Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stomach viruses, hospital stays and blessings!

Most of you already know, but just in case here's a quick update. I've been in the hospital since Wednesday night. I had a stomach virus that had me throwing up and unable to keep anything down. After 4 days of that and not being able to do my treatments really we finally went into my CF doctor. I was admitted that night for dehydration and weight lose. That's now under control thankfully! I had been on oral antibiotics pre-stomach virus but couldn't keep it down. Between that and not being able to do full treatments my oxygen sats had dropped to 92 and I was so weak. So now we're treating a lung infection with IV antibiotics. I'm hoping to be out of here real soon. I'm starting to go a little crazy! Isolation stinks.

You might think I'm crazy for saying this, but this has been the best hospital admission I've ever had, even if I am stuck in the adult side in a tiny isolated room! I've had more visitors stop by to see me then ever before, and for the first time it was more friends then family! The first day my Dad surprised me by taking a half day and spending 7 hours with me watching movies and hanging out. My visiting teachers came by when they got off work and that night my amazing home teachers came by with love, fudge and gave me a blessing. At that moment I thought it couldn't get better, I felt so blessed. Little did I know it was only going to get better! The next day my Mom spent all afternoon with me, even after being with my sister who was in surgery till midnight the night before. That evening I got a surprise visit and such fun goodies from my cousin Stacey and her wonderful husband. Then as soon as my Mom left a group of friends decided to come surprise me! I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. While they were here my friend Dallin asked if I wanted a visitor for a movie night, and of course I said yes! Yesterday flew by. Time flies when in good company. I went to bed a happy girl after Dallin left our our movie finished. Which was ironically the Pursuit of Happiness. I have indeed found my happiness even in a boring place like an isolated hospital room! I'm so incredibly blessed to have such wonderful friends and family in my life. These last few months I've become really close to a new group of friends and it's been so wonderful to have them in my life! I honestly wouldn't trade my life for anything. Having CF and spending time in the hospital here and there really gives you time to ponder life. You can either let it get you down or you can find the happiness in it. I've found that happiness. I have amazing nurses, doctors, family and friends. There is no reason for me not to have a smile on my face and joy in my heart! Now it's time to go home. Got the okay from my doctor and this is officially my last night in the hospital!

I wish I would of taken pictures with everyone while they were here or at least my friends, but I was so excited I didn't even think about it till my Mom said I should of. I do have a couple pictures of my goodies and the silly isolation outfits though (:

Crime fighting duck or my Dad?! 
My snack choice my first day eating again: watermelon and ham!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

"Kindness is our religion"

This past weekend I had to opportunity to go to Salt Lake City, Utah with my singles ward for a weekend trip, and I'm so grateful that I decided to go on this trip. Not only was it a BLAST it was exactly the spiritual uplift I needed in my life! We left from the church at 3:00 in the morning on Friday. Sleeping on the bus was a joke so the drive felt 10x longer then it really was. As soon as we got into the Salt Lake valley area we stopped to get into church clothes then headed up to the temple! We got to hear the temple president talk, and we got to do temple work in one of the most historic temples. It was so amazing seeing some of the insides of this magnificent building. I'm in awe at the work and details that the pioneers put into this temple. They truly built this house for the Lord. Following temple work and lunch we went to watch the Joseph Smith movie as a ward. My love and gratitude for these first saints is over whelming.  I know that God truly knows each of us individually and sends us here to Earth at a specific time. I don't think I could of done all the things those first saints had to do. They believed so fully in this Gospel, they put their trust in the Lord and kept pushing on, even after seeing their dear prophet Joseph and his brother murdered. 

That night we stayed in a cabin up in Sundance. I had the chance to get to know and hang out with people in the ward I wouldn't normally, and I got to know members of the bishopric and their families better! We had such a fun time. Because of a storm that had just pulled through the SLC area the roads in Sundance were very icy and our bus had a really hard time getting up the mountain, and it ended up getting stuck. After dinner we  got together as a ward and prayed for the safety of our bus driver and success in getting it off the mountain. The feeling in that room was amazing. 

