Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Deets

Monday, October 3:

It started out pretty normal, but around noon I felt a fever coming on. My coworker had been sick the week before and my roommate had just gotten over the flu so it made sense. My last class ended at 6:50 so I went straight home after that and got into bed.

Tuesday, October 4:

I still didn't feel well when I woke up so I stayed home from school and work.

Wednesday, October 5:

I woke up feeling better! Not great, but I had a super busy day and knew I couldn't miss it. I went to class starting at 7am, went to work from 12-4pm, my other job from 5-7:30pm, and then to work on a group project until 9pm. By that point, I was EXHAUSTED and could tell that my fever was back. I got into bed and knew I'd be staying home from everything the next day.

Thursday, October 6-Saturday, October 8:

Home in bed. Every morning I'd wake up feeling a little bit better, but by 5pm every day, my fever would come back with a vengeance. Netflix and CBS.com became my best friends. :) One of these days, Alison and D brought me a TON of groceries. Mostly snacks that were easy to make because they knew it was hard for me. Also, D had the idea to get me flowers which made me cry. She's only 4. Alison and Joel are doing such a great job of teaching their kids about service.
Also, one of these days Michelle came over and brought me popsicles and homemade applesauce and a drink I think. It meant so much to me. The first time I really got to know her was Freshman year when she was my RA. I was sick and we hadn't really talked much yet, but she came and brought me saltine crackers and Sprite. Anyway, I was so touched that she's still taking such great care of me.
Also, one of these nights, my BYUB crew, Alexa, Blair, Karen, Jordan, and Landon, brought me treats and a card. It was such a surprise! They take such great care of me. Jordan and Landon gave me a blessing, which was beautiful. I was surprised at how not embarrassed I was that they were seeing me the way I looked because I looked awfullllll. Also, I wasn't wearing pants. But I knew they weren't judging me.

Sunday, October 9:

Solomon and Jacob came over to give me a blessing <3 I was so grateful that they came and that they didn't judge me for looking and smelling awful. Also, I had to run to the bathroom to throw up right after the blessing and they didn't make fun of me for that either which was so thoughtful of them.

Monday, October 10:

Sick in bed.

Tuesday, October 11:

Woke up feeling much better. I thought I was past it! When 5pm came around, though, my fever was back and I was SO upset. I laid in my bed and sent up one of those prayers of desperation that's more of a wish upon a star than a prayer: "Heavenly Father. It's been 9 days. I have tests and projects coming up, I haven't been making money. I can't afford to be sick anymore. Also, I can't lay here by myself for one more day. Can you please just make me better?? Like, now?"

And all of a sudden, for the first time since my mission, I literally felt His arms wrap around me and I swear I heard Him say, "I'm so sorry, I can't. But I see you, I know exactly what's going on and what's going to happen, I've been here the whole time, and I'll be here the whole time." I felt so much peace, I couldn't believe it. Also, all of a sudden, I remembered that Ben and Anthony had given me a blessing about a week before I'd gotten sick. In it, I was told that hard times were coming, but not to be scared because there are angels all around me. I was also told to hold on to the scriptures.

Wednesday, October 12;

I woke up and still had my fever so I decided to go to the doctor to see if she could give me anything. I was super lightheaded and nauseous. They brought me crackers and water. Actually, one of the nurses in particular did. I asked her if they had any crackers or anything and she said no, but she had some in her lunch. So she gave me some of those. :) If I hadn't been feeling so terrible, I would have been mortified, but I said yes please and ate them all. I should take her some crackers one of these days... I can't remember why I hadn't eaten. I know I didn't feel up to it, but I can't remember exactly why because I wasn't nauseous most of the time. I do remember, though, that the reason I was so tired is because I didn't eat during the day so I'd wake up in the middle of the night STARVING, but too out of it to get up to eat so I kind of just laid there until I could fall back asleep.

Anyway, Dr. Drew came in, I explained how I was feeling and told her about my constant fevers and she had me lay down on the table. She started feeling around my stomach, which seemed suuuuuper random. I had been to her before about some digestion problems so I wondered if she realized that that was not why I came this time. She asked if it hurt around the bottom of my right rib. I've always had a pain there every once in a while, but I thought it was just my ribs digging into my organs there because I'm skinny and there's no fat there to protect it. But I said yes there was kind of a dull, stabbing pain, but it wasn't really what I was concerned about.  She told me that she thought this could all be caused by my gall bladder. She wanted to do some blood work, said she would rush the results, and if it looked like it was my gall bladder (I can't remember what exactly she was looking for in my blood), she would call me and have me go to the emergency room. It was all kind of crazy and I was a little overwhelmed. All I was expecting to happen was to get some medicine to help with my fever or at the very worst, for her to tell me I'd just have to wait until it went away.
The woman came in to take my blood and I asked if I could lay down while she did it. I knew that I'd pass out otherwise. I had next to no food in my system and was still feeling super lightheaded. I hardly felt anything when she took it and then she let me lay there for a little while after she was done until I was feeling well enough to drive home.

When I got home, I decided to do my laundry. I felt terrible and didn't want to, but my sheets and blanket smelled awful from my fever breaking every day for the past week and a half and the fact that I had barely showered. Somehow I made it through washing them all, but I'm not sure how. I was so weak, I could barely walk back and forth to the laundry room and I was sweating like a pig and trying hard to stay vertical. I was hoping sooooo bad that I wouldn't see anyone I knew when I was going back and forth because I was not in the mood to socialize.

When I finally got to my apartment door holding all of my clean laundry, my phone started ringing and it was Dr. Drew. She told me that they had found whatever she thought they would and that I needed to go to the emergency room right away. I went inside to put my laundry down, called Alison to ask her for a ride to the emergency room, and I was crying before I could even get my question out. I don't know why exactly. I think it was mostly from everything happening so fast. When I first got sick, obviously it was annoying, but my roommate had just had the flu, my coworker had just been sick, I didn't even think about any other possibility besides the flu. Now, all of a sudden, they were rushing me to the emergency room. I think a little bit of it also had something to do with the fact that I was sick of being told there was something wrong with me. I'd been sick for a month at the beginning of my mission with something that they never figured out, then I got my weird digestion problems about a month later that they still haven't figured out, and now they were telling me that something else was wrong. It was overwhelming and I was tired of being sick. I told Alison that they wanted me to go to the emergency room as soon as possible and asked if there was any way she could take me. She said, "I'll be there in about 20 minutes!" Which only made me even more teary. I was so grateful that she would make herself available on such short notice, especially when she had no idea how long it would take. I'm not sure exactly what she did with D. I think she stayed home with Joel.

