Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Five years ago today ...

I posted this on my health/fitness blog, but wanted to post it over here too.

October twelfth is one of those days that I will never forget. Five years ago today, I was in a car accident along with my daughter (Aubrey) and her friend (Avery) after I had picked them up from Kindergarten.
This is Aubrey (she was 5 at the time) looking in at the damage. Haunts me every time I see it.

When I see this shot I am amazed that we were able to survive and am SO grateful that Aubrey didn't suffer any broken bones (she was sitting in the back on the driver's side). Thanks goodness for booster seats!

Short story is, we were t-boned. Aubrey and I were life-flighted to downtown hospitals, Avery was sent by ambulance to a local hospital. Aubrey had a concussion and spent the night in the hospital. I had multiple broken bones and several surgeries and spent a month in the hospital, 3 months in a wheelchair and another 3-4 months on crutches. You can read the long version here.

I marvel each year as the anniversary comes along at how far things have come since that day. Most days the experience is just a distance memory, but it always seems that around this time of the year I start counting my blessings. I am grateful:
  • To be alive! And I'm grateful that the accident didn't happen 10 weeks earlier (when I was still pregnant with my son). So glad that Aubrey and Avery had relatively mild injuries.
  • To have had a full recovery. Makes me appreciate all the things that I can do with the body (including TWO half marathons!)
  • For my family and friends. It was truly amazing to be lifted up by those who love us as we went through this trial.
  • For the perspective that this time brought our lives. I don't know why it takes bad things happening to really help you to see the big picture, but I am grateful none the less.
  • For miracles. There were so many (small and big) miracles that happened during this time. 
May I always be able to hold these blessings close to me. Here's to the next five years!


Sunday, July 4, 2010

So much to do, so little time!

I always have grand hopes of coming here and telling you all about what's going on in my life! But then another day (week, month) passes and nothing. I still intend to put pictures here as time permits, but am going to stop feeling guilty when I slack on this, because that just means I am putting more time into other great things!

I have been working on my exercise blog, so come visit if you really, really want to hear a bit from me! ;)

http://carriezworld.blogspot.com/

Sunday, June 13, 2010

There's something missing!


Man, my baby is growing up!

We noticed his front two teeth were wiggling a couple weeks ago. I told him all about how the tooth fairy works and how cool it is he was growing up. Well, he did not agree. With a big tear in his eye he pleaded, "But Mommmmmmy, I don't WANT my teeth to break!" Awe, sweet boy!

Now with the tooth gone, he thinks it's pretty cool. ;)

By the way, I'm taking a photography class and loving learning how to actually use my camera. I used this photo as part of my first assignment. Can't wait to learn more!
For some crazy reason, I decided to run 13.1 miles. For the SECOND time in my life. Did I not learn my lesson the first time around? Maybe running is like child birth, you forget all of the gory details until you are already committed. Taylor was really supportive of me during my training (he even joined me on 6am runs!) & he and the kids met me twice along the race route.

This picture is take at about mile 10. I gotta say, seeing them across that bridge brought tears to me eyes and really gave me the boost I needed to go on!


On the final stretch. I felt soooooo much better this time compared to two years ago.



It's great to share goals with friends. We each had different goals going into the race and we each blew them to pieces ... WE ROCK!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I love snuggles!


One of my favorite ways to start the day is with snuggles. I'm lucky to have two kids who love to snuggle. Aubrey had gotten older and has other priorities, but Braden still LOVES to snuggle, and I gobble up every bit of it while I can. If we don't get to have snuggle time in the morning, he makes sure we have it as soon as we get back home.

Now that we have early church (okay so it's 9am, but to us that is early!), there is not always time to snuggle before church. A month ago, we went straight to my mom's house after church. On the way, Braden sounding quite distraught said, "MOM! We forgot to snuggle!" Just as the tears were welling up in his eyes, I promised we could struggle as soon as we got to Grandma's house. Luckily my mom gets it ... we walked in, said "hi" and went upstairs to have a good fifteen minutes of snuggle time.

