Saturday, June 30, 2012

"You look so young!" Ehhh

So I'm going to be honest.... I am so tired of not being taken seriously because I look young. I'm tired of looking like I am still in High School, especially since I feel like I've had way, WAY more life experience and maturity of someone twice my age. It's really, really frustrating. And before you go and leave a comment saying that I will really appreciate looking younger when I get older -- please don't. I know that I will be very grateful later on in life when I still look long... but right now it's terribly frustrating.

And for me... it really isn't an issue of vanity. It isn't at all. Much more than that.

Even though it's starting to bother me a little bit now, overall I guess I don't so much mind when people tell me that I look young. What DOES bother me is when I voice my opinion I get brushed off. When I try to show my competency in something they will go to someone else because I'm young and so therefore I wouldn't know. When I try to show compassion with something it's "cute" because I'm a young girl trying to comfort someone instead of an adult trying to comfort someone my age or just slightly older. As I said, I just don't get taken seriously and it bothers me -- a lot.

I think that people assume that I am still in HS and so I don't really get a chance with things... such as expressing my opinion, or even commenting on something that means a lot to me. I often times get overlooked when I am in a setting of adults that I have never met before. Even if these adults are only 5 years older than me... I still get treated like I'm in High School and oh, I don't belong there. People talk PAST me and not TO me.... Often times it's like I'm non existant.
Also because I look young, I think that people who know me forget that I am really 21, I've had tons of life experience, I'm extremely mature and rational, even though they know my age. I have had experience with more than one adult who treats me like they are my mother or something of the like. Granted I know that they are my elders, but sometimes I feel like I'm not being treated respectfully, and rather than be treated like a kid, I should be treated like a peer because of my, for lack of better words, ability and maturity level.

I think some of this comes from my confidence level, honestly. When Spence died I lost A LOT of my self confidence. It definitely was building up when I was with Spencer -- but now I've lost a lot of ground. I don't hold myself as confidently, I don't speak up when in a crowd as much as I used to, I don't hold eye contact as frequently, I always judge myself around other people... I'm not thin enough, she's prettier than me...etc, things like that that I KNOW I need to continue working on. But it's hard to do such a thing when I don't have the constant reassurance that I had from Spencer. I haven't actually heard the phrase, or anything similar, "Nikki, you're beautiful" in 10 months... ever since Spencer got critically ill - that's a hard blow. Just something else that I lost when I lost my husband. He was also very good about encouraging me and pointing out my strengths -- very good at that. One thing I miss. I was really starting to actually, truly see it for myself... all of my strengths.... when Spencer was alive. He always reminded me the "fake it until you make it" type of thing. Because eventually I would believe it if I just lived as I did. It's true - it was working. I'm just sad I've regressed. I just have to keep replaying his words over and over in my mind. It's hard, but hopefully I can return to gaining ground on my confidence issue instead of losing it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

slow day

Today is going by fairly slow even though Ash and I have kept busy! We've been on the go non-stop since she finished breakfast at 9 this morning! We played outside, danced to toddler songs on Pandora, took tons of pictures on Photobooth, did mini volcanoes, and now she's playing Barbies in her room and has stated she doesn't want me to join her haha. Have a couple other things up my sleeves if she starts getting bored. Been trying to be SO creative this week with indoor activities! ... But I can't believe it's only 11:30!!! Seems like it should be 2 in the afternoon by now! Whew she wears me out! But I'd definitely take her happy mood over the other! =)  If she takes a good nap today I told her that we might be able to go swimming for about an hour. I can't be out in the sun long since I am on antibiotics which make me burn up to a crisp really quickly, but I think a short time would be fun.... have to try some way to beat this heat.

Ugh the heat. We've been going on 100 + degree temps for about 2 weeks now. I'm so tired of it. And unfortunately the next 10 days isn't looking any better. In fact I've heard this could go on until around mid-July..... 106, 103, 106, 101, 99, 102, etc etc. Awful. Yesterday it was around 112. I feel so bad because Ashlyn wants to go outside during the day, but I have to tell her no because I know if I go outside it will completely drain my energy and then I won't be able to do anything fun with her the rest of the day =( Not to mention we can't do side walk chalk or anything because of how hot it gets! I tried to get her to run through the sprinkler but she hasn't had much interest in that yet.
Even though the mornings have been pretty hot too, I've been trying to get her to go outside first thing in the morning to run around, swing, draw on the side walk etc. to get it out of her system. I'd rather deal with 80 and 90 degree heat rather than 112!!! Praying that this heat lets up and we get some moisture. There are so many fires =( Of course Colorado has some major, major fires going on right now, but Utah has had 3 too, and counting. I heard that Montana has had about 3 as well - and I'm sure this doesn't even begin to cover it. Everywhere is in desperate need of moisture and a couple of days of relief from the heat! So thankful for those fighting these fires and praying they remain SAFE!

I got an offer from a couple of friends of mine, who I really don't know that well. We met in the hospital while Spence was in ICU and her boyfriend was super sick in the hospital as well. I think we hit it off pretty well =) They are both so, so kind and I wish that there was someway that I could pay them back for their kindness. They won't be moving back to Utah until October and have stated that maybe I could stay at their place in Ogden until I found a place to live!! This would give me a chance to find a good job so that I can be certain of my budget! Ahhhh even just the thought of this is a HUGE relief to me and makes me feel a little more at ease with the move. I hope everything works out. So right now, I'm feeling a little bit better about things... we'll see how long this lasts lol.

Anyway, just wanted to quickly blog while I had a chance. I haven't been blogging all that frequently lately so I'm attempting to get better about it when I have a free moment to just sit down and write. =)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Rough Patch

I have just been at a loss since Sunday, and especially tonight. I feel so defeated -- by nothing in particular but this life that I now have to adapt to. I been needing to and wanting to write for a few days now and so I'll start with Sunday and just write as I feel inspired to.

