Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Auntie Jen's beautiful thoughts :)

From Auntie Jen.....

Today’s happy thoughts are just about Ryder and how awesome his life was in 3 short years! He visited the forests of Northern Arizona, beaches of California and the glaciers in Alaska! He went to professional baseball and hockey games. He watched his not so professional brothers and parents games. ;) He found a passion…swinging a bat and running his heart out. He floated around in the Diamondback’s pool. He ate marshmallows, cookies, and ice cream. He never asked for anything, but had every kind of toy a little boy could want. He rode a bike. He drove a car. He had style...a hat or helmet ready for any occasion. He experienced a first kiss from a little sweetheart. He didn’t have a worry in the world and never had to experience heart break. He had dance moves that entertained all. He laughed and laughed and laughed! He had charm and knew just how to get others to laugh too. He had the looks of an angel all along with those long lashes, blue eyes and joyous smiles. He was and continues to be a role model and teacher. He opened the hearts and minds of thousands! After all, how many 2 year old's have over 500 friends in all parts of the world, and over 43,000 reads on his blog! But best and most of all he had love! He loved everything and everyone. He agreed to just about anything…what’s there to be afraid of! He was pure love inside and out, and everyone immediately loved him right back! Someone is always thinking of him at every moment of each day! He had 2 awesome older brothers to show him the ropes and play with him whenever he wanted. He had a mommy and daddy that would move mountains or just cuddle with him. He had a big extended family to surround, support and spoil him. That lil’ boy learned about love from the get go, but he taught everyone in two-fold…so much love it’s just so awesome! I can’t think of a better way to have lived! ♥

Ryder Cash Hauer

Ryder's Celebration Montage ♥

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

IT'S HERE!!! TGen video--starring ME :)

I am so excited to be able to share this video!! TGen staff and their amazing camera crew came to Parks, AZ to interview me :)This is the final product!.......WARNING you may cry so get the tissues :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

MUST READ: Where Are the Parents?

For all my teacher, therapist, special needs parents, social worker, doctor, nurse friends--or those who want to get a glimpse into a parent of a special needs childs life---READ THIS!!!!! Seriously, as much as I'd like to think I was a great, empathetic special ed. teacher---I never fully understood until I had Ryder. This hits home for me!!!!!!!!

Where Are the Parents?

By Sue Stuyvesant, Parent

Reprinted with permission from the Forgotten Kids webpage

Hey everyone. For those of you who don't know me (I'm only an occasional poster) I am mom to Michelle, 9 years old, microcephalic, athetoid/spastic CP, cortical visual impairment, seizure disorder -- and CUTE! OK, now for the reason I'm posting.

To make a long story short, earlier this week a question was asked by some nitwit official as to why there weren't more parents (of special needs kids) involved in the local PTA and other issues that have come up that directly involve our kids. His question, which was passed on to me was, "Where are the parents?" I went home that night, started thinking - and boy was I pi**ed - and banged this "little" essay out the next day on my lunch break. By the way, I took copies of this to the school board meeting that night, gave it to a couple of influential people and it WILL get around.............

Where are the parents?

They are on the phone to doctors and hospitals and fighting with insurance companies, wading through the red tape in order that their child's medical needs can be properly addressed. They are buried under a mountain of paperwork and medical bills, trying to make sense of a system that seems designed to confuse and intimidate all but the very savvy.

Where are the parents?

They are at home, diapering their 15 year old son, or trying to lift their 100 lb. daughter onto the toilet. They are spending an hour at each meal to feed a child who cannot chew, or laboriously and carefully feeding their child through a g-tube. They are administering medications, changing catheters and switching oxygen tanks.

Where are the parents?

They are sitting, bleary eyed and exhausted, in hospital emergency rooms, waiting for tests results to come back and wondering, "Is this the time when my child doesn't pull through?" They are sitting patiently in hospital rooms as their child recovers from yet another surgery to lengthen hamstrings or straighten backs or repair a faulty internal organ. They are waiting in long lines in county clinics because no insurance company will touch their child.

Where are the parents?

