Friday, April 22, 2016

The Faces Of Mom

I have a niece that looks just like this picture of my mother. I did a double take when searching for pictures to post. 

In this picture, she looks very much like Princess Five. I think if you do a quick glance, you can see it there. One of my best girlfriends told me over and over that she thought Princess Five looked just like my mother while my mother was living with me. 

There was a day when a press group followed my mother through the day, getting ready, activities and then a date in the evening. She was used to making people feel comfortable around her. She had many faces she could put on depending on who she was with and what the occasion was.

She would meet with royalty as in the picture here. She met with the president and shook his hands while he was in his pajamas! Not many people can boast about that! 

I knew all of her "Faces" and will miss them all!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Little Gift From Mom - Dance - Swim - Sing

It was moments before my mother passed away. I know she was near death and I felt her come to me. She said, "I can DANCE, SWIM, and SING! I can SING!" 
I got stuck at the swim comment. I can't explain how I hear it but I am not hearing it but it is like the words are just in my head as an impression. I have had this now many times in my life. It is perhaps that I am a perceptive person or something and I know many would make fun at this but my friend Ruth that died just over a year ago also gave me an impression message. Here is the post about that. 

It wasn't until the next day when the emotion wore off of her passing that the "swim" portion of that message was clear. My mother almost drown when she was 12. She HATED getting water on her face. She freaked when getting into a pool. It was interesting that she would do water slides but not deep pools. Even showers upset her and we fought all the time about making her take showers for the ease of it.  

She was letting me know there was no more fear of death and she as free to enjoy swimming again as she loved it when she as a child. 

She couldn't sing well towards the end and it upset her as she sang in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for almost 10 years and led many choirs and was in one until recently. It was upsetting to her that while with me, she couldn't join in singing the hymns at church. 

I am glad my mother came and let me know she was happy and free. I am glad she can swim, dance and sing now free from pain and being tired. I will miss her!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

My Mother is Gone

I am not home and will be just posting a few pictures a day as I need to get to sleep and it is after 4 a.m. and I still need to do a slideshow.  
My mother traveled the world meeting presidents, military, rulers, and many normal amazing people, she will be missed.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

One Call Away - Not Alone

I am heading to another city to clean out my mothers apartment and help with the funeral. I had a rough day as I was up all night helping one of the girls with a problem and for the third night in a row had about 3 hours of sleep. I am exhausted and moody. I have many things I need to pack up and take for the funeral and need to make a picture slideshow so it is after 3 a.m. and I haven't cleaned off my sd cards or started the slideshow. 
I was talking to someone today and they were tired and grumpy as well and said something to push me away so they could do what they wanted to do and it put me on the verge of crying again about my mom being gone and so much on my plate. 

I had the police show up at my door a "someone" complained that I had my car parked in my driveway but it was sticking over the sidewalk in front of my house! "Someone must be feeling out of control to need to take that much control over someones yard. I spoke to my neighbors to explain why now my cars will be parked in the street! One would think that they would like the cars in the driveway rather than on the street and since I live on a dead end street, no one uses our sidewalks now that our long boarder has moved away. Actually, the police officer looked rather embarrassed about the entire thing.   
I got in Princess Five's car to move it out on the street and this song started playing just as I was turning the car on. I started crying immediately. I was feeling alone and the song let me know that I am NOT alone! 

I have never heard this song before. It isn't something I would hear on the stations I get because the radio in the kitchen doesn't get stations anymore and the radio in the car I am driving turns on and off at will. So, the only way I would have heard it is by being in Princess Five's car. 

Isn't God funny that he would use sending the police to my door to get me in the car to hear a song he wanted me to hear! 

