Monday, February 20, 2012

A Day at a Time

About five years ago, my brother talked me into starting a blog.  He convinced me of how cool it would be to be able to share pictures and stories with loved ones far away.  They could look at the blog when they felt like it instead of reading emails which would get looked at and forgotten.   We still had dial-up internet at the time and I was hesitant, but eventually decided to give it a try. 

It took publishing approximately two blogposts before I was 100% hooked.  I loved the way the photos and the words interacted together.   I loved that it was mess and cost free, unlike the scrapbooking I'd been doing up to that point.  I loved the fact that I had a way to share stories and photos as they happened.  And most of all, I discovered that I loved having writing and photography as creative outlets in my life. 

My blogging has changed over the years.  I've gone from "here's what we did today", to trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to be humorous, to starting the recipe blog, to sharing  parenting advice, to reminiscings of old-times, and to publishing FHE lessons.   Over the years, my blogging has become an important part of who I am. 

Then one day about a year and a half ago our little Ellie started having absence seizures.  In light of the current health issues our family faces,  it all seems so insignificant now, but at the time it really rocked our world and my thoughts on blogging.    For several months, the medications made her fatigued and grumpy and I had to pick her up early from school more often than not.  Suddenly she was a shell of the happy, talkative little girl she'd been before and we were sad as we watched her struggle.  (*see below for an update on her seizures)  

It was her diagnosis and wanting a safe place to share about it, that got me to split this blog off from the original.   Basically I wanted free license to be able to post boring updates on our family again and not feel like I was letting down all the people who didn't know our family who were coming to the blog for the lessons and articles.   

That was when, "A Day at a Time" was born.  I transferred all of the family related posts here and started fresh.  And it proved to be just what I needed.  Posting lessons and articles on the other blog has since fallen by the wayside, but it worked wonders in that I had a place to blog about our family again without trying to impress anyone.   My posts are often boring or silly, but they are 100% me and they are therapeutic for me to write.  Yearly we print the posts into books and have a wonderful family scrapbook/journal that will be a treasure for many years to come. 

When we learned of Spencer's leukemia, we briefly discussed starting another blog that would be just for him, but in the end we decided that since this was all a part of our family's journey and goofy blog address notwithstanding, we wanted it all to be in the same on our family blog.   

Little did I know that day when I created this new family blog, shortly after Ellie's epilepsy diagnosis, how apt the title,  "A Day At a Time" would be.   Although we'd felt the wisdom contained in the title back then,  it's taken on an even deeper meaning for us the last few weeks. 

When I get overwhelmed or emotional, it's invariably because I've let my mind wander to our uncertain future.  But when I focus on being present in the here and now,  I feel gratitude for the beauty that surrounds me. 
The simple joy of being all together as a family for a few hours each Sunday for our traditional dinner at the hospital...

The joy of hearing my children's laughter ring through the halls of the hospital... 

And the joy of my teenage boy feeling well enough to tease me, the nurses, and his siblings (and aim a heparin shot at me)...



Spencer is  a little more tired than usual, but is still feeling and eating well. 
As per the new Sunday routine, the priest quorum met with Spence the third hour of church, taught a lesson, and gave us the sacrament. 

*Ellie still has many seizures a day, however they are now reduced in numbers and length.  The medication side effects have mostly diminished.  We feel like her seizures are in as good a place as they can be  and we are grateful for a patient neurologist who is working hard to find the right balance between controlling the seizures and minimizing the medication side effects.  With her diagnosis of Childhood Absence Epilepsy, it is likely that her seizures will be an ongoing issue for several more years before she outgrows them (hopefully).      


"The happiest people I know are not those who find 
their golden ticket; they are those who, while in 
pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure 
the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. 
They are the ones who,thread by daily thread, 
weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout 
their lives. These are they who are truly happy."
                                                          Dieter F. Uchtdorf


Holly said...

Thank you, Lara, for sharing yourself and your family with us through your blog. As I sit in our kitchen and look out into your backyard, I am struck by the fact that I know more about you from reading your blog this morning than I had from living next door to you for the past ~12 years. This fact seems a sad commentary on how, for all our wisdom and knowledge, we can lead lives so isolated from one another - right next door!

I am also struck by your strength and compassion in facing Spencer's diagnosis and treatment and Ellie's epilepsy. Glen and your children are blessed with the power of your pure love, energy, humor, and intelligence. It will nourish and sustain them through the good and the not-so-good days. Not to mention the amazing example of grace you are setting for them!

Your blog is beautiful, touching, and inspiring.

Your grateful neighbor,

K said...

I love that Spence's priest quorum has class at the hospital!

Andrew got very excited seeing everyone riding their bikes in the hallway. He'd like to come join them for a race!

Lisa @ Pulsipher Page said...

Love you Lara! What a happy day it was for me to find your blog.

Andie said...

Lara, you are the best blogger that I know! I love that we've been able to keep in touch this way.

I just showed Nolan and his friend the picture of the priests having quorum in the hospital. What an awesome sight!

Thinking about you every day... :)

cynthia (cousin) said...

you are awesome and you have a wonderful family! we are all blessed, with miracles that are great, and tender mercies that help us get through each minute of each day sometimes.thank you for being an awesome example, and for sharing your thoughts and experiencies with us. we love you and keep up that great blogging.

Catherine said...

Great post about life's curve balls. it would be boring without them, and who wants that??? Sending hugs!!

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