Monday, April 7, 2014

This is Alot, So Try To Keep Up

Christmas 2013:

 Diana had been home from her mission just about a week she was up earlier than anyone else!

 Then January 2nd we headed to Rexburg, Idaho to drop our college freshman, Dara aka Daisie,
off for her first semester:

 Her own little corner of her own little world:

Somewhere in the middle of January,
we went to the Denver Temple:

 Snow. We've gotten alot of it this year. It's a Thing:

 Dean came over sporting a new haircut and looking better than we'd seen him in a long stinkin' time:

 St. Baldricks!  Joseph has wanted to do this since he was in 3rd grade, this was his year!

 The Caboose's 13th Birthday! Lotsa girls, lotsa giggles, zero drama! I call that a SUCCESS!

 Another trip to Idaho and then to Utah:

                         We met up with David Scott & Tisha in Rexburg! So great to see them!

She starts school at BYU-I in September

A trip to the Rexburg Temple! Loved it!

Me and my good friends, Lynnel and Debbie. 
I have to say we laughed so hard, 
I even blew water thru my nose at one point.

The parents of a certain missionary whose coming home in July.
Yeah. This summer is happening.

At the Christus statue on Temple Square.

 My April Fools' Prank on the Family:


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Me, the Mother of Dean

Dean came over this weekend.

I drove the thirty minutes south to pick him up.
He was so excited to see me,
he wet his pants before I got there
and was in the shower when I rang the bell.

I visited with his HHPs during the shower time.
They didn't know him when he was higher functioning...
and it was hard to even talk about how much my son has deteriorated
these past two years.
He used to play soccer, baseball, volleyball, basketball, bocci ball, bowling, track and field, snowshoeing and swimming in the Special Olympics--
we have boxes of medals won from those years.
Now he needs help unbuttoning his pants.

Dean came downstairs to see me there,
grinning ear to ear.
I reached up and gave my boy a big hug.
Breathing him in and holding tight.

I held his hand as we walked down the stairs from the door to the car.
He used to shrug off my helping hands,
these days, however,
he holds so tight
that I wonder if I could actually steady my self and him
if he did trip.

We get in the car and he is happy.
I ask him a few questions, he softly answers
and shrugs his shoulders when the answers don't come out of his mouth.

It reminds me when I had that awful concussion a couple years ago...
the words just weren't there sometimes.
I would get upset though...where Dean does not.
He smiles and shrugs like it's all okay.

At the house he is greeted by the whole family--
and Ari introduces him proudly to her new friends who are over for the night.
"This is my brother, Dean."
She doesn't add anything remarkable about him--
the girls get it-- that he's different--
so they smile and say Hello
and together they all go on with their adolescent conversations
and giggles.

Dean loves helping in the kitchen  STILL--
since it's dinner time,
I put on an apron from the pantry--
one for me and one for him.
I hand him the wooden spoon--
the one with the extra long handle--
and tell him to be careful
while he stirs the macaroni that's bubbling away.
I stand next to him,
making the salad,
seasoning the meat...
and calmly remind myself to have fun.

My eyes catch Dean's soft blue eyes--
we smile at each other.
That smile.
The one where we both know what's going on.
I swallow hard and look away
so he doesn't see tears welling up.
 I make my hands busy so the tears suck up--

Kent comes up behind me and hugs me--
he catches the tears
and squeezes tighter.
He knows.
I'm so grateful he knows my heart.

He lightens the mood by saying something silly to get Dean to laugh--
which has always been easy.

When dinner's over,
Dean is ready for bed.
It's just about 6:30, so I try to keep him up just until 7.
He helps load the dishes,
offers to vacuum, even.
The boy loves to vacuum.
When he was little, the vacuum aisle in Target was his favorite aisle.
I don't know why.
He's worn out nearly a dozen vacuums in his life,
from using them over n over n over again.
My floors were especially clean those years.

Finally, Kent and I tuck Dean into bed.
He is still childlike...he prefers total darkness,
and always pulls the covers over his head
just as he did when he was six years old.
As I lean over to kiss his twenty-eight year old head goodnight,
I whisper,
"Thank you for coming to see me. I love having you here. I always sleep better when I know you're home."
His blue eyes crease as a smile crosses his lips.
No words though.