I had been wanting to get back in the swing of going to church for awhile.... it's just hard going back when you've been away - and I'd been away for around 2 months. Many different factors; being gone, missing Spencer; being lazy... etc. Well a couple of days leading up to Sunday I had a really strong desire to get myself to church, no matter what... and so that's just what I did -- I'm really glad that I went, but it was also really hard for me.
Upon walking into sacrament meeting I just felt kind of numb and not really sad, but not happy either. I really don't like being by myself at church, but at the same time I like to sit by myself and just reflect and have my personal time. I just wish, of course, that I had my husband by my side. While singing a hymn, for some reason I started thinking about how much Spencer just loved to sing, but how sad he was that he couldn't because of his coughing. I remembered how he would just randomly start singing a hymn that would pop into his head, over and over again. I loved hearing his voice and I could see the joy in his face he got from singing. I couldn't get his voice out of my head and specific moments that came to my mind as I thought about him singing. One of those moments being on the way to his dads funeral... He opened his hymnal on our drive to Pleasant Grove and sang his and his dads favorite hymns. It was just beautiful to listen to and knowing that he was trying to get peace and comfort from singing these hymns. I never once asked him to stop.
Maybe it was the specific hymn that we sang in church that hit me and made me think of Spencer, perhaps it was just a random thought - I don't know, but what I do know is that it really made my heart hurt and definitely brought tears to my eyes.
During sacrament meeting they talked a lot about family home evening, and spending time with family. Reading scriptures, praying, discussing with family. I'm just sad that I don't have that. =( I LOVE how my church is focused upon the family, but sometimes it hurts to hear everything revolving around the family and not much focus on the individuals who don't have a family that they live with. I guess that's part of being in a family branch, huh? A singles ward may solve that issue - except for the fact they like to talk about your future and finding a spouse... I'm not ready for that. I feel like I'm just stuck in the in-between of it all..... anyway....

Then during Relief Society I was asked to read a quote.... and mine just so happened to be about guilt and repentance. Ooooh man probably appropriate, but ehhhh. Boy have I felt a heck of a lot of guilt lately. Guilt for not going to church, not praying, not reading the scriptures, not living a christ-like life for awhile, and etc. I am just going to leave it at that, but it really got me to thinking again about how unhappy I have become with myself and my involvement within my church.

After church was over there was a baptism. I battled back and forth with myself about staying or leaving. I wanted to stay to give support to our new member, I wanted to be around members of my church longer because everyone is so kind, and I just really wasn't ready to go home. I didn't want to stay because just thinking about it brought up a lot of emotions and memories from my own baptism. Alas, I ended up staying... and I also ended up breaking down, sobbing, and having to leave for a few minutes while I tried to force myself to get it together.
I baptism was a year ago in May and it was a hugeee and very significant part of my life last year (and even today). Memories of my husband being the one to baptize me came flooding back. The day of my baptism seems like yesterday, yet at the same time it feels like such a blur (about like everything anymore).
Just a few of the thoughts I had:

  • My father-in-law was supposed to baptize and confirm me; he wasn't able to because his body was shutting down due to the cancer. He wasn't able to be there, which was really sad for me. I definitely had my heart set on him at least confirming me.

  • Very happy that my husband was able to be a HUGE part of that day by baptizing me. So very special. Happy that Elder Mercer was able to confirm me -- one of the missionaries who taught me.
  • My mother in law being there supporting me and how excited and happy she was for me, and how much she talked about my baptism to people. 

It was just sad because all three of those people, Spencer, my father in law, and my mother in law have all passed away within the last year.
What really got to me was when we got to the hymn of the baptism. Wow it hit me hard. It was "I am a Child Of God". Both Spencer and my MIL used to sing this song all of the time. Haha. When Spencer would sing it over and over again sometimes it would annoy me, but other times I would love it! So hearing that song sent me over the edge and I had to leave for a few minutes. Everything hit really hard at that moment... All the people I have lost and how horribly bad I miss all of them.

The rest of the day was okay, but of course I was a little down after church. I'm glad that I went back but I am just SO frustrated that going to church hurts me so much. That's when so many things come to surface and it's so hard to ignore them. I'm emotional from the presence of the spirit (which I am SO thankful for because it's something I've been longing to feel again....) and then I'm additionally emotional over what/who I miss.... which leads to a big sob fest that I'd rather not have in front of the whole congregation. -sigh-

Anyway.... next.

So ever since Sunday morning I have been waking up, and every morning Spencer is on my mind

(Aside from a weird dream I had last night about an ex-boyfriend I haven't talked to in awhile? Whhhat?! Why do I dream about my ex-boyfriends and not my husband.... I don't understand this lol).

On Sunday I couldn't stop thinking about Spencer and some of his quirks and things that he liked since I stayed up really late Saturday night talking about him with my sister.... On Monday I couldn't get some moments out of my mind from the ICU and then Monday night I went through his book collection.... This morning after I got over the weird dream I had I couldn't stop thinking about Spencer, just in general.
He really hasn't left my mind. And it's not necessarily sad things that enter my mind, it's happy things too - but even the happy things are making me sad because I just miss him.

And now for the most recent thing that has me feeling so lost... Moving. I am terrified and I feel so defeated about the whole thing. I am very nervous and scared about finding a place to live. Finding room mates that I will get a long with and hold the same standards as myself. Finding people who will allow me to live with them despite not having a job right off the bat. Being able to get a place near my friends who are going to be about the only ones who are able to help me through being back in Utah at first... goodness knows it's important I'm near my support network, because this is going to be so hard <3
I'm nervous about branching out again. Of course I'm excited, but I think right now I am more scared. I am doubting EVERYTHING. I am scared about being able to find a job. I sat down tonight and wrote out as much of a resume as I could... and I just don't have any experience aside from babysitting, and I can't do that anymore because I have to be able to fully support myself AND pay off debt.... I need a very decent paying job. I'm nervous because it seems like every job I look at they require a degree or some type of experience I just don't have and really have no way of getting. It's a cycle as I'm sure many of you know!!!! I can only apply and hope that they will interview me anyway. But I have to get a job ASAP after the move. =( I'm so scared of all of the what-ifs.

Right now I just don't want to move. I mean I want to because I want to get out of this town and be near my friends etc... but for every other reason I don't. I don't want to miss my family. I don't want to be so far away. I don't want to have to struggle. I don't want to hurt. I'm scared of the unknown. I'm afraid of not being able to do it. I'm scared of being overwhelmed and not having any one there for me. I don't want to start over! I don't want to continue living my life when Spencer is dead.. it's not fair =( I know that life isn't fair and that it sounds horrible and awful and well, just terrible.... but I'm just sad right now and all I want to do is cry.

And I officially don't know what else to say. I wish I felt better after typing that all out... but sadly this time I don't. =/

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I miss my husband.

This is just going to be short... I just need to get it out there without posting a million facebook statuses about it because... well just because -- it doesn't matter.

