Thursday, July 23, 2015

Four Years

After a restless night my eyes fluttered open.  The ceiling fan cast a weird shadow of a masked skiier across the ceiling.  My muscles were sore and my eyelids felt like lead.  My mind felt fuzzy and I began trying to sift through the fuzz to grab onto the clear thoughts.  What was wrong?  Why was it that the second my eyes opened I felt things were wrong?  There.  That was the thought that provided clarity.  Something was wrong.  What could possibly be wrong in the two seconds that I had opened my eyes?  Oh yeah.  My daughter was dead.

It was like an episode of Groundhogs Day.  Every morning I'd experience the same thing over and over.  

After a restless night I'd wake up to a feeling of heaviness and gloom and then realize the nightmares of my dreams were not nightmares but in fact reality.  She had died.  I was living this.  

My eyes would close and I'd sift once again through the fuzz and grab onto the other clear thoughts.  My other three children were happy and safe.  My husband was near--he loved me.  I was alive and healthy.  Clinging to these thoughts I'd roll over, lift my sore body off the bed and place my feet on the ground.  

That was the beginning.  

People have asked how I got through those days.  That is how I got through it.  I clung to the clear thoughts and put my feet on the ground.  For me, that was a representation of my faith.  The fuzz was still in my brain.  My body still hurt.  My eyes still felt like lead.  Things were still wrong.  

But my feet were on the floor.  

Placing my feet on the floor wasn't always easy.  It would have been easier to close my eyes again and roll back over in bed but I felt if I put my feet on the floor I was showing the Lord that I wanted His help.  I faithfully put my feet on the floor and allowed Him to give me whatever divine help He had to offer.  And truthfully, I think even that small action of placing my feet on the floor required divine help.  

Yesterday my eyes fluttered open.  I looked over and Mike was already up showering.  I rolled over and my body felt heavy.  My eyelids felt like lead and I closed them again.  My mind registered a familiar gloom and I began going through the fuzz.  What is wrong?  This is the week that she died four years ago.  

I have heard that our bodies can remember past trauma and actually respond physically to those memories before our minds even register them.  Of course, I hadn't actually forgotten what this week was.  It's been on my radar for weeks.  I never actually forget.  Yet, I don't live my day to day life focusing or thinking about this week.  I think I actually try to forget it.  I try to repress the flashbacks and the memories.  Yet here I was, waking up, my eyes swelling with tears at the slightest thing.  

I got in the shower and remembered the night before Laila died.  We went to the park and I held her warm body close to me with the aid of the baby wrap so my arms could be free.  That night my world seemed right and the path I was on seemed happy. 

I can confidently say that since that time I feel as though my feet were able to tread a new happy, right path.  I feel like I was able to show myself and God that I could be trusted to find happiness and peace on whatever path I'd find myself on.  That doesn't mean that I don't sometimes have flashbacks of that perfect night in the park with my breathing baby sucking on her fingers while her brothers dug trenches in the sand with their cousins and their dad snapped pictures while holding onto the leash attached to our dog Diamond.  In that moment life was good and happy and I innocently had no clue that my life would change in an instant the following day.  Just because I am happy now doesn't mean I don't sometimes grieve for the days before all the tears and sorrow.  I won't make a list of all the lessons I've learned and the ways my relationships have grown and my character has changed, but I appreciate them and feel thankful that my experiences have allowed me to grow.  Even then, I still sometimes long to be back to that perfect night where I was blissfully unaware of all I know now.

All this flashed through my head and I found the tears falling only to hear a little voice on the other side of the curtain asking, "Mommy, you crying?  You sad?"  I responded, "Yes.  I am sad."  She asked, "You have an owie?" "I guess you could say that.  My heart has an owie."  She was quiet and I finished my shower in silence.  When I turned off the water and opened the curtain I looked down to see Piper looking up at me with concerned eyes.  She asked again, "Why are you sad?"  I said with tears in my eyes, "Your sister died and I miss her."  Her eyes welled up with tears and her lips began to quiver, "But my sister will come back, Mommy."  

She will come back.  

“The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful. How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings.”  --Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf

The night before she passed away

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The beginning of the reunion picture dump!

We recently returned from the Richards family reunion.  We met in Florida this year.   It was so hot and humid but so much fun!  The first of our pictures are just random glimpses of the activities throughout the week.  Some days will get more attention such as the beach day, family pictures, and Sea World but these pictures are just random.  

