Sunday, February 28, 2010

My feelings

This post is for Hayden and someday for his wife,as well. As I am dealing with all the doctors, health issues and prognosis' for Hayden, I wish my mom were here to help me sort thru it all. I wish she were here to put her arm around me and lift me. I wish she were here to tell me I am doing the best I can. That I am trying hard enough and doing my best for Hayden. She isn't. She can't say those things. Next, I wish I had an account of what she went thru with us kids.

Jodi had Cerebral Palsy, I was constantly sick, like Hayden, JD had seizures, etc. etc. I wish she kept a journal. I wish I knew how she felt. I wish I knew if she struggled. If she cried. If she was always happy.

I try my hardest to have faith. To accept all that happens as God's will. I try to be positive and upbeat and look at the potential in all situations. I am honestly thankful for my life and wouldn't pick another. But, I have bad days. I mourn for the life that Hayden doesn't have some times. I get sad for him when the doctors talk about more surgeries, more needles and more restrictions. I cry. I weep. I get frustrated with days it feels like if it isn't raining its pouring. I do have bad days.

I wish my mom had kept a journal. I wish someone out there would be honest with me and tell me that my mom had bad days. All I hear is about her unbelievable faith, her constant positive attitude and how she was close to perfect. I love her and miss her but feel like I can never live up to who she was and how great she handled life. I am sure that isn't exactly what happened. Time makes you only remember the good. The positive. The great qualities people had.

For Hayden, I want him to know that his mother struggled. Yes, I tried my hardest to have faith. I know where to look for hope and healing. But, my heart broke in two when I found out he had to have heart surgery. My heart was crushed when I was told about autism. I cried when I found out new diagnosis and new challenges Hayden would have to go through. And, at times, I asked the Lord, "Why Hayden? Why me?" It is true. Those thoughts and words have come out of my mouth. I have shed many tears. I have hurt.

But, it is thru the hurt and tears that the Lord taught me. It is thru the trials that he gave me more strength. It is the times that I spent on my knees not knowing how I could get up that helped me to deal with the next trial, the next exam, the next diagnosis.

But, Hayden, I did hurt. Life isn't always easy and roses. You know that. I hope that no one ever tells you that your mom handled all of this with ease. Because, I had my moments that I questioned, doubted and ached deeply. But, I hope you also know that I never quit loving you. You were ALWAYS worth it! You were worth EVERY thing I have ever done. And, I knew the Lord would be there for me! I learned that you are His son. I learned how the atonement not only heals sins but heartache. I learned to follow the Savior thru these trials.

I am to a point where I know that it is thru trials that the Lord strengths us, refines us and helps us become more like him. I just need you to know that although the pathway may not be easy, I KNOW that following the Savior, enduring, even if it is only to beg for the Lord to walk with you until you can stand on your own two feet, that the pathway is correct. And, someday, when you look back at those moments, you will know you weren't alone. You will understand the love that your Savior has for you. You will come to know and understand so much thru trials. But, it is ok to cry. It is ok to hurt. It is ok to question. It is ok to be frustrated. It is ok to feel all those emotions. It is ok to give yourself time for acceptance, time to heal, time to deal. But, never forget to let the Lord help you thru those moments. The Holy Ghost's comfort and peace is what sustained me thru my roughest moments. I love you!

Cub Scouts

I am so excited! I was just called to be in Cub Scouts with Hayden. I will be over the 11 boys Hayden's age and be their Den mom. I am so excited for this new adventure. Hayden and I went to the Scout store this past week. It was fun to get our uniforms, books and everything we need to get started. The bishopric even told Hayden he could be my assistant. We have spent a lot of the week going over the books and trying to plan activities. Hayden is loving that we get to do this together. It should be lots of fun with lots of activities! Any ideas? I would be happy for suggestions!

Walking with Dinosaurs

Last weekend, Suzi and I took Hayden and his buddy Chase to Tucson to see Walking with Dinosaurs. It was amazing. The dinosaurs were so life like. It was amazing how the animatronics worked and how these dinosaurs interacted. The Brachiosaurus was 72 feet tall. It was unbelievable.
When the T-Rex came out, he was MASSIVE! We were only about 6 rows back and the T-Rex suddenly turned and roared. Both boys jumped, icees flew in the air and Chase jumped on my lap and Hayden jumped on Suzi's. I jumped. But, watching the boys was absolutely hysterical!

