This year…

 

 

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I choose to relish the little moments with my husband and daughter

I choose to find joy and love amongst heart-ache and struggle

I choose to be grateful for all I have been given

I choose to pray more honestly and lay my heart out to God

I choose to bloom where I am planted

I hope to focus more on my character and less on my looks

I hope to live more adventurously

I want to be more respectful to my husband

I choose to listen more and blame less

I choose to support more and criticize less

I choose to see focus on my family and less on my iPhone/facebook/t.v.

3 months ago, I welcomed my daughter into the world, along with my loving and compassionate husband. She is what inspires me to be a better person. When she arrived, my life changed dramatically. All of a sudden, no lofty goals had much weight. I wanted to remedy her cries, and I wouldn’t give up. There is something about the love she brought into my life. No words I have come across can capture how my heart aches now. My heart aches for her to smile, my heart aches for her to sleep soundly and awake refreshed and hungry. My heart aches for her to know how much she is loved, no matter what. My heart aches to be the mommy she needs and wants. And, somewhere along the way, these past 3 months have taught me that lofty goals do matter. I hope this is a year of growth.

I have come to understand, after much thought, that I have many fears. My fears are that my sweet girl will hurt in ways that I have hurt. I was raised in a divorced family and the damage began before those papers were signed. I was a discarded ball of emotion. I longed for one of my parents to sit with me, hold me, look me in the eye and help me to understand none of it was my fault. I was good. I was worthy. I was lovable. But, sadly, as many children experience, this isn’t the case. There is no stable hand to hold. There is no time for the wide-eyed innocent by-stander. Shush! The “adults” are fighting. They are important.

Obviously, I don’t  want to repeat all this in my family. I strive vigorously to change my perspective and learn how to be the mother my sweet girl deserves and the wife my husband already sees me as being. I fear I may fail. But, as each moment passes. I am growing. I am learning how to be the mother she will look to as an example of excellent character. I want to be excellent. She deserves excellent. He deserves an admirable wife.

So, as 2016 begins, I was to be the mom with a  messy kitchen and lots of chores undone, because what really matters comes in a small package–with blue eyes, big feet, golden eyelashes and a grin that  melts my heart. And the one who is holding her, with light in his eyes, is my partner on this crazy journey.

Someday, I hope, we’ll be admiring the life God brought to two people, who didn’t deserve a single thing.

“God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called”

 

 

 

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Louise’s Fibroid Story

Hello everyone! Welcome! Louise was kind enough to document her story below and I am happy to share it will you all! Please read on!

 

I guess when I really reflect honestly my periods were extremely heavy for at least ten years. I have two children and both births were extremely difficult, lengthy and downright dreadful. I know child birth at the best of times, isn’t a bed of roses or a laugh a minute for ANY of us but mine both should have been caesarian births ( admitted after the event of course ) but never once advised at the time.
Anyway, you live and learn and had I had another child, it would NOT have been natural.

I bounced back very quickly from both births, breastfed both babies for much longer than usual and had no issues. However all of that changed when I hit my 35th birthday. I started to get very heavy periods, gushing/rushing flows that would make me feel uncomfortable and concerned when out in public, just incase I flooded everywhere. My cycle also became shorter. At the time I thought it was normal and told myself to harden up and to just accept what I had been dished out, putting it down to the “ difficult births and getting older “. I was in denial obviously but rather than getting it checked out, I carried on.

For anyone reading my story, I am a classic case of “what not to do “. I am not proud of continuing on unchecked, no pap smears or doctors visits for anything except the odd bout of tonsil infections or tending to my children’s health needs. I went on unchecked for the next ten years.

In 2009 my periods were getting heavier to the point that I was changing a tampon every ten minutes and was up at least 8 times a night changing tampons and maxi sized pads. It was exhausting, messy and to be perfectly honest like a slaughter house. I started to feel a little weak, breathless and lifeless but only for a few days after my period. I also noticed my lower tummy was feeling slightly hard with a strange bump. I told myself this would go away if I exercised and ate differently so this was exactly what I did do. I started bike riding daily up hills and around 16/20km per day. I cut down alcohol, junk foods and ate a very clean, nutritious diet. I also walked around 8km a day if I didn’t feel like riding. I started to feel very fit and felt physically amazing but the hard mass continued to grow, despite my actions.
My husband said to me at the very end of 2009, “ it feels as though someone has placed a ball into your lower tummy and sewn you back up “. Needless to say, I started Googling.

