Sunday, May 29
Thursday, May 26
Since Auni girl passed away last September, I feel like I've been in an extremely fragile state. I got a job less than a month after her passing just to be forced to quit 3 months later because I felt as if my life was crumbling into a million pieces and my anxiety skyrocketed out of control. Anxiety is a silent battle because it's so private, making you feel like you have to deal with it alone. It's part of anxiety to appear as if you're completely fine and have everything together to those around you. You seem amazing on the outside but feel like you're dying on the inside. You over think everything and it truly consumes every aspect of your life. I didn't truly understand how badly it was affecting me personally and my life until it was preventing me from doing an endless amount of everyday, simple tasks.
Everything we went through with Auni was so traumatic. From the moment we heard the dreadful diagnosis of Spinal Muscular Atrophy to when I was forced to watch the life slowly leave her little body in my arms. While she was still here with us, we were constantly doing everything in our power to keep her alive and happy. We were in a state of non-stop survival mode, both day and night. Always fervently praying for her comfort and dealing with the constant, debilitating fear of losing her and the unknown of how it would happen. My stress meter was always maxed out. All while grieving the life we once pictured and dreamed of for our beautiful daughter and trying to learn all of the new, terrifying things we had to do on a daily basis to keep her alive and breathing. I was always so sensitive to everything she had to endure and suffer through, especially with her being so young and undeserving. It seemed so unfair and quite literally tore me apart inside.
After going through everything with Auni and especially after losing her, fear became my unwanted constant companion always tugging at my arm; reminding me that if the worse case scenario happened once, it can definitely happen again. The fear then caused me to be anxious to the point of preventing me from doing almost anything. It caused me to withdraw, away from people, away from judgement, and away from the risk of making any type of mistake. Being home and ignoring the outside world was the only place I felt completely safe. Being fully aware that this was not normal nor helping my situation, Dall and I knew we needed to do something. Not knowing where to turn and feeling like we had tried everything we could think of, we decided to go see a therapist. (who Heavenly Father so graciously placed in our path). He has been nothing short of amazing and I very highly recommend therapy to every single person in this world, regardless of what you're facing. It's so healthy and helpful to talk about everything you're going through with a third party who is not personally attached to the situation. They bring such great perspective to the table and ask you questions that force you to step back and look at your situation in a whole new light. In general but also due to therapy, I made a commitment to myself, Dallin, and our therapist that I would start working out again on a regular basis; a very necessary outlet for all of my pent up stress, worry, and emotions. It has been such an immense help to me that I'm having a difficult time even finding the words to accurately describe it. To say it simply, both nature and exercise are soooo good for the soul.
Yesterday, during my run, the song, I was Broken by Marcus Foster came on. I have listened to this song so many times since purchasing it a few months ago but today, the lyrics took on a new meaning to me. "There are some wounds that just can't mend...I will stand here until the end...I was broken for a long time but it's over now. It's over now." A few days ago was the first day I've had in a really long time that I haven't cried and was truly happy and felt like myself again all day long. There was finally hope again. Light at the end of this very dark, seemingly never-ending tunnel. I felt that same thing again yesterday during my run after hearing those lyrics. I recently applied for a couple of jobs and have an interview coming up. At first I was so excited and grateful for the opportunity to get some structure and purpose back in my life. That quickly morphed into fear taking over and making me feel inadequate and scared of the possibility of failing again. Yesterday, as I was running and listening to this song, I literally felt the weight being lifted from my shoulders. Heavenly Father letting me know that I could get through this and to not be scared because He is here to help me. I stopped running and just sobbed. Finally feeling hopeful again and seeing even the smallest amount of progress in my life brought me to tears. I smiled and started running again and then quickly giggled at the thought of someone witnessing the crazy girl running that went from sobbing to laughing in a matter of seconds. The life of a woman, am I right? ha ha
Life is just plain hard at times, so excruciatingly hard. Sometimes the hand we are dealt seems so unfair and almost breaks us but there is always great purpose behind it all. Light does come eventually. There is no saying how quickly it will come and in what magnitude, but it will come. I have undeniably witnessed this in my personal life time and time again. I believe without a shadow of a doubt that if we are doing all we can, Heavenly Father will bless us and everything will work out. Little by little, if we keep trying, we will keep improving and things will keep getting better and better. If there is one thing I know of a surety, it's that Auni wants Dall and I to be happy. I hope I can keep working and trying everyday to keep improving myself and to learn to be happy and have a heart full of gratitude, even in the middle of the storm. I'd say it's never too late to learn how to dance in the rain, even if at times, it's in a hurricane like rain.
