I think we should get some sort of award for squeezing maximum fun in a relatively small amount of time!
Harrison and Elsie are stationed at Ft. Mead, Maryland. They have been for a couple of years and we have not made the trip up to visit them – until last week! It’s a good thing because they are heading out to Hawaii for four years. (yeah- we’ll make sure to get out and visit them there as well!)
We made our way to DC to explore some galleries and museums.
We spent just a fraction of the time Bill would have liked at the Gallery. But kids don’t enjoy looking at artwork that much!
We were blessed enough to somehow not have crowds or lines. So we didn’t get the ‘full’ experience (thank heavens!).
The Smithsonian could have held our attention all day!
We learned so much about birds, bugs, gems, and of course, dinosaurs!
Sometimes I hear a rumor about a food truck in Muncie but haven’t caught it yet. But the food trucks there were amazing. We all found something we loved.
We had to see all the air & space travel ships. Of particular interest, the toilets (didn’t get a pic…)
We took a trip to Sandy Point beach to play!
The above image is the closest picture I got of a family photo of their family – at least they’re all having fun – even if we can’t see the kids’ faces.
Danni loved just swimming and floating around the water, we really need an ocean in Indiana!
Personally I’m more of a beach girl than a water girl, I was very content to sit and read and watch!
I always enjoy this view!
Of course we all came away with a lot of sun! Some suffered worse than others. But now we are all ready for summer.
A day of rest. Our sun weary bodies made it to church, then we hung out and just enjoyed each other’s company.
It kind of looks like I play favorites with my pictures with Georgia, not so, she just likes to hang out with me more than Dano.
We decided to go visit some family!
Bill’s mom, Ruth, grew up on the same property that her brother still lives on in Brandywine MD. The property has since been subdivided and many family members reside on it now. Sonny and Dorris live right next door to the house he and Ruth and their other siblings grew up in.
We get a few weeks of rest before our next adventure out west!
The day after we left for our trip to visit Harrison & Elsie and the kids in Maryland David and Camden had their baby. The day after that she was life lined to Riley’s hospital in critical condition. It was almost unbelievable that within a couple of weeks 2 grand daughters arrived in this world and all thought everything was fine only for both to be put into critical care units soon following.
Camden’s family lives in Indy and we knew they would be very helpful and attentive to them, so we went on with our trip (more on that in the next blog!).
The amazing doctors at Riley’s ran every test possible to try to figure out why this little infant was struggling. They thought it might be metabolic, but all tests came back negative.
A doctor told David & Camden that sometimes babies come out and their body is so used to having everything done for them in the womb, that it can revert back to those expectations.
After a week of testing and making sure she was functioning on her own they were able to bring her home yesterday!
Tawnymara and Dallin still have a couple of weeks to go before they can walk into their home with Emery, but they’re not complaining, Emery is a super star!
It seems like daily we get reports of more tubes being taken out and of her recovering at an amazing speed. She’s beating the time table projected. Tawny brought up yesterday;
“. . . she’s doing amazing! I was kind of skeptical about her seemingly flawless recovery, especially since her surgery was so rough and all the doctors expected a “roller coaster recovery”, until I remembered that her baby blessing said she’ll be able to recover from her surgeries with no problems ️ – what a manifestation of God’s power! “
While some might be concerned about the huge scar these surgeries will leave behind. Tawnymara and Dallin will have no problems raising Emery to think that she’s special and imbued with super power (which I quite think she is) and Emery will end up feeling bad for anyone without the cool scars on their chests.
Something occurred to me today. It was brought on by a comment one of my yoga students said to me. She was sharing about how her kids (15 & 17 in years) were chit chatting away late into the night and how it made her feel so happy to hear it.
I had told her that I missed those days. Then while in child’s pose my thoughts went to David and Tawnymara. Both with their newborns in critical care, both with unanswered questions and uncertain futures, both with amazing supportive spouses. I knew – without a doubt, that these two had been chit chatting with each other, I’m sure very late at night – or in the early morning hours. I know they have wept with and for each other.
The other siblings have also been so involved and aware of all the events and contact has been daily. I’m so grateful that this sibling bond is strong enough to be used in times like this. I’m so glad they love each other, serve each other, weep for each other, and make each other laugh. That’s them fulfilling their calling as brothers and sisters.
