Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Miracle that is MY daughter

I originally wrote this blog 3 years ago for my Daughter's 17th Birthday. She will be 20 years old tomorrow, January 27th. This is a story worth telling again. ENJOY!

This is Alieshia Nikkole.

And this story is about how I became her mom 17 years ago.

Keep in mind, most of these events happened in the space of 7 days.

Well I won’t go through the good details of getting pregnant, as my story will be LONG and drawn out enough.

As sort of an Epilogue I’ll just mention: I had made a Dr's appointment to get an abortion. But received a telegram and a phone call from a friend in London England just as I was headed for the door to the appointment. The Telegram had been sent 3 days before. How it, and the phone call arrived at just the right moment, reminds me that I was NEVER in control of the events that would be taking place over the course of the next few months. By the time I remembered the appointment some 4 hours later, I also realized that 2 lives were saved.

I’ll start this way:

From the time I went into the bishop’s office and told him my situation, I decided keeping the child I was carrying was not an option. The church strongly suggests unwed mothers to give the gift of a 2 parent stable household and that’s what I was going to do, no questions asked. I think as part of the repentance process I disassociated my self with the child. Never felt it was mine, I always said "I’m carrying someone else’s child." I Didn’t want it, and was happy to be rid of this baby who was over taking my body. I worked with LDS social services about my options and choices. They never pushed me one way or another and emphasized the choice was mine to make. I had chosen adoption and had the adoptive family all picked out and waiting.

I was obviously in with the wrong crowd and doing things I shouldn't have been doing. I was introduced into the drug life and the thug life. Although I never touched the drugs or the guns and the other things that came along with that kind of lifestyle, I was trusted with some of the "in" type things that only a "homie" would be privy too.

By the time I decided I really didn't want to be apart of that lifestyle, it was almost too late. These people had labeled me as "one of their own" and were not inclined to let me just fade into the sunset. If they didn't see or hear from me 2 days in a row, they would come to my house... sometimes at 2 or 3:00 AM to make sure Me and their little cousin I was carrying was doing alright. We called that "good lookin' out." These day they call it "having your back."

Things got to a point where I realized I was in a little too deep with "the homies and was sort of stuck in a hole. My mother in her wisdom called my brother and sister-in-law in California and informed them of the situation. She got off the phone a couple hours later and announced there was a plane ticket in my name to San Diego, California. When my brother heard of the people I had been hanging with... which happened to be the ONLY people he wouldn't hang with in high school (and he hung with some pretty shady people back in the day) he insisted I needed to get out. So were sneaking me out of town so I could get my life back on track. I couldn't tell anyone I was leaving or the "homie posse and crew" would have retaliated.

I played them like a violin. Kept up the regular pretenses: "oh you know I'll be at the club this weekend and the after party!"
" No, I won't get into another fight...but if she shows up and starts some mess I won't hesitate to jump her again..." and so on.

Less than 1 week later, I hopped on a plane and was going to live in Oceanside, California.

In California I could spend the time I needed to make the important decisions that would soon change the course of my life and the life of this baby. My due date which was Jan 18th came and went. I was STILL preggo, would this child ever come? I had weekly appointments with LDS social services to make sure I was emotionally OK with my decisions. Boy was I ever. The decision I made 9 months ago had never changed.

Jan 22nd, a Monday, another Dr’s appointment.

Dr said we were :WAY off on the due date" I was no where near ready to deliver."

Tuesday Jan 23th my LDS Social worker called and said she’d been called out of town for the weekend to a conference in Salt Lake City. Part of her job was to be at the hospital at the time of the birth as the baby would be discharged and placed with her to a foster care home until all the paper work for the adoption was finalized. Since I was no where near ready to have this baby, as the Dr informed me it would be another week or 2 before I was going to deliver. We couldn't see any immediate worry for her to go to the conference the upcoming weekend. She gave me the name & phone number of the colleague who should be called if I had the baby while she was gone.

The morning of Jan 27th. It was a Saturday. I was getting ready to go watch my brother's marine battalion's all day long baseball tournament. I had become very good friends with a woman in my brother's office. Maureen Vipperman. We called her "Mo' or "Vipp." Vipp wasn't able to have any children of her own. So I had asked her weeks before if she would do the honors of being my labor coach and being with me at the time of the delivery. Something told me I wouldn’t make it game. As a matter of fact "Vipp" was the one picking me up for the game... (by way of the mall of course!)