Ralph is Mike's oldest brother.  He's eight years older than Mike.  Ralph is probably the nicest of the family, which says a lot because they are ALL nice!  Piper was originally scared of Ralph and even said, "I don't like 'that boy'" but that disliked changed really quickly when she realized that Ralph would draw with her, play hide-n-seek, read her books, and give her his hat in a downpour.  She loved him!  Ralph's work doesn't always allow him to come to our family reunions so I was really happy he was able to come this time so my kids could get to know him and and his wife and daughter.  Two of his children had to stay back and work at the family business so we missed them but we loved having Sarah and Laura there!  I really like Laura (Ralph's wife) because she is easy to talk to and happy all the time.
 We always have an unbirthday party at our reunions.  The kids love seeing what Grandma has chosen for each of them and the adults always enjoy the game where we get to steel each others gifts.  I got Men's socks.  Ha, ha.  Mike got some wooden toys for the boys to put together.
 The resort had a cool lazy river, a water slide, a hot tub, a kids splash area, and a pool.  We mostly played in the lazy river and on the water slide (part of the lazy river).  Even the adults got in the lazy river.  I'm pretty sure we just glided along in our tubes for a couple of hours at a time.
 I had to snap a picture of the Reunion shrubs!
 On one of the days we went to Celebration where the kids played at the splash pad.  The cement was so hot that our feet burned any time we took our shoes off.  It was really ridiculous how hot it was.  Some of the adults stayed with the kids while the rest went on a quick walk around the pond.  Halfway through it started pouring rain, giving us some relief from the horrible heat.  I've never been so happy for rain in my life.  We all ran into an ice cream shop where Grandma and Grandpa bought us ice cream and we ate our treats huddled under umbrellas and awnings.
 The houses we stayed in each had small pools in the backyard and the kids loved getting in any time they got a chance.

 Grandpa brought this cool inflatable rolling ball for the kids to play in when we had down time.  One of the houses had a pool table, air hockey table, and ping pong table.  The other house just had this big open garage so the kids had a perfect open space to roll each other around.

Some of us went to Downtown Disney.  It's basically just a big shopping area.  The kids loved this interactive Lego station.  They would hold up a Lego box and it would come to life.  Piper loved all the Minnie Mouse things she found everywhere as well as the princesses.  In truth, we would have enjoyed this activity more but it was just so hot we were all dripping with sweat.  I think it would be really fun to come back at a cooler time of year where we can really take our time.

 We found Piper's Grille and had to snap a picture!

Piper and Nate were best buddies all week long.  Nate is a couple of months younger than Laila, making Nate and Piper about 16 months apart.  They played all week long and would ask for each other whenever they were not near each other.  It was so fun to watch them interact.  I tried to get pictures of them together any time I could.  One day we went to Krispy Kreme donuts and bought hot, fresh donuts.  I had to snap a picture of these cute chocolate faces.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Baking Bootcamp

In my fifth year of college when I was failing the entry level math class for the third time, I began wondering if a college degree was really the thing for me.  Sheer stubbornness and determination (maybe just by a miracle?) got me through college and I graduated with my degree after six years.  I worked no less than 20 hrs most years and 36 the last year while taking 12-15 credits a semester.  There were times when I really wondered if it was worth it.  That fifth year was a year of decisions for me.  At one point I began thinking of other options and culinary school went through my mind.  BYU did not have a culinary program but UVU (then UVSC) did.  I briefly considered leaving BYU behind and trying to get into the culinary program at UVU.  It was expensive, had a super long waiting list, and my cooking experience was limited.  I couldn't really take the thought seriously as I'd already suffered through five years of college at BYU.  I decided that I really needed to plow through and get my degree.  I'm really happy I stuck with it and my degree is one of my most treasured accomplishments.

12  years later Mike encouraged me to take some baking classes on campus.  It has been an awesome experience!  It took some pressuring on Mike's part and the part of my friend but I decided to take the class.  I was nervous to take the class initially because it was expensive, a lot of long Saturday's, and I am not a baker!  The class was every Saturday for six weeks from 9:30-3:30.  I missed a couple of classes because of vacation but I made them up with a few night classes (not as intense or as long as the Saturday classes).  Today was our final day.  Our families came and we provided a huge spread of desserts.

I am actually really sad it's over.  I met some pretty fun people and while I still wouldn't call myself a baker, I have way more confidence now in making some pretty delicious desserts. It was totally worth the time and money and I'm so glad Mike challenges me to try new things.

 Now all I need is someone to make all these treats for so that I don't have to eat them all!