I miss my husband. Terribly. I have been missing him all week and I've really been trying to ignore the fact.... brush it off as no big deal. It's been a hard week for me. I have enjoyed myself with these girls and the YM program but a lot of the time we are just sitting around - everyone texting their friends or boyfriends while the girls work on their routines. So I just try to distract myself with games or facebook or something like that.... I don't have anyone to text anymore. No one to call. I don't have anyone to talk to to tell them that I'm home safe.... that I'm on my way home (okay yes my parents but... beside the point here, really....)
I have been feeling sick since being on this antibiotic. Every single day. Some days better, some days worse - but I'm just overall not feeling well. I burn easily in the sun. I don't handle heat well and being outside makes me feel awful. All I want to do is complain but I don't have anyone to complain to. (ie my husband to listen to me and just comfort me).
I'm forgetting what it feels like to hold his hand. To have him comfort me and to put his arm around me. I'm not forgetting -- I forgot. I see pictures of him with his arm around me... I want to remember how that feels -- but I don't... it's only in pictures. And that hurts, because I won't ever know that specific feeling with him ever again. (and I know there an eternity... but I don't want that speech right now...) I don't want to forget things....

I just miss him and I miss having someone who is ALWAYS ALWAYS there no matter what. That person I can call or text just to say hello and tell him that I love him and miss him. =/  Just having a moment... Hopefully after this week this will feeling with pass... but until then I have to try and accept it and know that it's normal to feel how I'm feeling and it's going to be a frequent thing for awhile.

It doesn't mean that it doesn't suck though. And it doesn't mean that it doesn't break my heart.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Happenings... Young Miss

What a busy and exhausting week -- and it's only Tuesday! Whew! Though it may be super busy and so tiring, it's very worth it! I was asked to be a backstage mom for the Cheyenne County Young Miss program that Juniors get to participate in every year. The girls endure a week of learning routines for fitness and poise, getting down the opening number perfectly, while perfecting interview skills and their talents to wow the judges. Not only are they learning these (sometimes) arduous routines, but they do a lot of team building getting to know each other and become closer and throughout the week they learn responsibility, priceless skills, and they take away memories that will last them a life time.

I participated in Young Miss 2009 and I took away so much from that experience. It was so much fun! There were 11 of us that year and I made some great friends and strengthened friendships with several people. I was so excited that I was asked to volunteer with the program this year! Though my backstage mom didn't join me until the end of the week, she was a huge help! I remember her well and I was so thankful that I had someone there to help me out with everything the night of the performance!! I hope that I'm able to be there for my 'daughter' as much as my backstage mom was there for me. I have the returning 2011 Young Miss this year. She does a few talents, helps out and encourages the girls during the week, puts together a picture board, and does the team building with them. So far she's doing a great job, I'm so proud of her!

All the girls this year are great. Unfortunately there are only 4 competing for the title of Young Miss 2013.... so few from the year that I did it! But they all have something unique that they are bringing to the program. The talents are great and they are catching onto the routines very quickly -- I've been impressed. Their interview skills are already close to top notch... if they continue to work hard throughout the week there is going to be a stellar performance this Saturday night -- and I encourage every one who is able to, come to the St. Francis HS on Saturday at 7:00 and support these girls! Cheer them on for all of the hard work that they did this week. And if you see any of these girls this week - encourage them and wish them the best!

The days have been long for me. I've been watching Ash every morning and I am thankful that I get a couple of hours down time before I head over to St. Francis to young miss. I really don't know if I'd be functioning right now if I wasn't able to rest just a little bit! I haven't been getting home until about 11:15 or 11:30 each night and it seems to take me about an hour to wind down and turn my mind off before I'm able to actually fall asleep -- this makes 6:45-7:00 seem WAY early! But I'm making do and getting along okay. After I'm actually up and going in the morning I seem to do okay... until about 6:30 or 7 at night and then I crash!

Because of the long days I haven't been able to do much with the website, I don't have the energy to work on it after I get off work and before I head over to St. Francis. But hopefully next week will be filled with progress for my ideas of what to do with the site next. Hopefully adding some pics and some more CF info will be all done by the end of the month. Running a website is a lot of work -- more than I imagined. I technically don't have to mess with it once it's launched, but I want to keep adding things to it to people will continue to come back and see the new content. The unique views on the site are definitely down right now, (thought not quite as much as I thought it might be! I'm still getting at LEAST 25 unique hits a day) but I expected that since I'm not able to post as much on the facbeook and Twitter pages, as well as no new content has been added since the beginning of the month when I put up the new Featured Cystic - Gillian!

I'm SLOWLY (very slowly) making progress with the beginning of the book... of course it's been on hold this week, but I've gotten nearly all of my blog posts and such organized into one document to help me get a timeline for everything. I really wanted to print it all out so I had a rough draft of it and could organize it a little easier... but DANG it's over 350 pages of blog posts, caring bridge posts, facebook etc etc. Sooo I won't be doing that ;-) That's just a book by itsself! I'm gussing there are an average of 1-2 posts per page... so I'm assuming there is anywhere from about 500 to 600 actual posts gathered together. CRAZY! But where I'm going to go from here, I am honestly not sure. Starting out is the hardest thing for me... I get so overwhelmed with everything. But after this step is complete I'm sure I'll figure it out! Just have to start somewhere!!!! Thanks SO MUCH to the 3 that have taken a moment to email me feedback from my previous blog posts. I REALLY appreciate it so so much. More than you know. It helps kind of give me something to work with.

I am slowly making decisions about moving. I'm still overwhelmed with it, but I think I have a date set in my mind to go to Utah! I won't reveal it yet because I need to let some people know first... but I'm excited =) New beginnings!

I am so EXCITED for one of my friends husband! He was called in for a new set of lungs last night. The first time he got the call it was a dry run because the lungs were diseased... but he is now out of surgery and is going wonderfully. What a wonderful new beginning -- being able to take a nice deep breath.... freely! I am so so happy for them. They will be able to do things they never have before. Whenever I hear of another CFer get a new chance at life, of course I am SO excited for them, but I can't help but miss my husband each and every time, and become a little jealous of the opportunity he never got.... new organs. But alas just let it be.

So I'm going to end this by asking you.... Are you an organ donor? If you are -- thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Having it on your license isn't enough.
Register in your state at:   Don't forget to openly express your wishes about organ donation to your family and friends and mention it more than once. They need to be aware of what YOU want. You'd be amazed at how many people want to be organ donors, but because their wishes are not freely expressed to close family and friends, this just doesn't happen...

