Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Season of Change

Fall is such a season of change. Although the last few months of my life have been nothing but change. I am trying to embrace the change and roll with it instead of resent and fight it. I do have my days though when little bursts of emotions just have to work their way is one of those days. I guess that is my way of "mourning" the loss of some of the unwanted changes that have occured. Today my heart is feeling very empty. There are so many horrible trials out there and my measly little trial is all really so meaningless but it is how I feel nontheless. My superficial, worldly complaints that are spinning in my head just need to get out of my brain. So...I miss my house. I miss my dear friends. I miss having my dear friends as dear neighbors. I miss my ward, soo much. I miss my closet. I miss my bathtub. I miss our yard. I miss our bridge. I miss my wood floors. I miss my fireplace. I miss MY KITCHEN. I miss having a fridge IN my "kitchen." I miss having a dishwasher. I miss having a stove and an oven in my kitchen. I miss parking in the garage. I miss my porch. I miss seeing the deer in my yard. I miss feeling in awe of the beauty of our neighborhood entrance every time I entered it. I miss running past the pond. BUT... I have been so blessed!!! I am so incredibly grateful for 5 healthy children that I love more than life itself! THAT IS SO HUGE! They keep me going and make me want to be a better me to keep striving toward the divine potential that only Heavenly Father can really see in me. I am grateful for a good husband that works very hard to provide for our family. He is a very good man and has so many amazing strengths...and he is soo hot. he he. I am so grateful for my selfless parents who have once again opened their home up to the pure chaos we call a family. I am so grateful to have this time with my parents. I love them so much. I am so grateful my kids are having the chance to spend so much time with my parents. I am so grateful we have this open, spacious basement to stay in. I am so grateful our house sold so fast at a fair price. I am so grateful our 2nd car didn't die until after moved. I am so grateful we then had some money to replace it. I am so grateful Anthony has been so selfless and patient in driving that lil' beater for so many years. I am grateful that we found a house to buy that felt right and that we will eventually get to move into it. I am so grateful it is so close to the kids school. I am so grateful my kids are adjusting to the change. I am so grateful for the chance to have my prayers answered and to feel like I am moving forward according to THY will. I am so grateful for prayer. I am so grateful to have the spirit with me and to feel its guidance and direction. I am so grateful for the peace the temple gives me. I am so grateful for the Plan of Happiness. I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who knows me better than I know myself and knows what I need to learn,endure and experience to mold this diamond in the rough that we all truly are. I am grateful for a husband with the same eternal perpective. I am grateful for extended family that loves us and supports us. I am grateful we "get to" start a new chapter in life right now...I know it will be a good one because I choose for it to be. AHHHHHH..ok, feel better now. Time to go get the kids from school. Love you all!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it's about dancing in the Rain! Or so I thought!

Blake (age 5) has been needing some one on one the other day I took just Blake and headed out for a mommy date night. We started at the Dollar Store to get a prize Blake has earned for 10 smiles on his "Good Choice Chart. As we embarked on our adventure I promised myself to have Blake's kind of fun and think like a little boy...and to not constantly correct him all night. (Yes, I Can be a nag of a mom at times.) I took Blake's hand in the parking lot and we started to run into the store because it was raining pretty hard. As we ran we were approaching a very large puddle (much deeper than it appeared.) I had a random thought that we should "embrace the moment and jump in the puddle. Blake will love it...I'll be the coolest mommy." We were moving fast hand in hand and I quickly diverted us to the puddle in a step or two and with a huge double footed jump absolutely DRENCHED us. I laughed out loud and looked down at Blake with a huge smile..he looked like a little drowned rat dripping with muddy water. "MOMMMMM! AHHHHHH! WHY DID YOU DO THAT? LOOK AT MY CLOTHES! AHHH! MOMMM! AHHHH! I'M NOT GOING IN! AHHHHH...MOM!" I felt so bad..."No Blakey, it's fun, let's do it again!" "NOOOOO!" I explained, "I'm sorry, I thought it would be fun, I'm sorry honey!" It was very hard to even get him into the store now with his "waaay wet clothes!" I truly felt bad but the whole deal just had me stuffing my giggles deep down much for "dancing in the rain." he he Guess next time we"ll just make mud pies. ha ha