My favorite was when the mommy T-Rex came out to save the baby T-Rex. Hayden leaned over to me and said, "Mom, that reminds me of me and you. You always protect me." Then, he kissed me! What a boy! What a treasured moment!

The boys LOVE Aunt Suzi! Of course, she bought them each a souvenier, icees and treats. She spoied them ROTTEN! And, they had the best time!

The boys absolutely LOVED it! It was totally worth the drive to Tucson. It was better than I ever anticipated! I highly recommend it!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hayden's Prayer

As I walked by, I overheard part of Hayden's prayer tonight, "Please bless Mommy that she will feel better and quit hurting. And, please bless that Daddy will change his mind and let me cuddle in bed with Mommy!" Precious. So sweet! He absolutely melts my heart!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Science Project

Hayden had his 2nd grade science fair this past week. He and Suzi decided they wanted to do a cool science project. They came up with making a battery out of lemons, pennies and nails.

Hayden was so enthralled with the project and loved every minute of it.

This kid was born to be a scientist. He loves it and has so much patience for learning and testing his experiments.

He was SO excited when he hooked it all up and the buzzer went off.

His science presentation was top notch and he worked hard on all the details!

Science project was a HUGE success. He was even able to present it in front of the entire school. Not amazing, when most students were doing projects more along the line of do hamsters like cheese, carrots or candy better. I love his little science based mind!

Immunodeficiency Disorder

Here we go again! More tests. More diagnosis'. More time in hospitals, ER's and urgent cares.
The good news, hopefully, they have some of this stuff figured out. As I try hard to wait on doctors, I find myself getting overly impatient. I know, to them, Hayden is just another patient, just another set of test results, just another child fighting for their life. But to me, he is MY child. He is MY world. He is MY life. And, I feel like the doctors could respond a little quicker, and try a little harder to explain the results that to us feel like the world has just changed, again.
From what I understand, Hayden has some immune disorder. Okay, never thought of it. Didn't know there was an immunologist, but it makes sense. He is ALWAYS sick. He catches EVERYTHING. And, he keeps getting the same thing over and over again ie: his third strep infection in the past month.
I guess Hayden doesn't have the ability to make antibiodies. He can't fight infection. And, only a portion of what medication he is given is even assimulated into his little system. Beyond that, we are waiting on results to see how serious and how extreme the diagnosis and therefore the treatments are going to take us.
What we do know is monthly IV treatments are in his near future. He was NOT happy about that. Then, I explained that he has missed 7 days of school this month due to strep. If we start these treatments, he would have missed part of a day of school to get the IV's, but wouldn't have missed school, the field trip, science fair, birthday party and his friends. He is signed up.
I am so amazed with my boy. I realize he is growing up, but the last couple of weeks, I have watched my eight year old son, comfort me, strengthen me and reassure me. We explained to him how much I wish this wasn't how it had to be, I wish it could be me. But, that we are thrilled that they have a solution to make him healthier. My son, and his AMAZING attitude toward life. He has thanked his Heavenly Father for helping the doctors to figure it out so he can be healthier and stronger. He has taken on the attitude of, "It could be worse. I am just going to have to learn to deal with needles. I guess this gives me more of a reason to invent more J-tip shots and iv's without needles." He even said, "Maybe Heavenly Father gave me this body so I could help other kids that are sick not be in so much pain!" I am so thankful for an 8 year old that has helped humble me, helped me change my perspective and help me to be a better, more positive person. And, like Hayden, I am now actually thankful for this newest chapter in our lives. Hayden's right, the Lord isn't going to give up on him now. We are expecting more miracles at the Murphy house.

Hayden on girls

Monday night Thomas and I were talking to Hayden about how girls are different than boys. We were using different examples to illustrate this point to Hayden.