The next morning we went back to Temple Square and got to whatever we wanted. Our bus driver had a long night so we got to spend extra time in Salt Lake while he slept, which was fine by all of us! I spent the day with some really awesome friends, and we seemed to run into Brother Smith and his daughter everywhere! It was so awesome being able to go to the museums and visitors centers. The museum has all kinds of artifacts and original documents from early prophets and pioneers!! It's so cool. Of course the funnest part is the kids part of the museum. 

I'm so grateful for my ward and my kind generous bishopric. I love this sweet gospel! After this trip my love for Joseph Smith is unexplainable. In the Joseph Smith movie a lady came up to Joseph and told him that she didn't believe in his church, but is grateful they've been so kind to the people of their town. Joseph looked at the old lady and said, "Ma'am kindness is our religion" that saying has been in my mind since Friday. No matter how difficult life got for Joseph and his family he was always able to find the joy and purpose in life. I could go on forever about this amazing trip & the pioneers but I'll spare you, and end with a few of the pictures I took over this amazingly fun weekend!

Goofin around in Sun Dance with some of the best people I know!

One of the my most favorite and one of the most
 beautiful buildings: the Salt Lake Temple

The view from the cabin in Sun Dance!

The beautiful Christus in the temple visitors center.

Some of the original prints of the Book of Mormon,
and writings from Joseph Smith!

Learning to dance in the children's part of the museum with Gabi!

I had such an amazing time hanging out with these cool kids (:

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Special Education

I had the sweetest conversation with one of my professors in class this afternoon. We were working in groups & she came to talk to our group. After helping us with the assignment she asked what my port was. I told her what it was & she asked what my condition was, if I didn't mind sharing. When I told her I had CF, the sweetest expression crossed her face & she goes oh really? So that's why you had that cough a couple weeks ago? I explained to her I had a bad cold that settled in my lungs which is why I was hooked up to IV's right now. We talked about how often I do IV's and why, and the basics of CF. She told me about a lady her husband use to be good friends with that had CF, raised 2 boys & had lived to be 40! She asked if I was married or dating someone & when I told her no she goes "Well I sure hope you get to experience that in your life, hopefully they find a cure real soon! You'll be in my prayers dear" then went off to help other groups, before bringing the class back together to share our work... This semester all my classes are special education courses, and all my professors in them are special education teachers or people who have worked with special ed kids within the school system. I've come to realize that special education teachers are some of the sweetest people on this earth. I'm so grateful I chose this field of work to go into!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Decisions Determine Destiny"

While I was in Reno over the summer the singles ward had a high council speaker who talked on the topic of “Decisions Determine Destiny” from President Monson. When I got back to vegas I looked more into the things he said that had really stuck with me. I came to find out that this has been a theme of President Monson’s for several years now; there were MANY conference talks that touched on this topic, and all of them equally wonderful!

In the scriptures we learn that we have that choice to choose life and liberty through Christ or captivity through Lucifer. We've been given the right to choose, we have our agency. It’s the only thing in this life that is truly ours to either give to God, or to use for bad.

President Monson said, “No choice is insignificant, for we become what we think about. Our choices determine our destiny. In Lewis Carroll’s delightful classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Alice finds herself coming to a crossroads with two paths before her, each stretching onward but in opposite directions. She is confronted by the Cheshire cat, of whom Alice asks, “Which path should I take?” The cat answers, “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn't really matter which path you take.” Unlike Alice, each of you knows where you want to go. It does matter which way we go, for the path we follow in this life surely leads to the path we shall follow in the next. Choose carefully.”

The first time I read that quote I thought of a conversation Bishop and I had last week. He asked me when I knew I had a testimony of the gospel, when I knew it was true. I couldn't think of just one big defining moment to tell him. A flood of things came to my mind instead: moments I had in the temple with the ward, the process of reading my scriptures every morning until I finally finished the Book of Mormon for the first time earlier this year, learning new things in institute, the over whelming feeling of joy I felt when I bore my testimony a couple months ago on fast Sunday. My decision to move back to vegas, which was ultimately for health reasons, but brought me to my amazing ward and back into the church. Praying for help and being able to see the Lord’s hand work in my life. All these decisions were little in the grand scheme of things but all added up together have built my faith and testimony. No choice is insignificant. 