I was having some annoying cramping that wouldn't go away. I didn't think anything of it because I has been having those types of cramps for almost a month. Suddenly about 10:45 am I got this power cramp that stopped me in my tracks! It's amazing how we can remember the exact moment of some things.
We called the Dr got his answering service, they said they’d call him and then call me right back. An hour later… we hadn’t heard back from him. So we called them again. They said to come on in because it sounded like it was time.

BOY WAS IT TIME. We got to the hospital and when the Dr, who had been on hole 6 of his 18 hole golf excursion said

“IT’S YOU???? Wow I wasn’t expecting it to be you, you were no where near ready when I saw you Monday!!!”

"well I wasn't expecting to be here either. It appears you'd make a better weather man because your forecast was totally off..."

My Dr was a nut case. I appreciated his humor and sensitivity during the prior weeks. It was like chatting with and old friend and He and the Nurses were aware this child was going to be adopted. They had instructions to take the baby from the room after birth. I didn’t want to see it or hold it or anything. I just wanted it out and gone.

People tell me I’m lucky I was only in labor for 3 ½ hours. Luck was not what I was experiencing I assure you.

It’s a blurry situation … the pain... ice chips... oxygen masks... breathing. OH, THE BREATHING THING! Lamaze? What is UP with that? When those pains hit your gonna get a breath the best way you can…. Lamaze goes out the window!

Finally... time to push. Push Number one: Everyone was was screaming in delight... the delivery room erupts with excitement!
“Look at all that curly dark hair!...”

Push two: I heard a couple of nurses gasping:

"Doctor!" one of them said in a panic.

Then they got serious on me... “Karyn, don’t push, be very still!”

Not what you wanna hear in while in pain. I told them I had to push... it hurt not to push.

My labor coach, "Vipp" doing her job, trying to calm me down, she came around bent down and got in my face and said...

“GIRL, don’t push, just breath!!!” She started breathing with me. That scared me but it had the required effect. I thought these people were CRAZY, but I stopped.

I felt this sharp PAIN, and wanted to scream:

A few seconds later... (It felt like minutes, they later told me it was about 20 seconds) I was able to push again. Success!


I was tired and crying. She was crying. Everyone was saying how beautiful she was.

My crazy Dr said
“I'm not supposed to do this, but do you want to see her?”

I said
“no, no thank you”

He insisted I MUST

I said no.

He placed the crying baby on my tummy… the baby cried once… said “MAMA!” and quickly fell asleep.

The delivery room fell silent.

I hear it. The Dr, Nurses, and Vipp all heard it. They all burst out crying. It didn’t faze me one bit. So I pretty much ignored it. They took the baby away after that.

When I left for the hospital, my brother was instructed to call the LDS Social Service Offices before he left for his tournament to let them know so the social worker could meet us up there. My brother actually beat me and Vipp to the hospital and said he couldn’t get a hold of the social worker but would continue to try. He had called them all day and no one answered. Then next day was Sunday and the office would be closed. I was too tired to panic. I slept most of the day... I was frighteningly anemic yet they came and took my blood about every hours. Freaking vampires!

Sunday Jan 28th! Super Bowl Sunday! Discharge day. My Dr said if I was voting for the right football team I could go home today! He was serious too. If I chose the wrong team, I'd be staying. Back in the 90's was there anyone BUT Joe Montana and the 49ers?

We still couldn’t find the social worker. The hospital informed me that I had to take this baby home with me since there was no Social Service Representative to take the child. I was horrified. I had NOTHING, no diapers, no clothes, no food. Why would I since I didn’t expect to keep the child. I hadn't gone through the process of even thinking about names and I had paperwork, birth certificates and other records to sign. After I spent another hour trying to figure out a name and other options, I left the hospital... with a child and instructions to return in 2 or 3 days for babies check up. Luckily Social Services would opened the next day...... No, actually... they wouldn't.... for some strange reason... they were closed on Monday. *sigh* I did NOT like how this was working out.

Thank goodness my niece was only 10 months old so there were plenty of diapers and things like that at the house. Vipp picked me up and brought me home. I left her to handle the baby. I walked in the house and announced to my brother... "your niece is in the car" he jumped up and headed to the car and went to bed. I was still exhausted. (It was super bowl Sunday and the house was filled with my brother’s marine buddies in the midst of the bowl party).

