I really want to blog

I really want to blog everyday. I do. I sit here and plan out posts…
And then I never type them up. I don’t remember when I developed anxiety. I know it was before my stroke, but I am not sure how it happened either! Did it start slowly? Was I always anxious and just unaware of it?

I wish I could be more like Macavity. He is not a nervous cat. He goes and does whatever he wants. When something doesn’t go as he planned, he just moves on. 


Instead I’m like these fireworks… In a constant state of upheaval, until I run out of get up and go! 

I felt better after we went camping in June. Whitney Portals Camp Grounds is where my parents used to take us camping, so this year we took the kids. They declared it to be the best mountain camping trip ever!!!!!! 


Maybe that is the secret! Maybe I just need to get out in nature more…

Subscription Box Fever

I don’t know about you, but I have been bit hard by the subscription box fever. It started because friends of mine were always posting cute unboxing videos to youtube or cute pictures to Instagram. Then, in October, when Owen got his first big school check of the year I did it. I subscribed to the two boxes I felt would interest me the most. The first one is Owlcrate, a YA reader subscription box. Every month they have a theme. They send you a book and several bookish items in that theme. For me, I did the month to month at first. I wasn’t positive I would love the boxes and I wanted to be able to opt out at any time, without feeling like I wasted a bunch of money up front if I was unhappy.

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My first Owlcrate did not disappoint.

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My second Owlcrate did not disappoint.

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My third Owlcrate did not disappoint.

Maybe it is because I live in the USA, but I typically get my box from Owlcrate within two and a half weeks of me auto paying them through my bank. I think I am going to discuss paying for a full six months up front with Owen… I love that the card that comes with each box tells me where my items are from, including the vendors/craftpersons they came from so that I can go check out their other stuff.

 

Then there is the Spooky box club subscription. I have much love for and a few complaints about this box.

I am going to start of with my complaints so I end with the good. First of all I don’t like that they charge on the 13th of the month. It doesn’t matter if you pay for a year up front, on the first of August. That money isn’t coming out until the 13th. Now I realize this is a personal problem. We have one income and it only pays us on the first of every month. I know that the money for this box is going to come out, but sometimes in all the chaos I forget that it won’t be coming out until the 13th and I plan the rest of the month like it went out on the first, like EVERYTHING ELSE we autopay. I know it is my responsibility to keep track of where every penny of our money goes. I said this one was a personal preference thing. I mean they tell you up front that it will not come out till the 13th. Of course what they don’t make super clear unless you specifically ask them is that you are not paying for the same months box. You are paying for the next months box… which may not come for more than 6 weeks, closer to 8 weeks if you are like me and you have to wait for it to clear customs in San Francisco. As an example: My first payment was paid October 13. My first box arrived December 16th. My second box arrived January 4th…. it was a “Hexmas” themed box filled with Spooky Christmas goodies…. that immediately got sorted into things that got put away with the Christmas decor and things I kept out to be used either year round or close to it. I have not received my third box yet. I do not know when I will get it. I like reliability. Especially in something I am spending so much money on. I am also not a fan of how expensive shipping is. I wish there was an American goth subscription box as nice as this one (Which is shipped from the UK) because spending $22 a box on shipping is a lot.

Well that is more than enough of negativity. There are a lot of things to like about this box, which is why I have not cancelled my subscription already. First of all, everything in the boxes is really cool. A lot of it is things you cannot get anywhere else. Or maybe you could if they told you who their suppliers are like Owlcrate does. I don’t know. They may have almost everything specially made for them. I have no idea. I feel like what I got is worth either more or close to as much as I pay for the subscription and the shipping. So that makes the shipping easier to pay. I think the things put in the boxes to match each months theme has really fit the theme as well. Maybe I should just show you how cool the stuff in the boxes is!

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This was my first box. The theme was “Victorian Boudoir” (I think).

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This was the Hexmas box. The sparkly ghost and bat ornaments are so adorable that I am considering putting together a Nightmare Before Christmas tree together for next year that I would put up on November 1st and leave up until Christmas. I don’t know how my Mother in Law would take that though, so I am still thinking it over.

There are several other subscription boxes I would really love to get, but I can’t currently financially justify them. Poststitch sends out a knitting project with all the supplies you need included every month. You can pick a sock subscription or a “big” project subscription plan. Lootcrate has several types of geeky boxes to choose from. Owen receives their Starwars box, which comes every other month. They also just started a geeky pet box that I would love to get for our house full of cats and dogs. Tea Sparrow sends tea. MISTER GHOST’S HIGHLY ENVIABLE MONTHLY PARCEL OF SIMPLE YET AMAZING WONDERMENTS is a gothy stationary supplies box. Planner Packs sends out planner supplies like washi tapes and pens and other cool stuff from Etsy sellers, etc. Uppercase Box is another YA reader box.

Then of course there are always clubs from indie yarn dyers, bag makers, stationary makers and so much more!

Maybe some day I will get more. For now I am trying these two.

 

The Holidays are Hard.

The Holidays are hard on our family. First of all, Owen is a full time student. This means that our resources are limited and we choose not to spend them living lavishly.

We have been getting new family portraits taken each year though! I wanted them done last year because we didn’t have one with Oliver in it. Then I had my stroke, and all the issues that have come with that, and it became very important to me to take lots of pictures of the kids and me and Owen and all of us together as often as I could.

This year’s family photo shoot was a bit of a disaster. I wanted us to look like it was fall, because they were taken in fall…. but this has been an odd year, weather-wise, and so it was 100 degrees fahrenheit the day we had our pictures taken. Everyone was overheated. I was feeling ill, so I had to be in my chair most of the time. Nobody wanted their pictures taken.

