Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Control your thoughts

This morning I got a text from my dad just checking on me. :) I told him I woke up feeling stressed. He told me not to let stress to control my thoughts, and reminded me that God is in my head too, and He is bigger than the stressful thoughts. My dad is so right about things. It is a nearly constant struggle for me, but I am in charge of my thoughts and actions!

An old classmate of mine from home is struggling for her very life right now. She experienced sudden heart failure last week. I have been faithfully reading her husband's thoughtful posts on her Caring Bridge site. She had open heart surgery this morning and now they are just waiting for some signs of neurological improvement.

My heart is aching for Mary and her family. For the first time in the last five months though, I feel LUCKY. This feeling is transcending the gratitude for the many blessings that have lightened our load over the last several months.  I have been so intently focused on how much time we have left, that I haven't really been paying attention to how fortunate we are to have this time at all.  I keep thinking of Mary and her husband. She was so suddenly pulled from conciousness. What were the last words spoken between them? Did they have any petty arguments the week before? How long will it be before she can tell him she loves him again?

As difficult as a cancer diagnosis has been, I get to see Brian awake and alert each day. I get to snuggle up to him every night and thank God for the late night talks we have. We have a unique opportunity of knowing just how precious our days are... everyone's are, but we have lost the luxury of taking them for granted. It is a consequence of mortality, that we know someday we will die, but we can't remember what happened before we got here, and we don't really know what to expect after we are through here. All we have is now, but its so easy to get stuck in the daily grind and forget to soak up each treasured day we have. Or to let stress or conflict creep in and rob us of this cherished time. 

I hope mary wakes up soon. She and her family are constantly on my mind.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Merciful Obtain Mercy

I tell Brian all the time, most of my personal revelations come to me in the shower. I don't know why that is. Maybe it is because my mind is still quiet from the sleep of the night before, or maybe the warm water methodically pelting my skin relaxes me enough so that I can actually listen to that still, small voice.

Today, in the shower, I felt the need to revisit this talk from April's General Conference. No matter what church you belong to, this talk is full of advice worthy of your time and attention. I include a link to the text, but also the video above. President Uchtdorf's talks are easily my favorite of recent years, and I so enjoy watching him deliver them too.

I am happy I took the time to read this talk again because I have been praying for Heavenly Father to help me disconnect from my anger and frustration over Brian's lack of care. I can't see this change happening in me overnight, but "the more we allow the love of God to govern our minds and emotions—the more we allow our love for our Heavenly Father to swell within our hearts—the easier it is to love others with the pure love of Christ. As we open our hearts to the glowing dawn of the love of God, the darkness and cold of animosity and envy will eventually fade."

I think, an important distinction for me, is the fact that forgiving people who have treated us poorly doesn't mean defeat. It doesn't mean they are right and we are wrong. Forgiveness is a part of God's eternal plan. We forgive because we want to be forgiven. Once again, Elder Uchtdorf says it better than I can:

"We must recognize that we are all imperfect—that we are beggars before God. Haven’t we all, at one time or another, meekly approached the mercy seat and pleaded for grace? Haven’t we wished with all the energy of our souls for mercy—to be forgiven for the mistakes we have made and the sins we have committed?
Because we all depend on the mercy of God, how can we deny to others any measure of the grace we so desperately desire for ourselves? My beloved brothers and sisters, should we not forgive as we wish to be forgiven?"

I feel better today. I feel, at least, that my heart has been softened. My continued prayer is for the easement of the struggle I feel. There is a balance between forgiving as Christ would and we should, and simply prostrating ourselves before those who would seek to harm us. I am trying to negotiate this balance with the realization that I am my husband's advocate. If I don't do my best to make things right, no one else will. I do think I will still file a complaint when this is over. I feel that is the least I can do so that perhaps someone else will be spared from the trouble we are going through. Also, I hope my readers can appreciate that this little customer service issue we are having is the very tip of the iceberg. With it, I have reached a breaking point. If this were the only issue, I would be far more accomodating.

I am grateful for the love and support of our friends and family. I am so thankful for my relationship with Brian. Friends of Brian's that I have never met have embraced me as if they have known me forever, and I don't feel the distinction between "his side" of the family and "mine", I feel like we are one big family and that is how it should be. I know my parents and sister think of Brian as a son and brother, and I feel such a welcome and loved part of Brian's family. I have so much to be thankful for, even in the midst of this trial.  

