Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Details...

So my previous post was sorta vague, and I had a number of questions asked. So here's the scoop.

For the last month I have been having some minor shoulder pain and stiffness. I figured it was from the way I was sitting on the couch at night with my elbow perched up on the arm of my couch while I was using my laptop. So I quit sitting that way, and started doing some exercises to try to loosen up that muscle and get rid of the stiffness. Last week the pain started to get a little more intense.

Thursday afternoon I noticed I was unable to reach my arm above my head and was a little concerned. Then Thursday night on my way to pick up Cowgirl from soccer practice I tried to make a left hand turn, and the pain in my shoulder was excruciating. It literally brought me to tears. With that Hubby said, "We're going to have it checked."

Friday morning I had lost more mobility and had more intense pain. My doctor was able to squeeze me in on Friday afternoon, and after a brief examination, and some X-rays, he found that I had a large calcium deposit growing on my rotator cuff. The doctor said that given the size, it has been growing for months. He says that at some point in my life I injured that tendon, and now it has begun to calcify. The growth is right where everything is supposed to slide, and move and rotate together when you use your arm and shoulder, and that's why it is so painful. He said I would likely need surgery and referred me to a specialist. I made an appointment for Monday.

By Friday night I had lost all mobility in my arm and the pain was enough that I felt like I was going to pass out. Each day through the weekend the pain got worse. It got to the point that I felt as if there were a knife plunged into my arm on the side and on the top of my shoulder constantly, and with every beat of my heart the knives were being twisted. I was popping over the counter pain medication right and left, with little relief. I couldn't sleep, because there was no position that didn't increase the pain.

Sunday the Bishop pulled me aside and had Hubby and I come into his office, and they, along with the other member of our bishopric gave me a priesthood blessing. He had noticed from the stand during Sacrament Meeting that I was in bad shape. The peace this brought, and the actual slight relief of pain in my arm that followed helped me make it through the rest of church.

By Monday morning I was a mess. We went to the surgeon, who reviewed my X-rays and recommended that before surgery we try a steroid injection. If it didn't work, or if it worked but only lasted a short time, then the next step would be surgery. If it worked and lasted for a year or more, then maybe we would just do another injection at that time.

I braced myself. I am NOT a fan of needles. I don't know why, but I am just really freaked out by them. And this was no small needle! So here's the doctor and his assistant, and they are telling me to relax, and it will be less painful. The assistant then proceeds to pull my arm downward in order to separate everything in the shoulder so they can get the needle positioned. I wanted to scream! The needle went in through the BACK to reach the deposit which is in the front! I tried to breath deep and stay calm. There. Made it. It's over.

Or not. Now the assistanta says, "now we need to work that medicine in", and starts jerking my arm all around, up and down, side to side, around in a circle. This is the point I wanted to start stabbing someone.

I did start to feel relief very quickly. I went home and was able to sleep for a couple of hours, and when I woke up I didn't have much pain at all while sitting still, and I had a lot more mobility than before. I still couldn't lift my arm very far before it was painful, but definitely being able to move it was promising! I've been exercising and trying to get that muscle back in shape. Today I have a little more pain than I had Monday afternoon or yesterday, but I'm hoping it is just from working that muscle and having it be a little sore. It is still nothing like it was, so I am trying to stay optimistic.

Thank you to EVERYONE for your concern, and kind words. It means so much.

Needless to say, I pretty much fell off the Muffin Top to Skinny Jeans wagon - at first I was in so much pain that I couldn't eat anything, but then when I had relief I wanted and felt I DESERVED to eat as crappy as I wanted to! But that's no excuse, and I hope I have better progress to report next week!

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I have a good reason for not blogging or visiting!

It's because typing has felt like a white hot knife that has been sitting in a fire is being plunged into my shoulder!

Yes I can be dramatic, but I have really been in a great deal of pain since Thursday. The verdict is still out on whether I will need surgery or not, but today I was given a steroid shot in my shoulder. It was not pleasant. If it doesn't work I may go back and stab the doctor and the nurse with a fork in THEIR shoulders. Just sayin.

I am feeling some relief right now. Still hurts, but much better than this time yesterday, so keep your fingers crossed that this will do the trick and I will not need surgery!

It is still painful to type, but just wanted to let you guys know I may not comment much the next few days, but I will still be trying to read and get caught up on all you've been up to!

Have an awesome week!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Look over there ----------->

Yeah, over there to your right.

I did it. I relaunched Ribbon Blossoms.

