Saturday, March 31, 2012

Makutu Island

Grandma Julie took Hayden and Brody to Makutu Island to play. They love being together, running, jumping, laughing, yelling, giggling.....
They had a ton of fun and worked off a lot of energy.

Love Hayden's face. He can be such a punk.... but he is my punk and I love that!

Grandma Julie Day

They say it takes a village to raise a child.... luckily for me, I have an incredible village! I have wonderful women that treat Hayden like their own.

Over spring break, Hayden was able to do a lot of fun things and have a lot of adventures while I was at work.

Grandma Julie took Hayden and Brody one day. They "helped" in the garden, talked, ate yummy food and had a perfect day hanging out and being boys.

Happy Meals.... Grandma said that they were hilarious talking about everything from skylanders to school to friends to movies to how Brody liked living in his new house.
Of course, the playroom is the coolest thing. A box full of toys that they have picked out and only on special occasions get to play with. The adventures had within the confines of that toy box and room are the sure joys of childhood.
I love the look in Brody's eyes, showing how much he wants to be just like Hayden.
I can hear the sound effects coming out of Hayden's mouth just by the position of his lips. He has the world's best imagination. He can take anything and come up with an incredible journey, adventure, or predicament. Too funny!
Love this boy. Love how he crosses his legs. Love how he holds his action figures. Love how he holds his face. Love his sound effects. Love his imagination. Love his zest for life. Love his willingness to walk his own path. Love that he doesn't have to always "fit in". Love his self confidence. Love his facial expressions. Love him. Love his testimony. Love his gentleness. Love his playfulness. Love his ability to see a need. Love his his spirit. Love my boy.
Love that his dirty socks are in the foreground of this picture. I wonder if some day I will miss dirty boy socks being on the ground. Love that it is captured for me to always have.
Thanks, Grandma Julie, for taking Hayden on another fun adventure. And, mostly for easing his mom's mind about whether or not he is having a fun spring break.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

First time for Everything

Our Relief Society lesson today was on obtaining Personal Revelation. Loved the lesson. Carolee did an amazing job. I am inspired by her and relate with her so much that I love her lesson. She was talking about living the way you need to in order to receive personal revelation and answers from our Heavenly Father and that the Lord's timing in it all is really hard. They tried for 9 years to have a baby, adopted one son (a year older than Hayden now) and then 9 years later found out she was pregnant and now has a newborn and a 2 year old. The feelings expressed were those of waiting and longing for what you want, it being a righteous desire, yet the outcome not being what you expected.
I could feel each word she was saying, as I have lived it wanting more children and not understanding why adoption works for so many and not us.
As the lesson progressed, my thoughts were taken in a different direction. The question came, "How do we realize that we are receiving inspiration and it is not mere coincidence?" My heart beat out of my chest and started a deep burning. Slowly, gradually, my hand raised and I raided my purse for kleenex, knowing that the tears were already forming as the thoughts and feelings organized themselves in my head.
Carolee pointed at me and without really thinking, I began to speak. The words came out of my mouth so clearly, so detailed, exactly as the Father intended them to and how the Spirit directed. I told of an experience that happened to me just a few days ago. One that I was not planning on sharing with the exception of a close few, and now I put it out there for all.
"This past week, I opened an email from TOFW blog. The lead blog entry caught my attention, "Without Warning: A Stroke at 29" and I clicked on it and read. I read most of the blog until I came to this sentence. "His body and brain never completely healed but he has been healed exactly the amount that his Heavenly Father wanted him to heal, which is just the right amount to live a wonderful life!"
As I read those words, I paused, and I re-read the sentence. I paused again, with tears streaming and read it again. I stopped, I listened. "Exactly the amount". Those words.... As I said them out loud, it was if someone else was saying them to me. I asked, "Father, what does this mean?" In those moments following, I realized that I will never again have the life I did before this past summer. I felt that complete healing was not what was in store but adaptation. I knew that there were things I would never do again, pain that may never go away, seizure that may have to be endured the rest of this life. But, I was also reassured that my Father in Heaven would give me "Enough". I would be blessed to have just enough of what I needed to be the mom to Hayden that I want to be, to be the wife, sister, friend, and daughter to my Father in Heaven. I would also be given, "exactly the amount" needed so that I could live the life that my Father in Heaven had planned for me. "Exactly the amount" of everything I needed to become the daughter that I need to in order to return to Him someday."
Peace overcame my soul. I will struggle. I will never have the life I once did. I have a lot of adapting and changing to do. But, through it all, I have been promised with "exactly what I need". In the end, that is good enough for me."

In the Relief Society room, in the Desert Mountain ward, today, I did what I never would have dreamed possible. I shared an experience so incredibly close to my heart. I let people in like I never have before.
I laughed as Thomas and I discussed this in the car. I could never have imagined how this experience would have completely turned our worlds upside down. Sure, I would absolutely love for this trial and burden to be taken from me. It is hard. But, I also realized how much this experience has changed me, who I am and everything I do.

