We've lived in Utah, Nebraska, upper Michigan and now we've settled in Colorado...at least for now! Marley is 10, Isi is 6 and Enzo is 4!

Life is great!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Spirit is Good for the Mind

I am feeling SO much better since my last post. 

I've gotten my purpose and direction and my confidence back. 

It's amazing how if our spirit or body are sick, everything else in our lives can seem sick too.

My physical limitations and pains helped our house and yard slip into major disarray.
Our house being in disarray and not feeling well was torture on my spirit.  

Then we painted our bathroom....errr.....
we're still in the process.
Just need to do the ceiling. 
Anyway, anytime I do a home improvement project it seems like the house becomes a huge mess too. We'll get that done and everything back in order this week!


I turned 39 this week! 

Saturday I got the impression that I should write down 40 things I want to get done, do, or accomplish before I turn 40. 

40 things to do in 1 year! 

It was so fun to make the list and ponder what this year could look like! 

Next week I'll post my full list! 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

What's good for the mind...

I have always felt less than others when it comes to intelligence. 
In heaven when they told us to get in line for a brain, 
I thought they said train and I asked for a slow one. 

I have just really struggled in school for no apparent reason. 
I really struggled to learn to read.
I continue to struggle with reading comprehension. 
There is nothing that I know of to "diagnose" what is going on besides...
Low Intelligence.

As you can tell I'm NOT the best writer. 

I wasn't even going to mention my SAT and ACT scores! 
I'll just say, I don't like to say them out loud. 
Or even think about them.

I took piano lessons a couple of times and never really could get passed one or two years. 
My mom thinks that it's because I didn't practice enough. 
I think it's because my brain cannot handle so many things at once. 
Notes, names of notes, keys, names of keys, note = key. 
whole note, half note, quarter note, staccato
treble cleft, base cleft, octave, 
Then you throw in...
 sharps, flats, rests, tempo, rhythm, dynamics...
my mind wants to explode. 
And really that's just scratching the surface.

Don't get me wrong I love music!
I just feel that it is mentally impossible for me to play an instrument. 

It's the same with math. 
Don't love it. 
Hardly ever understand it.
Not good at it. 
I get by. 

Same with cooking.
Reading recipes takes reading comprehension.
I just barely...okay, like once I went to college, which seems like just yesterday but was actually almost 20 years ago...I just barely learned all the measuring cup measurements. Those fractions are hard. Don't even start throwing decimals at me.  

You say...

"But...but...You got into a major University!"
(on my third try! and maybe only because I had some strings pulled for me!)
You graduated!!!"

I had to work SO much harder than anyone else!
I saw it!
I felt it!

With all that said, I've come a long way. 
I think I've gotten this far in life, (which lets be honest, isn't THAT far) from sheer hard work and determination. 

Lately, I've felt my determination wain and hard work becoming harder. 

Last September I started feeling major pain in my hands, wrists and feet. Soon, I was feeling pain in all my joints. I thought it was cleaning the Airbnb too much. I thought it was from stress. I thought it was from the way I was sleeping. I thought... I thought... I thought....

After several visits to the doctor and trying several different things to alleviate the pain, I was sent to a Rheumatologist and on January 4th I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

In those 4-5 months of pain I went a little crazy, literally.

I've always been pretty positive but I think I've become more cynical and more self conscience. 

This quote I found while I was in high school has really helped me a number of times in my life.

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." - Eleanor Roosevelt

I have believed that since I read it!
Until recently.  

I hesitate to even post this. 
It all seems so "Debbie Downer."
Waaah wuuuuuh.
Maybe I don't need to for anyone else besides myself. 
Let's be honest, nobody is reading this anymore.

The point is...
I'm trying to learn to be gentle with myself.

If I don't have what I've always viewed as hard work (a strong body)...
and I've never felt very intelligent...
then what do I have? 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Where did 2017 go!?!?

I CAN NOT believe it has been over a YEAR since I last posted!
In a few more months it would have been 2 YEARS!!! 
I didn't post ANYTHING in 2017!?!?!

It was such a signification year! 
It was a busy year!
One of the hardest of my life!
It flew by!