Friday, July 27, 2012


My next planned post was Part II of our anniversary celebration. I think my body is just now processing the last bits of the copious amounts of protein that we consumed last weekend. This week, however, I was completely shocked by the appalling behavior of our neuro group yet again. I was going to keep quiet about it, and for now, I still am keeping the names out of it, but come August 15th, when we have medical releases to work and records in hand...FEAR MY WRATH. Everyone that I know will know exactly who to keep their loved ones far away from. I will take Brian to a veterinarian for his next surgery before I will set foot back in there.

Here is what transpired only this week.

This time a scheduler, is being exceedingly rude. I know what is happening. Because of our prior complaints, we probably have notes all over our chart. I know this because I work for a surgeon, and whether it is right or wrong, everyone knows the "problem" patients in our office, and this has been evidenced time and time again with our care at the clinic.

Wednesday, Brian and I were at a movie to try to decompress. They called to change his appointment. He missed the call, but quickly exited the theater to call right back. Of course, he was told he would get a call back because in the thirty seconds it took him to get out of the theater, he was told she was with a another patient (which is false. Schedulers don't see patients. At least lie well and say she was on another call.) Then she called back again, but this time I took the call. I answered it in the noisy theater, apologizing as I went down the steps and when I got into the lobby I said I was Brian's wife, could I take the message as he was unavailable. Her response was a very curt, "he just called, and now he is not available?" I explained, with anger creeping into my tone unfortunately, that he was in the movie, but I was his wife could I please take the message. She told me she would "have to check on that" and asked me my name and put me on hold. When she came back, she said she needed to change his appointment. I took another time and got back to Brian. I am all over Brians chart, not to mention, she had also left a message on MY phone moments prior. She was just being rude when she put me on hold.

The exchange, or content of it doesn't bother me. People have to change appointments all the time. It was her exceedingly rude attitude. And the fact that I know we won't be able to get his office note sent over before his disability expires now that they have moved the appointment and they never send his notes over in the first place. Brian got a letter today stating that unless we do a, b, and c...his disability and insurance will be terminated. This cannot happen. I need to keep peace with these idiots because Brian has to go back to work. We cannot lose that income.

Brian made me promise to calm myself before writing this because I can't think straight when I am angry, but honestly, I am SEETHING. I can't believe the level of disrespect we have been subjected to by that entire office. I can't even fathom it. And the misinformation! Everything the NP told us about the tumor was wrong. We saw our new oncologist and he was wonderful and full of enlightening information, but much of it was scary news. He is reevaluating the chromosomal analysis of the tumor because it doesn't make sense. After five months, and two doctors evaluating it, thats nice to know. He may want to start Brian on radiation now instead of waiting.

Who can help us? I never want to see anyone in that office again, and after all of this, I don't even want that surgeon to ever touch my sweet husband even if he does need surgery. Can a medical neurologist follow this until his tumor comes back? Can the oncologist do MRI's every three months that he needs? I am THROUGH with these people. I don't care if we have to drive to Champaign or Chicago for our next surgery or our appointments. I am just flabbergasted by how we are being treated in the midst of such a horrendous ordeal. Zero compassion whatsoever.

That was Wednesday, yesterday, they outdid themselves!

First of all, in the morning, I felt like I needed to apologize for reacting when the scheduler was so rude to me. I credit this to the Holy Spirit because never could I have ever desired in my own heart to apologize to someone I felt so justified in getting angry with.  I called her at scheduling twice to apologize for reacting the way I did on the phone. I left her a message to call me back in the morning and then in the afternoon, I called again to leave my apology on the voicemail since she won't take or return my calls.

Then, Brian dropped off his disability paperwork and was met with more rudeness. Finally, after about fifteen minutes of explaining the imperative nature of the paperwork, he was told he had to pay $10 to get them to fill it out. He asked if they could make an exception for this because of all the continuous rudeness and hassle, along witht he fact that, had they not moved his appointment in the first place, he wouldn't need them to fill out the paper work, and furthermore, he would have been back to work three months ago if they had done their job in the first place. The lady at the desk said she would make an exception this once, but forced him to sign a paper saying this was a one time exception and he would be held responsible for any future charges for filling out papers.