With my previous site being hacked by some jerk-face, and how much work it took to build the site and get it ready, I've decided to move over to Etsy and see how I like it there.

I'd love if you'd stop over and check me out. Maybe even give me a thumbs up by favoriting my shop. No pressure. It's not as if our friendship depends on it or anything.

I'm really excited for some of the new things I'm going to be listing. Especially my tutu Halloween Costumes! They are so. much. fun.

Thank you to everyone who encouraged me to get back on the horse, so to speak, when I was trying to decide if I wanted to jump back on. Your support means a lot to me.

Coming up I will be sponsoring a giveaway hosted by my awesome friend Amanda - so watch for that.

Just wanted to let you know -now I'm off to make cute things!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Journey from Muffin Top to Skinny Jeans

I've been wanting to link up with Shortmama ever since she started this weekly link up.

But as you know I have become QUITE the blog-slacker.

Well guess what? I have been even MORE of a health-slacker. So sad. So true.

I read the other participants posts and I feel soooo LAME.

Last week I thought "I am getting ON this right now!" And then drew even MORE determination when I started going through the discs of pictures from girls' camp that one of the other members of the presidency brought over for me.

I'm looking through, seeing all the adorable girls, reminiscing about the fun week we had, the spirit we felt, the bonds we forged....when suddenly - WHO IS THAT FAT LARD in the pictures with the girls?

Oh. Crap. That's me. Ugh.

I m so done being fat!

Anyway, today Shortmama asked us what program we are following. For me it is a combination of calorie counting, and just over-all healthy eating. I try very hard to purchase foods for our family without preservatives, that aren't processed or high in sugar or sodium. I kissed white bread goodbye years ago, and now I can't STAND it when I'm visiting somewhere and have to eat it. Blech.

I also try to watch my calories, and keep them under a certain number, just so I know I'm not consuming more calories than I burn.

The last thing is exercise. I have been really hit and miss lately, but I really, REALLY enjoy working out when I am on a good roll and doing it regularly. I feel better, I lose weight faster, and I'm proud of myself for setting a good example for my kids of healthy living, and discipline.

I've done much better this week and am actually down almost 3 lbs! My goal for this next week is to re-incorporate exercise into my weekly routine. Wish me luck!

Thanks Shortmama for hosting this and inspiring me!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Tales of a Sasquatch Research Team



It's Friday, It's Friday! Y'all know what that means, right? Time for some cussing with MiMi! I have several moments from girls camp that, well - there's no cursing at church activities! But I thought YOU would all enjoy a laugh or few at my expense.

It started out on a nice summer morning. We met at Sister H's house with all the girls and got loaded up and on our way. I was riding with one of my favorite people - Sister P. We had three darling young women also riding with us:

"E", "L", and "D"

We were about 10 minutes behind everyone because Sister P and I both had to stop back home to grab things we wanted to take but forgot to pack.We got on the freeway and headed south. We had a HORRIBLE map, and some clearly written instructions on how to get there, so generously provided by the Stake Young Women's Presidency. The instructions said to exit the freeway at exit 275, 8th North in Orem. Well, we got off on exit 275 - but it was NOT 8th North! Sister P said "I have never gone this way to get to Provo Canyon." We meandered around for a bit, and realized that this was NOT the right exit! Luckily we all enjoy each other's company and spent most of the time laughing and mocking ourselves.

We hopped back on the freeway and headed to the next exit. "Do you think this one's it?" Sister P asked. "No, I don't think so." L answered. So we passed it. And maybe the next exit too. When we finally got off the freeway someone said, "I think we went to far". We laughed more at our idiotness (real word, I promise) and I called Hubby. "We may have missed the exit. We're on Center Street". My ear was greeted with obnoxious laughter. "Uh, YEAH - you went a little too far". He steered us in the right direction.

We were hoping that we were so late that by the time we got there camp would already be set up and we wouldn't have to do any work!

So we finally made it into Provo Canyon, and were it not for the delay, we would never have had the chance to witness a REAL Sasquatch Research Team! No I am not even kidding. We come up to this car, and it has this window sticker that says Sasquatch Research Team. We're all laughing thinking what a cool, funny person. As we get closer, we realize it is not a joke. The car is covered with Big Foot paraphernalia. "Big Foot is NOT a myth - he is real!" "In Search of Sasquatch"...all sorts of other ones that I can't recall at the time.
I, being the shining example I am as a Young Women's leader say "Hey, pull up beside them - I want to see if they look like weirdos!" I felt a little bad about that. But only a little. We pulled up and D says, "They look normal. Oh, except that girl has an 'I heart Bigfoot' shirt on."
So that became our joke for the ride up. We were forming our own Sasquatch Research Team.