Right now, we are trying to sort through it all and figure out what exactly is "exactly the amount" that I have still been given and blessed with. I know that adapting instead of healing as the focus will take time to accept and change and sort through. I also know that we won't be alone in doing it but my Father in Heaven will give me "just enough" understanding, patience, hope and love to get me there. That I know and believe in and am so grateful for.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My health

Lately, life has been better yet stagnent. I was hoping that getting some answers would mean progress not just adaptation. There are days when I feel I could conquer the world and days where I literally cannot pull myself out of bed without seizure after seizure and can barely walk. It is such a struggle to make plans, commit to anything or plan in advance. I am never quite sure how I will feel or what will happen.

Saturday was one of those days. We had plans all day and a lot on the "to do" list. We picked up the house and decided to go see Red Tails before starting on the plans for the day. We had been trying to see it for over a month and something always came up. It was a good movie from what parts I saw. I started feeling terrible during it and used my laser. When it was over, I went to the restroom and although I am not sure how much time went by, I know that I passed out. When I came out, I could barely walk or function. I felt so horrible. When I got in the car, I started crying to Thomas, lethargy does not even describe the sheer loss of energy I was facing. Holding up my head or lifting a hand was more than I had strength to do. I told Thomas that the world was still far away and spinning.

Being the incredible priesthood holder and husband that he is, he located an empty parking lot. By now, I was doubled over and hardly responding. He offered a priesthood blessing and the intensity started to fade until I actually went out. As Thomas helped me into the house, I fell on the bed and couldn't move. The blessing promised me when the pain and sensations were too bad that I would have relief. Relief that day came in form of sleep. I slept all day Saturday and Sunday, having to utilize the cane again when I tried to walk. My balance was shot, I could hardly move, and walking to the bathroom was all I could manage.

Sunday night came rest and much needed relief. Monday, with the help of my Father in Heaven, I was able to get out of bed and somehow make it to work. I worked until time for the doctor.

At the cardiologist office, a resident and current ER doctor took all the notes first, trying to see if they could figure out the problem. This didn't go well. I get asked the same questions and it feels more like an interrogation and probing acquisition than an information gathering q & a. Almost in tears and feeling as if no one will ever truly understand, I try to keep my composure realizing that the only way to an end is through this.... even if "this" means accusing and not so pleasant doctors feeling like that I am being put on trial rather than trying to solve the problem. What one cannot explain must actually not exist. If man cannot conceive it or understand it, it must not be true.

After about 40 minutes of this, the cardiologist came in with at least some hope and some news and some hope of figuring this out. Yes, many more tests are in order. Neurocardiogenic syncope along with seizures may be causing part of the problems. Like I have questioned so many doctors for so many months, asking if this could be a dysfunctional autonomic response system problem, it was finally confirmed with an overwhelming yes, that is causing a majority of the problems. So, for the next two weeks, I get to wear a heart monitor, I get to go have a tilt table test, I get to go to a movement disorder study and I get to spend two more days in the hospital. And, I get to keep a log of every event and then try to figure out what happened before the event.... what foods I ate, the moods I had, any lights, strobe, flashing, movement, vision changes, hearing differences, smells, anything at all that could be a trigger.

I will admit.... this is definitely taking a toll on me.... Physically, Emotionally, Mentally and yes, Spiritually. I don't know how it couldn't. I realized yesterday, that it was exactly 2 years ago that I had my hysterectomy. It took them over a year to get to that point with miscarrying twins and laproscopic D&C's to get to that surgery. So, three years into this and there are more questions than answers. I won't lie to anyone... that is frustrating and hard.... REALLY HARD.

I am so torn. I don't want to complain. I didn't create this blog for that type of venue. I wanted to create a family history. Give Hayden a yearly book of what really happened in our lives.... the good, the bad, the heartache, the joy and most importantly the evidences that God lives, he loves us and if we look, we can see his hand in our lives. Helping us, teaching us, sending tender mercies and helping us find the strength to go on, when it feels like we are at the end.

For that purpose, I am including this blog post.... Hayden and any others out there that may be facing challenges. Life is hard. It was meant to be hard. I know that but it doesn't make it any easier to live it. I know I was sent to this earth to gain a body and prove myself worthy to return to my Father in Heaven. I knew there would be trials. I knew it would be hard. But, I had no idea I would experience bring you to your knees, don't know which way to face or any idea how to muster up the strength to take one more step. I didn't know the tiredness that was possible to feel... not just physically, but when the tiredness extends over to every aspect of mental and spiritually tired.