He left the papers there and said he would come back Monday to pick them up. These papers are important because his disability, our main income, is about to expire. We are trying to get this taken care of before it runs out.

Well, then at 3:45 yesterday, the lady that does the disability paperwork called Brian to say he had to pay the $10 fee. He said he was told he didn't have to this time, and she said that was wrong. He said fine he would pay it, could he please pay when he picked the papers up Monday? She literally told him "I am out of the office tomorrow, if you don't get back here with the money by 5pm, I will not be filling these papers out for you." She refused to do his paperwork, which is her job to do. She said if he wanted to complain he could talk to the office manager, but I have already left two messages for her months ago and she doesn't take or return calls either.

Because my husband is so worried about this, he drove the twenty minutes back to downtown Peoria for the second time. When he was down there the first time, the disability lady wouldn't come out and talk to him, so he had to make a second trip after she refused to do his paperwork. Does this make any sense? I am so shocked! And she still wouldn't see him, she made the lady at the front desk take his money.

 Not to mention that this is day four of chemo this month and he is sicker than a dog. He should be in bed resting, and this insensitive woman made him come back today to pay her the measely $10 dollars. My husband is very sick, and I am sick that we are being treated like this. I do not understand how it is possible that we are being treated this way.

The cancer center has been great, with this office, we can't even get our most basic of needs met.

I am going with Brian to his next appointment. We are seeing the surgeon and I intend to make him aware of how his staff is treating my very sick husband. And then I want him to refer us to a different neurosurgeon. I will no longer tolerate this. We depend on these people for Brian's MRI's and we need someone to help us with this. I am so afraid, that the remainder of our few short years will be all the more stressful if we stay with this practice. After our July14th appointment, I intend to lodge formal complaints with as many people as I can and make people aware of this. Brian and I have insurance. We pay all bills and copays in full. We are not complainers. We are compliant and cooperative with instructions. We are respectful, Christian people. How do they treat people without insurance, with beligerant attitudes, on public aid? Or worse, someone from the geriatric community who can't keep up with all of their rudeness and talking in circles? I shudder to think.

Today I am going to pick up his records. They called today and said that if he doesn't pick them up himself he needs to send a note with me okaying that I pick them up and I have to show photo ID. What the heck?! I am his power of attorney, he made sure that I was on all of his paperwork, what if he was incapacitated and couldn't send me with a note? Is that even legal that they could keep me from that information even though I am power of attorney?

I feel at a loss. I feel I have nowhere to turn. These are the people who we need to help take care of my sweet Brian. I am afraid, and hurt beyond measure. I pray we can make it smoothly until the next appointment. I pray that he can go back to work and we don't lose our income because of their pettiness. But most of all, I pray that Brian can have some peace. He deserves it more than anyone I know. I pray that Heavenly Father will soften the hearts of those who have treated us so poorly, and the He will soften my heart and I try to disconnect from my anger.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Smashing Anniversary: Part I

Today is our actual anniversary! Two years ago we got married at noon on a hot July Saturday. I have so many great memories from that day. On Friday, we are taking off to Chicago for a day of   museum-ing and MEAT at Fogo de Chao! Ooooohhhh, I can't wait.

I love this one of Brian.

Here we are with our lovely bishop who performed the ceremony. We were laughing and so happy.

Well, we have a pizza from Gino's East baking! Another Brian surprise. We have gone there on many romantic symphony dates ;) and I want to quickly get back to my husband, but here were the little ways we surprised each other today.

I came home to this wonderful flower arrangement!

For Brian, I made a SMASH Book! They are really unique and fun, themed journals. I picked the wedding theme and filled it with a bunch of things I have collected over the years of my relationship with Brian. I hung on to everything, letters, ticket stubs, fortunes out of cookies. Lots of things. During our time apart, I actually threw everything away one night about two years after our break up. Later that same night, I dug my box out of the garbage because I couldn't bear to lose that part of my life. I am so glad I kept it all! Its fun to look at now and I thought the Smash Book was a great way to showcase some of my favorite pieces.
Here are some of my pages!

