I Disconnected to Reconnect With Myself

Some of you might have noticed that I have been missing for a while now. It’s been about 6 months since I have been out of touch with the social media world, trying to clear my head. I kind of got lost and overwhelmed. I was consumed with social media to the point where I lost touch with myself, so I made some major goals at the beginning of 2018  to rediscover myself, get healthy, and live my truth! It’s funny how when you take the time to make goals and rediscover yourself, the universe listens! ...and then it tests you in ways you can’t believe. Like you REALLY have to prove that you want the change. I have been working on being a better mom, better wife, better friend, and learning to love myself again, and it's been awesome! Hard, but awesome.

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Life is a rollercoaster with so many highs and lows. I was stuck in a low and was ready for the ride to get going in the right direction again! I had never really read a self-help book before, but for Christmas Kris gave me this book called You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. Again, timing is everything (ah, life!). I thought, “Why not? I guess I could use some good reminders." I never guessed it would be just what I needed and was looking for. It totally gave me a kick in the butt in the right direction! I felt so inspired and more in-tune with myself than ever before. (It’s a must read for all!) In the midst of reading, I had the opportunity to heal my relationship with myself, as well as a few other people that had fallen out of my life. Honestly, my relationship with God...how do I put this...I was distracted, and it had started lacking. As you can probably guess, a major part of why my life got off track - why my ride of life was stuck at a low spot - was because I needed to remember my top priorities, like God!

In the book, Jen talks about loving yourself, doing things that make you happy, cutting ties with toxicity, turning off the 'BIG SNOOZE" and living your life for you, with God (or the universe, or source energy, or whatever YOU may call it) as your compass. Before the read, I felt like I was at a place of bashing myself, feeling worthless, always less than perfect, and snoozing my life away. My energy was low. I needed to wake up! But instead, I was using social media, like Instagram, to help numb my pain and distract me. In reality, I can see so clearly now that it was just adding to my pain and causing other problems. I would look at everyone else's life and see all of the great things that they were doing and feel so happy for them, and then I would immediately turn to myself, my life, and reflect on how I wasn't doing those things myself. I would immediately get depressed or anxious and feel like a failure! I was snoozing and I knew it! I was far from being present. I was constantly living in the future, trying to control the unknown, or living in my past, a place I can't change and usually brought up depressed feelings. I was ready for a change; I wanted to be present and find peace, but I didn't know how. I was stuck and needed direction. Jen helped me see what needed to change and how to do it. She totally walked me through so many great examples of how to wake up and become a badass! I feel like she shared the secret I was dying to hear - I was NEEDING to hear! I felt enlightened on SO many levels, like I had just been to church (the kind that gets you and loves you no matter what). I finally felt reconnected to God. I had so many "aha" moments! I kept feeling like, "Wow! I can't believe all of these coincidences!" It's was amazing! I feel that by turning off the distractions, reading some new books, re-introducing yoga into my life, and putting what I learned from Jen Sincero and several other authors (including Brene Brown and Carol Tuttle) into effect, and talking things out with my closest and wisest girlfriends has got me back on track and heading in the right direction. As I plan to return to social media, it will be with my new mindset of balance and moderation.  

Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.
— Albert Einstein

I am so grateful for the hard stuff that I have had to learn/relearn, and will continue to appreciate the learning process (as much as I hate it at the same time). I realize now, more than ever, that that is how we continue to grow. I have come to the understanding that if I want to feel alive, happy, and like I have a purpose, I have to keep pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, surrender to the unknown, and enjoy the ride - finding peace in the present and excepting what I can't control. To love and appreciate what I have right here and right now. This how you turn off the "BIG SNOOZE!" and reconnect! 

Authenticity is a practice, and you have to choose it every day; sometimes every hour of every day.
— Brene Brown

Thank you for letting me share this! I know it is lengthy and full of a lot of my feelings and opinions, but it felt great to share it with you! Hope you found some connection or take-away. 

 

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Little Pepper

So, here I am, finally writing about our beloved doggie, Pepper. It's only been a month since she has been gone, but it feels like we said goodbye just yesterday. We miss her terribly. Boston keeps asking if he can go to heaven to visit her. He believes that Thor is taking care of her in heaven until we get old enough to go and visit her. Cue the tears!  Kids are so tender and creative.

I believe she has chosen to come back as a dragon fly! I keep seeing one everywhere we go and Kris has started to see them too - at the park, the school, the doctor's office, the store, and while we are driving in the car, a dragonfly will randomly appear. I never used to see them that often, but now I see them almost every day. If anything, the thought of her as a dragonfly, free and flying, makes me happy. 

