Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Where to begin so I don't make this unnecessarily long? hmmm

Essential Oils. doTERRA. Heard about it? One night, while here in Utah, I got together with 3 other of my special needs mom friends. Dinner. Yum. Fun. Laughing. Then, down to business. As much as I try to avoid these topics (because I don't want our friendship to revolve around the fact that we have special needs kids), I can't help myself. I've decided that's ok, by the way. So, we start talking and sharing what's working, what's not working, who is the best at this and that, who we should go and see, etc.

Among the many things we talked about, essential oils came up. I had already decided that I was going to try them out on Samantha when I was here for Caleb's funeral. I talked to Chrystal (I'd link you to her blog, but it's been a solid YEAR since she last posted...Chrystal!) and I was pretty much feeling good about trying it out. I liked the idea that it was natural, no real side effects. If it didn't work, it didn't work. But if it could help her sleep without meds, fantastic! Even better, if she could remain seizure-free without meds...So, why not?

So, at dinner, we talked oils. Great. Nothing new to me.

A few days later, I head on over to doTERRA, which is located in Orem. There, I signed up to be a consultant/seller/whatever-it-is-that-gives-me-a-discount. The guy said a lot of people do that, so I didn't feel so lame. I have no interest in starting a business. Making $, sure, but making sure I'm selling products...too stressful. Just give me my discount and I'll be on my way. I bought the Family Physician Kit as well that comes with Frankincense, Peppermint, Oregano, Lemon, and some other stuff.

It sits on the table for a couple days.

Friday. I wake up with a bad headache. We go to therapy. It hurts. I'm starting to be sensitive to the lights. I go to the "family" room and try to sleep. I wake up feeling worse. I'm starting to feel nauseous and I'm worried, wondering how I'll drive myself home. I'm getting worse and worse. I'm shaking and can hardly see. Migraine.

I DO make it home and go straight to bed...after taking 2 Excedrin. Are you still with me? I sleep for awhile, wake up, take 2 more Excedrin. I wake up. Bryan's over playing with the wee girlos, and I want to get up and see him before he takes off. We go for a walk to get them out of the house for a little bit and give my mom a break...and I'm feeling extremely weak and trying to fake it the best I can.

I kept feeling horrible and we had dinner plans. What to do?

I didn't want to take any more Excedrin, so I figured, maybe let's try these oils, and maybe it'll take off some of the edge if I'm lucky.

I called Chrystal for some help because I couldn't even focus my eyes enough to read the book on what to take for what, etc. Headache. Peppermint. I put a drop in my hand, and used that to apply it to my temples, forehead, and back of neck. I am NOT exaggerating when I say that almost instantaneously, when I smelled the peppermint on my hand, my headache was gone. I was in complete shock. This FAR surpassed my expectation. My stomach was a little upset still, so I thought, I'll try this other oil blend they have for upset stomachs. "As much as the peppermint helped, and I'm a believer in that now, this won't be like that. After all, I apply it to my stomach and I can't even smell it." I figured if I can't smell it, it won't work. Wrong. After only a few minutes of getting ready to go, my upset stomach was gone. GONE.

I've never, EVER used anything that worked so quickly.

I went out the next day and bought a diffuser that I will have in Samantha and Callie's room. I am a believer, and still in shock that it worked so quickly. My mom has noticed that the oils have helped her too and she's going to buy herself a Family Physicians Kit before she heads back home too. Amazing! And now, I can't stop reading the book about all the different ailments and what oils treat what symptoms and what illnesses...I'm obsessed!

And you should be too! Join me in the madness people. It's soooo cool!

The Strength of a Family

I am so grateful for my family. They have always loved and supported me, even if we didn't agree. I have always felt, always felt, my parents and siblings right by my side. I feel immensely blessed that over the course of time, my family has grown. I have an incredible husband, two beautiful little girls, and many in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews, a niece, and dear friends who feel like family. My life is rich because of them (you) all.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Decluttering and Adding Tabs

Yep. I'm working on a new design here that I've wanted to do for about the past six months...at least. Ya know how Blogger is so user friendly? We'll it's not if you're an idiot. I've wanted to add tabs to this here blog for so long now, but couldn't figure it out. I wanted to declutter my sidebars and make my pictures bigger. I had great visions of simplicity for this blog. Well, I couldn't figure out how to add the tabs. I looked up html code even. But after that experience, and totally not understanding a thing, I let it be. This week I've been working on creating a blog for Families Supporting Adoption. I see no way around creating that blog without pages and tabs. So it was time. Six months after the frustration of trying to create the tabs on my own, I saw the beauty of it all. (Well, Bryan saw the beauty of it all because I made him figure it out for me.) It's so easy. And how come I couldn't figure this out before?! Idiot. That's ok. I can call myself an idiot.

