Emotions emotions emotions.

Decembers was a month rife with them.

When Jeffrey and I first got married we were Christmas Eve shoppers. I remember our first married Christmas. We were newly weds... with a newborn... yeah, we had a honeymoon baby. It wasn't in our plans, it was God's plan. We adapted. But I remember going out on Christmas Eve to the Walgreens down the street because that was the only place open at 11 the night before. I remember those gifts, too. Jeffrey got me a clapper. As in "Clap on, clap off. Clap on. Clap off. The Clapper." I hatted it. It didn't work for turning the lights on and off with clapping, but every time Keith cried, it would turn those lights on, which would make the baby cry even more. Clap all you wanted, though, and those lights stayed off. Of course, who is going to be clapping to turn lights on and off with a sleeping baby? He thought it was the greatest gift ever! He also got me a foot bath massage thing. As a 25 year old, I thought it was stupid. Now, I would love the crap out of that thing! I was young and naive and only had 1 child and plenty of energy. Oh how times have changed. But my point was, we used to wait until the very last hour to buy Christmas presents.

Now, I am a Black Friday Shopper, baby! Not in the way you might think, though. I stay nice and cozy in my home. I sleep in, stay in my pajamas and slippers, and often times, even shop from the comfort of my bed while watching a movie with my kiddos. But I take advantage of the deals. I get all of the shopping done that weekend. And then when the gifts arrive, I spend a day wrapping and organizing, so that by December first, every gift has been wrapped, and Christmas is wrapped and put away and we have a relatively stress-free month!

That was the plan this year.

That is what I did this year.

I made my in-law gifts, and I just had to finish knitting some hats, but otherwise, it wasn't a big deal.

But then my grandma got sick.

She got sick on the 8th of December.

We had a family party planned for the 22nd.

She got a little worse.

On the 12th we were told to say our goodbyes. I was lucky enough to be able to go and do that.

I was able to go and see her again on the 13th. The difference in just a day was astronomical. She passed away just a little after midnight that night.Since the family party was already planned and people were already flying in from around the country, it was decided that the funeral would be planned for the day of the family party, a week and a half away.

And so Grandma's viewing was the 21st of December, and her funeral was the 22nd of December.

I don't remember a whole lot about that month, honestly. I remember a lot of hustle and bustle. I remember rushing to finish the hats and add a few finishing touches to the Koeslig boxes I made for my inlaws for Christmas (more about that later). I remember that my dear friends from Oklahoma suddenly planned a trip to Utah... for the week of my grandma passing away, and I really wanted to see them, but good heavens, they had the worst timing in all of the cosmos because seriously, I had everything else that was so important happening right that week, and couldn't they come at any other time of the year? Did they have to pick that very week? But I made it happen so that I could see them and meet them in person. Melissa has become one of my best friends. She and I  have never met in person ever, even though we talk almost daily on the phone, and it was important to me that we met in person, so we made arrangements to meet. It was a blessing to meet here, and just crazy and funny how it all happened to be that week.

Grandma's funeral was beautiful. How could it be anything but. She is a beautiful soul, and left behind a legacy that flourishes in her children and grandchildren. I was her favorite grandchild. Everyone said that, but I know that it was really me. I used to ditch school and go visit her instead of go to my classes. Her house was right across from my high school, and I would lay out all of my teen drama, and she would give the best advice, and a listening ear, and we would eat rolos, and fun sized snickers and other candy bars. Seriously, the best grandma in the world! All my cousins said they felt like they were her favorite, too. She had a talent in making everyone feel so loved and special and like they were the most important person in her life. She was spunky and fiery full of life and to the last. I can't tell you how many times I have tried to sit down and write about her, but it has been too hard to have the words come. I haven't struggled with her death. I am so happy for her to be with my grandpa, and with my aunt Florence. She was lonely, and she was so tired of her body aching. She used to say, "Oh my aching back!" when something annoyed her, and I thought it was the funniest thing. But I am happy that she is no longer in pain. But to write about it somehow makes it... final. Real. Permanent. Which is not something I am ready for. I feel like I have a much deeper understand of the Plan of Salvation than I did at the last death I went through. I feel like this time has been even easier, and yet, it is still hard to write about. Usually writing makes it easier but this time around writing is making it a lot harder, which I really don't understand at all. I suppose I have just been running from it, living in denial or something. Anyway, it has especially been hard watching my family go through the loss of my grandmother. Specifically her children. It makes me sad to see how much they have been struggling.

