Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bent and Broken

My parents house is now considered the House of Job.  My dad had even made a comment about answering the phone as, "Thanks for calling the house of Job...."

It seems to be one thing after another for these two families.  Shortly after our apartment flooded, my mom had these great plans to dig a hole for her trampoline.  She was worried that the grandkids would fall off the trampoline and crack their head open on the cement below (I know...a brilliant idea to place such a contraption on a cement slab).  I'm not one to sit around and wait for things to happen, so I grabbed a shovel and started digging.  3 hours later we had half of a circle of grass pulled up.  It was going to be a long make the situation even worse, we went from three bodies digging, to two.  A few days after starting this project, my mom was visiting a neighbor friend and didn't come home until after dark.  As she was walking down her neighbors stairs, she had the misfortune of thinking there were no more stairs to venture down.  You can imagine what happened...we have all done it.  You think you are done with the stairs so you begin walking normally; only to find you had at least one or two steps more to go.  Most people tumble and fall, scrape and bump...then there is my mom.  She not only skinned her knuckles, tore her shirt, and scraped her knees.  My mom broke her Tibia and tore some ligaments.

Surprisingly, my mom actually had her cell phone on her that night.  Many people often wonder why she has a cell phone at all because she rarely has it on her, and when she does remember to carry it with her, the battery is dead or on silent.  As she was lying on the ground, crying and bloodied (the story wouldn't be fun without the dramatization) I am certain she was counting her blessings knowing she was only a few hundred feet from her back door, and had her cellphone to call my dad on.

I can only imagine how rough it was trying to get back to the house and into the car.  My dad helped as much as he could, but you can only do so much.  The emergency room visit went as well as expected.  My mom was there for a few hours before they were able to release her.  The next day, she went to see her Doctor, who took x-rays and wrapped her foot in a molded cast.  Surgery needed to be done, but waiting was necessary due to the swelling of my moms leg.

The surgery was performed successfully, and the doctor stated that their wasn't as much damage as he initially thought.  She has a plate and a few screws holding things together, but thankfully no hard cast.  For the first few days, my mom had to keep her foot elevated and stay on heavy pain medications.  She is doing much better now!  I was able to get her out of the house yesterday to enjoy lunch at one of our favorites, Madbrook.  And today...she made it out of the house again to see the much awaited Man of Steel.  We are planning on celebrating Father's Day tomorrow so that will make 3 days in a row of getting out of the house.  That has got to be the best feeling ever!

In Memory of Rexburg

5 months had gone by since we had been to Rexburg, ID for vacation.  I will admit I don't enjoy the 3 hour drive north, nor do I like the cold weather in the fall, winter, and spring, but I miss the company of the Saurey Family.  I was blessed with some amazing brother and sisters' in-law, and great mother and father-in-law.  I always learn something knew when I am around Jaroms family.  We grew up completely opposite.  I was raised in the city, and he was raised in the country.  Just a few differences:

Eating out of a garden that you planted and cared for vs. going to the grocery store and buying food that was shipped from a strangers garden.
-Embarrassing to admit, but funny at the same time, I didn't know you could actually eat out of a garden until I married my husband.  That story is for another time.

People heat their homes with actual fires instead of a furnace

Jumping off bridges and floating the river vs. shopping centers and amusement parks

Camping in the wilderness vs. staying in an R.V. at a camp site

Outdoor fires and bugs vs. video games and movie rentals

When we venture to Rexburg, we make an extra effort to see all the members of Jaroms family.  Most of them live close so it isn't hard to do.  We look forward to our outdoor fires, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, tin-foil and dutch oven dinners, 4 wheeling, cross country skiing, sledding, card games every night, digging in the dirt, and spending quality time together.  What I love most is seeing my kids interact with the outdoors, spending time with their best friends who happen to be their cousins, getting advice from amazing sister-in-laws...Every time we visit, Jarom and I have an overwhelming desire to more closer to his side of the family.