Anyway, I gathered up my stuff, and then just kind of laid there until she came. We drove over to the hospital and went into the ER waiting room. Alison had brought a book (Holes) to read to me while we waited so she read that for awhile. When the girl finally called me into the little room where you get signed in and initial work done, Alison and I made fun of a little sign to help you identify which level of pain you're at by providing cartoons making faces that match with each number. When the girl told me she needed to take my blood again and put in an IV, I was nervous, but Alison read to me while she did those things to distract me.

When the girl was done, she had us go back into the waiting room until they could get me my own room. I asked Alison if she would text a couple of people for me to make sure they knew what was going on, just in case they wondered where I was. Like my boss and roommates and a few friends.

They called me back into a room and gave me a gown. The nurse came in, had me pee in a cup, and then started pumping me with fluids because I hadn't eaten in so long. I think they also gave me some sort of pain and anti-nausea medicines. That was beautiful. I hadn't felt that good in awhile. Then they took me to get a CT scan. While we waited for the surgeon to come check everything (which felt like hours), Alison played one of her podcasts for me. Actually, I think we listened to a couple. I don't remember what they were about, but I was so grateful for the distraction. Eventually, Dr. Hill got there and told me that after looking at my blood work and CT scan, I definitely needed to get my gall bladder out. At this point, I was mostly delirious so I just kept telling him that I was starving. I remember him saying, "Well, I'm sorry, but you're going to be hungry for a little while. You can't eat until after the surgery." I thought that was really rude of him in the moment haha.
Anyway, they took me to the room to get everything ready and I was really nervous for some reason. I'd had surgeries before, so I'm not sure why.

I woke up in my own hospital room. I was still really groggy so I didn't open my eyes, but I heard Alison on the phone. I'm not sure who she was talking to, but I heard her say something like, "The surgery went well, except they did find that her liver is twice as big as it's supposed to be so we'll be here while they try to figure out what's going on." I started cryingggg. I think that's when Alison noticed that I was awake. I don't think she knew why I was crying, but she held my hand anyway, which made me cry more. I was still super tired so I know that made me more emotional, but I had expected for everything to end when the surgery did so I just couldn't believe that I wasn't done yet. Also, I felt so bad that Alison had to be there with me when she had her own family to take care of, but also so grateful that she was so willing. Then I fell back asleep.

When I woke up, a bunch of doctors were standing at the end of my bed staring at me, which was weird. It took me a minute to register who it was, but when I did, it was kind of funny and also kind of hard not to say, 'I told you so' out loud. Ever since I got back to Utah in April, I'd been seeing a GI doctor because something wasn't right. He told me that it was probably stress and I needed to eat more fruit and exercise more. He diagnosed me with Irritable Bowl Syndrome and then stopped seeing me, probably 3 weeks before all of this started. It was him and his PA standing there with Dr. Hill and his assistant. :) With looks on their faces, like, "We are soooo sorry..." They ended up saying that to me, but that's about it. Except I did ask the PA to help me sit up before they left. Dr. Hill and his assistant stayed and, I was pretty out of it for a lot of this so I don't know exactly, but I think he basically told me what I already knew. My liver was really swollen and they needed to do some tests before I could leave the hospital. They took my blood over and over and over again. Eventually they started taking it from my hand and it was all bruised by the end of the day. Alison and I got to order food from the cafeteria that they brought to us which was delicious. Especially their pudding. I want a lifetime supply of that stuff. Joel and the kids came to visit! They really missed having Alison at home. I hoped that we wouldn't have to stay much longer.

That night, April came to see me. :) I had no idea how she knew about it or how to find me, but she did and it was the best. She's the one who took care of me when I was so sick for that month on my mission so it was kind of reminiscent. It meant so much that she'd drive all the way down from Draper just to see me for a little while. She's such a great friend. She makes me feel so loved.
Then my roommates came to see me! Chloe, Ranzi, and Kristi. They brought me balloons. It made me so happy to see them. They made me laugh and told me they bought me ice cream that was waiting for me in the freezer for when I got home. :)
Then Alison and I watched T.V. until we fell asleep.

On Friday, they kept me for the morning to make sure I was ok to go home. A nurse helped me take a shower, which was mortifying.
Alison took me home to my apartment to get some of my things so I could stay the weekend at her house. The kids got me blankets and read to me while I laid on the couch, Joel gave me a head massage. Alison made me food and woke up in the middle of the night to get my medicine when it was time. It always does weird things to the mood of a place when there's a sick person there so it was so nice of them to be so patient.

Alison took me back to my apartment on Monday and I had kind of a, 'now what' feeling. I was ready to go back to work and school because I needed money and was worried about all of the school I missed, but I couldn't so I had lots of long talks with Mom and Dad about how important it is to give your body time to heal. And also how important it was for me to relax and be patient, which was hard. Although, I watched a lot of The Office, which I hadn't seen before so. I won't say that wasn't fun. :)

That week I had an appointment with Dr. Drew so she could see how I was doing. The only thing I remember about that appointment was that she gave me a handicap pass for my car, which changed my LIFE. It was the best day ever. Oh, I also thanked that nurse for letting me eat her crackers.

A few days later, I had an appointment with Dr. Hill. He told me that the surgery had gone well and that it looked like the incisions were healing nicely, but he also said that as far as my liver goes, that wasn't his specialty. He did tell me that I had hepatitis, but that he didn't know anything more. I think this was the appointment where he told me that he'd never seen such a big liver in such a little girl. That made me nervous, especially because I also had high levels of white blood cells, but he didn't really know what it meant. He told me that he'd love to help in any way that he could, but that he thought it would be best if I went to see a liver specialist in Salt Lake, Dr. Thomason. I set up the appointment with him, but he couldn't see me for a month and a half.
After this appointment, I stopped at McDonalds in Payson to get an ice cream cone. While I was sitting in the parking lot eating it, Uncle Eric called and asked if I was home because he wanted to come visit me. I think Mom had sent an email to everyone at this point letting them know what was going on and he was concerned. I told him that I wasn't home and he made me promise to call him if I ever needed anything, 'even in the middle of the night!' he said. :)

This was a hard period of time. Just waiting, trying to get caught up on school and get back to work even though I still felt awful. It was weird to have one foot in the medical world and one foot in my normal world. It was confusing and overwhelming. Also, I was kind of worried that something was going to happen and I'd be back in the hospital before I got a chance to get to the liver doctor. Especially because no one knew what was going on so I wondered how they knew it wasn't an emergency. I also vented a lot to whoever would listen, which I felt bad about because it was always the same things since I didn't ever have any updates.