I will try to post more pictures later. I think this project turned out really well.
That is it for now! I am really excited for our weekend so I will try to remember to get some good pictures!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Five Months

Five months ago today, Brian went into brain surgery. By this time that night, I was finally let in to see him. They had to keep him in recovery forever because they didn't have a room for him. We were blessed with a lot of visitors that night to keep us company. I spent a lot of time just standing by my husband's bedside and just looking and looking at him. I remember a nurse telling me that I would feel relieved when I saw him. I couldn't believe that could be true with all of the news I was trying to process, but it was. When I saw him after surgery I was flooded with gratitude and relief that he made it through that hurdle okay, and that his tumor was OUT.

Today we saw our new oncologist for the first time. What a complete difference! He specializes in primary brain tumors like Brian's, and is passion for it is evidenced by his confident knowledge and compassionate demeanor. I love him even more than I detest the neuro NP, who if you can imagine is even dumber than we thought! It looks like everything she has been telling us about Brian's tumor is wrong. First of all, we were told that brain tumors come in four stages and two grades, high and low. Today we learned that this is not true of Brian's tumor. His is a mixed tumor as I have mentioned before, comprised of astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. (I am very grateful for my anatomy classes because I could follow along with some of what the doctor was talking about. At least I know what those brain cells are responsible for).

Anyway, today we found out that for mixed cell tumors like Brian's, there are no stages, just grades. It can be a grade 2 or grade 3. I piped in to ask why the NP told us that his tumor would come back stage 3 or 4 next time. He clarified that when Brian's tumor comes back, it could be exactly the same as now, the grade 3 oligoastrocytoma, or it could evolve to a glioblastoma. A glioblastoma multiforme is classified as a grade 4 astrocytoma. It can also be mixed like Brian's will be. GBM's are the Mac Daddy's of brain tumors. They are hard to treat and invasive because of vascular proliferation. This means that there are blood vessels in the tumor that are being fed by the vasculature of the brain. and feeding the blood vessels means feeding the tumor. But that is something I am not going to worry about right now. It could still come back grade 3 like it is now.

Additionally, the oncologist was concerned about Brian's pathology. Specifically the chromosomal analysis that we built our treatment plan out of. The report he had today was just the results that the hospital interpreted from Mayo Clinic's pathology report. He is going to get a copy of Mayo's actual report to see for himself. I am trying not to worry until we have the final report at our next appointment. I am a little frustrated though. Brian has been doing chemo for four months. Our new oncologist said that pending the findings of the chromosomal analysis (that I thought we already had) he may want to change up our care plan a little bit. We were saving radiation for when the cancer comes back, but we may be switching to a daily chemotherapy dose coupled with radiation in the near future. Its a lot of confusing chromosome stuff, but in simple terms, the report was confusing as to whether he has the chromosomal co-deletion we had hoped for or not. From what I understood from my research, it was an all or nothing type of thing, but his report said he had a 40% co-deletion. That was confusing to me, and confusing to the new doctor which is why we are going to look into it further.

As happy as I am about our new, very on top of things doctor who I think I really love, I was starting to feel a little bit deflated about all of the new info we got today, and frustrated that we got such incorrect information up until now. I made a concious decision not to let even more uncertainty overshadow our week. Tomorrow is our 2nd wedding anniversary and I plan on enjoying the week's festivities. I finished Brian's present and can't wait to unveil it to him.

I went straight to my new (old) job after the appointment today. I said a prayer on the way there that I would be able to stay composed and have clarity of mind. That I would be able to choose hope instead of worry. I found this quote when I got home today and it exemplifies how I feel about hope and what it means to me.

"Real hope...keeps us 'anxiously engaged' in good causes even when these appear to be losing causes on the mortal scoreboard.  Likewise, real hope is much more than wishful musing.  It stiffens, not slackens, the spiritual spine. Hope is serene, not giddy, eager without being naive, and pleasantly steady without being smug. Hope is realistic anticipation that takes the form of a determination, not only to survive adversity but, moreover, to 'endure...well' to the end.
~Neil A. Maxwell~ 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Attitude Adjustment

I finally got my attitude adjustment yesterday. I was in such a bad mood that I didn't want to feel better.

We signed up to work "security" at the Nauvoo Pageant last night. It must have been painfully obvious that I didn't feel like going.  After the third or fourth time of Brian telling me I really didn't have to go if I didn't want to, I snapped back, "I'm not going to ditch you like everyone else always does."  Ouch. Yes. I said that. We were going to meet up with some people at the church and head over at 3, but its also our month to clean the building so we went over at 1. So far, it has just been me and Brian and Matt (while he was home) who show up to clean even though there are two other families on our team. This is a source of frustration for me because we used to be on a team that actually participated and cleaning the building got to be a fun fast service experience. Not that all service needs to be fun, but it doesn't hurt. Plus, I feel like when you work to take care of the building you worship in, you appreciate it a lot more, at least I do.

