Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Trials and Tribulations

One of my oldest daughter's favorite scriptures is Joshua 1:9.

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

This scripture was a constant reminder to her that she was never alone even during her darkest times and worst trials. Yes, even a teenager can face dark times and trials. We all face dark times and trials. What is curious to me is the way we brave it and put up such fronts to the world at large.

"How are you" Friends will ask. (We ask this too.) And we genuinely want to know. We are sincerely interested in their welfare especially if something is wrong. So it stands to reasons that our friends/family would likewise be interested in our well being. Then why do we always resort to standard answers such as,"I'm doing good," or "Hanging in there." Instead of just once telling them exactly what it is that is going on? In one short answer, we do not wish to burden others with our trials. They already have so much on their plate I do not want to add to it. Sometimes, we need to share those burdens simply because our friends will have a sympathetic ear that is meant just for you. It might be an opportunity for them to open up to you realizing you both have trials and feels good to unload them. It may not resolve anything, but it is certainly good to know that we can share our trials with each other. It's true, we are not alone in our trials no matter what they are. I know that we are not forgotten. I know that Heavenly Father is there through each of these trials that we face, and I know that He places these special people in our lives to uplift one another in these times of trial. 

While our trials may seem overwhelming or may seem like little to nothing next to "their trials" it is still our trial and the one that we must face. What a blessing to know we are not alone; ever.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Five: Migraines, Math, Snowflakes, and Divas

Emmy Mom

Well it is Friday and I am happy as can be! Just because it means no homework for the kids. I am also happy to play along with my bestie today with her Friday Five! 

1. If you caught my blog yesterday, you know I had a migraine for over a week. What a suck fest that was. I cursed my kids with those nasty evil things too. What a crime. I know it's not my fault, but what a curse. Enough of that nonsense!

2.  I got a body scan (by electric pulses) at the doctor's office yesterday. Through this little device they can decipher body mass, water retention, and an assortment of other basic data to give an overall look at your health. Well, as it turns out, I am pretty healthy, but my HDL cholesterol levels are low(you want those ones to be higher...the LDLs or "lethals" are the ones we want lower.) Here's the kicker I am dehydrated. What? I drink water...and *cough* pop *cough* what? Who said that?? I am not drinking enough water! My WW Leader would shake her head at me. How much water do we need??? 6-8 8 ounce glasses of water! Yep. Because I am not getting that in, my body is holding on to about 8 to 10 POUNDS of water!!! WHAT!??  Pass the water! 

3. I am in a new math class. It's an intermediate algebra class. I understand that math is a daily occurrence. We literally (correct use of literally) use math in our lives on a daily basis. However, for what point and purpose does an intermediate course in algebra do an English major? I am legitimately curious. 

4.  Do you ever have one of those days where all you do is run around and go and go? Yeah? Okay.

5.  My cat is a full tilt diva. He actually is co-owned by me and my daughter(well he owns us let's be honest cats think you are there for their benefit). When we are in the same room he struggles with his loyalty, unless he is mad at one of us, then there is no problem. He will go to the other as if to say, "See, she loves me." Diva.

A perfect example of Spencer's diva mode. He was mad at me because I got up. Kristin called him to come to her. He did. He showed me!
our fence after some strong winds and heavy rains.

I love me some Diet Coke...especially from the fountain!
My daughter got "heart-attacked" from the girls at church.
I possess the power to revoke the status of "special snowflake" from anyone acting in a way unbecoming to a snowflake! In other words, if someone is acting like a #%$hat, I will wave my wand and remove your status as a snowflake!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Down for the Count

I have chronic migraines, and anyone who suffers these nasty things can relate to how they can take you death's door. I had been fighting this particular migraine for at least 7 days. Now don't think I was down like this for all seven days, because I was not. This migraine taunted me and laughed at attempts to get rid of its unwanted company. There are levels of migraine pain for everyone, and within those levels pain are levels of functionality. Please understand I am under a doctor's care for these migraines with daily medication to keep them under control and medication for migraines when they do hit. The problem with this last week was I was out of the medication and waiting for the refill. It was on that last day that refill came when the migraine reared its ugly self. What made this one even worse was I woke up with it. That is just not fair. 

This migraine had me at that level of pain where you are either ready to die or simply prefer it. There is no real way to describe how I felt. I will say migraine pain alters your personality(especially after several days). "Many people fail to realize that migraine is a neurological disease, like epilepsy. Migraine ranks in the top 20 of the world's most disabling medical illnesses. Amazingly, over 10% of the population, including children, suffers from migraine"(source) I started getting migraines when I was around 8 years old. The fantastic thing was our doctor(at the time) recognized and new that even a child could get them. The bad news, nothing for a kid(at that time). He told my mom to have me lie down in dark room with an ice pack. I don't remember anything beyond the pain of having the migraines. 