So, over the next few days, hopefully, for those who don't read the blog through Google Reader, you'll see bigger pictures. You'll see less along the sidebar. You'll find Samantha's blog, Lil' Samsquatch, linked via a tab and not on the side there. Music may come back, because I miss it. And I'll be happier.

But now, I take a nap. Samantha hasn't been sleeping at night. Last night she woke up at 4am, and that was it. I have a horrible headache and so, I'm going to nap this first little bit while she's working (and fussying) with Sergio.

Good night.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Thursday's Hero

This trip to Utah for therapy turned into a lot more than just therapy! So, I ask you:

What is Thursday's Heroes?
And, who was last week's Thursday's Hero?

As a way to serve those in the community, in 2007 the BYU Football Team (a team we highly revere over in our household), honors someone who has been going through a tough time...someone who is disadvantaged on some level. They do it every week at practice. They've had many different people come as a "hero," and this past week, Samantha was asked to come. Pretty cool. It was kind of crazy how it happened. And hearing it from different people it gets more confusing, so I'm still a bit unsure, exactly, how it all came to be. Samantha was not originally on their list...it just happened...and we'd have to thank Scott and Annie Green for making it possible. No matter how it happened, if it weren't for them, we wouldn't have been there.

Thursday's Hero, last week, was actually on Friday. Marcus (yes, he flew out for it), Callie, Samantha, Bryan, my mom and dad, and I went to the athletic building. We walked around for a little bit before we moved upstairs to meet Cort Trejo and Cutter Mendenhall. (Cutter was getting some service hours for his merit badge, and Callie for sure made sure those hours counted!)

They had a ton of cool stuff in the athletic building. This wall was of all the NFL helmets that BYU players had been drafted to and played for. We were happy to see the Detroit Lions up there.

Of course there was something for all the state championships.

And the wall along the staircase is dedicated to all the Thursday's Heroes. Samantha's picture will be up there permanently one day. I was touched to see all these people -- children, adults...all dealing with different issues -- up on that wall. Each of those people represent more than an individual, they represent an entire community. I felt honored and privileged to know Sammy will up there too.

The entrance to the locker room.

Sammy was happy in the locker room. A few of the players walked through and said, "Oh there you are Sammy. We've been waiting to see you!" They gave her 5 and welcomed her. It was pretty cool.

Loved this!

The Weight Room with Daddy. Sammy's trying to look tough, but I told her, with those curls, you just can't look as tough as you'd like. So she really worked the facial expressions.

And Callie in the weight room with Cutter trying to show her amazing strength. Cutter was thoroughly impressed.

Then off to the practice field. We were outside, but it wasn't too cold. Sammy and Callie had a fun time running around out there.

Marcus took the time to explain the rules of football...but I think Samantha was more interested in the different colors of jerseys. Blue, white, green...

I'm not sure why I thought this was so cute, but Callie really wanted to check out the "fake grass" and so I asked Cutter if he'd take her over there. She grabbed his hand and off they went. Again, Callie was pretty happy to be with him and he definitely got some good service hours with us!

After practice, the team huddled around while Bronco talked to them. As directed, we waited behind until they were done.

All of a sudden, the got up and huddled around Samantha and the rest of our family. Bronco first approached Samantha but then turned it over to the big guys.

It's a feeling that is a little hard to explain. As they all surrounded her and cheered, my eyes filled up with tears. I was so overwhelmed in the moment. They were cheering for my little girl. These are the guys we cheer for, and now, they were cheering for her. And as they talked to her and she looked at them in shock -- I mean, she's a little girl surrounded by HUGE guys -- I felt so so so proud to be her mom. I've always known she is worth cheering for. And now, all these guys were surrounding her with their clapping, cheers, and smiles. It was awesome.