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

He's there


About a month ago I started noticing a lot of random, quick, extremely intense pin - prick like pains throughout my body. I also started seeing spots in my vision and losing “chunks” of my sight some days. I commonly experienced “stars” in my vision and it was somewhat distressing but I didn’t mention it and brushed it off. Shortly before Christmas I started losing feeling in various parts of the left side of my body…especially my arm and leg. It would come and go but was growing more numb more frequently. Headaches were also starting to become a daily event. Not just an average headache but many that made it difficult to eat, sleep, and think clearly at times. I had a dull burning sensation in the front part of my head that was rarely leaving. Then about 2 weeks ago I had a pain in the top of my head that nearly dropped me to my knees. It was accompanied with a spinning sensation so strong that I couldn’t get my bearings straight as to which way was up or down for a few seconds. Probably only like 2-3 seconds but it felt like more. Had I been standing I am confident I would have fallen. Luckily I was laying down when it happened. I thought it was weird but it was over as soon as it had started so again I brushed it off. The next day I had the stabbing pain in my head 2 more times...both times causing me such intense pain, spinning and nauseas. Over the course of the next few days, the pains increased in frequency and intensity…always in the same spot on my head. Still I hadn’t mentioned them to Anthony. For the past 6-8 months or so I try to keep my mouth shut about the small stuff that we all experience from time to time in an attempt to be more positive and complain less. I also didn’t want to go pay another stupid co-pay. One night about 2 weeks ago as I was showering, the top of my head was so tender I had difficulty washing my hair. I noticed a large lump on top of head…it was at the site of the sharp pain I’ve been having. As I touched the lump on my head, the room began to spin. I told Anthony and explained what I had been experiencing. My left arm was tingling and felt “heavy” most days now. The skin on the top of my forearm and on the outside of my left leg were almost completely numb most days (not always would come and go.) Do you know the feeling when you’ve had dental work and your face is numb and as it is “waking up” it feels cold to you and you can’t feel yourself touching your own skin? That is what it feels like...almost exactly. Well about a week and a half ago I had been on the phone with my sister Jami for quite sometime. I was listening with my right ear because I was having a hard time holding the phone with my left semi-numb arm. I noticed that my cell phone felt really hot on my right cheek. I switched the phone to my left cheek...nothing..can’t feel the hot phone. Hmm..I noted that seemed weird. Went on with my conversation and blew it off. I’m not sure if it was that day or the next but I was playing the “soft game” with Lucy and showing her how to softly touch others faces and not “baby slap” them as she gets excited and “clocks them one.” I held Lucy’s hand and we “softed” Boston’s face. I “softed” her face.” Lucy then “softed” my face. I COULD NOT feel it... not a thing! I felt a sick feeling in my gut as I realized the left side of my face was numb. Over the next few days, the feelings of numbness grew from lower left cheek up to my left eye. My left eye felt “weird” to blink and I was losing slight movement in the left side of my mouth. OK, at this point I felt sick inside and knew it was time (oh already! DUH!) to go see the dr. I set an appointment for the following week. I went to my appointment and explained my “laundry list” of symptoms. The doctor tiptoed around it for a few minutes then diplomatically explained me these were all the main red flag warnings of a brain tumor in thr right side of my brain...that seemed to be the main thing he focused on in the rest of our discussion. Oh that was so comforting to hear…ugh! Yes, you are detecting a hint of sarcasm! He wanted me to have an MRI to rule out 3 main things…a brain tumor, MS, or stroke. If it wasn’t those 3 things, he would then assume it was “neurological migraines”…different than typical migraines. He scheduled me for an MRI the very next morning and then for a series of blood tests for the following day. It is never a fun conversation to go home and explain to your husband that the doctor wants to do some tests but that the majority of my symptoms were pointing at a brain tumor. I was so happy that Anthony took the next morning off work to accompany me to my MRI. I was calm on the outside but my insides were freaking out. Just having Anth there really calmed me…he is my rock! The MRI was actually a very calm and peaceful experience. About 3 hours after my MRI I got a phone call from my doctors office. This surprised me because they had told me it would take approximately 48 hours to get any results. The nurse said they had received my results and the doctor wanted to meet with me in person at the office the next day. I requested to have my results given over the phone. She put me on hold and then returned to explain the doctor would rather discuss my results with me in person. Now if that doesn’t start your heart racing I don’t know what will…HOLY CRAP! SO then we got to spend the next 24 hours thinking and convincing ourselves that I didn’t have brain cancer. The feelings I felt are indescribable. I didn’t cry… I felt calm and at peace. But I really thought I was going to die from this. Every second felt so precious. I lay on the floor with the kids and just played with them. I kept repeating to them that I loved them, that I was so happy to be THEIR mommy. I didn’t answer the phone, I let them have as