After 11 years of marriage we FINALLY bought a house!
We have a solid marriage but I would say anytime we are making a major purchase we struggle. 
Buying a house is a MAJOR purchase so that was pretty hard on our marriage. 
We survived and our marriage survived. 
So, that's great!
But, it was HARD!!!

My dad passed away suddenly.
Maybe I'll write about that someday. 
I'm sure I will. 
But, not today. 
Not today.

For most of 2017 I had 4, small but significant, paying jobs. 
I say "paying jobs" because I'm also a wife and a mom and those are big jobs in and of themselves!

I work in the childcare at our city Rec Center. 
I usually work there Tuesday and Thursday mornings. 
It's a nice gig because I can take my two little ones with me.
Right now, Lorenzo goes to the preschool there on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
So, he comes to the childcare with me and plays from 8:30 to 9:30. 
Then at 9:30 he crosses the hall and goes to preschool until I get off at 11:30.

I work at Costco on Saturdays, for the optometrist. 
Sadly, that job will be ending for me, soon.
When I'm done working there it will have been a year and a half!
Though the doctor and ladies I work with are so nice and the job is fulfilling, it's been hard to work on Saturdays. 
Most of the family is gone most of the week, then I leave on Saturdays when they are all home. 
It's hard. 
I'm so glad I was able to do it as long as I did. 
The income has been a huge blessing. 
But, working every Saturday, all the time, is too hard for too long.  

I worked cleaning an Airbnb house. 
It's my friends house. 
They were on a temporary duty assignment in DC but they're back, so that job ended. 
They have a nice big 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom house. 
It was hard! 
I don't think I could have kept it up too much longer anyway!
But, it was a unique and enjoyable experience. 

I started working for Revv an online transcription company. 
I transcribe audio files.
It's interesting. 
It's not super hard, as long as the audio is clear.
It is kind of time consuming.

Those four jobs kept me SO busy. 
And working so hard. 
I like to work hard but it took a toll on me.

If I can avoid it, I think I will try really hard to never juggle 4 jobs again. 
I'm almost down to 2 jobs and I think that will be perfect for me. 

I am always applying for full time work at my kid's school so I can be where they are, have pretty dang close to the same hours as them, and have the same days and summers off! 
Ideal right? 

Random info...
We are only having 3 kids, for quite a few reasons.
Maybe someday I'll write about that...
But, really only 3 unless God seriously intervenes.

Marley will be 10 next month!
She is changing so much!

I love the stages my kids are in while they are in them...
then they get bigger and move to the next stage and I'm in love again.

I am enjoying Isi and Lorenzo more with less jobs. 
They are still little...but not for long.

Isi is in half-day kindergarten and will be 6 next month! 
Lorenzo will be 4 in May!
He only has a year left before he starts kinder, and he will probably go to full day!

One more significant milestone from 2017...
Goldie hit 100,000 miles. 
Now she's closer to 112,000. 
Crazy right?!?

Thanks for keeping my blog on your radar...
I hope someone is....
More to come.
More regularly.

Monday, May 9, 2016

I love me a clean car....

I posted some helpful information on Facebook 
and two of my dear friends said I should make it into a blog post.


Here is it...plus more...

After extensive research I have found what I think may be the suckiest vacuum in Brighton. 
Which means it's goooood!!! 
Am I right?! 
It's at the Quick Stop on the corner of Bridge and N 18th Avenue. 
Pluses: it sucks good, really good. It's a dollar for 4 minutes and if you add ONE more quarter it gives you TWO more minutes. It shows you the time AND counts down for you AND beeps when you have a minute left so you know it's time to add that extra quarter! 
It's the best!!! 
The only minus: no garbage can right by the vacuum. But there is a garbage can at the pumps AND when pull over to the pumps to throw your garbage out you can use their squeegee to wash all your windows!!! So, maybe there are no minus'?

You're welcome! 

If anyone knows of a suckier vacuum in Brighton, let me know! I've tried the ones behind the car wash on West Bridge toward Todd Creek. I've also tried 2 at the car wash on Main Street. 
Those were the worst.

I just have to add that...
I love me a clean car!

A clean car makes me feel glamorous, sophisticated, organized, fancy, rich, and much more.
There is pretty much NOTHING else in my life that makes me feel even close to ALL of those things all at the same time. 

Even when my car is not glamorous or sophisticated or fancy or rich looking...
a clean car makes me feel like it is. 