Any normal person would have seen a doctor by now but nope not me. I continued on exercising and eating clean and was very much in the depths of denial. I truly believed I had to keep exercising and the mass would disappear. I found the word “ fibroid “ on my new best friend “ GOOGLE” helpful sites and was convinced this was exactly what I had. I had days of being positive it was harmless fibroids and days of worrying about cancer. My Grandmother had died of ovarian cancer only 4 months after her diagnosis and this was certainly a huge concern for me.
I was very up to speed with symptoms, causes and became a walking fibroid/ovarian encyclopaedia, determined to cure myself. I was eating like a horse, craving iron enriched foods and putting castor oil hot packs on my tummy for an hour a day. I started to feel pregnant and the mass was growing.

Anyone whom has had fibroids would be able to tell you the familiar hard, tight, contracting,pulsating feelings they cause. Its such a strange sensation with a strong pregnancy likeness. I was googling as many pictures as I could to try and make sense of what other typical “ fibroid bellies ‘ looked like and comparing them to my own. I even lay flat on my back and took photos of my stomach …the images blew me away and concerned me further. I knew I had to do something but I was so scared and felt so stupid.

It was October 2013 when my husband ( not me ) made a doctors appointment. I had come to the end of the road with my issues, I had nowhere else to go and nowhere else to hide. My bleeding was out of control and I had heart palpitations, weakness and was so incredibly pale despite being in the sun each day.
The lovely lady doctor examined me, gave me a pap smear and almost fell over at the sight of my enlarged uterus. She ordered a blood test and a CT scan, marked as URGENT.
I had my CT scan that afternoon and she rang me at 5pm with the immortal words “ its not a fibroid but some sort of tumour and it could be a leiomysarcoma ( cancer ) but the good news is looking at the scan it hasn’t spread so I hoping its a benign tumour “. She told me to come in on the Monday to discuss the what next.
I drank a bottle of wine and a bottle of champagne and cried myself to sleep.

On Monday I went back to the doctor. My pap smear and blood results were all normal except I was chronically anaemic and needed an urgent blood transfusion. I stood up for the whole appointment as I was so anxious and didn’t want to be told anymore bad news. I was a nervous wreck and so frightened of what may lie ahead. I knew if it were a leiomysarcoma that my number was pretty much up as this cancer has a very poor prognosis.
I went to hospital that night, was transfused with a few bags of blood and told by a gynaecologist who saw me the next morning that it was likely it was “ a nasty one “. I was released from hospital, felt amazing with so much energy and no longer cold or pale and told to await my next step.
Two days later I was ordered to get a chest x ray ( more panic and tears ) and to await the specialists appointment. A leading Professor in Oncology/Gynaecology was consulted and he looked at my scans but must have come to the conclusion that I likely had a massive fibroid and not the suspected cancer. My scans of lungs were clear and I was booked in for a hysterectomy with ovary removal ( my choice ) as I wanted the whole lot out, I wanted closure to it all.

On the 4th of November I had my operation.They removed a 2.19kg or 4.82 lb fibroid ( vertical scar ) which was sent to pathology. Everything they took out presented as normal and healthy but the fibroid (due to its size) had to be biopsied. My tummy felt surreal and so incredibly flat, words simply cannot describe that feeling.
I recovered very well from my operation, had no complications or much pain afterwards and was allowed home after 3 nights. I still hadn’t received my pathology results though which caused huge anxiety and moments of despair and panic. Apparently here in Australia, they only inform you of your results if the outcome is bad news or complicated.
This is one area that the medical profession need to change, as letting frightened patients just dangle in the air is really unfair. The whole wait really affected my recovery as I couldn’t switch off incase the phone rang. I found out six weeks later at my follow up appointment, that my fibroid was in fact just a massive, pesky fibroid.