I bolted out of bed about 4 hours later. I remember sitting straight up out of my sleep and saying... "There's a baby in the house.... and I'm supposed to be taking care of it!"

My sister in law pretty much took over the care of the baby and that was OK with me, I wanted nothing to do with her. We had noticed that when she breathed... she squeaked or gasped...like a little mouse trying to catch it's breath or something. It sounded like she was having trouble breathing and when she cried it got worse.

Tuesday Jan 30th. I took baby into her first check up. I informed her Doctor about her breaking and I'm sure he cold already hear. He felt her throat, said she was swollen around the larynx. Her weight had also come down a little she had lost some ounces. That meant she wasn’t eating right. He jumped right on the phone and called a specialist. The specialist was across town and said he wanted to see her right away. The office was closing in 10 minutes but they would keep it open until I got there. I was kind of scared for this child, what was wrong with her???

It took me 25 min to get to the other side of town. The baby was in the back seat crying the whole way.

When we got to the Dr’s office I needed to fill out more paper work. They kept asking me if I was the mother I kept saying she was being put up for adoption, the social workers were unavailable so I was forced to sign the waivers and all the other paper work. I didn’t want to sign any papers as being in charge of her care. I had to sign or they wouldn’t treat her. I did what was needed to get her taken care of.

They took us back into a room and explained they needed to feed a thin microscopic tube with a camera down her throat to look around. I needed to hold her in my lap while they did this. They assured me the baby would be OK but would actually be gagging and choking as they fed the tube down her throat. It was horrible! The baby was crying, I was crying, I was a mess. Afterwards, the Dr said it was really swollen and he couldn’t see much, but he wanted to schedule her for a Barium swallow and chest x-rays to make sure nothing more serious was going on. He set the appointment up for 3 days later, the next Friday.

Mean time. I still can't get through to the Social workers. And I was still pretty much ignoring the baby. I wanted “that child” away from me.

The next couple of days had come and gone and it was the night before I was to take baby to get x-rays. The instructions were the baby could not have any food or drink at least 12 hours before X ray time. I had decided since she couldn't eat, I wouldn't eat either. She had to be hungry enough to drink the Barium. New borns are fed every 2-4 hours, right? The x-ray was scheduled for 11 am the next morning. That night was the longest night of my life. I walked the floor all night sobbing. Trying to comfort a child who was crying from hunger and then would only stop when exhaustion over took the hunger…and would wake up crying again when hunger over took the exhaustion. I realized that I would never understand how people could be so cruel as to allow human suffering to prosper. It is hell to witness.

Next day February 2nd frazzled and worn I got baby to the Dr's Office. She was crying still and each inhale and exhale she took was like a gasp for air. I felt as if she had been put through the cruelest of things this last week I know she was as exhausted and confused as I was. They fed her the barium and took the x-ray. When they were finished, I pulled out a bottle and fed her. That was only the 2nd time I had personally fed her. I took baby home. We both slept most of the day and weekend.

Monday Jan 5th, Dr’s office called. They said the x-rays were clear but they wanted to put her under an anesthetic and do exploratory surgery and open up her chest to make sure. When I heard this a JOLT ran through me. * I had enough of this crap*

I declined, saying
“this child is not even 2 weeks old. I’m not doing this to her anymore”
and hung up.

I was peaked and felt as if I have been stripped raw mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. What the hell was going on with my world???

I called my mama. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I’m in turmoil…some thing about hearing mama’s voice breaks me down completely.

She answered the phone and all it took was hearing her voice say "hello..." and I lost it.

I became the baby girl who was hungry and tired and frustrated, confused and scared. Uncontrollably mess for about 5 minutes. No words, just tears and crying and fighting to breath.

Finally mama said... “Karyn take some deep breaths and hear me.”

I took some breaths and calmed down. She said...

“ In all of your counseling and doing what you've been instructed to do with your Bishop and case workers, when you asked heavenly father what to do with this child, did he confirm your decision?”

I said, “Huh??” What was she talking about? I could barley comprehend.

She repeated the question.
I told her

“well, the church says unwed mothers should consider giving their child up for adoption so that’s what I planned to do.”

She asked “so you prayed about that and if felt right?”

I responded “ummm.. No. I didn’t pray or fast or debate myself about it. I just decided that's what should be done so that's what I'm doing”

Mom said: “ you mean to tell me you made a decision this important that involves human lives and you never prayed about it.. At all in 9 months???” (Sounded stupid since she put it that way)

“um, Yeah I guess that's what I'm saying.” Why was she picking on me at a time like this?