Also, Brooke sent me some stuff to rub on my belly that helps relax the muscles because no one knew what medicines I could take since they didn't know what was wrong. That was really thoughtful of her and it helped. And smelled good.

Also, this was when it started to get really embarrassing to have such a big belly. The pain was getting worse, but honestly, I would rather have had that than the belly. The time since my surgery was getting longer and my stomach wasn't getting any smaller. If I was with my friends, it wasn't bad, but when I was by myself I was less confident. I started getting lots of 'when are you due's and it was kind of funny, but I also was ready to look normal again.
Also, I can't lie and say that I didn't feel a little judged. I know it was never intentional, but I got some confused looks and a few people stopped talking to me. I thought about that long and hard because I didn't want to say it if I didn't really think it was true. I'm pretty sure the only reason that was the case was because no one knew what to say. If I was pregnant, they wouldn't know what to say, and if I wasn't, they would feel bad for asking.

I was SO excited when the day came for my appointment with the liver doctor! I felt like I was going to see the Wizard of Oz! Alison drove me, which was so nice.
First of all, he was asleep in his office when the nurse went to get him for my appointment. I thought that was funny. :) He was a really good guy. He took some blood and told me that he wanted me to go get some more blood drawn throughout the week so he could run some tests. I did all of that and then just had to wait for him to get the results. He called me at 11:30 on a Tuesday night from his cell phone to tell me that I was fine. He said that my blood levels had gone back to normal and that it had just been an infection. I thought that I would feel really good about that, but I didn't. My stomach was still huge, it still hurt, I still was having my digestive problems and he was telling me I was fine. It was so frustrating and I had no idea what to do. I called my parents that night and criiiiied. I don't think I've cried so much in such a short period of time in my life haha :) Also, I was kind of weirded out that he called me on his cell phone at 11:30 at night...

So I went back to Dr. Hill. When I walked into his office, it had been about two months since he'd seen me, and he said, "WOAH. You look pregnant." Which made me feel validated. He had me go over to the hospital to get some x-rays and CT scans and then he came over to look at them with me and the radiologist...? Or whatever the guy is who looks at those. They were so confused because they couldn't see what was making my belly so big. They kind of just told me to go and see if it got better.

It didn't. It was still huge and it still hurt so I called his office and told his nurse. She told me I was probably constipated from the surgery so I should do a colonoscopy cleanse. She told me that she had heard the doctor give this same advice to a patient with similar symptoms so she told me to buy three bottles of magnesium citrate and drink them all. I went to Alison's house over the weekend to do it and it was a disaster! I drank the first two and it was fine for, like, half an hour. Nothing happened. And then, it was the worst stomach ache that I have ever had. My stomach got as hard as a rock. But not like a 6-pack, like a big, hard, bloated lump. And I got nauseous. I'm dramatic when I'm sick, but I thought I was gonna die. Alison called the on-call doctor number because it was like, 10:30pm at this point and told the guy what had happened. He said, "Um, I only ever have my patients drink half of one of those and it does the trick...don't drink anymore." I never did have to go to the bathroom, but my stomach when back to it's soft, big, pregnant look eventually. It was like on Emperor's New Groove when Cusco is excited to go back to being a llama again.

So, I went to another appointment with Dr. Hill and told him what happened and after doing some x-rays and CT scans, he told me I had colon failure. It was so random the way he said it, like he knew it all along, which was weird because he acted like he had no idea the whole time. But he said it just matter-of-fact. He said it was moderate - severe and that I'd have to get my colon removed within 1-5 years. He also told me that he didn't want to do anymore scans for awhile because he was worried that they had fried/would fry my ovaries and I wouldn't be able to have kids. Aaaaaaah, I was so overwhelmed. He called my parents during the appointment to tell them and I was so grateful they were so calm because I was going crazy in my head.

I went home and cried to my roommates, I went to work and cried to my coworkers, I called friends and cried to them, I called my parents and cried to them. It took me a few days to get over the emotions of that one. They were all so supportive, though. Wanting to do anything and everything they could to help.
Landon and Jordan came over to give me another blessing a few days after I got that news and they were so good to me. They stayed and talked for a long time. It was heaven sent. I think I really just needed to know that I had friends and that I wasn't forgotten.

At this point, Mom heard about a doctor from one of Grandma's heart doctors in Oklahoma. He knew a GI doctor, Dr. Maxwell, in Utah so I went to my first appointment with him. He was the worst doctor of my life. He told me he thought that I was just constipated and that I just needed to take laxatives so every time I had an appointment, he prescribed me a new one. At one appointment, he got mad at me (literally) because Mom and Dad had called his nurse a few weeks earlier to find out about his plan, "I work for you, not your parents. I'm not talking to them about this." I made him anyway, though, because I called my parents at the end of that appointment so he could tell them what we'd discussed. My mom asked about the possibility of my colon bursting while we were trying to figure this out and he said, "Hm. Well, if you feel like it might, go to the ER." .......I asked him how I'd be able to tell if it was going to and he said he didn't know. Also, he felt my belly and told me that my abdominal aorta was supposed to lay against my spine, but he could feel it pumping just by pushing on my belly lightly. But he didn't say anything about what we should do about it, it was more like, "Hm...interesting." This was the worst appointment EVER.

Somewhere in here, Brooke called and told me that one of her professors from BYU now worked for the PR department at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and that that might be an option for me if I was ready to be done with doctors in Utah. I didn't know much about the Mayo Clinic except that I had used them for a source on lots of my papers for school. :) I had it in the back of my mind, but tons of people were recommending other doctors to me in Utah and I was kind of overwhelmed by how many there were to choose from. I didn't know how to decide. It was really nice of Brooke to suggest it and I felt better about that option than the others, I think because it was far away and it sounded nice to escape for awhile. :) I couldn't really think of when to go, though, because I still had a semester before I graduated and I didn't know what the trip would entail.

Also, all during this time, Dr. Maxwell had me on the low FODMAP diet, which was super restrictive. It was gluten-free, dairy-free, and then a bunch of other random things. You could only eat some fruits, some vegetables, no gum, no beans, etc. It was haaaard. In fact, this was probably one of the hardest parts.

