Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!!!

Halloween started a day early for us!!
First we went to see the school parade.
Every year the school has the kids walk a parade route outside so all the parents can come up and see all the costumes.
It's so cute!!

 This is how Scarlet felt about it.
This is usually how Scarlet feels about everything.

 The last few years I have made costumes for the girls.
But this year I was worn out and stressed out and just bought them!!
That is what I did the first 3 years of Ella life and it was a lot of fun to go to Costco and let the girls pick out whatever they wanted.
So much easier and not much of a price difference!!

 Ella was a "rock star girl".
There were at least a 100 Elsas.
I'm not joking!!
But Ella was unique and there was not another outfit like hers!!
She was pretty pleased with that!!

 We roasted marshmallows when the sun went down.
Not a single one was eaten but they were all roasted!!

 Then Scarlet rode her skewer around the back yard like a broom.

 We had a Halloween dinner at Bowler's house.
Scarlet just wanted broccoli.

 Cousin table!!

 Cousin Elsie as Anna.
Ella the Rock star.
Scarlet the witch.

 Here we have Olaf, a with, a rock star, Anna, Elsa, 
another Anna, and a little boy who is born to be wild!!

 We were ready to go and met up with our Wheeler cousins to do our trick or treating.
We had a great time!!
It is so fun to have excited little girls on holidays!!

For some reason Brent and I managed to end up with SEVEN pumpkins!!
We spent hours carving all of them and they are proudly displayed on our porch!!
The picture didn't turn out well, I couldn't get night vision to work, but my favorite was the owl!!
Ella carved the kitty all on her own!!
She was very focused and had a lot of dedication!!

We had a great night!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Nevada Day

Nevada is a battle born state.
It was formed on October 31st 1864 during the Civil War to aid President Lincoln in election and add another state to the "Free" states.
I could never understand why none of my Utah cousins got Halloween off when I was little.
I did not realize we were in actuality getting Nevada Day off.
The school had Dress like a Cowboy day to celebrate.
I feel like this is in error because Nevada was originally full of Indians, miners and prostitutes!!

 I did not have traditional cowboy attire, so Ella was a modern cowgirl!!
I told her to blow me a kiss.
It kind of happened!!

 I have lived in Nevada my whole life.
As have my ancestors.
It is hot, dry, brown and generally ugly.
Vegas is a cesspool of sin and gambling and I need a shower when I get home from its smog filled air.

I will admit, however, that at least I don't live in the central part of the state which is truly the arm pit of our nation.
But at least my little cow girls looked darling!!
She was so excited to borrow my earrings!!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pumpkin Patch 2

Holidays are so fun and magical.
But children bring even more to the experience!!
Today we went to the pumpkin patch with Ella's class.
Brent and Scarlet came too!! If Brent has to miss stuff like Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas morning and fourth of July, he's coming to the pumpkin patch!!

 Last year Ella wanted the smallest pumpkin she could find.
This year she wanted a round one!!

 She picked out a pretty good one!!
 Scarlet was so excited and wanted to take home 10 of them!!

Warning: The picture below is of Ella's knee after she tripped and tore it wide open. So if those things make you squeamish, scroll quickly!!
(I did this just for you Amy!!)

 She just had a little trip but landed perfectly on the edge of the pavement that was a little jagged. 
A chunk of skin was hanging and shredded off and we had to go home and trim it off.
I was so proud of her bravery.
She jumped up and tried so hard to act like it was ok. 
I asked her if she was ok and she looked up at me with tears pouring from her big blue eyes and whispered, "It really hurts."
It took awhile for the blood to flow, but once it did it was gushing. 

 We had to stop and borrow band aids from Mrs. Barlow!!
I tried to wash it off with water and control blood flow until we got home!!

 She tried to not let it get her spirits down and still played and had lunch with her little friends.

 I really like Ella's class this year and I am very happy with her teacher.
It's an awesome group!!

We are getting quite the collections of pumpkins!!
Since Brent hates removing guts, I have a lot of work ahead of me!!

Friday, October 17, 2014

First Tooth!!

Ella is growing up so fast and it makes me so sad!!
I swear she just cut her first tooth!!
Now she's losing them!?
I have loved the ages from 4 and up.
Ella has been sweet and eager and she still has her innocence.
Before I know it, she's going to be married!!