This realization was so touching and powerful tears came to my eyes and my heart was swollen with gratitude for this relationship they have with each other.
I can’t thank you enough for your part in all this. Prayers ascended have wrought miracles transcended!
On Sunday Tawnymara’s & Dallin’s bishop came to the hospital along with Dallin’s huge family to bless baby Emery. It was a beautiful blessing with some pretty great promises, one being that she would live to the age of baptism.
Emery was in such good form that they took off her oxygen patch and they were moved to a different floor on Monday where they could relax a little more and enjoy each other.
That was very short lived.
They were told that no surgeries were scheduled for Tuesday and they could go ahead and get her in. Unexpectedly soon. It was heart wrenching that their time of cuddling and loving on her was so small. But it was promising to get things going as well.
The surgery was scheduled to start at 7:30 am and go until 1:00 pm.
What I understand from it was that she was on a heart by-pass machine. They patched some things, combined some tubes, and stuck a camera down her throat to keep an eye on things.
The surgery went over by over 2 hours. There were issues with her blood pressure and she had to be put back on the by pass machine for a bit. But she came through.
Her intubation tube will reside in her for about 3 weeks with that camera. Her chest will remain open for a few days until the swelling goes down and they know they can safely close it up- probably Friday.
Seeing her with her eyes open and looking around was disconcerting for me. For some reason I thought she would just be ‘under’ until they had her sewn up and the tubes out.
I know she’s sedated, but I fear she’ll cry or squirm and hurt herself worse. I think I’ve used helpless to describe my way of feeling throughout much of this.
I need to start using blessed more. She’s doing so well that they’re pulling back on the Bp meds! She was expected to crash last night, but she made it through like a champ. So SO many good things happening right now. The next 2 nights will be touchy, then 3 weeks of recovery in hospital, then home! She’ll get a break until around 3 mos for her next procedure.
This is not something I would ever wish for for my daughter and her husband. But throughout it there has been an outpouring of love, support, and care that I haven’t witnessed before with our family. It’s humbling to know how many people have been cheering Emery on and even crying tears of compassion on her and her parents’ behalf.
I know this is only the beginning of Emery’s journey, but now it has begun with gusto! She has more friends than she’ll ever know. And hopefully her story can give others strength as they go through their own trials.
I just texted Tawnymara to send some love – her reply, “It’s going to be a good day”.
She never ceases to amaze me!
This calm and joy and positiveness I attribute to the love and prayers friends, and friends of friends are sending by the bucket loads! I’m humbled by your love, truly! Heavenly Father is acknowledging and sending peace.
This morning I was in a yoga class, at the end the instructor had us connect with our heart. My hand went to my chest and I felt my heart beating. The miracle of it all. And of course my mind went to the heart that’s somehow still beating in this precious girl’s chest.
I have been good at staying away from the ‘whys’ and ‘what ifs’ that generally creep in when a trial besets me. But I wanted nothing more than to let her have my heart! I know it’s not possible, I know it wouldn’t work. But I broke down and wept at the unfairness of it all.
This baby’s heart is so messed up – it really is a miracle that she is alive! Arteries and veins are backwards, valves are leaking, tubes are incomplete. There are a whole bunch of technical terms that make my brain hurt.
Tawny sent me a half dozen photos she took of me with Emery. When I received them yesterday my heart filled with gratefulness for all the precious time I got to have with her. Then I realized I didn’t get any with Tawny and her baby. Grrrrr, what was I thinking?
Thankfully I have news and images fed to me whenever I ask through Dallin’s mom, Rebecca, she’s my connection. Tawnymara shares often as well, always with a smile even when the news sucks.
This morning she shared that the arch (big purple arch in the image above) is not strong enough for the Dr.s to do what they initially planned. All the while she reported it with a smile and found the good in it, like now they know better what direction they need to go. Surgery will be bumped up to Monday or Tuesday.
Today Emery will get a name and a blessing. That’s when the infant is blessed by the priesthood. It’s not necessary for entrance into heaven. because we believe all children are born innocent and don’t need baptism until they are the age of accountability (usually 8). But it’s nice to hear the individualized blessing for the child, and have her name known for our records of the church.