Anyway, there we were and for an hour we were by ourselves sweating and cleaning and I admit I was not having very nice thoughts as I was pinned in the vestibule choking on inhaled window cleaner. There was a moment when I thought, "Quit being such a grump and say a prayer." But I didn't. I kept right on grumping. When I had finished the windows and was looking for my next task, around the corner walks our lovely Bishop. He brought three of his kids and another friend with him. They were in town getting our friend's car worked on so they came over to help clean, not even knowing we were there. Then our friend who was riding to Nauvoo with us showed up.

So here I was, sheepishly looking our Bishop and thanking Heavenly Father for knowing what I needed even though I refused to ask for it. We instantly had six more sets of hands and the rest of the cleaning went by quickly.

Even still, I wasn't crazy about the idea of driving all the way to Nauvoo. I wanted to go to the Pageant as a spectator of course, but not to direct traffic. And I wasn't looking forward to getting home really late and up at the crack of dawn for church either, but we took off a little after 3. The ride there was fun. We all talked a lot and Brian got me a soda (so easy to please). We arrived in Nauvoo and I was feeling better. I love it there. I love the beautiful temple on the bluff. I love the little shops and houses. I have never been there in the summer when everything is so alive before! It was neat to see. We got set up in our stylish orange vests and were posted in various positions. Brian and I were outside the main parking lot in charge of monitering who got into handicapped parking and directing to the other parking lot in case of overflow. I found myself happy to be greeting people and my spirits were lifted. Then the best thing happened.

I was just standing there when I heard, "LINDSEY!!!" I turned around to see one of my all time favortie sister missionaries running toward me. We just hugged and hugged. I hadn't seen her since, I think December. She had heard about Brian and the pure concern and worry in her eyes just broke my heart. We quickly caught each other up and I found out that she was transferred to Carthage two days ago. TWO DAYS! We could have missed each other! We exchanged contact info again since we had moved and promised to keep in better touch. It was the highlight of my night. Then a little later on, I bumped into another full time missionary we met at another one our trips to Nauvoo. She is an older lady on a mission with her husband and for some reason, we just really took a liking to one another. Kindred spirits I think. She was loving having her kids and grandkids in from out of state to enjoy the Pageant and I caught her up on us since I last saw her in December too. Her brow furrowed as she heard about Brian, but then something amazing happened. I didn't want to talk about how sad I was or how hard life is, I found myself instead focusing on the positive and MEANING it. I wanted both of my friends to know that we were okay and that our prayers were being answered. That I know that Heavenly Father is mindful of us. I wasn't faking it! I really was overcome with gratitude over all of the good things that have happened over the last five months. Quite a change from my attitude most of this week. I am so glad I decided to go because otherwise I wouldn't have gotten to catch up with these sweet women. I wouldn't have been thinking about how thankful I was, I would have continued focusing on the sad stuff. My week wouldn't have been turned around, but it was.

We got everyone out of the parking lots safely and headed home late, around 11pm. Most of the way home Brian told stories about his mission in Brazil. I had heard most of them, but I just love listening to him talk about it. He loved Brazil and he loved serving as a full time missionary and he was good at it. I am proud to hear those stories. We got home safely and were in bed around 2am, but then we kept talking. I am tired today, but it was such a good night.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mixed Emotions

I am in need of a major attitude adjustment. The latter half of this week has been really hard. I am in a really bad mood. I try to keep this blog as positive as possible, but every so often I need to just vent. If I am going to be sincere, then you have to get a little of the bad along with all the good.

Right now, Thursdays and Fridays are my free days. I only work Monday through Wednesday. When I am home with nothing to do, I get bored. And when I get bored I start thinking, and when I start thinking I tailspin into major over analyzing and then I get depressed. I was sad all day Thursday and all day yesterday. I cried off and on for 48 hours and here is why.