 So what are some of the choices or decisions from the scriptures big or small that had a large effect in the end that we could relate to our own lives?

1. An example from the Bible of a wrong choice with a large consequence would be David and Bath-sheba.
2    2. A BoM reference would be Lamen and Lamuel vs Nephi in getting the Golden Plates. 
3    3. The biggest one I can think of is the decision a teenager made to kneel down and prayer about which church to attend. That teenager being Joseph Smith. From that small and simple prayer began the restoration of this Gospel.

President Monson said, "Decisions are constantly before us. To make them wisely, courage is needed—the courage to say no, the courage to say yes. Decisions do determine destiny. I plead with you to make a determination right here, right now, not to deviate from the path which will lead to our goal: eternal life with our Father in Heaven. There are countless worthy goals to reach as we travel through life. Needed is our commitment to reach them. No temptation, no pressure, no enticing can overcome us unless we allow it such. If we make the wrong choice, we have no one to blame but ourselves.”

I know that even the littlest of decisions can make all the difference. I've seen it in my own life whether for good or bad. I can see how much easier it is to live righteously when I make the choice to spend time with friends that share the same values as I do vs. those who don’t. I can see the difference in my day when I start it with scripture reading or maybe I play a general conference talk instead of music while I get ready for school. Like President Monson said we've been given the tools to make the righteous choices that lead us to our righteous destinies. The rest is left up to us!

Good ole rivalry football...

As many of you know I'm a HUGE college football fan, particularly for the Nevada WolfPack. Every year Nevada plays UNLV (the university in southern Nevada) for a canon that is either painted blue or red depending on who has it. For 7 years in a row it's been Nevada's, painted blue up north. This years game was in Las Vegas, and my two best friends were coming down for it!! I couldn't have been more excited. I'd missed the girls, and I'd missed going to football games SO MUCH. Tickets were bought, plans were made, and we were totally ready to kick UNLV's butt for the 8th year in a row. 

It was hot, crowded and ridiculously stressful but of course, Nevada came out with the win! The canon is staying blue for it's 8th year!! I really couldn't of asked for a better weekend. My best friends in town, rivalry football, and the WolfPack kicking butt. It was the perfect Saturday, and totally worth the sun burn and lack of sleep!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

You know you have CF when....

you not only know what you're culturing in your lungs, but can pronounce all three of them correctly without thinking twice!! I had a meeting with my Bishop last night, who's a surgeon so he knows the basics of CF and what not from school. We were talking about my port cause it's the first time he's seen it accessed, and he was asking why I was on antibiotics, was it pneumonia, steroids, ect? My response was pretty much, "well my lung function dropped after a bad cold, and my Staph, Stenotrophomonas and Aspergillus pretty much always grow in my lungs as permanent residence so that's what we're treating!" All with a smile on my face of course. He just looked at me and laughed. He thought it was so funny that I knew what I was growing, and could pronounce all three correctly. It made my night! I love my Bishop, he's pretty much the coolest person I know (:

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Awe Inspiring Moments.... on my drive to school.

Since school is 20 mins away, and all my doctors are that far from home or further I find myself in the car a TON! Some days as I sit at a stop light, and see the people walking on the street or the people in cars around me, I'm in awe at how large and grand this world really is. We're all just humans here on this earth living our lives, trying to get through the day, with our problems and things going on, yet everything we do, good or bad, has some sort of effect on the world around us! We all live on this giant planet, that when we're here feels so large and we feel so spread apart from others, but when you truly start to think about it's not all that big after all. There's so much we can do not only for our neighbor or local community but maybe for that African village that needs clean water, or the earthquake victims in South America....

Do you ever catch yourself in these awe inspiring moments where you realize just how small the world is? How we're humans here on this plant living these lives that are all some how intertwined with each other? Maybe I'm just not getting enough sleep before school, but it really makes me want to get out there in my community and really strive to be a better person, and to help those around me that need it. Whether it's smiling and saying hi to someone on campus, giving my spare change to the man at the convenience store, making plans to help in the "low income" and forgotten schools after graduation, or maybe donating things to charity. We need to look out for each other, and with the technology and medical advance of this day, helping someone across the world is so easy to do! We might live on a giant earth, but when you really sit back and take a look at the world around you, it's really not that big at all! 