A couple of weeks back, Hayden said to Brooklyn as she picked up Talmage, "He doesn't want you, he wants Jodi". Brooklyn cried and asked why Hayden didn't think Talmage liked her. Hayden said, "I didn't say Talmage doesn't like you, I said he wants his mom." Poor Brooklyn, maybe taking after her Aunt Jer some, said, "No you didn't, you meant he didn't like me."

Thomas explained that girls are more emotional and Hayden said, "Oh, you mean they are more sensitive, right?" We explained to him how Heavenly Father made his daughters different than his sons. And, although Heavenly Father loves all of us, he is more sensitive to his daughters needs and their feelings. We explained how that sensitivity made girls good moms. Hayden wanted to know if him being kinder to girls, meant he would have the Holy Ghost with him more. (As a side note, that is Hayden's main goal in life is to feel the Holy Ghost and have his constant companionship).

We used this to try and explain to Hayden that boys take what you say at face value. Girls sometimes read more in to what you say. He was SHOCKED! He said, "Does mom do that?" Thomas replied, "Yes! When you tell mom you don't like what she is wearing, yes, you might as well have said mom isn't pretty." Hayden's mouth dropped. He was dumbfounded that girls do that. We told him that you have to be more careful what you say and how you say things to girls instead of boys.

He asked if this was something all guys knew. We said, yeah, but most learn after they get in trouble or have been married for a while. He then replied, "How will this help me if I learn this now?" Thomas says, "Buddy, you will be friends with all kinds of people. The girls will want to be around you because you are sensitive. And, the guys will want to hang around you because the girls are your friends." Hayden says, I want classes in how to treat girls so I can have lots of friends.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love this age? Hayden is a sheer crack up!

Valentine's Day

Thomas knows me well and knows that I am not big on flowers and candy. My love language is service. So, my wonderful husband took Saturday off and got up early and did chores all day. He cleaned the office, the garage, put stuff in the attic, made a run to Goodwill, cleaned my car, and moved furniture to set up Hayden's new room and the new playroom. He worked himself silly. But, I absolutely LOVE my house and the way it looks. He then got ready and took me to Korean food and shopping for a new bed set for Hayden. It was a perfect day!

I am so thankful for Thomas and the wonderful husband and father that he is. He is so good to me and always puts me and my needs first. He is an honest man that is so helpful. He is the first to volunteer and the first one to get off the couch to help. I am so lucky that he is mine. I don't know what I would do without him.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Logan's B-day party

Logan's birthday party was at the park. Hayden had a great time playing with Logan, Cory and Victoria.

My newest little niece, Lilly. She was so cute. I so enjoyed sitting and holding her!

Love this picture of Victoria holding Lilly. Too precious!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Dance

Hayden comes home yesterday from school and tells me that there is going to be a Valentine's Dance. Are you kidding me, he is 8 years old. I tell him, he can go since it is during school. Thomas laughed at me and said, hello, they will have music and the kids are just going to run around. I laugh at myself and tell him he is right, its not like they are getting dates, I am panicking for no reason.

So, I pick Hayden up from school today and he has a HUGE smile on his face. I ask how his day was and he says, "The BEST!!!" Before I can ask why, he says, "I asked Emma to go to the dance with me and she said, YES!" then goes on with, "Justin and Dalton asked her, but she didn't want to go with them, she wanted to go with me."

I am still in shock, that my 8 year old, just asked a girl to a dance, seriously, am I having this talk with one of the girls, or Hayden.

So, I am telling Thomas tonight and trying to think of how to respond. Thomas tells Hayden, "Girls are yucky!" Hayden says, all serious, "Dad, really? What would be yucky is if I like guys. Aren't you glad I like a girl?" Other than busting up laughing, I didn't know how to respond. I am in unchartered territory here. HELP!


So, we get home from Costa Rica at 12:30am. I wake up Hayden and play with him, go to work all day and try to get caught up from the past week and get everything together for the coming week. Come home to a broken washing machine, a car that broke down, and having to get ready for surgery the next morning. It was a CRAZY 24 hours.

Tuesday morning, I finally had the surgery that I have been putting off for years. I have a D&C, biopsys and other fun female surgery stuff. I am happy to say that I am relieved that there will be no more miscarraiges and no more heartache in that area. I did NOT enjoy surgery nor being down for a week. I am recovering and feeling more like myself, but have had a slow go at it.