We had a fun week at camp. One night, I was heading down to the restroom with D (camp rules -you must always have a "buddy" with you.) It was late and dark. There was this weird locked up tiny building that looked like it used to be a bathroom, but now was barred off and padlocked. It also had a steel door behind the "cage" part, and another on the side. Earlier in the week one of my other little cuties, "S" had said she swore she saw something alive under the door. I told her that's where they kept Sasquatch locked up.

So back to D and I. We're waking down to the bathroom, and you know how you work yourselves up and scare yourselves in the woods at night? Yeah, we were doing that. We got to the building and I said "That's where Sasquatch is, S saw something moving in there". D says "SHUT UP!" I had been tossing rocks ahead of us to make sounds in the trees and had her freaked out. As we were walking past the steel door, D was ahead of me. There's just a narrow path that you can only fit single file, with the building on one side of you and the trees on the other. So as we passed I kicked the steel door hard - it made a loud boom and D screamed and jumped and then she told me she was never walking with me at night again!
D and I - she made me wear her cookie monster cap. She dared me to wear it down to devotional with the stake. She didn't think I would. She was wrong.

The next night, a few of us, including D snuck down to scare the girls that were in the bathrooms brushing their teeth. We had some good fun. As we were walking back, S was with us (S is afraid of her own shadow), D told me to kick the door again when we walked past and scare S, since it had been such a success the night before with her! So we're walking single file. D is in front, followed by S, then me, then Sister P. We get to the door. I wind up and kick the door (sideways) with my left foot as hard as I can. It's a steel door. I SWEAR it pushed back. And knocked me sideways. Into the forest. Flat on all fours. It hurt. I could not get up I was laughing so hard. Sister P nearly fell over me when I went down and barely caught herself. D and S turn around "ARE YOU OK?" they both ask, as S steps in my direction. CRUNCH. Yeah, my sunglasses were still perched on the top of my head from earlier in the day. They went flying when Sasquatch fought back. S stepped on them as she turned to check on me. It was the highlight of the trip for all who witnessed it. I am not a petite flower. I went down HARD.

I got up and dragged my bruised and dusty self back to camp. I held up my crunched sunglasses for all to see. "I was attacked by Sasquatch" was the explanation I gave.

Sister H was concerned, worried I might really be hurt. It was so sweet of her. But she's known me long enough, that she should know by now that this isn't the first time, nor will it be the last, that I do something so dumb.

I'll be sharing more on girls camp in the days to come. I want to drag it out as long as I can, because I'm sure you know by now that I am so, so sad not to be in Young Women's anymore!

Head over to MiMi's to check out more great stories!

I'm also linking up to:

Weekend Bloggy Reading

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Dishing it with Amanda!

Photobucket
One of the things I have REALLY missed with my lack of regular blogging is linking up to the fun blog parties my friends host. Today I'm glad to be Dishing it with Amanda!

Head on over and link up if you want to find out more about your bloggy friends, and make some new friends in the process!

The theme for today is Summer Rewind! Here's the scoop:

Best activity I participated in this summer ~ I would have to say taking my kiddos to Lagoon.


It is one of my favorite places in the world, and I was so glad to share that with my kids TWICE this summer! To read about it click here.

Family trips ~ Although we did some great family activities this summer, we didn't take any trips all together. However Hubby and Bookworm went on a 5- day scout camp. The girls and I didn't have the best week that week. Check that out here. Also, I went to Girls' Camp with my Young Women, which was an absolute delight. I'll probably be sharing more of that adventure coming up!

Best new recipe I tried this summer ~ I got a quesadilla maker for my birthday and tried my hand at a black bean and corn quesadilla. The kids loved them.

Most exciting thing I've done this summer ~ It's not necessarily something I did, but the most exciting thing that happened in our family this summer was my son turning 12 and being ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood. It was a huge milestone and I'm so proud of him, and what a fine young man he is turning into.

Coolest crafty thing I made, or home decor thing I tried ~ This question makes me really feel like a loser, because I did not try one. new. craft. this summer. I made a few gifts that are things I have already done in the past. Boo. My summer was just too busy for crafting. Hopefully that will change soon!

Best book or magazine issue I read ~ I have just started (for the 2nd time) reading John Adams by David McCullough.

I have mentioned in the past my love for our Founding Fathers, and I LOVE David McCullough's work. Reading about the birth of this great nation, and the people who were so instrumental in it's establishment is so inspiring and I am really enjoying it.