It's evident that we need to get some "normal" back into our lives. Brian had his first seizure five months ago today. I have said it before, but it still rings true; I feel like our lives stopped that day. I wake up each day and cannot believe its ninety degrees outside because I feel like we should still be in the cold grip of February. But life carries on. My sister had a birthday, so did Brian. Then Mother's Day, my birthday, Father's Day and the Fourth of July. Our second wedding anniversary is just three days away! But none of it feels normal. Brian hasn't been able to get back to work, and I have been out of school for the summer.

Monday, I am starting another job. Dr. Chiou and I have been talking about me coming back for about a year now. I was going to start at the beginning of the year, but then when Brian got sick he said to just call when I was ready. Dr. Chiou is great. He has always looked out for me. I left there two years ago when we got married and have regretted it many time since. It's nice because I know everyone there, I know the idiosyncrasies of the office and I love the patients. And all of this working around my school schedule. It will be great experience while I am in school. Coincidentally, July 16th is the very same start date I had five years ago when I started there so I feel like I have truly come full circle in some ways.

Brian sees the oncologist Monday and then the neurologist at the beginning of August and then he will hopefully get to go back to work. I think that life will start to feel normal again. I will be working and studying, Brian will be back to working nights. This should make me happy, right? It's what we need.


I am terrified. I am so worried that he will have another seizure. He is going to be so exhausted trying to work third shift, taking chemotherapy, and trying to keep up with his calling at church. I am afraid he will have a seizure at work or while driving, and get really hurt. And we will be so busy again that we won't get to see much of each other. That makes me sad.

I saw the quote at the top of the page and rather than feeling happy when I saw it, I PANICKED.

When cancer invades your life, everything changes. Brian and I are well aware of the many blessings we have been afforded, but have we made them count? We had all this free time and we didn't do anything with it. Furthermore, I worried most of it away and now its gone. Our circumstances haven't changed, but our timetable has. Or maybe that is an illusion. No one knows how much time we have on this earth, but now I have become acutely aware of how precious that time is. I just feel like I wasted five months we should have been making the best of.

My goal is to work on this. I need to find a way of coping. Do you ignore the huge cancer elephant and carry on like nothing is happening and risk taking your time for granted? Do you keep it at the forefront of your mind and risk worrying too much and letting it ruin your time? It seems like a no win to me right now. I want to be able to accept that this will be a part of our life, but I don't want to worry constantly about it. I want to be able to be grateful for each day we have instead of feeling sorry for myself, and mostly, I want to make our blessings count.

There are a lot of people I know that are having interpersonal issues in their relationships right now. Sometimes I want to shake those people and say, "Look at what you have here! You have someone to share your life with who is healthy! You have beautiful healthy children and while none of us know how much time we are afforded, you don't have serious illness looming over you. Take advantage of your health and work through your issues and enjoy the love that you have!"

Brian and I were talking about all of it and he actually said, "I wouldn't trade what we are going through for what they are going through." I have to admit, I was a little taken aback. He said even though he may be sick, he is feeling great right now, and we have a loving companionship to be grateful for.

And he is right. We do have a very loving, relatively drama free relationship ;) and I like it that way. It made me think back to the time when we were separated by choice and not circumstance. Was that worse than this? I don't know. I was sad that we weren't together, but it was because we decided not to be together. I remember some of the thoughts I had then and I think maybe Brian is right. Even if cancer shortens our time on earth together, we have the comfort of knowing how much we love each other. We love each other tremendously. That is a blessing that I count every single day. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Feeling "Weak in the Heart"

I hope you will take just three and a half minutes of your day to watch this short message. I watched it for the first time in November.  Some of these messages truly speak to my heart. I remember seeing this one and thinking it was nice, but it was one that really didn't apply to me. I had faith and I just knew that if anything tragic or terrible happened to me that my faith would lift me up and carry me right through it.

Just three short months later, my world crumbled when we found out my sweet Brian was sick. Since then I have been humbled. I try my very hardest to cling to my faith, but I would be lying if I said I didn't have days when I felt angry, afraid, hysterical, and completely lost.

I was talking to my mom on my way home from work today like I do most days, and we were talking a little bit about faith and the observable differences it can make in your life.  I love being able to talk about faith with my mom. We may not agree on everything, but our similarities are far more numerous than our differences and it is such a great comfort to me to be able to share those intimate thoughts with her.

