Friday, April 9, 2010


I have been doing my externship in an Assisted Living home for seniors who need some extra help medically, but don't have to be stuck in a "nursing home". Most everyone does a good job caring for themselves and it has been really fun working there. They also have a wing called "memory support" for individuals with dementia or alzheimers. I have been assigned to work in that wing 2 days/week. It has been interesting to learn about dementia and see the effects it has on the mind and body. Not everyone who has dementia acts the same- I have been working with 2 ladies, both with dementia. One of them thinks the walls are melting, and that everyone has a taser, ready to get her. She also spends most of her time collecting "tazies" which are round silver balls that come out of the tv and vcr. The other resident doesn't hallucinate to that degree, but has a harder time with remembering why she is there. She thinks her husband is still alive and waits for him at night. Both ladies are so sweet and I have enjoyed getting to know them. It makes me sad to see what they go through, especially knowing that they really have no control over it. I had an amazing experience with one of the ladies, and wanted to share it.

The lady who doesn't really understand what is going on was just put on hospice care. What this means is that she is coming to the end of her life, and it is just a matter of time before she passes away. Probably within the next few weeks to a month. It is sad knowing that this is the final stage of her life, so I am hoping to just be kind and loving to her.

As I was helping her get to bed, she was in a really good mood and happy that I was with her. She asked if I'd get into the bed with her, so I laughed and told her that there isn't any room for me in the twin bed. She scooted over clear to the wall then patted the bed, saying that there was room now. I couldn't tell her no, so I laid down next to her in the bed. She kept looking at me and smiling as I rubbed her shoulder or played with her hair. I then felt impressed to ask her if I could sing her a song. She said yes, so I thought about what to sing. I knew she was LDS, so I thought that I would sing some Primary songs. I started with "I am a Child of God". She smiled the whole way through and then I sang "I love to see the Temple". She said she really liked that one. At this point, I am crying because of the spirit I could feel there but I kept going. I sang "Families can be together forever". She started to cry a little and I knew it was because she felt the spirit so strong. She kept looking around the room and gazing up to the ceiling. She talked a little bit about her grandpa and her husband and at that moment, I wondered if the veil was thin for her.

I then sang "I am a child of God" one more time, but with all the verses. It was while singing this song that I KNEW she was a daughter of our Heavenly Father that loved her more than I will ever understand. For a brief moment, she wasn't a resident with dementia. She wasn't someone who was going to die soon. She was a spirit sister of mine and I felt so connected to her. She lay there and kept saying she loved me, and I really felt like she meant it. That she was there with me, and it wasn't her dementia talking. After laying next to her for a few more minutes, the other CNA came in and I went to go help the other resident.

I am so grateful for this experience I had. It has made me realize that no matter what the condition of our mind, we can still feel the spirit. Our spirit is something that is always with us and it can connect or speak to other spirits. We had a connection last night that Heavenly Father allowed us to share. I am even more grateful for the Holy Spirit and what it is able to do to comfort us and help us feel of our Savior and Heavenly Father's love.

I decided to go into nursing to help just one patient have a better experience than I have had in the past. I really do want to help people and have them feel loved. If I end up not ever getting my RN, I will be at peace knowing that what I did for Maxine was more than anyone else could have done at that moment. I was needed and was able to help her.

I am grateful for having an eternal perspective and understanding that because of Jesus and His Atonement for us, death really has lost it's sting and we will be able to be in the arms of Christ again. This gospel is amazing and the power and knowledge it gives us is something I hope to never take for granted. I am a changed person because of this experience and I pray that I see Maxine again when she is whole. I can not wait to give her a hug and let her know just what she has done for me.

Friday, April 2, 2010

I'm thinking I shouldn't have reproduced...

When I was in 8th grade, I was diagnosed with depression and started counseling. In 9th grade, I was hospitalized for attempted suicide and spent almost 2 weeks in the psych unit. I started medication and more therapy, and things started to get better. I still dealt with depression and struggled my way through the rest of highschool. I made a lot of poor choices and started down a path of self destruction that would last for several years.

When I moved to Utah, things were OK (despite my crappy choices) but when I was 20, I went to the ER because I knew that I had tail spun into a dark place and if I didn't get help right then, things might not look good for the future. I spent about a week in hospital starting therapy and medication again. After I was discharged, I was placed with an amazing psychologist who did wonders for retraining me how to think and view the world. I owe so much to that doctor who literally saved my life.