many treats as they wanted…and as many as I wanted too. We read book after book together. I left the dishes in the sink, let the laundry go undone. When Anthony got home, I just wanted him to hold me and not let go…ever! After the kids were in bed Anthony suggested we needed to go over a few of the “What if’s?” while our minds were clear and not super emotional like they may be if we are given an official diagnosis. During the course of the next few hours we discussed and planned…It felt more like planning “When” not “What if’s” anymore. Anthony wouldn’t normally be one to even discuss things of this nature so that in and of itself made things feel all too real. I realized as Anthony brought different matters up he had really put a lot of thought into this and was staring right down the barrel of losing me as much as I was. We discussed my wishes and our plans for Anthony re-marrying (I made him promise my “replacement” had to be uglier and fatter than me! Lol..totally joking..kinda! ha ha) I felt ill as I thought about the things I wanted to be here for that I’d miss. The baptisms, graduations, the boys passing the sacraments and getting the priesthood, first dates, first kisses, missions, marriages, grandbabies, and the list goes on. One of the thoughts that made me the sickest was the realization that I don’t have too many memories of MY life before I was 7 or 8 years old. Some, but not tons. Elsie is only 8. How much of me would they really even remember? I would be almost non-existent to the youngest 3 and a fleeting memory to the oldest 2. My heart felt so completely in love with my eternal companion and I couldn’t comprehend leaving his side. Even with all these overwhelming thoughts racing through my mind I felt peace. I felt an overwhelming sense of the spirit, of Heavenly Fathers hand in all things. I felt amazed that I felt a sense of comfort knowing that IF this was God’s will that I’d be ok with it. That thought and the comfort it brought me still surprises me but it also buoys my heart up. I KNOW THAT GOD LIVES. I KNOW THAT HE LOVES MY FAMILY AND ME AND WANTS US TO FIND JOY AND RETURN TO HIM SUCCESSFULLY … EVEN MORE THAN I WANT THAT. I REJOICE IN THE KNOWLEDGE (NOT THE HOPE BUT THE KNOWLEDGE) THAT I HAVE AN ETERNAL MARRIAGE…THAT I WILL BE WITH MY FAMILY FOREVER IF WE DO THE SIMPLE THINGS ASKED OF US! IF HIS WILL IS FOR ME TO RETURN NOW THEN I CAN HANDLE THAT. IS IT WHAT I WANT? NO…BUT I WANT HIS WILL MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE…FOR THAT IS THE WAY MY WHOLE FAMILY WILL BE TOGETHER FOREVER! THAT IS WHY THE GOSPEL PLAN IS CALLED “THE PLAN OF HAPPINESS!”
Wow, take a breath now. That sure got deep in a hurry! So… the long 24 hours did actually come to an end. I didn’t think those 24 hours would ever end …especially as I lay in bed at 1 am thinking about every little thing I’ve ever done as an “im-perfect” wife or mother. I got out of bed twice and checked on the kids as they slept. I just stood and starred at my precious sleeping babies. Listened to them breathe and pushed the lump in my throat down deeper. Prayed for Heavenly Father to take care of them to keep them safe and happy. The slight glow from Anthony’s alarm clock illuminated his sleeping silouette enough for me to see his shoulder move up and down slightly as he breathed. I thought about him laying in our bed all alone…or even worse with someone else. I thought about him struggling to be a single father to 5 little our babies. My head was whirling out of control from one random thought to the next with no cohesion at all. I thought about Lucy nursing and the need to quickly get her switched to a bottle. Who will watch to make sure Lucy doesn’t put something dangerous in her mouth? Who will make sure the bathroom door is closed to keep Lucy out of the toilet? Who will help the kids with their homework and set out their uniforms? Who will make sure Boston rides his bike on the sidewalk and looks both ways when he darts out in the road? Who will remind the kids to not reach their hands into holes out back because a rattle snake could be in there. (Yes… I know I need to get a grip) How will the girls get a training bra with their dad? Who will cut the boys hair? HOW WILL ANTHONY DO THE GIRLS HAIR? Terrifying thought! Lol) This sounds so silly now but I even decided in the middle of the night that I would indeed conduct interviews for my “replacement”…to help Anthony and the kids transition to the new mommy…it’s ok for her to sleep in the basement, right? (he he) I decided to make videos for each kid with me talking to them about every possible thing that will come up in their life. What exactly does Heavenly Father need me in Heaven for right now? Isn’t my job as a mother as important as anything on the other side of the veil? Who will meet me when I actually die? I wonder if Scott and my grandparents will “bring me on over?” I’m excited to see Scott and Aaron…and my grandparents. Will I be able to watch Anthony and the kids anytime I want? How can Jami be a twin without me? How can Ashley have a new baby amidst all this? I don’t want to take the focus of her special time with DeLaney. How will Mom and Dad handle losing a child? If this can all just go away, I’ll be the most patient mommy! I’ll never be short-tempered with Anth. I’ll be the most positive, up-beat, organized, person ever. I’ll live my life without regrets…without wishing myself into someone else’s shoes or never failing to recognize the simple things. Not waste time on idle things…things unworthy of every precious second meant to be spent on my loved ones. I spent the night bargaining with Heavenly Father that I’ll be all that and a ball of yarn if we can just be ok. But…then Anth’s alarm sounds. Time to get up, put on the happy face to not let on to the kids that anything out of the ordinary is going on.

