Between a bout of pneumonia - seriously - and going crazy with all the goings-on at work and with the Primary Program, I'm sad to say that I've fallen behind here. I've fallen behind with many areas of my life. Interesting how being sick can completely wipe you out for weeks, and you have to focus on just the essentials. Which, for me, took sitting down and realizing what, exactly, the essentials are.
The following pictures illustrate some of our fall happenings, and the essentials in my life. Not the least of which include: brother's dive meets, weddings, cousins, 5ks, the County Fair, an avid smiler, an anniversary, and lots and lots of family!
On Thursday I started feeling cruddy. I knew I had to be sick because it was cold outside (about 50 degrees) and I felt cold. I never feel cold. Seriously, my husband teases me that we could live in the artic tundra and I would still be a furnace. This was a cold that seeped into my bones and wouldn't leave, regardless of the fact that I was actually wearing a sweatshirt. Very strange.
Then I started getting a sore throat. No big deal. Probably just a cold. I should be fine, besides the annoying fact that I couldn't get warm. I came home and rested, and pretended that my layers of blankets and sweats could keep out the chill.
The next day I felt exhausted. Walking to work hurt my lungs (but I just attributed that to our usual poor air quality), and actually gave me a little stitch in my side. I could hardly think straight. And again, the numbing cold wouldn't leave me alone. I finally decided it was futile to try to accomplish anything of real importance. I had no appetite (as if I could swallow anything anyway). I, thankfully, got a ride home and immediately walked back into my room and crashed. I was finally warm enough. Too warm. Sweating. It was difficult to rest peacefully when my own body couldn't regulate. I was reminded of a time when I was little and my family stayed in a hotel . . . I think in Colorado. I remember sitting with my brothers in the hotel hot tub until we were sweating, and then running and jumping in the big pool. We'd come up for air, gasping against the cold. Something about the shock of temperature change was thrilling, but after doing that a few times, I felt sick. Dizzy.
I had to be at my other job Saturday morning, and I dreaded it. But, I knew that they didn't have anyone to cover me, especially since I'd not come in the night before. I argued with myself that I had gotten plenty of rest the night before, I'd be fine. Still I had no appetite. I could hardly swallow anything more than liquid. I made sure to keep my distance from my patients, wearing gloves and one of those suffocating masks. I broke out in a sweat just walking down the hall, let alone to push a wheelchair back to my office. I felt like a vice was strapped around my lungs, inhibiting how deeply I could breathe. Things did not bode well for me.
I came home and begged Brent to take me to urgent care. I was expecting a diagnosis of strep throat, something easily treatable with antibiotics. The doctor wanted a chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia or bronchitis. Fine with me.
Turns out, it was pneumonia. I feel relieved in a way, to know that I really am sick. There's a reason I can't breathe. I wasn't just making it up. And, it's treatable! I got a fun shot of antibiotics yesterday, and more to last me through the week. I also get an inhaler and a special cough suppressant. I'm glad I didn't wait for my symptoms to get more serious. Now, I just have to rest (easier said than done with a busy toddler in the house who really likes my attention). I hope and pray that my boys don't get this. I can tell the antibiotics are helping - I can breathe a little easier, but I know I'm not over this yet. I'm grateful for those who are helping to take care of me (namely my patient husband).
With the change of the season starting (finally!) and the advent of cooler weather, we've decided that we want to start having soup at least once a week. One of those big crockpots full - that you eat all week.
I'm pleased to say that I made my first, completely from scratch, chili yesterday. It had to cook a little longer than I thought it would for the beans to be completely softened (read: 10 hours), but the flavor was good, and it was filling. Hooray for a new experiment! I'm really excited because it was a non-recipe experience. I just made it up as I went (big deal for me - I have a hard time deviating from a recipe card).
I have a few ideas for future soups and stews, but I'd love any ideas. Let me know what your family favorites are!
I have a quirk that I'm reluctant to share, but at my husband's urging I will disclose here on the interwebs. He thinks it's hilarious.
Here goes: Brent and I have different schedules, especially when school is in session for him. As we share a computer and are often not at home at the same time, I will frequently send him "subliminal messages" regarding anything of interest to me before I went to bed.
These "subliminal messages" come in the form of open tabs in the internet browser. And they frequently include items that I wouldn't mind if he happened to get them for me for my birthday. Or Christmas. Or just because he loves me. A little visual list of a few of my favorite things, if you will.
So far, he has yet to take the hint, but he at least knows the meaning behind the message. Love you, Brent!
Thankfully this little boy is no longer sick. This picture was taken Saturday night right before his little world turned upside down. I feel so bad because he acts scared of his bed now. It's getting better though. There's nothing so heart-wrenching as watching your little one be sick.