If your not an organ donor, please consider signing up!!!! You can save more than one life!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

My thoughts these last few days...

Firstly, I would LOVE if you could please help me out a little bit by answering this question, either in the comments or by emailing me --
If I wrote a book about my Spencer and I's journey -- what would you like to read about? What do you want to learn more about? What would you expect to be in the book? What made you continue to come back to read about our progress and setbacks... etc?
I have had nearly 70 hits on the post that I did, but I only got one response. =(  I could really benefit from you giving me your thoughts! I've had so many people say that they support me and always will, and I've had SO much encouragement to write this book; So please - if you could just take a couple of moments to do that for me, I'd REALLY appreciate it! =)

Secondly... this moving business is totally and completely overwhelming for me. I'm very excited about starting a new chapter in my life, and I know that I'm as ready for it as I'll ever be -- but since I was able to get financially stable enough to move, I have become a ball of nerves about it, and part of me is second guessing things! I know that it's all from fear of the unknown and fear of starting over new and I know that it's something that I need to continue to push past, but the feeling is there and it's hard to deal with.
I was excited to go down to my storage unit where all of my things are. I want to organize things a little bit better since when I moved back to KS we had about 3-4 days to pack and so things were just kind of thrown into boxes with little order. I want to separate things into three categories: things that stay here; things that go to Utah; Spencer's things. And then of course more organization from there (bathroom, kitchen, bedroom.... etc). It will make it A LOT easier on everyone if I do this. There's going to be a LOT that I don't take with me since I will be moving in with girls who have already established a place.

But I got down to the storage unit and I was just hit with a brick of emotion. It brought back a lot of thoughts and feelings from the last time things were packed up. A lot of Spencer's things are down there and though I want to look through them, and be able to actually take my time, it's hard to push myself to open the boxes and remember. Even the things that AREN'T Spencer's bring a lot of memories - I mean even our kitchen appliances. Let me explain why.... All of the things that are in those boxes (well most of it) symbolizes our married and our life together. Most of that stuff didn't exist until we got married and moved in together. And until I can establish a place of my own -- I have no use for half of it, I most likely will not need a lot of it for awhile. I'm glad that I have it -- but it just really stinks that it can't be put to use.
I almost feel like I'm taking a step back, if that makes sense. I say this because before he passed away, we had a place of our own. And now.... I'm going to be living with other girls. Close to the same set up I had in the dorms (though thankfully this time I will have my own room) I think it will be good and I'm actually looking forward to it (kind of...), but I wish that I could afford my own place.

It's also been hard just because of the overall picture. I have grown and matured in a lot, A LOT of areas. I have had A LOT of life experience at only 21 years old, yes. But I "missed out" on doing a lot of the simple things that people learn to do on their own when they first move out and get a place of their own... I lived in the dorms my first year and everything was already taken care of. I had a lot of help from my parents. But then I lived with Spence.
I have never managed all of the finances before. I've never been the one to pay all of the bills. It's just things like that... Things that Spencer took care of that I never had to worry about. And now not only am I moving out again, but I have to take on this responsibility that I've been used to my husband doing.
Granted I would NEVER go back and change anything at all - I'm glad that we had time together when we were able to... but it's just kind of interesting to think about the things that I completely understand and I can do without second guessing, compared to the things that I just started to learn 6 months ago and am still continuing to understand. I know that I will be fine - it might be stressful at first trying to remember everything and take on all this new responsibility, but I know I'll do just fine.

I'm very excited, but at the same time nervous, to make new friends. Before Spence and I made a lot of new friends who were couples. We shared friends and if I met someone new, I had my husband to come home to and tell him all about him/her and then he would quickly meet said person. I'm on my own now! I hope that I easily meet people and become friends with them. I'm very thankful for the friends that I do already have in Utah =) I met some amazing people my freshman year of college - and I wish that we could have remained better friends... but we were just on two different paths with life at the time. I was in a serious relationship with Spencer (and the hospital.... lol) and then married, and they were trying everything new out for the first time. We connected in every single way except for a major part of our lives. Most of them are going to be on their last year of college this year... and here I am trying to pay off debt so that I CAN go back to school. I'm sad that I don't have them to chat with and hang out with. Nothing is saying that we can't still be friends - but I definitely have to earn their friendship back... we'll see what happens!

The other things I'm worried about is coming home after a long day. In this aspect I'm glad that I will have roommates, even though they may not be there all of the time. I won't be coming home to a completely "empty" house (just me living there). But I still worry about coming home to no one. I won't have my husband there to greet me. I won't have him there to listen to me talk about my day, the people that I met... the people who drive me crazy. I don't do that much now, but really, I do the same things every day with miss Ashlyn. Not too much changes! And my mom isn't home when I get home - so usually I just water my garden and then relax in my room until it's time to cook dinner... but Being out in the city there are going to be A LOT of changes and I imagine so much going on! Especially right at first. and I really wish that Spence could be there so I have someone to come home to. It's an adjustment that I know will take awhile to make. But with time it'll become a bit easier.

Anyway... That's just kind of what's been on my mind recently. I need to pick a moving date still. That's my first step - pick a date to move. I'm thinking mid/late July. Speaking of that... I'm having a hard time actually setting a date. It makes it so, so real. And that's the part of my that I think is having second guesses on it. If I officially set a date to go out there, to stop working, it's official. Crazy. I almost want someone to tell me.... okay Nikki - you're quitting your job on X date and you're going to go out to Utah on X date. So guys.... what day sounds fantastic? ;-) lol
We'll see what happens!!!   Positive thoughts and prayers for this whole process are appreciated.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Book...

As many of you know, I have been wanting to write a book for quite awhile now. A book about our* journey (*Spencer and I) and what I have learned from my experiences of being married to a man with cystic fibrosis. I want to share with others what I have learned and how I have grown and changed. How I found myself through my relationship with my husband. How I handled those nearly impossible situations to handle. 

I have had many people ask me what it's like to be with someone you know is going to die. How on Earth I stayed so strong through it all. How my faith survived. Why I made the choices I did. Why we got married so young. etc etc etc. I get asked for suggestions, advice, my experience etc from others who are going through similar situations -- with CF or otherwise. I get asked a lot just in general, how I did it and continue to thrive to this day. I want to share my story and insights.

