Friday, January 31, 2014

Fashion Sister

Yesterday the resident artist didn't work and so an epic shopping trip was planned.
 (Epic: anything longer than 15 minutes in a store where it isn't possible to get bananas, an oil change and swimwear at the same time)
I knew it would be a chore to find clothes here, but getting Bailey outfitted for her mission has been much more of a challenge than I thought...
And I didn't want another shopping fail with cursing and tears (ok that wasn't Bailey, that was me)...
Shopping is HARD.
So yesterday began with a prayer and vow to keep my mouth shut...and Bailey promising to at least try it on...

Everything mix and match and Bailey doesn't feel frumpy or old or weird (her words). And she even found a shirt with anchors and the one with sailboats, quite fitting for Halifax :)

We had the best success in THE BAY...a dress, skirt, blazer and two shirts and an associate that actual understood the word modest. CLEO, Old Navy, RICKY'S and TARGET also had modest, mission appropriate stuff, yay!!!!

The shoes were also 50% off...SCORE!!!!

We did it! Between yesterday and the few things I have found on line and second hand, Bailey is basically ready to go...

There were no tears or swearing(yay me) and even Grant did it without snacks or eye rolling.

And Bailey, for the first time looks like a real missionary. :)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Please Not Her

I spent more than a decade trying everything to prove that I was NOT her.

 I was positive that if no one ever saw me fail, or cry, or my house a mess, or my kids with dirty faces, or me lose my temper...then no one could ever accuse me of being just like her.

 Mostly, I think, I was just running from my own overwhelming fear, of waking up one morning, the mirror image of my mother.

 My mother embarrassed me and at times she also scared me. My mother did things  that were meant to hurt, degrade and demean. My mother was unpredictable, demanding, manic....I hated her and I meant it.

Mom was severely mentally ill and out of control and my twenty-something self  had next to no understanding of the illness that raged inside of her.

I could not see beyond the face value of her heartbreaking behavior. And floundered miserably as we waded through those years of chaotic decline. I felt the sting of isolation and judgement by an outside world that had loud opinions and couldn't understand our need for distance and protection any more than I could.

Mom never did find peace in this world and her death brought no peace or healing for me either. No for me it caused me to run as fast as a could towards a pretended perfect life, so I could be anything but, her.

For years I ran...For years we pretended perfection and even ignored a diagnosis...But mental illness was not finished with our family...

More than two years ago now... we could no longer pretend and we were forced to face the reality of Bipolar disorder again. And it was not the mother I hated, but my sweet superman I love dearly....

This journey has been so different, maybe it's the advances in treatment, pharmaceuticals, and knowledge...maybe its our own understanding that has come with life experience and maturity...maybe it's our support network of dear friends and professionals...maybe it's just meant to be different...

Facing this again has stopped my marathon.

I'm glad the run is over, I can't do perfect, pretend or otherwise, anymore...
Feel free to judge away. I simply don't care what you think unless you think were AWESOME.

I am not my mother, but neither was she...Understanding has replaced hate and I look forward to the day when I can meet her again, free from illness and free from her heartaches and tell her how sorry I am. There are no do-overs here, but I am forever grateful for the gift of understanding and all those who seek to understand and support us now.

Friday, January 24, 2014


The sun! After days and days of waking up to gray, dreary fog, I couldn't be happier to open my eyes to the sun blaring through our bedroom window...Oh how I've missed that bright light.

With the sun, comes a reminder of quiet gratitude. {Days have felt like weeks around here and over and over I have thought, I just can't do this anymore...} Today there is some peace, still an uncertain future, but peace that there is purpose in this struggle, peace that this crazy journey is headed in the right direction. And I'll take it one sunny reminder at a time.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mommy Needs A Nap!

I have spent the morning cleaning...out of necessity and not desire.....trying to get the lucky charm milk slurry, that got left over night, off the split entry stairs (all of them), picking up at least 87 toothpicks, randomly scattered around the rec room, and digging a garbage bag worth of wrappers out from under man child's bed....and a bazillion other tasks

 And not so successfully trying to convince my self that running away from home is NOT the mommy thing to do....

