I say all the time I miss you. But it doesn't even express how much I REALLY miss and ache to have you back. You think you love your family, you think you love all these people but you don't really KNOW how much...until it's too late. I think of all the times I hugged you. All the times I played with your hair or even looked at your huge man hands. Haha. If I knew then what I know now, I would have never left your side and everyone would have thought I was a freak. Haha. It's wrong because as your older sister it feels like one of few instincts I have is to protect those I love. My family. My siblings...ESPECIALLY my younger ones. It's wrong because I couldn't have done anything. I was too late. We all were. So even though you can't log in and read this...even though you can't respond. Please know how much I love you. How much I miss you. And that I will always be here.
In church last Sunday we were talking about all the different ways the Lord is there for us.
The truth is the Lord is ALWAYS there, it's just a matter of recognizing all the different ways. Because he can't literally wipe our tears and give us big hugs himself, it's important to know the other ways he shows his love for us.
This morning I am feeling his love so much!
1. I have an amazing husband who loves me more than anything. He would give anything to make me happy, and I for him. He supports me and loves me in all that I do...My mistakes, my strengths, my obsessive habits, my passions, he's always there supporting me. I feel like he lifts me up and makes me want to be the best I can be. He makes the life I want clear and obtainable.
2. I have a corky, loving, giving family. I love I can call anyone in my family and have a real conversation with them. When we have family gatherings if one person is missing, we're all aware and wish we could all be there together. They are my best friends. They are my examples. They are a huge part of me and why I am the way I am.
3. The gospel. That I have a sanctuary every Sunday to clear my thoughts, focus on the Savior and the remember the reason I'm here in the first place. The reason I wake up every morning trying to be the best and do the best I can. The reason every person matters...the world is full of my brothers and sisters. I'm so grateful for the knowledge of the atonement and for temples. That I can know I'll always be with my family. That there will always be that special bond and connection that being a family here in this life brings. That Matt and I can create our family together...start our eternal journey.
4. Chocolate chip cookies. And not just any chocolate chip cookies, but hot chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven.
5. School. I love to learn! I love knowing I'm making myself a better person. So I can be the best wife and someday mother I can. I want to be an example for my children (someday when I have children.) And I think being educated is a huge part of that for me. I'm so blessed because my husband works hard so that I can focus on school right now and not try to juggle both. With my brain power capacity lately...I don't know how well I could do that...I couldn't do it without him.
6. Lazy nights with my hubby. Sometimes life gets so busy, it's nice to just chill and vegge...watch some Lost or Grey's Anatomy and just exist with none other than my better half.
7. Tender Mercies. Direct answers to my prayers so I know the Lord is listening to me and is aware of my needs. Yesterday I had 2 very good friends over for dinner, Gaby and Oksana. What a wonderful thing TRUE friends are. Friends that are honest. Friends that don't talk behind your back about you making a mistake, but talk to you about how their concerned. Friends that you can laugh with and forget the stressful things. Or friends that you can talk and talk about those stressful things but instead of walking away feeling overwhelmed...you feel lighter because you know that person really listened, and took some of your load for you. Friends that have characteristics of the Lord. I know the Savior is the truest and best friend you could ever imagine. And my friends Gaby and Oksana are the truly christ like in that way. I love them!
8. Again, tender mercies! Lately the Lord has been working through everyone around me!! I've had so much support through family, friends, even doctors. It humbles and strengthens me. I know the Lord loves me and he is watching out for me. I'm blessed to have people in my life and in this world that act on those promptings. Matt's family has totally taken my heart condition and made it their priority. I love my family-in-law...they've become my family as well.
9. Christmas. Are you really surprised? Being me...of course I had to wonder, "What if I lived in a world where Christmas didn't exist?...what if the Savior never came down to the Earth and we had no reason to celebrate such a miraculous gift?" So, I am BLESSED that we have a reason to celebrate Christmas...and that it just happens to be during the most beautiful time of the year =)
10. Puppies. I love them and their puppy breath. And some day I'm going to have one of my own!
11. So many more!!
It's weird that the spirit makes you cry. Crying is usually a bad thing that happens when your sad and hurting. And your face gets all red and splotchy and your mouth usually goes all twisted and frowny...it's not a pretty or fun thing. But when it's the spirit, and your crying happy tears...well, nothing else matters.