Friday, October 5, 2012

What would my life be like....?

Sometimes I catch myself thinking about what my life would be like if I didn't have CF. If I was just a normal care free 21 year old. My current dilemma that has got me thinking is health insurance. I find myself planning my entire life around it! My job I'm going to school for I know will get my great insurance, but what happens if I get really sick and can't work? If I get married and lose my Dad's amazing insurance while this guy have a good job that will have insurance and pay to help support me and my medical needs? Should I go out tonight or should I rest cause my bodies recovering from a cold that a normal 21 year old would of bounced back from 4 days ago, and my bodies completely worn out from all the coughing I've been doing. Tomorrow afternoon I have to make sure I'm home for my Tobra levels to be drawn to make sure my dosage is right, do I have the money to pay those bills that some how slipped through the cracks and made it to collections on top of my new antibiotics.... These are things that I've had on my mind the last few days, and many times throughout my life. I want to know what a normal 21 year old thinks about? What would my life be like without CF?

But then I remind myself that everyone has their own problems, just because someones life looks care free and fun I don't know what's happening behind closed doors or what their worries in life are. I remind myself of all the amazing people CF has brought into my life, and best friends that live all over the country that CF has brought me. I look at myself and see a strong positive young lady, and see how all my trials that have come with CF have shaped me into who I am today. CF brought me back to Las Vegas for school, which brought me back to my church. 

So what would my life be like without CF? I don't know.... but even though some days I may be overwhelmed and wish I wasn't a 21 year old with a chronic illness, I remind myself of all the blessings I have in my life and all that having CF has given me and I smile.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The me everyone else sees... IV time again!

Have you ever noticed how one of our hardest critiques is ourselves? It really hit me on Sunday while I was talking to a member of the bishopric in our singles ward that I see more faults in myself then others see in me. So often I get caught up in my own thoughts or over analyzing everything in life that I don't see the person everyone around me sees. I have friends and family tell me how wonderful I am in different things all the time, but it took someone outside of that close group to really open my eyes to my true potential. Both my bishop and one of his counselors have mentioned to me how they've noticed how great I am at making friends, including others and my great outlook on life. My new goal is to become the me I want to be, the me that everyone else sees. I need to let things go and not over think things. I need to be myself, and put myself out there to make friends and make sure everyone is included in activities. I feel like I have so much more in life to learn and so much more room to grow! I'm really excited to work on this!! I feel like my calling as a teacher every Monday has already helped me in being more outgoing. Getting up in front of everyone to teach church topics, when I feel others would be so much more qualified, was such a challenge, but each week I teach it gets easier and easier. So who do you see in the mirror? Do you see the great qualities in yourself that those who love you see?!

On another note I went to the doctors today for a sick visit. My PFT's (which for those that don't know is my lung function) dropped 14% so I'm starting a month of IV's and some orals to kick whatever this is in the butt. I'm soooo ready to stop feeling like poo and get back to my normal self and back into school business. I'm all hooked up and ready to kick some CF butt!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Home means Nevada....

I got to spend my last week of summer break in my favorite part of my home state.... the biggest little city, Reno! We had so much FUN going to Tahoe, riding the rapids of the Truckee River, having lunch in Loyalton, Partying at the Wall, staying up late laughing and talking, margaritas and wiffle ball... yes those two go together, and doing what we do best.... being ridiculous! My life wouldn't be complete with out these girls, my best friends!! I can be my weird self around  them and for some reason they still like me hahah here's some pictures from my wonderful trip up north (:

Our FINALLY ready and going to party mirror picture!

Photo Bombed (:

Beeest Fraaaand!!!

We finally made it past the waves out to the cold water!

Riding the rapids of the Truckee downtown with my Wifey!

We ran into Jon while down at the Truckee!
So glad he's home  and safe after a year deployment.

Yup, I love these girls more then you'd ever know!

Goodbye Summer!