Emery’s bilirubin is great so she’s off the light and enjoying snuggle time with the family.
More updates to come as they happen! Thanks so much for your bouee-ing powers being sent our way!
It’s amazing how quickly life can change. This last week has been one wild ride. It’s been so emotional. Couple that with my lack of sleep I’m probably too emotional to write this. But I’m going to anyway, I want Emery’s incredible arrival and story told.
I arrived in Utah on Tuesday of last week. Tawny’s due date was the previous Tuesday. So we were in high hopes of Emery coming soon.
We spent a lot of time in the pool. Tawnymara could bounce without high impact.
We walked all through the aquarium.
We hiked Prov Canyon.
We went to the temple. We also visited many shops and delicious restaurants.
Day after day we planned fun things, then – finally- Tawny started feeling contractions. This was on Saturday. We decided to help time pass by watching a movie. We saw Tolkien (amazing movie BTW)!
Sunday around 2:00 am Tawnymara woke with heavier contractions, they were keeping her awake, so we made sure we had everything ready. She did a home-pool-birth.
From here on out it was eager anticipation. If I were a gambler I would have put good money on Emery arriving on Mother’s day- good thing I’m not a gambler! By 9:00pm Tawnymara called the midwife and a group of 5 ladies came over ready for action with duffel bags of equipment for any conceivable situation. After checking her though they thought it might be a while longer and left us to have an enjoyable night in labor, and watching Scrubs.
Dallin was an amazing ‘daddy doula’. Throughout every contraction he would put pressure on her hips or stand so she could lean into him.
It was a long hard night. Around 2:00am things cranked up, it had been 24 hours since Tawnymara woke with contractions, and now the real work was going to start. A call to the midwife brought the crew and duffel bags back.
From then until 7:00am it was full of hard labor. Tawny would try to catch mini naps between contractions, it was excruciating watching my daughter go through this kind of pain and work and not being able to do anything for her – truly excruciating!
Dallin was able to deliver her. It was such beautiful event. Emery was immediately brought to Tawnymara’s chest and all our hands helped to rub her little body and get the circulation going.
Soon Tawny got up on trembling legs and made the trek to their bed. Mom and baby had the go over check up and while some of the midwives did that others were in cleaning up the birthing area like champs.
The midwives came back on day 2 and checked Emery over. Then again on day 3. It was during that check that the midwife felt she should be taken in to the hospital for more in depth oxygen tests. Nothing was glaringly wrong – it was a feeling. They went in and found Emery has Tricuspid Atresia. This is a heart disease that basically means only half her heart is working.
She was life flighted to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. This is where my heart crumbled. I knew Tawny was still in so much pain from her 30 hours of labor. Then all the pain that come with healing and breastfeeding. Adding on the nights full of waking to feed I knew she was on the point of collapsing. Getting the news that her infant had this disease that will require many surgeries and hospital stays then she was told she couldn’t ride with her baby to the SLC hospital because the pilot said there was an imbalance. It seemed too much! I was back home by then feeling very useless and helpless.
I am in awe of Tawnymara’s & Dallin’s strength! They have taken every step of this with faith and courage. I don’t know how they’re doing it. I think I’d be in a fetal position in a corner somewhere- in fact I feel like doing that now. I think there are now hundreds of people praying for them . I know there’s such power connected to that, and I attribute so much of the fact that Tawnymara is smiling and loving on her baby in their last Marco Polo, and Dallin’s voice is upbeat and positive.
Dallin’s amazing family is heading out to rally around them. I’m so grateful they will be there to support and love them through the next little while. The future plans for Emery include many surgeries and the possibility of a heart transplant. It’s going to be a long journey. I’m hoping to get back out there and help through some of this. The distance sucks!
Between getting back so late on Tuesday, then teaching early morning seminary, then finding out about Emery the last night around midnight, my sleep has been very minimal. I’m kind of a wreck. I’m yearning for the peace of the temple and Bill and I will be going tonight. I’m trying to balance all this with the faith of knowing Emery is in Heavenly Father’s hands, and what ever transpires is part of a bigger plan. I got to spend a day with this precious angel and I feel so blessed for that.
If you’re reading this- chances are you’re praying too, THANK YOU! Thank you .
