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.