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Thursday, January 21, 2016

What's Happened In The Last 10 Years?

I just reconnected online with one of my best friends from high school.  She filled me in on her life in a nutshell since the last time I saw her (close to 10 years ago).  SO MUCH has happened since then.  Now, it's my turn to tell her what's gone on in my life, and where do I even begin?  It's amazing how fast time goes and all that has happened in ten years.  So, since I'm taking the time to let her know, I thought I'd record it here, as well.  I've included a few links to my blog posts, too.  So, here's what's happened in the last 10 years, in a nutshell:

2006- My cute little Lily would've been a year old.  Our little family of 3 was living in a 2 bedroom basement apartment in Provo.  We had great neighbors.  We ate every Sunday dinner at either Steve's parents house or my dad's house.  We also hauled our laundry over there on the weekends so we wouldn't have to pay to use the laundry facilities.  I was a stay-at-home mom, Steve had quit college to get more jobs to pay off the debt we accumulated when Lily was born and when Steve got sick and couldn't work most days for 2-3 months.  We made the decision to send Steve back to college to finish his degree, have him quit work so he could finish school quickly, and we moved in with Steve's parents in American Fork.  We literally had less than $100 dollars in our bank account (but at least we had paid off our $3000 credit card debt).  We filed for government assistance to help us pay for food and health insurance, and I took a once-a-week job restocking the break room at my dad's office.  Then at the end of the year, I got pregnant with baby #2.

2007- Pregnancy nausea/dizziness and poor air quality in the winter kept me indoors most days, sick on the couch, watching my daughter play.  I had gestational diabetes again, so that meant tracking all my food and pricking myself to test my blood.  Spring came, Steve graduated, I felt much better, and we began looking for jobs.  Steve got a job teaching 2nd grade in Roosevelt, Utah, so we would have to move by August.
My daughter Amara Leta was born August 1st, and we moved 3 weeks later to the only apartment we could find, but it was in walking distance to the school, which was nice.  It was an exhausting time.  We met some great friends.  In church, Steve was with the scouts, and I did activity days for girls.  

2008- I started our family blog at: steveandlani.blogspot.com  
I convinced my mom and stepdad to come live by us.  My mom, her husband, and stepson moved in with us for a few months until they could find jobs and a place to live.  They slept on an air mattress and on a couch in the living room of our tiny 2 bedroom/1 bath apartment.  They were such troopers! It was nice to have non-picky eaters, that I could cook for and they would actually be grateful and eat my cooking.

2009- We built a house in Ballard, 5 minutes away, with my step-dad as contractor, and we moved in on Halloween.  It was so weird having so much room and privacy, but it now feels cozy and "ours."  Our new ward was great, and Steve was called to work with the young men and I was called to be in the primary.

2010- Lily started kindergarten.

2011- I saved 12 bucks on facepainting.  You've got to read that blog post.  It was pretty much the most impressive thing that happened that year.

2012- I got sick the day after my birthday, it took months of testing to diagnose me, but eventually, it was discovered that I have POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome), an autonomic nervous system disorder (basically anything that happens automatically in your body, like blood pressure, heartbeat, hormone regulation, digestion, among many, many others, suddenly and for no determined reason, don't work properly in me) and I also have a heart arrhythmia known as non-sustained ventricular tachycardia.  I got quite sick and lost 20 pounds in 3 weeks when I could barely eat more than a few crackers and dried strawberries.  Then another 10 pounds came off in the months that followed.  It's been a rollercoaster of symptoms- I'll feel just fine, and then I'll feel dizzy or naucious or out-of-breath or whatever.  The doctors tried a myriad of medications to relieve symptoms, but there is no cure, and the meds only made me feel worse.  So, I've made some diet and lifestyle changes, and I listen to my body.  I have developed a greater gratitude for the abilities I do have, and a testimony of prayer and God's goodness through this time.
Amara started kindergarten during this time, and for fear of being alone during an attack, I decided to spend my time at the school, helping out in Steve's classroom.  My first daughter was actually in his class that year, so it worked out well.  Everyday I felt some symptom or another, especially at night, but all in all, I felt well most of the time, with only a few days each month that really put me down.

2013- I began homeschooling my kids.  It's been an overall good adventure of learning for us all.

2014- My girls and I started a blog to help us document our nature studies: wildwestgardeners.blogspot.com

2015- I was called into the Relief Society as the secretary, which has required a lot of time for meetings, visits, and other things.  I spend 4-6 hours a week on that.  It was really taxing at first, and calling people I didn't know was really hard, but it's much easier now, and I've gained more confidence on the phone.
We also finally paid a professional and got some landscaping done around our house.

It's 2016 now, I feel well the majority of the time.  My symptoms are WAY milder than before.  I love my God, my family, good food, the beautiful outdoors, homeschooling, HGTV's show "Fixer Upper," gardening, blogging, reading good literature, get-togethers and genealogy.  That's me... and that's ten years at a glance.

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