It is called "One Call" by Charlie Puth. Here are the lyrics.
I'm only one call away I'll be there to save the day
Superman got nothing on me
I'm only one call away1
Call me, baby, if you need a friend
I just wanna give you love
Come on, come on, come on
Reaching out to you, so take a chance
No matter where you go
You know you're not alone
I'm only one call away
I'll be there to save the day
Superman got nothing on me
I'm only one call away
Come along with me and don't be scared
I just wanna set you free
Come on, come on, come one
You and me can make it anywhere
For now, we can stay here for a while, ay
'Cause you know, I just wanna see you smile
No matter where you go
You know you're not alone
I'm only one call away
I'll be there to save the day
Superman got nothing on me
I'm only one call away
And when you're weak I'll be strong
I'm gonna keep holding on
Now don't you worry, it won't be long, Darling
And when you feel like hope is gone
Just run into my arms
I'm only one call away
I'll be there to save the day
Superman got nothing on me
I'm only one, I'm only one call away
I'll be there to save the day
Superman got nothing on me
I'm only one call away
I'm only one call away
I laughed later thinking how appropriate the song was for me. We have always joked that I am waiting for "superman" and the girls bought me a build-a-bear monkey and dressed it like superman until I meet my "superman." Here is a post where I show "super moneky"
My sister used to say, "Why would you want to get married?, God takes better care of you than any man could." She is right. He does. The song just felt like it was God reminding me to pray. Switch the "Call" word for "prayer" and it feels like right where I was. The line "And when your weak, I'll be strong." and then, "and when you feel like hope is gone" was exactly how was feeling at that exact moment and I felt like I was alone. 

The first few lines said, "No matter where you go, You know you're not alone" and it really hit me. Even though I feel alone having to do so much by myself and trying to honor my mothers wishes and just basically honor my mother when others don't agree, I feel like I am standing alone and am trying to move through it and being SO tired with the parasites and no sleep and now, my mother being gone, it just seemed so overwhelming. That song was just what I needed to get through that rough moment.
I hope I don't have many more "Moments!" 

Monday, April 18, 2016

My Mother is With Her Father in Heaven

My mother was reunited with her Father in Heaven on Friday night about 10:00 p.m. Much of the family was with her when she passed away. She had gotten a rare pneumonia and wasn't able to fight it off in her weak state. I will post more later about things but for now, just know she is now at peace. I will share the details when I can. 

It is 5:30 a.m. and I have had about 5 hours sleep in three nights. This post will be short and I don't know that I will get anything posted for the rest of the week. I may just post a picture or two for each day and get back to writing after the funeral which isn't until the end of the week due to people coming in from out of town and our large family makes that hard sometimes. 

Please pray for my family. Two families have the flu and several others are struggling. Two families are fighting strep and pneumonia. I don't want anyone to get sick at the funeral or miss it due to illness so pray that everyone will get better BEFORE the funeral. Also pray that they will travel safely to and from the funeral if you would be willing.

I knew the post would be short tonight but when I opened up my account to post, this is what I saw on my ad page for google. Yes, any of you who read my blog have to know that God is watching over me and letting me know that everything is going to be OK. I always see 111 when I am stressed about something and it is God's way of telling me to trust him and relax that it will all work out. Two 111's on the first post since my mom died shows me He truly is in charge! Here is a link to my first 111 post. To read other posts about my 111 experiences you can just search 111 or one one one in the search box at the bottom of the home page.

Thank in advance for your prayers!!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Meet The Should Be President - Princess Five

I shared a bit with you this week how tired I am and how my mother isn't doing well. It has been a long week. Last night, before the election today, I took Princess and her friend out to celebrate that they did well knowing that with political tactics of the advisor involved, Princess Five didn't have much of a chance winning. 

Princess Five was running for Student Body President. She has wanted this since she saw her two older sisters be Student Body President and speak at their graduations. Here is a link to Princess Four's post. Here is a link to Princess Three's post. She has planned her school political life so that she would know how the system worked to be able to be the most prepared and see how it is run and how she could improve on it. 

She was a Sophomore and Junior Senator and has always supported the office well doing everything she could to build the school and support the students, organization and teachers.  

She has had some issues as the student advisor was put in since her sister ran and there are some changes the advisor is instituting that are causing some rifts and issues in the election and it has caused major grief in my world.

I am hoping that we can get through this week without any more visits to the school, talking with the advisor, principle or school counselors. 

The new advisor put in a new policy that keeps the students from being able to vote popular vote. There are now scales for many different things. 

They weren't allowed and an assembly. They weren't allowed to give speeches. The student vote was dropped down to 30 % of the overall score for office. She is not allowing any senators from any of the classes so there won't be representation from any class but seniors on the committee. 

