Big Trees, Renewal, unRenewal and Spudman in five days!

My commitment to write each Sunday has not been even remotely kept.  Outside of work, my computer time is less, I think, than it has ever been in my life, and I sense myself avoiding it.  If you are one of the many people who has invited me to join Facebook or some other social computer thing, please don’t take it personally, I just can’t do it right now without neglecting things and people that need attention. 


The kids seem to be having a really fun summer, and I have felt like I’ve had a little more time to just hang out with them and relax.  David and I had a supremely WONDERFUL trip last weekend (thanks SO much to my mom, who watched the kids and cleaned the house from top to bottom, and to pa/ma-in-law who helped us extend our trip).  We went up for David’s brother’s wedding in the Tillamook forest near Portland, OR.  I was asked to sing a LeeAnn Rimes song while Nikki walked down the aisle, which was a new genre for me, so that was fun.  My coworker here is from the area, and told us to check out the Tillamook Creamery and try their ice cream, which we ended up doing twice—so yummy! 


In the middle of the trip we decided that since we were so close, we’d take an extra two days and drive down the coast, see the Redwood forest and cut back home across scenic highways in Northern California.  We drove 5-8 hours most days from Thursday through Tuesday.  But, the drives and days were filled with gorgeousness and awe-inspiring grandeur.  I spent much time in the car on David’s iPhone surfing the net, trying to figure out how geological formations were formed, figuring out volcanoes, the history of these huge trees, etc.  The first stop we took in the Redwood forest was for a short walk, a .75 mile loop through a huge, silent forest.  The ground was soft from the composting redwood needles.  It smelled amazing.  The morning light could barely get down where we were.  We stood looking up into the bottoms of huge fallen trees, with this huge explosion of an enormous mass of roots radiating out from the center.  I kept feeling like I had to touch the trees.  I even took of my shoes for a moment to feel the soft ground on the trail. 


Although there have been some exceptions, I have had a very crappy five months since my surgery, and really needed the rejuvenation this trip gave me.  By the time of this trip, I had been on my new, custom compound of three different bioidentical hormones plus two other recommended supplements (DHEA and adrenal support) for about a week, and was, for the first time, feeling relatively stable and normal and sane.  Take away all of the major stresses in my life and put me with my husband, who, when all of his major stresses in life are taken away, also changes back into my best friend instead of my stress/exhaustion fueled sparring partner—and all of a sudden, we were in heaven.  We laughed so much, and got real sleep, and listened to music, and saw gorgeous stuff.  Although my daily walks/hiking didn’t even begin to make up for all the junk food, a road trip really does appear to be the panacea for all that ails you.


I’ll attach a pic.  I’m the one on the left.


So, we came home, and, long story short, it took 15 minutes and a trip to the mailbox after getting home to have me back in tears, 24 hours to have me depressed, 48 hours to be resentful toward God and starting to bicker with David and 72 hours to become solemnly broken hearted and resigned.  For good or bad, now I knew that what remains of my stress and difficulty is not related to moods, hysterectomies or hormones, but my actual life—bills, job/career stress, personal failings, the difficulty of raising kids without being present enough, the difficulty of managing a marriage when both parties are supremely stressed out, the long-term financial outlook, life management in general.  The past two days David and I have been very consciously trying to be happy and grateful and hopeful, which has helped a bit, but it is sometimes just comical how life comes together to thwart the most well-intentioned efforts. 


But, the kids are cute and good and I’m planning for them to go to a wonderful school in the fall and making some adjustments to be with them more.  The Gospel has been a major rock in my life, and even though I yell at God too much, I know He loves me. 


I got up at 4:45 a.m. today to try out my rented tri wetsuit in open water by swimming up at East Canyon Reservoir with three of my coworkers.  This tri training has also been helpful as a stress reliever, but not so much today.  The transition to open water was more difficult than I expected and although the guys all told me I’d panic, I didn’t believe them, and then in my typical delayed-emotional-response manner, I didn’t acknowledge that I was panicking until it was almost over—I was just confused why I couldn’t catch my breath, needed so many more breath strokes and had to flip to backstroke every now and then just to get air.  And my chest felt tight, so I finally realized either I was having a heart attack (very possible) or panicking (more likely).  But, I did it and got to work by 8:15. 


On Saturday I walked a 10K just to see if I felt like I was up to trying it this coming Saturday.  I know I can do the 25-mile bike, since I do the 15 miles 1-2x a week and also the Tour de Cure was 25 and I felt fine with that.  And, although I only swam a half mile this morning, I’m used to swimming a mile in practice, so, with the help of the current in the Snake River on Saturday, I think I just need to put the pieces together and will be fine.  But after this, I’m looking forward to just doing Sprint Tris for a good long while.  I realize it is insane to start with an Olympic distance, but this work thing really helped me get toward this goal, and Spudman is just what is done here.


Hm, I really meant for this to be just a short update.  In fact, I read this article on the NY Times and found it complicated and interesting and thought I’d quickly post it to my blog.  We don’t like war, but we do like schools, we don’t like religious extremism, but I personally like religion, but most people don’t so much anymore, which leads to a push for secularization, which in this case is important to help empower women, which we all like, but it also puts forward secular ideas like having less kids, etc., and secularization can sometimes be a slippery slope to another set of problems.  But for heaven’s sake you don’t want the Taliban’s view of women being strengthened, so we fight them and put up secular schools, but we don’t like war . . . 

Life is just complicated all around.

3 replies
  1. Carrie
    Carrie says:

    Sounds like a wonderful and much needed trip for you two. Good luck with the tri this weekend. I am sure you will do great. You seriously are my hero. Maybe one day I might be as motivated as you to do a tri. I want to hear all about it when you come back.

  2. Michele
    Michele says:

    What a great trip! I hope the singing went well, I know you were hesitant. I second all of your emotions and say – can I get an Amen!

    word verification: pactervi – an upside down elephant?

  3. brieanne.
    brieanne. says:

    yes, road trips ARE truly a cure-all. at least temporarily. I completely understand how quickly one can come down from their “high”. Maybe that is why I am always trying to go on a trip somewhere. I am so amazed and proud of your triathlon endeavors… I don’t even think I remember how to ride a bike! I do love reading your honest blog posts…. hope there is much cause for His praise in the near future for your sweet family!!!


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