This time, our visit to Rexburg was busy and extremely fun!  We were able to help Brent and Pat plant their garden (where I was able to get hands on experience that I would use the following week).

We went 4 wheeling up in the mountains somewhere near Mesa Falls.
The most beautiful place on Earth!  Look at all the wild flowers!
My favorite part of this picture is looks like he is trying to ride the plastic motorcycle.

My amazing family + my beautiful niece Nicole

Lyric is ready for her driving lessons. 

Grandpa and I believe this is Luke...

After adventuring through the mountains on 4wheelers, we stopped at the Warm Springs for lunch.  It was so pretty.  I'm wondering why it took so long to explore the mountains here.

Love, Love, Love all these boys!  The twins and Xander get along really well.  All of their personalities are so different.  It is fun to see their interactions.

Singing in the Rain

Seriously...does it get much better than this?  I would choose the country over city living any day.

I wasn't sure who this child was at first glance, and then I realized it was my little Lyric.  She had just woken up and was not very happy.

Grandma discovered that Lyric did not like Tuna Sandwiches

Levi, Leah, and Xander

Way too much fun!

Levi taking care of his baby girl.

My handsome hubby

This is not the best family photo in the world, but it's better than nothing

What? Wild flowers?  

This was so gross and exciting all at the same time.  This is a next of caterpillars.  I had no idea they did this.

Binky addict.  Jarom and I are great at breeding them.

Brent, Pat, Levi and Lori...we were on to our mountain adventures.

This was not my first time wearing a biking helmet...but it is the first time wearing one while riding on a 4wheeler.


Pat is such a good grandma.  I felt bad for her once these boys fell asleep...that is right.  They both fell asleep on the way back to the car.  She had to use her lady strength to keep them on the 4 wheeler.

Lori, Leah, Levi, and Luke

We stopped and fed the fish.

We played outside with all of the kids, saw all kinds of crazy animals, and enjoyed the outdoor dinners and desserts.  Jarom and I would really like to move back to Rexburg so that we can be closer to his side of the family.  I also want my kids to live closer to their cousins and enjoy the great outdoors.  I have so many other pictures of Rexburg, but I'm afraid if I don't pulish this now, it won't ever get done :)  So here goes nothing...

Gardening at its best

Finally found the photos so that I can publish this blog :)

1 month ago, I finished weeding a garden plot at my parents home.  I had planned on planting before leaving for Rexburg, but that didn't happen due to our apartment situation.  It is probably a good thing I didn't get around to the garden because my mother and father-in-law taught me the real way to plant seed while we were visiting for Memorial Day.  They always have the most amazing garden, so it was great to actually have some hands on training before trying it myself.  (If you ask my dad, he says that I have planted a garden before...we apparently had one every year and all of the kids helped out, but I don't remember this....I just remember doing a lot of weeding and never actually eating what we attempted to grow. SORRY DAD!)

Along with weeding out a garden plot at my parents house, I took on the task of weeding my parents flower bed.  It had overgrown itself with weeds, candy wrappers, spiders, and the much loved ivy.  What I thought would only take an hour actually took me 5 hours.  Xander helped for quite a while, and Lyric played with small shovels and hoe's.  My mom helped pull weeds, but after much sweat and panting, I sent her inside to take a nap with Lyric.  Who knew that weeding could be so physically demanding?  The Ivy was the hardest plant to remove from the flower bed.  I thought I would end up having a stroke before getting it all out, but luckily...I'm still here.  After pulling the weeds, realigning the drip system, and raking the dirt, I left the mess on the side walk for my brother, Tyler, to clean up....hahaha...I wish.  I put as many of the weeds in the wheel-barrow as would fit, and THEN I left it for Tyler to clean up.  The next day I came over with the intent of planting Hostas and Flowers, but was surprised to see it already done.  My mom is great at designing landscape; it looked lovely.