Saturday morning
he is up at dawn.
He knows the sister missionaries are coming for breakfast.
He LOVES the sister missionaries.
As he comes out of the shower upstairs,
I call to him to come look at some pictures we have
of the sister missionaries--
he smiles and says,
"Which one is for me?" plain as day.
I respond, "Oh they are all so beautiful aren't they?"
He nods.
"You're going to marry a beautiful girl someday, hunh?" I say.
"Yup." he answers with a knowing smile.

The sisters arrived, making a special effort to talk to Dean.
One sister in particular, Sister Little, is especially gracious and kind to him.
She tries earnestly to engage him in small talk and he enjoys that so much.
He smiles a lot, can barely look at her face, and blushes all over.
He is suddenly chatty--tries to offer more than one-syllable words up to answer her questions.
Always looking to me to translate for him...
which I do.

My heart is so full of gratitude for these young women.
For their tenderness and understanding.

The day goes on, we listen to General Conference together
and when it's over,
time for the sisters to get on with their day,
Dean decides it's time for him to leave too.
I coax him to stay just a little while longer--
the kids break out the WII games and he is happy to watch them play tennis,
baseball and golf for a bit.
I remind Ari to include Dean and give him a turn to play.

And then,
before I know it, it's time to say goodbye again.

Kent does me the favor of driving Dean back the thirty miles south,
because I frankly, am a mess everytime I drive away without my son.

We pack up his things, bring them downstairs,
walk him to the car, and just before he gets in
I hold him tight and send a thousand prayers heavenward
while he is yet in my arms.
He smiles when he lets go and waves good bye as they drive away.

I chastise myself for not taking a single picture like I'd wanted to--
of him and us together.
I spaced it altogether.
Oh I hope there's a next time.

It is a hard thing to be a sane mother when your heart strings are wrapped up and around
a child like Dean.
I don't know anyone personally who has a situation like mine.
I know OF a sister in our ward who has a special needs son, wheelchair bound--
but she doesn't mention her son at all. And has never reached out to me.
I see her tears in the congregation whenever I speak of my son,
but she doesn't say a word to me.

This night,
I am reflecting upon the goodness of the Plan of Salvation,
and upon my belief in that plan and in the sealing ordinances of the temple
that will bind my family for eternity.
I am grateful for the teachings that we are eternal beings and someday,
Dean will stand before me perfectly glorious and free from these affirmities
that have limited him in this life.
Also, grateful to know through priesthood blessings that I chose to be Dean's mother
before I even came to this earth. Fully, completely aware of his calling and mission
to teach me and others things we would've never learned otherwise.
That he is always always always surrounded by angels and that Heavenly Father
never leaves him alone.
There's comfort in this knowledge.
I see it on Dean's face and in his blue eyes.

Oh I am learning so much.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Three New Things

This week, I found inspiration on Pinterest and actually made the two recipes below:

*the family gave two thumbs up to both recipes!

And I found an awesome shower curtain at Kohl's for $6.99
that will go well with this paint color called, 
"Colorado Gray" that I am going to use asap
in the kids' bathroom:

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Checking In

It's April 3rd here in the Rockies and true-to-form,
we're havin' a snow storm.
I know others are enjoying a beautiful Spring day,
but this is typical for our part of the world.

I don't mind it, really.
Not today at least.

My life has been non-stop go go going
since last Fall
and this is the first week in months where my calendar is empty.

So updates:
Dean is doing OK. Still.
We'll see him again this weekend.
His memory continues to decline,
as does his language skills.
He tires easily.
Doesn't say much.
But if you ask him how he's doing,
he says, "Good!".

And that's all I can say about that.

Our new college girl is finishing up her 1st semester at BYU-I.
She started off strong,
has had some adjustment problems,
some health stuff too,
but seems to have gotten ahold of them
and we're hoping for a strong finish too.
I was up there over Spring Break to see her,
get my arms around her--
spend some time with her, you know?
Diana went with me,
David Scott and Tisha came over from Boise too
so we all got to spend some time together.
I did the Mom-Thing by tidying up Dara's apartment,
cooking some meals, helping with laundry, etc.
I didn't mind.
Dara has one more semester before her track is over in July.
Oh and there's a boy.

Diana is adjusting to being home from the mission.
She's done a bit of travelling since December--
to Idaho, to Texas, to Utah
and today she is back visiting her mission in NY
as a treat from the oldest daughter, Danielle.
As far as the line of young men for Diana's attention,
she is weeding them out pretty good.
And that's all I'm allowed to say about that!
She'll be attending BYU-I in September.