They are sleeping in shifts because their child won't sleep more than 2 or 3 hours a night, and must constantly be watched, lest he do himself, or another member of the family, harm. They are sitting at home with their child because family and friends are either too intimidated or too unwilling to help with child care and the state agencies that are designed to help are suffering cut backs of their own.

Where are the parents?

They are trying to spend time with their non-disabled children, as they try to make up for the extra time and effort that is critical to keeping their disabled child alive. They are struggling to keep a marriage together, because adversity does not always bring you closer. They are working 2 and sometime 3 jobs in order to keep up with the extra expenses. And sometimes they are a single parent struggling to do it all by themselves.

Where are the parents?

They are trying to survive in a society that pays lip service to helping those in need, as long as it doesn't cost them anything. They are trying to patch their broken dreams together so that they might have some sort of normal life for their children and their families.

They are busy, trying to survive.

Sue Stuyvesant 10/15/96: Permission to duplicate or distribute this document is granted with the provision that the document remains intact.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Dream Catcher

Wow has life changed so much this year! Tomorrow (June 22) marks the 10 month anniversary of Ryder joining the Lord. I debated continuing this blog, but I am really hoping to help those who are on my same path. A handful of you are dear friends and your children hold a piece of my heart as well. Even though our journeys will not be the exact same, I want to give you a glimpse inside my mind, maybe give you hope for a future beyond the unthinkable, and to understand we are connected and will always have an eternal bond. I will be here for you always.....whoever reads this--be it years from now...I am here for YOU!!

10 It is such a LONG, short time to be without my baby. The deep pain and heartache has changed in time.

In the beginning after Ryder died I was so numb. I wandered aimlessly, couldn't sit still for long, couldn't sleep, didn't want to talk to anyone, was annoyed with everyone and was in complete shock--denial. I could give a shit less about eating, bathing, getting out of bed.... or talking to anyone--nothing mattered.

Once Ryder's death hit me, it decided to come at me hard--throwing punches in my heart, my lungs, and deep in my soul. My sweet son was DEAD!!!! DEAD!!!!! His body was incinerated. He is not here. I can't hold him. I can't hear him. I can't see him. He is DEAD--ASHES!!! Yes this is graphic----but this is the ANGRY phase. MY BABY IS DEAD!!!! This is tough enough to write, and I'm sure tough to read, so I will not give the graphic visuals playing through my mind constantly during this time. I want these visions to stop. It is way to much, it hurts so bad......I want to die.......please let me die.

I'm physically and emotionally ill now. I don't shower...fuck it. I rarely get out of bed. I'm not being a good mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter---whatever--fuck you for trying to make me. I hate you. YOU don't get it. YOU haven't lost a child! YOU don't know my pain!!! Don't tell me what to do and don't tell me YOU are suffering as well for MY son. Fuck you!!!!!

I'm SOOOOOO sorry for my recent behavior!!!! I'm not myself....if fact, I don't know who I am anymore. I feel so weird, lost, alone! I NEVER cussed before...don't know where that came from! Thank YOU for loving me and loving Ryder!!!! Thank you for caring. I know YOU hurt for me.....YOU miss Ryder too!!!I'll get out of bed for Ty and Noah. I need help!!! I can't do this alone anymore. I'm dying inside and I don't want to......I need help.

It's been 7 months and I got help!!!!! I got help for myself, Tyler, Noah, Les and YOU!!!!!! Everyone was proud of me and amazed I asked for help after 7 short months. I think I CAN LIVE!!! It still feels kind of strange. I'm okay most days, but I still sink sometimes. I cry, sob, scream for you still. I miss you Ryder. BUT-- I don't want to die...... I WANT TO LIVE NOW___REALLY LIVE!!!! I want to dream big---and live my dreams!!!

Guess what Ryder? Because of you my little teacher, I AM LIVING---IN MY DREAMS!!!!! We have moved to a beautiful, dreamy location. Daddy has opened up a bicycle shop, and I just accepted my dream job of helping other special parents!!!!

I miss you little man. I love you. I think of you always. I'm inspired by you. I still ache for you. But, I have also decided to keep my promise to you....before you died, I told you "it's okay to go Ryder, Mommy will be okay." I will be okay sweetheart.

