Monday, December 2, 2013

A Peek Inside My Head

I have been sitting here for two hours trying to write up a couple short articles. It is something that normally wouldn’t take me any time at all, but this time is becoming impossible. Since my accident and head injury I have lost the ability to filter things out. I can’t make my brain stop. I can’t focus on what I want or need to focus on because my brain is responding to every stimulus around me. It’s like having ADD, but to the extreme, and then when you mix that with the poor memory skills or the mixing up of words it’s even worse. Try to imagine a drunken elderly person with the beginnings of Alzheimer, and severe ADD. That’s kind of what it is like inside my head. So as I was sitting here trying to get it to stop, so I can write, I shot a message to a friend. I expressed my frustration with the inability to write because of all that’s going on inside my head. I sent them a message saying “Here is my brain right now "respond to artist on twitter, pick up crafts, shut up fish tank, wait what's that noise, I should be writing, wait what's that noise, what are we doing at scouts tomorrow, I want coffee, shut up stupid fish tank, respond to twitter, damn that light is bright, wait what's that noise...." repeat.” Then it occurred to me. Maybe I shouldn’t fight it. Maybe this is the perfect opportunity to explain exactly what life inside my head is like since my accident.  Although it is something that is challenging for me to discuss, and it’s hard for others to understand I want to take this opportunity to attempt to give you a look inside my head. 

Since my car accident my life has been flipped upside down. (Now the Fresh Prince song is rolling through my head “Now, this is a story all about how my life got flipped-turned upside down…”) You absolutely wouldn’t know anything is different from looking at me, and although that is a blessing, sometimes it is also an obstacle. It is hard for people to remember or understand that things are different, even if I look the same. You might notice that I always have sunglasses on outside, and sometimes inside. You might notice that I rarely have the lights on in my house and if I do they are on low. You might notice that I do everything possible to not bend over or drive after dark, but in all likelihood you probably won’t notice much of anything. 

Once you start talking with me things will become more apparent, but even then it’s hard to understand. You will notice on occasion I mix up words. You will notice that I repeat myself multiple times, or that I have absolutely no idea what you told me the day before. It is entirely likely that although I may remember doing something with you I won’t know when it was. It’s possible that you will notice I write notes to myself and leave them all over. From where I am sitting right now I can see one note in my knitting (so I know what row to do next), two on the door, and several on the fridge. That’s not including the reminders set in my phone, or the fact that absolutely everything I need to take to work tomorrow is sitting underneath my keys so I don’t forget. Even then you can likely just brush it off, after all everyone forgets things right? We all walk into rooms and have absolutely no idea why we are there. It isn’t until you spend a significant amount of time with me that you notice the issues. Once you hear me tell the same story repeatedly over a couple days, when you see me sitting and crying because although I have knit 100 rows of stitches in the last few days I now can no longer remember how to do a purl stitch. You will notice when you see me get lost going somewhere I have gone hundreds of times. It’s when you are out with me after dark and you find out just how much the light bothers me.  It’s when you see the pain across my face because of a loud noise in the room, or when you see me grab hold of something because I have completely lost my balance from bending over. Maybe it’s when you are sitting in a room with me and watching my eyes dart around because of all the activity, or when I respond to something someone else said instead of what you said because I have no way of filtering out all the other conversations in the room. Or it might be when you notice the bruises on me from times I have lost my balance and fallen, or ran into something because I was dizzy and my depth perception was off.  Those are the times you will see what it’s like, but even in those moments it’s hard to understand. Hell I am going through it and I don’t understand it, so it is completely impossible for someone not going through it to grasp what’s happening. 

It’s hard when I am invited to do something and although I want to so bad I know it’s something I can’t handle. It’s hard when I am disappointing people by not going. It’s hard knowing they don’t understand when they say if you change your mind please let me know. It’s hard when I have to wear sunglasses and earplugs to watch fireworks, or when I am told I will probably never again enjoy carnival rides. It’s hard, but I make accommodations and I move forward with my life. I do other things that bring me joy. I find other things to help me relax, but most of all, like the song says, “I breathe in, and breathe out, put one foot in front of the other, take a day at a time….”(Chris Cagle I Breathe In, I Breathe Out) and I don’t give up hope. I can’t. I have to have hope that it will get better. There will be times when I can sit and write without being completely aware of every sound and every light around me. I have to believe that I will be able to go on my favorite rides, and enjoy my favorite holidays. I have to have hope… and I do. 