 The nasty tooth has been practically dangling for days!! 
She finally let me touch it, so I took advantage of the situation and quickly yanked it out!!

She cried a little but was soon excited!!
Her little tooth is so tiny!! 
Now we wait to see if tooth fairy visits tonight.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


I have been blessed this week with several acts of tender mercy.
Now I will admit that I struggle with self pity. 
It is my greatest character weakness.
So when a simple act of kindness comes my way, I cherish it!!
I will never forget it!!
But just in case, I want to write it down. 

First, I would like to say that my last post was not about pity.
I wasn't trying to get others to feel sorry for me.
I was merely trying to explain myself as a way to protect myself.
I also believe that awareness is knowledge and maybe someone won't feel alone if they know there is someone else out there who is going through a similar experience as they are. 
I found it interesting that when I posted a link on face book to my blog, I had several comments that were very kind and encouraging. 

But I had EIGHT personal messages from people who were too afraid to let the world know they too struggled with mental health. And that's ok, because sometimes, it IS just a private thing!!
But each message included a phrase of "please don't tell anyone, I don't want anyone to know"

So to those people.
I am sorry.
Stay strong.
I am praying for you.

On to my blessed moments!!

Sunday I was leaving the parenting class that I attend. 
I have great admiration and respect for the teacher and she is an amazing example to me.
She is teaching me SO much and I know that when this course is over, I will accredit it to my children's happiness and well fare!! 

There is a sister who attends this class as well.
She's a little older than me, and well versed in life experiences!!
I greatly admire her.
She is talented, has a great marriage and happy children.
To my observations, she is loving and talented and wise!!

As I walked out into the darkness after class, I heard my name softly called.
I turned and she told me she wanted to talk to me.
We talked toward each other and met in the middle of the dark parking lot.
I am thankful for the dark that night, it helped conceal my emotions.

As we met she tenderly told me she was sorry for what I was going through and hoped I could feel better as soon as I could. She embraced me in a deep, enveloping hug and kindly whispered that she admired my courage and she knew I was going to get through this and be stronger than ever.
I can not describe how deeply touched I was. 
This woman, that I consider and elect lady, cared for me.
She thought about me and prayed for my well fare.
She didn't announce it to the world, she simply took a private moment to put her arms around me, and express her support and love.
It was such an example!!
I was so touched. I don't like to publicly cry because I do NOT have a pretty cry!!
My face crunches and my eyes squint and moisture does not just flow from my eyes!!
But tears welled up and my heart was so full for the kindness this woman took the time to give me. 
I have thought about that experience all week.
And it has given me courage.

Sometimes I feel left out.
Sometimes I feel like I am not important enough for anyone to care.
But today, a perfect stranger took time to care for me.
I don't know her. She knows my blog through family members and has read it.
In her loving kindness, she took the time to bring me a basket.
We were gone so it was waiting for me on my door step.

 It was filled with my families favorite things.
Including fresh green beans.
Those are Ella's favorite!!
I was so touched.
I can't put it into sufficient words.
I was crouched on my porch, tears rolling down my face when Brent found me.
I looked up at him and he told me he wished he would have taken a picture of my face.
The pure joy and gratefulness was so clear on my face, he wanted to get me a basket every day!!
He tenderly told me it was like he recognized my face again.
Thank you Emily.
Thank you so much for being so kind and thoughtful.
You are an example to me and an answer to my prayers.
You helped me remember tender mercies and restored my faith in humanity.
Thank you for being such a sweet person.

Am I sad today?
Am I scared today?
Only just a little. And that is so much progress.

Friday, October 10, 2014

The Look of 2014

This year has been very hard and I’ve hesitated to write it down. I don’t want everyone to know what a total mess life has been. Or what a total mess I have been. And I want to protect myself. But I think the only way to knowledge is awareness, so I am choosing to be brave.

I’ll start by telling the story of how I came to today.

In January, after Christmas, I told Brent I was going to lay in bed all day and just be bitter. Those feelings I let invade my heart did not end with that day’s sunset. I sank into a bitter, resentful quagmire of anger. I hardened my heart, lost all hope, and stopped putting my trust in God. I was mean and impatient with my children, and intolerant of my husband. No one could please me and I was happy about it!! I was justified in my disappointment!!