I always feel relief when I pray. I ask the Lord every night to hold me, so I can sleep. I ask Him to help me each day. I want to do His will. I CAN do this baby!!! It's sucks, I'll always have an aching hole in my heart, but I will LIVE this life for you Ryder. I will make you smile as you made me smile for 3 years!!!

Until we meet again sunshine----continue showing me the way.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Focus on living ‘IN’ the moment

My niece and I went to get our first tattoos together--something we've planned for awhile! Sapphire represents Ryder's birthstone color, the dragonfly (if you've followed you'll understand) and of course the halo for my very LOVED Angel

Symbolism's of the Dragonfly

  • Maturity and a Depth of character
    The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.

    The traditional association of Dragonflies with water also gives rise to this meaning to this amazing insect. The Dragonfly’s scurrying flight across water represents an act of going beyond what’s on the surface and looking into the deeper implications and aspects of life.

  • Power and Poise
    The dragonfly’s agile flight and its ability to move in all six directions exude a sense of power and poise - something that comes only with age and maturity.
    The dragonfly can move at an amazing 45 miles an hour, hover like a helicopter fly backwards like a hummingbird, fly straight up, down and on either side. What is mind blowing is the fact that it can do this while flapping its wings a mere 30 times a minute while mosquitoes and houseflies need to flap their wings 600 and 1000 times a minute respectively.

    The awe inspiring aspect is how the dragonfly accomplishes its objectives with utmost simplicity, effectiveness and well, if you look at proportions, with 20 times as much power in each of its wing strokes when compared to the other insects. The best part is that the dragonfly does it with elegance and grace that can be compared to a veteran ballet dancer. If this is not a brazen, lazy, overkill in terms of display of raw power, what is?

  • Defeat of Self Created Illusions
    The dragonfly exhibits iridescence both on its wings as well as on its body. Iridescence is the property of an object to show itself in different colors depending on the angle and polarization of light falling on it.

    This property is seen and believed as the end of one’s self created illusions and a clear vision into the realities of life. The magical property of iridescence is also associated with the discovery of one’s own abilities by unmasking the real self and removing the doubts one casts on his/her own sense of identity. This again indirectly means self discovery and removal of inhibitions.

  • Focus on living ‘IN’ the moment
    The dragonfly normally lives most of its life as a nymph or an immature. It flies only for a fraction of its life and usually not more than a few months. This adult dragonfly does it all in these few months and leaves nothing to be desired. This style of life symbolizes and exemplifies the virtue of living IN the moment and living life to the fullest. By living in the moment you are aware of who you are, where you are, what you are doing, what you want, what you don’t and make informed choices on a moment-to-moment basis.

    This ability lets you live your life without regrets like the great dragonfly.

  • The opening of one’s eyes
    The eyes of the dragonfly are one of the most amazing and awe inspiring sights. Given almost 80% of the insect’s brain power is dedicated to its sight and the fact that it can see in all 360 degrees around it, it symbolizes the uninhibited vision of the mind and the ability to see beyond the limitations of the human self. It also in a manner of speaking symbolizes a man/woman’s rising from materialism to be able to see beyond the mundane into the vastness that is really our Universe, and our own minds

     Kayla got the saying "Go Carefully" in her mother's handwriting with a Harry Potter lightning bolt!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Happy Days along with the crazy!!!!

It's been awhile......
As usual life is fast paced for us :) We are having many more happy days than sad days around here which is nice to report. Let's see, since my last blog I have written a children's book which is being illustrated and made into a DVD at Evit, I have started a novel (stay tuned next year!), I had a lovely visit from a very dear high school friend- Kate and her kiddos, as well as several fun get togethers with Suzanne (bestest elementary/high school buddy!), we have been packing up getting ready for our big move, I checked myself into the hospital, we got our keys to the new house in Parks, Les' Granny passed away (we spent a lot of quality time with her), My sissy-in-law Amber and my insanely cute 4 mo. old nephew  Gunnar (who told me I was his very favorite Auntie in the whole world always and forever)came to visit, we are having some health issues with our middle son and have gotten both boys tested for the POLG mutations that Ryder had, I am on the job hunt, I went on a retreat with 50+ women that have lost a child, I survived my 1st Mother's Day without Ryder, we started Light Horse Bicycle Company ( and MADE OUR FIRST RENTAL SALE --YAY!! I don't want to go on and on about everything happening so I'll break down the interesting stuff for you. Feel free to ask me anything else you'd like to know :)

