Thursday, November 6, 2014

two sick girls

I keep resolving to write more frequently, don't I?  I will, promise.  I got a freelance writing gig so I will be writing more frequently anyway, and sometimes your fingers, and brain, need a warm up.

So, I got shingles.  I know!  I was shocked too.  I thought it was some kind of rash because I'm allergic to like, the world.  Frequently I'll just break out in hives for no apparent reason, and I've discussed how my lips will swell up like Mick Jagger's.  So, I toughed it out for a few days.  Then one night I was in so much pain and I just wanted my mom.  So, the next day I called her and she convinced me it was time to see a doctor with how much pain I was in.

The doctor examined me and I swear to you, he said, "Oh, you've got shingles."  I was like, "Is that normal for my age?  I thought only elderly people got shingles."  Apparently, people as young as 13 can get them!  He gave me a steroid to take and it was aw-ful.  It made me really sick and I couldn't poop for like 9 days.  (Me and my pooper, right?) Speaking of poop...I was inspired to write a post about what to do if you're constipated.  Watch for that later.  I'm all better now, but holy cow, it was crazy!  So very painful.

Belle is sick too.  :(  She started getting some allergies on her skin; little rashes.  She wouldn't quit licking or biting at them and they developed little lesions.  They call them hot spots.  We got her some medicine to put on them topically, but she would just lick it off, so we decided to try some Benedryl.  (Check with your vet first if you do this.  You want to make sure the dosage is right.)  She didn't tolerate it well and was acting weird, so we took her to the ER.  The vet said she was fine and there was no cause for concern, just to watch her.  So, I did.  All. Night. Long.  I counted the spaces in between her breaths for about 8 hours.  The hot spots are healing nicely after I gave her an oatmeal bath then washed it off with Cetaphil.  But now, she's got a tummy bug.  She threw up on Monday, twice, poor roo, and has had the runs ever since.  She's self-fasting, only eating a little bit every other day. Apparently, dogs instinctually know how to take care of themselves, but it doesn't seem to be working.  So, as her mother, I've done my research and have been giving her pumpkin and cottage cheese to eat, just a couple tablespoons, and forcing her to take some Pepto every 4 hours which she is not a fan of.  At all.  Make sure you talk to your vet before trying this too.  I also put some chicken granules in her water to encourage her to drink so she doesn't get dehydrated.  Thank you internet.

She's really given me a run for my money this year!  First with fatigue, then her teeth surgery, her "beauty marks" as I call them (little warts), and now these dang hot spots and tummy troubles.  Last night I examined her eyeballs much to her dismay, to make sure cataracts weren't developing cause she couldn't see her milkbone.  The good news is, even at 7, she still has the vitality of a puppy.  She still wants to play every morning, and then always at bedtime when I have to turn her down, and she's still the fastest runner and highest jumper I know.  We love our girl!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

waiting well

That last post was a labor of love, guys.  I ended up getting EXTREME motion sickness and ended up being that girl who's a pale shade of green, laying her head on the table and clutching her motion-sickness bag for dear life!  I made it though.  There was no vomiting.

The concert was amazefest!  Mason played all my fave songs, including our song, and he even teared up a little while playing "Sorry Signs on Cash Machines," which, in turn made me cry for most of the concert.  I was PMSing, but still.  Get a grip.  Then, we talked to him.  I thought it would be really rushed and quick but it totes wasn't!  He had an actually convo with us and signed our letter Spence printed out. He took our cards...and then...he hugged me.  He hugged me.  It was so sweet.

I have needed hugs lately.  For the past week I have been a hot mess.  My anxiety level is like way into crazy-town and I feel like I haven't breathed since Monday.  This. Is. Hard.  The uncertainty is killing me.  I called my parents one night at 3:30.  Hello, good parents.  Mom talked to me for about two hours and convinced me I could do this.  I have been on my knees more than ever, and pleaded for strength.  I know I can't do this on my own.  I'm not strong enough.  I need my Heavenly Father to buoy me up and give me strength and peace.

Last night Spencer's brother came over to give Spence a blessing and help him give me one.  I feel much better now and I have a plan.  I have a firm resolve to wait well.  It comes down to the basics, as it always does, right?  Scripture study, temple attendance, prayer.  Anything to invite the spirit into your life.  Anything to cling to.

I've also regained motivation to lose the weight I've put on.  Adoption weight gain?  It's real.  It's real and it's a son of a bitch.  Last year I went crazy and got bikini-ready for our family trip on thanksgiving, remember?  I looked good.  It's all back, plus more, I think, though I can't and won't confirm bc I refuse to weigh myself.  If I'm up to my "sick weight" from 6 years ago I might schedule lipo or something drastic. ;)  Just kidding.  Have you seen Botched?  Hello.

Alright, work out, sleep, pray (more, woah), temple.  Go!  Go team Johnston! Go!!