Bedtime snuggles are also quite yummy. It's where we get to talk about the day and plan the next day. Braden will even initiate our convo saying, "So mom, how was your day? Tell me about it!"

Yesterday Aubrey had a tough day at school and was in tears as we worked through things. She was about to head to the kitchen to start homework with hunched shoulders. I asked her if she needed a hug and she ran over and we got in some good huggle time (cross between hugs and snuggles!) She may be growing up, but it makes me so happy to know she still needs her momma sometimes!

Love it, love it, love it!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It was a poopy kind of day ...


No, really ... it was!!! I swear Braden is going to grow up to be one of those adults who can only poop in his toilet at home. Like he'll probably drive home from work every afternoon to do his duty, or figure out some really great work from home job so he is close to the john.

Today we went to the park with my sis (yes, it was 61 degrees, hallelujah!) and he had to go number 2 (okay, I should just say poop, why am I trying to be all proper now?!?) No prob, there's a restroom right by the playground. As we are getting closer he starts telling me he doesn't really have to go anymore. Nice trying, even his eyes were turning brown at that point. Braden hates the park bathroom because they are silver and because the sound echoes making the flush reeeeeally loud. After promising to not flush until he was outside and promising that the toilet was nice even though it looked weird, I was able to get him inside. Ten minutes later (anxiety does not help speed things along) with me praying the whole time that no one else would come in and flush, he did his business. Thought we were good.

Got home and his tummy wasn't feeling well, so he climbed into my bed for a snuggle. I thought maybe he was tired out. About twenty minutes later I hear him whisper, "i did a poooh." I ask him to clarify and he tells me, "it's a big one." Oh greeeeat. I thought we were done with the accidents, but apparently not. It was bad. It was really bad. There was a lot of it. It made me cry. Literally. I think I thought if I sat there long enough someone would come in and clean it up for me. I even said (without thinking of course) "I don't want to clean this up." Braden says with a totally serious, concerned face, "Hmmmm, what are we going to do about that?" I put my mommy hat back on and took care of it. Let's just say, he won't be wearing those underwear again.

If only ...


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I am Sad

WARNING: This post may be a downer (as if you couldn't tell from the title!) but it's just where I am right now and I have such a urge to get these feelings out.

SECOND WARNING: This might go on for a while so reader ... beware!

Brief background: on January 21st, Taylor's mom, Susan Elaine Keele, passed away unexpectedly from a blood clot. There was no warning and we are still in a state of shock about it. I would like to write more later about the story, but for now I want to focus what's going on right now.

I snapped this shot of her at Antelope Island last fall when she wasn't looking. I just love this picture of her!

I've been dealing with things and thought I was okay. We got through the horrible night when we heard of her death and the day after when we made the trip down to Castledale and that was really tough. Then all the prep for the funeral, that was hard. We got through the funeral (which was beautiful) and cemetery and that was really hard. The day after the funeral was really, really hard, watching Kent break down. I've supported Taylor and I've watched and talked with the kids as they have digested this death in their own way and of course I've cried ... lots! Nut then life went on, but today I realize ... I'm sad.

Today I went to the mall to pick up something for my mom. I walked past a jewelry store and the memory flooded back to last year when Aubrey and I walked past that very store and ran into Kent and Susan. Susan was showing off a new emerald ring that Kent had bought her (I think it was for their anniversary). We chatted and went our separate ways. As that memory rushed in I could hardly hold back the tears before I made it to the van and just cried. I don't know what it was, whether it was realizing that I would never just "run" into her again or the fact that Kent won't have her for the next anniversary. There's the fact that Aubrey's birthday is this week and she won't get a visit from her. That makes me feel sad.