While we were in the middle of our move, Pepper started to decline in health. She was struggling with confusion - not knowing where she was or where to go to the bathroom. She started having lots of accidents, which was frustrating because at the time, we were staying with my parents while our new house (new to us) was being remodeled. I feel terrible about how frustrated I was with her, and that guilt is still beating me up! I was so stressed with the move, being out of a house, and having our donor siblings in town and entertaining them, that I was so insensitive to what she must have been going through. She was in a home she didn't recognize, alone most of the time since we were on the go, and when we were around at the house, we were so busy we didn't pay much attention to her. I wish I could say that her last few weeks were a lot better than that, and if I could go back in time and change that, I would.

On the night before our donor family was leaving town, Pepper woke up in the middle of the night yelping like she was in a lot of pain. We had never heard her make a noise like that in all of her 15 years. It terrified us. Kris ran her outside to let her go to the bathroom, but she ended up peeing all over Kris before he could get her outside. She struggled to walk around the grass and wasn't herself. We ended up taking her back to bed after a while to see if she would lay down and go back to sleep. Eventually she did, but it took her almost half an hour to calm down. Then, it happened again! This time it woke up Brooklyn (we were all in the same room), so Kris took Pepper outside while I tried to get Brooklyn back to sleep. After Brooklyn went back down, I headed outside to check on Kris and Pepper - that's when I lost it. The tears flooded my eyes. Pepper was laying on the grass in a weird broken position, and looked dead (sorry for being so harsh). It was a horrible sight. I asked Kris if she was still with us. She was, but just barely. She was breathing really shallowly and didn't want to move. It broke my heart seeing her like that; I wanted to take all of her pain away. I started to blame myself for being so hard on her the last couple of weeks. I had lost my patience several times with her because of the accidents and wasn't very loving toward her. I felt like a monster. 

Because all of the commotion was so loud that night, we woke up my mom, Janette. She came outside to see if we were all okay. She was so sweet to care and be there for us. She told us about an emergency animal hospital down the road, and we ended up taking Pepper there. This ended up being a terrible mistake, since as soon as we walked in, all they wanted was $$$. They didn't even care about our Pepper and the doctor was super weird - I didn't get any good vibes from her. In fact, she gave me the heebie-jeebies! She started telling us how they needed to do x-rays and blood work to try and figure out what was going on. With no guarantee of knowing what was wrong after all of the testing (all that poking and prodding and over $500 later), we didn't feel good about letting her work on Pepper. We decided that the next morning we would take her to our normal vet in Draper that has known her for 15 years.  (We were staying in Orem which is about 20 minutes away from where we live.)

We got her home and she started to act normal(-ish). She still wasn't walking normally, but she would eat and drink. At some point we decided that we would see how things were going tomorrow before we took her to the vet and we all went back to sleep. In the morning, Kris took Pepper with him to our new house so he could keep an eye on her while working on house projects. I was going to be out with the donor family on their last day here in Utah. We had made plans to go to Tibblefork Reservoir, but I told Kris that if Pepper started to act weird again, or if something changed, to call and we would come straight there. 

We didn't make it to the Reservoir. Kris called and said Pepper was struggling a lot and could barely walk;  he thought it would be a good idea to take her into our vet to get their opinion. Our donor family was nice to let Kris and I go alone with Pepper, and they stayed with the kids and kept them entertained. When we arrived at Lone Peak Vet, they had a room ready for us. The doctor knew Pepper really well, as did everyone who worked there (she was a well-liked doggie). She was known for looking like a little puppy, even though she was 15 years old - that's 105 in dog years! Everybody loves a puppy!

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After the vet did a check-up on Pepper, they came to the conclusion that she had most likely had a stroke - that is why she couldn't walk normally. Then we discussed the quality of life. That was the hardest part. After talking things out for well over an hour, we realized that her quality of life wasn't ever going to be the same, and this would be her new "norm". It broke our hearts, but we came to the conclusion that it was time to say our last goodbye! It's never easy to make that decision; in fact, I would say it was close to torture. 

Everyone from the vet came in and said their final goodbyes and loved on Pepper, most of them with tears in their eyes. They all knew her so well and loved her as much as we did. They gave her a chocolate cupcake and a Crunch bar, because why not?! She loved it! She was always our chocolate-loving dog...a girl after my own heart (we never actually let her eat chocolate, because it can be harmful, but she would find her ways of getting around that. A girl will do what she has to do for chocolate... am I right??) We said our final goodbye and cried to the point of puffy eyes and red noses. We miss her and think about her every day! 