On a happy note, my husband has taken up a new hobby. A new hobby that he's discovered is actually becoming a talent. A talent that he loves. A talent that he's decided to share with the world.
Brent and I decided to stay up and watch a movie last night. Not my wisest decision, but sometimes things like that need to be done. Then we tossed and turned and tried to get to sleep. I hate when I stay up too late and then can't sleep because my mind is racing about how I'm too tired and I have too much to do.
Then, I heard my little boy cry from the next room over. What was he doing up in the middle of the night? He's been a good sleeper, so I'm not accustomed to the midnight stirrings anymore. I surely wasn't going to get to sleep anytime soon now!
Brent offered to get up and help the little guy while I continued to try to drift off. Thankfully, I agreed to this arrangement and proceeded to remain frustrated with myself for being unable to just drift off. Sleep remained elusive.
Moments later, Brent came in and told me he was going to need a little help. I smelled it before Brent told me that Bruce had thrown up. All over his entire bed - blankets, bumpers, everything. I quickly took Bruce and got him in the tub while Brent dismantled the bed.
I've never seen Bruce so sad and sedate. He just sat under the faucet and let the water course over his little body. He didn't have a fever, but he was shivering. I didn't want him to get dehydrated, so we tried a little pedialyte. He moaned and threw up more and looked at me with sad eyes. Sometimes mortality breaks a mother's heart.
When Brent was done cleaning and disinfecting Bruce's room, we got the little boy out and into new pajamas. He clung to me as I rocked him back to sleep. Thankfully he slept through the night, and he's managed to handle a little bit of applesauce and water. I just hope we have our happy boy back soon!
About two weeks ago, our family experienced an unexpected tender mercy from the Lord. My dear friend works for the opera in Germany, and therefore got the month of August off (it's a European thing - government officials get a month off). We have kept in close contact in the years that she's been there and I've been here, but we hadn't seen each other in about 2 years. We had a wonderful time together - singing, laughing, visiting tall trees, making the baby giggle, and talking for hours. She's always been one of those friends that brings out the best in me and makes me want to be better. I love her view of the world and the people in it.
On the last day of her visit, we decided to visit the beach. The baby hadn't seen the ocean yet, and I had been craving the salty fresh air. We'd hit the beach and from there take her to the airport before we headed home. It was the perfect plan.
We loaded the car with all we would need for our adventure, and hit the road. It was a beautiful day and we were reveling in the good weather and the good company. As our car began to climb the stretch of Highway 99 - more fondly referred to round these parts as "the Grapevine," - our car began to drag. Startled, I looked at my husband and then down at the temperature gauge. Sure enough, the needle was climbing with each mile we went, and it showed no sign of stopping.
Tender mercy #1: the first place we could pull off had a water spigot. I had packed extra water in the car several months ago as a result of a prompting, but it was nice to be able to use the water there and keep all our resevoirs intact.
Tender mercy #2: we were on the city side of the mountain, and thus we still had phone signal. I could call my Dad and have him walk us through the steps we needed to cool our car down.
Tender mercy #3: The car eventually cooled down and we could head back down the hill without seeing the temperature rise.
Tender mercy #4: There was a shop right off the highway as we headed back into town where we could pull off and have them look at the car.
Tender mercy #5: They had a car that we could rent so we could still get my friend to the airport on time.
Tender mercy #6: She made her flight with minutes to spare.
While I was dropping her off at the airport 100 miles from our house, Brent talked to the mechanics and they informed us that our car required $900 worth of repairs. We didn't have $900 to spare.
Tender mercy #7: The shop informed us that our car would be able to handle the "around town" errands that are part of daily life without requiring to have all the repairs made.
Tender mercy #8: Brent's mother's husband works on cars as a hobby and he agreed to look at the car for us. (Yay for a second opinion!)
Tender mercy #9: He told us that the repairs the shop suggested would cost us a mere $100 at the most to do ourselves and he'd help us fix it.
That whole experience reinforced my knowledge that I have a Father in Heaven who loves me and is very aware of my needs. I am humbled by the fact that "the tender mercies of the Lord are overall those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance (1 Nephi 1:20). I'm so grateful that we are not left to our own devices to make it through this life.
Sorry I've been A.W.O.L. for a while. Things in our life suddenly got very busy. I'm now in the Primary Presidency. We've had visitors from near and far. We've had car failure. We have a new missionary to write. Bruce has new teeth. I have a new job. Wonderful changes, but a little stressful all the same.
So, yes, we're still here. Thanks for the well wishes. Love to you all!