Why hello stranger! It's been awhile since I've posted anything, but I take that as a good sign. I had a very healthy busy, very FUN last half of my summer break. It was full of family time, a Make A Wish trip to Florida, and a trip to see my best friends in Reno! I thought I'd share some pictures from our amazing trip to Orlando, it was our big family trip of the year, and Corntey's Make A Wish! We spent a week (which wasn't nearly enough time) in a Disney Resort. We did 4 Disney World Parks and both Universal Studio's parks. We might of been exhausted and sore, and I was definetly a grouch a lot of the time because of it, but in the end it was the most amazing trip I've ever been on!! I'd like to share some of that fun with the blog world (:

Tigger will ALWAYS been my favorite!

Dinsey's Hollywood Studios

Headed to the airport bright early the day we left vegas.

Eating dinner in Germany at Epcot!
Serisouly the best night of food ALL week.  I even had a sausage salad!
Butter Beeer!

Captain America was such a charmer!
Cocoa Beach! Our first ever trip to the Atlantic 


The beach at our resort across the lake from the Magical Kingdom!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Photo Booth Fun!

At my cousin Dulcie's wedding her and her husband had the amazing idea of having a photo booth with lots of fun little props! It was a huge hit the entire evening, we had so much fun goofing around in there. Dulcie sent out emails with a bunch of the pictures we took, and I thought I'd share the fun and goofiness! Marler's sure know how to act goofy and have a good time (:

Grandpa and the girls!!
Who knew Grandpa could do such a great kissy face! I love him.

Goofy picture with the girls and the bride!!
My wonderful, amazing goofy family!
The beautiful bride with her cousins!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Finding the Blessings

At church I teach the FHE (family home evening) lessons in our singles ward on Monday nights, and my turn to teach is coming up. So in the back of my head while at church on Sunday I knew I needed to decide what I was going to give my lesson on. During the first hour of church (sacrament) as I was reading from Isiah I came across something near and dear to me that I keep in my scriptures, a copy of my cousin Jason's testimony, and I decided to pull it out and read it. (I've talked about my cousin before on here, he passed away from cancer when I was young, and I've always looked up to him in so many ways.) Several times Jason mentioned how blessed his life was, and how full of joy and happiness his life has been. He talked about how grateful he was to be a tool in the Lord's hands and how grateful he was to have had opportunities to share the gospel to others. This really stuck with me as I went through the next 2 hours of church. Every time I read through it I found myself amazed at how someone who had been battling cancer for years and knew they were at the end of their life could be so full of happiness and joy, and could recognize all the countless blessings that were in his life. As I thought more about this I began to think how much joy do I find filling up my days? Can I see all the blessings I have in my life, even through all the trials that may be clouding my path? I realized that I don't take nearly enough time to express my gratitude and not enough time is spend focusing on the happiness and joy in life. Every problem and trial in our life is placed before for a reason. Our trials help shape us into stronger people. They teach us those things we need to know and learn before it's our time to leave this earth. In a world full of problems why not focus on the positive?! 

By the end of church I knew what I was going to be teaching in my next class. Finding the blessings in our life and in our trials... having an attitude of gratitude! I found a beautiful Mormon Message called "In the Spirit of Thanksgiving" that fit perfect with this topic that I posted just below this. I also came across a talk given by President Monson's from a recent general conference about gratitude. 

In the talk by President Monson he said:

"This is a wonderful time to be on earth. While there is much that is wrong in the world today, there are many things that are right and good. There are marriages that make it, parents who love their children and sacrifice for them, friends who care about us and help us, teachers who teach. Our lives are blessed in countless ways. We can lift ourselves and others as well when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues. Someone has said that “gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others"

 Life is to short to dwell on everything that is going wrong in life. Some days it may be easy to see all the blessings, while others days it may seem impossible! President Eyring encouraged us to kneel down in prayer and ask for help in seeing those blessings clearly when trials and hardships make them hard to see. I know that as we focus on the beauty in life and all the we've been given, our problems won't seems quit as heavy. Of course it won't be easy, but nothing in life is really easy... well except maybe sitting on the couch watching your favorite tv show, but that's besides the point (:

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pro's n Con's of CF

So I haven't done a single one of these days since I started so for the last few days of May I'm going to pick and choose a few of my favorites to do. Today I chose the Pro's n Con's! I know what you're thinking how can there be any pro's to living with a chronic illness?! Guess what, there totally are! If I live life only thinking of the negative I'd be quit the bitter person.