Once I composed myself, I made the drive home thinking I was good. I was looking forward to giving my mom a big hug as I knew she was waiting home for me. That's when the frailty of life really crept into my mind. You know how when you're a kid and death is something that just doesn't happen to people you know? And when it does happen, it's a crazy bizarre thing? Well, somehow now at the ripe age of 31, I realize this is part of life (I know, duh, right?). The fact of the matter is we are born and then we die. I've been looking at the people in my life who I am the closest to, Taylor, the kids, my mom and sisters, Taylor's family, our friends ... and realize I am going to have to deal with death. And that makes me really sad.

I started thinking about my mom, who has had some health scares this week. I can't imagine having her die. The thought is devastating to me. I thought of all the memories I would have that would remind me of her love for us. When I'm sick, I call my mom. When I'm sad, I call my mom. When I'm happy, I call my mom. You get it. I think in the back of my head I was prepared for that "someday" to come when I would be ready for death, but I don't think I ever will be ready. And that makes me sad.

I haven't been able to sleep at night lately. During the day I just want to sleep. Nap. Lay down. I keep my mind busy with other things, make myself do things: I made this really cool meal planner for the fridge, you should see it!, work on school (did I tell you that my professor LOVED my bio/comp paper and used it as a model for the class?), been hanging out with friends ... but when that's all over I just want to crawl into bed and snuggle up. I keep waiting for that yucky feeling to get better. But I'm still sad.

Braden talks about death several times a day. It is very present for him. He keeps reminding me (apparently he thinks I'm going senile!), "Mom, remember Grandma Susan died?" He has had a couple of teary moments, one when he walked in the room and I had my eyes closed and he yells, "Mom! Ohhhh, I thought you were dead!" with tears in his eyes, and another when he came running from my bedroom and said, "Mom, I don't you want you to EVER die!" and gave me the biggest hug ever. He was worried when I touched his hands and commented that they were cold, saying, "Does that mean I'm dying?" (To him, cold hands equates you are dead.) I promised him that I won't die for a looooooong time and not to worry. In the back of my head, I know I can't keep that promise. I have hope, but there's no guarantee. I picture what it would be like if Taylor died, and I can't even go there except to know it would be horrible. Am I a bad mommy to promise him I won't die for a long time? I wish I had an absolute for him, it makes me sad.

Aubrey is a trooper. The first week, especially those first few days were pretty rough. We did a lot of crying and she talked through a lot of hard to understand feelings. She was brave and shared her favorite memory with Grandma at the funeral. She realizes that Grandma won't be able to go to her next orchestra concert. She won't be getting to add any letters from Russia in her notebook (Kent and Susan were preparing to serve a mission for our church in Russia and Susan made notebooks for each of the grandchildren to keep their letters from Russia). She has told me that it now feels normal for Grandma to not be here and that makes her sad and I totally agree, it's very sad.

Taylor seems to be okay, but I worry about him. He is really good at bottling up things and making it seem like he's fine. He lost it once pretty big a week or two after the funeral, but aside from some small moments, doesn't show a whole lot. I know it is not that he trusts me, it is just not something he has ever done ... let it all out. I hope I can be the safe place for him to come when it does come out. I know his heart is broken and that makes me sad.

I guess what I realized in getting this all out is ... that I am sad. I think I tried to just pick back up with life, thinking (hoping) that it would just get back to normal. Tonight I realize that I need to let myself feel this. It's okay to mourn. Not Just Susan's death but the reality that is ahead. Life is hard sometimes and sad.

I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of the plan of salvation! The knowledge that one day I will get to see Susan, and all my friends and family. I may be separated from them for a time, but that grief will be but a wink of an eye in the scheme of things. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I can't imagine going through this without the comfort our Heavenly Father gives us. I know that I can't and will probably not on this earth be able to understand why we have to go through heartache and trial, but I know that it will be worth it. There are good things that we come out of trials with, even if just the fact that we got through it intact. As painful as this is, I am not alone and I do not have to bear the burden alone. But for tonight, I am sad.