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The summer went by so quickly and I accomplished only a bit that was on my list.  Unfortunately, updating this was not among the things I did get done.  It’s not that nothing was going on, it was in fact an incredibly stressful summer and I could probably have used the stress relief of writing here, but so much of it was personal and not mine to tell really, that I just didn’t write at all.

In good news, Giles is several weeks into the new school year and seems to adore fourth grade.  We’ve had a couple of problems, but for the most part he seems to be doing well being mainstreamed this year.  His teacher is absolutely fabulous which helps so much!  She’s dealt with Autistic students before and that makes all the difference! 

My father had his five year check last week for cancer and if the tests come back all-clear he’ll be considered cured instead of being in remission.  This is always stressful waiting for the test results to come back and this time more so because it would mean so much more, you know?  Unfortunately we still have a little less then four years before we’ll be dealing with this same issue with my brother.  Hopefully they’ll both get past this with no more problems! 

My brother was the major stress of the summer, or I should say his ex-wife with all her games is.  My parents keep threatening to run away from home because it’s gotten so bad, but at the same time despite my brother making some incredibly bad choices, none of us can let him go through this alone.  Some days I wonder when we’ll see my niece and nephew again though and if the ex (you don’t want to know what I really call her) will have turned them into as hateful and vicious of people as she is by the time we see them next.   Unfortunately, from what we’ve seen this summer, she’s already started making them over in her image.

I promise I’m going to try to update this a lot more often and even start posting some of my scrap booking layouts here.  I’m still on One Memory At A Time’s creative team (at least until she realizes her talent as a designer far surpasses my talent for showcasing her kits) and I need to at least show you the beautiful things she makes. 

Until next time . . .

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No one can serve two masters.  The person will hate one master and love the other, or will follow one master and refuse to follow the other.  You cannot serve both God and worldly riches.  “So I tell you, don’t worry about the food or drink you need to live, or about the clothes you need for your body.  Life is more then food, and the body is more then clothes.  Look at the birds in the air.  They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, but your heavenly Father feeds them.  And you know that you are worth much more than the birds.  You cannot add any time to your life by worrying about it.  And why do you worry about clothes?  Look at how the lillies in the field grow.  They don’t work or make clothes for themselves.  But I tell you that even Solomon with his riches was not dressed as beautifully as one of these flowers.  God clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today but tomorrow is thrown into the fire.  So you can be even more sure that God will clothe you.  Don’t have so little faith!  Don’t worry and say ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘ What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’  The people who don’t know God keep trying to get these things, and your Father in heaven knows you need them.  Seek first God’s kingdom and what God wants.  Then all your other needs will be met as well.  So don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.   – Matthew 6:24-34

When we walked into church this morning, one of the ladies pulled us aside and asked if one or both of us would be willing to read during the ceremony.  Dale has an amazing reading voice and immediately agreed, while I have problems speaking if I’m too tired.  (The problem comes from having Bell’s Palsy when I was young and some of the muscles never recovered)  This was the scripture he read and it really struck me.  I know that I spend a lot of time worrying, about Giles, money, if I’m running late, etc.  What good does it do me though?  I will not live longer for having worried, I will not be on my death bed saying ‘I wish I had worried more.’  Instead of worrying about what will be or even what was, I need to live in the moment, be present for what is happening now so that one day I do not regret missing out on things because I was too busy worrying.  That is one of my new challenges to myself, Don’t Worry, Be Present.

Yesterday went fairly well I think.  It was loud and wild with four kids running around (Giles being the quietest out of all of them).  I was extremely proud of how Giles handled the yelling and running around though, he rarely had to escape to deal with things, although he did concentrate on what he was doing so much that he wasn’t aware of some of what was going on.  It was nice to see my brother and my parents and to have a bit of time to talk and enjoy each others company.  By the time we got home last night though, I was so tired and had a massive headache.  Luckily I got about six hours of sleep before having to get up for church and the headache went away for the most part. 

My big problem of the day is the birds in my backyard.  We have a cement pad right outside our back door that has our BBQ grill and a place to sit along with pots I’ve got vegetable plants in for the year since we don’t have an area for a garden.  The birds, who I love to listen to and observe, have decided that cement pad and everything on it are the best place to poop.  Seriously, it’s almost white back there and it’s all come in the past week.  I’m not sure how to deal with it since we have huge trees that hang over the area and the birds build their nests there.  We bought a canopy that we’re going to put up to try to protect the area, but I’m not sure it’s going to work.  I guess this is a great place to begin implementing the whole don’t worry philosopy idea huh?

It seems like this has already been a tough year, although each year I say that it seems.  Maybe it’s because as I get older I see the bad stuff going on more then the good.  It could just be perspective, when you’re younger you don’t realize the bad stuff happens so you don’t see it.  I’m going to try to start looking for the good more though.  I look out my back door right now and I see the sun glowing through the leaves and it’s absolutely beautiful!  Maybe I need to look for that more then looking down and seeing the mess the birds have left on the cement, you know?

Today we’re going out to my parents to celebrate my nieces birthday as well as my father’s.  They’re only two days apart so they tend to get put together, which is fine since the year Ariya was born Dad said the only thing he wanted was for her to be born on his birthday.  Ariya was impatient though and had to come two days early.  Still, I think it’s probably the best gift my dad ever got — his only granddaughter.  Anyway, I still haven’t wrapped gifts or made cards, I just haven’t been able to get inspired it seems.

May is the last month I’ll be on the Supreme Team at GoDigitalScrapbooking.com and it’s making me a bit sad.  I will be working on AmyLeigh Fennel’s team for the month of June (I just found out) and I made One Memory At A Time’s creative team as well (YAY), so it’s not like I’m going to be pulled from digital scrapbooking completely, but it’s the thought that is making me a bit sad.  I realize I need to get some of my layouts posted here and I definitely need to get some links put up to the different pages of the designers I work with.  Put that on the to-do list as well I suppose.

Anyway, I’m off to have a cup of iced coffee and maybe get that gift wrapping and cards done.  If you’re reading this, have a good day.

Dale is at work today, training the kids (his students, we call them the kids because I can never remember their names) so I decided to work outside cleaning up and preparing for Summer.  I was trying to get the tarp off of our bikes (they’re on a rack) and the bench I was standing on broke.  I knew the wood was starting to go bad, but really didn’t expect it to break with me a couple feet in the air.  Now my ankle is swelling and walking hurts.  I don’t think I broke it, but it’s definitely not in good condition either.  So there is a broken bench outside, the tarp is still partially over the bikes and I’m thinking my to-do list for the day isn’t likely to get done. 

The somewhat funny part of the whole experience is I’m laying on the ground, my foot still stuck in the wood of the bench, wondering how I’m going to get out of this situation if my ankle is broken (which it felt like for about 30 minutes) and Giles comes out to offer me a cookie.  He apparently heard me fall and the not-so-nice words I said right after falling and thought the way to fix the problem was to give me a cookie.  Of course, he took a cookie for himself as well, but it was a really sweet thought even if it wasn’t really helpful.

My husband works for Utah Transit Authority, the local bus company.  He’s been a driver there for about ten years and he’s really good at his job.  So good, he also helps train the new drivers.  Several times a year he is pulled off his own work and for approximately 21 days he teaches people how to drive the different buses and different routes in the Salt Lake/Ogden/Provo/Tooele area.  It’s a nice change of pace for him and again, he’s good at it.  The problem is, when he’s on O.I. (operator instruction) the contract says he has to take overtime if they give it to him.  For the past several months whenever he’s been on O.I. he’s gotten assigned a lot of overtime.  Most pieces are only about two hours long, but they tend to start at five or six in the morning.  Since we only have one car at the moment, that means I have to drive him at least part of the way to work so he can catch a train or bus that will take him the rest of the way in.  I’m so not a morning person.  In my perfect world we would all go to bed about 2a.m. and wake up around 10a.m..  Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. 

So this morning I was woke up at the horrible time of 3:30a.m. to take my husband all the way into work (no buses run at 4:30a.m. to get him to work in time).  I also had to stop for gas because of course the low gas light just had to come on.  By the time I get home it’s not even worth going back to bed because I have to get my son up at 7:00a.m. to get ready for school and if my head sees my pillow before then I’m not getting back up.  Of course I’m not awake enough to actually get anything done though, so I surf the Internet, drink a large coffee and dream of a day when the world will work around my schedule instead of the current reality.

Who I Am

This is not the life I planned on having.  Nineteen years ago when I was preparing to graduate from high school I had a plan for my life and it didn’t include still living in Utah, being a stay-at-home mom or living paycheck to paycheck.  It certainly didn’t include a son with Autism.  What I’ve learned in the years since then is that it’s good to dream, but sometimes the reality, despite the obstacles you have to overcome, is even more rewarding then your dreams can ever be.

Despite it being a gorgeous place, I’m not a fan of Utah overall.  It’s an important thing to know about me.  I’m a liberal in a very conservative state.  Not only do I not belong to the prominent religion (LDS) which is pretty much considered a sin in this state, I married a LDS return missionary and according to his mother at least, brought him over to the dark side.  It doesn’t seem to matter that he wasn’t active before we met or that I was seriously considering joining until she and several members of my husband’s family were so rude about it, I am to blame.  The other thing about Utah I don’t like — snow.  In my perfect world it would snow on December 24th, melt on December 26th and never snow except in the mountains the rest of the time.  I’m definitely living in the wrong state for that!

The reason we stay in Utah, besides not having the money or jobs to move, is that our families are here.  I’m not sure if Dale (the husband unit) could handle leaving his parents and siblings, but as someone who did move away for three months and had a hard time, I’m not sure I could move too far away.  My parents are still a huge support to me and I actually talk to my mother on the phone on average five times a week.  This support is important for a lot of reasons, but the most important is that my son is Autistic and my parents are the only ones capable of taking care of him when I cannot.  This is improving, but it’s still a struggle I face every day.

Autism sucks.  That’s something you’ll be hearing a lot about if you read my blog.  The thing is, it’s also a gift that has shown me an entirely different world I never knew existed.  Every day with my son is a lesson in patience and different perspectives.  As difficult as it’s been, I wouldn’t change my son for anything.  The struggles we’ve faced and the ones still to come are worth it because I can see the amazing person he’s becoming and I truly believe he will be a huge benefit to the world once he finds his correct path.  He certainly won’t be the outgoing person who is the life of the party, but he is brilliant enough that he could have a huge impact on all of our lives one day.  I know he’s already had a huge impact on mine.

I think that’s enough about me for now.  I’m hoping this will become a place for all parts of me, good and bad.  Not only a place to vent about my life, but also a place to celebrate who I am and what’s going on in my world.  No matter what, I want this to be a place about my life as it is.