This last week Matt and I have had a BLAST! We've really been getting into the Halloween spirit. First we went to a corn maze with my two brothers, Chad and Stefen, my sister Audry and our buddy Falcon. All these pictures were taken with Matt's Iphone so I apologize for the poor quality.
I'm pretty sure this is after we solved the maze but we did it so quickly we just kind of hung out inside the maze for a while. We probably made record timing...30ish minutes. Yeah! We're pretty much pro-maze-get-out-of-er's.
We almost snuck into the haunted barn but SOME of us were a little too scared. And by some I mean Matt. Haha! I never would have guessed that Matt is such a scardy pants but he is. Now, don't get me wrong...if we were in danger he'd totally kick some A and go ape on whoever was trying to get us, but when it comes to haunted mansions and scary movies...Let's just say the first time we ever watched a scary movie together I didn't even know what was happening in the movie because I was too distracted laughing just watching Matt almost pee his pants. (Not literally...just figuratively.)
I still love him though =) He's my sweety and sometimes it's nice to have an excuse not to do all the scary stuff.
(My sexy sister Audry)
Instead, we made fools of ourselves! Haha.
They had all these cardboard pictures with holes cut in them and don't ask me why...but we thought they were meant for taking pictures. You know, they have a big macho man's body but his head is cut out so you can have your head on the big macho man's body?
Well...lol, as you can see from the pictures, it didn't quite make sense and the holes were TINY...but we had fun taking pictures anyway. It wasn't until we saw the hacky sacks on the ground that we realized they were for a bean bag tossing game. Haha. Oops.
Then today for F.amily H.ome E.vening my family came over and we had a scrumptious dinner my Mom and Matt prepared for us. And then we...
drum roll please...
Haha. Matt captures the pre-massacre quite perfectly.
After drawing some ideas, Matt and I chose the face we wanted to give our pumpkin.
It was tricky seeing as we didn't have any of the official pumpkin carving utensils and had to use whatever knives we had. But we think he turned out quite wonderfully.
Yes we were proud parents of a pumpkin that surprisingly looked a lot like Mike Mizowski from Monsters Inc
We named him Hurbert.
and we love him.
And this is the pumpkin gang.
Yeah, they're pretty sketchy.
(From left to right: Stefen's pumpkin, Chad's pumpkin, Hurbert, Audry's pumpkin.)
So we keep 'em outside.
It's been such a fun week and especially was a fun night in the Bartlett home =) And to top it off...my mom made delicious cinnamon rolls!! AND Matt saved the pumpkin seeds and seasoned and cooked them!! Yeah, don't worry. Next time we'll invite you.
It's time for a change. Yup. I think I'm going to do something drastic...
But don't worry! I just mean something drastic with my hair =) I'm thinking about doing something with it I've never done before. I'm a little nervous and a little excited, so basically a little nervited. Matt and I looked through a bunch of pictures..
I really liked the craziness of this one...
But I kind of want to do something with more color...
And since my hair has gotten long, it's completely gone flat! So something that offers volume is a plus.
But I guess layers could fix that. Which is why I love this one! The colorfulness that I wanted AND the volume.
I don't know...
But I think...
We might have found THE one.
I set the hair appointment and after Oct 29th...I'll be a new kinda woman. Pictures to come!
His name is Dr. Chun Hwang. It's not my first time seeing him, in fact...he was the very man who first diagnosed me with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy that lead to the discovery in my brothers and Dad. After being a medical mystery, FINALLY...this man diagnosed me.
However that was only the start of the beginning of this long exhausting journey. Since, I've seen several other cardiologists based in Salt Lake, Santa Barbara CA...and here I am...right back where it all started 3-4 years ago.
So why do I suddenly love him so much? Well, first he was the doctor who performed the surgery on my Dad and Stefen. And second...this is what happened...
My Dad called me today, I assume after leaving Dr. Hwang's office for a follow up where I must have come up. See, my doctor from California believes I need a defibrillator and has been searching for a doctor in Utah he feels would fit the job. So back to the phone call with my Dad. He said Dr. Hwang wanted me to go in his office today and do some tests. I was kind of surprised because this man is BUSY. Not only does he never accept new patients but his schedule is booked months in advance...so for me to go in that same day. I felt special. But it gets better...