Friday, July 03, 2015

Pictures of the week

My brain is fried from lack of sleep so I don't even think I could attempt to write an interesting post right now.  Instead, I'll let the pictures do most of the talking.

The boys are eating me out of the house this summer.  I've been trying hard to think of other snack options besides the typical popcorn and goldfish.  They love this Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Loaf.  
 Our garden is growing.  Next year we will need to figure out what is happening with the soil because many of our plants seem to have a fungus.  Our tomatoes are fighting to survive.  Isaac planted corn and it is growing really well.  We also have huge bushes of basil and mint and the cantaloupe and watermelon are trying to take over the garden.
 The boys are trying to working on soap carving this summer.
 We love having a zoo membership.  The zoo is so close to our house and I love it because we can go for an hour and see a couple of animals and then go home without me feeling like I've wasted some money.  We go about once a week.  The zoo has a large sprinkler pad in the middle of it so it's nice to go see the lions and giraffes and then cool down before we go see more animals.
 Piper found a heart clover!
 One upside to Piper and her napping issues is that it makes me sit for a long time outside her door and I've found that it is the perfect time to work on lesson plans for the coming year.  I've got a couple of weeks planned so far.
 This week zoo trip was a fun one!  The boys really wanted to ride the camel and they each loved it!

Sleep alludes us all

Mike and I are having a really difficult time with Piper lately.  One night she started screaming bloody murder about a bad dream she had where a kitty cat was attacking me.  She kept saying that the cat was "getting mommy" and that "it keeps meowing at me!"  Then she started saying there were ghosties in her room.  From that point on we have had a horrible time at bedtime and naptime.  We are so exhausted.  It feels like we have a newborn again.  Those first few nights she screamed and got out of bed over and over.  It was after midnight when she finally fell asleep.  We eventually took her mattress out of her crib and laid it on her floor.  Hopefully we can get her a toddler bed soon.  She is going to bed earlier but her bedtime is usually between 7:30 and 8:00 and she is falling asleep around 9:30 and 10:00.  We've tried all kinds of things from spraying her room with "monster spray," to making her bedtime routine longer.  Right now the only thing that works is to lay by her for a bit until she is settled and tired and then sit outside her door until she falls asleep.  If we don't she screams and screams.  She calls out for us over and over and we have to reassure her that we are still by her door.  I thought perhaps I should let her give up her naps but she is not going to sleep any earlier on the days she goes without a nap and she is generally grouchy and irritable the entire day.  On the days that we are just fed up we let her scream it out and it is heartbreaking and we usually find her hiding in our room under the covers passed out.  Once she is asleep she continues to wake up three or four times a night and we have to again sit outside her door until she is sound asleep or she screams and wakes everyone in the house up.  In the morning she is waking up between 5 and 6:30.  Sleep is so interrupted lately and Mike and I feel like we are walking around in a daze all day.  The other morning I was so tired that I thought I'd sleep in and let the boys take care of her. She stood outside my door screaming like someone was attacking her.  "I need my mom!  Let me in!"  On days where I wanted to catch a little more sleep she used to wake up and they would come get her and she would happily go downstairs with them.  They'd turn on a show and get her some cereal or a light snack  until I'd come down and make breakfast.  Lately she screams at them when they try to help her.  Her behavior is really affecting all of us.  She has been so clingy and needy.  I am just praying this is a stage that will pass quickly.  I wish I could figure out what was going on with her.  The boys have gone through brief moments of separation anxiety or night fears when they were little but those were pretty mild compared to this so I'm not really sure how to deal with it.  Being a parent is so hard sometimes when your kids struggle with things that you honestly don't know how to fix and just have to ride it out until the next stage comes.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Because I'm a crazy person

I have a decision to make that I've been mulling over for months.  It seems like I've been contemplating it for over a year at least.  I have been trying to decide when to go to Colorado.  Before we moved it was an absolute.  I was going to go back for a visit first chance I got.  We moved, kids started school, Mike started school, and we started our business.  I had hoped to go in late May.  That was the original plan but then it wasn't great timing for a lot of people and the ticket prices were crazy expensive.  So, here I am, still trying to make the decision one way or another and I am really confused about why it is such a hard choice for me to make.  I've thought about it over and over and I think I am getting closer to understanding my feelings and I'm writing them down here in the hopes of making more sense of them.  It is actually a vulnerable post for me to write because it is admitting some feelings and insecurities I don't often share in public.

1.  Finances.  When we first got married I shut down when Mike would discuss finances.  It was always a topic that created anxiety and I would get physically ill thinking about it.  My stomach would tie in knots and I just didn't want to discuss it.  I've come a long way since then.  Now, we have one FHE a month reserved to go over our finances with the kids just so we can all discuss our money and our financial goals and so the boys can see what is coming in and what is going out.  Most of the time I don't have those old anxious feelings about money creep in but occasionally I begin to worry.  We are in a very different financial situation than my family was growing up and we are incredibly blessed to have what we have.  That said, it is easy to get comfortable and forget that we are partly in the financial situation we are in because of the way we DON'T spend our money, if that makes sense.  It gets easy to get lazy in the goals and to think, "Oh, we don't spend a lot of money, we can afford to buy that" and then that thought leads to a repeat of that thought and then a repeat and a repeat and before we know it, we've spent more money on things than we ought to.  I had almost made the decision to go and buy the $500 ticket to Denver only to have a budget wake-up call and realize that we have a lot of things needing our money right now and going to Denver is not a necessity.  Mike says I can go anyway and spend whatever money I need to spend but I know that if I do that we will not be putting money towards paying off our house in Colorado or towards other goals we have right now.  I'd need a ticket to Denver (Colorado Springs would be even more), a car, possibly a hotel, and fun money for playing with my friends.  It would not be a cheap trip.  Mike is right--we are fine financially but honestly, I like not feeling confined by finances.  That old familiar worry of "what if we don't have money?" creeps in and I realize that I'd rather be safe and secure than frivolous.

2.  General Anxiety.  I am generally an anxious person.  I am happy with familiarity and consistency.  I don't like adventure (especially not on my own!) because adventure means twists and turns and new paths and that would make me crazy.  I keep having flash-backs of my one and only trip to New York where I had to catch a train (I'd never even been on a train before) from Philly to New York, then catch a shuttle to the airport and then get my flight home.  I got off the train in New York at Grand Central Station and had no idea where my shuttle was.  I roamed the city for an hour and a half.  I had no money on me and no cell phone.  I was completely lost in a city where I knew absolutely no one.  I had only flown one other time in my life and I was so naive and inexperienced.  A thousand prayers were said in that hour and a half and miraculously the shuttle turned up out of no where and I made my flight home.  I have flown on my own a few more times since then.  I have a cell phone and a credit card and I'm a little better at planning than I was then but even then, flying and rental cars and GPS's and all the details of traveling stress me out.  All that being said, it's not stressful enough to make me not go but being completely honest with my feelings, I'd admit that while the idea of traveling and adventure is so appealing to me and so exciting, when it comes down to it, I am happy to be boring and stay in my comfortable routine at home.  I wish I could change this about me and maybe eventually I will (I'm already a much better traveler than I used to be!) but I have to be honest and admit that I think this plays a part in my conflicting feelings.  It is just easier to stay home.

Aside from my own anxiety about all the details, the boys have been experiencing more anxiety lately than normal.  They have been very concerned about being separated from one of us and worry when we don't get home when they think we should be home.  I know that I would be leaving Mike with two worriers who would constantly ask him if I'm ok and when I'll be home and I'm not sure if they could handle me being gone that long right now.

3.  Friendships.  The support system I had in Colorado was unique.  I've never lived anywhere where I've made friends so immediately and made so many deep connections with so many people.  We all had some pretty deep things happening in our lives and we needed each other.  I went through the toughest time of my life thus far while in Colorado and those friends were a part of that growth and trial and the friendships I made there are sacred and treasured.  I have such dear, fond memories from my time there.  I have been blessed to make some really great friends every where I've lived.  Heavenly Father has placed some really wonderful people in my life and I have always felt so grateful for the friendships I've made in each place I've lived.  Unfortunately, one of the aspects of moving that I despise is how it affects friendships.  Inevitably, time and distance changes friendships.  Life happens and circumstances change and while your life moves on in one way, your friends are experiencing things without you on the other side of the country and eventually, the ties aren't as strong as they once were.  I've tried to keep the friendships that are most important to me even though distance gets in the way.  In many cases I found that I had to loosen my grip on those relationships and admit that I wasn't needed the same way I was previously.  Sometimes it hurts me to feel those friendships slip away.  I consider myself to be a very loyal friend and and care deeply about people and some times I hold on longer than I should.  I've been frustrated and hurt in the past when I realize that people that I care about don't care about me the same way or don't put in the same effort I put in.  I begin to question the relationship and wonder if I'm just being a burden.  All this is hard for me to admit.

