Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Heartaches And Life

Phew. I'm feeling overwhelmed tonight. We had another meeting for my mom's Anything For a Friend event, and my emotions are always a little close to the surface after those due to the sheer amount of pressure I feel. But it's good pressure, and good will come of it.

I've been reminded today that the world is full of sadness. That sometimes Heavenly Father tests us with things that everything inside of us screams SHOULD NOT HAPPEN. That young people shouldn't die. That little boys shouldn't get sick.

I've been thinking a lot about heartaches that life hands us lately. There was a period in my life where I felt pretty carefree. For about three years. Yes, there were trials. Bad things happened, and I was sad at times. But none of that really TOUCHED me. I saw it, and I felt sad, but it didn't touch me like things have lately. I thought I was free. That I had had enough trials in the first twenty or so years of my life, that maybe I would get a pass for the rest.

I've had a pretty rough year. I've had some sad things happen to me. Lucky for me I've had the support and love of great family and friends. But it's still been hard at times.

My sister in law has a hard life. She has a seven year old son with autism. He was diagnosed at 18 months. It's been a constant struggle. He is a great kid. But he has meltdowns and she HAS to be tough, physically and emotionally. She doesn't have a choice. She had a baby girl last June. The baby has Down Syndrome. She's a beautiful little girl and a blessing. But my sister in law has had to grieve all the things she will never get to do. And when she thinks of her future, she doesn't see rest from her trials. Just weight on her shoulders. The daily WORK is almost too much. That feeling sucks. It's a very hopeless feeling. And while your heart knows it will all be worth it, your head only sees the endless jobs in your future. It's so hard to see things eternally.

My little sister has had some struggles in their business they hadn't planned on. It's starting to wear on her. She also had a baby, and has had to deal quite a bit with my mom's illness. She keeps telling me this isn't where she wanted to be right now.

As I've had conversations with these two, and conversations with myself, I've thought about how heartaches affect us. I've come to a few realizations.

First, that we are never free from heartache. That the hurt will either evolve into empathy that we will feel for others in similar situations, or it will turn into a different heartache.

Second, we spend so much our time wanting to "get through" whatever we're going through. But in reality, what if it never ends and we've wasted our whole lives waiting for things to get better?

Third, that it can always be worse. I thought having a miscarriage was hard. Then my mom was diagnosed with cancer. And a miscarriage seems like an okay thing to experience in contrast to what is going on now.

I believe there are times when life will flow pretty easily. Where we will be happy and thankful for all we have been blessed with. But I believe there are also going to be times where we simply cannot go on. And in those times, we have to break and allow someone else to carry our burdens.

I also think the sooner we learn to accept our lives, suckiness and all, the sooner we learn how to be happier with what is happening RIGHT NOW. Because, let's face it, it can't be all bad right? There's still good things in the world. Like Szechuan Chicken from the Mandarin and Pace's Cokes. And my amazing children, one of which turns two tomorrow.

I've spent the last year and a half waiting for life to go back. To get through the crap and to be able to just be happy again. Then guess what happened? My mom got cancer. I think that was the first time I realized that it doesn't matter what's happened in the past - ANYTHING can happen in the future. Even if you've had it rough, it can stay rough, and it can get rougher. None of us are exempt from challenges.

But if we sit and have a pity party (which I've done a lot lately), we miss out on opportunities. Opportunities to serve others, opportunities to learn lessons and to feel empathy and love for other people.

The best thought I've had lately is that it is possible to be happy even when it sucks. We're tough. We've been given all that we need to handle it. And we're never completely alone.

Now that I've thrown up all my thoughts, I don't know how to end this post. So that's it. I'm out.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fun & Not So Fun

Mom had her second chemo of six this last Friday. I'm just going to throw this out there: chemo sucks. Yes, it saves lives. Yes, I'm thankful for it. But it is awful. I get that claustrophobic, I'm going to freak out and start killing people and I have to get out of here feeling that I hate. I don't get that feeling often. But I sure get it at chemo. So it's super nice when I have fun people to offset the crazy in me. And ultimately, I have to remember I'm not the one it sucks the worse for.

Here's my mom. This whole process is really hard. But she's damn tough. And she looks so cute all the time. Not exactly sure what's up with Sophie in this picture.

Freaking Angie interrogates everyone in the room. What's your story? How many kids do you have? Where do they live? Do you like Utah or BYU? How much money do you make?
I'm totally kidding, but she really is funny. She is genuinely interested in people, and people love talking to her. She made this lady smile at the end of a long day.