I think most of us feel like our lives have limitless potential. We know it’s possible to put in the work and get results. It’s what this great country is all about!
Now that doesn’t mean we don’t flounder and flail from time to time, but we can keep trying – or not, it’s our choice. Very rarely is there an actual barrier – someone standing in front of us saying
Not all the population has these opportunities. I think we’ve comes so so far from just 20 years ago, but some things that our populace with special needs may want to do can really feel out of reach.
I used to think certain things were just not possible for Enoch, marriage, driving, supporting us in our old age…But now I’m not putting any kind of expectations out there, why cap his progress?
Enoch will often get up early – like 4am early. He usually plays with his toys or draws. Lately he’s been getting out his word cards and printing them in a notebook. Today I tested him to see if he could read all the words – he passed with flying colors on the ones I pointed to.
We had to get him prescription glasses (not in pic). He popped the lenses out so he could say he was wearing them whenever I asked. He’s having a hard time adjusting to the glasses, so he found an alternative way.
I’m not putting anything past him. He’s outsmarting me- out witting me- and can stay awake for longer periods of time, he’s get the world in his hands!
Barrier Free is the title of an acting group I have gotten to participate in for the past 5 years. It grows every year, I can’t imagine how the director will continue to absorb so many actors, but she’s done it like a champ so far! This super woman is Tracena Marie. I don’t know what drew her heart out to the community of adults with special needs. I don’t know why she gives 9 months of her life a year to teach, guide, and love the wonderful people who get involved. I should ask her someday.
She not only holds theater groups for adults, but for children also. Enoch has been one of the lucky ones to be in her program for the past 2 years!
Last year Enoch also got to be in the adult production, he’s quite the versatile actor.
Last weekend was our Barrier Free show for this year. The messages from these always come form the participants. They give thoughts and ideas – sometimes without knowing it – in their training sessions. Tracena takes all the notes from all the meetings and compiles them into a script. The script is fluid and works on the talents of each individual actor.
There’s always music and dancing! There’s always comedy and serious scenes. There’s always tears from many of those who watch.
I’ve watched these performers morph into super stars once the lights are on them and the audience is watching. I’ve watched them bloom into beautiful actors, expressing feeling and compassion. I’ve watched their confidence bubble up as they float onto the stage and give their all.
While the message of the show is always a good one, the real beauty is in the delivery!
For 3 performances the actors are given wings. All barriers to being a star are gone. They get all the bells and whistles- lights, sounds, props, costumes, and the applause. For 3 glorious performances they are the stars!
I will be the first to admit that I go into things “half-cocked” – as my dad would always say.
There are many euphemisms that don’t apply to my personality, “look before you leap”, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, and so on.
So it all started when I went to Alec for some acupuncture. (Amazing by the way – I would totally suggest it for anything that ails you!)
He sat and talked with me for quite a long time explaining all the many services he offers. Turns out some people don’t like needles sticking out of their skin. One of those services is cupping. I was very interested!
I found my own silicone starter set on Amazon and ordered them.
Bill injured his elbow quite a while ago. He has been trying several options to help it, but nothing has worked. This was my first ‘test subject’! I rubbed some arnica creme into it and latched those babies on.
I had read enough of the instructions to know that I shouldn’t put them over a major artery or leave them on for more than 10 minutes – enough for me – let’s do it!
His elbow felt great! He has done some stretches and exercising to help it along, but he says it’s night and day!
My daughter hurt her back/ shoulder area by playing with her nephews, awesome! I got to try the cups again! And she felt better, not completely healed, it took another session a couple of days later.
Yesterday Bill said he had tweaked his back, so I ran for our cups! (I may or may not be a little too excited to try out my new toys on my family.)
I had him go through some yoga poses after the cupping and he said the pain was much less. While the marks look bruised, there are just shadows of them this morning. Although when I did my daughter her marks were much darker and lasted longer.
I think of it like lifting up the rug (skin) and sweeping dirt out from under it.
Have an old injury? Or maybe a brand new one? I would suggest cupping! Probably from a professional like Alec. But – if you are also a half-cocked personality, there are so many articles and videos out there, you could get your own set and give it a try! It’s worth looking into anyway.
