Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lessons Learned Again!

These posts are always fun because they allow me to share my crazy life in a different way. To preface this post, the past week did not disappoint as far as craziness goes. It was definitely not an ordinary week. I will now present my Lessons Learned from April 19-26th. Drum roll please! ......................................

~ Miracles Happen
~ The temple really is one of the greatest places on earth.
~ Rebellious moments can be entertaining. Nothing to rebellious though. This lesson is following a temple one.
~ When it's necessary, I can sleep on the floor, if I put a body pillow beneath me. It became my bed for two nights in a row.
~ On Easter, you crave Easter candy, which is hard when you can't eat it.
~ An Easter dinner of Powerade and Sprite makes you long for cheesy potatoes.
~ Even without going to church, you can still keep the Sabbath Day holy in thoughts and actions.
~ I'm grateful to have my own  bathroom so I don't feel guilty monopolizing it.
~ Suprep is nasty. It tastes like drinking a bottle of cough syrup. Blech!
~ Drinking 48 oz. of liquids in one hour is really difficult to do.
~ When doing the two above, it is helpful to have a good movie playing.
~ Along with the above, reading is not the easiest, because you have no desire to focus on words.
~ Waking up at 7 in the morning for more Suprep = No Fun!
~ There is no way to make the Post-Easter candy sales when you can't even leave the house.
~ My brain doesn't like to work before a procedure.
~ The prep for a Colonoscopy is worse than the procedure.
~ Me on sedation and pain meds entertains kids.
~ I like to repeat myself and flop down on my pillow.
~ I shouldn't try to make phone calls until at least five hours after the procedure or I'll end up making another one to clarify.
~ My friends are the best to help me get to and from the doctor's office, and to watch me for the time after. The GREATEST!!!! Thanks guys!
~ I have weird dreams with the meds mentioned above.
~ For some reason, it takes me a bit to shake of the meds and such. I felt like a walking zombie.
~ Being manipulated is No Fun!
~ Getting news that could be devastating, could be bad, unless you have already come to terms with it and would have not accepted it anyway.
~ 13 hour work days are craziness!!!
~ Apparently I can handle watching 7 kids at a time.
~ Being a mom of 4 and taking all four kids to Pack Meeting is an accomplishment I didn't think would happen this soon. We made it there, participated and got home alive.
~ Getting 4 kids to agree on dinner, going to get it, and having family dinner. New experience. Isn't bad at all.
~ A day like that is exciting, exhausting and adrenaline filled.
~ Thinking you are going to be the last person to show up to a meeting, and then showing up and being the first, is a Win!!!
~ Playing with kids outside is relaxing.
~ It's okay to rest after a crazy week. You don't have to feel social everyday.
~ I can do hard things.
~ To this day, I still love speaking in Spanish.
~ Humor helps ease stress.
~ Puddles on the kitchen floor make me miss warm spring and summer rains when you can splash in puddles. (I am still a kid at heart)!
~ My home teachers are amazing!
~ Setting up for a Girls Camp fundraiser is easier when decorations from an event earlier that day are left up.
~ There are some amazing Chili makers and Pie Bakers out there. Congrats to the winners!
~ People who eat chili and pie, drink lots of water.
~ I really don't miss talking in the microphone too much.
~ A church gym + lots of kids = Lots of running and screaming. There could even be a game of Zombie Turtles being played.
~ Seeing people you don't get to see as much, is so fun!
~ Seeing the smiles on so many peoples' faces makes all of this worth it.
~ After a long week, sitting down with a bag of M&Ms (pick your flavor) and a movie, is so extremely relaxing.
~ I can have two different (inanimate object) best friends in one week. I'm glad it changed from the beginning to the end. My bed is my best inanimate object friend right now.

Wow!!! That's a long list. This is what happens when so much happens. There is probably more too. However, I will spare you though. Thank you for reading!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

A Different Easter

Growing up, Easter meant egg hunts, yummy candy, going to church and then Easter dinner. We would sometimes get new Easter dresses. The was always a plethora of plastic eggs and fun. Because of my love of junk food, I honestly really enjoyed this holiday. Always, in the back of my mind, whether I showed it or not, was thoughts of Christ.

As I got older, I still loved my candy so Easter remained fun, even though the novelty of the Easter Bunny and egg hunts started to fade. Then, one year, we had money inside our eggs. Yup! That was a good year and I got excited for the hunt. At this point, the more religious aspect was more important to me too. It was more about that, though amazing candy was a huge plus!

Over the past 8 years, I have done everything I can to make Easter more about Christ and his sacrifice. I have taken time to read his story, study the atonement, watch movies about it and more. Especially living away from home, I was still able to make Easter a very special day.