They presented Sammy with some BYU loot and then we all signed the BYU flag that is carried out on the field before each game. Callie became shy all of a sudden and her name looked more like chicken scratches. The pressure was just too great for her, even a smiley face was too stressful while all these guys watched. I helped Sammy with her name, and before the huddle broke, Callie shouted out "1, 2, 3" and we all yelled "BYU!" Samantha loved that. My only regret from that day -- if I can even call it that -- was that I couldn't get a picture of her face during it all. But, I have to say, getting the faces of those big, tough, football players smiling at my baby girl may be just as great.

Before they left, they all got a fist bump from both Samantha and Callie.

Bronco and his family also put together a little gift for Samantha and Cutter presented it to her.

Samantha as one of the Thursday's Heroes was, plainly said, awesome. Have I overused that word yet? I'm glad my parents and Bryan were able to be there with us. I'm so glad Marcus flew out for the weekend. I'm impressed that the BYU Football team even has this program. It's a small act of service that really means a lot to the families they share themselves with. We were told that we are now a part of the BYU Football family, and we felt that while we were there.

Bronco talked with us for a while after about Samantha, asking questions about her story. He was sincere and kind. I suppose that is to be expected. But I have always been impressed with Bronco's integrity as a person and coach. I tell you what...the Women's Football Clinic I attended a few years back was pretty awesome, but this...this tops it all.

Samantha showing off her tough self. Maybe one day she'll be able to push hard enough to move that baby!

After a long day, Callie was ready for bed. I can't believe how big she looks here. She's such a little girl now. I can't even believe it.

Why are we so loyal to BYU Football?

1. We love BYU. Last night Marcus and I were both talking about how our years at BYU, before and after meeting each other, were some of our best years. Sure, life is great now and we wouldn't trade it for anything. But our time at BYU is filled with fun and incredible memories.

2. BYU Football, to us, represents something more than just football. Other than the fact that it's Marcus' passion, this team is something special. Though the players may change, the mission is the same. This team represents hard work and a true striving to become more. Whether it's on the field or cheering around a little girl in a stroller, the purpose is to become better and make those around them better. The BYU motto, Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve seems to truly motivate their actions. I'm not saying that every BYU football player exemplifies that every moment of their day. But what I am saying is that the team as an entity strives for that and they have a head coach who leads them in that direction.

That is something we will always be proud of and for that, we will always be loyal Cougar fans.

3. Oh, and they cheered for Sammy. Yeah, that pretty much seals the deal for us.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Puppy Love

 Every night Callie prays for 3 things: a puppy, a cat, and a gold fish.  hmmm  Sounds like a title to a movie.

Imagine, just imagine how thrilled she was when off to Visalia we went to visit her cousins....

and Gus, who she called Buster, let her hold him ALL night long, nearly all night long anyway.  Callie slept on that there couch and Gus sat with that there girl.  She was so happy she couldn't sleep.  Finally at 11:30pm I told her she just had to go to sleep.  As if I can really control that.  Honestly, I think she got a total of 3 hours of sleep that night.  She was so happy.

Her nightly prayers may not bring her a puppy any time soon of her own, but at least good 'ole Buster was there for her.

Happy First Day

Well, we're at Now I Can and Samantha is screaming. 


Yesterday was blissful.  I mean, truly.  I couldn't be-lieve how calm she was.  Stretches?  Suuuure.  Why not?  She was smiling and happy.  Yes, she complained, but she was so compliant.  Perhaps it was the lack of sleep last night?  hmmm  May have something to do with it. 

Yeah, this was yesterday.  I haven't even taken any pictures today.  I mean, why when she's just a fuss bucket?  So, perhaps she'll feel better soon when I give her a snack.  Poor girl though, she really did have a rough night.  Aaaand, as I type, she's already calming down.  Phew.

So, as of yesterday anyway, I was so impressed with Samantha's progress.  Meaning: last time we were here, she was sooo tight.  Stretching didn't seem to bother her as much.  Her biceps were much looser so they didn't have to pull as tight, and during some of these positions that she HATED last time, she was just chill...smiling, and cute as can be.  Way to go Sammy.


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