They needed three letters of recommendation for current teachers. There were 20 kids running and they all have the same teachers so the Jr. teachers had to write up to 20 letters of recommendation which made them all end up sounding the same rather than allowing them to get one from others.

They aren't allowing the seniors to vote or the 8th graders that will be coming into the school so that cuts out lots of votes. 

I was so proud of Princess Five as she wrote a very professional letter saying that if the student vote wasn't at least 50% the students wouldn't feel as if they had a say and wouldn't vote at all. 

She also wrote very clear reasons why they should allow them to have skits and not just print up their speeches in a pamphlet for the kids to read. What kid would read speeches? 

She shared how skits show if a person is organized and creative and can put together assemblies etc. She sent it not only to the advisor but the principle. It also had other suggestions like having the election BEFORE cheer and drill tryouts so that if someone didn't make the committee, they could then try out for other spirit groups so they wouldn't waste their senior year. 

Her letter contained other issues like who would be in the room for the interviews? How would they be rated? Is there a committee and not just the advisor so there couldn't be favorites? and many other great questions which then allowed for a group of teachers and students to be in on the interview process.

They also said they didn't have time to add a new assemble for speeches and skits (They have had an assembly every day this week and one next Monday as well) so they told them they had to make a 30 second video to campaign with. How they can get their point across in 30 seconds? It has been frustrating but she made an adorable one only to have the sound not work when they were showing them at lunch. Also, their written speeches never showed up anywhere. 

Princess called to let me know today she didn't get in. Not that she didn't get voted in as the students were never told that their votes wouldn't matter as they took away that right without letting any of the students, teachers or school counselors know. 

Princess came home crying three times during this "election" and I think there are letters to the school board and district in our future. Princess was the ONLY student pulled aside three different time and grilled on "Where she got her paper for her poster? (we used my sister wedding table cloth butcher paper not that any other students got calling in and asked!) Why are your running? Told she couldn't do any sport and be president or vice president but should run for secretary!" yet both the new "president and vice president" are both doing sports and one is even doing the sport Princess was planning on doing..... 

There is much more to the story but I got a call today that my mother is in a coma and is dying so I didn't really need all the drama with this! 

Sometimes it is nice living in a small town, other times, it is VERY frustrating as politics play into so many things in small towns. However, God has many graces in my world and I smiled when we were making her video, we saw some things for the construction going on at the school and 111 was clearly on one of the containers. I had to take a picture. 

Also, at dinner yesterday as I got out of the car, there was a penny right next to my door. I almost didn't park there but decided I didn't want to walk as far to the restaurant door. It made Princess and I smile so I took a picture of it to remind us that even though we are both having a stressful week, God does love us and we need to Trust in Him! 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Making Necklaces Out of Charm Bracelet For The Grandchildren

I shared a few weeks ago how my sister and I have been going through my mothers jewelry and bagging it for her family to choose at the next gathering. Click here for a post about that.

She had this silver charm bracelet and I thought it would be nice to put one on a necklace for each of the grand-children. I got online several different times looking for necklaces and different styles. 

I purchased 35 of them off a site on eBay. I searched for hours looking at all the small print and ordered them from someone who had good feedback and had sold 14000 items. 
They arrived this week which is good timing as I am not sure how much longer my mother will be with us and figured I could have all the grand-daughters choose one at the funeral.

When I opened the bag, I knew something wasn't right. I have lots of silver and the color is just off. Here is a post where I share how to tell if something is real silver.   

The video shows the color differences, how the magnet pulls on the chains. one of the chains was welded to itself near the clasp and if it were silver, it would be loose. Also, the box chain style in silver is usually snake like and these keep kinking. 

I am frustrated with the product but don't know that I will have the time to order more so I just went with the chains and hope to get a partial refund from the seller. 

I purchased some sterling jump rings to attach the charms to the necklaces and found those at a second hand store so that was nice. 

I asked my daughters and several of the older grand-daughters if that would be something they would like before ordering the chains and they all said it would be fun to have something from grandmas reining days as a national beauty queen. 

My mother collected these charms from around the world when she visited places, she would get a charm, instrument, doll etc. There are some really cute charms and I think the girls will all enjoy having something from their grandma. 