Coolest new blog I've found ~ I'm sad to say that at best I've been able to sort of just keep up with visiting bloggers who I'm already familiar with and who visit me...and not very well at that! But I'm really grateful for the blog friends I have, and hopefully I can meet some new ones today!

Favorite bargain or shopping find of the summer ~ I actually just went to the DI Monday and found some great deals on some clothes for my girls. Here's what I got for $28.

That's right - 3 pairs of pants, 3 skirts, 2 sweaters, a cowgirl shirt and a uniform jacked for school. All in like-new condition!

Favorite thing I got for Monkey:

Favorite thing I got for Pixie:

Favorite thing I got for Cowgirl:

My best post of the summer ~ Ha! I am the lamest blogger ever! I don't have any great posts from this past summer. Hopefully I can get better at it, and not be so boring anymore.

What's left on my summer to-do list? ~ EVERYTHING! I really, REALLY need to keep working on getting my house organized, and most importantly, I really need to get Cowgirl's bedroom finished.

Wow - even when given prompts I am boring! Sorry to everyone who is reading today! I hope you've all had a great summer - and remember that the Ribbon Blossoms re-launch is just 8 days away!

As a last note - in case you were wondering what the widget at the top of my blog is about: Many of you know I am a founding member of my children's charter school, and currently serve on the board of trustees. As such I have grown very passionate about the issue of school choice. If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, older brother or sister, or just have a school aged child that you really care about, I encourage you to get involved. Please pledge to see "Waiting for Superman" by clicking above. Especially my Utah friends - the amount of pledges from our state determines whether the movie will show in Utah or not, and we want it here! Pledging does not commit you to anything, and you will receive a giftcode for $5 that you can gift to a classroom project of your choice on donorschoose.org. I'll be blogging more about choice in education in a few days.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bring it!

Okay. So thanks for all the encouragement, and great ideas. I have actually been implementing a few of them...and I am making some progress. Slowly but surely! Hang tight for an announcement later on!

So, here we are...it's Friday again. Another opportunity for me to link up with MiMi and share with you another laughable moment from my life.

So y'all know I went to Girls' Camp last week. (sniff, sniff - my last hoorah). It was a stake girls' camp which meant that several other wards were up there with us. We had our own campsite, but shared bathrooms, and did some activities with the other wards.

One evening one of the other leaders and I were walking down to the bathrooms, and she was telling me how she was uncomfortable, because she was still breastfeeding her youngest, and she hadn't gone this long without nursing. This got us into a big long discussion about breastfeeding. We got to the bathrooms, and I went to open the middle stall. It was locked. I knocked. No answer. We decided that they had locked that one, because the toilet had been having trouble flushing all day.

So we each went into a stall on either side (3 stalls were in the bathroom). We continued our breastfeeding conversation as we both tended to our business - basically shouting back and forth across the stalls. I got out first. As I walked out of my stall, I heard the lock on the middle stall open...

Out walks this mortified looking Young Woman...probably a Beehive (12 year-old). She looked sheepishly at me and walked out the bathroom door.

I waited until I knew she was out of earshot before busting up laughing!

I know. I'm special. You all wish you could go to Girls' Camp with me...don't you?


Now for my big announcement ...

I have decided to re-launch Ribbon Blossoms!

That's right. The grand re-opening will be August 19th. I'll have something exciting planned...so stay tuned!

In the mean-time, here's a glimpse of some of the items I'll be offering. Although the site is currently not set up - I will be glad to fill any requests anytime before then, just shoot me an email (ribbonblossoms@aol.com) and I'll fill your order and send you an email invoice. This is just a sample. I offer lots of color variations and love to do special orders. Just drop me a line!


bitty baby bows - $5.00/set
variety of colors including solids and stripes
2 " across

little piggie bows - $7.00/set
variety of colors
3.5 " across

Korker Bows - $12/set
variety of color combinations
4.5" across

butterfly clippies - $7.00/set
variety of color combinations
approx. 2.5 " across
bumblebee clippies - $7.oo/set
approx. 2" end to end
ladybug clippies - $7.00/set
approx. 2" end to end
pixie wings - $9
variety of colors
sassy tutu - (toddler) $18.00, (girls) $23.00
variety of color combinations

And for some Halloween TuTu fun!
All costumes available in infant/toddler size - $30
girls 3-7 - $35
(devil costume also embellished with red daisy on devil horns and tail - not shown)

Available in black with: purple, orange, lime or hot pink.