This year is definitely different than any other Easter that I have experienced. Today is absolutely not about the candy, because I cannot eat it and have to avoid it. I am not able to attend church today, but have been remembering Him all day through the music I listen to and the movies I watch. It has been peaceful.

I have a procedure at the hospital tomorrow and my preparation for that started last night. I woke up around 4:30 in the morning and in the hours after have decided that leaving my apartment is not a good idea. I am officially on a clear liquid diet which means no Easter candy and none of the normal celebratory foods. I won't be able to eat normal food until post procedure tomorrow. However, as I have thought about this, it has helped me to focus even more on the reason we celebrate Easter.

My Savior, Jesus Christ.

He knows what I have been through and what I am going through now. He fasted for 40 days and was tempted. His task was more difficult than mine but yet He did it.

He is the perfect example.

He provided a way to overcome the hardships that we have. He gives us the strength we need or are lacking.

He submitted His will to the father's though he knew the path would be hard.

At times, he stood alone and yet, He will never leave us alone. He will be with us as our constant companion, friend, helper and brother.

His sacrifice was pure and perfect. He has given us the ability to be clean and pure, to become like him, to be submissive, and to overcome.

I am overcome with gratitude for my Savior, Redeemer, Friend and Brother. I know that what He did was for each one of us. It is real. It is true. It is beautiful. It is humbling. It is perfect.

We always hear people say they want to keep the spirit of Christmas with them throughout the year. I believe something similar can be said about Easter. May we ever keep the meaning of Easter and the gratitude we have for our Savior first and foremost in our lives. It will help each day be better and helps us more fully appreciate and understand our struggles and how truly our Savior understands.

*Pictures are from the LDS Media Library*

Sunday, April 13, 2014


In my family, all of the kids have birthdays within a month. This year, something amazing happened. My sister and I both got to see each other on our birthdays. This hasn't happened in a long time. Here's the story.

Spring break for my sister and her family happened to fall on the week of her birthday. For their spring break, they traveled to visit family. They ended up coming to my place on her birthday. We had a great day! When they first got here, we chatted for a bit. Then her husband and the kiddos went and got pizza and crazy bread. We had a picnic on my apartment floor. After lunch, we had brownies. I had made some with Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and peanut butter chips (because she loves peanut butter and chocolate) and a pan of plain brownies. 

After brownies, we went bowling. It was a lot of fun. My brother-in-law dominated, but we really weren't competing. We were just having fun. My niece didn't want to play but could be found dancing around or playing with the hand dryer. After bowling, we went to park to play for a little bit before they had to head back to nana and grandpa's house. It was a great day!

Fast forward a few weeks. I was dreading my birthday, like nothing. The previous year had been one of the hardest years of my life. The week leading up, I had the strongest desire to run away over the weekend or on my birthday, which was on a Monday. The Friday before was a rough day, when I was invited to my sister's place for the weekend. After some texting back and forth, she finally convinced me to come. I headed up early Saturday morning and left on Monday morning. 

We celebrated my birthday both Saturday and Sunday, with yummy donuts. I have been craving those a lot lately. It was so nice to be able to spend the weekend with them, playing and relaxing and catching up. My sister and I were able to talk about life and so many things. It reminded me how nice it is to have someone to really talk to.My new nephew and I had some good conversations. My niece and one nephew requested I bring the bear and jaguar with me. Those are stuffed animals they love. They were so cute playing with them. I'm incredibly impressed with my oldest nephew and his amazing mind. I even beat my brother-in-law in a game of Twister.

When I woke up Monday, I went to change clothes and get ready. The two older boys were getting ready for school and I knew I had to leave that morning to get back for babysitting. As I came out, they all started singing Happy Birthday to me! It was so cute! I loved it and loved them for making this birthday special.

My day wasn't over after that. I made it back and opened gifts. I was so incredibly blessed. After I babysat, my parents came down and took me to dinner. We went to El Sol. My mom got fajitas, I got cheese enchiladas, and my dad got quesadillas. Then we went to the store and got cake. I chose a Cookies and Cream one. It was pretty much amazing!

I was also able to get together with a friend, watch a movie and work on a project, which made both of us happy. The days after, I continued celebrating with a job interview, dinner at El Torro Viejo, dinner at Firehouse, and a free F'zookie!!! It really was a great birthday, especially once I changed my attitude and realized I could celebrate surviving one crazy-difficult year and hope for a better one.

If only I could find a way to be with my brother on his birthday, then it would be the most amazing birthday season ever! Wish I could Bud! My siblings are really some of my best friends and I am so blessed to be related to them and learn from them.