Monday, February 29
First things first, this brilliant recipe was created by my sister. She is unstoppable when it comes to creating healthy recipes out of just about anything. At-risk produce in the fridge about to go bad? Don't worry, she'll throw together an amazing vegetable soup in two seconds flat. I'm attempting to follow in her footsteps but I have come to the conclusion that I'll never quite catch up to her. At least I will always have a killer role model, right?
Okay, moving on. Breakfast has never been my strong suit, even with knowing the true importance of it. It's the most important meal of the day and is what provides us with the energy we need to start our day out right. Mornings themselves are busy and breakfast is always the last thing that happens before I walk out the door. Therefore, if I'm running late, breakfast is skipped all together. Not a good start to the day. Hangry is a real and thriving emotion in my life, so let's just say I always try to keep myself fed! It's pretty mind blowing to see the difference in myself when I eat well in comparison to when I don't. If I get too busy to eat, I find myself to be tired, unmotivated, and just overall irritable. Food is fuel people, food is fuel.
This quick breakfast (or snack) is just that. It's quick, easy, healthy, and super delicious! Chia seeds are highly nutritious and are a great source of protein. Topping them with more nutrient dense foods, makes for a winner of a breakfast. I've included a recipe card below if you're interested in trying it out. I do have a few helpful pointers for you. Make the mixture at night so it will be ready for a quick breakfast in the morning. Next, I used sugar and vanilla because I didn't have anything else on hand, but you can also use healthier options like honey, agave, etc. to sweeten it. I have also found that buying nuts in bulk at whole food stores like Good Earth, is more cost effective. You also get to select your favorites and how much you get of each. I used unsalted cashews, almonds, and pumpkin seeds this round. My sister also adds in craisins as well. That's the beauty of it, you can completely fit it to your taste.
Sunday, February 28
I have always felt recording life was important. Ask Dallin, I'm sure he won't hesitate to tell you on how many occasions he has mumbled under his breath while I stop every two seconds to take pictures. Writing is one thing, and while it is extremely important, pictures and videos take on a whole new meaning. Following Auni's diagnosis (Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 1), we couldn't take enough pictures or videos. With Auni's diagnosis being terminal, and truly not knowing when our last day together would be, we wanted to be able to remember every last detail about her and about our life with her. I think we did a pretty good job considering our expansion drive chuck full of pictures and videos of her. Surprisingly, I still wish we would have taken more. I knew we would always cherish them, but after she passed away, they have become so unbelievably valuable. That is the one and only thing I would risk my life for if our house caught on fire. I cling to every memory for dear life in fear of forgetting little details about her. Her smell, the feel of her soft, chubby hands, the sound of her giggle, the way her babbles and squeals would carry through the house. There is an endless list. It's like my hands are full of laundry and I keep dropping small items as I try to carry them. Every time I do, I scramble as quickly as possible to pick it back up in fear of losing it, all while trying to juggle all the other items in my arms. Every last one of them being just as important as the next.
These family pictures are some of the most cherished pictures we have. My sweet friend, Brynn from Sunnydays Photography , took these gorgeous pictures for us and I will never be able to thank her enough. She has taken all of our pictures clear back to Dallin and I's engagements. She has a unique eye and her editing style is spot on! I just can't get enough of her work. I knew I wanted family pictures done soon, because Auni was getting to the point where she couldn't tolerate being held upright anymore without having a choking spell (due to SMA, her weakening muscles prevented her from controlling her saliva properly and it would go into her lungs). We were still overwhelmed with Auni's care at this point so that's why family pictures had kept falling down the ever growing to-do list. You know, picking out outfits, getting my hair done, etc. Our life was already crazy enough, and I was trying to keep from anything additional to the list. I finally scheduled a date with Brynn that worked with our crazy schedule and she took care of the rest! She found this house in Provo with an unruly, unmaintained yard to use for our shoot. To most that would have come across this house, the only thing they would have noticed was how unmaintained and homely it was sitting amongst the gorgeous neighboring yards. Brynn saw the potential and it was exactly what we were wanting. I wanted very outdoorsy pictures with evergreens, logs, etc., so this location fit the bill perfectly. The best part is, we didn't have to drive up the canyon to get it.
We were planning on doing another session with Brynn but Auni passed away before we could plan it, so these are our last professional family pictures of all three of us. I love every last one of them. I also want to mention that this post is not sponsored in any way, Brynn is just that talented. I love her work more than I can say, and she has become a really good friend of ours over the years. If you are in need of pictures of any kind, I highly recommend scheduling with her. You will not be disappointed!
After going through all we did with Auni girl, my eyes were opened and a lot of perspective was gained. I now know of a surety what is most important in our lives, and that's family. Family should be put above all else. No matter the cost, my family is the highest priority in my life. They are my everything and my heart is so full of gratitude for how blessed I truly am. Hold your loved ones close today! Appreciate every single moment you have with them, because the scary thing is, we never know when it might be our last.