My mind and heart have not been on writing lately. Cody called the last month or so “a perfect storm of events.” I started a new job at Fox Valley Technical College teaching Business Communications right before we closed on our house and moved in. This may not seem like a lot, but it has been very stressful. With carpet cleanings, duct cleanings, painting, moving, unpacking, cleaning two homes, spending money and trying to figure out how to teach a new course, I have felt like I am on the verge of a losing my mind and especially my patience. Don’t get me wrong, having a job and being able to buy a new home are not things to complain about, but the timing of everything has brought on tears and depression for me.
To extend this perfect storm, nearly two weeks ago, a few days before my parents came to visit, God decided that it was time to give me some perspective. Our whole family got lice. No, I don’t know where it came from. I won’t go into the disgusting details, but for the first time in a few months I was forced to think about things that really matter. Not having my entire house painted the color I wanted all the sudden seemed very trivial and the only thing I could think about was getting my family healthy–free of lice. To give you some perspective on this event, I have to describe the kind of person I am, for better or for worse. I am a clean freak. My house is not always sparkling, but I strive to have organization and cleanliness be the norm. I also have a real fear of bugs. So, to have lice, something associated with being dirty (I know this is a fallacy), and knowing that I had bugs in my hair really did put me over the edge. I had to completely humble myself and ask Heavenly Father to help me and my family. After spending an entire day treating and picking our hair, we decided to go to a lice removal company who uses a special dehydration machine to eliminate any remaining lice. After an hour and a half drive and $350, we were deemed lice free and I had some peace of mind. We still had the daunting task of cleaning all of our bedding and clothing, but we were on our way out of a hellish experience. So, I now have a better appreciation for the simple things in life and a new compassion for those that have had to deal with lice.
A few days later, my parents came to visit. It was lovely to have them come. We went to a cheese factory, ate out, finished painting the kitchen, watched a few movies and spent time on the deck in the backyard. More than anything, it was just nice to have family close by. Jane and Maurie got to play with Grandma and Grandpa, and I got to feel the wonderful feeling of being normal with family. There are not very many people on the Earth that understand me better than my mother and siblings. I figure Cody will understand me more and more as our marriage begins to meet and breach the time span I spent with my family.
My class will be finished in two weeks. I have enjoyed getting to know the students, but I am eager to have a break. I believe that when I teach again it will be less stressful because we will be more settled in our home and I will be more familiar with the course I am teaching.
Cody is doing well at work. He was able to spend a day with my parents and just got back from boating with the young men in our ward (part of a High Adventure trip). He has been riding his bike to work and it has inspired me. He recently finished reading Visions of Glory and now I am reading it. It has been giving us both a new and better perspective.
My health is fragile. Since Maurie’s allergies and digestion issues, I have lost a lot of weight very quickly and I have been dealing with health issues that were not as apparent before. I do not have dairy, soy, peanuts and tree nuts, processed sugar, and I am just beginning to introduce gluten back into my diet. However challenging this has all been, it has taught me so much about what I put into my body and how it effects me and my children. I believe now, more than ever, that our diets are the culprits for most of the health issues that most Americans deal with today. I am determined to produce my own nutrient-dense food, find local sources of organic meats and produce, and educate others about how food changes everything. I recently watched the documentary Food Inc. and was reminded about the book I read, Fast Food Nation. I re-discovered how passive I have been about the kind of food I was consuming. I have made huge changes since I married Cody and even bigger changes in my diet since Maurie has had to pay the consequences food. I also feel inspired to raise my own beef, chicken and pork and maintain orchards. I also would like to help minorities and underprivileged people gain more access to wholesome food. I know that none of this is possible overnight, but I have a real desire to do these things.
Jane is growing up quickly and reminds me everyday that children are resilient. I am so flawed as her mother and yet she continues to show me so much forgiveness and compassion. She is is helpful and loves her sister. She does so much on her own simply because there is no one else to do it with. The backyard has been as valuable as I imagined it would be. She make believes in the backyard daily. I am actually very sad that she will start 4k this coming school year because I have enjoyed having her home with me. I know she will love the sociality of school though, so I welcome it for her. She takes after Cody in social situations; whereas, I am completely content 90% of the time just being a home and being alone. Jane got a hair cut the same time as me and we are both boasting a very short cut.
Maurie is still quiet and observant. She watches everything closely and she has a strong will despite her more calm and reserved nature. She has a head full of dark curly hair and I can rarely go somewhere without someone commenting on it. Maurie smiles and extends her hands to people now, but she is still far more shy than Jane ever was. Her cheek, the most apparent side effect of her diet/allergy issues has healed, for the most part. I went out to eat twice in one day when my parents were in town and it did flare up for awhile because of it, but when I am eating a clean diet–I can’t eat out–, her cheek and her digestion do better. I love her age right now…10 months. She will be walking soon.
Today we went to Shawano Lake, WI. It was a beautiful day. Jane played in the water most of the time and the rest of the time she spent playing in the sand. Maurie was less keen on the water, but she ate some sand and was pleasant most of the morning. I enjoyed being outdoors and being able to spend some of the day with Cody.
This is a lengthy update, but it is no surprise when it is overdue. I hope all is well with my friends and family!