Just posting these pictures is getting me all excited about the re-launch! Thanks for the encouragement my friends!

Monday, August 2, 2010

My life is spinning out of control...

No, seriously - it is!

I have too much that I need to do, and I can't seem to get a handle on it.

My house is a DISASTER! Since fall of last year, when Ribbon Blossoms got a bazillion tutu halloween costume orders, my house has sorta slipped into the ghetto-land of no return. Because then came Christmas, along with the news that the director of our charter school was resigning due to an unexpected opportunity for him that was too good to pass up.

So then began the frantic search for a new director...mid-school year. So many hours of searching and interviewing. In the end the decision we made was not the best choice for our beloved school. Within a few months we were faced with holding our school together amid the chaos and shock of the announcement that our new director would no longer be at the school, and we had not hired a replacement because we wanted to be very certain that we hired the right person. We definitely pulled the rug out from underneath the staff when we laid that one on them. What we did next was crazy - and truly inspired.

During the meeting where we (the board of directors) were discussing our options, and what we should do about the management of the day-to-day operations of the school while we searched for the perfect director, we started trying to think of people who could just come in for the interim, just sorta hold the fort down while we made most of the administrative decisions for the remainder of the school year and searched for our new director. Then a name came to one of us that all of us quickly felt good about. The thing was, we were a little nervous about the staff's reaction. This man had NO experience in education whatsoever. But he is a shrewd businessman and has great common sense, people skills, and managerial experience.

During his "interim" employment, I was the board member charged with overseeing hiring for the new school year. We had a few positions to fill for next year, and I was at every interview, reading hundreds of resumes, narrowing down candidates and setting appointments. I spent countless hours with this, along with regular board and budget meetings, and volunteering in my kids' classrooms. Now I don't say this to garner sympathy - just to reiterate that the ghetto land of no return state that my house had been in increased ten-fold.

Add my responsibilities in Young Womens, and the time I had available to accomplish things I should be in my home, well I just felt like vegging out and spending time with my family!

I thought things were winding down when (with a little pushing from me) our board hired our "interim director" permanently. He's amazing. I knew him pretty well before, and was fairly confident he would do a good job for the interim. But after the first few times actually working in the school with Mr. "R" during the hiring for next year - I knew he was our guy. We were looking at a person whom we had tried to hire previously, but the timing wasn't right. I knew that if things didn't work out with him, I just HAD to convince the rest of the board that Mr. R was our guy. Fortunately by the time things played out, he had been doing such a good job, that I didn't really have to do a lot of convincing.

Anyway, I digress. I knew that a heavy load was lifted when he took over permanently - the board was taking on a lot of responsibilities that would normally fall to the director. I had such grand plans for summer. Getting my house sorted through and organized, getting my daughter's room in the basement finished, getting my ghetto yard in shape, getting back to blogging regularly...such grand plans.

But first, the plethora (channeling a little "Three Amigo's" here) of June birthdays (husband, son, mom, brother, SIL, and 3 of our best friends). My son turning 12 and having 16 friends over for a BBQ, and being ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood. Oh, now it's Independence Day, then Scout Camp - see the adventures of THAT week here. Then helping with the planning and carrying out of Girls' Camp for 24 Young Women. I got back on Friday.

NOW...here's my to-do list. I have GOT to get my house back in shape. I am seriously not exaggerating the state of chaos we are currently living in. I'm talking laundry backed up to the rafters, piles of mail and school and church papers stacked around everywhere, junk and toys and craft crap that needs to be sorted through in the basement. I cannot stand it. Like I want to run away. My sweet cowgirl NEEDS her own room. Sharing with 2 little sisters who do not share her idea of cleanliness and order is just not working out. That will require getting the basement in shape so we can bring in an electrican to do the wiring, then getting the sheetrock and flooring and painting done, as well as getting the furniture painted (which is a project I am just DYING to do so I can show you all). I'm drowning I tell ya. The thing is, I also want to get Ribbon Blossoms back up and running and I can't decide if that's a good or bad idea. It would be nice to have some extra money for Christmas, and getting bills paid, but I'm not sure if it is just taking on too much and not worth it. I keep going back and forth.

SOOOO...I guess what I need from you are ideas. How do I get started, prioritize, get and stay motivated? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Now I know I have spent this entire post whining, and I really apologize. Before I leave I wanted to let those of you who aren't already aware, know that my sweet friend Tanielle lost her father on Friday. It was unexpected and she is really hurting right now and I know she could really use your love and prayers.

I love you T!

I'll see the rest of you back here when I come up for air!