Not only do I want to write about the entire experience with Spencer, but I really want to focus on what it is like when you know that your dear husband is dying. I want to write about how I handled and learned from the last year of our time together; when I knew that his time was coming to an end -- whether it ended in transplant or not.
As a CF Widow, there are just some things that other widows don't understand and can't relate to... and if they do relate to it - it's in a different way. This part of the book is something that I wish I had when I was going through the last 3 months with my husband and as I continue to go through the grieving process for the rest of my life.  CF is no longer solely considered a children's disease - so many more CFers are living into adulthood, more are getting married. There are more CF Widows out there than I even know of. (I currently personally know of 6...) I want to connect with them and I want to be able to help them along their journey of loss as I continue to travel my own journey of loss.  Not once have I found a book with the sole focus being the life and words of a CF Widow. I want to make this book a reality.

I not only want to write this book to help others - but I want to write it for myself. I know that I will be very therapeutic for me to write about my CF journey. Writing helps me discover things that otherwise would be left undiscovered. It helps me come to many realizations. I learn more about myself when I write. 

I took a "break" from book writing for awhile as I put together the riddleofcf website. I then just needed a break in general with reliving all of my time with Spencer. At times, writing and remembering can be an exhausting thing to do, and so I'm glad that I gave myself the break. But I'm ready to write again! I want to do this! I've been thinking about this for a couple of weeks now. It's going to be a long process, especially since it's going to be an on-the-side thing that I'm doing, but I know in the end it's going to be completely worth it. 

And now to get to one of the main reasons that I wrote this blog in the first place. I kind of need a little help from people who will read this book. Some help just organizing my thoughts and getting an idea of what YOU would like to read about. So my question is:

When you pick up this book - What do you want to read about? 
Questions to get you thinking....
What would you expect to be in the book?
What kinds of things interest you about our story?
What inspires you about our story?
What brought your attention to our story? 
What made you continue to come back and read about us/me/Spencer?

Any help that you can give me is GREALY appreciated. I want to get started but I'm trying to figure out what direction I want to take this all in. So please, please leave me a comment or email me:

The more you say, the better it helps me! Thanks!!!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Utah - STAT!

To say that I want to be back in Utah would be somewhat of an understatement. I am definitely craving a life beyond the one that I am living right now.

As I was driving to the bank today a song came on the radio - One Directions hit, What Makes You Beautiful. I decided to take a detour and just drive around a little bit while the song played. By the time this song was over I drove down at least 1/2 of the streets in my town. Another song came on and I continued to drive, successfully driving down every major road in my town at least twice. I proceeded to go into the bank, being greeted by name by friendly and very familiar faces and then I left, deciding to drive around a little bit more. I didn't want to go home. I didn't want to isolate myself in my room anymore. There wasn't anything on TV, nothing to do upstairs. I've exhausted myself on Netflix and reading books. I just needed something to do. So I drove - driving those same streets many more times when a thought occurred to me.

I have got to get out of here. Not on a vacation. Not for a weekend get away. Not even for a day away. I need to go. Leave. And start my life over again.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm thankful for where I grew up at. I have a wonderful, loving, and supportive family. I have a community who knows me (whether that's good or bad changes based upon the day....). I was lucky to really have one-on-one time with teachers. Having close friendships as I grew up. Learning right from wrong. Not getting into any trouble. I have great memories here.

But being here is not "me" anymore.

I don't feel like "me" when I'm here. I realized today that while growing up my community had a lot to offer; the schools, friendships, sports, support etc. But now? There just isn't anything left for me here. I've grown beyond what my community has to offer me. Lets face it. I have NEVER been even remotely interested in agriculture, that's one of the reasons I moved away from here, and the states surrounding here. It never has been me, and it never will be. Sure I respect the people who put their life into that - but it's not for me. Really all of the jobs you can find around here are based on helping out on the farm or in the fields.
Sure I could get a job in a hospital or something, but they are all small towns. You see the same people every day. The same things all of the time. It's an elderly community and it's rare that you have patients or clients who you don't know. Exciting "action" doesn't really happen around here. Another reason why I wanted to move away. I can't really even get "career" experience here because the type of job that I want to do doesn't exist in a small town. Only in a bigger city.

There isn't anything for me to do during the days here. I have no friends here anymore. My HS class has moved on. And even if they were living here - we are living two separate lives and we are on two different spectrums. I've been married AND widowed. Most of them aren't even thinking about getting married yet. We've grown apart and I don't know that much of anything can glue us back together again because our life experience is SO different. Sure we can get together for dinner or a conversation, and we do when they are visiting home, but after a few minutes there isn't much to say. They are in school, just finding serious boyfriends, going to activities, dances, concerts. I am just trying to get back on my feet after a life changing event - the loss of my husband. I don't relate to them anymore. It's sad, but it's also life.

I fell in love with the city. I am so happy there. I feel like I'm being held back living here at home. I have a strong desire to move on with my life, but I can't. I'm stuck in a rut and I'm just going crazy! I want to see my friends. I miss my friends from Utah terribly. I've created a life there and built life long friendships. My friends in Utah have been with me through some of my biggest accomplishments and they have stuck by my side through the absolut ugliest point in my life. I can't really say that for anyone else.

I love being able to go out at 10:00 at night to the store if you're feeling like milk and cookies. I love being able to take an impromptu trip to wal*mart 24/7 if you forgot something, or have a spontaneous idea to craft something. I love making a quick trip to sonic for a drink or some tator-tots when you're bored. I love driving a few minutes to have a game night at my friends house. I miss just hanging out at the mall because you can and it's a good way to catch up with someone. I miss being able to go to my friends house if I'm having a horrible night and just need someone to talk to.... a friend to talk to and hug. I miss those times when you're super bored during the day and all you have to do is look up movie theaters and see what movie is playing within the next 30 minutes. I miss when your super bored at night, yet you can guarantee somewhere fun to be open. I miss the opportunities. I miss volunteering. I miss meeting new people. Making new friends.

I know that when I go back to Utah things are NOT going to be the same as when I lived there before. I've taken enough trips out there since Spencer died to understand that it's a lot different. I know it's going to be hard. But I'm tired of being at a stand still with my grieving. I have exhausted all grieving here. I think what I am grieving most right now is the lack of a life. Honestly. I have grieved my husband all that I can right now -- now it is waiting for all of those "wonderful" significant days to pop up (birthdays, holidays etc) and continue living in the "year of firsts". Just taking things as they come along. I'm looking forward to being in Utah again so that I can go and visit my husbands grave. Just to feel some sense of peace, as going to the cemetery is so peaceful for me (though sucky because it's WRONG to visit your husband at the cemetery... but I digress). By not getting on with my new life, I am starting to really grieve my old life - the one with Spencer. I'm missing it so much because I always think that if he would be here right now, I wouldn't be living in Kansas. I need change. I told myself I would live in KS for at least 6 months... It's been 6 months and I'm ready to get on with it.