If you've heard me talk about Dr. Hwang before you'd be surprised to hear me suddenly so excited to be his patient again. The reason? Well, although his bedside manner may be terrible...like Dr. Yang...he's still the best. And not only is he the best, he cares. When he found out I didn't have insurance he agreed to see me and have the tests done completely under the table. Until I have insurance (which will hopefully be in January) he's agreed to do everything for free!
Who does that?! Who!?
Matt and I feel so incredibly blessed! To have the help and support of our families, for the blessings God gives us daily and for each other. Man...so guess what I'm going to do? I'm going to make him the best bunch of cookies you've ever had and send him a thank you card. He's officially one of my heros.
I am a huge nerd. I don't know who else get's excited planning out the next 2 years of their academic life but when I left the nursing counselors office I was so pumped! I love it! I can't wait to be busy running to classes and using my wrinkly little brain to do homework...now, I'm sure once the intense-ness starts, I may change my mind. However, for now. BRING IT!
Right now I'm only taking 2 classes. Philosophy and Heath. Both are completely ridiculous! I'm sorry but whoever invented philosophy must have been a lazy bum that just wanted to sit around all day planning how they would run their universe. My teacher always quotes this one dead guy that apparently said, "Every philosopher's goal is to create premises' that no man can deny and a conclusion that no man would agree with." ....
What's the point of that?
See, I agree more with Sinatra...gosh, that man knows how to sing.
I just don't understand the whole purpose of it I guess. Maybe because I was raised in a LDS (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) home and so a lot of my thinking is more, oh I don't know, GOAL oriented. I can ask myself the purpose of a lot of things but luckily for me...with my faith, come's answers. And those questions that don't have answers...well, you just said it! No answers. I have hope for those instances. Instead of worrying about some hypothetical person in some hypothetical world where some theory or principle can be applied...I like to focus on the here and now, live life! Not that there is anything wrong with asking questions like:
I'm just saying it's not my cup o'tea.
And as for Health! Aye, aye, aye. I sent my mom some of the pictures in our text book that we had to study...I felt like I was back in 5th grade during the maturation program, but uh...instead of listening to the girls shpeel...I was in the next room listening to the guys. Haha! It's entertaining enough but I'm just so ready and excited to be in classes I actually have an interest for.
And not medicine as in drugs and pills. No.
I mean being a nurse.
(Yeah, that's suppose to be a freakin' rad nurse flying to rescue.)
AKA...the future me!
Maybe a scrub nurse, maybe even some day...a Doctor. Eeeek! I get so excited just thinking about it. When I was working as a medical assistant in a pediatrics office, it was so exciting. Getting to see and learn all the things...I find it all so fascinating and I love helping people. Of course there are bad things to all professions, but all the good wonderful things totally out weigh the bad.
Stefen is sleeping over tonight at our apartment so that he can shadow Matt working tomorrow and while he was changing his bandages for his pacemaker/ICD I got a few pictures. I guess this is what I have to look forward to. YIKES.
It's obviously still healing but the swelling is finally gone.
You can see one of the leads in this picture.
See that bruise-ish looking bump on the left side of the pacemaker? Yup.
I have attempted several times, and failed, to put exactly how excited I am for Christmas into words.
I want to try again because I'm getting so excited it's ridiculous! And I don't know what to do with myself seeing as...it's not even Halloween yet. Ha. So I am getting it out here...BLOG form =)
A lot of people think it's weird that I love Christmas so much. Or they think it's because of the presents or something. But it really has nothing to do with the presents! Well maybe a little because I love getting gifts for people. How could you not? The thrill of the hunt to find that PERFECT gift and then you wrap it carefully making it all pretty and perfect. And then the look in their eyes as they pick it up, wondering what's inside. And last but not least, how happy they are because - it's not that it was the perfect gift and just what they wanted...but they know you spent the effort and time for them. It really shows you love them =)
But anyway, putting that whole exciting aspect of it aside. What about the magic that's in the air during Christmas time? Wait! What about the magic LEADING up to Christmas time? When you start needing to turn the AC off and the heater on. When the leaves not only start changing colors but falling off trees. When you realize you need to pack up your summer clothes and take out the sweaters and vests. When you wake up and it's still dark outside. And then slowly the days get more stormy until that eventful day when you wake up and there's that first fallen snow. And it's clean, and sparkling white! It's so exciting! You know that soon you'll be out looking for the perfect Christmas tree to cut down and take home with you and make apart of your Christmas.