Come on, we've all thought about running away from home way more as adults than we ever have as kids and if you lucked out and got that perfect husband and those angelic kids that bring you nothing but heavenly bliss, well bless your lying heart ;)

The blissful, joys of motherhood are completely escaping me this week...

Maybe it was breaking up a brawl that started with two and morphed into a complete world war three in casa de Kramer, only to discover, once everyone had stopped screaming at levels only the neighbourhood dogs can truly appreciate...that the initial battle had begun over...wait for it..two banana pie blizzards and the fact that thing two and three couldn't figure out which one had the extra pie piece thing three had ordered....

or Maybe its the trying to find modest, mission appropriate skirts and dresses for my 6 foot, fashion conscience, opinionated 19 year old, a thousand miles away from Utah...and trying desperately, despite what my daughter says, not to feel like I've transformed into a decrepit, cranky, cane wielding, gray haired old bitty that has the fashion sense to match.

or Maybe that nobody obeys the Wi-Fi rules or thinks I notice when they sneak out the door 15 minutes late for seminary (we live two doors away), or can put a dryer sheet in the dryer or even remembers that we own a dog, much less takes him out...

or Maybe this mom just needs a nap and a Sunny day and the funds to hire a nanny, maid and referee for the next 10 years week...

Motherhood is ________ AwSoMe!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

I've Lied.

We're fine. It's all good. Never better. Perfect as punch. 
 Lies, all of them. (At least the last two weeks)
But it's what we do when the truth is to tender to explain.

For some a change (good or bad) in life is just a speed bump, that slows you some. But when you have superpowers, that small bump can trigger an earthquake that pulls stability out from under you....

We knew many months ago returning to work for my sweet Superman was not likely and that applying for long term disability would eventually happen. A process we both worried about...

Mountains of paperwork. Doctors. GAF scales. Phone calls...oh my.

An absolutely necessary process with a draining toll.

I watched and listened as Grant took the phone call interview, part of the approval process, 45 mins of rapid fire questions in an effort to prove or disprove his disability. Honesty his only weapon. The interviewer was as kind as procedure could allow but could not see the toll the questions took. There is a cruelty, even if required, having to prove an illness that rages on with no visible wound, over the phone to a person, four provinces away....

I watched weeks of stability drain out of Grant.

Within days we had approval. But my relief only added to Superman's sorrow. 

I feel like a failure, Robin. I'm the one who is supposed to work for this family. 
Qualifying for LTD, marked the letting go of a career, he loves, for now. Necessary, but devastating for him. 

So the last week has been especially difficult as Grant accepts a path, he never asked to walk. 

So we are not fine, we are fearful....we are not good, we're gritting our teeth... We are not better, we're...I can't think of something appropriate that starts with B...and as for punch, I could go for some spiked stuff right now. ;)

Just praying for stability to come quick like (my definition, not the dictionary).and that there is still joy to be found in this amazing journey. 

Love this....

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Faith and Facebook Frustration

So people peddle their wares on Facebook all the time, nothing's wrong with that in my books....But, when the peddling of wares is disguised as a vague, baited question, fishing for opinions, but really just for customers??? I instantly lose interest.  If you have a cure-all, service, or company that is the best thing since sliced bread...why can't you just be completely transparent??? 

My newsfeed sees stuff like this all the each his own, I guess?

Yesterday a list of nearly two dozen serious diverse medical problems (mental health, cancer, Alzheimer's, Heart Disease etc.) with the unanswered question "what is the common underlying cause of all these???"

I tried to keep on scrolling, but a misspelled six word comment caught my eye....

the lank (lack) of faith in God

I read it several times, trying to give the guy the benefit of the doubt...but that is indeed what it says...

You're kidding me??? Really??? Do people (that guy) honestly still think that way??? Oh WOW...