A clean car has given me confidence as I drove to at least TWO job interviews.
Those are just the ones I remember.

A clean car has given me confidence on dates. 
Yeah, I'm that kind of girl.
I prefer to drive.

A clean car has made it so I can add anyone to my car, quickly, 
as long as I have a seat belt for you, you can jump on in. 

My favorite car scent is Coconut.
That's pretty much my favorite scent of all time.
It's especially yummy in a clean car. 

I'm pretty sensitive to smells, some give me a major headache.
So, I'm pretty particular. 

My first car was a gently used Dodge Neon. 
It's factory color was Iris Pearl.
Which was a light, shinny, sparkly purple.
Sometimes it might have looked a little gray.
But, I loved the name of the paint so I named my car...

Iris Pearl. 


I loved cleaning that car.
I used to shine the dashboard so much, when the sun shone on it, you were sure to be blinded...
if you didn't have sunglasses on. 

My next favorite car was our black Honda Accord. 
We named that car...

The Black Pearl.

Perfection, again.

I love to clean our cute gold van.
And her/his name is still under debate after owning her for 2 years. 
Wow, it feels like we've had her much longer but, we got her right before we got Lorenzo. 

Anyway, I wanted to call her...

Gold Nellie.

Cute right?

Nathan said that sounds like she's an old lady. 
What's wrong with that!?! 
A cute little gold lady taking care of our little family and gettin' us everywhere safely.

He also said she is a boy and he wanted to call her Epoufette.
That is the name of a town in Michigan. 
It's fun to say...I'll give him that.

At first we thought it was a Native name...
so we made up a Native meaning....
it's a fishing village so we decided Epoufette's Native meaning was....
Gold Fish.

Kinda lame right?

Then we did some research and found out it's actually a French word.


We also found out it means...
"A quiet place to rest." 

That's a fine for a town but a car!?!?!
You don't want to be falling asleep at the wheel!??!

Also, he was afraid Gold Nellie was old fashioned!
It sounds like our van is rest home! 

I love Gold Nellie....or whomever. 

But, please don't judge her too harshly in her cleanliness....
we do have three children.

I think another reason I have always loved to clean the car is...

it's a small space. 
It's pretty easy to clean and organize such a small space. 
Even if you have a giant van...which we did growing up.
You can do it in a morning, or afternoon or evening. 
And it's so fulfilling and satisfying.
And makes you feel so good!

I love it. 

If you want me to clean your car.... 
Just give me a call...
I'll give you an estimate. 


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

My Husband is Deaf

I know, ALL husbands have selective hearing.
I think mine does too! 
But, my husband REALLY IS DEAF. 

Nathan has enough residual hearing that he "could" wear two hearing aids. 
With two aids (or maybe it's just having one in the left ear) there is too much distortion, for him. 
More sound coming in that distracts than helps.
So, he chooses to wear an aid in his best ear, his right ear. 

With no hearing aid he cannot hear.

Well, that's not entirely true....
When he first takes his aid out, it's moist in his ear (ew! right?).
Since sound waves can move the moisture in his ear... 
if I yell in his ear when it's moist he can hear me.
Otherwise, if I yell in his ear...he cannot hear me. 

So, with no hearing aid he cannot hear.

Nathan has unusual hearing loss as well. 
Most people have a hard time hearing high frequencies.
He does not.
He has more low frequency hearing loss.
When children around him are screaming it is REALLY bad for him.
Gives him a headache real fast!

Same with anyone right?
Screaming kids = headache. 
Remember the majority of his hearing is low frequency.
The hearing aid is still amplifying high frequencies. 
So, imagine with your normal hearing, hearing a child's scream, amplified, right.in.your.ear.

Speaking of hearing aids.
Little hearing aids (in the ear aids) that can hide in your ear canal, like Miracle Ear or Belltones...
they wouldn't work for Nathan.
His hearing loss is too severe.
So, Nathan has to wear a behind the ear aid.
It's big.
It's bulky.
It works.
He's grateful!

Back to hearing....

Though his hearing aid helps him hear, it doesn't help him hear like we hear. 
I think that's why they are called hearing AIDS and not a MIRACLE EAR...wait.
You know what I mean.