All she said was... “When we are given instructions from our prophets and church leaders, there’s a reason we are taught to get a personal conformation and seek for personal revelation. There's a reason for everything your going through. You have some work to do regarding the life of this child and your own.”

I guess so, huh?

A couple of hours after hanging up with mom LDS Social Services called. As it turns out… they don’t know what happened to their phones Absolutely clueless there was even a problem until the last Friday. Their incoming lines had been out of Service for almost a week They were able to call within their own offices but outside called didn't come through. They're usually closed Mondays but now they were getting all of the message from the prior week and decided to open the office and play catch up. They were just getting all the messages left them. She asked how it was and how I was handling the baby. I told her not very well at all . We set up an appointment to meet in 2 days (Wednesday) to get things back on track.

I called the family and asked them to fast with me the next 24 hours. The thought of doing this as all was almost more than I could take. As I fasted I played out the last nine months and ESPECIALLY the events of the last week in my mind... cord around baby’s neck... Baby crying until laid on my tummy, then calling out "mama" before falling asleep... no social workers to take her home… all these freaky Doctor appointments forcing me to sign my name to her paper work as guardian/parent. Watching her suffer, crying, crying, and crying... why is it that what was planned perfectly to a “T” for 9 months was suddenly chaos, hell, and confusion. I was only 22 years old. No job. Living with my brother his wife and my niece. Why hadn’t I prayed about what to do? It was obvious I was in no condition to take on the welfare of another person. I had to find a way to take care of myself. It was obvious what to do wasn't it?

OR was it?

That night I got on my knees and wrestled with the angels. I cried first. All I could say was squelch out ‘father help me” and cry. I fell sleep on my knees. I dreamed of a little girl in a pink dress with a little afro puff pony tail walking alone and crying because she didn't know where to go. And her Savior Jesus Christ came to her side and comforted her letting her know all would be well. I Woke up 2 hours later, cried some more... and just listened and tried to feel... something in the stillness and quiet beside the ache I had in my side and knees from being on them. A total of 5 hours later. About 4:00 AM totally exhausted I jumped into bed. And slept. Still no decision as to what to do. I was silent and quiet most of the next day. Numb I guess. I had about 24 hours to figure this out. This was the longest week of my life. Different members of my family called during the day to check up. I got on my knees again that night. I figured I didn’t have much more to add to what I’d said already so I just basically asked heavenly father what is was he wanted me to know about this child and how would he have me decide how she could best serve him in this world. Then I got up and lay in bed, wide awake and listened. What I heard was so clear I had to look about the room to see who was actually speaking to me. Words of a blessing I'd recieved when I was 18 cam to mind. (My bishop had reminded me early in my pregnancy that the blessing was valid but totally up to me to keep it valid).

There was a reason the phones didn’t work at LDS Social Services for 5 days. Just as there was a reason I got a telegram from my best friend, a missionary in London, out of the blue, that made me miss a Dr. Appointment to have a possible abortion when I was 7 weeks pregnantnt. How come all this medical stuff was forcing me to try and bond with this child? Didn't they have things these days to detect when the cord was wrapped around babies in a dangersous way. Why hadn't they seen it? The only thing that WAS successful at was not bonding with this child and that suddenly became very spooky to me.

I found out later my brother had missed his baseball tournaments the day baby was born. He spent 3 hours looking at her in the window. She looked so much like his 10 month old daughter, all he could say was.”2 peas in a pod”. He had been inactive in church for years, now I recalled day my baby was born mentioned to me if I thought it was too late for him to have his daughter blessed at 10 months old. 2 days after my baby was born my brother also mentioned he wanted to go to church with me the next time I went.
Several Phrases of my blessing came to mind... but the main was... something to the effect that my missionary work would be gathering the family generations and be done through my children. It was already happening.

Things were becoming clear. OBVIOUSLY clear. Then next day I went to my meeting to Social Services and my social worker. She asked me what was going on. I gave her the details of the previous week. She asked me as she had so many times…if I was still firm in my decision to place for adoption. I told her for the first time in 9 months that I was not sure. It was weird… she gave almost a sigh of relief. I looked at her curiously. She asked me what my decisions were. I started to cry. She started to cry. I told her I never thought I would say this but I think I am going to be a mommy. She said she had strongly felt it should be this way but had to always support her client in whatever decision they were making, as did my family I found out a few days after.