Trav stopped by cause he's so awesome, and Angie went to hand Sophie to him. And this is what she did. At least he went back to his faculty meeting looking like he peed his pants.

We both have really lame smiles here, and we both look incredibly pale. But I do have to give a shout out to Amy. She hated being there even more than I did, but she still made us laugh. Like when she asked my mom's nurse not to move her foot while he was rearranging IV bags. That's the nurse in the back by the way. He's Joe. He has four kids. He moved here to be closer to his ex-wife's family. You know how I know all that? Yep. Angie asked him.

We call her Sophie Sofa. Because her last name is Davenport, and a davenport is a sofa. And Bowen calls her Charlie. No idea why.

I also had a birthday on Sunday! That's right, I turned 30. So not a big deal. I don't feel old, and I'm still super hot, so who cares right? I had a great day. I always do. Trav surprised me and spoiled me, I got to cook dinner for my family plus my mom and Mitch, and I had more calls, texts, cards and drop bys than I could count. I have a lot of people who are so so good to me.

I don't have any pictures because I took them all without my memory card in my camera because I'm a thinker. But I'll steal them from my mom as soon as she posts them.

I have to also say that life feels pretty good right now, for the most part. We all still have our days, and sometimes it's overwhelming. But there is so much good in the world. So many people who truly want to do things for others just to do them. Sometimes it baffles me, and Satan gets in my head, and I wonder why people would do these things. What do they get out of it? It's amazing to me how wonderful people are. Truly.

We're planning mom's Anything for A Friend fundraiser also. We just had our second meeting, and I have to say I am so excited right now. I feel so good about all of this. It is going to be so awesome. If you are interested in helping, email me. Or check out her page on this site to see more of what we're doing.


It really is something so much bigger than I've ever even thought about doing, and so much bigger than the money we can raise.

Life is good. I'm a happy girl.

Thursday, February 3, 2011


How to explain where I am at these days?

I'm very emotional. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. I'm definitely getting my feelings out instead of holding them in. And after, I always feel better. And always wake up each day with a more positive attitude.

I'm definitely more stressed. More to do, more to worry about, more places to be. And they're not always bad things. Right now a good word to describe everything in my life is this: MORE. More good, more bad. More work, more help. More stress, more relief. Ultimately, the more is turning me into a much better person.

Travis left me again for another ten days. He did some teaching in Mozambique, and he had a very successful trip. Left me on my own for the first time since last August. I've never had a problem being on my own with the kids. Other than missing him like crazy, I do pretty well on my own. But a lot has happened since his last trip. Right after he got home last time, I had a miscarriage. Then another (if you can even call it that). A few months later I had my foot surgery and then my mom was diagnosed with her cancer. Basically, I've learned to depend on him for a lot of things I used to just do myself. Even simply going to the store became more than I could handle some days. Partly because of my foot, partly because it was just easier to let him do it. I had fallen into a major rut of letting him take care of me. I had forgotten that I am strong. That I can do things that are hard. And that although together we are an amazing couple, I am okay on my own. I need to be that way. I absolutely adore my husband, but one of the best parts of our marriage is that we each still have our own identity, and we can each function apart from the other. Bottom line, I'm not usually needy. I have been incredibly needy the last six months. It was wearing on him, and making me feel less like myself, which was hurting my self-esteem. I felt like a huge wimp and didn't know how to get it back.

The week before his trip I was incredibly anxious about him leaving. I knew it was the best thing for both of us. But I was scared. A lot scared.

Well, he left and you know what? I did just fine. In fact, I did better than fine. The kids were great. I dealt with it myself when I had a meltdown. I took care of all household duties without him there to help me. I know it sounds wimpy, but things had become really too much for me, and I hated it. I absolutely hated that about myself. My mom lost her hair while he was gone, and it was really really hard. But I did it. She had her first chemo , and I dealt with it. All things I desperately did not want to experience. But I remembered that I am tough and that I can handle things on my own. I am infinitely better with Travis, but I can also be great by myself.

I believe that's a huge part of a relationship. Being okay independent of the other person. So many people are so desperate to find someone, that they forget to figure out who they are. You cannot be happy with somebody else until you are okay with yourself. I met Travis when I was finally okay with being alone. And because of that, I bring so much more to our relationship. If anything ever happened to either one of us, we would be devastated. But we would pick up and move on, because that's what we have to do. We are such a better couple because we know who we are individually.

