Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Expressing gratitude here...

So, I just have to take a minute and express some

Gratitude for family and friends who have been so
supportive and concerned about me these past few days

Gratitude for medicine, ice packs and
heating pads to help the pain

Gratitude for the ability for me to see slow
progress in my healing process

BUT, more than anything,
I have SO MUCH GRATITUDE for the

On Sunday, I was feeling pretty down about my condition and the outlook of it. My mom had also returned to PA that morning, so my constant source of optimism and encouragement had left! In my small-minded world, things were looking pretty bleak and I was having a pretty sweet pitty party!

I think the reality that really struck home to me on Sunday was that my ability to run over the next couple of weeks and possibly months was at 0%. ZERO. Now, for many of you, this might seem like no big deal, but running for me for those 30 or 40 minutes is my chance to zone out and rejeuvenate myself. I had grown to crave that time as MY TIME. No interruptions and it wasn't ending till I reached my destination! I also felt so much better after each run. And, now, NO MORE. That was a true blow to me. I remember driving back from church on Sunday and never having more of a craving to run (regardless of it being Sunday!) just because I knew I couldn't do it. Ha, if I knew I could the thought wouldn't have even crossed my mind. I remember being so jealous and envious of them.

At one moment in my pity party I finally came to the realization that I couldn't face these next few weeks on "my own" and that I needed help and strength that I didn't have. All of my life I have believed in the power of blessings from the priesthood. I have seen and felt this "power" in my life and the lives of others. I've persistently encouraged others to get blessings, but when it comes to me personally, I take a laid back attitude thinking I can handle it myself. I don't want to bother anyone and take up their time. Ha - I am SO wrong in that thinking... but I can't explain why I think I don't need help when that's EXACTLY what I needed.

So, after wasting time debating this in my mind, I asked a friend if he could come by at some point. That night, the next... next Sunday... anytime in the next year? Ha, well, of course he said he and a roommate would be by later that night.

Words cannot express the peace and the spiritual strength I received from the blessing. I can not say there has been a dramatic change in my physical condition, but I do know slow progress is being made. THERE HAS been however, a DRAMATIC change in my outlook, thinking and mental ability to get through these next few weeks. I was worried about keeping up with my schedule and the demands it places on me physically. I was worried I wouldn't get out of my "funk" and pitty party. But, the words spoken in the blessing addressed my immediate concerns specifically and I knew that the person giving the blessing could not have known that on his own. He's smart, but he can't read minds! I really felt that Heavenly Father was listening to my prayers and through this blessing was answering my concerns. It brought me SO much peace and comfort in words I can't describe.

I am so grateful for the priesthood. I have, yet again, felt its power this week and it has given me the strength to continue on. Strength I knew I didn't have on my own!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Never say never... and POWERFUL LESSON for me

But, since it already happened today here we go:

(or hit by a car at all when not in the street)

But, yes, it happened today. I am still in shock so I had to blog about it.

I was coming out of the Library with the little boy I watch. THANK GOODNESS he was walking slowly looking at his book.... but still only a few feet behind. I had just received a text from his mom and was replying to her while waiting for Jeremiah... when SMACK. I only saw the car when it was 6 inches from me and had no time to react. I am a terrible judge of how fast she was going... but maybe 15-20 miles an hour or more. She hit me on my right side, mostly right on my knee. I tried to step forward to stop my fall, but somehow spun around and landed pretty hard on my bottom and side. Fortunately she stopped in time and didn't run me over.

I was just in shock. Getting up, I looked up and saw that I KNEW her (she's a nanny of a friend of Jeremiah's!!!) as she was getting out of the car. I had no words to share besides: "What the heck" (yes, I am glad I didn't accidentally curse. It makes me happy to know that was not my instinctive reaction when I wasn't thinking clearly!) I then remember making sure I had my balance and just looked down at the ground, watching my footing on the snow/ice as I went back to Jeremiah who didn't know what to do as he just stood there!

I remember knowing I wasn't in too much pain and that I just wanted her to leave. People were staring, asking if I was OK, but I was determined to just walk with Jeremiah back into the library and let them all go away. I just kept saying, "I'm fine, I'm fine" and took Jeremiah's hand. They all left and we walked inside.

I do have a LARGE bruise on my right leg, but it's not painful. However, somehow during my spin and fall on the ground, I did some good damage to a muscle on my left leg that has progressively gotten worse tonight. Other than that, I am fine. And, surprisingly for me, I am not mad. Here's why.

POWERFUL lessons learned by me.

As the nanny was getting out of her car she kept repeating, "I am so sorry. I was distracted by the kids in the back and I turned to say something to them." (NOT only had she crossed into the other lane of traffic, but I was standing on the curb at the intersection!)

The reason why I am not mad is that accidents happen (not ideal, but also a blessing because I know it could have been A LOT worse)... but also, her being distracted by the kids and turning to look at them is something I'm very guilty of. I COULD have been in her position. I could have hit someone and caused even more damage.

I have even thought to myself before this incident today that I have taken cars and driving for granted... but the thought never really changed my behavior. I know I am an aggressive driver, but I do think I am a safe driver... most of the time. Because I've never been in a very serious accident I somehow think I am immune to this or anything that can happen behind the wheel of a very powerful car. And, I have slacked in some areas. I am also guilty of being distracted by the kids and trying to manage them while driving.