I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the way it has transformed my life. I shudder to imagine the despair I would feel if it weren't for the eternal perspective I choose to see life through.  I have answers to quietly nagging questions I had for a long time. Knowing that we are on this Earth to learn and grow from our trials doesn't make them any easier for us, but it gives me a reason to endure. And the sure knowledge that Brian and I can be always together is a comfort to me in my darkest times.

When I got home today, I was looking for a video I wanted to show my mom and I found this one again. I watched it and could barely hold back the tears. NOW, I need it. Now it speaks directly to my heart. I was grateful to run across this message again and I think it is worth remembering that we are not expected to be perfect, just to improve.

"To the individual who is weak in the heart, fearful in the heart...be patient with yourself. Perfection comes, not in this life, but in the next life. Don't demand things that are unreasonable, but demand of yourself improvement. As you let the Lord help you through that, He will make the difference."
~Elder Russell. M. Nelson~

Love, Lindsey

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Nerd Alert!

Happy Independence Day!!

I LOVE the 4th of July. I always have. I love the summer, the parade, the food, the fireworks, but the very most of all...I love 1776, the musical! In this one fell swoop, I can make musical theater buffs and historians cringe, and I DON'T CARE! I loved it when I was little, I love it today. My dad and I watched it for the first time one year when I was very small and I at least make sure I listen to the soundtrack each year just like I listen to Christmas music November through January.

One of the reasons I love 1776 so much is William Daniels. Just look at him. So classy. Even as an old man he is handsome!

Okay, so maybe I grew up and read David McCullough's John Adams and fell in love with the man instead of the myth, and maybe I realized that my most beloved musical may not have been quite historically accurate. Maybe I even watched and enjoyed HBO's John Adams miniseries based on that biography. I really loved it.

Could Paul Giamatti's John Adams ever replace Will's in my heart?




...Of course not. I can't get over it! I just love the songs! I know all the words! I love the cheesy rhymes and overwrought acting. I just can't stop! I won't!

 And let's not forget the dancing! I like to think maybe this could have really happened!

So, maybe at some point I will grow out of my fierce attachment to William Daniels and the glorious musical that is 1776, but...

"Till then, Till then, I am, as I ever was, and ever shall be....yours, yours, yours, yours, yours....William Daniels, Lindsey!" (my dad is the only one who will get this.)

**In complete and total seriousness, I do love celebrating America's Independence. Sometimes, reading about the American Revolution makes me very sad. Because, while we have come so far as a country in such a short number of years, I feel like we have already experienced our peak and are on the downward slope. Most people today take American life for granted and cannot even fathom what real sacrifice entails. Our founding fathers have been deified to the point where we don't see them as regular men and that makes me sad too. They were real men, they had faults and passions, hopes and aspirations and ideals, but we are so out of touch with who they were. Lately, some of the more sordid details about their lives have come to the surface like celebrity gossip and I don't like that either. But of all the founding fathers, John Adams is my favorite. From everything I have read and seen, in spite of his faults and character flaws, he was a truly good man. He was a faithful husband, respected his wife and sacrificed unimaginably for his country. I love the myth, but I have great respect for the man.**

Happy 4th of July! And be so grateful that the Providence of God helped to bring forth this great country and all that we enjoy because of it!

Love, Lindsey

Monday, July 2, 2012

Fast Weekend

Wow. I can't believe its Monday afternoon already! I had a really fast weekend, but I don't feel like I did a whole lot. Adrianne and Chris were unexpectedly in town so we got to see the kids! They are so sweet and funny and cute. I just love them. Seeing them reignited my baby desire. I feel like I am going back and forth between should we or shouldn't we since Brian got sick. Overall, I know I want to start trying again as soon as we can, but I would be lying if I said I didn't have a little anxiety over the situation either way. But that is for another post!

On Saturday, Mom and I went shopping for some clothes for my new job. We found some great deals and laughed a lot which is what I needed. On Sunday, church was really powerful. It was our monthly testimony weekend and people are invited to come up and share gospel truths that have touched their lives.

The overall tone of the meeting is usually really uplifting, but for some reason, this particular meeting left me feeling kind of sad. There are a lot of people going through a lot of hard things. In spite of it all, it was good to hear how faith is sustaining these individuals. I don't know where I would be without mine.

I found this picture on another blog and it made me laugh.

Love, Lindsey