Monday, October 10, 2016

Of Lazy Cats, Laundry, and Stinkin' Adorable Cousins

Dear Everyone,
I've been struggling to find a common theme in my week other than naps with my marathon-status napping cat, who has become my napping buddy. He wins our 'longest nap' competition every time. It's so great to have a sleepy cat!
This week has been an eclectic collection of experiences! There are so many moving pieces. If I had to characterize my week with one phrase, I think it would have to do with watching.

Everyone in my family seems so similar to how they were when I left, but they've all changed subtly, growing brighter as they work to help their talents become refined. My little sister has discovered within herself a proclivity for the dramatic and a great love for dance. The dramatic part wasn't a surprise (at all), but the dance part was! I've watched her practice in astonishment. She's a very talented, very expressive dancer, complete with on-point facial expressions. Since when does Claire dance?! Apparently since I left.

Almost every day feels like another preparation day (which feels bizarre) other than the part where I can watch t.v. again (which is even a little more bizarre). I've been enjoying the BBC series Sherlock. It makes my thinking brain happy! (:

Pop quiz: What do missionaries feverishly do every preparation day?

What is: Laundry!
Old habits die hard, I guess; each day when I arise and prepare without donning a classy skirt as part of my outfit, I feel a compelling urge to do laundry. It's been cracking me up. I'm pleased to report that the laundry room is now roughly four loads short of empty! Good thing everyone in my family has been too busy to do their own laundry lately. I might be a little bit lost otherwise. XD

A general health update: I feel well on a more consistent basis when I take naps every day! I still have my dizzy and shaky spells, but they happen less frequently now which is good. Last Monday was my first doctor's appointment since being home, and it quickly became apparent that they're hungry for data! They looked at the information we already had and then ordered a ton of new tests. They still have no idea what's going on. My return appointment (I love using that phrase! Missionary status for life.) is about a week from today, and the physician's assistant said that we should have enough data at that point to decide where to look next. From what I gather, they're deciding between sending me to a gastrointestinal specialist, an allergist, a nutritionist, a neurologist, and a rheumatologist. Fun, fun. I watched the phlebotomist gather my blood for more tests as the PA handed a box of vials to my mom with the request that I go home and gather samples of my exhaled breath for yet another test.

Hmmm. Are these doctors dementors, or vampires? I'll let you know when I decide which.
Okay, now for the highlight of my week!!!!
Aunt Holli (my look-alike Auntie)
 My sweet Aunt Holli reached out to me and asked if I wanted to come hang out with her, my uncle, and their three kiddos for a couple of days. Sure thing! My Aunt Holli is a little ray of sunshine and my cousins are most aptly described as pleasantly precocious and downright adorable. I can hold children again! I sat on their living-room couch last night and watched sweet baby Felicity on my lap. She bobbled back and forth, a little off balance as her little muscles worked overtime to keep her steady. No surprises! If I had eyes that big, I think I would have trouble holding my head up straight too!! (:
It got me thinking about the scripture in Alma about how very small and simple means are often the way that great things are brought to pass (I think it's Alma 37:5-6). There were times when Felicity was so off-balance that she wriggled like a fish (a really cute fish) and got really hard to hold on to! Her tiny major muscle groups are still learning their roles, and sometimes they over-correct or don't engage on time, making it necessary for her stabilizer muscles to engage in order to keep her upright. Stabilizer muscles are so small, but so essential to help a body remain steady! I got thinking about all of the small and simple things that I do in my life that may seem to the untrained eye to make no difference. For example, reading my scriptures each day or smiling often at random people or brushing my teeth each morning and evening (you got me - you only need a nose to detect the difference there). Despite the low visibility, the simple things are truly so important in helping me (and everyone around me who has a nose) stay healthy and happy!

The moral of the story? Small muscles and simple daily actions are often the most important factors in keeping a body upright.
Anyway, I love y'all!!
Hope you have a fabulous week and sunshine in your souls! (:

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