearbook with signatures and several pictures of him in it documenting a few of his experiences in his last year of Junior High.

Having an UP also included the Young Women Activity I was able go to tonight because I had no Play Rehearsal. We celebrated a new girl coming in and then we played games and had treats. I laughed a lot. It felt good to get all my frustration out through hysterical laughing and quick wit.

Day 147 of 365 Days of Up

Rain, then Sun. Sun, then rain.

Today was on and off with the weather.

It would rain hard then the sun would shine brightly through the parting clouds then it would rain hard again.

That happened all day.

My day went a lot like the weather.

Brother was home because the mainstream ninth graders were doing the whole college tour thing so he didn't have to go.

Sister had a meltdown because she left her rain coat at grandma's and she had to wear finsetics (synthetics) and not cotton or she would get wet... her backpacking guru dad helped her learn that... guess you never now what she is going to obsess over.

Baby, I thought was just tired so I let her sleep in. Turns out she was feeling really sick and was having a bad reaction to a mosquito bite on her foot. It hurt her to walk on it or to bend it.

So sick she could hardly hold her iPod up to watch her shows.

One mosquito bite can be torture to our kids.

I spent a lot of time snuggling with her today to give her some comfort while her fever and her swelling weaned and waned.

I had a tickle fight/wrestling match with Brother while Baby was content for a moment and I even fell asleep watching "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" with him.

Poor Ranger was so bored today with me tending to Baby all day and Brother taking advantage of me not being around enough to tell him to do something other than watch TV.

He did come up and do his dishes though. While he worked and I cleaned we talked a little bit about how he was excited for his yearbook tomorrow.

There was even a a funny/not funny moment when Brother knocked the light fixture off kilter while doing Karaoke to Shania Twain. The other funny part to that was that I fixed it with a glue gun... I think I can fix anything with a glue gun.

I got an email with our official poster for Mary Poppins so I was excited to share it.

I also got to see some clips of Marc and I from our documentary interview yesterday:

Looks really cool huh? I am excited how the picture looks I just hope I wasn't too much of a bumbling idiot that Coray (the filmmaker) can't use anything I said.

Then I had to do laundry and vacuum and all this duties...

But, then I got to take a couple quick photos for a senior and that was fun.

Then Marc came home from work sick.

But Sister was in a good mood because she found out at school that she gets to be part of the pizza party lunch with her principal tomorrow during lunch.

So you can see, my day was rainy and sunny...

Ups and downs, rain and sun.

Day 146 of 365 Days of Up

Monday, May 25, 2015

There's a snake on my boot!

We were filmed for a short film documentary today!

This is where we clipped the microphone instead of at me waist. It looks like there was a snake on my boot...
(name that movie)

It was a lot of work, though, t and preparation, but it it was a lot of fun!

The kids all slept over at my parents' last night so that we could have our interviews done in our home.

It was good for me to answer questions that gave me an opportunity to talk about Our Life, our journey.

The video should be up by the end of this week so I am hoping to share it with all of you.

The other UP of the day happened after dinner and I was longing to be outside.

I talked with neighbors and tried to keep Baby and Ranger in the front yard...

It was getting to be bedtime and I gave Sister he 15 minute reminder and she begged me to draw a LEGO guy on the sidewalk. I was so happy that she asked me to do that. I've missed chalking.

Not bad for 15 minutes.

It became even happier when the neighbor kids and Avery started showing their creativity.

Sister's LEGO baby

I love that he drew what I was drawing and he did so well! Cute! 
It says, "Help Each Other."
Day 145 of 365 Days of Up

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Humble Patience

Can I share a little message for you for my UP today?

Because this message is the reason I am feeling UP today.

I got this little message here.

I am often reminded of this.

It's not always easy.

But it is oh, so true.

And this picture made me smile today too:
My niece, LilB, drew this freehanded and I was so impressed I just had to take a picture... wish I'd done a better job...
Day 144 of 365 Days of Up

Somewhere Between Krispy Kreme and Arby's

Well, my UP is quite simple today.

This happened:

So you see our three kids in this picture? Do you notice that 2 of the 3 are smiling?


This was a party with some of my fellow cast-mates at Tyne and Cam's home (pictured left).

Our kids have never met these people.

Our kids have never been to this house.

They did fabulous!

Sister even talked with them and asked them questions and told them things about herself.

It was so awesome!

Brother didn't scream or run or freak out! He did spill a lot of pretzels on the floor, but I'll take that!

Baby didn't fall apart. She just stayed in their little one's bedroom and played.

It was amazing.

You wanna know why I think it went so well?

Well, at least had a part of it anyway.

I told them they could earn tokens to go toward their prizes and they were so excited. As soon as we got in the car Sister asked if she earned her tokens so that she could get her Angry Birds coloring book! Brother came home and even did an extra job to earn extra tokens  so he could get his box of Sweet tarts! Baby is still learning the concept of the tokens and took what she "earned" and took some of Brother's Sweet Tarts... poor guy.

It may not be only because of the tokens.