*** For those of you who wonder about how these blogs come out with minimal mistakes, while all this is happening. I write them and then read them multiple times to try and catch errors or mixed up words. Then I read them out loud. Then I let someone else look at them, and even still sometimes it makes it through with errors, but we try.***


Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's Monday Once Again

Although I keep promising myself that I will be blogging regularly again I just haven't had the time lately. Things have been a bit hectic, and yet still wonderful. I usually do Five on Friday, and although it isn't Friday today's blog will be done much the same way so I can cover all the random things happening in my life.



It has been wonderful to spend some time with my family lately. In addition to spending Thanksgiving with my immediate family, we went out of town this weekend to see my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. It was great catching up with everyone. I was blessed to have family around while I was growing up, and am so glad Ashley gets this same opportunity.



  Ashley cooking with Grandma and Uncle Nick.

One of my favorite holiday traditions is going to Christmas in the Sky the night before Thanksgiving. This year Ashley and I were joined by my mom, Larry, and Stormie. It was rather cold, and because of my head injury I can't be around so many flashing lights and people so this year we watched from the other side of the lake. It was still fun, and then we got to drive through all the lights. Ashley and I stayed at my parents that night and then the next day watched the parade together, and just enjoyed the day. We had dinner as a family, and just enjoyed being together.



Last week I joined the CMChat team. CMChat is a wonderful group which consists of an "online magazine", large social media aspect that links fans with artists, and so much more. It is a great chance for me to combine my love of writing with my love of country music. I will be doing a variety of tasks from them. It could be anything from interviewing artists, writing reviews, live tweeting events, writing articles etc. I am very excited about this opportunity and am so blessed to be working with these amazing people.  Click on the picture to check out the site!


I started knitting again a couple weeks ago. Since I lost the baby it has been hard for me to really get back into it because for some reason it always reminded me of babies. This time it has been great though. It has helped me relax and is something I can still do even when my head is bothering me (unlike reading). So far I have completed 5 Christmas presents and am working on my 6th. I have done a variety of things, but you will have to wait til after Christmas to actually see them ;-).




Today is the first day of Advent which brings along some more holiday traditions. Ashley and I have several books we read from throughout Advent, in addition to our Advent calendar and Advent wreath. It is something we look forward to every evening, and I love sharing this with her.







Since my accident it has been hard for me to get out with friends. However, in the last couple weeks I have made that a priority. I went out with Katy for her birthday and we had a blast. Katy is one of my former youth group students, and I also sponsored her through confirmation. Aside from all that she is a great friend. It had been entirely too long since we had seen each other, and we have vowed to get together way more frequently from now on. I have also made a better effort to meet up with other friends, and have joined some groups to meet up with people with similar interest (such as a crafting group).

Well, that's what has been going on with me. What's going on with all of you? Leave me a comment and let me know. Then click on the Mom's Mingle button above and head over to the blog hop and check out all the wonderful blogs. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

As you know I am a huge military supporter and do as much as I can to help and honor all of our military men and women. I think today is an important day to stop and give thanks to all those who have served for us, but more importantly I think it is important to remember that every day. Remember those who have lost their lives. Remember those who have served. Remember the families and friends who are at home waiting for their return, and remember all those who return home, but will never again be the same. They truly are making a sacrifice for us, and for that I thank them.

There really aren't words to adequately express my gratitude, but I don't think it can be said any better than this. Please take a moment and listen to the words of Ronald Reagan, and stop to say your own little prayer, and give thanks.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Thursday Favorites: Music Edition

Normally for Thursday favorites I tell you 5 things I am enjoying in my life, or 5 products I love. Well this week is going to be a bit different. This week I have been listening to lots of music, and of course watched the CMAs as well. So this week I am going to give you 5 songs that are topping my list this week, and I guess this is the country edition. I didn't intend for it to be that way, but got to the bottom of the list and there it was.

1. Luke Bryan- Drink A Beer

His performance on the CMAs was amazing and very touching. It isn't up on YouTube yet but I am sure it will be so check for it in a few days. He performs this song for both of his siblings who have passed. His older brother was killed in a car accident, and they still don't know what happened to his sister (read more here) . Such a sad story and such a wonderful tribute to them.

2. Blake Shelton- Mine Would Be You

Blake performed this song at the CMAs as well. He also won Male Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. I have been a fan of Blake's for years. I believe I have seen him in concert 11 times. When I first started following him he would play in some of the Country Club in the areas and wasn't selling those out, and now he is selling out the Sprint Center. It is just crazy. Oddly watching him perform this on the CMAs made me a bit sad. I think it was a combination of things. First, I didn't get to see him the last time he was in town because of my concussion and that really bothers me. Also though I miss him playing in small venues, the connect with the audience, it was such a fun time, but that won't ever happen again.