 Before we started weeding, this what the flower bed looked like...pretty lousy right?
There were so many rocks.  After removing all of them, I realized they were used to hold down the drip line.  My bad...

 Xander was more excited about watering the weeds than actually pulling them out.
 After almost two hours of pulling weeds, my mom came out to help.  The ivy was the hardest part.  That was all the was left.  She was a trooper and did the hard pulling while I did the digging.  I bet she is wishing she could be doing this now...instead of having to stay inside all summer with a broken leg.
This picture still isn't the finished product.  This is just the image after all the weeding, racking, and rearranging was accomplished.  There were two hydrangea plants; one in the upper left corner and one in the lower left corner.  I found them hidden and suffocating under all the ivy.  Cross your fingers they survive!  Hydrangea's are one of my favorites!  I wonder what color the blossoms will be :)

This little mischievous girl... I pulled a car seat out and it kept her intertained for about an hour.  After that I spend a lot of time chasing her around the yard and keeping her out of the street.  After hitting her brother in the head with a small shovel for the second time, I sent her in with Grandma to take a nap.


I was finally able to plant a real garden when our family returned from Rexburg.  I planted Cucumbers, Carrots, Peas, Beans, Squash, Zucchini, Pumpkin, and Tomatoes.  Two weeks after planting, most of the seeds sprouted.  I have way too many cucumbers...but I don't really see that as a problem right now.  I can always leave a box out that says FREE cucumbers... My carrots are growing, there are tomatoes already on the vine, flowers on the zucchini and squash....I am so excited!  I did spend an hour weeding yesterday and was a little disappointed to see all of the ground covering type of just means I will have to spend extra time weeding this year.

Heart Surgery

This week was extremely stressful for me.  I went into the Cardiologist last Thursday to get the diagnosis from my T.E.E. scan and my C.T. scan.  It turned out that I did have a hole in my heart, and that I did have to have it mended if I want to have more kids.  Now the problem we were facing was when to do the surgery.

Our family reunion was coming up at the end up July.  I really wanted to wait until after the reunion.  I have also been participating in  a Challenge group to be accountable for my own weight loss.  I was doing great and didn't want to give that up, but it turns out I had a very short window to have things done.  Our medical insurance would be changing mid August- along with Jaroms' job...meaning the fee for the surgery would be considerably higher.  My cardiologist was taking vacation from July 25th through the end of August.  So...we scheduled the surgery 4 days out from my diagnosis appointment; Monday, July 15th.  I didn't really have time to think about things.  Instead I wanted to make sure I got everything in my life wrapped up just in-case I died on the operating table (I had continued dreams of dying through this surgery AND the day before going in for surgery, Xander drew a picture of our family, but I was flying in the air with Angel Wings...made me feel great).  I cleaned out the Primary closet and organized the class binders and new secretary binder.  I cleaned out and updated the President Binder, I cleaned my house and dejunked...and then Monday I cleaned and folded the laundry, did the dishes, vaccuumed...went through all the mail...and then headed into the hospital.

We arrived for surgery on Monday at 1pm. It took almost 2 hours for prep...more tests, blood work and then the placement of the I.V. (it was a 20 guage...holy hanna it was huge). My good friend, Melissa, stopped by while on duty at the hospital.  It was so nice to see a familiar face.  At 3pm they finally took me back for the procedure.  I had never been in a full blown operating room before.  It was cold, and very sterile.  I started I always do when I go into shock.  They put 3 warm blankets on me which helped, and then hooked me up to the sedation.  I stayed awake long enough to watch them prep my body and turn it into a table, say hello to Dr. Reddy, ask how long the procedure would be (5-45 minutes) and feel the pinching of the needles numbing my leg.  THANKFULLY I was out after that.