Migraines are debilitating; not only are physically painful, they make light and sound impossible to bear. Moving is not an option, but that is not all. Migraines have the capacity to disrupt speech. The migraine sufferer has been known to speak jibberish. I have not had this happen--that would scare the life out of me and my family. What happens to me, is loss of words. I literally(correct use of literally) lost words mid speaking. I know what I am supposed to say, but I cannot say it. A word like "lunch" or "flour" is not there. There is also delayed reaction time, so driving is not wise when the migraine is bad. 

I am happy to report that as of yesterday, (Wednesday) I have been headache free. Those killer migraines, the ones that "will kill me" aren't all the time and I am so grateful for that. I have learned how to power through the ones that aren't so bad. One medicine will figure out what causes them, but the truth is everyone is wired differently and has about a thousand different triggers per person. It will be a long time before that happens. For now, it's a matter of keeping us with chronic migraines comfortable.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Friday Five: Yoga, Snow, Chocolate, and Beanies!

It is Friday...time to share some thoughts and pics and link up with my bestie!

Emmy Mom

1.  I think I need to get me some chocolate. I have been wanting some for a while now. The scary thing about chocolate is once you go there it's hard to stop. I know for a fact, I will not gain 20 pounds from a single bar of chocolate unless the bar is also 20 pounds. I just worry about the effects chocolate/candy has on us. It's very real. Sugar is a dangerous thing! Sigh.

2.  I want to write for a living. Who doesn't? I guess someone out there does not. I saw a writing opportunity that would be perfect for me. I can do the type of writing they wanted. However, they wanted a year of experience, they wanted it to be within the company itself(why advertise?) and so forth.

3.  Every day you should laugh. We need laughter. It keeps us young at heart. I laugh at myself mostly. My mental age on any given day is about 12, and sometimes I am a boy. I guess that explains my appreciation for a good fart joke.

4. Yesterday, Ryan had band practice. This is normal and it is after school. I went to pick him up and he did not show up. Of course there was panic. I drove back and forth between home and the school no less than 3 times thinking he walked home. (We live very close). Then I went into the office and asked about his whereabouts. He has been moved into Honor Band, perhaps I missed a note on the form about extra time on band days (though I did see the band teacher LEAVING). What I had forgotten is Ryan had signed up for afterschool programs two days a week. One of the days being Thursday--same day as band. Apparently it goes on beyond band practice because he went after band practice, I scoured the form, no times are given. Ugh! Well. I took him home, and all was well. We discussed the importance of making sure a parent knew where he was. Sigh.

5.  Doing yoga is hard enough, but doing it with a cat is extra challenging. My cat likes to claim me by rubbing my head when I am in downward facing dog or other such poses. He lays on my mat when I am standing making it hard and awkward to get into position when returning to seated or other postures. He kind of goes bat crap crazy, and the funny thing is, I do it every night. Silly beast.

And here is the cat who helps during yoga. Crazy animal.

This is my brother's cat, Sumo. Sumo is a Maine Coone. He's big, fluffy, and very friendly. 

I did a photo shoot of my oldest in her cosplay. This is the back of the camera. I have edited 5 of the 48 pictures. 

This one is not my picture. It is a friend's picture who lives back east in VA where I used to live. Yeah, school was canceled that day. Hahaha. 
Stealing my son's beanie and rocking it like a boss. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

When the Scale Doesn't Tell the Tale

     I gained 1.6 pounds this week. I am not worried. It happens. The truth is, our bodies have a natural  algorithm which it follows and if you track your weight whether you are losing weight or not you will see a pattern in your weight. Mine is always the same. I lose a little, a little, a little, then I do some big ones and then a gain. Sometimes it's because I ate too many cookies, sometimes it's because I am retaining water...it happens. Then there is exercise. Yes, exercise can actually show a gain. No, muscle does not weigh more than fat. A pound of fat and a pound of muscle both weigh the same. Muscle just takes up less space than fat. Also, when you are exercising your muscles create tears and those tears produce glycogen that will repair any damages. You know when you feel sore after a strenuous workout? That is your body repairing itself, and don't be surprised by a gain at the scale. Once your muscles feel better the scale will go back down. Never give up hope. 