My sister has some small boxes we will be sticking them in and then drawing names from a hat and allowing them to pick in the order they are drawn.

I suggest you purchase silver from an online jewelry wholesaler or see if you can talk to a jeweler and see if they can order you bulk rather than taking a chance on eBay. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Princess Five Running For Student Body President - CUTE Banners

Princess Five is running for Student Body President. I will most likely post about this again if she wins but wanted to do a post about her cute posters.
They wouldn't allow for any skits, campaign speeches etc so all she has to get her message across is posters. 

We went to my sisters at 10:20 a.m. on Saturday and were there until 4 p.m. and didn't get one poster finished all the way. 

My sister is the most creative person I have ever met besides my mother. We are all very inventive and creative as both of my parents are amazing talented that way. However, she gets an added measure. Her craft room would probably rival Martha Stewart's with a mix of a scrapbooker in there as she makes all sorts of things. 

She had some large pieces of brown paper that were used as table coverings on her daughters wedding tables outside so we thought it would be cute to use the brown paper for her posters. 

I took over poster paint and we got all of the words painted on and at least some ideas for the rest and the scrap embellishments to make the posters cute. 

My sister suggested running ribbons through the letters and around the edges of the poster. She used an razor (exacto knife) and made little slits the length of the ribbon she wanted to thread through the letters or edge of the poster. 

She started on the backside and made slits about ever inch or so. She taped the ribbon on the back to hold it in place. I wish I were with it enough to make a video on this but may do that when we take the posters down. 

It was hard to thread it and we did all the edges on some of the banners so I came up with a better way and got a hard straw from a water bottle and taped the ribbon to the end and used the straw to thread the ribbon through each cut in the paper and it was MUCH quicker and easier that way. 

When I was running for office my senior year, my mother made this cute poster with a mirror on the front with characters drawn around them. It said, "Guess who is voting for (my name)?" Then the person would look in the mirror. I thought it was cute. 

We did it for one of the girls running for office a few years ago and someone stole the mirrors off the poster which I thought was funny. 

Because their school is new, they won't allow them to hang things in many places and tape doesn't stick to the walls due to the "anti graffiti" coating but we didn't know that until we hung posters and had to use an entire roll plus of Duct / Duck Tape to do it. Apparently just for information sake, there is a basket ball floor tape sold at sport shops that will stick to those coated walls.

We cut a huge mirror out of reflective vinyl my sister had and then used flat ribbon and attached it with hot glue and then my sister had really huge google eyes for the "o's" in the "look" but we just made some out of paper and had the black stand up on an accordion of paper so they stood out. 

We then used melted pony beads that were made into little button dots to highlight her name or something else on the poster. You can search how to do that but it was a super cheap way to make the letters stand out. We used hot glue to put them on. 

She also had two huge bags of blue buttons so we used those on one of her posters. She had sparkling red ribbon so we cut out little reflective bling paws to put on the posters also giving more dimension and bling to them. 

The last thing we put on was some wire sparkle red star Christmas decoration as it was really easy to stick on by poking a hole in the paper and putting a little piece through and then draping it to the next hole so it kinda stuck out from the poster grabbing attention as you walk past. 

They allowed them to put them up at 6:30 on Monday morning and we spent another 4-5 hours finishing all the embellishments, gluing on paws, lacing ribbons etc. So, you wouldn't think I got much sleep this week as we worked one night until 2 a.m. to finish them. Hopefully, I will be able to share about her video another day but we also had to get that in fast. 

To hang the posters, we used a TON of tape but I wanted to hang the big one on the poles in the huge common area but it was wider than the poles so the only place we could find to grab everyone's eyes at lunch and when they enter the commons area was above the stairs. I hung over the edge while standing on a chair after we used TONS of tape on the back and edges. The sweet lunch lady gave us a floor squeegee and we were able to use that to push the tape onto the wall by sliding it across the sign

It took us an hour and a half to hang all the posters due to the difficulty of the large one. I thought the banner may fall but it seems to be holding. She didn't make any posters but did four or five banners but they could have 8 banners and five posters but the school isn't finished yet so she felt she had enough and they stand out so well that I think it will be enough. You can see how big the poster is by the tall guy standing next to it and how small Princess is at the bottom of the stairs.