1. Yep--checked into an inpatient hospital. Packing Ryder's things, being alone & isolating myself the majority of the time, not sleeping and not taking my "happy" pills regularly (no offense to anyone on anti-depressants--just my sense of humor) really took a toll on me. I KNEW I needed help. I started wanting to sleep all the time and not functioning for my sweet boys. I met some amazing new friends, cried, poured out my heart and feel much better after the short break from life. I also learned how to make meth, clean drugs (like heroin) and a lot of new lingo!! (Again--my sense of humor!) Really though, I enjoyed learning about everyones stories and have much RESPECT for those seeking help--it's not easy!
2. The new place in Parks (between Flagstaff and Williams, AZ) is AMAZING, peaceful, beautiful and abundant with nature. We will be living on 10 acres of God's most beautiful land in Arizona :) We welcome visitors!!!
3. I'm worried about Noah, our 7 year old. After some behaviors we noticed the counselor suggested we take him to a GI doctor. I wasn't sure if it was related to post traumatic stress from losing his brother or a health issue. I have had a deep rooted feeling that something is not okay with Noah for 2 years. I've brought it up to all doctors, but it was always blown off. Ryder's health was their main focus and I feel like they thought I was projecting my worries onto Noah. This uneasy feeling is still very alive. To the point--we found out Noah is severely constipated and his clean out attempt with 2 pills of Doculax, exlax and 14(!!!!) caps of Mirilax did not work. He had blood work done which ruled out Celiac's Disease. It did show elevated TSH, but normal T4 (concerning thyroid issues--but the normal T4 makes it less worrisome). He will be closely monitored this month and retested next month. He is having a MRI of his spine (which he needs anesthesia for) next Thursday to hopefully rule out a tethered spine. MY MAMA instincts decided to skip much of the BS and ask our FAVORITE doctor in the world to order a cortisol and ACTH plasma test as well. With Noah's darker skin (with no tan lines), GI and urinary issues, and seemingly wacky body temp control (cold wearing sweaters when it is HOT and wanting to wear shorts and tank tops when it is COLD!) I worry about Addison's --adrenal insufficiency. I'm not sure if the elevate TSH plays a part or is just a coincidence or false report.  Both Tyler and Noah have gotten blood drawn to test if they are carriers of the POLG mutations Les and I have which resulted in Alper's for Ryder. I had to stop researching my nursing books and the Internet tonight for other disorders a POLG mutation could cause--maybe for Noah. CAN'T go there :( As you can imagine, I am PRAYING, crossing my fingers and toes that I am overreacting and Noah is just fine. Time will tell....
4. I am on a job hunt!! I've had several interviews, got the position, but turned them down. Some were super awesome, but didn't have benefits or pay well. I have several other options, but I am most excited about an opportunity to work for Raising Special Kids as a family support coordinator!!!! This would be my dream job right now :) Again....time will tell.
5. Mother's Day was tough, I MISS my Bubba, but I did catch a fish, saw so many dragonflies and frogs and spent quality time with Noah at the new house. Tyler decided to stay with Grandma because of the long drive and the fact he'll be up there soon enough for good.---REALLY I believe it was to be spoiled, eat junk food and have all of Grandmas attention!
6. Light Horse Bicycle Co is really happening! It's ON peeps :) Check out our website, stay tuned for my first blog about getting fit and health, losing weight and this clumsy woman learning to mountain bike!!! I've already lost 9 lbs thank you very much!!! It may or may not have been partially from getting lost in the desert for hours on my first ride ;) Also check out The Nordic Center for beautiful trails, camping sites and a place to rent our AWESOME bicycles :)

Well, I think that wraps up the last few months! Please leave a comment, join the sight and continue to follow our trails and trials of life!!!

Here are some pictures around our new property!!!

 unedited beauty!!!

 Baby Gunnar--how cute is he?????

