Wednesday, August 26, 2015


It has been previously established that my voice is rubbish. 

Fortunately I have a couple options via the computer. 

One is to use the on-screen keyboard (I can still maneuver the mouse with my right hand). 

The other option is to use my ‘tobii eye gaze’ which is a device attached to my monitor and tracks my eye movement.  With my eyes I can type, access any program, email, etc.  It certainly takes more time but it is an awesome tool to have.  It enables me to communicate without it turning into a silly guessing game of ‘What is Janae trying to say?’  When I sit behind the computer and begin to type it is like taking a big breath of air after being under water.  I no longer feel as trapped in my thoughts because they come out easier to understand. 

We define ourselves in so many ways.  Some might be:  Our job, our title, our pay, where we live, age, physical characteristics, married vs single, friends, children at home, being an empty nester, how good we are at something, what organizations wet are affiliated with and on and on.  When one of those things changes it has the potential to leave us deeply unsettled and insecure.

I’ve been through a fair amount of physical loss and it does leave me shaken each time it happens.  Each time I have had to redefine how I perceive that aspect of myself.

I never thought my voice defined me which now, of course, seems like a stupid thing to think. I have experienced significant periods of insecurity over my changing voice.   But eventually the approach I try to take is this:  I have children to raise and they are going to pick up on my cues.  It isn’t an option for me to be ashamed of the way I am because I don’t want them to be embarrassed by my condition.  

And so I will keep trying to talk as long as I can.  Game on.  

Here is the ONE advantage of having a difficult to understand voice… The bishopric doesn’t ask you to give a talk in church.  Or so I thought.  This past spring they DID ask me.  I wrote the talk but fortunately my friend, Andrea, read it. 

The talk was based on Elder Uchtdorf’s talk “The Gift of Grace”

On a side note I do appreciate, more than ever, people who do share their vocal talents with the rest of us.  Here is a picture from a concert we went to this summer.  Instead of a normal pose we asked if  they would photobomb our family picture. (Megan didn't come.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

well, it has been a year since the last post.

It has been a year since I posted!  I think one day I just didn't have anything to say.  Wait... I always have SOMETHING to say... but this past year I said it in conversations, or via email, or in my journal and letters.

Here is an email I recently sent to a friend:

I was thinking of you the other day and so I wanted to write and see how you were doing.  

Here is a quick recap since we last talked:

The first week of December we went on a roadtrip to California.  One afternoon we went to the beach.  It was overcast and windy but the kids still ran down to the waves and then promptly ran right back out as the water was freezing.  They spent most of their time crawling on some nearby rocks checking out tidal pools.  I watched from the boardwalk.  I loved that they were having fun and it was one of those moments where I felt like I was truly present and completely happy and at peace.

 BUT, having said that, I don't like sitting on the sidelines.  It isn't nearly as fun. SO, here is what I want to do for my birthday next month... I want to go skiing with Jeff and the kids.  My friend told me about an organization called the National Ability Center near Park City that can help us out. They will fit me with a bi-ski and a guide to take me down the mountain (we will go to Brighton).  How cool is that?  Hopefully it works out. 

I went to the temple this week with some friends.  Being there was a beautiful reminder of God's love!

Much love, Janae