Friday, September 12, 2014

things to give

I am en route right now to see Mason Jennings in concert for like the tenth time, but this time I'm extra excited. Why? We're going to give him some pass along cards and tell him he's the inspiration for our theme, The Tire Swing Dream! How amazing would that be if he helped us find our baby?! We might have to have a hyphenated middle name. 
We ordered a coloring book he put out, but I will have to tear out a page that says the eff word... Hah! He played at BYU a few years ago and said the eff word. I bet they were happy! 
I always wish we could hang out with him and I could give him a Book of Mormon and talk to him about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A few of his songs talk about searching for meaning, peace, religion, God. It always makes me want to share what I know with him. Give him the key to happiness. Give him the key to ETERNAL happiness and tell him how he can be with his little family forever.
Spencer likes to tease me about my gusto to give people BOMs. So far, my attempts have not resulted in any conversions, but perhaps I've planted some seeds and my friends will remember the book one day when they're searching for peace. Spence said to me, "You can't just give him a Book of Mormon! He's Mason Jennings!" Sure I can! But I think it's more effective when you can have a discussion, so I'll start with a pass along card

Thursday, August 28, 2014

the kingdom

Edna St. Vincent Millay said, in a poem:
Childhood is not from birth to a certain age and at a certain age
The child is grown, and puts away childish things
Childhood is the kingdom where nobody dies.
 I'm sure you've heard that, but this stanza is never quoted.
To be grown up is to sit at the table with people who have died,
who neither listen nor speak;
Who do not drink their tea, though they always said
Tea was such a comfort.
I thought about that poem tonight while my friend and I drove home from Young Women's.  The girls in the back discussed Girl Scouts, boys, and school papers.  We, in the front, talked about my friend trying to get pregnant.  Such a serious thing, and yet, the voices in the back seemed serious too.

It always hits me when I'm with a bestie of mine, Julie.  These days we chat often about jobs, finances, supporting our husbands, sex.  And not sex like we used to talk about sex, because now we've done it.  It's serious now.  Like everything is.  It hits me after I leave the car.  I look back at her, that face I've known since Freshman year, and she looks the same.  I feel the same.  But it's like a rabbit hole.  There's three kids in the back of the car instead of fast food bags and we're (trying) to navigate our way to the nearest splash pad instead of the nearest hot tub hangout.  I shake my head in disbelief every single time.  Shouldn't we be talking about boys and school and our roommates?  Wasn't that a week ago instead of ten years?

It's not as if I've never transitioned from one stage of my life to another.  The journey from pigtails and barbies to music and boys didn't hit me as hard.  Perhaps it was more gradual, or less serious?  People start to die, but it isn't as sudden.

I often don't know where to fit.  It seems I have a heart in the backseat and an obligation in the front seat.  My heart is young, but my responsibility is to drive.

Monday, August 18, 2014

feeding the bug

I've been experiencing a serious case of writer's block. Perhaps because things have been so crazy that I haven't had time to feed my writing bug. There's so much to say that I don't know how to even begin to say it all.  We were approved on July 16th! Our profile went live, and after that day, there was no more that I could do. It was so weird. After 7 months of a long list of things to do every single day, I had nothing I needed to, or could do. Every morning I'd wake up and read our profile and make sure everything looked perfect, then I'd get a little stir-crazy. I think Heavenly Father decided to help me out because since then, I've barely had time to be on my computer at all! I've been getting a lot of cake orders lately. I've made a Ducati cake, a fishing cake, a Buzz Light Year Cake, and a Hulk/Spiderman cake. ...Updating my cake website will have to wait for another day! We also shot a video for our adoption profile. I think it will be super cute.
I've also been keeping busy babysitting a lot, going to fairs and festivals and even rode an elephant!

My latest adventure was volunteering as an usher and then getting to clean the Ogden temple.  We cleaned the baptistry.  It is beautiful!  I went with my Young Women.  Those girls are amazing.  Their attitudes and excitement amazed me, even more than the beauty of the temple.  When I was a teenager, I didn't know people like them, and I was a really good kid.  They amaze me with their standards and attitudes.  They were talking about how excited they were for spring break because a bunch of them are taking a temple tour across the state.  What kind of kids do that?  My young women, that's who.

I worry about the kind of world my kids are going to live in by the time they're teenagers, but it seems to me that each generation has the power to be stronger and more resilient.  I can only hope I can raise kids who as amazing as these girls.

Speaking of me raising kids...can you believe that it could finally happen?  We're finally approved!!  It's so surreal. I've been thinking a lot about my birthmother lately.  Wondering if she would be excited for me and proud of me, what advice she'd give me.  It's been so nice having my mom to talk to through this process.  She knows exactly what we're going through and whenever I get discouraged she says the right things.  The other day she told me, "You don't need to appeal to everybody.  You just need one."  I keep praying for that "just one."  We pray for her all of the time, that she knows we love her, that she'll have peace, and of course, that she'll be guided to us.  This has been such a beautiful process and our friends and my family have been so supportive and loving, and we know it's only going to get better.  As an adopted child, I have a unique perspective and know what a miracle adoption is first-hand.  But, I look forward to being on the other end.  I'm so ready to be a mother, and I can't wait to meet the woman who will give me that opportunity through such a selfless act.  We love her so much already.