Friday, October 18, 2013

Working Out

Okay, so the average person doesn't understand what it means that I can workout again.  It has been three years of absolutely no exercise because of how badly my body reacts to it.  I don't mean getting flush and being sore but losing my ability to walk or other such fun side effects.  I quickly realized that one day of working out didn't equal three days of being in bed.  However, the medicine that I have been taking causes weight gain and I wasn't able to combat it properly.  It has really been a struggle for me.

However, some of my friends from high school were going to do a 90 day challenge starting in September and I didn't want to be left behind.  I didn't tell any of them that I was doing the challenge too but I couldn't stand being left out.  So I told Marc that I really wanted to do a modified challenge and then in 90 days I could start the real thing.  The first several days I took things really slow and I modified several exercises but I kept going.  I definitely needed DoTerra oils to get through the day (Lavender is my best friend!!!) but I could keep going.  Without too much time passing I was able to do the exercises for real and I started seeing results.  Today I completed day 47 of working out in a row.

Though I was seeing my size change I wasn't seeing the same thing happen on the scale.  So I started focusing on my nutrition and what was going into my body as well as my working out.  I have now easily lost over 5 pounds (after eating all day I weigh in at 5 pounds lost) and have been able to fit into jeans that I had given up on.  I still have a long way to go but I focus on today and what I can do in the moment.  Every night I check things off the list that I have completed and I have done a pretty good job of sticking to the rules that I have set.  It is really exciting to feel sore in the morning but from muscles growing rather than cramping all night long.  I am excited for this next chapter in my life and seeing what a difference it can make.  I can't wait to be in the best shape of my life!!!

As a side note, Marc started doing this challenge with me and was amazed at how hard it was!!  He has been the best supporter ever!!  However, now that he is working two jobs he doesn't do the workouts with me any more.  He does continue to ask about what I am doing and encouraging me to finish every day.  I sure love him!!

Loop Holes

Over the three years of our marriage (well particularly the last two and half) Marc has gone for different career paths with different departments.  We always prayed about each career move and felt really good about each one.  However, time after time we found ourselves going nowhere fast.  I was starting to question whether we were capable of getting revelation because we had clearly gotten it wrong so many times!  I mean how many times can you get turned down when knowing it was the right thing to do?  When Marc talked about wanting to go military I wasn't super thrilled but eventually got onboard with the decision.  I knew it was right for our family and though it wouldn't always be fun it would be worth it.  And the best part???  Once you actually sign the contract then it is a done deal.  Well Marc signed the contact and we just had to wait for the October jobs to roll out, waiting wasn't anything new so we waited.  And guess what..... the government shut down.  Seriously, it happened and guess what there were no October jobs.  I know that I can't take the credit for the government shut down but someone in heaven must think it is funny.  I must not have learned my lesson in patience and it must not have been highly looked upon that I was trying to find ways around being rejected again.  Really, all the shut down meant for us was more waiting.  Marc will still leave and this new life will still start.  However, I have learned that nothing is impossible.  So I will stop trying to find loop holes and maybe that will make things smoother in the future....

This ability to try and find loop holes also comes in us not having children.  All of our married friends that were married about the time we were either have two kiddos or just announced that their new bundle of joy is on their way (the last one announced tonight).  I am so happy for their families but I wish that I could have that same happiness in our home.  Marc and I have been married for three and half years now and thanks to my endometriosis we haven't had that miracle yet.  And in Mormon culture we have been married FOREVER and I constantly get asked about kids and our plans.  Now I can't express how grateful I am for the progress that we have made over the years.  Three years ago I spent most days in bed, unable to move, unable to care for myself.  I now am strong enough that I can workout again.  I won't be running any marathons any time soon but I can go for a run and not end up in bed.  Miracles have happened in our lives and progress has been made.  However, I am not patient as I wait for God's timing.  My heart aches every year as I watch the Primary Program (in fact some years I just stay home) or as Mother's Day passes (again the same thing!).  However, my little family is perfect the way it is and one day that perfection will include kiddos.  Until then, I will continue snuggling with the kitties and claiming other people's children as my own.  And I guess I should stop trying to find loop holes here too and find joy in the journey.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Waiting for Normal

I have finally admitted to myself why I haven't been able to blog for months and it is because I am waiting for our lives to get back to normal.  I was waiting for the school semester to be over and for Christmas Break to come and then Marc dropped the bombshell about the military.  I kept waiting for that to pass but it never did and after months and months of research we found a branch and a jobs that we liked and would fit our family.  But then I was waiting for a ship out date for BMT (it still hasn't come).  Then I was waiting until I had graduated again and our lives would slow down.  Then I was waiting until the kiddos came this summer and then I was waiting until the kiddos left this summer.  Then I was waiting for employment options to change and still waiting for the military.  First it was waiting for MEPS, then DLAB, and then October 1st.