Of course I am going to miss my parents. It's so nice being around them. But i'm ready for independence again. I'm scared out of my mind. I'm nervous. I'm anxious - but I know it's all for the better and for my benefit. I need to do this for ME. I need to continue on the path of finding myself. A lot of me was completely lost when Spencer died. It's time for me to continue rediscovering who Nikki is. What Nikki's interests are. What Nikki enjoys doing. It's going to take awhile but I can't continue doing that here. I'm just driving myself mad wishing that I could find these things out - and the only way I can is if I'm away from here.

So in short - I am as ready as I can be. The realization that I had today while driving, the one where I realized that I need to get out of here -- it's what I've been needing so that I know that it's time and that it is okay to take that first step no matter how scared and nervous I may be. Now it's playing a waiting game for my financial situation to straighten out a little bit more so that I can actually plan a date.....

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Support Groups

Having support groups is amazing. I don't know where I would be in my life without them. I have a wonderful support group (actually, several!) for my Crohn's disease. I have several support groups for cystic fibrosis. And I have a support group for being a cystic fibrosis wife. The latter I am most thankful for to this day. As a CF wife I felt so alone. I only personally knew one other woman out there going through things similar to myself but I knew there had to be more. I was so grateful when I was introduced to the facebook group, CF Wives. I am sure I've talked about it before, but these ladies have been my go-to and my life support for not only CF husband related things, but everything in general. We have a bond that is unbreakable. 
I laugh with them and I cry with them (sometimes just flat out sob). I truly feel their pain and get exactly where they are coming from with their worries, stresses, annoyances, and fears. We get each other perfectly.
And one of the best things about these ladies is that they have not once turned me down and shut me out because my husband passed away and I am now a CF Widow instead of a CF Wife. I have been able to remain a part of this group and continue to share what I know about being in these various circumstances with my husband. It's been great to be able to help these other ladies out - but it's also been hard sometimes being a member of this group. Just hard emotionally. I see these ladies posting about their husbands deteriorating lung functions and being listed for transplant. And while being listed for a double lung transplant having many complications.

And while I know that no two CFers are the same, I can see some of these wives getting ready to walk down the same road that I did. The symptoms and complications they describe are some of what Spencer experienced several months before getting critically ill. The lung functions being so low you wonder how he is even breathing. The struggle for air after a coughing fit and you wonder how they aren't passed out. The talk to the doctors about transplant. The talk about his future. Your future. The hospitalizations every single month. Being put on oxygen at night... and then increased to 24/7. Lungs giving out. Life support. ICUs. The inevitable. The absolute horrible inevitable happening.

Sometimes it's hard for me to say anything because I don't know what else to say but "I am so, so sorry." and mean it with EVERY ounce of my being. But it's hard to express how much you truly mean something when you're only typing it out. Sometimes my emotions are so strong for them that I feel like I need to say something but no words can come to mind. Because sometimes, there is simply no words to describe what a person is going through. To describe how much it really does hurt and how hard it really is.

Sometimes, a lot of the time, I want to say too much - but I have to censor myself because I don't want to scare them with telling them that their husbands symptoms have been mimicking Spencer's the last year of his life. The last thing I want them to do is be paranoid because that's the path that my husband's health took. All I can say at times, (when I desperately want to beg for them to look into things further because I am scared for them) is just that I understand. That I've been there and I'm here if they need anything. But oh gosh... do they really get just HOW MUCH I understand it? (I'm sure that they do, at times... but there are sometimes when I wonder.)

There are times where I want to say things such as "Just stay by his side and don't let go. Hug him and love him and kiss him and CHERISH the moments you have together. Take pictures and record memories like it's a priority. But never, ever forget to live in the moment because in the blink of an eye your life can change in an instant.... and I just have a feeling that instant is going to be coming sooner than you realize.... Just like it did to us..."
But I never say those things because I want to be positive. Uplifting. Encouraging. But at the same time I want to be real. I don't want them to be blindsided just like I was. I was living in a state of denial of Spencer's health. Of course I knew it was bad. Of course I knew that transplant was getting closer -- but I also thought that he was going to improve. A LOT. More than he probably ever would. Even though I knew things weren't good - I didn't realize how bad they were. How bad that they COULD be. I didn't understand the complications that could happen with his lung functions being so low and with his health the way it was. I was never told. And I understand why. If I would have known those complications that could have happen (that, unfortunately, did) I would have lived every single day in pure terror knowing that at ANY moment CF could take his life with a complication. I wouldn't have LIVED. WE wouldn't have lived. 
But now that I know what kinds of things can happen and how serious and life threatening these things can be - sometimes it's hard for me to hold back with what I want to say. Because I want them to be aware.... but the vicious cycle is there -- How much would they really want to know and want to think about all of the time. Therefore I am very censored a lot of the time. I just have to be. I won't allow myself to let another CF wife live in (even more) fear because of me.... If they want to know, they can ask. I have to constantly tell myself that.
.....because sometimes the fact can just hurt. A lot of CF wives don't like to think about what could happen. I didn't. Every single time you think of the future and all of the uncertainty this disease holds, the heartache is absolutely unbearable and you start to focus on what 'could' happen instead of just living and enjoying things in the moment. I mean, who wants to think about their dying husband?

Sometimes I want to BEG them to push harder for transplantation when I see that their husbands lung functions are so low because I saw how sick Spencer got SO quickly. Spencer lived with very low lung functions for a long time. I mean I don't know how much LIVING he did... but he survived. A long time. He was "stable" and transplant wasn't seriously considered (number of reasons I won't get into.. complicated!) I see some of the ladies saying that their husbands have been doing so well with lung functions in the 20's and even teens. But the truth is, it scares me. Once your lung functions get so low, if a complication happens there may be no bounce back and you are on very borrowed time having to scramble to get a transplant to happen. I've seen this happen... I've lived this. My husband happened to fall into that category. 