I felt so loved during this past week. I have had so many people call, come over, bring us dinner, help out with Hayden, and just sit with me. I have felt the genuine love that comes only from my Savior. I have felt the peace that only he can bring. I have felt his love and his sweet reassurance that I am his daughter and that he loves me. I am grateful for experiences and testimony building faith that has come thru this past week. And, although I am still really tired and worn out, I am grateful for moments that make me sit back and re-evaluate my life. I am hoping that going forward I feel better and start having more energy. I definitely am not wired to stay down long, it makes me absolutely crazy!

Goodbye to Costa Rica

By Sunday morning, I loved my time in Costa Rica but I was sooooo ready to get back and see Hayden. I missed him so much. I needed this time in Costa Rica and came home much more energized to be a good mom.

The Villa Buena Onda staff with me and Thomas.

The Gang

Us with Josh & Steph

This trip is definitely one that we made memories to last a lifetime. It couldn't have been better. Okay, I wish Jodi and JD would have been there. But, we are so grateful for this experience and will cherish it ALWAYS!

Zip Line

Thomas, Suzi, Jake, Josh, Steph, Katie, Alyssa, Kaela, Ashlee, Jodi and Dean all decided to go down the zip line in the rain forest. They rode horses to the top of the mountain and then were harnessed up to the zip line.

Then they got on the zip line and flew above the tree canopy. The drop down was over a 1/2 mile down. It was a huge drop!
As if the 1/2 mile drop down wasn't adventurous enough, Thomas decided to do it upside down. I know he was glad I wasn't there, I would have had a fit that he was being so crazy!

Thomas LOVED it! Afterwards, they sat in the hot springs and had mud baths.

Me, after the adventure of the rapids, I decided I would lay by the pool, drink a pinal colada and talk. Me, Rosie and Bonnie had a great day shopping, eating gelato and relaxing before heading back to real life!

Costa Rican People

My favorite part of Costa Rica was the people. They were so humble, kind, generous and so just incredible people.

On Friday, some of the gang had scheduled to go deep sea fishing, including Thomas. The rest of us were debating what to do. We decided to rent a van and instead of going on an excursion, that we would go buy candy and toys and pass them out to some of the kids. It turned out to be an absolutely amazing day!

We decided to take the staff from the Villa with us on our excursion and told them we didn't need our beds made or the villa cleaned, that we thought they should come play with us. They LOVED it! As we were driving, one of them pointed to their house, so we went in. We met this cute little boy! My dad was so happy talking with and interacting with the locals!

We then went to our chef's parents' house. They were incredible and hooked up their oxen and gave us a ride around. We also rode horses, picked fruit, chopped wood and had a great time doing their everyday chores.

We then headed over to the maintenance guys family. They were so generous and put on a complete program for us. We learned to make homemade corn tortillas by cooking the corn, shucking the corn, boiling the corn, grinding the corn, making it in to tortillas and then cooking it over their stoves. Amazing experience.

While there, they played the maramba and taught us how to play it. We watched a dancing horse, talked, laughed, made tortillas, and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know these incredible Costa Rican people!

After we were done there, we went to different areas and handed out candy, balls and some money to the people. It was amazing the spirit that it brought to all of us and closeness that we shared. I felt like I was back in Korea and serving again. I loved it!

Josh was very touched by this man and his humble surroundings. So nice, so incredible! It was amazing seeing the true goodness that comes from these incredible people!

Side note: I was telling Hayden all about our trip and he said, so along with Hayden's Toy drive, the food drive, shoes for Haiti drive, we need to start a candy drive for the kids of Costa Rica. I've decided he is definitely going to be a humanitarian when he grows up. :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Monkeys & Crocs

On Thursday it was time for the excursion I was most looking forward to, floating down the river thru the rain forest to see wildlife. There were not many takers and only me and Thomas, Dad & Bonnie and Ashlee & Tracy decided to go. It was absolutely amazing.

We had food so the monkeys jumped on the boat. So cool to touch a monkey in the rainforest. This little monkey followed me wherever I went on the boat. He was so cute!