But in all that time of waiting for some sense of normal and some sense of having a plan for the future our lives were still happening and I wasn't documenting it.  I have a few posts about Marc written up, things that made me smile or laugh.  But most of it will go undocumented and that is a shame.  I think our future is going to be filled with times that aren't normal or maybe that is the new norm for us and I want to write through those times, even when I don't have answers or plans.

Marc is doing really well.  He had a rough summer of mostly veggies and is finally back to eating somewhat normal.  My twig of a husband was declared "overweight" by military standards because he has too much muscle.  He had to lose 10 pounds and quick!  He has lost the weight and now works on just maintaining his weight.  He has recently started working construction and that means 16-17 hour days for him.  He is so cheerful regardless of the sleep he gets and dinner time has become very important.  He gets off of work about the same time I do, so we eat together and then he heads off to bed.  I try to work on the house or get things done while he sleeps but I also try to be as quiet as a church-mouse.  It is an interesting combo.  Marc has gotten a few new cuts and bruises from his work but he seems excited about his day again and I get to hear all about it.  IT IS FABULOUS!  We still don't know when he will leave for BMT but it is looking like after Christmas at this point.  We just keep being patient and know that there is timing in all things.  It will all work out like it should.  However, it makes planning things really difficult because we have no idea what will happen or when. Oh well!

This summer was awesome.  We spent every possible minute in Chino with the kiddos and Melis.  We did all sorts of fun things but also just enjoyed time together.  Melissa and I worked on some family history stuff, the kiddos showed me their cool tricks on the trampoline, we vegged, we played.  It was incredible and went by way too fast!  I definitely had withdrawals when they left but they are off on a new adventure now.

In other news, the rumor mill spread word that we had moved this summer.  Though we hadn't moved at all.  This has made "coming back" a little hard because several people had their feelings hurt that we didn't tell them we had moved.  But again, we hadn't moved.  No one seems to get that second part and we are working on getting back into the groove of things with our ward.  It will all work out.  I did learn that if you want to be released then you just fake move and it all works out!  A cool trick that I didn't know before.

We were also able to make one final trip to Utah before Eric left for the MTC.  It was a really nice couple of days and it was great to see the Dennis' again.  I got to participate in the very famous crochet games and I even won!  It was awesome to let Marc and Eric have some time together.  The two would stay up late and hang out every minute that they possibly could.  We got to go on a double date with Eric and the best part of the trip was going to the SLC Temple as a family.  That was an amazing experience that I will never forget.

I am doing good.  I have found some hiccups along the road to becoming an interpreter but I am still as tenacious as ever and haven't given up just yet.  This system definitely messed with the wrong girl!  I have finally been able to work out for the first time in 3+ years.  It has been hard coming back but it is so cool to feel muscles growing again and to be sore in a good way.  Occasionally I have to be careful with my workouts and I definitely listen to my body but it feels so good to be active again.  Marc has been right there by my side and we struggle through these workouts together.  Today was day 27 for me and I am definitely getting there.  I have lost a few pounds and a few inches already and as time continues I hope to see those numbers rise or drop depending on how you look at it.

The animals are all good.  In preparation for a military life we found Tucker a new home.  It wasn't fair to him to move it that often and he wouldn't have gotten the love and attention from Marc that he deserved.  It was a hard decision but it was right.  The dogs are currently at my parents house and have been for a few months now.  Mikkel really wanted another dog after Rowdy died but with him leaving for college in two years it just didn't make sense.  So he has ours for however long he wants them and then they can come back eventually.  The kitties are happy and don't even seem to notice not having the dogs around.  We are a happy little bunch.