Fast forward to today- Scott just went to his first appointment last week with a psychologist (the same one I went to 10 yrs ago- not a coincidence) to start to get his life together. He has realized that he feels like he needs some extra help for things like anxiety and maybe ADD. He is excited to be getting the help he needs- he just just wishes that he would have done this 20 yrs ago.

Well, onto our children. Carrie was just diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder. She has been struggling with fears and stresses that disrupt her daily living. I suspected that it was more than just everyday fears we normally would deal with, but this was extreme. We can't drive anywhere without her stressing about if we are going to run out of gas. If she sees a police officer, she thinks they are going to get her. Loud noises are too much for her. She is still in diapers because the fear of going potty overwhelms her. Poor little thing carries the weight of the world on her shoulders.

We are going to start medication to see if that helps. She will also start therapy to work through a lot of the fears and issues she has. We are getting her into an allergist and a GI specialist to see if they can help us more with her physical issues. When I asked the doctor why a 5 yr old would have anxiety this bad, she said that the majority of the time it is hereditary. When Scott heard this, he put his head down and quietly apologized to Carrie for "giving" it to her.

We are also set up to take Duncan in for an evaluation for ADHD. When we explained to the doctor his behavior, she said that it was out of the norm for a 3 yr old boy, and that it would be wise to get him in to be seen.

The last few days have been a whirlwind of emotion as I have come to realize that my children have some problems and I don't know how to fix them. When I read in the Ensign about life's trials, I came upon this statement: "...challenges come as a natural result of mortality and the world we live in. We are mortals with bodies that will age and may become ill or injured." I really hope that Carrie (and Scott and other kids) know that it is OK to have these challenges. We can get through them with the help of the Lord. He loves us and understands what we are going through. The atonement made it possible for Him to know how to succor us depending on our infirmities. We may feel alone sometimes, but if we keep an eternal perspective, we will know that the Lord will always be with us.

"No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire." -Orson F. Whitney

I pray that Carrie will understand that she is not flawed. Just a mortal who has the opportunity to learn and overcome this affliction. She is a child of God, and is loved by so many people. She will get through this. It may not be easy, and it might just suck sometimes. The Lord is mindful of her and her struggles and challenges. I hope that she will rely on Christ and know that one day she may be healed and made perfect.

I love this gospel and the understanding it brings in times of despair and sorrow. I only hope that I can be the best support to her as she faces this hand she has been dealt. I am glad that I had her, despite the challenges that we may have given her.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Arguing in Relief society

I had an interesting experience today in Relief Society that made me really sad and frustrated. I was sharing something I had learned from my personal study of the lesson. There were several people who disagreed and raised their voice and told me differently. I tried to defend myself and follow through with my thought, but I couldn't talk over them so I just finally said that I would shut up and not saying anything else. I was so turned off by the experience that I totally shut down and tuned out the rest of the lesson and just read my scriptures. Scott said I should have just gotten up and walked out, but that would have made a huge scene and I didn't feel comfortable doing that.

I'm frustrated because this isn't the first time this has happened either. Over the last few months, this same situation has occurred several times. A sister has a comment, someone disagrees and then jumps down their throat about it. It is so awkward, uncomfortable and frankly uncalled for! We shouldn't ever put someone down or make them feel stupid for a thought or opinion they may have.

What do you do in these types of situations? I think that disagreeing with someone is totally normal, but the way it is handled can be tricky. I am hoping that we can resolve this little problem we have in our ward.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I decided that I needed to document my son's life and not let it pass by without any record of it. I got a few cute pictures of Jack I thought I'd share.

He is trying to eat our dessert we had after dinner. I don't think it will be too long until he is on real foods...

Duncan put these earmuffs on him and I couldn't pass up the chance for a cute picture.

This is my new favorite picture of Jack. He is so cute and cuddly and I am so glad he is mine!

I feel so blessed to have such a wonderful baby. The only time he cries is when he is hungry or tired. He is all smiles, all day. We just need to get him rolling over more and then maybe he'll start crawling soon. I think that him being 4 1/2 weeks early is starting to show- he is a little slow at some milestones, but I'm sure he'll be fine. Patience is a virtue, right?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Gospel Art

I was looking through the new catalog that came from Deseret Book. I normally see things in there that are nice or that I might consider getting for my home, but never get because I am not in love with it. When I read through this one, I was immediately struck by the beauty of this one picture. I seriously want it SO bad.