Due to the voluntary removal of my ovaries, I was put straight onto HRT Climara Patch. Although this helped with hot flashes, night sweats and mood changes my breasts blew up like Dolly Partons and I felt so terribly fluidy. I ripped the patch off ten months after my operation and went on bio creams ( both assortments failed and I had terrible night sweats but breasts did shrink ) ! To cut a long story short I am now on the lowest dose of Climara patch and this has worked perfectly. I have my hormones tested every four months and am now back on track.

Thank you for reading my little story. If there is a lesson to be learnt out of any of this it would be “ don’t let these things grow, don’t put up with all of this unnecessarily, don’t live in denial/get checked ( sometimes fibroids mimic leiomysarcoma, I have to be truthful ) be an example to your loved ones by practising self care -I was selfish, so please don’t do a me. Life is too short to live with these horrid things.”

Many thanks,

Louise Harries.

A fibroid named Bob changed my life

I find it funny that I created this blog to unplug and I did just that. I haven’t written a post in almost a year. So much has happened since last January. My mother came to visit us and about a month later our life changed as we knew it. We discovered we were expecting! We now are the parents to our beautiful Olivia Grace and are having so much fun seeing her grow and take in the world.

The purpose of this post, is to express what I’ve learned since March of 2014. This will be a long one, so if you don’t have a lot free-time, here’s the gist: Fibroid, tears, shots, surgery, and….the end. Wait…No, not the end. Actually, you’ll have to keep reading to find this out… 😉

I don’t know about you, but I imaging you are much like me in that you get excited when you have gained a little wisdom in this confusing world.  And, as hard as it is, sometimes, the wisdom comes from traveling a rough and difficult road. Our difficult road began in March of 2014. I know there are many couples in the world that have been through the struggles of trying to start a family. I have empathy for what you are going through. For me, It was a time of hopeless thoughts, acceptance of a future that could be (that I didn’t ever envision), and a time of much uncertainty and tears.

I have to back up to one year previously to tell the whole story, in hopes that this will encourage someone else who experience some of the same symptoms. We had just  moved to Durango and I needed more birth-control pills. I had to see an OBGYN to be subscribed these pills, so I scheduled my appointment with a nurse practitioner at a local women’s health clinic. During my exam, she asked me “are you sure you aren’t pregnant?”. I wasn’t. She told me that my uterus was very large and up to my belly-button. She responded to this fact by re-assuring me that most likely I just had a large uterus because I was taller than most women. I went out to the car and called my husband and told him what had happened. We both thought it was odd but didn’t really give it a second thought.

9 months later we decided to stop birth-control and begin trying to start a family. All the while I was running and losing weight. But, we weren’t getting pregnant. A few weeks prior to my 30th birthday, I was taking a bath and noticed that I had a bulge in my abdomen. At first glance, I thought it was nothing and just a new part of my body I hadn’t seen for awhile. I had gotten into trail running and had lost 30 pounds. I went to my husband and showed him this bulge and he wasn’t too worried either.

A few weeks late, I went to the same nurse practitioner who worked for a women’s health office now. It was time for my yearly exam and I also wanted her to look at said bulge. I had to be persistent and remind her to examine my abdomen. She did an internal exam and said I definitely had a growth of some kind in my uterus. She ordered an ultra-sound at the hospital within the next few days. I left this appointment feeling worried and scared. I think the first thought upon hearing you have a growth is cancer. Growth=cancer. Now, I know this isn’t always the case.

A few days later, with a very full bladder, I had my ultra-sound. I knew something was going to be found, but I was hoping for the best. The tech couldn’t say much, but with some prying I was able to find out she thought I had “many fibroid growths” in my uterus. I began to cry. I felt very lost and confused. How did this happen? What had I done wrong to cause these to inhabit my most prized organ, at this time in my life at least.