This little guy loved Thomas. I love how he is holding on to him while he is eating his apple. He jumped down, held Thomas' hand and with his other hand, he grabbed the apple. He continued to hold on to Thomas to make sure he didn't go anywhere with the food. So cute!

I loved the way that the monkeys would look directly into my eyes as if they were trying to figure me out. They were amazing. It was so neat to be so close to them and interact with them. I thought how this is a once in a lifetime to be in the rain forest in Costa Rica actually feeding and touching a monkey.

They put an apple slice on my head so the monkey would jump up to get it. I was a little nervous but loved it! Loved the monkeys!

Then, Thomas actually fed the crocodiles. What he was thinking, I'll never know, but he loved it!

The crocs were getting a little too close to me for my comfort level! Not sure I loved seeing their eyes and huge teeth.

I think for me, Thomas and my dad, it was one of the best excursions we had ever been on. I loved the interaction with the wildlife and the rain forest is amazing! Very peaceful, very serene and amazingly gorgeous!

On the way back we stopped and talked to some locals. They were so humble, so sweet and just the greatest people. I wanted to spend more time getting to know them, hear their sweet stories and learn what they did with their lives.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Lessons learned from the River

Going down the river was an interesting experience for me.

I learned that the river is a lot like life... low points, high points, crazy times, fun, laughter and scary intense moments.

I learned that my Heavenly Father loves me and is constantly trying to teach me. Even if when I am listening most is on a river in Costa Rica. He uses life to teach me and help me to hear what he is trying to say.

I learned he inspires, prompts and guides us.

I learned a good guide is essential to us returning safely both to dry land and to our Heavenly Father's presence.

As I woke up ready to go on the river rafting excursion, my Dad and Bonnie were extremely worried that I was going to go. I laughed, told them I was fine. My dad insisted that I walk the 12 foot waterfall. I laughed at him and said ok. I am a wimp and don't like doing anything scary or intense. I gladly agreed to walk it and told the guide my decision. I also enjoyed teasing the rest of the gang that I must be dad's favorite as he was most concerned of keeping me safe.

The guide took us down the river, and he decided without telling me that he thought I could do the waterfall. As we went down it unexpectedly, I could feel the fear, nervousness and intense feeling that something was wrong. I prayed for safety and peace. As our boat toppled down the waterfall, I was thrown out.

I came up for a breath and the undertow caught me, and kept pulling me back under the water and against the cliffs. I couldn't breath, I couldn't get out and I couldn't find my way up. What was only a matter of minutes felt like hours. As I could feel the air being depleted, I was scared and praying for help and the strength to pull myself out of this situation.

At that moment, I felt someone literally lifting my body to the top of the water and pushing me to the top. As I gasped for breath, I felt such appreciation for whomever had pushed me to the top. I clung to the rope as the water was still beating upon me. I searched for Thomas, now panicked about him and his safety. I then feel him next to me. My sweet husband had found me and pushed me to the rope and helped me to get my next breath.

As the events unfolded over the course of the next few minutes, I felt such gratitude. For my sweet husband, for Josh who immediatly jumped in to try and help me. For a dad who was teary eyed and so grateful to see me. For a loving Heavenly Father that helped me out of this scary situation.

I have reflected back on this situation many times since that moment. I have looked for the sweet lessons that the Lord was able to teach me thru this situation. I am grateful for him. His peace. His love. His constant companionship. And, for answering my prayers in a river in Costa Rica.

And, I don't think I will be river rafting with any 12 foot drops anytime soon. :)

Tenorio River Rafting

We went white water rafting down the Tenorio River, Costa Rica.

Jodi, Suzi & me

Katie, Vaughn, me & Thomas-what was I thinking?

Dad, Kaela, Josh

Ashlee, Alyssa, Tracy & Brian

Dean, Jodi, Suzi, Jake

Our boat. Only two bad flips during the river run. It was fun, eventful and exciting. Glad I did it. Now as for the 12' waterfall. Never again!

On the river trip, we saw howler monkeys, iguanas, bulls, cows, termites, and my favorite the white-faced spider monkey! Amazing to be floating down the river with all kinds of wildlife around. Absolutely amazing!