Like I said, emotions!

Christmas came and went. It was lovely.

New Years was much the same.

I started to de-clutter my house in a massive way. Before the Marie Kondo Netflix special, mind you. I just want that to be known. Not that it's important, but it is to me. I have finished the kitchen, the kids bathroom, my bathroom, Arcadia, and the boys room. I am currently working on laundry. I have sent about 6 big bags to the DI and I think I'm about half way finished. Yay! I am looking forward to attacking my room and the family room. Toys will be thinned out drastically and I am so excited!

I also went to the doctor about my migraines again. I went to the neurologist. I didn't like the neurologist. He basically said "lets try all these medicines." I was very disappointed that he didn't even want to attempt to find the problem. I went in to see the allergist last week and he did the poke test and.... I am allergic to nature.

Ahem. Let me rephrase that. I am severely allergic to nature.

Let's let that sink in for a moment.

I don't think I need to go into any detail at all what that means. If you have read this blog for even a little bit, you know how addicted to nature I am. You know that I live and breathe nature, so for me to be severely addicted to nature was quite a blow... except it wasn't.

I sort of shrugged it off when he said that. I just thought, "Hmmm. That's annoying. I guess I need to buy more Clariton when I go into the Mountains." Those were my literal thoughts, friends. You can't scare me out of nature with the threat of severe allergies!

While they were doing the test, though, my head pain increased exponentially, and I wanted to curl up into the fetal position, and I wanted to cry and hold my husband's hand. He of course, wasn't there, and I, of course, couldn't because that would compromise the test. So I lay there in pain, tears running down my face, praying silently into the pillow for the pain to stop, and wanting very much to go home and have a proper cry in my own bed.

The results of the test are as follows:

If it is outside, I am allergic to it. Severely. It will give me hives and probably contributes to my migraines. Also, cats, dogs, horses, and feathers contribute to the pain. Food wise, I am going to starve, and lose a lot of weight. I can no longer have sugar, honey, artificial sweeteners, agave, meat, (I can have eggs and fish), barley, soy, dairy, celery, corn, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, peanuts, navy beans, cucumbers, ginger, or sesame seeds. I have noticed a huge decrease in migraines by cutting these out.

And then when I went home from the doctor that night, I got the flu (influenza A) and didn't leave my bed for about 4 days, and thought I was going to die. Not literally, but I have never in my life been that sick. It was horrible! I really have never been that bad, to not even be able to get out of bed! I will be getting the flu shot next year. Keith was in bed next to me for half of that. Faye, Kip, and Vince also got it, but theirs was for like a day because they had the flu shot. It was amazing to see the difference in severity. Just yesterday was really the first day I was able to be up and about. Today is Thursday, a week exactly from when I caught it, if that gives any perspective on the matter.

Like I said, it has been a few months of emotions, emotions, emotions. But I think now, we are all caught up.

Except for one thing.

When Grandma passed away, I was given her beautiful couches. As a child, I wasn't allowed to touch her couches. I loved them so much, and always admired them. Now, they are in Arcadia, and they make my heart so happy! They have really changed the whole atmosphere of this room from frumpy and comfortable to sophisticated and classy. And they always make me think of Grandma, every time I come in here. That and the goose that stands guard my armchair. Jeffrey named it Gwendoline. I guess I'll write about Gwendoline and Koselig boxes tomorrow.


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