It might have a little something to do with trying to take them to as many things as we can so they can used to being with crowds, or maybe it has something to do with knowing what things can set them off, and it might have a little something to do with noticing their body language when they have had enough.

But I think the tokens helped.

OH! And another up today was my awesome date I went on with my hubby and some friends. We went restaurant hopping and it was such a blast! Good times! The title of this post may have been the line we laughed at several times when comparing to levels of fun/good... I guess you had to be there...

Day 144 of 365 Days of Up

Friday, May 22, 2015

Good Stride

Today I woke up with the feeling of guilt.

I don't know if it was a dream I had or left over feelings of thinking I'm inadequate, but I felt guilt for not being a good mom.

I struggle with this feeling a lot.

A lot.

Almost all the time.

I don't know any kind of other motherhood really. Just my own.

I mean I was raised by a mother and I know that. I have a mother-in-law and I know that. I have sisters who are mothers and I know that.

But, I really don't know from experience anything other than raising children with special needs.

I am never doing enough.

I get jealous of those who have one child with special needs. It seems, to me, that they have that one child to worry about if that's all they have and if they have other children without special needs they have that little bit of help.

Then there's me. Three kids with Fragile X Syndrome. I'm never doing enough. Even with all the help I have I still tell myself I am falling short.

I talk about these kinds of moments out loud sometimes and the person I am talking to will give me a pep talk, a sprinkle of hope or a compliment to take me further. It doesn't make me feel perfect, but it gives me hope that I am doing enough.

I guess I just had to share that for one reason or other. I'm just keepin' real, I guess.

My UP of today was Sister doing her 3K at school and coming in first in her class! Again! I'm so proud of her. I welled up with pride and tears when I got to run the last little bit with her through the finish line.

Now this UP didn't come without it's downs, mind you.

I just happened to be at Walmart at the time I received communication from Dr. H that she was having a meltdown about how cold it was  and she was wearing shorts and she didn't have pants to keep her warm. I'm thankful for credit cards at moments like that. I wandered the isles as quickly as my searching eyes could go and swept of 3 pairs of pants that I thought might pass as good enough to run in, and I got her some really tall knee high socks.

She has been talking about how she needs long socks for soccer so I figured I'd at least try that too.

When I got the the school I brought in the bag of items I picked out for her so that she could make a choice.

Of course she chose the socks to wear with her running shorts. I couldn't blame her... I want a pair!

They were perfect and they made her perfectly happy!

When she got outside she thought it was still too cold so she was excited to wear her teacher's jacket...

I just love this girl! When I feel inadequate she can be the one that helps me feel like I'm the greatest mom around! I'm thankful for her.

Running to the finish line! Look at her awesome stride! I'm so excited to see her potential in track!

Champion and her mom!

I didn't get any action shots so I asked her to act like she was running so I could get something...

This is what she did for me...

I thought you should enjoy her acting skills too.

Day 142 of 365 Days of Up

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Singing in the Rain

Monday was an eventful day.

It started off pretty normal with getting kids off to school and taking Ranger for a morning walk. One of my happy moments every day is the view of Mt. Timpanogos so I take a picture sometimes from where I stand.

I had a lot of editing and design work to do on Monday so after I got ready for the day and got some laundry going I was about to start working when all the lights went out.

I thought it was our circuit breaker again or some other random thing and didn’t think much of it until I got a phone call from Baby’s bus driver telling me that she couldn’t come down the street because of the power line that was down.



Wow! So it was a big deal that our power was out…

I arranged to walk to the opposite corner to meet the bus driver and on the way over I got a text from a friend. Her husband got a great shot of what caused the downed power line.

That made me laugh. I mean I wasn’t happy about the power being out but the fact that the driver didn’t think to lower the dump bed before driving off kind of struck me funny.

It also struck me funny that Brother's bus driver called me too and I had to walk down and meet her in the same place. It made for a little adventure.

Later in the afternoon I took Sister to the doctor and the fact that every road I take to get there is towered by mountains made me smile and take a second to capture the sight from the car.

When I got home from Sister's appointment it was so cute to see Baby in full concentration playing in her box of beans.

This is a great sensory Activity. You can use beans, split peas, noodles, or rice. Then you hide little things inside and they dig through and pick them out. I like beans because they are easy to clean up, but rice is a great thing to dig through.

Tuesday night we had rehearsal at the Scera Shell, outside, in the rain.

I love singing in the rain... That thought really did hit me a few times, "How often do I really get to 'sing in the rain?'"

So the rain coming down was part of my UP!

So we haven't mowed our lawn yet. I mean, it is spring and it has been raining a lot so we have some pretty thick and tall grass. It's not because of the rain, though, that we haven't mowed our lawn, it's because our lawn mower needs fixing.

Well, Wednesday afternoon I heard a lawn mower going and I just figured it was one of the neighbors...

It was one of the neighbors... mowing our lawn! Travis was out there mowing our front yard and it was no easy task. It brightened my whole day!