2 hours later. I walked out of LDS Social Services with my daughter Alieshia Nikkole. I had never called her by a name, until that moment she was always "baby" or “the baby.” For the first time ever… I held her to my chest and closed my eyes taking it all in. What kind of mess was I getting us both into? I just held her. I looked at her, really looked at her for the first time. I kissed her, Her forehead, her tiny hands and fingers, her cheeks, her eyes. I smelled her hair and felt her little heart beat next to my own. I listened closely to her breath that little squeak she had. All it turned out to be was swollen larynx due to the cord being wrapped around her neck and it was gone within a couple of months. I carefully placed my daughter into her car seat and buckled her in carefully like some precious cargo Heaven had asked me to guard with my life. Little did I know she was just that... precious cargo. I jumped in the car and turned on the radio. My favorite song happened to be on… “Every little step I take... you will be there…” By Bobby Brown. I smiled at the song and wiped away a tear that escaped my lashes.
Ha, that song! Another coincidence in many that had happened that week? NOPE, NOT EVEN. Heavenly Father was giving me the thumbs up. I heard a voice that whispered... “You will have all the support you need.” And I always have.

(Sometimes people, laugh, scoff at me and roll their eye's when I tell them I can audibly hear a voice when I receive answers in situations such as these. Laugh all you want. The voice has not failed me yet.)


It's 17 years later. Today at 1:50 pm Alieshia Nikkole will be 17. It's been the greatest experience of my life being her mother. It wasn't always easy. It wasn't always laugh and giggles as most of you see us. But every minute of it has been worth it and I can't imagine my life without her.


Sunday, January 17, 2010

You Can't Hang Up On Jesus...But He'll HOLD For You

This morning I'm waking up and hoping yesterday was just a bad dream. Guess what? Yesterday was real,no bad dream. It has been the best week. And the worse week. No one has died or gotten physically hurt or anything like that. Just a couple of little devastations. You get enough of the little one's hitting you all at once and it wears down a soul, know what I mean.

How we react to the devastations or upsets that invade our lives is really important.
I think the following reactions we should get passes on:
I don't see anything wrong with shutting down for a few minutes, I'd rather shut down in silence, then lash out and say or do something I'll regret later.

Asking Questions.
If someone imposes some kind of pain or hurt or betrayal on you YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO ASK QUESTIONS to help your healing being.

The other day my cousin posted some that said "Crying is just liquid prayers." I have to give my AMEN to that.

There comes a time (several times) in our lives where we have the opportunity to show ourselves who we really and truly are. Those moments also define who we may become and if we will further grow as a Child of God. When those choices come do we get frightened and revert back to the comfort of who we are, or do we take that step of faith toward the greater version of us. I dare say we typically revert back to the comfort.

When those choices come, sometimes the choice is automatic. Sometimes there is soul searchings. Often times you just aren't ready. It feels too soon, too hard, too whatever. Knowing yourself is knowing what governs those decisions, it could very well be too soon, too hard, too whatever. Knowing that is a good thing.

So Yesterday, January 16th was from hell. *cha-ching* (That was a quarter going into my cuss jar. Typically "hell" is the word I give myself a pass on, depending on how I use it. But to be fair I wanted y'all to know I'm not trying to justify it).I haven't had a day like that since I was in the shadows of my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder summer of 2008. So, Yes I had bit of a ptsd relapse yesterday. Noticed the symptoms, recognized the trigger, left the situation. Drove around for an hour before I Could remember what I wanted to do after I left the situation, then came home and crashed.
Bodies react differently to emotional/mental trauma. In my heightened state of over alertness and anxiety, my body requires sleep. anywhere from 2-12 hours. What happens in between is kind of like a dream. I remember parts and bits of it but am not sure if it's real.
So in my state of sleep I was having a text conversation with someone and got some devastating news. I guess in my state of mind I figured this is a dream so I don't have to worry too much about it now. (has anyone ever done that? recognize you're in a dream and just brush things off because it's not real anyway? You totally can control some things in your dreams, it's really cool when it happens).
I slept for HOURS I tell you!
Woke up about 5 this morning feeling drained.
Thinking yesterday was just a bad dream. Im laying quietly in bed and my cell phone alert goes off. I have a text! I pick up the phone... I have a lot of Texts. I turned in pretty early yesterday so thats not surprising. As Im rolling through them I have at least 100 TEXTS easily read and Unread. From about 1:30 Yesterday afternoon til about about 6 this morning with a break between 11:30pm and 4:30am. Don't you people ever sleep? HAHA~
Since texting is for entertainment purposes and quick communications for important conversations I will call or meet with someone face to face.
I guess in my state of mind yesterday I didn't clue into reality. I have the very long and very important 3 hour long conversation via text. So that bad dream I was hoping yesterday was...is indeed reality.