I can remember EVERY single Christmas tree we had growing up! Because it's more than a pretty tree strung with lights and pretty decorations. In my family we had a tradition for hanging ornaments. Of course my brave older brothers got to be the ones to string the lights. They'd always put on these huge leather gloves to protect themselves from the poking needles. Even still they'd end up with little red marks all over their arms =) But anyway! When it came time to decorating the tree my Dad would hand them out one by one and we'd take turns deciding the perfect place for each ornament. Not only would us children get to hang the ornaments but as we did my Dad told us the meaning of the ornament and told it's Christmas story.
I had a game I made up when I was young and played with little sister Audry and my 2 younger brothers Stefen and Jesse. We'd pick a small toy, usually like a lego man or something...and we'd take turns hiding him in the Christmas tree. The rule was he had to be visible, even if it was a tiny speck of him. And then whoever found him first, they got to take their turn hiding him next. The goal was to make him unfindable =) It's sad though, as you get older or move out, I remember coming home to my parents and Stefen and Jesse would beg, "Please! Please play with us!" Haha. I'm pretty sure we've all out grown it seeing as it never takes long to find the toy, but we still play...just for old times sake.
We also had a Christmas video of all these old old cartoons from when even my oldest siblings were tiny...they were REALLY OLD cartoons, they don't make good quality cartoons like that now-days. It was a VHS and really bad quality, haha, but we'd put it on and watch them anyway. Now that DVD's have replaced everything we don't have that Christmas video anymore =( *sighs* But believe me, if you saw how awesome this Christmas VHS was...you'd probably be as obsessed with Christmas as I am.
Welp, time to run! My family is coming over and we're going to party it up Allen style. I bought some egg nog for the occasion but..it was sour. So now I have to go take it back to Smith's and throw it in the lady's face. Haha. No, just teasing. That's mean and not the Christmas spirit...which is what egg nog is all about! And if you don't like egg nog I don't want to hear about it. What you have to say is blasphemy as far as I'm concerned.
I feel like this discussion has over whelmed my life. I am having nightly dreams of people in my life suffering from heart disease. Haha. But I have good news!
Both my brother Stefen and Dad had pacemaker/ICD's put in on Friday and they are already doing SO well! For those of you who don't know what an ICD is, don't feel bad. Neither did I until I did my homework. You know those shocker things you always see on TV? Or when your at the mall they're hanging on the wall and if someone starts having heart attach/etc you ramp it up, yell "CLEAR!" and then shock them?
Well, that's exactly what it is except an ICD is a tiny-mini version that they put inside your chest. Then it has leads that go into your heart to detect your heart rate.
Yes. This means my Dad and brother are BIONIC MEN!!
How cool is that?! And how grateful am I?
1. That there were no complications.
and 2. Because they are healing so quickly. They say it just feels like a big bruise.
It's crazy though because you can actually SEE the machine through their skin. It's like they have a big block sticking out of their chest on the left side. This is the best picture I could find to describe it. But once my Dad and brother are more healed maybe I'll get a picture of theirs.
So there you have it, they're robots now =) It feels so good to know they'll be ok and that if their heart's ever need any help doing it's job it has something there 24-7 making sure it works right.
The doctor's say I need one too but I don't have any insurance right now so...we kind of have to wait for that to happen first. JUST the cost of the machine is $50,000. YEAH! Haha. Don't quite think Matt and I are there yet. But through the new health bill I can go back on my Dad's insurance even though I'm married so come January we'll have a better idea when that will happen.
Hmm, and of course all of this makes me think of Jesse. Dr. Hwang said the pacemaker/ICD could have saved Jesse's life. Of course that's not the easiest thing to hear. It brings all kind of "what if's" and other painful questions but I have faith...Matt and I were talking about what if Jesse did have it? Would he still be here? Or would Heavenly Father have just found another way to call him home? I can only answer so confidently because of the strong YES booming in my heart. I believe Jesse was taken for a very specific reason. We don't understand, we probably wont until we get to see him again. I have faith that Heavenly Father knows what he's doing.
Which basically means, I'm not quite there yet =) I still have some things to learn, errands to run, people to help...before I'm going anywhere. I'm still very much imperfect and I'm grateful for the time I have to prepare my self more. The time to be with my family, making memories, being together.