At my next appointment with Dr. Maxwell, he told me he wanted to schedule an endoscopy since I'd already had a colonoscopy before this whole thing started. FINALLY. He hadn't done any tests yet so it was about time. They did that and Alison went with me. It was pretty quick and painless, except they kicked us out before I was awake. I was slumped over the bed and the nurse put me in a wheelchair and asked Alison to pull the car around. That was a little weird...Anyway, they told me that I had gastritis and also that they'd found polyps in my stomach, but didn't say anything about what any of that meant. Also, I started losing weight like crazy and he didn't say anything about that either.

I had some more appointments with Dr. Maxwell. Every time, he had forgotten everything about the history and I'd have to take 45 minutes to tell him the whole story again and every time, I left feeling annoyed and frustrated and like it was never gonna end. Especially after the one where he prescribed me a squatty potty. Bless Alexa and Reed for letting me borrow theirs to see if it even worked, first. It didn't, but it's ok because I think Dr. Maxwell had fun telling me, 'it'll be the best poop of your life' because he said that, like, three times.

Finally, I had an appointment where Dr. Maxwell searched something online and said, "Ok, tell me if this sounds like you..." and then he listed off some generic intestinal symptoms. I said I guessed so and he said, "Ok, well I'll prescribe you that medication then." I asked him if we were just guessing now and he said, "Well, you've had way too many tests for it to be safe to do more so this is our best option." Just kidding, THIS was the worst appointment ever.
That night I decided that I wanted to go to the Mayo Clinic. I prayed about it and felt really peaceful so Dad started getting everything set up for me. We decided that they would go with me after graduation in August.

I set up one more appointment with Dr. Hill to see if he had anything else to say. While I was in the waiting room, the Mayo Clinic called and said they could see me in a month, just in the right time we wanted. I went into Dr. Hill's office, told him that's what I was going to do and he said, "Perfect. I think you need to. Don't ever go see a GI doctor again. I would've suggested the Mayo Clinic at the very beginning, but whenever I do, my patients never go." and that was all.

Mayo Clinic:

August 29, 2017:

Mom and Dad and I got to the Mayo Clinic. I went fasting because we didn't know what tests would be when. The campus was SO impressive. I felt like I was walking into the Ministry of Magic. People were running/walking/wheelchairing everywhere. It was so busy and you could tell everyone was there for something different. There were little kids who were bald with no eyelashes, some older people being wheeled around by their kids, lots of people in sweats who looked like they hadn't had a good day in awhile. I hadn't really been nervous until this point. All of a sudden, I was worried about what they'd do to me or what they'd tell me or that they wouldn't be able to tell me anything at all.
We checked in on the 9th floor and I turned in all of my medical records. I think I had, like, 75 pages. They had me sign a few papers and then they called us back. We were really surprised with how quick it was! My doctor came right in and had already looked over my records and knew everything. I was shocked. And also wanted to have her give a seminar to Dr. Maxwell. Anyway, she kind of just talked to me about what to expect, asked me to clarify a few things, and then did some uncomfortable tests, just in her office. I hadn't had anything super invasive without being under anesthesia yet at this point, so it was a liiiiittle unpleasant, but she was made it quick. :) Then she sent us to the lobby to wait for the nurse to print us off an itinerary for all of the tests for the week.

The itinerary stressed me out big time. This was kind of my emotional breakdown point. I saw all of the tests and how long we'd have to be there. I had rent payments coming and no job. I knew that my parents had other things to do and that, even though they wouldn't rather be anywhere else, it had to be stressing them out too. I knew that every one of those tests was going to cost a ton. I knew some of them were going to be painful. And I didn't even know if any of them were going to work. Or if that would even be the end of it. They said that after all of those tests, we'd reassess and do more if we needed to. I think this was the most distinctive moment during the whole process where I felt like I was in a bad dream and couldn't wake up.
Anyway, I told Mom that I changed my mind and that I wanted to go home. She and Dad helped me realize that we needed to stay. We all felt like it was the right thing to do and it would be silly to turn around now.
I didn't have much time to whine about it anyway because I had a lab work appointment.

Over the next week, I had lab work done, x-rays, carbohydrate breath test, a transit test, stomach injections, and a group of tests that are too invasive and disgusting to describe :) Those ones and the injections were the worst, but the others were surprisingly easy! They all took quite a while, but there were breaks and it's not like I had anywhere else to be anyway. :)

September 5,  2017 -

It was a really really long week, but finally we had our appointment with my doctor. I was so excited/nervous for the appointment, but it ended up being really anti-climatic. She told me that they weren't able to find anything. (She did say that my stomach takes a long time to digest food, but she didn't say anything about that really.) She said that it's kind of like when your car is making a sound so you check the engine and the transmission and all of the essentials and they're all working fine. The car still makes the noise, but you don't want to rip up all of the important and functioning parts to figure out what's causing the noise.
I was...disappointed? And then annoyed at myself for being disappointed. I tried hard to be grateful that there was nothing hugely wrong, but I was also sad that whatever was going on still didn't have a name or a cure. Also, I was really confused about what happened to all of the dramatic things my other doctors had told me. Nothing seemed to fit. I think the hardest part to accept was the fact that people were still going to think I was pregnant, but I wouldn't have an answer for them. Also, I was sick of feeling self-conscious about that.
I felt that way for a couple of days and still, on my harder days, I get frustrated about it, but overall, I feel so liberated. I really believe that the Lord led me to the Mayo Clinic to help me see that it was ok to let it go and stop chasing answers. Also, after this last appointment, we went over to tour the long-term hospital. They had a chapel inside the hospital so we stopped in there for a minute. A man in his hospital gown, wheeling his IV beside him came in to pray and I think that was the moment where I realized that I'd take what I had and stop complaining.
My stomach still gets big and sore, it's still really unpredictable, and it's still hard to do some things that I used to do, but I've finally realized that life gives us all chronic problems and this one is mine. But I can be happy and love life and serve others and have faith anyway. In fact, those things make it WAY easier to handle anyway. I'm so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father.

P.S. If you need ideas for how to serve, look at the people who SAVED my life:

Daniela came one day soon after my surgery to bring me popsicles and warm socks and a movie and a coloring book and a card. It was so sweet. She knew I was lonely so she just stayed and talked. She also cleaned my room for me. And she cleaned out my backpack. I had rotting grapes in there from before I got sick, which was SO embarrassing, but I know she wasn't judging me which I was so grateful for. She also went upstairs and did the dishes. The next day, she came and picked me up and took me to her house for the day. She let me lay down and brought me rice to eat and did my laundry while I watched Halloween Town/napped. It was the best.