About an hour into the process, I woke up.  I didn't say anything to the nurses.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching the enormous monitor and I probably wasn't coherent enough to really say anything.  The Doctor was having trouble getting to the area of the heart where the hole was located.  I could feel the tubing and the wires inside my body.  It was almost creepy to feel the wire in my heart.  It didn't hurt, but I could feel it kind of like someone rubbing your arm.  At one point the Doctor asked how I was doing and all I could do was smile.  The nurse asked if I wanted more sedation and I should my head to indicate 'no.'  Needless to say, I left the operating room 2 hours after entering, and was almost as alert as when I went in.  I must have been fighting the sedation, because once out of the operating room, I felt my eyes get really heavy and the last image I had was that of my sweet husband standing above me.

A few minutes after being placed in the CathLab, I was awakened by a nurse.  I don't remember details of very much after the operation.  It wasn't until 7pm that I was coherent enough to remember a few things.  I tried talking to the nurses and my husband, but it is still just a blur.  I wonder if I was making any sense.  At 7pm, the worst part of my entire experience happened.  A nurse came in and had to remove the tubing/sheeths from my leg.  The pain was indescribable.  I almost past out as she removed the sutures, and then when she pulled the 11cm and 8cm tubing, I almost threw up and past out again.  I had an ice pack on my neck which helped a lot, but as the nurse applied 15 minutes of intense pressure to the site, I did everything in my power to stay alert.  Jarom continued to tell me to breath, the heart monitor continued beeping at me, and the nurse was trying to get me to talk.  I just wanted to dissolve into the hospital bed.  I kept telling myself it was almost over...but it wasn't.  15 minutes never seemed so long.

6 hours of holding my leg completely still was almost unbearable.  I kept stretching my calf muscles, but that was the extent that I could back hurt, my legs hurt, my I.V. was still aching...I didn't sleep at all!  I tried to keep my mind off of my leg by talking to the nurses, watching T.V...attempting to sleep.  My nurses from 5pm to 2am were absolutely AMAZING! The switch out from 2am to 11am was awful!  He never came to check on me.  He wasn't nice when I finally called him into the room....typical Davis Hospital (and just when I had hope that they were getting better).  I really had to use the bathroom around 6am and I hadn't been told if I could use my leg yet or not.  When I asked the nurse, he didn't even ask...he just said sure you can.  So, I slowly got up, put some weight on my leg and got myself to the bathroom.  All of the sudden, my leg started throbbing, my chest started aching, I started sweating, and my hearing was impaired. I pulled the string for the nurse to come help, but soon realized he was not near by.  I got to the bed as fast as I could, cleared the mobile table, grabbed my throw-up bucket and started heaving.  I leaned back so that I wouldn't pass out.  10 minutes later the nurse comes in the room and asks if I am feeling alright.  I told him I was nausious, and felt like I was going to pass out.  I also told him that I had a splitting headache and would like some Asprin.  He hooked me back up to the monitors and left...didn't respond at all to how I was feeling or pay attention to to sweat dripping down my face.  So, I lay there helpless for over an hour.

Dr. Reddy came in around 10am the next morning.  He saw that I wasn't feeling well.  He checked the site of surgery, and then asked why I hadn't been given any medication.  The nurse kind of mouth offed to him and thankfully Dr. Reddy did not take that well.  I ended up getting Asprin for a splitting headache and was was soon discharged from the hospital.

I didn't quite feel ready to leave, but I knew the nurses on call weren't going to help me feel any better.  I actually had one nurse tell me that I needed to get up and go.  When I said I was still attached to the cords and monitors, she walked out of the room.  After 15 minutes, I took off the blood pressure cuff and oxometer, so the alarms started going off.  The nurse came back in and took the electro-cords off of me and then told me that I had to take all 10 sticky sensors off myself.  I couldn't reach half of them because they were down my back (I went home with at least 3 still attached to me).  I asked for post op instructions after getting dressed...that was quite the experience.  The nurse literally read the paper to me as fast as he could.  When I stopped him to ask a question, he wouldn't make eye contact.  Instead he read on.  After signing my discharge papers, the nurse told Jarom that I was free to go.  The nurse was expecting me to get up and walk out the front doors all the way to the car.  He already knew that I hadn't been feeling well, and he didn't offer a wheelchair.  JERK MUCH!?!?!  It was a completely different nurse that came in with a wheelchair and I am so thankful she did.