As several of my friends can say, I have seen end stage cystic fibrosis. I have seen it and I know what it can do to the person. To the family. To the caregiver. To the friends. A lot of those same friends have also witnessed the gift of life. Transplantation.

But not only I have seen end stage CF -- I have been THROUGH it and I witnessed it's ugly end. It makes my perspective so much different now. Hindsight, right? It's a perspective that I don't know that I wish I had when Spencer was alive. Of course some of it, okay the majority of it, would have been VERY useful, but I think some of it would have had me living in fear. All of the time even worse than I was. I don't know if Spencer would have been able to handle the kind of perspective that I have now. 
This is why it is sometimes hard wondering what to say in the group. Because perspective changes and I know so, so much more now than I did before. 

I know if I write much more I'm going to begin rambling (if I haven't already... whoops) but I really wanted to write about that. It's been on my mind a lot. I will never leave the CF Wives group (at least not for a VERY long time....) I love these ladies so much, as I have already mentioned. They are my family. I am so happy to support them and give them my advice. But it's just been hard. It's even hard on some of them who HAVEN'T been through the loss of a husband. Many take short breaks from the group so that they can re-group. It's all okay. This is kind of my re-grouping time. Writing about what is on my mind and coming to a conclusion. While writing this post I realized a few things myself that I don't know I would have realized without posting this blog. Writing helps =) 

There are a few other thoughts on my mind tonight, but I think I'll leave it at that. Save them for a new post =) 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Happy Anniversary, Love

Though I may not be that eloquent with my words tonight, I wanted to just write to my husband. Happy anniversary, my love - you're missed and loved more than words can describe.

Thank you, Spencer, for not only the short time that we shared together as husband and wife, but for the absolutely beautiful and fulfilling years we had as a couple. I wouldn't trade the time we spent together for the world. Marrying you was the best decision that I have ever in my life made. The only thing I would change is tying the knot sooner - if only we would have known what your fate was, right?

I sit here in disbelief. Disbelief that you are not here to celebrate 1 year together. Disbelief that it's already been a whole year since we vowed to love each other unconditionally and to be with each other for the rest of our lives, as only death will part us for a moment.
I only wish that we could have gotten the opportunity to go to the temple and take our endowments out together and to get sealed together, officially, for all eternity. We were supposed to happily go to the temple on our one year anniversary (would have had to go yesterday, but close enough, right ;-). I'm saddened that I now have to get my endowments without you. I'm sad and heartbroken that I have to make the decision to be sealed to you all alone... I know and hope that you will guide me. I know that whatever happens you will be happy with as you told me to wait, to think about it. I am and I'm so thankful that you told me the things that you did -- it half way makes this easier. <3 But time will tell what the right thing to do is, and everything will work out. I have to trust and believe that everything will work itself out.

We were supposed to be on our honeymoon - finally! We were going to save up over the months so that after getting sealed we could finally take a very nice vacation and enjoy married life away from the every day norm. Planned to stick around fairly close and chose the Anniversary Inn to stay at for a couple of nights. We were bummed that we couldn't take a honeymoon after we got married due to the cost of living together as a couple and of course bills that always had to be paid. I wish we could have went away together - but I can't change that and I hate that I have to think about what we would be doing instead of what I am now doing.

As I said, I'm so thankful for the time shared with you. I'm so grateful and blessed to have been your wife for the time that I was. I wish that I could have gotten to call you my husband for so much longer. (though of course I still do... but you know what I mean)
I learned and began to realize so much from you... Patience, inner strength, rationality, outer beauty, how to fight for what you love, and so much more. It was an honor to call you my husband.

And now to reminisce the highlights of that beautiful day.....

I'll never forget the special moments from our wedding day. I will remember forever the expression on your face when you saw me for the very first time. The first look. Your expression said it all. The love that your face showed was something I'd never seen before. Just the way you looked at me.... If I remember right the first words you said to me was that I was beautiful =) Something you always said, every single day, and something that I miss hearing. Well that day I truly felt beautiful, not only in my looks but everything I saw was beautiful. I was the happiest girl on Earth that day. Spencer, you were radiating with love that day -- you were so beautiful and handsome. You shined.

Standing up at the alter with you was so special... getting ready to become your wife. I couldn't stop smiling and I don't think I've ever smiled that much without faking it! =) There was just something about that moment, looking into your eyes, that I can't quite describe. I felt such deep love for you and I hope I can always, always remember that feeling.

I'm so, so glad that we agreed to write our own vows. I can't believe you had yours done in a matter of about 15 minutes! Mine took me a whole week and they still weren't done until about 1:30 AM the morning before the wedding - and to think it was originally my idea to write our own vows! But it turned out to be something so special and unique. Being able to customize them in our own way. The words that you said meant and still mean so much to me. Your vows rang true in the 3 months we spent before you got critically sick... and Spence even after you got sick you cherished me, you supported me in the things that I needed to do, you stood by me when I needed your support (even though you were so, so sick). You were the man that I needed you to be.

Spencer's Vows:
Nikki, because of you, I learn to live again. You brought me out of my self imposed darkness and brought me into the light and as I stood there, startled and blind in the brightness, you continued to hold my hand as I again found my sight. My footing was, and continues to be, unsure and I stumbled. Your strength kept me upright and continues to do so today.
I marvel at your compassion and beauty, both inside and out. I look forward to our lives together. Our love to strong that even the hand of death will only part us for a moment, until our spirits can again join each other on the other side.
I take these vows before God to be faithful, supportive, and to cherish you unwaveringly. I vow from this day forward to stand beside you through the good times and the bad. I vow to constantly strive to be the husband and protector you deserve me to be.
You hold my heart now and for all eternity. In Christ may we be together as one.

I'm glad we have pictures of our kiss - because to be honest that's one thing I don't really remember! lol

I'm sad that you were sick during our reception, but I still had a good time and I know that you did as well! I'm glad that you were able to catch up with your friends =) I was so tired after our wedding and so many things happened in such a short time I don't remember too much of it!!!
The first dance was amazing. Remember how we picked out the song?! My Best Friend, Tim McGraw. We were going through songs on the computer trying to find one. There were several that I really liked, but you weren't exactly fond of for our first dance song. We finally got to My Best Friend and as you were listening you spoke up and said that you really liked it, and then you began to cry! That was my que that this was the perfect song =) I remember while dancing on the floor I was so zoned into you and that moment! When I finally realized that everyone was standing there watching us I made a comment along the lines of, "If I were in this moment with any one but you, I'd be completely embarrassed because so many people are watching us!" You just smiled and held me close.