The people in my ward were amazing. The compassionate service committee was incredible. They arranged for people to bring me meals for a week, which I couldn't believe. I know that 'that's just what the Relief Society does', but not in a single's ward it doesn't. Everybody is in school or working and are self-conscious about their cooking abilities and they have night classes and dates, etc. But they did and it made such a huge difference. Rose brought me Subway for dinner one day because she knows I love it. :) She also brought me extra so I could have it the next day too. She wasn't even feeling well that day, so it was extra meaningful. She talked with me so many times throughout the months, which was really helpful. It was nice to talk to someone who understands. And she didn't talk down to me about it either. She's been through her own stuff, but she used that to understand me, not to compare trials. Heavenly Father sent her to me. <3 Same with Daniela. She helped me feel so understood and loved and motivated to be positive.

Even people I'd never met in the ward brought meals! I couldn't believe it. The compassionate service leader, Hannah, was so thoughtful. She came over to check on me soon after I got out of the hospital and brought me breakfast for several mornings! And fruit! It was sooo good. I ate it while I watched Live with Kelly and Michael in the mornings :)

Also, the Relief Society presidency was amazing. Evidenced by the fact that it didn't feel like the Relief Society presidency checking up on me, it was just my friends taking care of me. :) Kenzie would come check up on me all the time. I didn't feel up to going to activities so she'd bring me the treats. Also, she'd let me whine her ear off ALL the time and then she'd tell me how impressed she was with my positive attitude, which was angelic of her. Also, any time I was feeling up to coming to something, she made a huge deal about how happy she was that I came, which was the best.

One day, I was outside and Amy was coming back from doing her laundry. She came inside with me and let me talk and tell her everything. She stayed for a while and just listened. She also offered to help me get any homework I needed and to help me get access to resources for help with it, since I was missing all of the lectures. Jane was super friendly and always wanted to hear about my life, not just about my health, but about other aspects of my life which helped me remember that I had other things about my life that were good.

My visiting teachers were amazing. Rose was one of them, and McKay. Oh my goodness, what a blessing. They listened to me for hours!! And then told me how great I was even though I'd just taken two hours of their school night whining about how hard my life was! They always had the right things to say, I knew I could go to them for anything, and they made me feel like the most important person in the world.

My roommates <3 Where do I even begin? They were my angels. They did SO MUCH for me. If I was in bed and couldn't get out, they'd go fill up my water for me. One time, Ranzi asked if I needed anything and I felt so bad, but asked if she'd fill up my water, just thinking she could take it to the bathroom sink right by our room, but she said, "Um, Kelli, I'm not filling it up in the bathroom. I'm filling it up with good water from the kitchen." :) Also, if I was on my computer in bed, they'd hand me my charger because I couldn't bend over to get it. They'd come in my room and sit on my bed with me and let me talk. They cried with me when none of us knew what to say. A few times, I was getting ready for the day and would put on one of my favorite dresses, look in the mirror, and say, "Is my stomach gonna be like this forever?" and they'd hug me or tell me I looked so pretty or just tell me they wished there was something they could do. Sometimes, they'd just notice that I was looking at myself in the mirror and without me even saying anything, they'd know what I needed.
One night, Kristi and Chloe made my favorite brownies and they all watched Remember the Titans with me because they knew it was my favorite movie. Kristi gave me a back massage because it hurt after carrying around my big belly all day. Ranzi painted my nails. Also, Solomon came over and held my hand while I laid there. He'd text me all the time and tell me that it wasn't the same without me at work. Chloe was always the unlucky one who was home right after I had a bad doctor's appointment :) I'd be crying and she'd hug me and listen to me for hours. And when I told any of them that I was sorry, they didn't want to hear it. Also, they all told me that they loved listening to me sing (probably because they knew it helped me relax:) so they asked me to all the time, which made me feel loved.

Also, when Dr. Maxwell told me to follow the low FODMAP diet, we were doing roommate dinners and they'd make the meals following the diet.
When it was my birthday, I wasn't feeling well so they asked what dessert I wanted and went out to find it for me. Then while I ate it, they all went in a circle and said what they loved about me. :)

One night, I was feeling really sick and also really emotional. Scott came over and gave me a blessing and also just listened. I didn't really know him very well at that point, but I wasn't even embarrassed because he made me feel so comfortable. He'd come over a lot to let me talk about my life.

Ashley would listen to me talk ALL day at work! She kept up to date on all of my appointments, all of my medications, everything! And if the doctor was being confusing, she would do research for me! And compliment me when my belly was big OR little. She bought me food a few times, she brought me flowers once, she brought me dairy-free ice cream to my house!

When I was doing the FODMAP diet, someone dropped off muffins at my house! I still don't know who it was, but I couldn't believe that they went to so much effort to find a recipe and make them.

Katrina and Heather came over one night and let me lay in bed while we just talked. They gave me so much attention and it felt so good to know how much they cared. That was the night someone came to my door and asked if we wanted to be on a dating show...hahahahahahaha.

April kept a diet with me for three months!! Without messing up one time! So selfless. She also invited me over for dinners that I could eat and she thought of fun things for us to do together that didn't involve food. We'd go on walks or play piano together or just talk. She'd always check up on me or give me suggestions or just let me know that I wasn't crazy and that it was ok to have bad days and that everything would be ok.

Kenz came over with her son once and talked with me. About what was going on, but also just about life, which was so so awesome. I hadn't seen her in a while because we've both been so busy, but she knew I was having a hard time and wanted to see me. She texted me to keep up with my appointments and stuff.

Sam gave me a blessing and came over lots of times to talk with me and listen to me. Also, the first time I ever met him, I was coming home from grocery shopping and he helped me carry in my groceries.

Sami was so thoughtful. She was in the other relief society so we didn't see each other often, but she made sure we were friends. It was obvious that she wanted me to know I was loved. I felt connected to her right away because I could tell she was sincere.

Nerissa would call and text and send me quotes and tell me about her life and listen to me talk about mine and she'd send me cards and was really just so amazing at helping me feel understood. She'd ask me questions to help me figure out how I was feeling and it helped me so much.

Hunter and Logan and Seth and Blair all came over one day because they missed me at work. They just talked and helped me laugh at my big belly and talked about their lives and mine and it was a really great distraction.

My boss and coworkers were SO understanding about me needing to miss work. Seriously, Karen and Blair covered practically all of my shifts while I was in the hospital/healing and even after that, Mikilani and Tiff were so patient and understanding if I ever couldn't be there. Also, they were so understanding when I couldn't do certain parts of the job.