Okay, so I will try to blog on a more "normal" basis but things are definitely not normal around here.  However, I don't want our lives to go on without being documented again.  I don 't want to lose the memories.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

An Update

I will have to work at catching up the Jerusalem trip and my goal is to have that done by the end of the summer but I needed to take a moment to catch up again because so much is happening all the time and I don't want it to get lost in the shuffle.

So Marc is moving along with the Air Force and he is so determined and excited about this change in our life.  He even spent a whole Saturday going through boxes and dejunking with me!  My dear "fat" husband has 16-17% body fat and has to lose 5 pounds before they will process him.  He has spent the past week on a pretty strict veggie diet and it is killing him.  Yesterday for dessert he had carrots.  He is really hoping to be in basic by September and is ready for this next phase in our lives.  I know that there will be tough times ahead but I really feel this is where we are supposed to be and I can't argue with that.  It is interesting to me the various reactions to saying you are going military and my favorite one is "Did you know he could die?"  Of course I know that!  Silly people!

The animals are all doing good and only Kiara remembers what it is like to move.  Every time I move boxes or change things around the poor thing has a panic attack!  We are working on making this future move as smooth as possible.  I know we will have more panic attacks in the future but I will just have to remember to be patient.  The dogs have really improved lately and with Marc's new workout schedule we finally wore out Kovu!  I never thought that day would happen but it did.

I am doing good.  It looks like I will get to keep my job for another year and I passed the first national exam for American Sign Language interpreting yesterday.  I couldn't be more thrilled!  I have really tried to slow down since school has been out and that hasn't been completely possible because of the national exam and all of that studying.  However, it looks like my summer school class is going to be cancelled and I am really looking forward to coming home and being able to do my dishes without being up until 11 or having time to work on the yard, or heck even just getting to eat dinner with Marc at a normal hour!!  I am excited for what our future holds and I am hoping I can get it all done before it gets here!  Even better is that my health is steadily improving.  I feel good most days and have even been able to start exercising again.  I am still not back to where I want to be but every little bit makes a difference and I love that I can do it on a daily basis again.  Slow but sure we are going to get back in shape!

Melissa will be up this summer and I can't wait to spend a summer with them.  They land in less than a week and I am praying for this week to fly by!  I feel that over the past semester we have really tried to make family a priority in our lives.  We have made more trips to Utah (though still not as many as we should) and have even gone to visit my family more often.  We went to Mikkel's black belt test and we have watched my Dad coach a couple of basketball games.  It is so fun watching him coach and I look forward to Tuesday nights when I get to watch him for their summer league games.  Yesterday we were even lucky enough to go to a large Turley reunion and got to meet some of my Dad's cousins and their families.  It is amazing to thing that that group all started with two people.  I can't wait to see where our little family will go someday.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Um... Yeah

So I am aware that I left my Jerusalem trip just hanging after a few days of postings and I also know that it happened over 6 months ago and I have some catching up to do.  I also know that the last semester has been a little bit rough for all involved.  I have done some pretty crazy things in my schooling career, like taking TOO many credits at one time, but nothing could have prepared me for the last few months.  I have worked full-time, school full-time, internship full-time, and got over 80 hours of observation in and that was all just one semester.  Let me just say that I am a little bit crazy now and a very tired.  I graduate this Friday with a certificate of interpreting and I am really proud of how far I have come.  I get to test next weekend for my EIPA and we will see what happens there.  I feel "ready" but I don't know how that will translate into scores.  I am excited for the opportunity and I want it documented that I am proud of who I am and that isn't based on a test score.  I have learned to see the good in situations that I could only critique before and I have learned to enjoy the quiet moments.  It isn't good to rush all the time and I have had to make it a point to stop and smell the roses. 

Our lives have been absolutely crazy since Christmas and it has been a rollercoaster of emotions for me.  The day after Christmas (and a Christmas that I spent mostly alone), Marc announced that he wanted to join the military.  I immediately tried to squash the idea because this isn't the first time that this idea had come up but it didn't work very well.  Marc was really serious this time and I knew it was time to get my act together.  I started emailing friends and Melissa's friends to get advice on what to expect and what they wished they had known going in.  This group of women (I wanted the spousal opinion) has been amazing and their information has been invaluable.  There is one woman in particular that I have never met and yet she has been quite the rock for me as this journey has progressed.  I don't know what I would have done without them. 