3.  Collin  Raye- Love Me

This song came out many many years ago. I remember hearing it for the first time on the radio and it immediately brought tears to my eyes. I heard it on the radio this week, for the first time in years, and once again tears immediately sprang to my eyes. It is such a touching song. Love like that doesn't come along every day, but this song makes me wish it was this way for everyone.

4. Jason Michael Carroll- Alyssa Lies

This is another tearjerker, but it is also a necessity. I wish everyone had to listen to this song, especially those working with children. This song does an excellent job of highlighting the fact that sometimes one night can make a huge difference. I was trying to relay that to someone this week, and eventually ended up just having them listen to the song, and then they got it. Sometimes one night, or one more chance can be a matter of life and death.

5.  Carrie Underwood- How Great Thou Art

If you haven't seen this performance by Carrie Underwood featuring Vince Gill, you seriously need to. It is done so beautifully and so powerfully. I come back to it all the time, and am still amazed by it. She is a true star both musically but also the way she presents herself. She is definitely someone people could look up to.

Please take a minute to leave me a comment and hit subscribe. I love hearing from my readers.Then head on over to the Thursday Favorites Blog Hop and check out some amazing bloggers. 
Thursday Favorite Things

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Here's Your Sign: Follow Your Heart

In a post last week I discussed the fact that I have been having a bit of a rough time lately. I am working on some things to help with my happiness and hopefully keep me from being so overwhelmed, all while adjusting to changes and restrictions. With some things changing so drastically it's hard not to get down from time to time, or to mourn the loss of my old life. It would be easy to just give up hope, but instead I'm really trying to focus on the positive things.  With that comes accepting the things I can't change, without dwelling on them. That sounds easy enough, but some days that's simply easier said than done.

Friday while I was at work I was trying to stay positive, and was having a pretty good day. I was looking forward to the weekend, and I felt like some of the changes I was implementing were already starting to make a difference. During the afternoon I had some quiet time to myself and was thinking about several different things.  As my mind continued to rehash everything going on in my life there was one question I kept coming back to.  I was trying to make a rational decision but basically needed to decide if I should follow my heart, and I am not sure there is anything rational about that. I felt like it's what I wanted to do, but was trying to determine if it was really what was best for everyone in the situation. I honestly felt like it was, but was having a hard time determining if that was a realistic view, or if it was skewed by my own personal wants. About 1:30 one of my coworkers came in to let me know she was taking over and they were letting me go early. I was still in the middle of thinking about this, when she walked in, and decided I would give it a little time before making a decision, and by then maybe there would be some sort of sign letting me know what to do. Maybe there would be something that would show me a little bit of hope that I was doing the right thing.

I started closing out which included taking the trash out to the dumpster behind the building amongst other things. On the side of the building there are several trees, which are gorgeous throughout Autumn. They have long oval shaped skinny leaves that are brilliant shades of yellow and red. I walked down the hall with thoughts still running through my mind and hoping that over the next few days I would get some sort of sign, some reassurance that I really was doing the best thing. I knew I couldn't dwell on it so with a quick "please let me know I am doing the right thing" I stopped thinking about it and stepped out the door.

As soon as I stepped out the door a smile spread across my face, and that quickly turned to laughter. All I could think about was Bill Engval saying "here's your sign" or John Wayne showing up multiple times and me saying "okay okay I get it!" You see, as soon as I walked outside my sign was laying right at my feet.

I picked the small sign up and took it back inside with me. I meant to take it home over the weekend but somehow it got left behind. Unfortunately it had some time to curl up, change color a bit, and wasn't in perfect shape by the time I returned on Monday, but that almost made it better. I wish I had a picture from the first day, but today when I walked in it was flat once again. It is now pressed between some tape and tucked safely inside my book. It's pretty hard to ignore the sign when you ask "Should I follow my heart?" and walk outside to find a beautiful leaf in the shape of a perfect red heart lying at your feet. Where this leaf came from I don't know. All the others are long skinny ovals, but wherever this leaf came from I am sure glad it did, because it's exactly what I needed that day. It was my sign, a little shimmer of hope that I am doing the right thing. A reminder that my heart may be bruised, but it's still intact and when I follow it, things will be okay.

As always I appreciate you stopping by my blog today. I love hearing from your guys so don't forget to leave me a comment, and hit the subscribe button.