I don't know if it is just this hospital or if 50% of the hospital staff are really that incompetent.  Once my youngest child starts school, I think I will go through the nursing program so that patients who really need care are getting what they deserve and what they pay for.  No one deserves to be neglected.  No one needs to have concerns unanswered.

I truly hope I never have to go through this surgery again.  It was a million times worse than child labor.  I honestly don't know if my body could have handled much more pain...and most people say I have a high pain tolerance (I am starting to doubt that).   Through this experience, I have made up my mind on two things: I want to go into nursing for the right reasons -to help people, AND I don't want another hospital trip for at least 2 more years (no more babies for a while).  I dread the thought of Davis Hospital and I feel sorry for the GREAT doctors that have to practice through it.

I'm glad I am still alive.  Recovery has been alright.  I'm sore and exhausted.  My kids are giving me a run for my money.  I am just thankful I have my husband home in the mornings to help with everything.  Jarom has been truly amazing!  I love him now more than ever and I know that love will just continue to grow.

Novel writer...I know...

Friday, May 24, 2013

When it rains it poors

I recently took on a new perspective (the last 5 months) of life and told myself that I needed to find the positive in all things.  I believe the Lord took that as a challenge.  At the end of January I had a mini-stroke.  In February I found out that I have a small hole in my heart.  In March we had a huge out pouring of, MY-PARENTS immediate family, secrets come out and as of now we can no longer have ALL of my siblings together for family dinner; restraining orders are so awesome.  Along with all the drama, my brother Tyler and his fiance called off their engagement. I seem to be the family peace-keeper so I felt like I was being pulled a million different directions.

Everyone seemed to need emotional support, council, psychology and much more than I was fit to offer. By the end of March I was mentally and spiritually exhausted.  I tried to stay positive throughout.  All I have to say is THANK GOODNESS FOR LEXYPRO.  Around the same time I underwent testing for the hole in my heart, I also underwent a mental evaluation to determine that I was in desperate need of anti-anxiety medication.

For those who know me, I have extreme O.C.D. and can't leave my house until it is spotless.  I got to the point that I couldn't handle having one piece of dirty laundry in the I never left.  I stressed about the smallest things and seemed angry all the time. Apparently those are all great signs of depression, anxiety, and postpartum. After having me take a written test, the Doctor came in the room and asked, "Have you ever thought of killing yourself?"  My response, "Why no...should I have?"  We had a good laugh and then he asked the same question again.  Apparently I scored so high on the anxiety/depression scale that I 'should' have had a mapped out plan on how to take my own life.  In all honestly, I don't believe there is anything so horrible that would drive me to take my own life. Maybe I shouldn't say that.  The Lord will send more crazy tests my way.

April was a semi-restful, but busy month.  I really focused on my Usborne Books and more business, had a few too many home shows and boutiques.  I still tried to put a lot of focus on my family and on my health.  Jarom and I started working out together.  I was eating healthy, exercising...and unbelievably...GAINING weight.  Everyone kept reassuring me that it was muscle. I tried to believe them, but as my pants got tighter, and my bra's seemed to be shrinking, I thought to myself, this couldn't possibly be muscle.  Only fat stretches waistbands and shrinks your other clothing.  After reaching my goal of running a mile without stopping (it only took me 11 may be thinking that is horrible, but remember my mini-stroke) I was so proud of myself and started gaining confidence in my running ability. That confidence was destroyed when I stepped on the scale and I hadn't just gained, 2lbs, or 4 lbs, but 6 pounds.  I was so discouraged that I decided...if I am going to gain weight, I am going to eat whatever I want.  I should at least enjoy what I'm eating if I am going to gain the weight...right?  I know that is crazy logic, but it made me feel better.  Thinking positive!