Alexa, Jordan, Karen, Blair, Reed, and Landon all came over on my birthday with a fruit pizza (with gluten free crust!) because they knew I probably wouldn't be feeling up to eating real cake. It was SO thoughtful.

An anonymous person sent me a check in the mail because they knew I was missing work and that must be creating more stress for me.

Another anonymous person gave me a check because I made a comment about being excited to use my birthday money to go maternity clothes shopping. He said, "Buy the maternity clothes with this and then use your birthday money for something that's actually fun."

EVERYONE at work would stop by the desk and ask how I was doing ALL the time. It was so sweet. Aaron's wife was pregnant with twins at the time and he stopped by my desk one day to say, "My wife is finally bigger than you!" So many people. Tennery, Andy, Tiff, Steph, Spencer, Caitlyn, Lauren, Palakiko, Reed, Christine, Diena, Donna, etc etc etc.

Some people just always teased me about looking pregnant because they knew I was probably sick of taking it so seriously, which I loved. It made it easier for me to joke about it.

MY FAMILY. They prayed for me, fasted for me, asked how I was doing, talked to me about normal life and treated me like me, Alison spend all day helping me make food I could eat (and tons of other things. Honestly, my parents did as much as they could from far away, which was a LOT, but Alison was kind of my mom away from home. She did SO much), sent me things that they knew would be helpful, gave me suggestions, asked people they knew for ideas for me, etc etc etc. Families are forever and mine is the best. My mom sent me a whole box of little homemade oatmeal packets I could eat and some dairy free chocolate. My parents were constantly thinking about it, asking how I was, listening to me complain, telling me everything was going to be ok, I was on their insurance which was a huge blessing, and they paid for ALL of this stuff (!!!!!!!) Also, I don't think I even know the extend to which my family was thinking/praying for me. They had their kids pray and fast and Mom was talking to so many people to try to get ideas. I think a lot of people from my home ward were praying for me and I didn't even know it completely.

I just scrolled through my friends list and honestly, there are way too many to list them all here, but that doesn't mean that each wasn't SO significant. So many texts, phone calls, visits, Facebook messages from people who I didn't even think remembered I existed, etc. Seriously, I am the luckiest <3

Sunday, October 8, 2017

This One's for the Girls

I can't count the number of times I've heard speeches or read blogs or heard songs about how I'm beautiful the way I am and that I shouldn't have to be anyone but me. It's a concept that gets tossed around a lot.  So here are a few of my thoughts...

-The way society thinks is not usually the way people actually think. Media makes stuff up. They tell us that what's beautiful is everything we aren't. People, on the other hand, appreciate beauty a lot more freely than we give them credit for. Maybe they don't give you the compliments that they're thinking, but it doesn't mean they aren't still there.

-Sometimes people tell me they wish they had my 'cute, little body'. And then sometimes people tell me that my straight body shape and small chest make me less of a woman than someone with curves. If no one is ever going to tell us we win, why can't we just know that we do either way?

-When you go through a breakup, your best friends tell your that you're beautiful the way you are. When he gets a new girlfriend, they tell you that you're way cuter. Maybe it's nice to hear in the moment, but how come she can't be beautiful just the way she is, too? 

-I watched the Try music video by Colbie Callait probably 500 times before writing this and each time, I found myself thinking, "wow, she is so naturally beautiful. I wish my hair looked like that when it air dried..." or even (and this one is embarrassing), "She's even beautiful with a bald head. If I looked like her, I wouldn't feel ugly when I have a bad hair day." Are you kidding me? The whole purpose of the song is to prevent those thoughts. To help us realize our natural beauty and be happy in it. And still, I left wishing. 

-What's weak or ugly about having a body, whatever it looks like? Bodies are literally God-given miracles. You formed from a couple of specs, people. 

-If I have a daughter, I'll tell her she's a princess when she's cute and little. But I'll also make sure she knows she's still a princess when she's 15 and has a zit right on the end of her nose, when she's been sick all week and she has bags under her eyes and a grease-head, when the guy she likes just wants to be friends.

-Satan makes this a big deal because he wants to distract us from the things that are actually important.

-I don't think this topic can be addressed enough because I don't think we can get enough reminders.

What do you think?


Monday, April 10, 2017

Life is Hard. Yep.

People think that I've been super positive and faithful through the last 6 months of Life, but people are most of the time wrooooong, no offense. The past few months have kind of stunk. And if I was a swearing person, I probably wouldn't have used the word 'stunk'. Lots of times I've heard things like, "Things aren't great today, but they will be! This is what life is all about right? *fake smile*" come out of my mouth and then I've thought to myself, "Lying is a sin because who knows if it will be ok and why does this have to be what life is all about and why does it make me a 'negative' person to tell the truth and say that I feel like life stinks right now?" I'm pretty sure that Jesus asked that the cup be removed, not that He could have a little more, please.

Mostly, I just felt like today I should say something about the fact that it's human to have trials and that it's normal to not think it's fun. I've changed in ways that I don't super love since this whole thing happened. I used to be extroverted, lately I've been pretty reclusive, even with people I'm usually really close with. I used to love being in the center of things, lately I've been way less involved. I used to love celebrating everything I could, lately I've been more apathetic (except for on Whitney Houston day cuz I couldn't let that one pass me by). Those changes don't mean that I failed the test. In fact, I'm convinced that none of those changes are permanent anyway, they're just either those dumb coping mechanisms or the natural results of what's happening to my body.

It's healthy to have bad days, to wear sweatpants and bun-hair because you don't care today, to lay on the floor in the dark and listen to "Human" by Christina Perri twice. (Or whatever the equivalent of those are for you) I don't think that any of those things make you a negative person.

But I'm also not writing this just to say, "Everyone whose lives stink, let's complain!" Because I don't think that doing those things every day for the sake of grieving or whatever make life any easier. There are still good, happy things in your life. It's ok to recognize that. It's ok to smile or laugh when something makes you want to. For some reason, sometimes we feel like when we've labeled the day a bad one, it will be ALL bad. But it's ok for it not to be.

And when you've read through all of that stuff that I just tried to make sound all wise, read this: Jesus still loves you. He knows what's going on in your life. He knows it's hard. He did it already, but He doesn't tell you that to belittle your pain. He wants you to lean on Him when you can't find anything happy. Because what I've learned is that being positive doesn't necessarily mean :D It means trusting that the Lord's plans are not mine, but that He knows what they are. He knows how everything ends up, and even though right now it doesn't seem like what I want, He's molding me into the person I want to be. You can have a hard day and still know those things. But then when you're done being sad, it's ok to be done with your hard day for a little bit and let Him pick you up for a good one.