Good luck Princess Five! My VOTE is with YOU this election!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Grandma Is In The Hospital - Not Looking Good

I am sorry for the bad pictures. Today was a LONG day starting at 6:30 after only a few hours sleep. Princess Five is running for Student Body President and we had to get up and hang posters before school. The whole campaign fiasco will be a post for another day.

Since my mother left, she now has several infections and is in the hospital. I feel so guilty that I couldn't get my siblings to put her in a facility where she would have full time care and fell guilty that I didn't keep her so she would have constant care rather that 12 different people skipping in and out and many times alone. 

 They admitted her to the hospital. She has pulled out several IV's and catheters in the past 24 hours and the hospital hired a "one on one" staff as my siblings were having a hard time keeping her still. The mitts they put on her haven't worked to keep her from pulling things out and finally my sister gave her a flashlight to click on and off to keep her busy but I am not sure where her tablet went that we used to keep her busy watching movies while she was getting blood. I couldn't get the pictures to upload other than in thumbnail and I am too tired to care. I woke with a sinus migraine and met four others today with headaches as well. 

My head was so bad at one point I nearly fainted twice. I haven't had that big of a light headedness with a pressure storm ever. I get a little dizzy sometimes when it is moving in fast but it was really rough today. 

It is 5:10 a.m. and I need some sleep. I am hoping I can actually sleep at this point. Say a prayer for my mom if you would. Thanks in advance.....

Monday, April 11, 2016

I am FAT - I'm Trying to Be OK Being Obese

Most of my life, I've been thin. My mother was a national beauty queen and spent much of my life growing up judging beauty pageants. She was often on a diet and would do "shake" diets to get in shape for reunions of the beauty pageant when they would fly the past winners in for the latest national contest. 

My mother also acted and sang and put us into commercials, choirs, modeling and even a few times had us read for movie parts. We had a commercial actually filmed at our house once when I was a teenager. My mother was always seeking attention in the world. She had each of her daughter compete in a beauty pageant. 

I guess that is why when I had my girls, people would suggest I get them into child modeling or put them in children pageants, I would shudder at the thought as I see that in many ways it ruined my mother. 

Having been an actress when she was a child, a radio start when she was a bit older and then an actress, singer and beauty queen later and having competed in her first pageant and modeling classes when she was about 15, my mother learned how to get attention at an early age. 

My father was a triplet, an identical twin and a fraternal twin in the same birth. He also got lots of attention growing up. So, him marrying someone that would also give him attention made sense. Growing up in that environment with so much emphasis on what other people thought could have had a disastrous outcome on my sisters with eating disorders etc but we grew up healthy and fine, or so I thought.

Growing up, I was very active. I was on the all-star softball team at 11, gymnastics before that, Basketball team that won the championship, track team in Jr. High, Drill Squad in high school and if I ever wanted to lose weight that I didn't want, I would stop eating sugar for a month or two and would slim right down to thin.  

Even after five children, I was able to thin down without much effort on my part keeping attractive to the world standards. 

When in my teens, my father would often say, "Did you gain weight?" or "Did you lose weight?" as he said he could see it in my cheeks. It would only be about five pounds but he could always tell and would comment on it. 

About ten years back, we were camping and my entire family was there taking a hike to some petroglyphs and my dad made a comment in front of all my siblings as my brothers had the "middle age spread" and my dad said, "What has happened to my kids, (my name) is the only one in shape." 

Truly, I was thin! I was raising five kids and had gone through years of divorce, supreme court case, flooding, etc. I was thin but I was NOT in shape. How does that affect my relationship to my siblings? 

I have to say here that my father wasn't trying to hurt anyone intentionally but he has been an avid hiker his entire life and has never struggled with weight. If he put on a few pounds, he would just hike more or skip sugar. Guess we know where I got my diet skills. 

My mother, many times after I was married, would introduce us at parties and things to her friends. More than once she would introduce the kids and then get to me and say, "This is my daughter (my name), isn't she beautiful, she is a nurse, her husband is a ...." when she would just name and point to the other kids. 