     Sometimes we have "Non scale victories." These can be anything from saying no to a food you no longer find "worthy" or clothes that suddenly fit differently.  I had such a victory. It was a shirt. A shirt I have to preface is labeled as 2XL. I am not sure in what universe this shirt really is a 2XL but that is what it says! Now I know I am bigger person, I also know that I am busty girl. Shirts are an issue. This shirt was a major want though. I have a major mild obsession  passion for a certain Marvel character. Maybe it's the actor. Maybe it's the portrayal he offers. Whatever it is, I have a soft spot for Loki. So I really got excited about the t-shirt that looked like his armour. Even more when I wore it to Disneyland two years ago and stirred up trouble ala Loki style when I met "Thor" and "Captain America." Any Marvel fan worth their salt knows that Loki caused all kinds of trouble in the first Avengers movie when he wreaked havoc on New York. Thor even asked if I had ever been there. Captain America interrogated me. Oh and my phone case at the time had Loki on it.  This chick had a great time. Now, let's get back to that shirt...it was snug...real snug. But I didn't care. I wore it anyway knowing pictures would be taken. Let's be honest, when we are self-conscious about our weight the last thing we want to do is have our pictures taken, but I know about camera angles and I know how to stand and pose so that it looks deceiving. 

If you look at that first one, I am actually just standing there, not posing and it gives a pretty harsh truth. Cameras do not lie unless you make them. The second photo, I turned, sucked it in; to the best of my abilities and stuck my chin out and it made me look about 10 pounds lighter. Standing up straight makes a difference. The last one, is a straight shot, no sucking in and my chin is not held up any higher than normal. That shirt fits a lot better after 30 pounds. Am I upset that I gained 1.6 pounds this week? Nah. I know I am still working toward the big finish. Besides, I have designs on going back to Disney and causing more mischief! 

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ten Things to Smile About

It's not even Friday and I am linking up with my bestie, Emmy! She does this beautiful meme once  month where we focus on the things that made us smile. It is a reminder that there is still good around us each and every day! Okay enough of the sticky stuff. Let's get on with the smiles.

Tying a bow tie for the first time. Plus the model is super cute.

We Californians get very excited about that stuff.

A much needed haircut. It got postponed 3 times. I was long overdue!!

4. Going to visit my bestie...it was long long overdue.

5.  Playing Guitar Hero with said Bestie and totally sucking at it. It was sad, but so hilarious! 

6. Kristin and I do yoga at home for a lot of reasons...it's free, it's convenient, and to be honest we would be kicked out of public yoga classes because we are loud, pick on each other, and laugh LOUDLY. I honestly have the best time with her. 

7. Speaking of Kristin, she teaches the 3 year olds at church and when one of them was offering the closing prayer in her class the day she had worn her prom dress, the little girl had said, "thank you for the princess" in her sweet little prayer.

8.  Bear with me here...there was sadness this month due to a monster called Cancer, we lost celebrities and a friend at church, but despite that there were smiles given. Funny and sweet stories were shared about this sweet sister who was called back home and I was glad to have known her, even for a short time. 

9.  We had the missionaries over for dinner. It's always fun, plus I enjoy the spirit they bring. This last visit was especially entertaining as both the missionaries and my children enjoyed conversations about anime. 

10.  Is it wrong that I smiled when I found a full bag of brown sugar in my cupboard so that I could make chocolate chip cookies? Because I totally did. 

Emmy Mom

What made you smile this month?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Million Dollar Smile

The phrase "million dollar smile" is probably not far from the truth for some people. Dental work is expensive there is no doubt about it. Some even joke that they should have taken up dentistry for the amount they are dishing out to care for their mouths. However, is it really the dentist who is making the money in the end? Some would agrue that yes indeed they are. I would venture to guess that they are not suffering terribly, however let's look at their schooling costs. "Most dental practitioners genuinely care about people but they also have to pay some hefty bills. As a pre-dental student headed into professional school, dental school alone will cost $200,00. That doesn’t include the cost of the undergrad degree which is another $100,000."(Source) They also talk about the enormous overhead that a private practice typically has (70%). The cost of the equipment and so forth. The chairs cost almost as much an economy car ranging from 10K and topping out at 20K, and that is for ONE chair with the overhead light and so forth. Then there is the x-ray machine which also has a hefty price tag. Do you see that I have not even mentioned the labs where crowns are made which would be sent to a third party with their own price set, and yes at the choice of the dentist, but personally I want the dentist to choose a lab who takes care and time on creating a piece that will fit perfectly and match nicely since it is going to live inside my mouth.

I am not certain that becoming a dentist is the wisest of investments. I am certain though, that investing in your mouth, and teeth is. If you have weaker gums and teeth like I do, take extra care of them, they are the only set you get to keep.