Luckily for us our family photographer, Kristy Collins of HaileyGrace Photography, is a saint and a genius! She managed to take/composite several fantastic photographs of us all!

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This is all of us, right before I became wheelchair bound for the day.

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This is post wheelchair. In most ways I like this picture the best out of the two, I just wish part of Alexander’s face wasn’t obstructed by Mikaela’s head.

Then of course there are the individual shots of the kids and the couple shot of Owen and Me.

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Alexander

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Aeddon

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Mikaela

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Liam

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Oliver

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Me and Owen. He is basically holding me up in this shot…

Poor Owen is all scrunched down in this shot and as a result looks like he has multiple chins and no neck. If you know Owen at all, you know he has about half a foot of neck and only one chin! He looks so happy though!

SO the holidays may be hard for us, but at least we are a photogenic family, Right???

 

More

A Rocky Start

I started this blog and then my tablet and cell phone both refused to cooperate with me using them to create posts. My laptop died more than a year ago, so my tablet and phone were all I had. Well, I have been told I need to get back to blogging, so I allowed Owen to talk me into buying a new laptop. I think he is also hoping I will take online classes. Something, anything, to get me out of the funk I have been in.

You see, a month and a half after I wrote my first post I had a stroke. Yes, that is right. I had a stroke at the age of 32. Nobody had any idea why because neither obesity nor Fibromyalgia cause strokes. I had not sustained any injuries recently that would have caused a clot large enough to cause a stroke. The doctors were stumped.

That bright white spot in the middle? That is where my stroke happened.

That bright white spot in the middle? That is where my stroke happened.

Then, about two weeks after I proved to them that I could eat without choking (my stroke affects the left side of my body and sometimes gives me issues with swallowing due to the fact that it is hard to swallow if only one side of your throat tries to do its job.) and that I could walk at least small distances, which got me home about 5 days after my stroke…. I lost consciousness at one of Aeddon’s baseball games. I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance. Lucky for me, this stay was shorter due to the fact that I had not had a second stroke. I had instead had a Hemipeligic Migraine. It acts like a stroke at first, but with a migraine attached. 48 hours or so after you get the migraine under control the stroke symptoms subside and you feel relatively normal.

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Another week or so after that I had another stroke-like episode. I was diagnosed with Complex Migraine Syndrome. It basically means I get several different types of migraines, most of which can be bad enough to send me to the hospital if I am not extremely careful.

Another week or so after my third hospitalization for the year I saw my Rheumatologist. While she and I were talking about how my stroke and CMS would affect my Fibromyalgia treatment she noticed something. For a few moments my leg turned a slightly purpley color and swelled a bit. Then the purpley color vanished along with the swelling, but I suddenly had petechiael bruising all over my leg from the knee down. All of a sudden she was extremely excited and (almost too) happily proclaimed that she knew what had caused all of my unexplained health problems in the last year. She had two new diagnosis for me, but the testing would take a long time (especially since my insurance doesn’t want to approve the tests.) before we could officially put them in my medical history. Lupus and Antiphospolipid Syndrome. Those two in combination with my Fibromyalgia explained everything odd that happened to me physically.

So now I wait for my insurance to stop being jerks. And I do my best to live my life while I wait. Here is some of what I have filled my life with in the mean time!

I made Plum jam.

I made Plum jam.

I keep taking the kids to the Aquarium of the Pacific. We have a membership and we all love it.

I keep taking the kids to the Aquarium of the Pacific. We have a membership and we all love it.

Owen took me to see Rent. Due to my frequent need to be in a wheelchair, we got upgraded seats. We went from nosebleed section to 10 rows from the front.

Owen took me to see Rent. Due to my frequent need to be in a wheelchair, we got upgraded seats. We went from nosebleed section to 10 rows from the front.

We went on a group camping trip that had a rocky start and ended up far from our original destination. Lake Nacimiento was an odd place to camp and I don't think we will return.

We went on a group camping trip that had a rocky start and ended up far from our original destination. Lake Nacimiento was an odd place to camp and I don’t think we will return.

Immediately after our group camping trip we went on a family camping trip to San Onofre State Beach. That was a magical trip and I am almost positive it will be repeated ASAP.

Immediately after our group camping trip we went on a family camping trip to San Onofre State Beach. That was a magical trip and I am almost positive it will be repeated ASAP.

We took the kids to the LA County Fair.

We took the kids to the LA County Fair.

We have also been doing our best to give Oliver "Adventures" while the kids are in school. This is his first year home alone with me every day.

We have also been doing our best to give Oliver “Adventures” while the kids are in school. This is his first year home alone with me every day.

Then there is the crafting. At first I didn’t want to try my crafts because I was worried that my stroke would have negatively impacted my ability to do all my different crafty things. Turns out it only effects how long I can craft at a time before I get tired.

Pretty exciting, right? So that is what I have going on, and it is why Owen pretty much insisted that I needed to get back to blogging. Even though I partially stopped because he used to tease me about it.

That is all I have for now. I am still unsure what my blogging schedule will be like, but I am hoping to post at least 3 times a week. We shall see how I do!

Hello!

Hello, and welcome to my first blog post.

Hmmmm. Maybe that’s wrong. It is not my first blog post. It is my first post on this blog. I had a different blog before, but life changed and I changed. After all that change I just could not bring myself to pick back up and start writing on my old blog anymore.

So I am not going to. I am going to start fresh and new! New blog, new website, new outlook.

I suppose the best place to start is with an introduction.

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This is my family. From left to right is Owen (husband), Liam (4th born), Mikaela (3rd born and our only girl!), Aeddon (2nd born), Alexander (1st born), Jaclyn (that’s me) and in my lap is Oliver (the baby).

I am not sure right now what my posting schedule will be, but I am glad you are here for the journey.