I am catching glimpses of my old self, and I love it. How crazy that a few bad things in life can change so much of me so fast? I think I'm pretty tough when things are easy. It's when life gets hard that I figure out who I really am. I feel so much better these days, even with all the scary stuff that surrounds me. It's a hard feeling to explain, so I hope I'm doing it some justice.

The trip was a huge blessing. An answer to a prayer of how to get back to being myself when I had no idea where to start.

So many of you have been so good to me. I have definitely learned who truly loves me through this. I am so thankful to so many of you who have gone out of your way to support me and my family, even if we weren't close before. Character is truly shown when life gets hard. I'm thankful to be able to see that in so many people.

Now, for the best part. Here is one of my favorite experiences we had while Travis was gone. Emory's first dance recital. Yes, he missed it. But don't worry - she has another one.

Putting makeup on little girls is hard.

The finished product.

After the big performance. I see more of myself in her every day. Scary stuff.

Emory and her Meme.

Emory & Sja. That's what Bowen calls her.

The desperate attempt to get my kids together for a picture. Bowen was not having it.

Today, life is good. I have accomplished things, even simple things, that make me feel like I'm making progress. I am sure I will feel differently throughout the next few months, but I have had confirmations that things will be okay. I'm going to hold onto those in the darker moments.

We are working on an awesome fundraiser for my mom. It is an incredible organization, and I know it is the right thing for us to be doing. Check it out if you get a second. We need lots of help.

Anything For A Friend
Just click on my mom's name to see her page. Look at the pictures of other events if you get a second. It's an amazing thing they are doing.

Thank you to everyone who even thinks about me in passing during the day, and especially for those who pray for us. I feel it. I really really do.

Life is good, and I am peaceful and happy.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Is it really January already? Where did Christmas go? Why am I too lazy to go upstairs and get my camera to upload my Christmas pictures? I hate feeling like I'm neglecting my blog, but sometimes you just have to prioritize.

I am running low on brain power. My whole being is in a constant state of nervousness. Every once in awhile I get a break and I feel light again. But eventually it all sets back in.

I'm scared to death for what the next week holds. Scared that I can't do it. Scared that I don't have a choice. Scared that my mom will give up. Scared that I won't be able to be everything that everyone needs me to be. That's one of my faults. Always trying to fix things and make things better for everyone when sometimes it's better to Just. Let. It. Be. Give people the credit to be able to handle hard things. Not always try to make it all better. My personality exhausts me sometimes. Sometimes it's easier to just expect the worst than it is to hope for the best and be disappointed.

Wow, that's dreary isn't it?

My faith is in a transitional stage. I don't know where I stand. I've struggled the last year. I've had some bad things happen, which strangely enough have helped more than they have hurt. But the aftermath is still sticking around. I know I'm going to need faith. And I'm scared that I don't have it. I'm scared that my lack of it will deny me the blessings I would get if I had it. I feel like I'm searching desperately to get back to a place where no matter what, everything seems GOOD. I haven't been there for awhile.

And now I'm boring myself. The next few months are gonna super suck. But I have a lot of things I'm really excited about. A lot of really good things are happening and have happened already. I have got to learn how to hold onto those when I get in a rut.

I have a great support system.

My husband. He can always make me laugh. Right now he is talking to me through the vent telling me he is my conscience.

My sisters. Tonight during a particularly emotional moment, I looked at Amy and Angie and I could see in their eyes that they were feeling the exact same way I felt. That's the beauty of sisters. You understand each other without even trying.

My aunts. My mom's sisters rock.

My sister in law Lexi. She's definitely taken the brunt of my crazy. And like her life isn't hard enough already. She's definitely talked me down from a few ledges.

My mom. She's an example of everything strong and good to me.

I want to remember all the positive of this experience. I hope that one day I will look back and that's what will be most prominent in my mind. Not the terrified feeling I have right now.

I'll end this incredibly uplifting post with a cute picture. We spent some time at the Sumko's new house last night and got home about 11:30. The kids wanted to sleep on the couch so we decided to let them. Bowen would not hear of going to his crib. He must be where his brother and sister are. We didn't think there was a chance he'd fall asleep, but sure enough here he is. They slept this way all night. Pillow Pets and Quillows (thanks, Grammy) included. They make me happy.

Here's hoping for a better post next time.