On Sunday, March 30th, I suffered a severe, monumental panic attack. It was of epic proportions and lasted 3 days. I had just started a brand new medication to help with PCOS and thought I was having a reaction to that. I hurried to the doctor as soon as I could and they prescribed me an anti anxiety and sent me on my way.

I suffered with daily panic attacks and debilitating anxiety and panic for 3 more weeks, then finally took myself to my regular physician. He gave me a bag of pills and again, I was  sent on my way. They helped. But the overwhelming, life altering panic did not subside. It took until May 15th before I finally found a therapist and made an appointment to go.

The same day I was visited by my new visiting teachers, one of which urged me to go to the church’s 12 step program. I felt impressed I should go and see what it was all about. I wept through the first meeting because I knew I found a place I was safe and could learn tools to help me understand what the Lord needed me to do.

I had failed surgery on June 27th and the little progress I had made back slid. The panic was back. I went back to the doctor and tried new medication only to have it exacerbate the problem and add new ones.

I prayed, went to my class, and faithfully kept with my therapy.

Today. I am ok. Am I great? No. Am I back to normal? No.

Do I crave getting my life back and wonder if there will ever be a day with out pain or fear? Yes.

I have shed tears, lost sleep, beg God, bartered with God, and lost my hope a few times.

I have gained thirty four pounds. Thirty four. THIRTY. FOUR. I feel like total crap. I look worse. As my high school friend used to say, “I feel like shit ran over twice.”

But I have learned a few things. I have learned the importance of a humble heart. I have learned to trust in the Lord. My love for my husband and children has deepened.

Now I have had a few individuals roll their eyes when I have given them a mere brief summary of what has been going on. Because face it. When someone gains 34 pounds and is not pregnant and is seen in her sweat pants daily, something has gone awry!! Those eye rolls? They hurt. No, I don’t have cancer. Thank goodness!! No, I don’t have a sick child. Praise the heavens!! No, I haven’t lost a loved one. More praise!! But I am having a deep struggle. A deep, hard, never ending, no end in sight struggle.

Do I try? Yes.

Have I been a total bitch alternated with a needy wimp? Yes.

But let me tell you, my friends. This has been a difficult journey. One I may only find an end to when I finally leave mortality and have the relief of Heaven’s mercy. I will keep trying, and plead with my Father in Heaven every night to please be free of this burden. And if anyone out there has any compassion in their heart, they will NEVER roll their eyes at a person who works up the courage to quietly admit they are struggling with mental health EVER. AGAIN. If you don’t understand, just say I’m sorry and offer help or prayers. Depression, anxiety, panic are NOT things you just “get over”. Or “mind over matter.” They are a disease. A misunderstood, unique to every person, difficult to over come problem.

Until you have gasped for air, and felt smothered, and struggled for breath, all while your heart pounds and adrenaline surges to every point of your body, you will never understand the length and breadth of this kind of fear. And I hope for you, you will never have to understand. I just hope that there is more compassion for those of us who do.

So there it is. That has been the year of 2014. I am so grateful for those who have helped me, and served me, and thought of me. I am so grateful for my husband who has held me and picked up the slack and put himself in my place when  can’t find the strength another minute. He is an amazing man. He has walked through the trenches when others might have thrown up their hands and quit. I am so grateful for my children and I hope all the times they have seen me cry doesn't have an averse effect.

My current goals are to get through one day at a time and hope the good out weighs the bad. I am trying to listen to the Spirit and find out what my Father in Heaven wants me to learn. I know the Lord gives us trials to help us grow. I know that I am under the gaze of His all seeing eye while I am refined. And I will try to withstand the heat. For some days, The Refiners fire is very hot.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Pumpkin Patch

We went to the Ag farm's pumpkin patch.
The girls had so much fun!!
They wanted the pumpkins in the first row, but Brent, the ever lasting hunter, wandered all the way to the back to make sure we found the perfect ones.

 Ella and Daddy led the way.

 I'm so excited for the holiday season, which I believe starts October 1st!!
But it's hard to get excited to the maximum level when I go pumpkin picking and it's 90 degrees.
I made the unwise decision to wear a black top.

 Scarlet wanted this little tiny one, but it was starting to wither and mold, so we moved on.