 Our last day with Pep

Our last day with Pep

There’s something missing in my home, I feel it day and night. I know it will take time and strength, before things feel quite right.

But just for now, I need to mourn. My heart - it needs to mend. Though some may say it’s “just a pet” I know I’ve lost a friend.
— Unknown
 This is Pepper's plaque, with her paw print - I just picked it up and still need to get a picture of her put in it. The bottom plaque is our dog Crombie that passed away in 2012. We miss both of our doggies! I love that we have these plaques to remember them daily!  

This is Pepper's plaque, with her paw print - I just picked it up and still need to get a picture of her put in it. The bottom plaque is our dog Crombie that passed away in 2012. We miss both of our doggies! I love that we have these plaques to remember them daily!  

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Diblings come to Utah

While we were in the middle of our move and remodel, we had some special visitors come into town from California and Florida. Boston & Brooklyn's donor siblings, Halle and Lucas! (And their awesome moms, of course! Sommer is Halle's mom and Betsy & Stephanie are Lucas' moms) It was such a fun experience seeing them all play and seeing their personalities shine. Lucas is almost a year younger than Boston and he is just as tall and strong! The two of them had a blast wresting and chasing after each other. It shocked me that Lucas ended up pinning Boston down, most of the time... and to give you an idea of the natural strength Lucas has... Boston is crazy strong and coordinated! It will be fun to see these two wrestle through the next several years!! Luckily Boston is a fast runner! And then there is Halle! She is smart, sweet and sassy all at the same time. I think she will keep the boys in check over the years. My heart truly melted seeing how much they love each other and especially Brooklyn. They were all obsessed with her!  We are so lucky to call them family! Here are some of our fun memories together!

 First night together! (Kris and I came straight from working on the house) 

First night together! (Kris and I came straight from working on the house) 

 All of them together on a ski lift at Snowbird. 

All of them together on a ski lift at Snowbird. 

 All of us Momma's smiling through the chaos of four toddlers! 

All of us Momma's smiling through the chaos of four toddlers! 

 Riding the gondola - a first for all of us!  

Riding the gondola - a first for all of us!  

 Twins! 

Twins! 

 These kids will move mountains! 

These kids will move mountains! 

 Worn out from all the excitement  

Worn out from all the excitement  

 Riding the lift to the slides! 

Riding the lift to the slides! 

 Excited for the slide! 

Excited for the slide! 

 Sisters having a moment

Sisters having a moment

 Such a beautiful view. Inspiring! 

Such a beautiful view. Inspiring! 

 Boston making friends with the pot-guts

Boston making friends with the pot-guts

 24th of July at the parade! These 3 stole the show! 

24th of July at the parade! These 3 stole the show! 

 She wins for having the cutest pout face! 

She wins for having the cutest pout face! 

 Smiling through the heat! 

Smiling through the heat! 

 Cooling down at the Liberty Park Splash Pad! 

Cooling down at the Liberty Park Splash Pad! 

 Brotherly love!! 

Brotherly love!! 

 Having the time of their lives! 

Having the time of their lives! 

 Lucas checking on Brooklyn making sure she is having fun too! 

Lucas checking on Brooklyn making sure she is having fun too! 

 Lucas & Halle

Lucas & Halle

 Kris' turn to keep the babes entertained

Kris' turn to keep the babes entertained

 Sharing strollers  

Sharing strollers  

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 So many smiles shared

So many smiles shared

 Fireworks for Pioneer Day! 

Fireworks for Pioneer Day! 

 A day at the museum of natural curiosity! 

A day at the museum of natural curiosity! 

 sisters at play

sisters at play

 so focused

so focused

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 they are all climbers

they are all climbers

 and runners

and runners

 Betsy leading a hike  

Betsy leading a hike  

 Betsy and Stephanie trying to have a second of peace... 

Betsy and Stephanie trying to have a second of peace... 

 Such a brave girl! 

Such a brave girl! 

 Ice cream break

Ice cream break

 Boston's Strider bike race

Boston's Strider bike race

 He did great! 

He did great! 

 Waiting for Boston at his Strider bike race

Waiting for Boston at his Strider bike race

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 Draper Park after Boston Strider bike race

Draper Park after Boston Strider bike race

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It was an adventure everyday with these incredible diblings in town and there were lots of great memories made! Can't wait for next time!