We can localize sound. 
Nathan cannot.
If someone is talking at our side, we can tell and turn to look at them. 
If someone is talking at Nathan's side, he can hear something, he can sometimes tell it is someone talking, but he has no idea where it is coming from and cannot tell what they are saying, or even if they are talking to him.

This makes group settings and conversations with multiple people pretty difficult for Nathan. 

Think about it...
One person is talking to his left, he is following, mostly by reading their lips, more on that later.
Someone to his right responds or adds to the conversation.
By the time he locates the person who is now talking, they are done talking. 
He doesn't know what they said, so he could be lost at this point.
But, his gaze happens to catch the next person talking (directly in front of him).
He can gather what person #2 said by what #1 and #3 said, but not always. 
He could continue following or try to follow or he could already be lost.
It's HARD!
Once multiple persons have spoken and spoken multiple times...he's lost.
Not to mention when the topic changes...that can really throw you for a loop.

Even talking to one person face to face in a group setting is hard with lots of background noise.

Even though Nathan doesn't hear like we do he has other SUPER POWERS.

He reads lips!
Sometimes from across the room!
Watch out what you're saying from across the room, when Nathan's around!!!

Sometimes he's self conscience about staring at peoples mouths.

I just keep telling him, it's a sign of listening and being attentive, even for hearing people.
I sometimes get self conscience about where I'm looking when speaking to people. 
All of the sudden I'm like, "Where should I be looking? At their right eye? Their left? Between their eyes? Their mouth?"
So, his insecurity is natural and fine...but, keep looking at their mouth Nathan!
Keep looking!

He uses social cues WAY better than we do.
Body language
Facial Expressions
These help him, big time, when trying to follow group conversations.

At home....

There are times he is hearing something and he will start looking around puzzled. 
I will then say:
"The garbage man is here."  
"The neighbors upstairs are pounding on the floor again."
"There are sirens outside."
"Marley just turned the tv on."
"Lorenzo is crying."
etc. etc. etc.

I am a great help!
I can usually tell when he is about to start looking around puzzled. 
I also help him is social situations, the best I can.
 I could do better, more on that later.

Nathan, of course, takes his hearing aid out at night. 
He can hear nothing while we sleep.
He claims I snore!!!!!

When I am the only one that can hear, at night, in the dark, it freaks me out, a little.
I am a pretty sensitive sleeper, so little noises wake me up.
To help me sleep and not be distracted by noise I have a noise maker I play every night to mask unwanted sound....like, the neighbors upstairs, my children crying, and of course intruders.
That also kinda freaks me out at night.
We're both deaf!
It's better than me losing sleep.

There are times when I am reminded of what he is likely to hear and even more likely NOT to hear.
Not just in church...but here is a good example.

Last Sunday, church had JUST started. 
Someone was speaking at the pulpit and people were still settling around us. 
There was noise.
At the same time, Lorenzo REALLY wanted to scribble all over Isi's Primary talk.
Nathan was holding Lorenzo and quickly passed the talk to me and I hid it from sight.
Lorenzo lost it and started crying and grunting and then even screeched.

Nathan sat there looking toward the front and probably trying to gather information by reading the person's lips at the pulpit, but still holding onto Lorenzo.

I leaned over, poked Nathan and with my angry face (remember he picks up on facial expressions as an essential part of communication) and I mouthed, "He needs to be taken out!!!"
Nathan, "whispered", "Sorry! I couldn't hear him!!!"

He could feel Lorenzo's belly tighten, but he thought it was just part of his struggle to get away and hunt for the special, most precious, piece of paper. 

I felt bad that I had used my angry face.

I offered to take Lorenzo out....
But, Nathan put on his angry face and marched out with Lorenzo in arms.

Speaking of church....
We HAVE to sit close to the front so he can read lips. 
If he is beyond row 5 he gets nothing from the people speaking.
We always try to get to our meetings SUPER early, just for this reason.
Ok...I also HATE to be late, for anything.
I got it from my Grandpa Alger, "If you're 5 minutes early, YOU'RE LATE!"
He was a navy man.

Back to church.....
Nathan gets very little from Sunday School and Priesthood, because of all the comments from those not at the front of the room...or those who he can only see the back of their heads.
It's nothing that can be fixed....
Unless.....he had a transliterator.
It's not really a word but it comes from the word transliteration.