If you are just joining me on my Intermittent Fasting (IF) journey then this weight might not seem that impressive. To me it’s just 9 pounds from my goal weight! I started at 228 on October 1st, 2018. My kids got me this Renpho scale for Christmas, so my weight is documented from then
This is a screenshot of my LIFE app. I have made a circle ( https://lifefastingtracker.app.link/eXwnGOkE0U ) and you’re welcome to join me. I saw many people posting about apps, but never felt I needed one because I just would stop eating and start eating with the clock.
Since I’ve had the app I haven’t fasted past 48 hours, so I’ve never gotten to the last 2 icons! It’s motivation for me.
Although I normally do 20 to 24 hours of fasting. With spring I’ll probably try a few longer fasts. I do one 72 hour fast a month (although this is my 2nd for March). Then I’ll scatter 1 or 2 more 48 hours throughout the month.
Spring is when my body naturally wants to pull away from heavier foods, get outside more, and not eat as much. So the fasting works well with “spring cleaning” my temple – my body!
This is a chart of me going from 196.2 on Jan 4th to today. So this 8.4 pounds has been a roller coaster ride….as has been the entire 40 pound loss. Admittedly , February was kind of a plateau month – I didn’t push it very hard.
Knowing this about my body helps me not give up.
These longer fasts kind of kick my body down, then once I start eating it goes up. But the downs get lower, and my ups don’t go as high. My goal is 179 for now. Initially it was getting under 200, and I choose to continue from there. Once I get to 179 I’ll re-evaluate it all.
I don’t have a date set for 179 (it was supposed to be 180, but I couldn’t get the line onto the right place on the app.) I had my 50th birthday as my goal for the 40 pound loss, missed it by a few weeks. I am slowing down on my weight loss a bit. If I continue on this trajectory I imagine I can get to my goal around my 30th wedding anniversary, May 5th.
So now you know all the numbers! Now you can keep me accountable.
Some things I love while fasting: lots and lots of water, I just found sparkling mineral water for these longer fasts, pebbles of salt when I feel like I’m hungry, Cafix or Teecino, and mint tea.
You are welcome to comment with your fasting tricks, or with questions!
I sent out an email that has been percolating in my mind for a month now. It was to all my yogis. Friends I have collected when I taught at the YMCA, Cornerstone, The Lotus, and any other random spots around town I’ve rolled out my mat with my fellow yoga friends.
I was told I could no longer include anything pertaining to my faith (I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Letter-day Saints) or insert my Christian beliefs in any way. The studio owner claimed I could make someone uncomfortable with my views.
So here I am. Switching over to a new platform to share my ‘musings’.
I’m not a religious blogger – but my religion will show up in blogs. I’m not a food blogger – but recipes and food make their way in often! I’m not a health and fitness blogger, but my current routines and things I learn will pop in. I’m not a homemaker blogger, but you know my kids and family seep into my musings often.
So enough of that and on to my “Monday Musings”:
For some odd reason the line from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar , ” beware the Ides of March.” has stuck with me since high school. A tragically fulfilled prophecy where Caeser suffered death by being stabbed in the back.
“The ides” means the middle, or in this case, the 15th of March, which happens to be Friday. This can only mean one thing . . . we need to strengthen, open, and rejuvenate our spines this week. (like that jump?)
“Posture, balance, and body alignment through yoga. The yoga poses are meant to train the body to be healthy and supple. Consistent practice and application will result in improved posture, and an increased sense of balance, with head, shoulders and pelvis in proper alignment. Additionally, unlike many other forms of exercise, yoga helps stretch and strengthens both sides of the body equally. ” from:https://www.spine-health.com/wellness/yoga-pilates-tai-chi/how-yoga-helps-back
We will proceed through this week with our spine in mind:
Monday 5:30 Back strengthening and opening.
Thursday 12-1: Working on the core/back
Tuesday 6:30 Restorative Spaces available! Join me for some spinal release!
Thursday 4:30 Basics Plus Back strengthening and opening.
Extras for the week:
Lunch time yoga at the Lotus! The instructors cycle through, and I get to teach from 12-1 this Friday!
Saturday Morning I’m subbing for Debbie – so if you weren’t able to get your Kristie fix through the week…9:30 – 10:30 am
2 Hr. Restorative: It's up! April 26th & 27th! Register early here: