Sunday, September 30, 2012

Oh, Scuddles.

Yesterday I was at Target shopping for a few birthday presents, and low and behold I walk down the Halloween aisle and see a whole section of these:

Pet costumes.

So there I am, all alone in the aisle laughing hysterically all by myself. I mean, like tears laughing! All I could do was imagine Scuddles in each of these outfits and I just couldn't handle it. I also just love the look on all of their faces in these pictures like, "really?? You guys are really making me wear this?"

It took me forever to pick one, but eventually we ended up with this:

An Alligator! Oh man, it was just too much to handle. He really didn't like me laughing at him and kept giving me the "side eye", like he was embarrassed. This picture kind of shows how mad and sheepish he felt.

It was probably one of the funnier moments of my life. I just love that widdle guy Scuddles. He got lots of treats after so he forgave me.

Happy Halloween!

I can't wait to unveil my costume as well. It's gonna be a good one!
Wednesday, September 26, 2012


One thing all of this craziness has taught me is to be patient.

Patient with myself, patient with pharmacists who make really big mistakes, patient with God, patient with the healing process, patient with the fact that nothing is going like I would like it to.

It can be so frustrating sometimes, I won't lie. If this was just the first of all of the illnesses I have had, I would probably be a little more understanding and get frustrated a little less often. But truly, everything really started in about Jr. High when every day I felt like crap. It has been years since I felt well...and well, that's annoying.

Years of testing and re-testing and poking and prodding has taught me a lot about patience.

I often laugh with myself rather than cry because my health history is so incredibly ridiculous that I would think someone had made it up. Almost like a really bad fiction novel. Like I can't do anything normal...I can't just have a cold.

As old as this is getting I am sure learning a lot about myself. I am learning so much about God, and the fact that he really is there for me. I am learning that when I look back and see his hand in all of this, it is incredible. He didn't make me sick, or make these things happen. But he allows them to happen because he knows what I can become when it is all over with.

And it has been hard. No question.

And sometimes I doubt. Sometimes I just want to throw my hands up in the air and quit, because it is too dang hard.

Then I remember some great quotes from Elder Uchtdorf:

"Patience means accepting that which cannot be changed and facing it with courage, grace, and faith....patience is a godly attribute that can heal souls, unlock treasures of knowledge and understanding, and transform ordinary men and women into saints and angels."

"....Patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring...bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!"

It can definitely be hard to remember because I always have this spirit body conflict. I have all of these things I want to do...good things! Things God wants from me. Good desires of my heart. Help others, go to school, date, get married, have babies...yet my body tends to hold me back from being able to do all the things I want. And I start to fear. How is anyone going to love this person with all of these health problems? How am I going to ever feel well enough to work again? How will I be able to be a mother??

And then I try to replace those fears with faith. It is going to work out...maybe not like I plan, but it will. I just know it. I have been promised, and I have to remember that.

And I know these experiences, the things that are hard, are really shaping me into a better individual. That in no other way could I learn these lessons except  through this exceptionally difficult time.

It will make me be a better mother. A better wife. Friend. Caretaker. Daughter. just will.

So in some weird way I'm grateful. Grateful there is a God that knows better than I. Who can see the bigger picture and knows why I have to do this.

And I will do my best to keep the faith! Keep forging forward with hope for a better day.

And to all those who are struggling...don't give up. Don't ever, ever give up. Each day you are becoming better than you know.

More later.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Favorites of the week.

What an incredibly intense week.

Doing this little favorites of the week post helps me focus on some of the better parts of the week rather than what was a little too exciting.

So here it goes!

1. Favorite product:

Lancome Hynose Doll Lashes Mascara

Man oh man, this stuff is awesome. I finally....FINALLY found a mascara that I love and I am obsessed. The first one I have found that curls and stays curled all day. None of that flimsy stuff.

2. Favorite Food or Recipe:

Blerk. ANYTHING but this nast hospital food.

I was already nauseated and this just increased that ten fold. So ya, pretty much everything tasted better than this. 

3. Favorite moment of the week:

Baby Kash was born!!

Congrats Kassidy and Kolton! We were so bummed we just missed him on our St. George trip. But so glad he is here!

4. Favorite Lesson of the Week

Always check your prescription bottle:

If you read my last post, you know I was given 30 grams of Valium instead of the Diltiazem (heart medication) I was supposed to get from the pharmacy. Could have killed me if I took them with my nighttime meds. Don't just assume! 

5. Favorite Song of the Week:

Can I have two?

Love me some Killers and Jay-Z. 'Nough said.

6. Favorite Video


If you haven't seen Here Comes Honey Boo's time. 

7. Favorite Thing on TV:

The Emmy's

I love, LOVE award shows! All the fashion, excitement, and look back at the year. I thought Jimmy Kimmel was hilarious and the show was done pretty well this year. Congrats to Modern Family who scooped up. Love that show!

8. Favorite Pic:

I was looking through my pictures of my humanitarian trip to Thailand a couple of years ago. A girl on my team took this picture of me and one of the little girls I fell in love with. It just melts my heart every time I see this picture and just miss them all so much!

9. Favorite Funny

Impractical Jokers.  Insanely hilarious. One of my favorite clips. 

10. Favorite Inspiration

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A girl can't catch a break...


This is just hitting the ridiculous point. Actually, I think we hit that a while ago so now it is just starting to be hysterical.

This little heart of mine just is not at all happy with me!

I just was doing so much better and even had a great trip with my best girls to St. George...

So fun! Miss them all so much already.

Anyway, as the story goes....(I will make this my sweet and condensed version)

- I was in class and I started having this pain in my back on the right side that wrapped around under my ribs. It almost felt like a kidney stone and I thought to myself, "really?? A kidney stone? embarrassing. What next?". Spoke too soon and looking back a kidney stone would have been much easier. I got home and laid down to try and rest up. Next thing I know my heart is doing the craziest stuff. It would feel like it would vibrate, a lot of pain, inability to breathe, and blacking out. I figured, this is really not good and called my doctor who told me to get to the Emergency Room. I got up to get going in the car and suddenly found myself having another episode and not able to make it to the car. Laying in the middle of the hallway 911 was called....

Aye carumba, I hate going in the ambulance. So embarrassing. Too much attention. Too much money for a 5 minute ride.

I guess it was worth it and better to be safe than sorry.

....even when I am laying in the back of an ambulance with no shirt on in front of 5 guys. Not my proudest moment.

We got me to the E.R., where everyone knows me by now (embarrassing) and we find out my heart is going crazy (duh). My heart rate was going from 60 to 180 or 200 in seconds...hence the pass out, inability to breathe, situation.

I was diagnosed with supraventricular tachycardia and then sent home with meds and an event heart monitor.

Apparently I was having enough episodes to fill up the monitor....before I even got home from the hospital. No good. Was up off an on all night with the episodes which was annoying and unsettling.

- Then I woke up thursday morning to find out this guy:

(my Papa Gould) went to the E.R. at 4 from a fall. 2 broken ribs and stitches in his ear. He is doing ok but breaks my heart. And everyone knew we were related since I was there the night before...ha. Hahah. Also embarrassing.

- The same morning my dad went and picked up my prescriptions for me. I woke up long enough to find out about Papa and take the new meds. Soon after I was out cold....for like 5 hours. When I woke up feeling like a drunk I wondered if I had taken the right med because I felt so groggy. I looked at my bottle to see Diazepam (Valium, a sedative) rather than Diltiazem (a beta blocker).....seriously? Bad, bad mistake on the pharmacy. I am lucky because A) I take a sleeping medication and the combination could have been deadly...I figured it out before I had taken it B) I have taken classes on meds and given them at work so I knew it wasn't correct and C) I figured it out quickly rather than three days later.

The Mom was not a happy camper...neither was I.

It was just not good at. all. And the pharmacy is well aware of how not ok that was and how unhappy we were.

- Over the next 2 days I continued to have episodes every 30 minutes. I went to my surgeon's office who looked at the event monitor and felt strongly I needed to be seen now. Tried and tried and tried to get some help from another office to no avail. When we finally got someone, they asked me to go back to the Emergency Room to be admitted. What the?? No. No, no, no. What would be the point of going back to the ER to have the same tests I had 2 days ago?? Also, all of our deductibles have been met and everything is covered from here on out except the ER. Mama bear was not happy. Incredibly we have some good friends who work in the ER who pulled some strings and got us around going to the ER and just admitted...thank goodness.

- And finally, the doctor came in last night and said I have some pleurisy and my lung is still not expanding from being collapsed in surgery...hence the pain. Put me on 2 more new meds that control the rhythm of my heart as well as a beta blocker. Besides making me feel like I got hit with a bus, taking those on top of my other two meds definitely shut down the episodes for now.

So here I lay in my luxurious CCU room hoping that one day this can all be over.

However, feeling so grateful for the support and knowing I have been really helped and blessed from some potentially bad situations.

Thanks to everyone who has done so much for me and my family! You just can't know how much it means!
Saturday, September 15, 2012

Anyone else see it?

I am up much too late watching "America's Next Top Model". Stupid show that I always get suckered into.

Oh well.

Anyway, the girl this season named Victoria is freakishly obsessed with her mom, way over the top, and a little bit cray cray.

After watching her, I got to thinking she reminded me of someone else on Youtube so much! What do you think?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Can I just have a moment?

Can I be brutally honest??

Today sucked.

Actually the last couple days have been pretty rough for me and tonight I just feel really emotional and tired.

Tonight my energy is spent on trying to convince myself to have a good attitude.

To sum up part of my frustration, my doctor is a stickler about handing out meds. I get it. Kind of. And I would get it if the med I was trying to get is a narcotic...but it's not. And it's for pain and I am really hurting.

He essentially told me to tough it out and take Ibuprofen and Tylenol. 6 weeks after open heart.

You take that crap for a headache. It hasn't touched it.

So anyway, this pain for the last few days has been intense and making me feel yucky and I think that emotionally makes you not able to think clearly. But I have been trying to be brave today and tough and not show that I just am really uncomfortable. I went to therapy and to visit the old folks and tried to keep myself from my bed....

But I stayed home from school and slept.

And everyone is probably sick of me saying I hurt, but especially tonight I just want to cry.

So I did.

Really big tears. It felt oh, so good.

Just by myself. Let it all out.

And then I go and do myself a huge favor and read about THIS little boy and listen to the song written by Taylor Swift about him. And read THIS girl's blog (a friend of my little sister) about going through cancer at age 16 and I can't handle.

I don't have cancer, but I know what is like to hurt and be scared and sad and tired and grateful and guilty and mad and inspired and that no one understands and blessed and brave and grumpy and hate hospitals and hurt some more....all at the same time. And reading it all brought up a few too memories close to home.

So I cried some more.

I'm really trying to have a good attitude because I don't have a million other things wrong with me that could go wrong. I have been blessed, and try every single day to recognize that.

But I guess tonight I just wanna kind of be mad at the fact that I just really don't feel good at all. And I feel like I should feel good! Like everyone expects me to feel better, because I am doing better. And that I always have to be brave.

But I don't feel like that at all. Not tonight.

I'm a little bit weary.

A little vulnerable.

A little "oh woe is me" -ish.

I guess that's ok every once in a while, huh?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Favorites of the week:

I think I decided Sunday's I am going to start putting all my favorite things of the week. Favorite foods, products, moments, photos....whatevs. It just feels right.

So, here it goes folks.

1. Favorite product (more than just this week, but maybe of all time. It changed my life.)

Clearsonic Face Cleansing.

This thing is like a Sonicare toothbrush for your face. Your skin will never feel smoother...guaranteed.

2. Favorite food/recipe

Fresh homemade salsa made from tomatoes out of the garden. Yum!

Juanita's chips.
You haven't lived til' you've tried these. They are even gluten free!

Honestly, I would eat homemade salsa as soup. I also ate this combo every day this week. Guilty.

3. Favorite moment of the week:

Getting to start driving again!

There is nothing like getting your freedom back and getting a handicapped pass. Not necessarily in that order. Don't even think about asking if you can buy it from me, because that thing is golden til Oct. 23.

4. Favorite lesson of the week.

Online shopping is A-mazing. 
With a capital "A".

How did I never online shop before? I mostly started because of my inability to try on clothes right mow. That would be very miserable. I was worried things wouldn't fit and it would be a mess. Turns out it is awesome, most things fit, and if they don' can return! For free. Please. Life just got better.

5. Favorite song of the week:

Ed Sheeran: Autumn Leaves

6. Favorite video:

Rylee who re-did my blog has the. most. incredible. wedding video. I am in love!
Did you watch?? Man....I really need myself a man. And a brown man at that. We all know I love those. :)

7. Favorite thing to watch on TV:

All things politics.
Don't hate.

8. Favorite picture:

Sonny thinks he owns my bed.
Sorry for his immodesty.

9. Favorite funny:

You might have seen this, and I may have posted before, but it is so funny. Can't handle.

10. Favorite inspiration:

Happy Sunday :)
Friday, September 7, 2012

I got a face lift!

Ok so I personally didn't get a facelift....but my blog did!

All thanks to this amazing girl:

I wish I could say that I was good at making my blog look awesome, but let's just say it has had some rough design up until now.

If you are interested in sprucing up your space, email her at for pricing and questions.

She was so awesome to work with! Very flexible, kind, and knew how to take all my jumbled thoughts and turn it into something amazing!

You can see all the stuff she has designed HERE and her crazy amazing style.

Oh, and her blog is so, so great too! Find that HERE. Lot's of design tips, great photography, her incredible wedding, and just all around feel good posts.

Thanks Rylee! You are just the best around.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

This is what I will get better.

One thing I have come to learn through all of these years of ups and downs and ins and outs and tears and joy and excruciating pain and always get's better. If we stick to what is good and true and not give up, the person or God you believe is your Supreme Creator will make it right. It might not be in the way you think is right, but it will be right and it will be better.

To put it simply, through this rough experience I have really learned a lot of great things that I want to keep for myself and anyone else in this vast universe that may be going through who knows what and needs a pick me up....because everyone is. Like it or not, we are all fighting our own battles.

So here it top things I learned while having my heart (literally) ripped from my chest.

1. When you are in a really hard situation it is ok to have a bad day. In fact, it is ok to have a few really bad days. These are the days that you let yourself hate the world, hate everyone IN the world, bawl your brains out, don't wear pants, be as grumpy as possible, not like your situation, feel like God has conspired against you, not talk to anyone, look as ugly as you want, sleep as long as you can, not eat or eat as much as you want, work really hard to create a frown and those crinkles on your forehead and hit something.

......and then you. move. ON. 

It is ok to have bad days, it is just not ok to have a bad day everyday and let it fester and fester until you become the victim.

The next day you make the promise that it will be a better. day. No more grumpiness. That is until the next time you let yourself have an "I hate the world day". But until more oh woe is me. Period. Get over it.

2. Set Goals. They really do work.

We have this on-going joke in my family about goals. This is because we found a family home movie that is hilarious. Picture 3 or 4 year-old curly headed self. First of the kiddles. My dad was the very handsome brown man. He was and has been the over-achieving type who had accomplished a lot in his life. Lover of all things Steven Covey.

In this video I was my wiggly self who had been told many times to be patient and sit still while they video taped my new little brother. While I tried and I tried my hardest I finally could not take it anymore. I blurt out, "Daddy! I can't sit still!! No matter how hard I try!!"

My dad replies......."It's ok Sis. You can do it. Set a goal!"

Set a goal? I'm 3.

And they wonder why I am all sorts of messed up?? Just kidding....but maybe a little serious? We will never let him live that one down around here.

Regardless of how funny and ridiculous this could potentially sound, it is a really great principle. No matter how small or how great the goal may be, it is good to set them.

When I had pretty much every ounce of privacy, independence, and strength taken out of goals were a lot like my 3 year-old self goals. As simple as sitting still.

I started with things like first standing up. Then walking to the potty. Then walking to the nurses station. To walking around the nurses station. To taking a shower. Then taking a shower by myself. Riding in the car. Riding in the car to school. Putting on make up. Making it to school and wearing goes on and on.

You don't have to write them down always (but it is always better, I will say that.), but at least have something to work towards. I don't care how big or small. Just standing up is pretty small in many people's eyes, but to me... it was big. Epic even.

No. matter. what. you are going through....give yourself a reason to live.
                                                   Setting and accomplishing goals is a good way to start.

3. Everyone has their own "thing". 

No matter what your comparisons on Facebook tell you...everyone has their own "thing".

Their own crap to deal with.

How many times do we go through Facebook and think, "Oh, my gosh. Seriously?! She has the. perfect. life. Look at her husband...her wedding. She's graduated. With perfect hair. Perfect teeth. Never has any problems. Look at her on all of her trips and cruises and amazing taste."Blah. blah.
                                   Guilty as charged.

In my case, it is pretty easy to do that when you have 24 hours a day but do nothing but watch TV, read, and as many times as possible update FB and blogs and instagram and Twitter, to see how the world is going on without me while I am in pain. In bed.

 Not only is the world going on without me, but everyone is living a blissful life while I am living the suck life in Suckville.
                       Ya. It happens.

As much as I would like to think I have moved on from high school, Facebook makes it that much easier to be stuck in it.

But then the light went on this time.

As my mom always says, "we always see the best 10% of every person while we continually see 100% of ourselves." That makes it real easy to see everyone else perfect while we are not.

But everyone has been given their own "thing". Their own cross to bear. Some are easier to see, like my big giant scar on my chest, or the girl who lost a leg or goes through cancer. But everyone has it. It might be drug abuse, or an unhealthy relationship, or not being in control of their lives, feeling inadequate, a broken heart, loss of a loved one, eating disorders...whatever. We all have it and we can all get through it. I promise.

When we finally come to accept whatever "thing" we have and that you can become triumphant over matter how long it takes, or how long we have to keep going backwards, and hitting a wall. It will happen. I haven't gotten there quite yet, but I'm getting closer. I just know it!

4. There is always something to be grateful or optimistic about in any situation. Always.

My mom is definitely, the most positive person I have ever met.

She is not the type that is just flowery and bubbly all the time and annoyingly is too naive to see the situation at hand. She recognizes the problem. Acknowledges how un-fun it is. That it is not going to be easy. Maybe even cries or has anxiety. Then without even knowing how wonderful she is replies..."But the good news is....!" and immediately finds something, somehow to be grateful for.

Thank goodness for mothers. And for my mother. Who has weathered this storm with me in more ways than I can even put down in words. The very thought of the many things she has done for me brings fountains of tears that can't be matter how hard I try. 

No one has seen the hundreds hours she has spent researching in my behalf so we could figure out what the heck was wrong with me. Waking up at all hours of the night to help me to the bathroom. Wiping my tears when I couldn't endure another seizure or another painful procedure. Forking out the money that has been spent on this body that hasn't always functioned right. The hours rubbing my back and neck. Running errands I couldn't run. Taking me to every doctor and specialist known to man. Giving me a bath when I can't. Answering to every beckon and call and concern and pain. Holding my hair back when I can't help throwing up. Running to the store at 10 o'clock at night to get me popsicles because it is all I can shove down. Spending hours trying to get the pillows just right so I could sleep when I couldn't get comfortable. Rubbling lo lo (lotion) on my feet and my hands. Staying the night in the most uncomfortable chairs known to man all the times I was in  the hospital.

That's my mother. 

And she could have complained the whole time. Or just given up all at once. 

But she always had an optimistic and grateful attitude that helped more than anything to form mine...gosh, I really love that lady. And she is who taught me that lesson. Probably one of the greatest lessons you can learn...

There is always something to be grateful for. 

5. Don't ever let a situation turn you away from those you love and from God.

No matter how bad it get's and whatever the situation is, turning away from the most important things and people is definitely in no way, no how, going to make it better. It might feel like it, but it's not.

There's this one book. It's actually my favorite book! It's called The Book of Mormon. It really doesn't matter if you believe what I believe, it is a good lesson from history. So don't stop reading what I am saying!! It's for everyone, and I am not gonna get super religious on you here. This is just a little story taught me a lot.

So here is a summary. A BIG summary.

But essentially there is this group of people thousands of years ago who are doing everything they are supposed to. Trying really hard and living right, helping their neighbor...being all around good people. One day they are taken into bondage by an evil group and told that they are not allowed to pray which they love to do.

This was hard. And not a good situation. They were being made to be slaves and treated very poorly by their terrible ruler and dictator.

This would have been an easy time for them to turn away from their God, their families, and give up. Especially when there is a part that their God says "Nevertheless, the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith." That could make you mad. I totally get that. 

But they didn't get angry and continued to pray in their hearts and turn to their families and live good lives and lean on each other. Even in slavery. They toughed it out essentially. Had good attitudes.

And this is what the God they believed in told them:

"...I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions."

As the story goes on they explain that their burdens were lighter. Their situation did not change, but it felt easier because they didn't turn away. They were patient. And humble. Were grateful. And eventually they were set free...they were able to move forward and be better for it.

Even if you don't believe in God, I know all of us believes in at least family or friends. When we are going through something...turn to them, not away. Your burdens and troubles will feel lighter with good people in your life to help lift you up. Don't let whatever you're going through drive wedges through the relationships that you have. ASK. FOR. HELP. When you can't do it alone, ask. It is hard to do, but it works.

This story, even if it is from a religious book you don't believe in, it can be applied to anyone, I know it. I know it works and it's true because I've lived it.

And if you do believe it God, don't turn away from him in times of hardship. That is when you become closest! I am pretty sure he hates to see you suffer more than you hate it...but he knows what you will become when it is all over, so he has to let you go through it so you can awesome. He didn't say you had to do it alone either. So don't!

That's all there is to it. Don't give up. Don't do it alone. I didn't, and it was a whole lot easier. Cross my heart.

6. And finally...humor and Netflix and the Food Network and good music and good books....make everything better.

Laughter in my case, was not always the best medicine. It hurt me so much to laugh!! So much so that one day my mom made me laugh so hard that I cried ten times harder (not because it was funny) after because I felt like my chest was just re-cracked open.


having a sense of humor when there really is nothing funny about a situation makes it just better all the way around. Like having millions of leads all over my chest and multiple men and women come in whenever they please and lift up my shirt to reveal the leads and my very naked self.

This can be humiliating to say the least....especially with very attractive tech's working around. So me and my mom came up with the idea of putting pasties on to give whoever got the next looksie a little surprise! We never did it....but man what I would not have given to see the look on their face. Really, we didn't even have to do it because just the thought alone is funny enough.

All I am once again look on the bright side.

Am I getting preachy? Because trust me, this is mostly for myself to remember more than anything.

And yes, I am really good at getting through many series on Netflix. It really does make time go faster if you are sick. So does lot's of episodes of Chopped and some good music.

So yep. That's it. Those are the lessons yours truly has come to learn over these last 7 years of when it came to my fun. But hey, I'm better for it right?

This is a picture of me a month exactly with my doc after open heart surgery. 

I made it to classes a month after as well.
It's just a little proof that life really does get better. 

Hang in there!