I'm needing to recover from one situation *ptsd* before starting to recover from the other situation. The other situation will take some soul searching. Some of that deep down in the basement, through the cobwebs in the dark corner soul searching.
In the meantime. What have we always been taught to do?
Now if you're hearing the theme song in my head right now... it sounds like
"When Dove's Cry" by Prince.
In reality it's "PRAY" by MC-Hammer: We got to pray just to make it today" Right?
I think for a few minutes.
Then I picked up the Prayer phone in my mind.
The operator answered... "Jesus on the main line...TELL HIM WHAT YOU WANT!"

I lost my voice. Didn't know what to pray for. Mind went blank, heart went numb. What do I do... WHAT DO I DO????
"well you can't hang up on Jesus!" I said to myself.

"Ummm... JESUS? Can I put you on hold until my head is clear...?"
I found myself saying.
"I am in SUCH trouble now!"
I said to myself.
To my surprise the answer was
"I'll be here waiting when you are ready, in the meantime I'll send down some of my crew to watch over you."
"uh..ok, thanks." And I hung up.


I think I have Jesus on hold.
I have A LOT of nerve. But what a blessing to know that when I am ready, when I am clear, when I can come to him in better condition, I can pick that main line back up and talk to the Father. And he will listen. And although he may not give me what I want. He will give me what I need and that is the better blessing. What more can I ask for?
I better let y'all go. I'm headed to the cellar of my soul to do some searching. HEY? Is that YOUR main line ringing? Be blessed!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Deseret Books SHOULD sell CUSS JARS!

"Flippin Fetchers!" "Fetchin Flippers?" "Kiss my bumm!" "BFE" "WTH?"
What the HELL?
Welcome to Mormon Cuss words folks. We've all said them. In our heads, out loud, under our breath. Some of us less shameful folks don't even bother with the Mormon words.
SHAMEFUL. I know I'm shamed but OMG, you have no idea how much better I am. That's
"Oh My Goodness" in my mind folks.
No matter how badly my profane tongue has gotten it will not and has not Exodus 20:7. LOOK IT UP!
Im sad to say I once went a whole year without cussing. OH, I'm sad because I can only remember 1 year in my adult life where I can remember not cussing. It was hard work. I had decided not to cuss for 365 days. It was an interesting year because I began to analyze under what circumstances one would choose profanity. The one thing I come to realize? Profanity is used in ALL Circumstances. But the saddest realization was when it came so Automatic that folks didn't realize it was part of their everyday language. When a sentence or paragraph couldn't be spoken w/o cussing.

We use profanity in place of nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives,interjections...even terms of endearment! Movies use it for dramatic effect. Music uses it for status. Comedians use it for a laugh. Our cars advertise it on bumper stickers: "it Happens" Profanity for whatever reason sells. It's a money maker.
Over the last couple years my language has gotten pretty weak. I could sit here and blame it on circumstances, situations and the world around me. Truth be told I just cared too little what words my mouth would speak in those moments of choice, I chose incorrectly.

20 years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter I had a mouth on me. One day my brother, who was a U.S Marine at the time, came home and told me " My staff sergeant said you have a mouth on you worse than any Marine he's been around."
My first thought was "who the bleep* is she and why should I care what he thinks I'm not a marine so I don't give a "bleep" what your Staff sergeant thinks."

As I said that I caught my reflection in the mirror. What I saw.. wasn't pretty. My reflection held a true moment of reflection. I had a serious problem with cussing. You know when you put a $50 bill in the cuss jar on pay day for a Cuss Credit... you got problems

About a week later, I installed a cuss jar in the house. "A BUCK A CUSS!" I imposed this upon the whole household. Choice and Accountability folks...aka Paying for your sins. If you chose to cuss, it would cost you a dollar. You know what, it worked! Throughout the years it has worked every time I've installed it. I think my proudest moment was when my brother and sister in law held a gathering a couple months later and one of the marines cussed. Without a 2nd thought another marine stepped up and said
"PAY UP man! You can't be cussin in here!"
Then walked over to the jar, picked it up, and squared off with Pvt Foul mouth who promptly paid up and apologized. BOOYAH!