A comment like that is simply judgemental and harmful..

It implies choice and then responsibility and a "well they had it coming" mentality for the illnesses and challenges that all families face and that couldn't be further from the truth.

It's been years, but I still remember being taken aside when our young family first faced Grant's diagnosis...and in almost a whisper being told "Well there must be some unresolved repentance issues, in his life...if he can fixed those... I bet that illness will just go away."

Okay the fact that I swear a lot sometimes, make fun of my kids and refuse to attend Sunday school, may make this hard to believe...But I am a deeply religious person and my faith in a loving God is the rock I stand on, when life swirls around me.

It is great faith and not the lack of it that has carried us through the gauntlet of life. Our prayers have not always been answered in the way we have asked. But that is not from absent faith. There is beauty in heart break, it is seen in the refined, strengthening that comes as the broken heart heals. I am grateful for the greater compassion and understanding and sure knowledge that there is a loving God that have been a direct result of faithfully enduring the struggle.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sew She's Leaving...

The fact that Bailey is really leaving home, in a few months to serve a mission hit this week...I was standing in the pharmacy grabbing all the things required for her first aid kit and I was suddenly sad. Something I didn't expect, months before she leaves...I'm thrilled she's able to go, I just realised for the first time that I will really miss her...
I think all the worry about Grant not being able to return to work yet and being in the middle of the LTD process didn't help :) (found out today that he did indeed qualify...grateful relief!!!!)
So I handled all the stress the only way I know how....MAKE STUFF!!!!
Bailey is taking the little camera we bought for our Disney trip...But it needed a case....

Scissors and felt and like an hour and she has a case with her name on it :)...Yay me!

I also quilted like mad...
Confession: when I'm having a really hard week, I pray for strength, courage and that I don't say the F word too much (truth)...and then I pray for someone I can help, often by making something just for them.  It helps me climb out of my pity party and gives me a creative outlet for all the frustration , when you don't have a lot of control over trials...A friend's name immediately came to mind...So I started sewing....

Best healing in the world for me.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Just One More

I've tried to write this six or seven times this week and eventually given up. You know the feeling you get when all you can think about is one thing and that thing leaves a pit in your stomach and makes it hard to really focus on anything else... That one thing is completely out of our hands and control now, the ultimate decision is in someone else's hands.

We have done all that we can, as we quietly knew this would be the eventual path...But I don't think I ever thought we would actually get here.

I have prayed and prayed and then prayed some more and ultimately felt "it will all work out"...But the doubt is killing me. We have witnessed so many miracles, tender mercies, blessings already as we have spent the last two and a half years battling Superman's mental health relapse...Is it arrogant to specifically  ask for just one more??? If you can't take the illness away, could you please just _____????

I know we will be ok, regardless of what will come....My heart knows that, I just wish, my brain could turn off the uncertainty, the worry and wonder of okay, what now???

Praying for just one more miracle.....

Saturday, January 4, 2014

My Kind of Resolutions

Always wear miss matched socks.
Say NO more often.
Wear my bra more.
Stop apologizing for things I am not sorry for , especially just being me.
Wear pants when my rug rats are home.(you are welcome)
Laugh. Every. Single. Day.
Never let an "I love you" or a"thank you" go unsaid.
Ask for help.
Trust God.
Buy more VANS.

Friday, January 3, 2014

An Unexpected Good Bye

We got word that Grant's younger cousin Ryan was on life support with complications from the flu, the week before Christmas. Then, just two days before Christmas, that sadly,Ryan had passed away. Shocked and sad and heartbroken for his family.

We had been very close to Ryan and his family when we first got married, But, with distance and life getting in the way, it had been years since Grant had seen Ryan, but that didn't change the need to go say a proper good bye...

Just GO, you need to be there....

Alex and Grant flew to Southern Alberta and today will attend Ryan's funeral to say an unexpected good bye. Today our thoughts and prayers and hearts are with Ryan, his sisters and his Mom and Dad. Until we meet again.