My other UP on Wednesday was actually in the morning just before I sent Sister off to school. I gave her a little hair cut. She's been growing it out but some of it was getting to that awkward stage (the mullet) so I just trimmed and cleaned it up a bit before her bus got there.

The haircut wasn't my UP.

The smile afterward was.

Soon after she got to school I got  text from Dr. H showing me what he had written down, but she had told him the answers. The answers are in Sister's own words and I love them!

I am so thankful that she recognizes her talents and how they help her.
I want her to be a strong, confident and kind girl, I think she is right on track.

Today, my UP was feeling like I accomplished a little something in my role as the leader of the Fragile X Association of Utah. Yes, I had given that up, but only for a year. Maybe, if I get things really rolling then some one else will come along and take the reins.

Hmmm... I am sensing a theme with "rain" today.

Life is hard and you sometimes have to learn to sing even when it rains.

I'm singing!!!!

Day 141 of 365 Days of Up

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Fingers Crossed

I think I am overwhelmed with UPs…

Is that possible?

Really, it’s not.

Let me rephrase that:

I think I have had so many wonderful UPs the last few days that the idea of trying to put all my thoughts down about all of them accurately is the part that overwhelms me.

OK, so now that I have made my lame excuse for not writing in my blog last night, I will make sure to bring up the other UPs all the way from Saturday. And don't expect accurate descriptions of them all. I'm getting older. I don't remember things like a used to... (wink)

I got a picture of Baby's latest play entertainment. She likes to turn on the water in the bathroom and fill up containers for her toys to swim in.

I couldn't get Sister to go out and play on her Special Olympics soccer team on Saturday, which was not an UP, but it made me happy that she was, at least, willing to watch them and think about joining...

Since Marc and Brother were gone on their backpacking trip I decided to party at my mom’s house until they were on they’re way home. Of course I had to call in the troops to party with me so Kirsten, Jessie, Aaron and his wife, Chelsea came with their kids and we ate food, laughed, talked and joked and poked fun of each other. 

I don’t quite know how to really explain just why I love hanging out my siblings and parents so much. We just have always had a natural connection that, believe me, I am very grateful for. It’s just funny that we can basically do almost nothing and still have a great time just because we are together.

We’re just cheesy I guess. We even get excited when our dad wears a hat like ours and we have to take a picture:

We also had to share our happiness in a group photo to send to our friend, Thomas in Germany:

Ha ha! I love us!

I had to redeem myself after I "squished" into the group shot so I had to try a selfie...

And then there are little moments like these:
Sister letting Grandpa James comfort her while they watch a movie together.

Ranger and and Yaya have a connection and I was able to capture it.

Ranger snuggling himself in between Jessie and I.
The robins in the nest outside my parent's window are out of their eggs —
hard to see through the screen, but they were funny.

The other UP while I was at my parents was that I got this email finally from the day we went to the Payson LDS Temple Open House:
seriously LOVE this... Brother uncovered his eyes just in time

Because I had such a great time at my mom and dad’s I won’t mention the fearful drive home in the torrential downpour… at least not the details.

Marc and Brother got home soon after we did and it was so much fun to watch Brother almost skip in with his loaded backpack to show me how proud he was of himself. It just made me so happy to see him so happy and you got to read all about his adventure with Marc in my last post.

Marc and I threw together a last minute date and Lindsey was sweet enough to come be with the kids last minute so that we could.

We went to check out the new RC Willey for the first phase of our date… I know, we are very exciting, but it really was quite fun. We made sure to take pictures of a few of the fantastic things we saw. 

We want to make a table like this one with one of my dad's old mail jeeps... cool ay?

Marc and I LOVE to try out a different restaurant whenever we can. We hadn’t planned on going out to eat because it was late and we weren’t all that hungry. I guess they romp around the furniture store brought on the tummy grumbles so we tried Costa Vida. We were pleasantly surprised with great service and even got a special treat for dessert that the cashier made special for us--he just happens to be a cake decorator as his other job. Of course I had to take a picture of that and Marc.

Dang, he looks good even when he’s ready to eat dessert.

He got even better on Sunday when he got all dressed up for church. I've missed his bare face so much and he just looked so handsome that I had to take "real" pictures of him and turned it into a backyard photo session.

This was a shot I took with my phone because I was so excited to share it on Instagram, but part of my UP today (Wednesday) was getting all his photos edited so I could share them:

Can you tell I love his eyebrow raise?

Later on Sunday we were able to eat steak at Marc’s parents house and we had a great visit there.

The part that was funnest for me and, therefore, my UP was when I brought out the strawberries and chocolate and the teasing began. Amy and Frank got a kick out of my chocolate lipstick and Marc’s chocolate mustache and goatee. I wish we had taken pictures but you’ll just have to use your imagination. It’s always fun to laugh with family.

Another UP was when Baby was talking to the strawberries that were left in the carton… I did get a picture of that. She was asking them if they were home. Ha! What a cutie!

It was nice to try to get pictures of the Payson LDS Temple from the road on the way home.

So that finishes up the weekend. I'm going to try my best to get Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday into tomorrow's post.

Keep your fingers crossed.