It wasn't that I was any more beautiful or better looking than my siblings as we all look similar, it was that I was THIN! I would get so upset and tell her not to introduce us but she cared so much about getting attention that she didn't realize that my success, or being thin, giving her a smidge of attention, was hurting her other kids and my relationship with them.

My former spouse has always been thin and would often make comments about others being "heifers," "pigs," and would call me "Bessie the milk cow" at times. It was VERY important to him that I looked "good" so that he looked good. I saw that example in my parents and so that was "normal" to me.   
When I went to the second Dr. trying to figure out what parasites I had about 1 1/2 years ago, he walked in and had no idea who I was. We had been friends and worked together for years. He took about 25 seconds to recognize me while I talked to him before he said, "I didn't recognize you, you have gotten really heavy." Yes, that was the reason I was there. 

Two years before, I did the "healthy town challenge" and dieted, worked out daily and ate NO sugar and didn't cheat and I gained weight! I didn't know back then that my body was starving due to parasites but imagine my stress knowing that I couldn't lose weight! No matter what I did! Also, come to realized with my third Dr. that my thyroid wasn't working and that also doesn't help but I also think that is related to the parasites (click here for that post).

Two years before that, I wanted to lose weight and I exercised, didn't eat sugar and basically slept the rest of the day because I was so tired. I did lose weight but had no energy to do anything else in my life for a few months. I couldn't keep it up but at least I could lose weight back then.

It is sad to me but I realize the more weight I gain, the worse I feel about myself. I am an amazing person who has raised five amazing daughters, maintained a home, paid off said home, given service to community, church and family often and for some reason, I can't get past my weight! I had an awards dinner for Princess Four this past week and due to the stress and lack of sleep when my mother was here for three months, I gained 15 lbs. I had maintained my weight for nearly a year on thyroid medication but am still tired all the time. 

If you notice, I hardly ever post pictures of me anymore on my blog because I hate looking at them. I don't feel healthy, I am tired all the time, I have headaches with every storm, I don't sleep well with parasites waking me at night and then I can't get back to sleep. It is hard to feel good when you are tired and don't feel good. I haven't bought new clothes since my mother was here so everything is now tight. I hate going anywhere because the only thing I feel comfortable wearing is my huge sweat pants. 

I lead the music in my congregation at church and am in the front every week. I only have a few skirts that fit and I am not at "home" in my own body as I have never been fat before so it is new to me. I am over 100 lbs beyond where my all time pregnancy high was. 

If you view the top video, it is some wonderful quotes by an overweight actress and comedian whom I respect as she allows herself to be herself and people love her for that. I find myself having to explain to friends and family about why I am so heavy and feel like I have let everyone down because I can't be skinny. 

The next video is a social media experience where they got a girl on a dating site and made her fat. Four of five guys got up and walked away and she was nice to them. 

They did the same thing with a fat man and none of the women walked away and he was trying hard to offend them. I went dancing a few years back and men who fawned over me a few years before would hardly say "hello" because they were worried if they hang out with a fat girl, they may not attract the pretty girls. When I was thin and going regularly, they liked hanging out with me because it made them look good. I have known these men for over ten years and was really hurt by how some of them treated me because I had gained weight as they had all gained some over the years or lost hair and it wouldn't occur to me to not be their friend due to either of those things. It is how most men are. One guy actually asked me to be his "arm candy" and "trophy wife" when we went out a few times. Men like a woman that makes them look good. Women just want security for the most part. 

I remember many years back while taking a potty break while dancing and I asked a woman in the rest room how she could be wearing a sweater at the dance as it was so hot. She said, "Your only hot because you get asked to dance." I had NEVER EVER thought about any other women there not getting asked to dance. It hadn't occurred to me as I had a group of friends and we would just go out and dance and if I stood on the sideline for more than a song, I would go find someone I knew to dance with but most of the time, I would get asked to dance as I am a good dancer but more truth, I was thin.

We as a country place so much emphasis on thin as beautiful for women that for those of us who aren't thin, it is damaging to the self esteem. I overheard my father asking why my sister had gained so much weight when she visited last year. Ummm, she is a single mom, going to school and trying to keep afloat with constant court battles. He really is a wonderful dad but it is just how our society and most men think. 