The cussing jar worked for months. And after about 2-3 month we racked up some cash!
I'll tell you what we did with it later.*

Through out the years I've installed and reinstalled the cuss jars. Some times the price is a buck. Sometimes it 5 bucks. Sometimes it's a quarter. What I've done various things with the money made paying for my sins.

Well folks Im ashamed to say... It's time for me to reinstall the cuss jar. Yes, I know, it's like verbal smoking without the Nicotine... I keep quitting. Just like everything else, trying to overcome is a process. Sometimes we succeed, sometimes we fail. I'm sure one of these days I'll get over it. But that will never happen if I just say forget it, I'm done trying.

I'll be looking for jars this week. Most any jar will do. My last jar is now a planter. (kinda funny, i threw a leaf in with some water and it sprouted roots and started growing other leaves. I wonder if the residue from verbal fertilizer helped?

I figure I can't be the ONLY Mormon out there needing a cuss jar. This is exactly why Deseret Books should sell them. Im sure it would be much like getting caught at the store on Sunday by your bishop:
"Opps... well see Bishop... our Ass was in the Mire and.. .well... we forgot dessert... and... you just can't have Apple pie without Ice Cream" You're so busy fessing up you don't realize he's at the store too, buying Jello!

I only say that to bring up the point. We are Latter Day Saints. We are Christians. AND WE ARE HUMAN! We are going to backslide... in ALL Areas. The important thing is that we don't get S.O.S: "Stuck On Stupid!" Believe me I have been S.O.S before but I'm learning to vacation there less and less.

So back to what happens with the $$ in the cuss jar. That first year, we used it as vacation money for a trip to Vegas! Did I pick up gambling in the mean time? *That's a WHOLE NOTHER BLOG*

Through the years I would use it for laundry money, or it would be my daughters spending cash (you would think she would do things to make me cuss more, but after a while she didn't even want spending money that came from profanity!)

I decided in the future paying for my sins would go to the church. Not under tythes but under "offerings"

I think the one thing that I manage to remember when trying to kick this habit is the following:
The mouth in which I choose to speak profanity, guile and malice with is also the same mouth I have the nerve to ask Father in Heaven for blessing and favors with. And some days I have A LOT OF NERVES!
Do you??
Check out One of my Favorite Conference talks By Jeffery R. Holland: "Speaking with the Tongue Of Angels" And then go get YOUR cuss jar:


Friday, January 8, 2010

Sometimes We Need to be Dropped On Our Butts!

For 2010 we're keepin it REAL, Just like the Lord sometimes has to get real with us, we need to get real with ourselves:

We've all know about "Footprints" in the sand. Let's talk about those times we need to be dropped on our booties for a reality check!

Buttprints in the Sand

One night I had a wondrous dream,
One set of footprints there was seen,
The footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the shore.

But then some strange prints appeared,
And I asked the Lord, "What have we here?"
Those prints are large and round and neat,
"But Lord, they are too big for feet."

"My child," He said in somber tones,
"For miles I carried you along.
I challenged you to walk in faith,
But you refused and made me wait."

"You disobeyed, you would not grow,
The walk of faith, you would not know,
So I got tired, I got fed up,
And there I dropped you on your butt."

"Because in life, there comes a time,
When one must fight, and one must climb,
When one must rise and take a stand,
Or leave their butt prints in the san

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Well I did it! I Facebooked my Blog!

It was really bound to happen with so many friends and family on Facebook it would just be a matter of time before I needed to combine the two. So if you are on facebook and would like to keep up with me there I would love to have you become a fan of the page! I'll still be here blogging, unless someone can figure out a way for the blog and facebook page to become one or stream into each other. Im not THAT Computer Savvy, I know JUST ENOUGH to get into some trouble ;)

I think this will be an awesome thing for greater discussion and more detailed comments. I hope you'll join me on "THE FACE!" ;)

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Year With NO Regrets!