It is a stained glass work that has been reproduced on a canvas. I love the simplicity of it and how beautiful it is! I sometimes struggle finding art for my home that is gospel related I don't normally care of the work of Greg Olsen, Liz Lemon Swindle, etc... Don't get me wrong. They are SO talented, but their style is not what I care for. I have this picture of Christ hanging in my home. It is called "Rescue of the Lost Lamb" by Minerva Teichert. All of her work is amazing. I would have all of it if I could!

I remember the first time I saw it, I about burst into tears. I felt like there was a connection to this painting and I had to have it. I bought a print and then had it framed. It is one of my favorite things I have in my home...

So- what are your favorite pieces of Gospel art? Don't worry, I'll still like you even if you have Greg Olsen stuff hanging in your home! :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sweet is the Peace the Gospel Brings...

This week has been somewhat of a whirlwind for my family. First, my mom was recovering from some more surgery relating to her struggle with breast cancer. We received an email from my brother serving a mission that he feels as if the adversary has taken a hold of him and that there is a dark force around him all the day. He is really struggling with this and is trying to get through each day. Then, my sister was admitted to the hospital with blood clots in her leg and lungs. The next day, my dad had an angiogram and found out that 2 of his previous bypasses are now closed and he needs his aortic valve replaced.

I felt impressed that I really needed to go to the temple, so on Friday I went with a friend of mine from my ward. It was such a good trip and I am glad that I went. I was brought a lot of peace that was much needed. I then woke up early to a phone call from my mom on Saturday that there was a huge earthquake in Chile- where my brother is serving. I was heartbroken and a little numb about everything that had been happening but I said a quick prayer to help me get through this. I was obviously concerned about my brother (and the rest of my family) and did cry a little at one point. Other than that one time crying, I was filled with so much peace and comfort the whole weekend. Every time someone asked me how things were going, I was OK. Yes, our family was experiencing a huge amount of adversity and trials, but I was calm. I was not an emotional wreck. I was able to move about the day and understand that things were going to be ok.

I KNOW that the only reason I was able to have this experience this weekend was because of going to the temple. I am convinced that the Lord knew I needed it, which is why I felt so prompted to go. I am so glad that I listened the the Spirit and went. The comfort I have felt all weekend has been amazing.

The Gospel is incredible in what it can do for you and I. To have so many family members going through such a hard time and to also feel helpless, it is wonderful to know what the Lord can do for me. He can lift my spirits, calm my troubled heart and give me perspective. I know that some things are out of my hands and that we still may experience more heartache. With an eternal perspective, it will be easier to handle and understand that we have the opportunity to live with each other forever.

I love the message of this hymn, and want to share it with you.


Sweet is the peace the gospel brings
To seeking minds and true
With love refulgent on its wings,
It clears the human view.

Its laws and precepts are divine
And show a Father's care.
Transcendent love and mercy shine
In each injunction there.

Faithless tradition flees its pow'r,
And unbelief gives way.
The gloomy clouds, which used to low'r,
Submit to reason's sway.

May we who know the sacred Name
From every sin depart.
Then will the Spirit's constant flame
Preserve us pure in heart.

Ere long the tempter's power will cease,
And sin no more annoy,
No wrangling sects disturb our peace,
Or mar our heartfelt joy.

That which we have in part received
Will be in part no more,
For he in whom we all believe
To us will all restore.

In patience, then, let us possess
Our souls till he appear.
On to our mark of calling press;
Redemption draweth near.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hello there.

So, no sooner as I had made my last post, our laptop died. The whole motherboard crashed. Awesome. We were without a computer or internet for 2 months. It kind of sucked.

Then, Scott's friend told us he was getting rid of his laptop and would just give it to us! Thanks, Shawn!!!

So, here I am. We are still alive, functioning almost at normal level and enjoying life. Today is actually my 7th wedding anniversary. I can't believe we've been together this long, but then some days it feels like I've known Scott my whole life. Does anyone else feel this way? :)

Carrie turned 5 at the end of December, Duncan is 3 and Jack is now 7 months. It makes me sad that we are now closer to 1 yr old than birth. He is one of the happiest, fun, easy going babies in the world. We are so blessed to have him in our lives. We love him so much.

I hope all is well with you- I promise to try harder to post. I am slowly getting pictures moved over to this computer, so bear with me.

Enjoy these 2 pictures of Jack. This is how he is all day long!