Danielle and Brad and their boys are moving this summer
to Saudi Arabia with his job.
I think they've signed up for 5 years.
Dani likes a good adventure, so this is right up her alley.

David Scott and Tisha are expecting a baby, due Halloween.
And he just got a new job in Boise, so they're doing pretty good.

Joseph is 1/2" shorter than Kent,
last we checked.
He's turned into a full-on teenager.
Somedays I want to wring his neck.

Arianna turned 13 last month.
She also wants to wring Joseph's neck most days.
Ahhh the joys of having two teenagers at home.

And me.
Well I am usually swamped with staging houses.

We've been busier than ever.
It's been good for me in so many ways...
I like having a reason to get going in the morning.

Random Stuff:
* I deconstructed a denim jacket for Diana--took it in, shortened the body and the arms, added some lace and put it back together. I'd never done it before and was surprised at how easy it is.
* Diana had a tonsillectomy last month. What was an easy surgery, had a rough recovery as she had "respiratory failure" coming out of the anesthesia.  That's another story for another time.  It was life changing for her though.
* I clean my house every morning because I don't know when the phone will ring and my life will change forever...I don't want the RS to have to come clean my house or to know I left dishes in the sink. I know, I am weird.  It's a thing. Kelly and I have a deal that before the RS comes in, she will, to make sure it's not a disaster.
* We continue to pray for a new job, as the one Mr. W is at is sucking the life out of him.  I told him to open his online search to the whole western US, including Texas, but not AZ. ( I cannot take that heat.)
*We have a new calling, or an "invitation" as the Stake President put it: "Assigned Temple Patrons"...we go once a month and at the end of the year, return and report our experiences from that.  I love it.

And that's it.  Thanks to those of you who've emailed me and checked up on me. I'm doing Ok and appreciate your friendship.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Because I'm Happy

We're doing ok over here on this side of the Rocky Mountains.
No, really.
We're doing OK.

It's been rough,
but this week,
we're doing better.

Dean is stable.
Meds have been changed. Caregivers have changed--care givers who actually care.
No seizures in a few weeks.
He came over this past Sunday and actually looked healthier than he has in awhile.
Everytime I see him, I wonder if it's the last time I'll see him--
Bee told me I had to stop thinking that way,
"Heavenly Father isn't going to do that to you, Mom. Stop being sad."

Okay then.

I'm trying to be more happy these days.
It takes a conscious effort--just saying.
Like, watching uplifting movies
n' reading happy books n' upbeat music too.
because FCOL,
life goes on, people.
Life. goes. on.
And I'm still a Momza--
laundry still grows,
people have to eat,
bills must be paid...
life is still happening
and as much as I think things should slow down,
they just don't.
they just don't.

Distractions are great.
I love distractions.
You could say I have a profound appreciation for
random distractions at this time in my life.

One of the biggest distractions
is the line of young men lined up for our
newly-returned missionary girl's attention.
She has been home--what? not yet 8 weeks,
but there are waves of young men rolling through here
like waves at Cocoa Beach.
She has her favorite of course...
but he's not sure if she's his favorite yet,
so the waves keep bringing someone new along.
So it's just good clean fun to be on the sidelines.

I've also been going to the temple a lot.
like, every few days.
I love the temple.
The peace I feel there is, well, heavenly.
I walk through the doors
and melt into the serenity that only
the Holy Spirit can impart.
Rest.  Rejuvenation. Revelation.
How's that for illiteration?

I've also been working a lot with Kelly--
homes we're staging are selling in a matter of days.
No kidding--
if you're selling a house,
hire a stager and!
Do whatever they tell you to do,
and move on with the next chapter of your life.
Get rid of the clutter--
all of it.
Toss it out, pack some up, and clean it out!

And do more of what makes you happy.
I saw that on Pinterest
and it's true.
Stop waiting for someone to hand you a personal invitation
to Be Happy.
Find a reason or Make the choice
to Be Happy.
cuz seriously,
the sun is going to come up tomorrow
and that means that you have to live through the next 24 hours--
make 'em good ones.
Not one or two of 'em,
at least 10 hours...
smile more, dang it.
Smiling more makes you feel good.
Try it.
Need some motivation?
Here ya go: