Thursday, December 16, 2010

Updates coming soon, I promise

But I am a busy lady.. concert tonight with Kennewick High, Recital tomorrow with my students (and dress rehearsal for Stake Choir), Stake Choir Saturday and Sunday! Nope, not overwhelmed yet. Maybe tomorrow, that's when the scheduling gets funky.

We printed our blog through for all those who wanted to know.... and we LOVE it! I really recommend the site, you can customize all you want and have a lot of creative control, which I like. Ordering is simple and easy and it is shipped fast!

See you when I am done performing!


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Joseph has an interview tomorrow...  please send positive thoughts and prayers his way.

The interview went great! Unfortunately there is no open position, even for an internship, yet. The interviewer was really happy to meet with Joseph, impressed by his resume  he even  kept his resume. A foot in the door...hopefully. But it was a good & positive experience for Joseph. I am a very proud wife!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Quickly before bed...
Joseph does NOT have to report for jury duty!!! 
Can I hear you say "Hallelujah!!" ??
So we are heading to Spokane for Thanksgiving...
plans a little different than before.. 
But going to be oh so fun!

We saw Harry Potter 7 this morning... AWESOME!
Loved it! so so much...
Went to a friends Harry Potter Marathon...
Tasted butter beer (alcohol-free)
Finished some crafty Christmas presents 
(can't tell you what, someone might read)
Joseph Birthday/ Christmas shopped for me
 (with my parents)
Made treats for Primary
(read: 80 mini chocolate chip cookies, 
 baking while I was working on my crafts. 
Joseph told me I was doing too much all at once...
 but did I burn any cookies? Nope!)

Oh, we got our blog published...
came in the mail last week...
LOVE it! I am so glad we did that,
it's gorgeous, and amazing to have.

Sorry this was random,
but I am tired, and we are just so excited,
we can see our family for Thanksgiving...

And I got my scarves and gloves etc. out of storage...
there may be snow on Monday.
Bring on the Hot Chocolate!

Monday, November 15, 2010

When life throws you a curveball....

hit that sucker out of the park!
And lately we have been up to bat, a lot.
I hate not making solid future plans with family and friends.
The thing is, we just can't. 
We don't know what life has in store for us even a month or two in advance,
sometimes even the next week, even day to day,
so I feel guilty making plans if we'll have to break them. 
Life right now has made this absolutely impossible!
This month's example (and reason for no updates):
we had made plans to stay a few days in Spokane,
in a cute inn,
for Thanksgiving (with the Mechams and Toths),
Forgotten Carols,
Sam and Kaelee's reception.
And just some quality alone time.

We had budgeted the money and I have that week off anyway.
But we had received an email from our adoption caseworker,
 a very strongly worded email,
 about possibly closing our adoption profile.. 
it has been inactive for over a year.
 and to keep it active we would have to pay the transfer fee,
 (which happened to be the same amount we put away) 
then bust our butts to finish again. 
Now for the clincher, given our current situation we may not even be eligible anyway. 
So sent off an email back explaining that although we would love to adopt, 
but our situation is what it is,
 and it isn't going to change instantly. 
And that we understand and accept that it may make us ineligible, 
but we needed to know before we handed over the fee. 
We waited impatiently for two weeks before he got back to us, 
then he set up an appointment for two weeks later... 
giving no hint at all as to whether or not we even had a chance. 

That appointment was Thursday. 
We politely chatted with the man and when he finally asked if we had any questions, 
we had only one...
 and the answer is no. 
We are not eligible to adopt with LDSFS.
 And we're okay with that, 
but he could have told us a month ago, 
in an email!! 
We just needed an answer! 
But he did have to forward our blunt email on and up,
 to the head honchos of LDSFS to get a real answer,
 our situation being very unique. 
 He said " I felt inspired by your attitude Joseph and Shaylee. How you have accepted your blindness and are in training for full time employment. Such a healthy desire, thinking, and a beautiful attitude backed up with inspiring actions."

So we were free to go forward with our plans... almost. 
Now we wait to see if Joseph ends up having jury duty... 
which happens to fall right at the same time as our planned trip.... 
this week he doesn't have to report,
 but now we have to wait until friday to see about the week after.  
Whatever, so we already cancelled our reservations. 
 We will have to wait and see.... 
and we are getting tired of waiting.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I love it!

About 3 times in the past week, we've been asked if we were newlyweds. I then ask why, people have offered a few answers, the way we look at each other, the way we sit together, etc. 
It's sweet. Well we're not really newlyweds, coming up on 5 years in May.


Here we are fresh out of the temple, newly married newlyweds.
This was just the beginning.
The beginning of our love.
The beginning of some of the biggest challenges of our lives. 
But we're here together
Always together.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

An Idea

I have been toying with selling my photographs. I do NOT want to be one of those mommy photographers,  I don't want to have sessions and more things interfering with our already complicated schedules. I do LOVE photography and the photographs I am able to take and edit. It's a real art. I am thinking, seriously thinking about making an etsy shop to sell prints of my photographs. (or something like etsy... still in the idea gathering stage)  I want to know what you think. Would you buy prints like these? Do you know people who would buy them? Do you like them? Anyway I would love some feedback. Here's a few to look at in the meantime.

Make a wish

BW flower

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Bright sunflower

Rosebud b&w


Purple Flower

Wet leaf

Gerber Daisey


Sunflower with clouds

Raindrops on Roses

pretty flower

BW rose

Sunflower in the sky

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Finding me Again

Being human and being subject to this mortal existence, the concept of me or my perception of myself will always be changing, as life is always changing. If I didn’t change I would be a hard, rigid and intolerant being. I try not to be that. I want to be a kind, caring and gracious woman. That being said, I feel that infertility has robbed me, taken away parts of me that I am sill piecing  back together, even two years after our last miscarriage. Along with Infertility, Joseph’s loss of sight has wounded me, wounded us. Those trials have been a severe beating personally for each of us as well as to our marriage.

“Heavenly Father loves us unconditionally especially in the face of out trials. He knows our individual worth and our potential. For some reason, when we are faced with seemingly unending trials, we may feel that our Heavenly Father doesn’t love us. He does, and He knows exactly how we will benefit from our trials. He is the master sculptor and refiner, and though we cannot see our ultimate potential when we look in the mirror, He sees us for who we will ultimately become.” (Lost Children, R.J. Christensen)

While Heavenly Father never loses sight of our individual worth and divine potential, we can and do.  I know I have. During the thick of it I became what I had to in order to survive & cope.  Having “witnessed the repeating pattern of life, which begins with birth and ends with death, and [viewing] this as natural and normal. But death before birth…well that does not seem to fit our understanding…” (Christensen) I built up walls to protect myself during the constant upheaval of my idea of what my life was supposed to be. I did what I knew I had to. Some days I just went through the motions. All the while trying to figure out and understand what was happening, why it was happening, what was wrong, how to fix it, if it could be fixed.

Miscarriage is so difficult to understand, even more difficult to talk about as it is somewhat of a taboo topic. This quote is the best I found to express my feelings about it. "This was a real baby, and we were planning and preparing for it. But not everyone [understands]  the whole gamut of emotions we [face]. For many, miscarrying may not seem the same as losing a loved one, but for the mother (I'll add father as well) experiencing it, that pregnancy was the beginning of the greatest love of [their lives]." (Christensen).

"The most severe cases of grief result from a death that is unexpected, tragic or unexplained. Miscarriage falls into each of these categories." I will add that Joseph's blindness fits also. We mourn our lost babies, our failed attempts at parenthood, we mourn for the family we could have had. We mourn for Joseph's sight, and how that has changed our relationship. These things are HUGE, they are life-altering, they've helped make us who we are today. They've helped us bond together, throughout it all there has been one constant: our marriage. We face our challenges head on, face first, together holding hands. We are a team.

We've deal with infertility: the uncertainty, the tests, the hormones, the drugs, the surgeries, the scars, the bills. We deal with Multiple Sclerosis: the uncertainty, the MRI's, the Dr appointments, the medication, the heat sensitivity, the steroids. We deal with blindness: the uncertainty, the doctor visits, the diagnosis, the exams, the resting nystagmus, the white cane, the paperwork, braille, adaptive technology. We've done adoption paperwork: the pile of paperwork, the health checks, the background checks, the fingerprinting, the interviews, the research, we've had our personalities, relationships and marriage dissected and investigated then spelled out on paper for a committee to tell us if we are approved to be prospective adoptive parents.

Life is hard, it's brutally painful, but what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, right? Sure. I am helpless to fix Joseph's vision, as much as he was helpless to fix my reproductive system. But we are both here, one-hundred percent absolutely unconditionally for one another. We are growing, and learning together. I am fighting for Joseph's right for health care. He is doing all he can to adapt and learn new skills, in fact he is currently looking into getting some sort of internship and getting back to work. Yes, he IS absolutely amazing!! The adoption stuff is in limbo- our situation is what it is and we've let our case worker know as our profile is near extinction (in other words they only keep profiles inactive for so long, and we've gone a little longer than that). We are now waiting to hear if in our current situation we can be approved to adopt, if we can we'll finish, and fast! If not... well we will see now won't we?!

We're doing all we can we're trying to be proactive in advocating infertility awareness, adoption, multiple sclerosis and blindness. But we're getting impatient. When will life stop being so darn hard? when can we have a home of our very own? When will we be a family that includes children?

Neal A Maxwell said "Patience is tied very closely to faith in our Heavenly Father. Actually when we are unduly impatient, we are suggesting that we know best- better than God does, or, at least we are asserting that our time table is better than His." I hope one day soon our patience in the Lord's time table will pay off...

Two Words

Jury Duty

Joseph got a Jury summons this week, we'll see if he has to
.... I am worried, there are some nasty cases going to trial soon. 
Although not as bad as the one that's on right now...
At least he'll get paid.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Our Fortunes

A couple weeks ago we went out to lunch 
our fortunes read:

Remember three months from this date! Your lucky star is shining.

Remember three months from this date. Good things are in store for you.

Just had to share.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Some pics from the weekend

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Traveling through Montana

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Joseph pushing John on the swing...
don't stand too close or 
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you'll get this in your face!

There were kittens on the farm we could play with, so cute!
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"Hey, what's that over there?"

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"I don't know, let's go see." 

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John and his buddy

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Self portrait with a kitten
(why are my self portraits sans makeup?)

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"Thanks for visiting!"

I'll probably post more pictures, later.


Let me introduce...

My handsome husband Joseph,

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If that isn't too much for you look down at his feet!

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These are the coolest, and they get the best reactions from people!

Crazy long post about a crazy long weekend...

Well we're home from our whirlwind weekend. Busy? Yes. Fun? Yes. Wonderful? Definitely. We arrived Friday evening in Idaho, later than planned because of construction- what seemed to me to be a HUGE last ditch effort to finish before snow comes. Other than construction the drive went well and we listened to Harry Potter 3 Audio book, that seriously helps the long trip go by faster. After arriving we were chauffeured to the church to help set up for Sam and Kaelee's reception. The colors were blue, black and white. The reception decor was simple and elegant. I loved it. While at the church we were able to visit with Joseph's grandparents and catch up.

We slept in. And slowly got ready for the day. I even got in a nap before we were due to show up to the temple! It was an afternoon sealing, the sealing room happened to be the same one that Joseph's parents were sealed in. The room was filled with family and friends. It was beautiful. We feel so blessed that we were able to be there. After family pictures we filtered over to the church for lunch. We went home & switched shoes & put our feet up before the reception started.

The reception was awesome. There was a pretty constant flow of guests. We ended up at a table just off the reception line. So we always had someone visiting with us, and even a line of people waiting their turn to talk to us. It was really enjoyable. But by te end of the night we were exhausted & our voices were raspy. What a great night!

The family let us sleep in, and sleep and sleep. We had more family come to the house to visit and eat lunch before heading home. It was a slow, relaxing, rest-filled day. We did play an electric Uno game. And finish the day off singing hymns around the piano as a family. Jessica played the piano for most of them, John played the ones he knew, then I took my turn to play. It  had been something of a tradition to sing hymns around the piano when we came to visit on Sundays, when we lived in Idaho.

We slept in once more and slowly packed up to travel to Spokane to stay with the Toth's, and go to Joseph's appointments on Tuesday. We drove north up through Montana on over to Washington. It is a beautiful drive, much better than the way we usually go where it's mostly desert. The drive through Montana is mountainous, had lots of trees and we were in and out of rain so the clouds were gorgeous. Joseph even used the camera to take some pictures. We arrived at the Toth's in time for dinner. We were able to relax and visit with Kaelee's brothers, then staying up way too late talking, but it was wonderful to visit

We got up and got ready for Joseph's neurology appointment, had a fun time finding the new office- actually it's much easier to find now that it is located in Holy Family Hospital.
Nuerology Appointment
The nurse Shy, took Joseph's vitals, then noticed his "shoes", she didn't want to call them shoes, she just kept saying they were a trip. Pretty soon we had the other nurse and P.A. in there to look at them. Aline Snow the P.A. is the one that saw Joseph. She was awesome! She did a lot of the same tests and physical assessments that Dr. Cooke does. After teh tests she asked  lots of questions the main thing she wanted to address was Joseph's walking. He still has spasticity, she suggests yoga & more stretching. We will purchasing a yoga DVD that is meant for those who have Multiple Sclerosis.  He can do it with his vibrams on, he will still have full movement and not slide around. She also suggested more water and more fiber. And prescribed a medication for spasticity.

Neurotherapy Appointment:
Intially we thought it would be a consultation, you know, just lots of talking. At first it was then Dr. Thurber wanted to go ahead and do a brain mapping to see if there is anything he could do, anything that can be improved. Brain mapping is very interesting, He hooked up sensors to his ears (those were to filter out any stay waves) hten he had another sensor that he would move to different sites on Joseph's head to transmit and recieve electric waves. The scan is is used to see if there are any areas in the brain that  are over, under or dis-functioning.

Dr. Thurber can read the waves and maps and know they mean and know what they control, pertaining to the body. It's incredible. He taught us that the nervous system's main job is to filter out unwanted information, so with degenerate diseases like Multiple Scerlosis, can cause the Nervous System to filter itself out.

So Dr. Thurber performed a brain mapping and did a small treatment at the same time. While the sensors  were  on Joseph's head I would look at a screen and see the waves (delta, theta & alpha). Dr Thurber printed out the results and brain maps,  there were a series of maps that were all different colors. Each the maps showed different areas of his brain, and the colors and patterns or locations of certain colors each meaning different things.

 What we learned from the brain scans:
One scan showed his brain works well, with the exception of one small area, over the left side
(which controls the right side of the body) showing a difference in efficiency. Which tells the Dr. that Joseph is left handed and that his right side has had some struggles. A correlating bar chart showed that Joseph's brain is rigid, or lacks flexibility which could manifest itself in personality or physically.  Another map showed efficiency, the right side of Joseph's brain is more efficient, left side inefficient. (True, his right side drags when he is tired). One scan was to see if there were any injuries to his brain, none were found. The most interesting scan was a colorful one, with a white center. The white part is supposed to be towards the back of the brain. Joseph's was more center, which shows that his brain is trying to "re-wire" itself to repair his vision. His brain is still trying to see, which is normal for someone who has  optic nerve damage. It showed his brain is compensating for his lack of sight, which is true, his hearing has definitely become more sensitive.

Dr. Thurber has heard of Vibram 5 fingers, recommends them and said we were smart to try them!
He had us purchase Nikken Magsteps, or magnetic insoles. Joseph has had them for 2 days now. They are supposed to help enhance body and space awareness. And help his body communicate, which is a common problem with MS, body and brain not communicating like they should.

Sorry for the Information overload, but now it's all written down and here for you and us later on.

Info on Brainmapping click: HERE
The Doctor Joseph went to see click: HERE

Monday, September 27, 2010

The newest Mr. & Mrs. Mecham

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Samuel & Kaelee
Married September 18th 2010
Idaho Falls Idaho Temple

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Her Bouquet, 

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Their Awesome Cake.
That the talented Mama Mecham made.

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Center pieces. 
Simple, Elegant.

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An artistic shot by yours truly.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Oh the madness...

And we're off...
to Idaho to see Sam and Kaelee get Married
 in the Idaho Falls Temple tomorrow. 
Stay in Idaho, see family... leave Monday
go  North and over through Montana,
 to get to Spokane and stay with Sam's new family.
go to Neurologist Tuesday morning.
go to Neurotherapist Tuesday evening
Drive home
Crash into bed.

We'll Talk again soon. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"If you're up for it.."

A phrase we hear a lot. Quite a lot.
It makes me feel like people think that we spend our time sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves, 
and hosting pity parties... (although I do like a good party)
Despite the things that have happened, we're usually pretty upbeat.
And that's a choice we've made, a conscious choice we make daily.
Some days are good, some not so good and some bad.
That's how life goes.

However there are somethings I am not "up for"
baby showers, still no. 
I did survive my sister's,
but that's more because she is not a party person,
and it was short,
and I came in my own car and could leave.
There may be some other things I am not "up for" but it's not a long list.

We like to be productive.
We work hard.
Joseph has learned braille and has to practice to keep it up.
He helps loads with Laundry and Dishes (loads lol.)
He does some yard work.
Joseph has computer classes.
He is constantly practicing his new skills.
I work @ KeHS as a accompanist again (a couple mornings a week)
And I now have 19 piano students at the Studio.
(booya!) Once I break 20 we'll go out for ice cream.
To be filled I would have 35 students and work M-F 3:30pm- 7:00pm
It's possible and it's a goal!
We volunteer for things, help our neighbors.
We "do"  lots of things.

If we're not "up" for something, it may be because we are sick or over tired. 
But not because we're feeling sorry for ourselves.
Yes, we had a bad week, and a horrible Christmas following Joseph's diagnosis,
 but we moved quickly and had messages to agencies and government programs,
 before the holidays were done. 
Things were put into motion because we refuse to sit still, and sulk.
We are still fighting,
we still fill out mountains of paperwork.
(4th application to DSHS!!!!)

We are coming up on the year mark.
We've made progress,
Joseph has learned so much.
We've filled out enough paper work to last a lifetime.
We have clear goals in mind.
It's hard.
It is not fun.
We do it anyway.
We have to.
Whether or not we're "up for it" we do it.
It makes us stretch and forces us to grow.

Lucky Duck!

Joseph got his first pair of Vibram 5 finger shoes.
After a friends comment, 
Thanks Meagan!
I took him (and my Dad) to try them on at REI
Then after more research, 
we found that they really should help with balance and muscle tone.
A Godsend for Joseph.
I am a little jealous, I wanted a pair first.
But I will get a pair... eventually, I will have to order them in.
I had a feeling to go to REI yesterday,
they had his size in, (Eur 40).
He can already feel the difference.
He is already walking a little better.
I will get a picture of them on his feet..
 but these are the ones that he got:

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


We went camping near here:
Mt. Rainier.
We stayed in La Wis Wis campground.
If you sat in our campsite this it what you'd see:
So much green!
The weather channel gave us the idea the weather would be rainy and cold.
But this is what we got:
Mostly sunny. Temperatures in the 50's-70's
I was still chilly, Joseph was just right... most of the time.
We went into Mt. Rainier National Forest to hike.
We stopped and saw this:
Sunbeam creek.
We were heading to the Grove of the Patriarchs
It is an easy hike, about 1.1 miles round trip.
You hike down a dirt trail
That had a couple enormous trees that had fallen over the trail
Luckily Joseph is a muscle man, and lifted it for us to cross.
After the trail you come to a suspension bridge,
Only one person can cross at a time.
Here's Joseph at the end.
After you cross the bridge you are in the Grove,
the trees in there are thousands of years old and HUGE.
When we were done hiking we had our sack lunches, 
and drove to Paradise,
No, really that's the name of the city.
It's the city at the base of Mt Rainier.
And Mt. Rainier got a little shy when we got there.
Seriously, I have a picture and the mountain is completely behind the fog.
This picture was taken on our way back from Paradise.
We also got some great Views of the Tatoosh Mountians.
They weren't so shy.
And here I am back at our campsite.
Don't judge, I was camping, and cold.
 And it's a self portrait.

We had a wonderful weekend, 
Loved the fresh mountain air.
We had lots of quiet time together.
It was our first real camping trip, alone.
And pretty amazing for a quick trip on a budget.
We're ready to face the world once more.

Silly Speckles

She sees the bug....

She pounces.

She leaves us huge bug carcases, 
near our car.
We're so proud, 
and we haven't seen a mouse since she joined our family.

(I took these as she was following me around while I was taking pictures)

Day 25:

Joseph fixing the Jeep, yes it works, starts up right away.
Day 26:

Make a wish...
Day 27:

Moth that greeted me in the morning

Day 28:

Cable Bridge
Day 29:

Sunny Sunflower
Day 30:

Day 31:

Rippling rose petals.