They don't have to deal with hormone changes, pregnancy fat and fluctuations in clothes and size. It seems to me, the more children a woman has, the larger she is. I think it messes with your thyroid and hormones and it is harder to lose. Also the more children, the more stress. Stress and cortisol play a huge part in weight. I think my stressful marriage and then very stressful divorce, house floods etc gave me more stress than I can handle and my body is just done.

There is a girl that is the daughter of a friend and she has always struggled with weight as her father is large and her mother is thin. Yet, she "owns it" and is always taking pictures of herself and she always looks adorable, made up, hair done and cute outfits. For some reason, I can't "own it." 

The heavier I get, the worse I feel physically and it is really hard to do things when my lungs are damaged and I wheeze running up the stairs. The thought of working out makes me want to cry. I mowed the lawn and did about four hours yard work cleaning out the front garden beds and was so tired I did NOTHING the next day. I nearly fainted while working in the yard and felt like I should stop but pushed myself as the garbage men were coming the next morning and I wanted to fill up the cans. I have always pushed myself to get things done by pulling all nighters and working through but I can't do it anymore.

So, today, I realized I can't do anything about where I am at right now. Dieting and exercise make me gain weight, I only have a small amount of energy so have to choose what I will spend it on and usually that is supporting Princess Five, my mother or the other girls as needed. I can only take a small amount of thyroid meds as I get "toxic" on it and swell up so am taking half the lowest pill. I have parasites that are virtually unknown in humans and until I can get science to catch up or find a miracle cure, I am where I am! 
Like I said in the title, I am TRYING to be OK with who I am. I remember back when my children were little. My mother-in-law was visiting and we took the kids to a water slide. She refused to get in a suit and play with them because she was a little bigger than she wanted to be but not huge. My mother went to that same water-slide weighing probably 100 lbs more than my in-law and got into a suit and went down the water-slide with my kids and they all had a great time. My mother didn't say a word about her weight and neither did anyone else. 

I realize that I am the one making a big deal of my weight. My kids love me for who I am, not how much I weigh. Today, Princess Five was with me while I was visiting some women who were sick after church and as I walked back to the car where she was waiting, she said, "You are so beautiful momma." I asked why she said that and she said, "The wind was blowing your hair and you are so beautiful!"  

At church today, I spoke and led the music. After the meeting a woman that looked familiar to me came up and said, "I am Julie, do you remember me?" I didn't at first but she said, "When I came to live with my in-laws a few years back, you were so friendly and you took me with you to the temple every week for a few months and I loved going and visiting with you and getting to know you. You are so beautiful and I just wanted to tell you "thank you" and was so happy you got up to speak and I got to see your beautiful face."  

It was right after I was pondering on writing this blog post tonight. Why do we judge ourselves so harshly and allow what some "haters" may say to effect how we see ourselves. The girls asked if I was going to go back online dating after Princess Five graduates and I have said, "I wouldn't want to marry me so why would I want someone that would?" How can I expect others to accept in me what I don't accept myself? I have to share that part of that is that I have parasites and don't want to marry someone and give it to them so it isn't all about weight but part of it is about my weight. 
I love that there are people out there who see past the waist line and the clothing size and I feel that God is giving me a lesson to not judge others. I used to think, "I have five kids and can loose the weight, why don't they lose it?" Now, I understand the they may be doing EVERYTHING in their power to lose it and it just isn't coming off. It is always interesting to me how God teaches us lesson on not judging. 

The hard part about that is, that now I am not judging others and always have an added measure of understanding why they are in the situation they are in, but what I can't seem to come up with is how to overcome judging myself. Even though I know I am doing everything I can taking care of my mother, children, home and church obligations, I can't seem to get over the fact that I feel like I am a failure somehow. 

I just have to get up each day and know that I am trying. I am trying to feel good about how crappy I feel. I am trying to be the best mom and grandma I can be. I am trying to keep up on my yard and house. I am trying to figure out these parasites not only for me but for my family and neighbors and the many people who continually contact me saying they have the same symptoms. I am trying to be the best me I can be with what I have been given. 

I wonder though, will trying ever be enough.......  The above picture is me 7 years ago on a trampoline and is who I feel I want to be..... The bottom picture is me today. This is who I am.....  Will it be enough?????