It is hard. It is okay to say I don't know how I am going to go on. It is ok to cry. Ok to hurt. Ok to question. However, when those really hard things of life pull you down to your knees, draw you closer to your Father in Heaven, help you to reach deep inside and realize who you are, what you are really made of and who you really want to be. Those things that help us cling to our Father in Heaven, not casually walk down the same path but to really hold on for all that life has to offer. When the outcome draws you closer to our Father in Heaven, no matter the pain, anguish, fear, sorrow and unsteadiness, it is worth it.

Throughout this experience that is no where near the end and far from the beginning of this battle that started over three years ago, I have learned so many lessons. I have learned of the love that my Father in Heaven has for me, Jerlyn. I have learned that even in or especially in our darkest moments, the Father sends tender mercies that touch our hearts in a way that speaks directly to us. It is like our Father in Heaven is saying, "My child, be still, I am here, know that I am God." And, for a brief moment, the trial is lifted, the path seems bearable and life makes sense. It is the moments that compel us to our knees and out of no other options left, learning to hand over every last bit of yourself to the Father. Trusting Him. Believing that He can and will take your life and do a better job fixing things than you could ever dream of. It is the moments of learning a new, cherished, trait that lies deep within us, showing us that we are stronger, more merciful, more loving or more than we are alone, with Him, we have strength.

This battle of mine, like everyone else's, is unique to me, but at the same time, just like what everyone else is dealing with.

I struggle, I fall down, I come closer to my Father in Heaven because I so desperately need him. I feel His love, His strength, His wisdom and with His help, I slowly begin to pick up the pieces and put my life back together the way it should be, His way.

Each day I am trying to sluff off my pride, my weaknesses, my insecurities, my fears, my doubts, my heartaches, and in their place put the qualities that my Father in Heaven has in store for me, if only, I will let Him doing the growing and building. With His help, I am becoming truly one of His children. Or, should I say, I am acting more like one of His children.... We all are His. He knows us. He loves us. He believes in us. And, no matter how stubborn I am and try doing it on my own, when I hand my life over, He accepts me, loves me and blesses me in ways that are unbelievably good.

Where am I on my own path? I am at a point where I have known the hurt, heartache and pain. I am trying to humble myself to be the person that only my Father in Heaven knows I have the potential of becoming. I love knowing that he will love me, help me and continue to forgive me as I work my way thorough this and every other trial that is brought my direction.

I have learned not to just believe but know and trust my Father in Heaven completely.I love him. I am his daughter and he knows me. That knowledge and reassurance is priceless.... just wonderfully priceless.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Writer's Convention

What an incredible experience I was able to have. Julie gave me the most wonderful and thoughtful Christmas gift! She signed me up for the Time Out for Writers. I was so nervous to go. My dream has been to write a book and I have been feeling more and more like this is the time in my life to do so. Problem is.... I am scared to death to do it. I don't know where to begin or how to go about it, yet feel the need to share a couple of the things I have learned with others. Oh how I wish I would have had an every day guide to help finagle my way through when I was trying to figure things out with Hayden.

While at the conference I was able to meet with the editor of the Ensign and the editor for Deseret Book. One can only imagine my surprise when they were BOTH interested in my writing and my story. I spent over a half of an hour with the editor of the Ensign who would like me not only to write my story and have it published in the Ensign, but also from Hayden's perspective in the Friend. I am in awe. After speaking with him, he called in the editor for Deseret Book and she would like me to expound on the idea and take it to book form from a magazie article. They even liked my writing style and voice that I had chosen.

I am profoundly in awe but so happy. It was a dream I would have never pursued, yet there. I cannot express the happiness that I have about this new adventure. It will be long. But, I am trying and I am going to attempt it.

Thank you, Julie! I could have never imagined where my life is headed and the things that are in store. You have helped give me the courage to go for my dreams, the confidence to believe in myself and the tools to make it happen.

Thank you! And, yes, as things progress I will update this blog. I am excited and scared and nervous and happy all at the same time. Now I just need to make myself sit down and actually do it.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Yes, I was probably the LAST person to see Wicked. But, I finally did. And, I couldn't be more in love with the play, the storyline, the cast, the costumes, the lessons and the perspective. Oh how did that change my perspective on so much.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about the play and the brilliant person that wrote it.

Talk about a perspective changer. Interestingly enough, it has come into my mind so many times in the past month since Suzi, Joyce,Thomas, Hayden and I saw it.

When in a situation that looks a certain way and I am sure that I can put the pieces together, I stop and think, what am I missing. What if what I see isn't reality. I can't believe how much that play has helped me to try and discover the "other side" the missing pieces and leave room for any other insight.

Great play! One that I will definitely want to see again real soon. If you haven't seen it, definitely do, it is a must! I think that Wicked just took #1 on my list of musicals. Well worth every penny! And, we hit Lucille's Barbecue on the way..... incredible ribs... fall of the bone, every bite to die for. Go. In fact, I think that I will get Thomas to take me this weekend and we can share a delicious rack of ribs and yummy lemonade. If only I could see Wicked again this weekend, too. Thanks, Suzi! It was an incredible night!