Just speaking from one human to another. <3


Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016: My BFF and the Things She Taught Me

-Coming home from a mission is kinda like being born again. So much hope and opportunity and excitement for New You. At least it can be. You choose.

-Being as open as I am with people about my thoughts and feelings makes me free. I love that people know the real me and I love that, because of it, I know the real me, too. 

-Sometimes we get irritated with our bodies for giving us such a hard time, but they really are doing their best. 

-Colonoscopies are the worst.

-It doesn't make you a negative person to be realistically upset about things in your life and most friends won't be put out if you need to vocalize it. In fact, a lot of friends are thrilled when you do because it shows your trust in them and that they're special.

-Heartbreak and marriage aren't the only two outcomes of dating. You can also make really great friends, learn some helpful lessons, and accept/understand incompatibility. Not wanting to be partners with someone for everything forever doesn't mean you hate them. Or that there's something wrong with them.

-Jesus Christ does search for His lost sheep, but He's not a dictator. You can't whine to the world that He left you behind if you're the one who walked away. 

-You can fix things any time. Apologizing is worth it. Forgiving is worth it. Recognizing that you need to do both is sometimes the hardest, but doing both is totally worth it. 

-You are never too busy or burdened to look outside yourself. Seriously, never. 

-Doctors don't know everything. Doctors are pretttttty smart. Some doctors are just going to work, which is good. Some doctors are changing the world, which is better. Those last ones are the ones to look for even if it takes basically forever.  

-I finally love me for my weakness because I know myself, I know Jesus and I know we can overcome that stinker. 

-It might feel like your brain just isn't good at holding facts about other people, like their names or interests, but it is. You just have to kick out a few less important things to make room for them. Then you can do cool, personalized things for people which is FUN. 

-Don't give up on the battles against Satan that seem less important to 'save energy for the bigger ones'. They're all big ones. 

-You're doing really great! But don't stop there. Also, don't give up on yourself. 

-Give people the benefit of the doubt, always. We always think we're 'all that' at this one, but we aren't so...GIVE PEOPLE THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT. 

-Recognize that people love you and let them. Ask for help and don't feel guilty about it.

-Gaining a testimony of a commandment comes from living the commandment. Then you start to keep it because you know the blessings that come instead of just because someone told you to.

-Don't wait for people to introduce themselves to you. If you want to get to know someone, you should. Maybe they wanted to be your friend, but they were too scared to start. 

-Own your hobbies.

-Practice getting over things, even if, at the beginning, it's just because it's too exhausting to not. 

-Be the person you look up to.

-Cry your eyes out, baby. 

-Say what needs to be said, in a kind, drama-free way that makes people like you, sometimes even subconsciously. (This one is tricky, but when it works, it's AWESOME.)

-Don't agree with what people say if you don't actually agree. 

-Stop apologizing for things that make no sense, like, sharing a story about yourself or asking personal questions or something. Those things are what life is. Gosh.

-Be real so others can be real with you. Then, when drama comes up and problems need to be solved, you can talk things out because you know each other and that your relationship is stronger than all that. 

*Disclaimer: Just because I'm telling you I learned these things doesn't mean I learned them learned them, but I am working on it. My goal is to not have the same list next year.


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Coming Home From a Mission: The Morning God Woke Me Up

I've mostly always liked me. Pretty much, anyway. Especially once I moved to college, my confidence started to build and I began to appreciate my strengths and even some of my weaknesses. I'd always known God loves me. It hadn't ever been hard to see or understand. I went on a mission because He asked me to even though it was the hardest thing I'd ever done and I felt pretty great about that. On my mission, I messed up all the time, but I knew it was ok because I was doing my best to serve the Lord. I loved Him and wanted Him to know it and I knew He was making everything right. Knowing I was a child of God, knowing my potential, and accepting that I had a Savior who would seal the deal- things were pretty great and when it was time to go home, I had plans to apply everything I'd learned and be perfect at them all for the rest of my life. Missionaries have a pretty thick rose-colored lens ;)

When I got home from my mission, though, things started to get a little bit hazy. I'd spent so long in such a spiritually saturated lifestyle that being thrown back into the world, with adult stresses and new responsibilities and new distractions, that also happened to be all about me instead of all about helping others, was really unfamiliar and I got lost. I didn't realize it was happening exactly, I felt a little shell-shocked, but I figured it was just because I was in the middle of a big transition and expected I'd adjust out of my stereotypical 'awkward return missionary' phase pretty quickly.

I didn't.

I moved to Provo to work for the spring/summer and things only got worse. I still couldn't really pinpoint why, though, so I started to get really annoyed. Why can I not feel the spirit? Why am I not happy like I usually am? Why do I feel like I miss me? Why do I not love reading the Book of Mormon anymore? Why do I feel so far removed from Heavenly Father when I just got done spending SO much time with Him?
After a couple of weeks, it started to sink in that because I didn't feel as close to the spirit, I was also feeling guilty for not being perfect. Guilty for not reading my scriptures enough or for 'reading' them instead of 'studying' them. Guilty for saying a 20 second prayer before bed because I was too tired for more. Guilty for being afraid to open my mouth when someone looked like they were having a hard time. Guilty for not being committed enough to my calling, for not making the time to keep up with all of the people I love, for not being to church 10 minutes early and for not staying after to socialize. Guilty for doing or not doing so many of the things that missionary me had promised myself I would never slip up on again. It was frustrating and uncomfortable and completely unproductive.

So instead of remembering what I'd taught so many people on my mission- that we have a Savior who suffered and died to conquer our imperfection with His love- I chose the opposite. I gave up and gave myself permission to not feel bad about it anymore. I stopped reading my scriptures. I stopped praying. I left church after Sacrament Meeting. And I didn't care. I figured it wouldn't matter. "Everyone gets to this point eventually. This is just where I figure out what I really believe", I thought. But what I didn't realize was that, while I was dinking around, 'figuring out' what I already knew, things were changing in ways that I never would've thought they would. Or would've wanted them to...

I started to get more cynical and apathetic. When something difficult happened, I chose anger because it was easier than feeling sad. I stopped crying. I was confused about everything. People weren't as happy to be around me anymore. I didn't get as many opportunities to help my family or friends with their struggles because I was always talking about mine. And more than anything, I didn't understand how Kelli Eddington, the person I'd, for the most part, always been so proud to be, could have gotten to this point. I was embarrassed and lonely and unhappy.