Anthony met me at the doctor’s office for the results. It was obvious we were both expecting the worst as the Doctor entered the room. “Well Mandi, your brain scan looks great…all normal. NO MS, No signs of a stroke, and especially no Brain Tumors or masses of any kind!” I looked at Anthony. He was just staring at the Doctor in silence. I said, Wow…great!” I couldn’t seem to find any other words. I almost didn’t believe it. The words I had hoped we would hear were ringing in my ears. The doctor said, “You kinda freaked me out!” “Freaked YOU out? HELLO… YOU FREAKED ME OUT!” I told the Doctor. DUH! He explained I was having neurological migraines due to restricted blood flow in my brain. With some medication (that of course you can’t take when nursing) we should be able to get blood flow back to normal and stop all this stuff. Probably will need to take this pill everyday for a few years at least but who cares! HALLE-FREAKING-LUUUUIAH! Anthony and I left the office hand in hand and went on 10 oclock in the morning. We sat in Subway and smiled at each other. My original birthdate is on 11/22. ( November 22) but today 2/2/11 (Feb 2, 2011) is the day I got my life back. I only lost it in my head for a few short hours…and I’m so glad I did. Sometimes it takes a good hard slap in the face to wake you up to what you really need and want in this life. I know the day will come when I will be called up but words cannot describe the joy I feel that Heavenly Father has granted me the time on earth to develop my fullest and divine potential…or at least attempt that. I love my Heavenly Father and I know with all my heart that He does in deed love me too.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dance in the Rain