In other news, it looks like I have the potential to be out of job come July 1st.  Nothing has been decided and it isn't based on anything I have done.  The powers that be have decided that they are targeting the library that I work for and that includes all of the staff.  Both city and county are really pushing for budget cuts and they feel that closing the library is the best answer to those needs.  The library is fighting and trying to suggest other ways of cutting costs but I don't know what will happen or where I will be working in just a few months or if I will have a job. 

Basically our lives have been upside-down-and-inside-out.  However, I have come to learn a very valuable lesson and that is peace.  I have always been one to need a plan and I have all sorts of plans.  I have daily plans, weekly plans, monthly plans, short-term plans, long-term plans, and plans for all of the other plans.  I really like to know where I am going and what will happen next.  I know that there is a plan for our family and I know that it will happen when it is supposed to happen.  But as our world changes and becomes less sure and more unpredictable, I have found myself clinging to that testimony.  And honestly I feel at peace.  I know that we will be taken care of and I know that doesn't mean it will be easy.  I know that there is a reason that moving into the military isn't going smoothly and that there is a lesson to be learned here.  I know that there is a path for my life to go and that I will be okay.  I know that my worth isn't based on my grades at school or my work life but on who I am as a person.  I know that I have a fabulous family that loves and supports me and my family and that I will still be loved when I am a penniless soon-to-be-military wife.  I hope that I can remember this feeling of peace.  I made the comment to Marc that I have almost put myself in a panic attack because I was panicking about not panicking.  But I am not panicking and I have found peace.  I hope that you can find peace in your life and enjoy the little moments.  It is Kiara snuggling with me first thing in the morning, or getting to see the flowers bloom, or being home earlier than expected, or having someone give you a special paperclip (that story deserves its own post).  Whatever brings you a little bit of joy and peace into your life, embrace it and never let the worries of the world damper the peace and warmth that the Son can bring.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Jerusalem Trip - Landing

So on Day 1 I landed in Tel Aviv.  I found my bags alright and had to pick up two because they made me check my carry on for the flight from London.  I pulled out my camera bag and just had my back pack and that worked out well.  My luggage was a little dirty but in good shape.  Jerusalem's airport has boring bathroom signs but I took a picture of them because of the one I took in London.

I then had to go through passport control and it was like passing a school test and my standby answer was "Umm, Jerusalem?".  The other thing to keep in mind is that the other half of this conversation was very grumpy and interrogative and we all know how well I do with those situations :)
Where are you going?  
Ummm, Jerusalem.  
My sister lives there?  
What's your sister's name?  
Melissa Oliver.  
Where does she live?  
Umm, Jerusalem?  
How long has she lived here?  
2 1/2 years.  
Is she an Israeli citizen?  
No, she is an American citizen.  
Then why has she lived here so long?  H
er husband works for the state department and this is where they are stationed.  
Where will you be traveling exactly?  
Umm, Jerusalem?  

So then I land and I didn't have to do Customs because I wasn't declaring anything.  I didn't have anything worth declaring or that had to be declared.  Anyway, so then I got to see my kiddos again.  I love seeing my kiddos.  They were across the courtyard from me and ran into the DO NOT ENTER zone to say hello.  Cambree looks like a young women now and Jorden is only a few short months away from looking like a teenager.  Taylor still is a goofball but has gotten quieter and Kaelen is still Kaelen.  Jaikob has gotten sweeter if that was even possible.  I got a thousand kisses yesterday when we had to hold hands.  Kaelen tried to open mouth kiss me yesterday and I told him I don't kiss fish!

We left the airport and traveled to home and we passed switchbacks made of stone and Jerusalem truly is a city on the hill.  Everything here is tan and is made out of Jerusalem stone.  And I mean EVERYTHING.  It is interesting to see such beautiful buildings next to ones in desperate need of repair!  But we made it to her house and then it was time for breakfast.  This poor family had to be out the door by 4:45 to come and get me.  They must really love me!!!  Breakfast was a fun game of who could steal Aunt Ohleo's apples.  My apples were handled by all of the kids, except for Taylor, as they hid them and ate them.  And then Melissa would cut more and my bowl would magically be filled again, only to be stolen or hidden or touched again.  It was a pretty fun game and we were all laughing and being silly.  Then we got ready and went to start our hike for the day.  


The "Hot Car"!!  How awesome is that?

Public Recycling

That knob is how trash bins are lifted into trash trucks.  It was fascinating to watch!