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lean On Me

Something is weighing heavily on my heart lately and I need to express it. It will not please some of you, but this is the raw me—like it or not! You know when you are in high school and there are those clicky groups…that you are excluded from if you don’t fit the bill?  Well, I feel like I’m part of that group lately….and trying to expand it to others that are in the same boat, but not exactly alike! I feel like that “group” is starting to exclude me because I’m not loyal to them alone.
Rare diseases to me are just that----rare, and many people haven’t heard of them. If I say ugly words like cancer, CP or MS most people know what I mean. What if I say just as ugly words like Alpers Syndrome, Krabbe, MLD, AGS, Leukodystrophy and Mitochondrial disease….would you know what I was talking about?

Would you want to support a 2 year old child suffering from Alpers more than a 2 year old suffering from MLD? Life threatening diseases are real and devastating. If you lose a child from cancer or leukodystrophy...the devastation is the same. It’s a nightmare and heart wrenching—something most people will never and should never understand.
Would you focus your attention on research and support for one rare group or all the children fighting yucky, rare life threatening diseases? Would you raise money in one child’s memory or all the children gone to soon? Most don't know--but many mitochondrial diseases, leukodystrophys, autism and behavior disorders are intertwined.
My beautiful son Ryder passed away 8-22-12, 2 weeks shy of his 3rd birthday from Alpers Syndrome. I LOVE AND MISS HIM beyond your comprehension. My Mom opened a special funds account in Ry’s name: The Ryder Hauer Fund for Rare Childhood Disorders. This fund supports Dr. Narayanan and TGen 100% on their quest to help children with ANY rare childhood disorder. My heart expands to children with mitochondrial disease, leukodystrophy, cancer, blood disorders…..on and on—EVERY CHILD deserves a lifetime no matter what “label” they are given. I wish all families going through the heartache of watching their child suffer—a supportive community, peace of mind and much love to surround them in their most trying times.

I am here to help any family experiencing a loss, unknown diagnosis, life-threatening diagnosis or just someone to lean on! Life is hard, but with God and each other we will get through this.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Dos and Don’ts for nurses from “that parent.”

I wrote this one night I stayed at the hospital with Ryder and never posted it. It may give all my nursing friends and new graduates something to think about! :)

Dos and Don’ts for nurses from “that parent”


1.       Leave caps, alcohol pad wrappers etc. in the patients bed or on the floor

2.       Judge: while it is a nice concept that parents should keep a normal routine for their child in the hospital it isn’t that easy when aides are coming in every 4 hours for vital signs (day and night), nurses and doctors are coming in around the clock, volunteers and staff that get to know and love your child come in at 10:30 p.m. to visit and wind up your child and the many machines that beep for different reason’s around the clock as well. Really—how do you suggest I make a normal routine out of this?

3.       Make inappropriate comments, especially when parents/visitors can hear. I listened to an RN making fun of a parent who was bringing her child for a walk in a wagon early in the morning about how the parents hair was messy and out of place and how she would never be seen in public like that—hmmm try spending a month with your child in the hospital. Would you really care how you looked??? I also heard a few nurses complaining about a child that was noncompliant and didn’t want his TPN

4.       Turn off the call light without responding to it. Nothing ticks me off more than pressing the call light and having it be turned off 10 mins later w/o anyone checking what we need. I turn it right back on and it is turned off again after 5+ minutes. I don’t call for assistance often, and when I do- it’s not for my entertainment or to be waited on. If you are busy, kindly send in an aid, the huc, another nurse—anybody!! (or simply ask what is needed over the intercom).

5.       Please don’t assume you know my child or a loved one more than you do. He is probably feeling blah/blah/blah—Well, no, actually he is having nerve pain. How do I know this you ask? It comes from years of learning what every facial expression, movement and sound mean, not to mention the in depth research I have done to understand the disease process that my son is experiencing.

6.       DON’T give meds when you don’t know what they are or what they do!!!! And don’t respond to a parent,”I’m not sure actually” after a parent asks what the medicine was for that you just administered!