Somehow in the back of my mind I worry that this change has already taken place with many of my friendships in Colorado.  I am not sure that I am ready to admit that those friendships that carried me through some of the darkest hours of my life as well as brought me so much peace and happiness, are no longer as strong or as important.  I am worried that if I spend all this money to go visit my friends and things are different, I'll be disappointed and have to admit that I'm no longer needed as I once was.  I'm not sure that I'm ready to realize that.  What if it just doesn't meet my expectations and things are weird and there is just too much catching up to do and too many holes to fill?

4.  Laila.  This is the main reason I planned/plan on going to visit Colorado.  Months before we moved I began to feel so sad about leaving her behind.  It weighed on my mind and I dreaded having to say goodbye.  It felt like an official and final part of losing her.  Her resting spot is sacred to me and peaceful and I often think back to those quiet moments where I sat by her headstone and appreciated the magnificent view of mountains in the background.  I sometimes just long to be back to that spot to feel close to her again.  The last visit was heartbreaking for me and I won't forget the tears, the rain that poured on the drive home, or the emptiness that filled my heart.  But I've recently come to an interesting realization:  I'm ok.  Laila's birthday this year brought me peace and growth.  I realize that I don't NEED to visit her all the time now.  I still want to, but I don't NEED to.  That's a big deal.  I worry that going will bring up the feelings of sadness and emptiness I had when I left.  She has a new neighbor now and I think that it might be good to visit with her neighbor's mom and that will be hard (and probably healing too).  I think I am afraid to admit that I'm OK and also afraid to admit that I might not be OK.  I realized recently that I haven't ever really confronted those feelings of leaving Laila behind.  I sobbed my heart out that day and then haven't really had a good cry about it all since then.  There have been times when I've felt the feelings trying to surface and I've stuffed them down and not let them out and I am afraid of them coming out.  What if I go and they come out and I come back being dissatisfied with where I am or on the flip side what if I go and I come back realizing that I'm ok being where I am?  It seems like I should be happy about that thought but I think I am nervous about that thought.  It makes me confused and not going keeps me from confronting either truth.

5.  Finally, I want to go.  I want to see my friends.  I want to have an adventure.  I want to do something for me.  Adrianne.  Not Adrianne the wife or Adrianne the Mom, just me.  Adrianne.  I want to go to Kneaders or Village Inn late into the night and laugh and cry with my friends.  I want to visit the Denver temple.  I've really missed the temple (we are 3 1/2 hours from the nearest temple).  I miss that temple in particular. I miss the crisp, clean air of Colorado Springs.  I miss the late afternoon storms followed by spectacular rainbows.  I miss Laila's spot.  I miss the sidewalks and the trails all over the city.  I want to pretend I am not a homebody and anxious person and embrace the adventure of going on a trip on my own.  I look forward to doing something for myself before I have to come back and homeschool and wonder if I choose not to go if I'll look back and regret not doing something for myself outside of my children and family.

I'm just confused.  I've thought over these ideas a million times and still, there doesn't seem to be a clear choice for me to make.  I don't think it really matters ultimately which I choose.  Both choices will bring me joy and both choices have the potential to bring me sadness.  I think I just have to make a decision and move forward and I wish I were better at decision making and deciphering which one will ultimately bring me the most happiness.  I just need to decide.

Someone bring me a coin.

Sunday, June 14, 2015


Mike signed me up for a baking boot camp on campus.  I am not a baker.  I really haven't been that interested in baking, honestly.  I like sweets and desserts, I just don't really eat a lot of them and bake even less of them.  I have a big, full board labeled "Sweet Treats" on Pinterest with all sorts of yummy dessert recipes to try but I've only made a couple of them.  Baking is just exact and if you read my last post then you know how I feel about exactness.  Anyway, Mike is always excited for me to try new things and when he saw this class he told me to take it.  I was kind of nervous, honestly.  First of all, as a non-baker, the title "Baking Bootcamp" was a bit intimidating.  What if I was the only non-baker there?  He called up my friend who I served with in the Relief Society Presidency and told her he wanted me to take this class and would she help him talk me into it.  Ha, ha.  She called and we had a nice chat and she encouraged me to take the class and then she called her daughter-in-law and told her to take the class with me.  So, I signed up for the class!  It is a six-week class on Saturdays from 9:30 in the morning to 3:00 in the afternoon.  We show up and we cook all day with a lunch break (provided by one of the school's chef's) and then we get to take home some of the stuff we cooked.  We've done two weeks so far.  Last week was rolls and cookies.  I haven't been able to figure out the cookies.  I have a cookie recipe that I have used in the past and it has worked pretty consistently but I really wanted to make the chef's recipe work but I've made it probably five times and they are always flat.  Everyone in the class who made them in the week had flat cookies too so the chef thinks he wrote the recipe wrong for us and gave us some tweaks to make.  I will have to try again but I am all cookied out for now.  