Have you heard of Cued Speech?

cued speech
ˌkyo͞od ˈspēCH/
  1. a type of sign language that uses hand movements combined with mouth shapes to communicate to the hearing impaired.

Google it or YouTube it.

When I think about Cued Speech and using it with Nathan my heart beats faster.
It makes me excited!

Transliterator isn't really a word but transliteration is the conversion of one script to another. 

A language translator is a person who translates from one language to another, especially as a professional.

But, Cued Speech is not a different language. It is a different way to convey or communicate English or any language actually, without using your voice.

So a person listening and then conveying English by using Cued Speech would be a transliterator.

That's how I understand it anyway. 

I'm no expert.

Not even close.

I have learned Cued Speech. 

So has Nathan.

They say you can be fluent in about 10-14 days.


If you don't use it, just like anything, you lose it.

I need to practice it!

So does Nathan.

Then I could transliterate SO many things for him!!!


Did you learn more about Nathan?
Did you learn how to better communicate with him?
Make sure he can see you and especially your mouth.

And, I don't think I mentioned....



Sunday, February 28, 2016

Being Overwhelmed...Finding Joy

I overwhelm myself.
I create anxiety in my heart. 
I know I do it.
Sometimes I can't stop it. 
Sometimes I make it worse by putting things off
or wasting time
or making excuses.
And it is almost always internal.

Sometimes, it's so subconscious that I don't know it's happening until I get hit with a migraine.

Sometimes I feel guilty about it because...
I know things.
So, I "shouldn't" be overwhelmed or anxious.
At least that's what I think sometimes.
Which, only makes it worse. 
Guilt can be good.
Guilt can be bad.

Today in Relief Society our lesson was on
It's a great talk.
It was a great lesson.

It made me think that even when I am trying to live a Christ-Centered Life,
sometimes it's hard to feel the Joy.
There are so many distractions.
The worst one is Satan, himself.
His icky whispers.

He says...
you're not good enough
you messed up, why try
you've done enough, now relax
why you? so many others could do a WAY better job
it won't matter
it doesn't matter

And so on.

He's a jerk.
The biggest jerk there ever was and ever will be.
He's real.
He's a real JERK!

I KNOW this, but I have to constantly remind myself...
if we are doing our best to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ, 
we CAN have Joy.

we just need to pause
give thanks
and then
do it all 
and again
and again. 

But when you're doing all that and more, remember to
look for the joy

I also KNOW that was we strive to put Christ first in our lives...the center of our life, 
everything else becomes easier to bare and we can find Joy even in hard or challenging times.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

City Lights

Tonight I thought about my blog for the first time in a long time. 
It looks like I've been writing about once a year for the past few years. 
I used to love it.
I think I might love it again. 
I'm thinking about cleaning the cobwebs off and trying to make my blog work for me...
in the past I felt like I started working for my blog.
It wouldn't do what I wanted it to do...and that frustrated me.
I'm going to try not to let it frustrate me.
The record with pictures is invaluable. 

Tonight I got to participate in a market research opinion think tank.
I got paid to share my thoughts on innovation and technology. 
I'm sworn to secrecy with sharing specifics...but, 
I liked it.
And it made me think. 

Lately, I've been evaluating how I spend my time 
questioning what I'm passionate about,
trying to figure out what I love and why, and 
also figuring out my intentions.

I've also been thinking a lot about counting my blessings.
And I've been counting them.
That's always a good thing.
I'm going to start writing them down.
Maybe on the blog?
Maybe not? 

Tonight, I got to go to the city.
The city does something to me. 
I love it.
I love the energy.
I love the lights,
the height and depth the buildings create,
I love to be up in tall buildings and looking down on little cars,
little people,
little lights,
little streets.
I like sirens and trying to find the emergency vehicles down below.
I like to see construction cranes and new buildings going up, up, up. 
I like fire escapes...they're cool. 
I love the city. 

Tonight, I parked on the second level, but 
after my duties were complete I drove up to the top of the parking garage.
I wish I took a selfie up there,
even though I don't really like selfies.
I liked being up there.
I wish I captured the moment in a picture...
with me in it.

Tonight, I thought...
about how I love the city,
I appreciate technology and innovation.

I thought about how
I love Colorado,

(PS - I also miss Pure Michigan)