Our father/daughter and mother/son dance was great! Got many giggles out of that due to the wrong song being played! We wanted You've Got a Friend by James Taylor and instead we got You've Got a Friend in Me from ToyStory! Haha! It turned out really fun, though. I towered over my dad and it looked like you and your mom were having a fun time.

Because we didn't plan too far ahead and didn't pack up for the night, we couldn't go and grab a hotel room somewhere, we would have been about 2 hours later after the reception so that you could do a treatment and then pack up all of our stuff. We were both soooo exhausted as it was and so we were happy to just go back to my parents house and crash for the night. We went home and opened up all of our wedding gifts that night - what a moment to remember! We were so thankful (and I still am!!) at all of the generosity!

A wedding that I will remember forever. =)

I love you Spencer and I miss you every moment. You're always in my heart. Happy one year anniversary, SweetPea. Sending heaven so many kisses and warm embraces especially for you, my love.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

My ramblings about moving.. any tips?!

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about moving out of my parents out and going back to Utah. I came back to Kansas after Spence passed and told myself that I had to stay here for at least 6 months to get back on my feet, grieve, heal, and get the support from my family that I need while trying to figure out what the next step in my life would be.
Well it will be 6 months on the 11th of this month, and I'm looking at moving back to Utah in July. Seven months later - starting my new life. To say that I'm scared and nervous would be a serious understatement! But I just feel like it's time. I need to spread my wings again and get out of here. I need to face the grief so that I can start to heal. I need to live my life. Right now I'm just coasting by because there isn't much that I can do here that will help me grieve and heal. I am so thankful for the time that I've spent here with my family. I've gotten amazing and much needed support. I've been able to face the death of 3 more people with them right by my side going through it right along with me. But now it's just time.

When thinking about the immediate moving situation it seems rather straight forward... find a place to live, pack up my things, move, find a job, live my life. But when looking at the financial part of it, and the logistics of it all - it's a bit more complex. I'm starting to stress about it just a little bit. Wondering how things are going to work out. And wondering what the best way to approach this would be. It's hard job hunting from another state. It's hard apartment searching from another state. It's hard to know what you can/can't afford from another state when you don't know what you may or may not be making... when you start to make money again. You're leaving one job and going into the world of being unemployed in a terribly unstable job force all in hopes of finding the perfect job that will pay just enough so that you might be able to live and making ends meet month by month. And then somehow hoping that you might have at least 100 extra dollars a month, not for pleasure, but to pay off your debt. And let me tell you, minimum wage jobs aren't going to cut it. Nope - not even close. $7.25 isn't okay. I need at LEAST $8.50 just starting out, working a full time job. No less. I'd feel more comfortable if it was $9 or above.

I've crunched numbers knowing my current financial state. Knowing all of the money that I have saved (which isn't a whole lot). Knowing all of my current bills that I have to pay. Trying to somehow estimate what my rent will be, gas will be, utilities will be, food will be etc. But it's hard to know - hard to create a solid budget when things are so uncertain.
The cost of moving its self is not a pretty number. Driving my car, a big pickup pulling a gigantic Uhaul 2 states away, and then that pickup coming back isn't cheap. Gas isn't cheap. That's going to take up at least 1/2 of my savings. Crap.

I'm definitely not picky in places that I live and I'm trying not to be picky with the jobs that I may find - the only job that I absolutely refuse to do is working with food (restaurant stuff... though hostess, well I could do that). I just want something that will get me by for at least a few months, knowing that I may have to settle for something quite crummy. But I'm almost willing to do that if it means that I can start my life again.

But here have been a few of my concerns and potential problems...

In moving out without a job in place in Utah, I have a big problem with the "proof of income" stipulation I'm frequently going to run into. How does a person get around that? I could have someone cosign for me with good credit and such - but uhmmm I have no idea who that would be? There could be an option of paying a couple of months rent upfront so that if I didn't have a job within the first month I'd still be okay --- but then I'd really have no money to live with (for food and other bills). Not to mention my credit is nada. In fact I have everything going AGAINST my credit right now - but nothing going FOR my credit. Not a great situation... but something I cannot change at the moment. How am I going to be able to live in a place when they require a credit check and find out that that's one thing I DON'T have going for me... Eeesh how do you get around that one?

Even though I think that a place to myself would be nice, even if it was a small 1 bdrm or even a studio... I think it's out of my price range...(at least for the first 4-6 months.) So I'm thinking about finding a place to live with 1 + female roommate/s with LDS standards as I know living in a shared place is going to be far cheaper than having my own place and I want to make sure that I live with someone who is going to have the same ideals as myself. Hopefully I won't run into many problems with that - only things is I can't meet them in person and look at the place in person. AND I can't really look too far in advance because all the good places go really fast. It'd be something that comes right down to the line with moving. I have a few friends that I trust with looking at a place for me - so that kind of solves the problem. Oh i don't know!

My other problem is finding a job. I need something quickly. I'd LOVE to have a job in place before I move, but I don't know that that would be an option with interviews etc. I can't afford to go out there just for a few job interviews. I think I'm going to have enough money to live okay without a job for about 2 months, but preferably shorter because I'd like a cushion in case anything would happen! And I'm not in a situation, as I said before, to take just a minimum wage job. I need something that's going to pay more than that in order for me to make ends meet every month. I planned on getting my CNA license (but this also means I have to pay for classes and state test... eeesh like $500) and getting a good job that way... but it takes time... I really don't know what I'm going to do exactly. I've had a couple of people offer to help me in my job search, I'm SO thankful for that. I can only hope and pray that something comes through.

I thought about taking a 'vacation' two-ish weeks(give or take) before the planned move date in hopes of finding a good place to live and possibly setting up some job interviews. (if not job interviews then getting my CNA classes done). And then my parents can go ahead and come out to Utah with my things on the date that we set to move.... all in hopes that I'm successful in my searching and something is available. Of course the date that they came out could be flexible. I would just have to find a place to stay, which I know I've had several friends/family tell me that I could stay with them while I'm searching. Very thankful for that. We'll just have to see - this might be the way things are going to have to be.

I'm just worried... I'm scared enough starting my life over, and then add in all these extra things - and moving back to Utah... states away. It's hard. I could REALLY use some tips, advice, suggestions or ANYTHING. Everything positive is very, very much welcome. I want to make this work out so badly. I want to be back out there.... like, yesterday!