Friday, November 30, 2012

I am Grateful for: My New Ukulele

I received an early birthday present and I'm in love. I'm hoping that years of playing other instruments will translate into some smooth new tunes and that I'll soon be able to provide some sweet accompaniment to every Christmas Carol!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I am Grateful for: Silver Linings

I've been fortunate in my life to always have at least some good in every situation. I'm glad that I've learned to identify the silver linings and minimize focus on the dark clouds.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I am Grateful for: Anticipation

Tis the season, right? Birthday in a week and Christmas in a month and the tracking of deliveries...and maybe that pristine heart?! I love the excitement.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I am Grateful for: Money

The past two years without an income and with a terminal illness has not be a financial breeze. However, somehow, I've always had what I need when it really matters. I am grateful for people who have been more than generous in helping me to do what I can to provide for myself. I am grateful that I was counseled to be financially conservative and that even though things are tight, I am not suffering or being denied the things that I need. If I were to win the Powerball Lottery for aprox. $500M, I would continue to be grateful :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

I am Grateful for: Kitchen Skills

I'm pretty good in the kitchen. With or without a recipe. With or without a menu. I really surprise myself sometimes. Thanks mom! Because of what I learned as your daughter, I can whip up an amazing meal for myself and/or friends with no notice at all. It's like magic!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I am Grateful for: Inspiration

This video has been all over my Facebook feed and I am feeling motivated to do more. My doctors have outlined pretty strict limitations...but maybe I can push myself a little more:

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I am Grateful for: Friends & Food

There's something awesome when you combine good friends and tasty food. It just always makes for a great night. Although, if I'm being honest, I would totally enjoy my friends even without the food.

Friday, November 23, 2012

I am Grateful for: Imagination

Right this minute I am specifically grateful for my nephew Owen's imagination. The kid is such a character and he always keeps me laughing. He is really big into superheros these days and today he decided to become Hawkeye and shoot a bow and arrow. This video is a very calm version of what he had been doing all afternoon. I love the detail he puts into selecting an arrow from his quiver:

video

I am also grateful for my own imagination. Man does that keep me entertained! For hours!!



Thursday, November 22, 2012

I am Grateful for: Belonging

It's great to have family that love me unconditionally and provide a place where I am welcome and belong no matter how much time has passed. My Uncle Roger and Aunt Janet hosted a fantastic Thanksgiving and I love knowing that I always fit in at their home.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I am Grateful for: Tradition

I have no food assignment for Thanksgiving dinner this year...but I couldn't not make Grandma Effie's Green Jello Salad to take along tomorrow. It's a recipe passed down on my mom's side of the family, and a concoction I've never seen anywhere else, but it's a must have for me during holiday meals...the nostalgia for it is powerful!
My brother Brett and I might be the only ones brave enough to eat it tomorrow, but I don't mind leftovers...I'll eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
(Besides, how cool is it that I have a great grandma named Effie?!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

I am Grateful for: Curiosity

I am glad that I have a curious personality and that I feel comfortable asking questions when I want to know more or understand more fully. Curiosity has helped to keep me preoccupied and has given me outrageous opportunities!


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Craig Update

Thanks for calls and texts expressing concern for my Dad and our family. I didn't mean to raise the alarms...
He was sent home today with recovery instructions, but he's in surprisingly good condition, considering the circumstances, and I think we are all feel very lucky.


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Monday, November 19, 2012

I am Grateful for: Tender Mercies

Tonight was awful!

Everything is calm now, but my dad was in a fr-reaky accident this afternoon and is now recovering in the hospital overnight. After a mysterious crash, 30 minutes into a bike ride, he spent the next 2 hours weaving his bloody way home. None of this information came from him, it came from a mapping app he uses during his rides. After the last update from my mom, he still had no recollection of his afternoon or the passcode to the garage.

After speaking with my mom shortly after he arrived home, and hearing first hand how absent he suddenly was, I was pretty ticked at God and the universe for giving my family one more stupid hurdle. Seriously, can a girl and her dad just get a break?! But it didn't take too long before I recognized how lucky we were that he made it home at all. And the CT scan came back clean and clear from any bleeds or tumors, new or old, so that's a miracle too. And I'm feeling plenty wound up, but somewhat relieved that while he may never remember the accident, he should recover fairly well.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

I am Grateful for: Healthcare Workers

Seriously. I don't know how they do it! The nurses on my floor this weekend have been so kind and patient...especially with my crazy neighbors! I think I'm a pretty easy patient, but these old people on the cardiac floor are some tough characters, and the nurses just keep helping them.

There is a guy down the hall that is doing his very best work to cough up all of his internal organs and gagging on them the whole way. And the lady right next door just LOVES her call button and is giving the CNA a run for her money this morning.

I would probably earn a criminal charge on my first day, but the nurses just keep coming back for more. I feel grateful that there are individuals, who are much better people than myself, who are willing to do this hard work!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Friday, November 16, 2012

I am Grateful for: Normal Moments

I really do appreciate the thoughts and prayers and tender moments that so many have shared with me as I've fought through the past 18 months. But it's the moments when things seem "perfectly normal" that bring the most hope.
It's an odd scenario for me to be calling anything normal. Hospital room, Friday night, three single friends drop by to help me kill some time. And we talked and laughed like everything was so normal.
Here's to hoping the normal moments keep coming!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

I am Grateful for: Clean Laundry

It starts by looking a little something like this:



But when every stitch is washed, folded, and put away...down to the linens and bathroom floor mats....yeah, those are some of my most favorite moments in life!




When I was in student housing, it wasn't unusual to have to do wash at a laundry mat and it was such a pain. Now I have what I need right in the house and I think that is a blessing worth celebrating!


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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I am Grateful for: Optimism

Stuff doesn't go my way very often. Yet, I still manage to be surprised every time it happens. I have an active imagination, and while capable of constructing the worst possible scenarios, I tend to default to the more favorable ones.
I try to fool myself into believing that I have low expectations and consequently, I'm rarely disappointed but (shhh...this is a secret), I really do hope for the best. Pretty much all the time. I like it that way.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

I am Grateful for: Warmth





It's cold in Utah and I've responded with flannel pajama pants, a hoody with the hood in use, an electric blanket, my favorite old quilt, and my favorite new quilt (lazy, point-of-view picture above (THANKS MOM!💗)).

I remember making 20 quilts for "Access Housing" as a service project when I was in High School. I imagined what it might be like for someone in poverty to be cold...I don't think I really understood. And so far in my life, I've never really known the bitterness of enduring cold, I most likely will never have to.

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

I am Grateful for: Peaceful Moments

I'm curled up in bed with a cup of peppermint tea, and a public library copy of The Great Gatsby, and I am feeling quite content!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I am Grateful for: BYU Football MEMORIES

For YEARS I was the perfect BYU football fan. Ran, sleet or shine I was there before kick-off and stayed way past the final whistle. Tonight while Cougar fans drive through blizzard-ish conditions to attend an 8:15 p.m. kickoff, I'm glad that those are awesome memories and not my reality!! (Hey bros, thanks for graduating!!)

Friday, November 9, 2012

I am Grateful for: Independence

I woke up feeling sorry for myself...definitely my least favorite way to wake up. So I threw on some comfy clothes, pulled my hair into a ponytail, and hit the local movie theater for a double feature.
I feel lucky that I feel comfortable doing just about anything on my own, for me it helps minimize the number of times I feel like a victim of loneliness.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I am Grateful for: Kid Stories



That is a picture of my 5 year old nephew hocking Gatorade to High School students at $8.00/bottle. He needed to earn $8.00 to buy some toys he wanted, and he figured inflated prices would mean he only had to sell 1 bottle. He's a genius..right?! (I think he had to negotiate down to move product, but I'm looking forward to writing his biography some day and sharing this story.)

Stories from friends and family about their kids are some of my favorites to hear and repeat. Nothing is funnier or more inspiring than life from their perspective.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I am Grateful for: Modern Medicine


When I saw my first cardiologist, 24 years ago, my condition was not named or even known. Since then, not only has non-compaction been identified, but hundreds of treatments and medications have been developed to assist heart failure patients. The greatest miracle is the advancement of human heart transplant. Something that wasn't really an option for me not long ago is now the thing that gives me hope...and maybe even a shot at SCUBA someday soon!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I Wish This Was a Joke...

Watching the election coverage has put me into A-Fib...no joke. Or maybe my loser heart has just gone into A-Fib on its own, like it is wont to do. Either way, I hope it's worked itself out before my Right Heart Cath in the morning. Fingers crossed!!

I am Grateful for: Empathy


em·pa·thy

  [em-puh-thee]
noun
1.
the intellectual identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.



I am so glad that I have been blessed with empathy. At times when I don't get my way, or I am wrong, I am usually able to eventually see another side, and find peace and hope.

Monday, November 5, 2012

I am Grateful for: External Motivators

Although I am a non-breeder, I have somehow acquired a few mom-like characteristics. One of which, is being unable to do something for myself if I can't see that it also benefits others. Often it takes an outside push to get me to do something that I should have done a long time ago. Today that thing was getting a new windshield so that I can pass Safety and Emissions...my new windshield is AMAZING! Thank you government regulations, for being the motivation I needed, to do something I should have done, long ago!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I am Grateful for: The Faith of Others

Ultimately, it always comes down to my own faith, but I am often strengthened by the faith that others express. I am so fortunate to be surrounded by strong, inspirational people.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

I am Grateful for: The Changing Seasons

Occasionally I fantasize about a life on the beach. Tan skin and sun-bleached hair...I really like that version of myself. But the truth is, I would really miss the change in seasons. Utah has been incredibly generous this year and rather than rush through the typically short spring and fall, we have been gifted amazing weather and scenery. There are things (fashion, temps, activities) that I love about each and I would probably be sad to give it up. Probably.

Friday, November 2, 2012

I am Grateful for: Being American





Like many Americans, I am in the greatest slump of my life...and like many Americans, I still have it goo-ood!

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

I am Grateful for: Good Books



This past year I have read more than maybe all previous 36 years combined. I feel fortunate to have a curiosity for things that can be found in books. I love that I have become reacquainted with the sights and smells of the public library. I am lucky to have friends who also like to read and discuss new ideas. Good books (and a few bad) have been a constant companion through this past year.

November - Gratitude 2012

Last year I accepted a challenge to take a moment, every day in November, to identify something for which I was grateful. I didn't know on November 1, that I was going to get some of the hardest personal news of my life. I never would have guessed that the challenge to be grateful would be the thing to pull me out of a very ugly funk...
My current funk isn't so ugly, but it is a funk, and I'm ready to shake it.