I have so much to be grateful for. Sometimes I feel so inadequate for all that Heavenly Father has afforded me. I have been so humbled the last few months. I am more now than ever confident that Heavenly Father knows me, my hearts desires, my needs and my wants. We have witnessed miracles take place in our lives last month that literally left me speechless(and if you know me well..that is rare.;)We have been going through some trials that I will someday expand on but suffice it to say that I couldn't see a "fix." As I spent many hours in fasting and prayer I actually found myself more and more confused at the answers I was receiving. Continual feelings of "hold tight..the answer is coming...hold on and be patient...where do your treasures lie?...juld hold on and trust in me." Those were the repeated answers to my pleadings. I felt that the situation required something must happen immiediately, but that wasn't the guidance I received. So...I waited...and waited. Patience isn't my stongest virtue. Perhaps that was part of my lesson to be learned. The end is now in sight. I still don't know how things are going to comletely sort themselves out but things are starting to happen. Things I never even imagined could or would happen. Heavenly Father sooo sees the big picture and wants us to have joy. Sometimes I find myself caught up in convincing Heavenly Father that MY will COULD also be HIS will. Negotiating is not part of the Plan of Happiness. HE has already read my book and I am still in the preface. His small tender mercies are daily "Just Because" Love Notes to me. I am choosing to find joy in the little simple things in life. No more waiting for this or for that to feel content. Life is not about waiting for the storms to's about learning to dance in the rain. Sometimes we get so caught up in "controlling" things around us or trying to make everything perfect that we miss the tender mercies all around us. The beautiful gifts Heavenly Father is laying out before us..things that we may not even notice let alone thank Him for. Yesterday I went out on a cold, brisk walk. Just me, my red running shoes (that I love!)and my IPOD. I had planned on just a quick walk to the base of the Cove then home. As I hit the base it felt so invigorating...the cold air felt great in my lungs, the songs were calling to me to sing with them and put a spring in my step. The sunset was absolutely stunning! I actually HAD to stop and just stare at the pink clouds over the beautiful mountains. The way the sun was hitting the snow covered mountains...I couldn't stop staring. (I have a thing for sunsets anyways.) As I turned and headed towards the pond to complete my loop the setting seemed surreal..I felt like I was standing in my own little piece of Heaven. My thoughts didn't feel cloudy and jumbled, it was quiet and still and I KNEW Heavenly Father was indeed watching over his girl...over me! I felt a lump in my throat and wanted to shout out the joy I was feeling. This even sounds crazy but as I walked I could smell the nearby field of actually brought a smile to my face and made me think of my dad...he always loves the smell of manure...he has always breathed in a deep breath and said, " smells like home...He grew up a rancher. So, I've always LOVED that earthy-manure- outdoor smell from my Big strong Daddy.) I felt an overwhelming love for my parents...and peace for them and the current struggles they are facings. Sounds fairly silly now but I knew it was another tender mercy...a "Just Because" Love Note to me...the feelings of peace and love, the sunset, just the right songs on my IPOD, the sunset and yes, even the manure smells! My friends son was diagnosed last week with bone cancer...It has really shaken me up. I feel so amazing and grateful that Anthony and I have been blessed with 5 beautiful and completely healthy kids...I pray that continues. I pray for my friends son to be made whole if it by Thy will. Sitting on the outside looking in at the experiences my friends, my parents, siblings and in laws familes are going through. Heavenly Fathers hand is 200% there...IF we let it be. As I watch my own children learn and grow it pains my heart to let them struggle through things. Sometimes "free agency" really is lame...but it's the only way. The only way to fully learn, gorw and develop these diamonds in the rough called US! I am so happy to have the chance to prove myself worthy of this life..and that Heavnely Father is so merciful to let me have a "fresh start" each and every day. p.s. I LOVE YOU!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Lucy is 6 months old!

I can't believe Miss Lucy Jane is 6 months old...actually almost 7 now! She is crawling, laughing and melting this lil' family's hearts. Everyone drops anything at a chance to hold Lucy. She giggles at funny faces, funny sounds and at almost anything Boston does. I can't even imagine how life would be if we had not had our little "cherry on top" Lucy. It's obvious she is has a very precious little spirit meant to be part of our family. I thank Heavenly father everyday for her safe arrival. She loves chocolate and to snuggle with personal fave! (yes...she is 6 months old and loves chocolate...don't ask. Part of the fun of having older sibs that feed you stuff Mommy won' WE LOVE LUCY!

Friday, September 3, 2010

I'm going to be a LOSER!

I am really excited. I am entering the Biggest Loser Fall 2010 contest. Contest runs September 1st to December 1st. (This is a local mom thing, not the real TV show)I'm going to lose these 20 pounds yet. I am going to track my progress on my blog and theirs. ( I think being "accountable" will really help me. I will post my before pics asap. The first few things I am committing to are as follows:
~ Exercise 5 times a least 3 of them MUST be cardio.
~ Drink 10 glasses of water a day.
~ Never eat after 7 pm.
~ Stay on calorie target


Monday, April 5, 2010

Baby Countdown!

Well it's absolutley amazing considering where we started to think that I am 38.5 weeks along in this pregnancy! The baby is looking great and mommy is 150% ready to be done. I have been contracting tons for a month now and have been sent home from the hospital once. We are currently dilated to a 5 and 80% effaced. SO... it can't be too long now! Worst case scenario the doc will induce on April 13. That of course feels so far away yet I know it isn't. We are still debating on the name but do have it narrowed down to 2. Either Ruby Jane Taylor or Lucy Jane Taylor. I love both names for different reasons. I am hoping to have a big moment of enlightenment when she is born that tells us what she should be named. ;) Stay tuned for baby updates and pics when she finally makes her big debute! I can't wait to hold you in my arms precious baby girl!