 Both of my little independent chickens insisted they carry their own pumpkin.

Scarlet gave half way through the field!!

I haven't picked out my pumpkin yet.
I'll go and by a hormone injected, commercial grown one that is the size of a small child.
Because I like to get a MASSIVE one!!
I will openly admit, I have "little girl's syndrome"!!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Conference Weekend

I love conference.
And when I say that, I sincerely mean it. I'm not just saying what I think is required of me.
Sometimes I glean deep meanings and my heart is touched.
Sometimes I fall asleep!!
Regardless, I always find something that inspires me.
This is the break down of our weekend!!

Scarlet had a fever for a few days.
She showed no other symptoms.
She just wanted to lay down and sleep and watch TV, so that is what she did!!

I let her sleep in my room a few nights so I could keep a close eye on her. 
I woke up in the middle of the night and found her wedged between my bed and her play yard.
I don't know why this was a prime spot!!

 We had the opportunity to puppy sit this fur ball this weekend.
While she is darling little beast, it cured me from any desire to have a dog!!
I'm a cat person anyway!!

 We put up the fall decorations.
The weather has finally cooled off!!
When I say cooled off, I mean it's under triple digits.
It's sad I think of this as a major accomplishment!!
I feel like the Earth had a fever that finally broke.

 My favorite Halloween decoration for our house.

 Caught Ella sitting in our pumpkin.
I used to take a picture of them every year until they got too big.
Maybe I should bring the tradition back.
It might be fun to see them in 10 years trying to balance on top of a pumpkin that has become to small to sit in.

 I'm trying to teach Scarlet how to ride a bike with pedals.
She is too used to the glider bike!!

 Every conference I buy a fresh color book and a brand new box of crayons.
It is a tradition that dates back to when I was 5 and we watched a fuzzy PBS station that wasn't always in color.
This is my Apple Jack master piece!!
It shows my old age that my whole hand is sore with carpal tunnel from coloring so long!!

I got Ella a pony sketch pad when we went for well checks.
This is her own pony she created.
She spent the entire second hour of Sunday conference detailing it!!
I beamed inside to see she naturally selected blue and gold for her unique pony!!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Well Checks!!

We did our well checks this week and both girls are healthy as can be!!
Ella was in the 16% for height and 15% for weight.
I had them double check to make sure that was right. 
She really is a tiny little girl. 
I watch her walk across the play ground to her dot every morning and it is obvious she is small, but compared to her peers and older children, she is TINY.
Good thing the poofy hair creates the illusion of height!!

 Ella is still my baby.
She loves to snuggle with me.
And I love to snuggle with her.
She climbs into my bed when Scarlet goes to sleep early and I let her falls asleep like this.
It's therapeutic and good for us both.

 This is her favorite out fit.
So much so, that we have the exact same shirt in long sleeves for winter.
She loves leopard skin.
Which I claim is my favorite color, so everyone wins!!

 The first few days of school were an adjustment. 
The bus was scary, so I drive her.
Walking across the huge play ground was scary, so I walked her the first few days.
But now we car pool with her cousin and a neighbor girl and all has fallen into place. 
The first week or so she was tired and overwhelmed at the end of every day, but it wasn't anything a calm grandpa and some solitaire couldn't fix!!

 Scarlet was 61% for height and 60% for weight.
She is NOT tiny!! 
Last year she was in the 90% so she has slowed down in her growth but is still perfectly health and proportional. 
That's all that matters!!
It's funny how vastly different in shape and personality they are.

 There are few things they have in common:
I love them both so so much.
They both have curly hair, although, it is different types of curly. 
They're both smart.
They're both beautiful.

Me: Scarlet, did you use mommy's expensive, evening wear, high gloss lip stick?
S: Ummmmmmmm
Me: Did you?
S: I don't remember.
Me: Scarlet, did you use HALF A TUB OF VASELINE IN YOUR HAIR?!
S: Ummmmmmm. Yeah.

It took a full week before her hair was clean.
She fast. She's sneaky. And she's really tall!! So it's hard to keep stuff out of her reach!!

I am so glad my little girls are healthy.
Scarlet got her flu shot, but Ella and I have to go to the pharmacy to get ours.
I'm not going to be sick all freaking winter long!!