The rolls on the other hand were awesome.  I made them once and didn't put in enough sugar.  I made them again and they were prefect!  So good.   

 Yesterday was the second class and it was all about pies and cake.  We made about eight different recipes and got to take home two full pies each.  It was such a fun and interesting class and I texted Mike during the class to tell him thank you for making me try new things and get out of my comfort zone.  My only disappointment is that I'm trying to lose weight and this won't help me too much!!

I've had a couple of doctors appointments lately.  One appointment was a check up to see how my hives are doing.  They are gone.  I am itchy but not rashy.  I had to take the medicine on a double dosage and then had to start taking it again because the rash came back.  So, this was to see if the rash had finally gone away.  The fact that I'm still itchy could possibly mean that I have an autoimmune disease.  The doctor ordered some blood work and the results should be in this week.  Probably if it's an autoimmune disease it is a thyroid issue since I have a lot of the symptoms but I've been tested for it before and always been in the normal range.

The other appointment was for my ankle, which has hurt for months.  The doctor thinks I sprained my ankle and I'm supposed to wear a brace for a couple of weeks.  I also have to get an x-ray just in the off chance that I broke something.  I don't think it's broken.

The rest of the week has been filled with friends and swimming.  It's been a good summer so far with a lot of fun and the boys have been awesome.  Piper loves having them home and the boys are so good about playing with her.  The other day Mike said, "You need to go see what is going on in the dining room."  I sneaked around the corner to find all three boys sitting in a circle around Piper pretending to have a tea party with her.  She was pouring water for them and handing them plates with pretend food.  It was adorable.  They are such good brothers to her.  

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Blasted Machine

Mike is about to be swamped with school work in the next few weeks.  He has had a light load for the last couple of weeks and now things are really going to pick up.  He's been nervous about the work load and wondering how he will keep up the pace with all the business orders, his job as a father and husband, and school work.  (His callings are only Sunday callings and don't require too much out of him on the other days.  He is a finance clerk and the piano player in Primary)

I've been feeling bad for him and have been thinking of ways that I could prepare to lighten his load for when school becomes busy.  I was thinking about the business and thought that perhaps it was time for me to learn how to use the machine and cut the products out.  Our first product I made on the scroll saw.  It was fun and I liked using my hands but it was slow so we purchased this CNC Router to do all the cutting.  It's pretty complicated.  Mike has been cutting things out for six months now.  He knows the computer program and understands the Router.  Also, he has worked with tools throughout his life.  It's not a completely new skill for him.  I on the other hand do not work with tools.  I don't work with computer either.  I mean, a blog post here and there, email, etc.  I can't even do instagram and only recently have learned a little of photoshop.  I haven't even skimmed the surface of that program yet.  I've learned a bit of the computer program over the last six months.  I know how to turn an image into vectors for instance.  That's a big deal for me.  So now I am trying to figure out how to take our designed product and transfer it to the work laptop that is connected to the router and then set up the wood and get the product cut out.  

It is super frustrating for me.  In fact, I kind of hate it.  I just would be very happy sitting around doing all the design work and never cutting a single product out.  Mike, for the most part, enjoys the cutting out and while he is creative, he isn't super artistic and therefore, can't do a lot of the designing.  I also help do a large portion of the cleaning up of the products and we share the job of shipping but I do all the photography of the products.  (This doesn't even start to describe all that Camille does for marketing and web design, and all the financial book keeping)

So far I've cut out three successful teacher appreciation apples and one that I have to salvage.  It was the first one I tried all on my own and already there is a problem.  At least it was the very beginning of the program.  But oh!  It's so annoying.  I honestly think that if Mike and I didn't like each other so much we might end up in couples therapy.  Ha, ha.  

No, seriously.  

He's been very patient with me and I think I've been patient with him.  But I do not enjoy this part of our business.  

In the meantime, I'm slowly working on the alphabet.  I like my A but think it needs tweaking.  I do not like the B and will have to redo it but I love the C.  I will need to pick up the speed on these letters if I ever want to get all the letters done but to actually make them become a product we will have to own a laser and that probably won't happen for a long time and when it does, I'll then have to learn how to work that and I am not really looking forward to that.