A Year With No Regrets!
Years ago I started to create themes to live by instead of resolutions. The theme Theory has done me well. I find a theme that seems timely and work it. I create smaller goals to help me live by that theme so that at the end of the year I can stand in the mirror on New Year's Eve head held high and pronounce that I have lived it to the best of my ability.
In the year 2000 my theme was "NO REGRETS!" It turned out to be an Amazing year. I have decided to reinstate my "NO REGRETS" theme this year! On New Years Eve 2010 I will look at my self in the mirror and say " I did everything I should have and lived how I was supposed to, therefore I have NO Regrets"

My goals for a y ear of No Regrets:

I will become a personalize friend again.
I will pick up the phone and call so there is a warm voice to my communications. So others will "hear" the concern, love, anger, peace and friendship in my voice and not have to speculate how I feel. I will not leave anything open to misunderstanding. IT's happened too many times via Text, email, I/M etc.

I will find ME again.
I feel as if I were robbed 2008/2009. My memory is shot. My anxiety is still very heightened. And I've lost interest in most people and things. My home has become my hideout with a secret knock and all for me to open the door. Those who really know me, know who I used to be before June 2008 happened. That person may be gone forever, but I'm going to find some of her again, I MISS HER. And I miss me!

I will start to be social again. I'm only dealing with certain people for certain reasons. There people are my crutch, my safety net, and my comfort zone. It's been 18 months sense the crap hit the fan and it's time to reintroduce myself to the world and trust humans again.

I will create Pleasant memories and situations
. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder robs a person of alot of things. You don't really ever get over it, you learn to live better with it. I'm still learning to live better with it. I know I need to back track to some places I don't want to go and RECREATE pleasant memories to overpower the one's that keep me away from certain places and people. I am already and will create those joyful, happy memories to replace the one's that haunt me.

I will not hold any grudges or dwell on negative concerns. If i have a problem with someone or something I will give myself 2 weeks to confront the situation and resolve it or I will leave it alone, not dwell on it and bury it for good.

I will be a healthier person.
Becoming more active ESPECIALLY in the beautiful state of Utah. So much to explore and see here.
I will join a sport team. I will sit and watch tv less and get up and move more. I will cut down carbonated drinks. I will incorporate more Protein, fiber, fruits and vegetables and cut down on starch, carbs and refined sugars.

I will become more mentally healthy by reading more. I will read at least an hour of something each day before turning on a TV or computer screen for entertainment.

I will become more spiritually Healthy by Listening For Heavenly Father's Answers as much as asking to Heavenly Father for help. I will read and study words on a regular basis, speak more kindness to his children, and serve him and my community better.

I will take 1 day each month for myself: Road trip. Movie. Pedicure. Spa. Hike. Theater. Whatever I need to do to rejuvenate and enjoy who I am becoming.

I will stay in contact with as much family as I can. Aside from my Parents, Siblings and Daughter, I don't know my family as well as I should, nor do I keep up with them as I'd like. Today, it begins.. reconnecting with the family that is on Earth with me or who have passed and are still watching over me.

I will become better Educated. I might go back to school. But I will become more educated about Finances, Politics, Health, Environment, Social Situations. IM going to become familiar with my neighbors and community and be an active force in making where I am a better place to be.

R.A.K I'm reinstating doing Random Acts Of Kindness again. And no there's not a list you can be on. So don't be calling me each month asking if I've done my Random act of Kindness for the month and asking me to come clean your house if I haven't!

I'm going to learn how to say "NO!" No more letting the drama of others invade my space. PTSD has taught me how to stop the stress in the lives of others from invading my life. I NEED to continue to do this.

I will cultivate the relationships I want to enjoy more and not those that are pushed and pawned upon me.

I"m going to laugh more at myself. I have to. I forget so much and have done some really kooky things. It used to upset me, now I just shrug and say "oh well, that's the person I happen to be right now."

I will make YOU smile more! Haven't figured a goal for this one yet, but I'll make it up as we go along!

I'm going to Love and accept people AS/IS.
When I recognize who you really are, I will either accept it and keep you around or accept it and keep you at a distance. I WILL NOT try and change you, or point out your faults and mistakes because I know I am flawed. You have the right to be exactly who you are and want to be. I have the right to either keep you close in my life or at a distance. I only request the same respect from you. DEAL?

*when someone shows you who they truly are... BELIEVE THEM*

If I sway from my goals I will speedily get back on track and not just say "OH WELL, I BLEW IT" cuz that's a lazy cowards way out. To say "I messed up" and not get back on track is not who I want to be.

I Will Live 2010 with NO regrets. I invite you to do the same!

Big Brother, Little Sister Moments

Big Brother, Little Sister Moments
Hand in Hand


I earned some temporary wings!