Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Happy Birthday to You...Me...Us?!!

March is a busy month for birthdays: Janae, Erik, Jeff, and many of our family and friends. To top it off Jeff and I also celebrate our anniversary (11 years this year!).

Wedding day. In the LDS churh we don't believe in being married just until "death do you part", but we believe that in making sacred covenants with God in our temples we can be married for eternity. Since I really love Jeff that is pretty cool.

Our photographer stood us up so here is one of the snapshots. I guess from day one we found out things don't always go as planned! After that I did take down the photographers flyers whenever I came across them on campus (a tad spiteful but I was just looking out for future brides...haha). Since then we have been blessed to have met extremely talented and reliable photographers.

Erik didn't get his first haircut until he was 18 months old.

Same background but now we have Claire.

Add in Megan and here we are today (plus Grandma's hand).

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Its just more fun to laugh.

I know the image is fuzzy. I couldn't hold the camera steady since I was laughing at the time.

We got a call from a sister-in-law a couple weeks back asking if we wanted an electric wheelchair. It had belonged to her father who passed away recently, and her mother doesn't have any need for the wheelchair. Thus it was offered to us. Jeff knew this was not a subject I would be eager to discuss and he was right. Part of me was grateful for the kindness and generosity of the gift, as those items are pricey. But the other part of me was ticked. Bigtime. I should rephase: I was angry with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and the resulting situation.

It was just over a year ago that I went on an 11 mile run while training for a marathon. Granted the following week it was obvious something was seriously wrong and I quit training. Jeff recently asked if I missed running. I could feel the tears start to sting my eyes just thinking about it! Yes, I do miss running. But to my outdoorsy friends and running friends, PLEASE don't feel like you can't talk to me about that stuff. Sure I'm envious and kind of hope you trip, but the softer side of me hopes you don't get hurt while going down.

The mobility digression, as I see it. Running. Walking unassisted. Walking with brace. Walking with brace and cane? Then a wheelchair?? Eeek. My new leg brace should be available in a week or so. I have put the purchase off for much too long and now with my pride shoved aside I'm looking forward to wearing the brace.

I will be fine in one area and then my body seems to nosedive. For instance, take my hands. I felt as if my right hand had been stronger than my left hand until about 2 weeks ago. Then one day I realized that I could no longer make an "L" shape with my hand. You know, when your thumb is at a 90 degree angle perpendicular to your fingers. My atrophy in my hand muscles is to the point that the most my thumb moves out on its own is 45 degrees. Tonight Jeff and Shane changed out all the door knobs in the house to levers. The levers are easier to open.

Last Sunday Jeff picked up the wheelchair and it has been sitting in our garage covered with a old green tarp. Each time I went in the garage and saw that tarp covered addition I could feel the irritation grow.

But today my attitude changed, and I owe a big thank you to Dawn. She stopped by to say hi and dropped off a dinner. Dawn is one of the most witty persons you'll ever meet and so so funny. Anyway, I managed to blurt out that there was an electric wheelchair in the garage. I can't remember what her response was but whatever it was it made me laugh, and (click) a light bulb turned on. I realized that I can be embarrassed about these lousy changes and mope in the background, or I can at least try to make the best of it.

Right then I turned to Erik and said, "Hey maybe you can get out the wheelchair and race Daxton." His friend has one of those cool kiddy cars. Can't you just see these two little boys racing down the sidewalk. Well Erik could and so could I! So I changed my mind and said, "When Dad gets home maybe he can take you on a ride." After dinner Jeff needed to go to a neighbors house for something. The tarp came off the wheelchair and both Erik and Megan climbed on his lap for the ride. And off they zipped.

Everyone has something that they need to work through and learn from. For now this happens to be our "something."

If you ask "how are you" I'll probably reply with "fine." I'm living ALS 24/7 so honestly, I really don't want to talk about it. But if you do ask a more specific question (and one not inquiring as to my emotions) I'm more apt to answer. Frankly there are other things I'd rather talk about.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Hot Dogs & Peanut Butter

Recently Jeff was talking with Claire and she stated, "Daddy, I love you more than hot dogs!"
Jeff raised his eyebrows and said, "really?"
She then replied, "yeah, I don't like hot dogs very much at all."


Last week Erik was feeling picked on because his parents were asking him to do a difficult task along the lines of picking up his coat and shoes. Finally Jeff who was done asking, simply announced that if Erik wanted to find his coat it would be outside. With that Jeff opened the door and tossed the coat onto the driveway. Erik, quite angry now, yelled out, "I hate you...more than...peanut butter!" (oh, it was so hard not to burst out laughing)

But he did stomp over to the door, fetch the offending coat and hang it up in the proper place. Erik does not like peanut butter at all. PB & J sandwiches, Butterfinger candy bars, Reeses Pieces candy etc. are all big time Y-U-C-K.

If I've got this straight, some days our children hate us more than peanut butter, but love us more than hot dogs.

"So I've that going for me. Which is nice." -Bill Murray

Monday, March 9, 2009

Garden Geek

It was my birthday last week (I'm 33 now thank you very much). In the wee hours of the morning on my birthday a group of friends decorated my house. Plastic flowers, balloons, streamers, and pink flamingos adorned the entrance. It looked great! In a temporary kind of way ;-)

I was talking with a friend how we should start a support group for our husbands. Spring is going to be here soon and with it the joys of planting and replanting! Jeff has accepted the fact that I rearrange plants the way some people move furniture in a room. We have been in our home for three years and are approaching our fourth summer here. Jeff was talking with a friend who he felt didn't quite grasp my replanting obsession. Jeff asked him, "How many plants (trees, shrubs, and perennials) do you think are in their original location?" The answer is: Not very many! I admit that the majority of plants have been moved at least once. Our neighbors Russ and Janie who see me puttering around will back Jeff up on that fact.

I was accusing Jeff of being a little crazy with the copious amount of fertilizer he puts on our lawn and shrub beds. Jeff replied that it was necessary to fertilize so much in order for the plants to survive the inevitable replanting. He has a point.

Here we are in March and already I have one tree and a few shrubs that are no longer welcome in my yard. I have found new homes for the plants to go to since we need room for the " vegetable garden". Last summer I fell in love with a backyard where the squash/ raspberry/ strawberry/ purple cabbage plants were integrated with the climbing roses and perennials. It was gorgeous yet functional! As I type this it is snowing. But I am scheming away...