A week or so later, we met with a new OBGYN Doctor. She informed me that the results were inconclusive but she did know she wasn’t going to be able to help me. She expressed that there was too much fibroid tissue to remove (she didn’t know if there were many or just one) and she would have to do a hysterectomy if she operated on me. She referred us to an infertility specialist in Albuquereque, NM.

We went to see him in the coming weeks. He did a hysteroscopy and determined I had one very large fibroid within my uterus that was taking up the entire space. We named him “Bob”. He was as large as a 5 month pregnancy and there was no room for a fertilized egg to implant. He was the reason for heavy periods and frequent urination since I was in middle school. Surgery would be the only way to remove him and there was a chance it could end in a hysterectomy. Although, Dr. Thompson had been performing these surgeries 2 times a week for at least 30 years. He was our best shot.

Driving back to Durango, we called our family to tell them what we had found out. Being naturally minded, we hadn’t pushed away the idea of trying home remedies to shrink Bob. We came to the realization of how large it was and no natural remedy would shrink it enough to allow for pregnancy. And…even if it did, it would take many many years. I was 30 and my husband was 34, we knew we didn’t have 5 years to spare. Surgery was in the cards now and we had to trust this Dr. to lead us to the next step in our journey.

After determining the size, my Doctor recommended taking Depo Lupron to put me into temporary menopause with the hope of shrinking the tumor for easier removal. I was apprehensive because everything I read online led me to believe this shot was all-things bad and could have long-term side-effects like horrible pain at the injection site and various other fear-inducing side-effects. I even had friends tell me to not take the shot. My husband and I had to make the tough decision to go forward and hope our end result would be worth the possible negative effects.

Through this process, there were lots of conversations involving realizations and acceptance. I recall sitting in our parking lot talking with my husband about our news. As I looked out at the trees that surround our home, I remember thinking, “Ok, I can handle this, I guess I would be just as happy adopting a child; If that is what God wants for us and me; I can do that.” But, truthfully, I dreamt of what our child would look like and what it would be like to carry him or her. I anticipated the day our baby would enter the world and trying my hand at breastfeeding. This one life, this one chance to see a child of your own that has my nose or eyes, my husbands kind heart, his long eye-lashes, learning and growing in the world.

In hopes for a miracle, for three months, leading up to my surgery date: August 20th, 2014, I received a shot in my toosh, (that, without insurance, would have cost $1,000). The many nights of sleeplessness from hot-flashes and various mood-swings didn’t always seem worth it. I was angry at people (no estrogen) and was taking each day as it came. I continued to run and eat fruits and vegetable. I cut out sugar and caffeine because I had read that caffeine and sugar fed tumors. It was my full focus. I was determined to fight “bob” and give myself the best chance of removal.

Our family and friends tried their very best to be there for us in the ways they knew how to. I am grateful for all the support. I resisted the urge to keep my pain to myself and I asked for prayers. I think it was actually a sort of healing action for me, asking for support. I was released from carrying the burden privately  and opened myself up to encouragement.

My husband and I experienced love and comfort. We also learned that people say things out of not know what to say, like “you’ll have a child, someday”, “I know God will bless you with a child”, “Everything will be OK”, “Just think positive, it will be alright”. But all these positive words didn’t change the many nights we sat in our room talking about how scared we were. All the “what-ifs” that flooded our mind. Still, I am grateful for their love and compassion.

I have since learned that people say these things to comfort themselves. Not because they are selfish, but the thought of the alternative is too much to for them to bear. Sitting there with you during your heart-ache is just too much. Seeing pain in the people we love strikes us to our core. Sitting there with them as they mourn is a very hard thing to do. We have to feel the hurt to truly be empathetic.

For example: I sat in a living room grieving with my husband and his family as they said goodbye to the matriarch of the family in June that year. The common consensus was “it will be okay”. Whether this is said at a funeral as you are in a line greeting the ones who loved the person you held dear or during some other tragedy in life. It is usually how we have learned to respond to tragedy. On the other hand, my mother-in-law somehow knew to tell my husband and I to prepare for not having children. I was so relieved someone had the courage to say out loud what I was thinking about each moment of every day.

My heart broke for him. I felt such self-pity and guilt for not being able to give him what he deserved. A child of his own. I felt an immense responsibility for what we were experiencing. This was a set of emotions I needed to process as well.

I have come to realize, it is ok to dread the worst. Forget being positive all the time. It’s not realistic. A person must grieve. A person must cry. In the end, even if it does work out okay, it is okay to think the worst, because, sometimes, the end result is heart-breaking. There isn’t always a happy ending and you leave the hospital mourning instead of rejoicing. It’s just the way it is.

The months passed and the morning of the surgery was upon me and my husband. I hadn’t slept at all the night before, I was worried beyond measure. Hoping for some comfort, I had read an entry from a book that was given to me, titled, “Jesus calling”. I don’t usually like religious books because they are so cheesy, but this one was different.  The book had a daily reading and on August 20th, this is what was written:

I am a God who heals. I heal broken bodies, broken minds, broken hearts, broken lives, and broken relationships. My very Presence has immense healing powers. You cannot live close to Me without experiencing some degree of healing. However, it is also true that you have not because you ask not. You receive the healing that flows naturally from My Presence, whether you seek it or not. But there is more-much more-available to those who ask.

With a growling stomach, we loaded in the car towards a victory or a tragedy. Our future lay in the hands of a man God had led us to. All our trust was in this person’s ability.

We sat in the pre-surgery room. I was hooked up to an IV and given a “margarita” to ease the anxiety. The “REAL” stuff would put me out so quick I wouldn’t even see it coming. If you are anticipating surgery and anesthesia, be comforted in this. You won’t remember a thing. My husband found some clips of  FRIENDS on youtube and we sat there laughing. He was so strong and kept me very calm; or was it the mangarita? Anyways, the time came to go into surgery. All I remember is being wheeled into the room, seeing all these people with masks on and… OUT.

My patient and loving husband and my strong beyond measure mother-in-law sat in the waiting room for 3 hours.  My uterus was taken out of my body as I lay on an operating table. One clip and stitch at a time Dr. Thompson freed me from this appendage. The oncologist was present as well, just to make sure it wasn’t a cancerous tumor. Somehow, they were able to take a picture of the fibroid.

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I know. Gross. Real Gross. This thing was IN ME?!?

I awoke in the recovery room and the first words that came out of my mouth (after asking for water), were “Did they save my uterus?”
Yes. The woman said this simple word and I was so grateful and FULL of joy. When they wheeled me into my hospital room, although very drowsy, I could see my husband and MIL waiting at the door and I waved to them with a smile on my face. I mean, I felt the smile. It is amazing that anesthesia can’t keep away true joy and happiness. I can only imagine what they were thinking. I am sure they had prepared for a very different outcome. It was a wonderful night. I slept for most of it, but still.

After 4 days in the hospital, we came home. I began to recover physically and we both began to process the emotions of the past 6 months. If it is true you can’t appreciate something until it is gone, that is the overwhelming message of this story. Yes, I didn’t lose the ability to have a child but I did have to accept that fate through the process. It was all out of my control.

I have seen other women’s stories expressed and I hurt for them. I hurt because they may or may not come out of the other side of this trial with a happy ending, or at least the ending they imagined. I hurt because I know that when they do get pregnant, they may still struggle to trust that everything with turn out good and that the day will come when they will hold their baby in their arms. I hurt, because they may miscarry and go through a whole new gamut of emotions. I hurt, because they may struggle to trust and know everything happens for a reason.

Realizing that I may not be a biological mother was a crisis in my life. It may not be for some, but it was for me. This crisis was a tangible reminder that despite my efforts, things could go down an unknown path which seemed almost too hard of a thought to bear. It is a real possibility for so many women and their spouses and I understand how powerless you can feel.

I walked out of the hospital a new person. Not because I was able to now try for a family, but because I had been through hell. My hell. I was still constipated and I was still scared. I was grateful; and yet, apprehensive. This may have a lot to do with my childhood, which is another topic for another post, but trust was certainly not easy. I now began the healing process, both physically and emotionally.