May started out fantastic.  My Usborne Books business was doing awesome, I wasn't feeling exhausted like I usually do.  I weeded my mom's front garden, back garden, and then started digging a hole for my parents 14 foot trampoline.  Of course this took me a matter of 3 days.  In between the pulling weeds, and digging dirt, Xander and I experienced something frightful.

Xander, Lyric and I were all ready to leave for Grandma Tippetts house.  It was 10am and right before walking out the front door, I dropped everything (as I usually do) and thought to myself, "I really should send out an email to my Primary Presidency about teaching Sharing Time and finding Substitutes."  I tried to tell myself to do it later, but I had the overwhelming urge to do it right then. I threw my keys on the kitchen counter, opened up my laptop, turned on a short show for Xander, and started typing away with my email.  Right as I hit the send button on my computer, Xander and I were interrupted by a large explosive noise.  We looked at each other and said, "What the heck was that?"  That is Xanders favorite phrase by the way.  After the explosive noise, we heard gushing water.  I jumped off the couch and went running down the hall.  I didn't make it very far before the panic hit.  The utility door was closed and a flood of water was spilling out from underneath.  I opened the door to turn off the emergency shut off for the water and found that a broken pipe had busted the emergency shut off handle.  Awesome, right?


I closed the door as fast as I could, grabbed Lyric in one and and Xander in the other and went running outside to the front office only to find that it was CLOSED.  I ran into our grounds keeper who is from Chili and speaks no English whatsoever.  I'm sure I looked like an idiot as I tried explaining to the Chilean that my apartment was flooding. I said something like, "FLOOD, AGUA, APARTAMENTO, B109." He nodded at me and said, "Si" like I was making some kind of sense.  I obviously didn't get the point across the first time, so I proceeded speaking crazy. I finally said, "Emergency,!" (Laurence is our maintenance man).  The Chilean went running through the court yard and a minute later, Laurence was in my apartment shutting off the water.  He came out of my laundry/utility room soaked.  The majority of the apartment was also soaked.  We had about 3 inches of water in the main bathroom.  When I opened the door to the bathroom, the floor mats came floating out.  My adrenaline was high and I was still in panic mode, but the only thoughts going through my mind were, "This is totally AWESOME!"

I am the type of person that has always thrived in a sticky situation.  How far, and how fast can you push yourself?  How many people and things can you save before the building crumbles? How many marshmallows can you fit in your mouth before choking.... okay maybe not that example, but you get my point.  I was frantically running around my apartment picking books up off the floor, pulling cords out of outlets, ripping towels off their racks to soak up water, pushing furniture out of the way of the water... it was amazing to see how fast I could make my house look like a literal bomb went off.  Nothing of great worth was lost, so I can bask in the moment and think of how truly amazing it was that the apartment was flooded, nothing was ruined and...the most important part...I listened to a prompting.


Can you imagine if I would have left my apartment when I had planned, and waited to send the email?  Can you imagine what I would have come home to 5 hours later.  The damage that was done was all in 5 minutes of time. 5 hours would have damaged everything...all of our electronics, computers, couches, beds, tables and would have been a true devastation.  I'm not one who is great at listening to the spirit.  I wish I was better.  I am so glad I dropped everything to write an email.  I'm so glad that the Lord was testing me in the middle of the day (instead of the middle of the night) and that I ACTUALLY listened.  I am so grateful that I was safe from harm, my children were not only safe, but thrilled to be jumping in puddles of water, and that nothing of real worth was damaged.

A day before the flood, I was looking through the pictures of the Oklahoma tornadoes and I came across a glimpse of something truly amazing.  There was a disaster zone where all the homes had been flattened and in the middle of all the rubble was a wooden plaque that read:


How true it is!  Thank you to whomever hung that plaque in their home and allowed for it to be perfectly positioned amid the storm.