Ok, pause for a second. When I moved into my Provo singles ward, I was called to be on the service committee. I wasn't thrilled at the idea of getting a calling considering my situation- I felt sort of hypocritical pretending everything was ok when it wasn't, especially with the added pressure of magnifying a calling. People would be counting on me and I wasn't sure I'd be able to follow through. We decided to go to a care facility nearby to spend time with the residents there for our first activity and, remember this was cynical, grumpy me, so mostly I was just kind of ready to get it over with. The morning came, I tried hard to be positive, spend the hour there and get on with the day. We got there and they were playing Bingo. "I can sit and play Bingo. No big deal."

BUT GUESS WHAT. IT CHANGED MY LIFE, PEOPLE. How crazy does that sound? Not the Bingo part (although, I DID win a few rounds...). The part where we talked and laughed with so many amazing people, who we never would've met otherwise and I felt Heavenly Father's love for the first time in a long time. I felt like me again :D (Not even gradually either, it was like BAM. Kelli's back.) I watched the residents' faces light up, felt my own do the same, and all of a sudden, I remembered what I'd known all along. The joy comes when you accept His love and let it reflect through you. I was sitting around waiting for spiritual experiences and picking flowers apart, saying "He loves me, He loves me not" when I already knew that He does. I just needed to stand up and do something about it. Anything, really. It's just that, Jesus showed His love for us in His miraculous way, while also reflecting Heavenly Father's love for us. It only makes sense that when we do the same thing for everyone else, we'll be so filled up with His love for us, our love for Him, our love for everyone else, and our love for ourselves that we just won't be able to hardly stand it. Love begets love begets love begets love. Ugh, that's so cool.

Also, guess what comes with feeling His love? Perspective. NOT feeling guilt for being imperfect. Desire to read His word. Desire to talk with Him about how you feel about your life and where He can help you take it. More confidence in your ability to do hard things, including looking outside yourself even when you're afraid, or too busy, or not in the mood. More trust that He can and will do anything for you. More trust that He can and will turn you into gold and make you shine.

I hope you know, this was MY experience. I know it's not the same for everyone. Well, for ANYONE actually, we're all so unique. I hope it was clear that all of these pressures I described were put on me by me and no one else. I hope everyone knows how much my mission changed my life for the better. So much so, in fact, that I'm sure that's why Satan tried to so hard to push me around when I got home.
But I also hope that by sharing my experience, you start to look at yourself with new eyes. With His eyes. Satan likes to be sneaky and he's pretty good at it, too. But falling into his trap doesn't make you a bad person. It just means you're a normal human person, which is definitely something to be proud of. Heavenly Father doesn't send just anyone down here to be one of those, ya know. Just the ones who tell Him they're ready to learn how to be more than that.

So hi, I'm Kelli Eddington. I love my Heavenly Father and Savior. I know they love me. I'm happy. I'm so happy. :) And I'm so excited for a life directed by Them. I'm going to make lots of mistakes. It's going to be hard sometimes. But this depth of peace that I feel is here for good because no matter what happens, I know how the story ends. Jesus wins, and since I'm on His side, I do too :)

Good morniiiiiiiiiing!!!!!


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Just to Clear the Air...

Just because you clam up at a party where you don't know anyone doesn't mean you're socially awkward.

Saying that you like cake doesn't make you a glutton.

Being an introvert doesn't mean you have no friends. And if it does, it doesn't mean you don't like it that way.

Being an extrovert doesn't mean you don't still need a little TLC every once in a while.

Not knowing what you want to do with your life doesn't mean you have no ambition.

Not liking to do the things that happen to be popular at the time doesn't make you lame.

Not liking to read doesn't make you dumb.

Being a really obedient follower doesn't mean you can't also be a really great leader.

Just because you have a particularly obvious talent doesn't mean that's your only talent.

Just because you're not the best in the world at anything doesn't mean you're not good at anything.

Having to go shopping for new clothes because yours are getting a little tight doesn't mean you're fat.

Being a generally happy person doesn't mean you can't have hard days.

Having faith and trust in the Lord doesn't mean you can't ever be afraid. 


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Jesus and Jammies

Disclaimer: This post isn't really a very good example of, "This is how you should pray!" or "This is how you should show your faith!" This is mostly just a, "This is how I tried to do those things when I wasn't at my best even though I know better" because nobody's perfect and we all have our spiritual lulls.

I woke up this morning and was about to get in the shower, when the shower curtain rod fell down. When that's happened to me before, it's been pretty easy to get it back up, but today I was having the hardest time and was getting super frustrated: "Oh my goodness, I don't have time for this", so I knelt down in the tub, in my jammies, and prayed. 

What I expected to be a quick, "Can You please just do this so I'm not late for work?" somehow turned into, "I've been struggling a little bit in my spiritual life lately and this is my chance to show my faith so it'll grow. I KNOW that You can do this and I feel like You will. Could you please?" and I swear I heard, "Finallllly." I'm not really sure why a curtain rod was the moment, but it was.

So I got up from my knees, reached my arm up, and it worked perfectly. It just latched right into place like it did it by itself. I was in awe. Not shock, because I'd hoped it would. But in complete awe of His power and love and concern and care for me. Over something so small! But huge to me. Because I feel like it's been so long since I've seen such an obvious manifestation from Him and I was craving it. It's been my fault. I haven't allowed myself to 'see' Him because I've been distracted by other things, but rather than saying, 'that's too bad', He said, "I can see that you want this, even though you're struggling to want it badly enough. But you do want it and you're trying so here you go" and He showed Himself to me. And it opened my eyes to what I should be doing. Not what I should be doing, what I WANT to be doing. And what I'm missing. Because my life is the happiest when He's the center of it and He hasn't been, but I want Him to be. So I resolved to read my scriptures first today, to enjoy more quiet time, to Jacob 2:17, to listen to primary songs and hymns and learn them by heart, to actually hear people today. It's been working!

The Lord is SO aware. Sometimes we don't find out in obvious ways, but all we have to do is open our hearts and we'll see it. Sometimes He has to pry them open a little because we're failing big time, but when we finally get there, we'll feel it because that's how the Spirit works and He loves us. 

Anyway, Heavenly Father is the BEST. I'm so grateful for His patience and love and care. I'm grateful for dumb curtain rods, and soap-sudsie jammy knees, and quiet, profound mornings.