I found this family in more than one location!!

I was lucky enough to miss the storm that hit Flagstaff but I must have boasted too loudly because I got the storm that hit Jerusalem.  It was a COLD rain and I mean like COLD rain.  I was wearing a sweatshirt and jeans and was starting to get cold.  Some of the kiddos weren't even that dressed and eventually I gave up my sweatshirt to poor Taylor.  Him and I must have a thing where that is how it works because I gave up my sweatshirt, the same sweatshirt actually, to him in D.C. and in New Hampshire.  Anyway, so we started hiking and I was some how in the lead but had no idea where we were going.  I tend to be American in trying to cross the street and wait for a break in cars.  Here, you just cross the street and pray the cars stop.  They do a good job of not running red lights here because the other side of traffic gets a yellow light telling them to get ready to go and if you don't stop at your light then they will hit you.  I love that some of the cross walks are different.  You cross part of the street at a time because there is a median that you stop at until you can finish crossing.  Anyway, at this light the first green guy was fat and had been etched to be much bigger and the light right next to it the guy had been etched to be built.  He wasn't regular size and it just made me giggle!  We also had a flashing yellow light that had a smiley face in it.  I thought of "It's your breakfast and it is happy to see you!"  But this stop light was happy to see me!  Anyway, we wandered and wandered and wandered and wandered and then made it to a overlook of the old city.  I took lots of photos and got some great ones of the kids as well.  It was fun to watch them goof off and run and jump and play as we took photos.  We played at a park and I learned some history of the city and where things were.  I saw the Jerusalem center, the Dome of the Rock, the City of David and other things but I saw them from across the valley.  I also saw where they think Lehi hiked out of Jerusalem with his family and WOW!!!  Later we would see a rainbow arch over the Dome of the Rock.  Melissa hadn't ever seen a rainbow here and it should have made for an amazing photo.  I can't wait to check out the photos from yesterday!  Jorden thinks it was because I was here that the rainbow appeared.  

Public drinking fountains.

Then we went and hiked to see the aqueduct that runs from Bethlehem to Jerusalem.  It is underground but someone built a mosaic of it.  It was pretty cool to see how far that water travels.  Then it was time to go to Pistachios.  This was a cafe type place that serves pizza, sandwiches, salad, pasta, and ice cream.  I ordered the avocado sandwich and it was FABULOUS!!!  It had avocado, hard boiled egg, lettuce, and tomato and I just loved it!  The little boys ate there while our sandwiches were being made and the rest of us walked home to eat ours.  On the way home it started to pour and then it got really cold.  At this point I gave Taylor my sweatshirt because we were all soaked.  I took a picture when I got home and I didn't realize how bad my hair was because it shouldn't be a very flattering photo.  Anyway, then it was lunch time and Kaelen kept trying to get his hands on my drink.  Melis kept telling him no but it didn't keep him distracted for very long and he ate like 20 green olives and wouldn't have eaten more but they were all gone.  What a strange 4 year old!  I forgot that when we got home that we all had to change clothes because we were all frozen and dripping.  The pants that I was wearing had a hole in them, well I discovered it when I landed but had forgotten and so I was fine to change out of those clothes.  I changed and then Melis and I went back out to go find scarves and other treasures.  I had to borrow another sweatshirt because mine was still wet.  

The two of us wandered the streets in the rain but with an umbrella this time.  It was fun to spend time with her again.  I have missed that part of her living here.  It is one thing to chat on the phone but another to chat as we wander and shop!  We talked about all sorts of topics and all sorts of girly things.  I loved shopping for scarves and fell in love with all of the ones we bought.  They are so pretty and now I don't want to give any away.  Melissa paid for them yesterday because I hadn't switched to shekels yet and the Consulate wasn't open.  It costs about $20 for the 8 scarves I bought.  There is a really beautiful chocolate brown one and several others that are two toned.  I am in heaven!!  Melissa and I got "lost" on our way home and chatted in the driveway for a long time.  I really enjoyed chatting.  I did fairly well staying away and alert through out the day but when the kiddos sat me down to watch "Earth", I was passed out before the movie ever really started.  I then slept in Jorden's room and slept really well.  I woke up once and then was out again very soon.  It was a good first day.  

Today we head to the Old City again and will probably forgo going to the City of David because it will be SO cold.  We will go back later this week to catch that part.