As Jeremiah and I walked home, I said a prayer thanking the Lord that I wasn't more injured and that he was totally fine. No, I am not happy to be in pain when I walk but I have faith that it will heal in time.

But it was a powerful lesson for me and I know I will not forget it any time soon....
hopefully never.

Friday, February 12, 2010

What to do when you're on your 6th straight day off from school!

So, as previous posts indicate... we've got a BIT of snow here in DC! Yes, today was our 6th day off (not including the weekend... so that would be 8 including the weekend, plus this upcoming 3 day weekend makes it 11 days off before going back to school!)

Anyway - we had exhausted other options. Many
museums are still closed. We did the movies. We did sledding and snow angels. We did arts and crafts. We did pretend plays and play dates. We did cooking and school projects. We did it!

So, what now? GET OUT OF THE HOUSE and drive somewhere!! Finally, the major roads are plowed (but it's INCREDIBLE how many side streets aren't. I would GO INSANE if that was still my street and 8 days after the storm I still could not get my car out because there was 3 feet of snow on my street. One would ask (in anger and frustration, I imagine) WHERE ARE THE PLOWS??? And, where are my tax dollars being spent?

But, our street is plowed. WHEW!!! So, I did some research and found SNOW TUBING! Fun for all ages and no skill required! So, I piled 3 kids plus one friend into the car with ALL snow gear (that's a LOT of stuff!) and we were off.

SO MUCH FUN!!! I forgot my camera in Denver last weekend so I had to get pictures of the resort off the website... and general pictures of the fun we had! BUT, I HIGHLY recommend this activity to anyone! It's not very expensive and loads of fun!

(However: a tip to all parents of kids under 5... you're most likely taking them on a smaller hill where there ISN'T a chair lift. YOU WILL be
guaranteed a GOOD workout as you walk up with child and tube, watch THEM go down, and you then walk down the hill to meet them and back up again. Yep - after two hours you'll be exhausted, but the child will be ALL smiles... as was Jeremiah! Well worth it!)

Liberty Mtn Resort at night.
We went during the day and the sun
was beautiful, but these are the tubing lanes!

Picture of what we did...
although not a picture of us!
And, one more. You've GOT to go.
And, go down once or twice on your
stomach for an extra thrill!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A gift of time... and I complain about it?! Makes no SENSE!

Keeping things in perspective.

So, as many of you know, one of the reasons I was SOOOO ready to move from Boston was because of the snow! I am not a huge fan of shoveling, or winter temps in general. I think it's pretty when it falls and I don't have to go out, but usually you have to go out at some point and clear it away. Then it just becomes a nuisance as you drive in ice and slush and get your clothes all muddy and it turns dirty.

Well, for any of you who have watched the news you'll know DC has now gotten it's 3rd (NOTE 3RD) Blizzard of the winter and the 2nd (NOTE 2nd) in FOUR DAYS!! Fortunately I missed the first one on Saturday because I was in Albuquerque for Evan's wedding (post to come) but we got two feet of snow with that storm and one foot with this storm. But, it's the WIND that kills you. Gusts above 35 mph and blowing snow. NOT FUN! I don't mind driving in snow, but the winds make it impossible.

So, in DC, we have school off all week. Everyone does. Federal Government closed all week. CITY shuts down. We've done the outside snow things.... sledding, snow angels, etc. Because it's so cold, I took the kids to a paint your own pottery place yesterday, but today with the wind you can't go anywhere or be outside for long. Tomorrow we'll go out again though. Can't stay home for too long!

But, as much as I complain when I storm is on the way, this article made me stop and first, laugh, and then think about how nice it is to be FORCED to slow down your life. Relax, spend time with family, read, etc.

Here it is. I only cut and pasted some of her tips for us easterners!!:
Laura Lorson

Some advice for you folks in the mid-Atlantic on snowstorms: You can trust me; I live in the Midwest. We get phenomenal amounts of snow pretty regularly ... though I could see where you might not know that, because we have to get, like, apocalyptic amounts of ice before anyone on The Weather Channel bothers to point it out.

So anyway, here are my rules for a safe, healthy, happy snow experience.

1. Chopping up your furniture for fuel goes a lot more smoothly if you keep your axes nice and sharp.

2. Do not pay more than $50 for a loaf of black-market Wonder Bread.(Cara's comment: the stores in the area have been CLEANED OUT!!)

3. There's more food in your house than you think. Search the junk drawers — there are often stale Gummi bears and Lemonhead candies.(Cara's comment: Yes, I have found this to be true)

4. Keep a sense of perspective. Running out of Chai Latte K-Cups is not worth a call to 911.(Cara's comment:Ha, ha!!)

5. To clear your driveway of heavy snow and ice, get married. (Cara's comment: This will be essential if I ever move north again or to the mid-west!)

6. (Cara's comment:I like this one best of all) Enjoy it. Stay home; stay safe; make soup; read a book. Make snow angels. Learn what we already know here in the Midwest — you can think of snow as an annoyance, or accept it for what it is a gift of time. Time with your family, time with your thoughts, time to be thankful for shelter and warmth and hot chocolate. Take the gift; enjoy it; use it well.

Cara's comment : It's time for me to change my perspective!!