1. The first that comes to mind is FOOD! I can eat whatever I want whenever I want. Actually it's encouraged. Salty, sweet, full of carbs... I can eat it! I don't have to worry about my metabolism slowing as I get older. My body burns so much trying to breathe so eating is what I do best (:

2. The CF community! I've met some of the most amazing people through the online CF community. Some of my best friends are people I've never actually met. Often it's CF that initially connects us, but is so many other "normal" things that keep us connected and being friends. I hope one day I'm able to meet these amazing, inspiring and incredibly beautiful people in person. They help keep my spirits up, and are there when things get rough. They've been where I am and know how to help.

3. Another would be life experiences and who I've become. There's a certain amount of resposiblity that comes with having CF. I've always needed to be able to keep up with school and friends while finding time to get all my treatments, IV's and doctors appointments taken care of as well. When I went off to college it really was all up to me to keep up with everything. I couldn't be like every other freshman in college. I learned how to manage my time very early one. My health depended on it. I also think CF as helped me become a goal oriented and positive person, I've had to work hard for so many things in my life, and without setting goals and having the positive attitude that nothing is going to hold me back, I think I would of given up a long time ago. Even when things get hard and I'm frustrated I know that tomorrow is a new day, and with hard work things will get better. I have my eye on the prize and I work hard to get it.

4. I feel that I also appreciate my days more then a normal 21 year old would. I don't know how many tomorrow's I'll be blessed with. I don't know how long my lungs will hold out or how long I'll be able to go with out needing oxygen when I'm out and about. I cherish those good friends in my life, and I spend as much time with family as possible. I've been so blessed with the people in my life and I've been blessed with enough health to spend time with them and to be able to attend school full time. I don't let a single day go to waste.

Con's: I don't know if I need to really talk about these. I think they're kind of obvious. I spend hours a day doing treatment. Weeks a year in the hospital, and hours hooked up to IV's. All to often I'm exhausted just from breathing and have to cancel plans with friends. I know that the likely hood that I'll live a normal life span is very slim. I know that one day I'll need a new pair of lungs, or that I'll end up with diabetes. I have to wake up early or miss things with friends for hour long doctors appointments and we spend houndreds of dollars every month on antibiotics. I could probably go own but I'll stop there.

While there seems to be many more con's then pro's what kind of life would I live if I let those con's run my life or weigh down on my mind? Life is better when you wear a smile and have the brightest hope for your future. So cherish today, hold close your loved ones and make plans for a wonderful future not matter what might really lie ahead.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Biggest Little City

I'm sure ya'll know that I went to school up in Reno at the University of Nevada for two years and a little over a year ago, because of declining health, I had to withdraw from school and move home. It was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make. I hated having to leave my friends, the true Nevada university and the city that I loved. Well this past week I finally made it up Reno to visit after being gone for over a year!! My best friend and I planned a trip for me to be there right after school was over to celebrate making it through the school year. It felt so great to be back in Reno and northern Nevada. It felt so natural to be back on campus and with my friends. I feel so blessed to have such amazing people in my life. I know the girls felt bad that they had to work so much while I was there, but honestly I couldn't of asked for a better trip. We had grilled tri tip and sat by the fire in Loyalton, CA. Movie date with Jacie, TONS of froyo at yogurt beach, deep fried deliciousness for lunch in cow town Loyalton, Keva Juice on campus, thee funnest motorcycle rides with Quinn around town, playing just dance, making new friends, and just flat out being with my best friends! I'm one  lucky girl. I already have my tickets bought for my trip up there in August before school starts again, wohoo!

Sitting by the fire in Loyalton, CA. Such a perfect night!
Getting all geared up to go riding.
Off to ride around town with Quinn!
One of the funnest things I've EVER done!
The view from Lorin's parent's porch in Loyalton.
My favorite little cow town!
Yummy deep fried deliciousness from Frosty's
FROYO at Yogurt Beach (:
So proud of Wolfie for winning mascot of the year!!!

Once Nevada, always Nevada!!