Months passed and emotions came to the surface. I joined a fibroid group and bonded with my fibroid sisters.

February 2015 came and my sweet husband and I discovered we were pregnant. We were both in disbelief. A few days later, I thought I was miscarrying. I began to bleed and my worst fear was coming true, I wouldn’t be able to sustain a pregnancy. I paced the floor and cried. I was desperate for an answer, so at the urging of one of my friends, I called the OBGYN’s office and the nurse told me to not assume I was miscarrying unless I was heavily cramping, which I wasn’t. I went in for an ultra-sound and thankfully the baby had a heart-beat. What a relief! Each day that passed and each day she grew I was able to attach to this miracle baby. I recall the day I began to allow myself to love her. Not long after we saw our sweet girl on the ultra-sound at 20 weeks, I was sitting at the table and I felt her kick. I felt so much love for this little life within me.

The months passed and with each ultra-sound, I became less and less anxious. This was really happening! I was going to be a mother, we were going to be parents. We were given a gift. We surely didn’t deserve it.

On September 22nd, 2015, our sweet Olivia was born. The love that overwhelmed me when I saw her for the first time was so powerful it hurt. Hearing her cry was the most perfect sound. She was perfect. She had brown hair, her daddies cheeks and my lips. She was born 3 weeks early so I wouldn’t have contractions, so coincidently, she struggled with breathing a bit and went from her birth weight of 6 lbs 14 oz down to 6 lbs. But, she was very healthy and had a set of lungs on her.

We tried breastfeeding for 5 weeks and she did very well. In the end, it didn’t work out, but she is healthy and growing all the same. The first 6 weeks of her life was very hard. I lived in fear of losing her. I think this is because of the anxiety I have had most of my life which was exasperated by the fibroid. I reminded myself continually that the anxiety would get better, in time. As I knew from my past, anxiety usually meant I had unresolved emotions to process.

Each day as I change Olivia’s poopy diapers and she cries for no apparent reason, I am in awe. I am so grateful to be her mommy. I can’t imagine a world without Olivia Grace, the girl who has lungs that would make an opera singer jealous. The girl who couldn’t handle at least 5 different formulas and now smells like soured goats milk because of her spit-up. The sweetie who amazes everyone who sees her, especially when they realize she is the result of a very long journey. Going through everything has helped me to appreciate life in a new way. And, although I wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through it, I wouldn’t change anything about the past year and a half. It really has been the best chapter of my life.

Now, on to the next chapter. I think it will be titled, “Tired, fat and happy: life with Olivia”.

I wish each person out in cyber-land the very best. And, please, tell your story. It isn’t shameful and it may just be the one thing someone needs to hear to get through their trial. And remember, Love. It really does open you heart and allow you to heal. Let it come. It will show itself when you least expect it. And the joy will wash over you.

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~Jacquelynn

{Animas River Nature Walk} ~ Getting in touch with creation

winter scavenger hunt 2Winter_Scavenger_Hunt_lg Saturday mornings usually begin with a cup of coffee (and depending on how much sleep I got this amount increases or decreases), along with a hearty breakfast. Yesterday, with the hope of getting outdoors for awhile, I invited my sweet husband to go for a nature walk with the added bonus of a scavenger hunt. Oh the fun! Deceivingly so, It was colder than it looked. We both got as bundled up as we thought we needed to be (oops) and set out to discover all the items on our list. We walked a bit faster to get our heart-rate up, thus warming us within, a bit. We brought the camera along with us to document the findings of our archeology, *ahem*, I mean, nature scavenger hunt.  I think we left a few out, but overall, we did pretty good finding what we were looking for. (There was a huge x-mas tree drop-site on our walk–we just peered over and “found” the pine needles, or rather, smelled them). There is nothing better than the smell of fresh pine. We were able to find duck tracks (pictured in the center) as well as a large dog (or mountain lion…hopeful thinking) track. Unfortunately, the beautiful berry tree was on the other side of the trail (some 2-3 miles the opposite direction). We walked down towards the river and admired the frozen ice surrounding the river rocks. We noticed that, oddly, there weren’t any birds chirping or flying during the majority of our walk. Just as we were about 100 feet from our car, a beautiful bird soared across the blue sky.  I have noticed our Colorado birds soak up the sun-rays and retreat when the sun disappears. As you can see, the sun didn’t make much of an appearance. Is there anyone out there reading who had enjoyed a nature hike in your town? Our scavenger hunt list suggested we look for chickadees & cardinals. I believe we have chickadees in Durango, but we didn’t see any on our walk. Magpies, bluejays, bald eagles, ducks and other native mountain birds frequent our bird-feeder at home. What birds do you see in your home town? scav hunt collageI noticed how freeing it was to get fresh-air and really absorb the details along our walk. I felt purposeful and relaxed all at once. If you are reading and want to share the ways you get out and explore the nature surrounding you…the floor is yours!