7.       Assume anything!!! EVER!! Not with doctors, patients, parents—ANYBODY!! Get clarification. Me: “Can you please empty my son’s G-tube content into his feed this afternoon (per doctor’s order) and I will do the one tonight? My Mom will be watching him for several hours so that I can have a break. Nurse: “sure.” Several hours later, I returned to find out the nurse in fact didn’t do it and reported to the next nurse that, “his mother didn’t want him to become upset when his grandma was watching him, so she wanted to wait until she got back.”

8.       Don’t expect your aide to always know what you expect. I have had to tell several aides at shift change to record my sons’ diaper output separately from the output from his continuous vent drainage from his G Tube (which also goes into a diaper , so it’s understandably overlooked, but could have big consequences)





1.       Answer call lights in a timely manner (not 15-20 minutes later) As a parent it isn’t fun holding your very sick child who has vomited all over their clothes and bedding while they cry and shiver when all you can do is cry with them and call over and over for help.

2.       Say hello & good bye at the beginning and end of shift (unless they are sleeping of course).

3.       Your job, don’t expect parents to do it. Yes, parents need to learn how to take care of their kids when they go home, but really, it isn’t necessary to wake a parent who hasn’t slept well for months to change a diaper or skip collecting stomach content to replace in a gJ feed because they don’t want the child to be upset when their Grandma is relieving Mama for a few hours for

a much needed nap (while forgetting to unclamp the tube that is supposed to be on continuous draining).

4.       Be truthful in a professional manner if you do not know the answer to something. Something like, that’s a good question, I don’t want to misinform you so let me go find out and I will get back to you as soon as I know!” (Make sure to keep your word and get back to the parent!)

5.       SMILE J

6.       Try to relate to parents and talk to us. We get stir crazy being in the hospital!

7.       Point out how cute and adorable our kid is—well, if you have to reach on some kiddos (not mine of course) make a comment on the child’s strength. It is always nice to hear a compliment and parents with medically fragile children often hear nothing but negative news.

8.       Set all the machines so they won’t beep at different times around the clock! Several nurses do this for us. It can be done!!! (Don’t ask me how though).

9.       Educate parents on all the possibilities to help their child. Learn as many little tricks as you can! We have struggled for almost a month in the hospital to brush our sons’ teeth every day. I have asked for any ideas many times. A few days ago, an awesome nurse gave the suggestion to use the oral care attachment for the suction machine!!  It’s working wonders!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Time keeps ticking

I am writing just because I haven’t written for awhile. I’m trying to get a feel for it again, but I’m not sure I have anything inspiring to say.

Time keeps ticking on after you lose a loved one, but my mind has yet to truly come to grips with reality. I know Ryder died. He is gone forever in this lifetime. I understand this, but for some reason every single morning, right when I wake up, I have a beautiful 2-3 minutes as I become alert and oriented to the new day. I don’t think of anything in particular. I stretch and adjust to the light shining in through the blinds. The world is right for a short moment. Then, I feel Button (Ryder’s teddy bear or Patches –bear made from his clothes) in my arms. I feel the quilt my friend made for me from Ryder’s clothes as well. I sit up and reality hits me—most mornings punches me with the fact that Ryder is not here again today and never will be again….in this lifetime.

I find myself wanting to sleep in more each day, maybe so I don’t have this harsh attack hit me or maybe because I can’t seem to find any meaning in life now. Yes, I have many blessings still. I cherish my amazing husband and sons Tyler and Noah so very much. They are why I do manage to wake up. However, depression weighs heavy on my heart and I battle it with courage all day long until I can take pills that let me rest at night and get me through to the 2-3 beautiful moments the next morning.

I am not giving up—and I never will. I just have a difficult battle at hand. Today marks the 5th month without Ryder. The 22nd of the month (day Ryder passed on) likes to fall on me with a ton of bricks. I’m starting to prepare earlier for this reaction so it isn’t quite as heavy. In the last few months I’ve tried to discover the new me. I spent over 2 weeks in Chicago, Minnesota and Wisconsin with friends and family. It was a wonderful healing time for me! Besides catching up with Cassidy and spending precious few and far between time with Les’ family, I witnessed a miracle! My sister in law, Amber had her son Gunnar and I was in the room. I experienced pure joy, amazement and love. Amber delivered Gunnar at a birthing center, with a mid-wife all natural. Ummmm---besides the crazy strength of delivering a child naturally (which she has done 4x’s now!) Amber inspires me greatly! She just graduated with a Bachelors degree in nursing. Even though she was a teen mom and all odds were against her, she won and came out on top! I’m so proud of her and my brother-in-law, Brent, who supported her and 3 kids while she was in school! So after that experience I thought being a mid-wife would be my new life’s purpose. I had said I didn’t want to be a nurse anymore for the past several months, but got a phone call while in Minnesota that 1 more opening was saved for me in the 3rd block. I called Les and talked to my in-laws. I decided to go back to school. I wasn’t overly excited, but since I was half way done I thought I’d just finish the program. I went to the all day orientation, got my tb test—again ($35 later!) and aced my math test. I still wasn’t feeling it, but ready to get out of bed with a purpose. The first 15mins of the first day of lab skills let me know for sure I am not meant to be a nurse. I had a meltdown! We were learning about how to give IV’s to children. When I was trying very hard not to think about all Ryder’s IV’s, I was upset with how they were teaching future nurses how to give IV’s!!! I believe nursing is a good career, but good nurses have sympathy, think outside the box and go above and beyond what they are taught. I really think I would have been a great nurse! I don’t however think most doctors would have liked me, nor the teacher’s in the nursing program lol! I can’t be around illness and pain the rest of my life. I thought about being a Child Life Specialist also—which seems perfect. However, there are no CLS in Flagstaff, which is where we are moving in June. I know someday I’ll find my new calling. I need to practice patience’s within myself until then.

I didn’t pause to mention earlier that 3 days before I went back to school I had surgery. Nothing serious, but very painful I’m discovering!! I got a bladder sling placed. Three kids plus a hysterectomy= weak bladder! It is a 1 week no driving or work time; 2 weeks expected pain and 2 month full recovery time w/o lifting more than 10lbs. I rushed classes. I didn’t take pain meds so I could drive and I suffered through it. Of course I ended up with a UTI and continue to be in pain (it’s still been less than 2 weeks though). I get bored so easy and hate lying around. I feel useless!

The rest of the family seems to be getting in a new normal routine. We go to grief counseling 2x a week. The boys really look forward to it and it seems to be doing wonders for them. Les and I go for the boys. Most people in the group have lost a parent, spouse or grandparent. I am not minimizing their pain at all, but I feel a child is in a totally different category. I am considering counseling for myself, but haven’t decided yet. The boys are doing well in school again. There have been rough days, but it’s to be expected with all they have been through. We are spending a lot of quality time with them as we understand the importance of each moment in life.

Les works hard each day to serve his students and schools. He is so amazing! I know he is grieving too, but he manages to support me through my grief. Not only does he work hard as a liaison for special needs teens, but he is writing business plans, perfecting details, and talking to everyone he can to open Light Horse Bicycle Company. We have been in Flagstaff every chance we get to scout for the perfect location for our bike shop. I think we found one, but I’m trying not to get my hopes up. To top it off, the first thing I noticed pulling into this property for the tour was a huge dragonfly ornament hanging in the back of the property! If you’ve followed this blog you will understand the significance. We are searching for financing possibilities as we are very limited now. We are looking for someone to buy this perfect location (reasonably priced land, plus 2 stand alone commercial buildings—one being leased for $500 already and a cute 4 bedroom house w/storage shed in a prime location!) and willing to lease to own for us. If you or anyone you know is willing and able to make this risk free investment in us PLEASE contact me!! 480-600-5461

Does anyone have ideas for me to possibly pursue in the future? I don’t want the medical field and I’m not so sure about going back into teaching. Any other ideas? I would love to support the bike shop 100%, but we need medical insurance.

Thank you so much for reading this blog. Although it was long, it felt good to write. xoxo
The dragonfly ornament that I 1st saw on the ideal property...a sign maybe?!

I still would have chosen you Ryder! I love you angel.

Gunnar Babcock, my adorable nephew that I witnessed enter this world! He has on his dragonfly outfit I bought him :)