Thank you for checking out my (our) life, unplugged. In deliciously delightful Durango. ~Jacquie

The Cyber world is not my tapestry

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. -Howard Thurman

At the age of 20, a friend from high school ran up to me expressing he had come across a website called FACEBOOK. I recall him describing this phenomenon as “ya know, it’s like a book of faces! You can look up friends from high school & college. You should check it out!” I cannot tell you how confused I was. A book of faces? I grew up in the world of IM’s and yahoo chatrooms. A/S/L were the three letters which defined my interaction with the non-physical cyber world. My husband and I both have our stories of the time we first heard of Facebook. Everyone’s is different. But, what each of us have in common is that most likely we were taken aback. The concept was new and mysterious. My story continues with Facebook being harmless enough. At that time, you had to sign-up with your college e-mail as a pre-requisite for admittance to this new and mysterious world. If I am being completely honest, Facebook became something less harmless and more addicting, overnight. I don’t recall the “progression” from college web connection to an all-consuming focus. At some point (probably when the iPhone was a must-have in my life and the little F icon spoke to me) my every move, thought and care I experienced was being exploited to a bunch of people who I hadn’t even spoken to on the phone or in-person for 10 years. I was in the Twilight Zone; caught up in the web of pleasing the world with each post of my wonderful life, absent of substance and real hurts I was actually going through. I don’t begin to assume that everyones life is just like mine. Although, as I look around me, I wonder…Is this really HOW my friends and family want to live? Dependent on how many “likes” or “comments” posted beneath their life events?

So, why start a blog? Isn’t it just the same? Well, yes and no. The focus of this blog is to share my real life story. The parts of my life that are about reaching for goals, spending time with the most important person in my life, creating my story. Yes, it’s in cyber-world. Yes, I am putting my life out there for people to read. I think it is with much more genuineness this time around. I think the goal is new & different. It is under a different light. A light radiating with good intention for us all.

As we often do in our home, weekend mornings are spent with a cup of joe in hand (and once it starts its magic) exhilarating talks about topics about life & how we are doing living it. In October of 2014, Josh and I were driving home from Squaw Valley, CA. We had listened to some great books-on-tape, gazed upon beautiful Utah salt lands, and soaked in Moab’s gorgeous red mountains & plateaus. Our realization? What if everything we did today, lived on after we were taking our dirt nap. If your life is a tapestry of events: highs, lows, heart-aches, courageous acts, losses, choices of every magnitude–Do those events live on after your gone? I believe they do. I began pondering how the family my grandmother was raised with influenced her choices and beliefs about life. We are all connected in one way or another to those who came before us. You and I were born, new, impressionable. And then, we met our parents who learned from their parents, who learned from their parents, and so on. To bring it all to the present: How I live my life now will greatly affect my children. 

I want to make this all worth-while. I hope each event I add to my story of life, my tapestry, will be made of silk clothe. And my husband, of wool, perhaps. Together, if we are gifted with children, their clothes will be of a new texture. With richness and color all their own. And as our days continue on this earth, with each thread, I’ll pull the needle through one event at a time. And when I admire this tapestry we have created, years down the line, I’ll be glad I chose to explore this new path of, living unplugged.