Joyful Liberation

Joyful Liberation

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sego Lily School Capital Campaign Kickoff!

Tonight was the kickoff campaign to raise $1,000,000.00 for our new green school! The kids at Sego Lily put on a talent show and there was a silent auction. Mara performed along with several of her students. Here are some of the videos...enjoy :)

Mara singing a song she wrote: "Brown Eyes":

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Mara with one of her students, Alpha, performing "Blackbird" by the Beatles:

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Mara and Sego Lily staff member, Adam, performing "Falling Slowly" by Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová

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Rebecca, one of the staff members and a student of Mara's, performing a song she wrote! Amazing voice!!

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Here is a computer model of the new school. It is going to be incredible!! We are so honored to be a part of this amazing community. Gorilla Design Team is amazing!


Here is the link to Sego Lily New Building Project

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December 6

December 6th, St Nicholas Day..this season is going almost as fast as this year has flown by!
Looking outside to see if St Nicholas has left some treasures in their shoes...


Beautiful snow and more on the way I hear.. Time to feed the ducks and geese behind out home.
At least Luna found a cozy spot! My cats love my wool stuffing. I am surprised she got Asha out of it :)

Saturday, December 5, 2009

St Nicholas Visit


The shoes are on the porch ready for filling! St Nicholas comes tonight!
Willow and Josh went to see St Nicholas and Black Peter at The Old Dutch store today.
Not sure what Willow thought about Black Peter but she got a candy necklace so all is good :)
Happy St Nicholas Day!

Doll Making Workshop


Today I did my annual doll making workshop/knitting/crafting....you get the picture.
I made another gnome to add to my other so now I have a trio. Well, I should say, Willow has a trio :) She claimed the new one and picked out the purple velour. There is nothing like a handmade doll made with natural fibers.
Tons of fun, great company and amazing creativity! Thanks for the fun day ladies :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fun Girls Day at the Hogle Zoo


Today, Mara, Willow and I set out to see the animals at the zoo. It has been forever since we have been there!



We were so excited to see Zuri, the baby elephant! We thought for sure she would be inside from the cold but she was out, basking in the sun :)




The animals were all super active!


The giraffes were working with a trainer. We had so much fun watching them. The baby was so cute. Giraffes are pretty amazing creatures.





Mara and the Mara :)


Willow loved the insects.

Willow chose the snow leopard to match her hat.
My little monkeys :)

Tons of fun on a beautiful day!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holiday Fun With Troop 2155


Our December meeting officially started the Holiday season for me. Usually by this time, my house is decked out in Holiday cheer but I am moving in slow motion these days, so it will happen when it happens :) In fact, I think we will be decorating tonight!


Our meeting started off with singing Christmas carols, which I have to say, Mara impressed me more than she will ever know. In the car on the way over, I asked if she knew any Holiday songs on the guitar and she said no, but she could figure them out. Sure enough, in a 30 minute period, she got them down! I have no musical talent what so ever so this was totally amazing to me! :)


The girls had 3 stations of ornaments to work on and they made some really cool creations!


Mara usually works with the Brownies on their Journey, but she had to get to rehearsal, so I worked with them and Charlene took all the Daisies :)
I only had 2 this time, the flu took a number of the girls and we had so much fun. I love this age group and their enthusiasm is so wonderful! They had homework to make a "Family Star" about the things they and their family are good at and what part of the Girl Scout Law they feel really strong about. I have to say I was so impressed by their finished projects!
We made friendship bracelets and the girls were so proud that they learned to braid! The funny thing is, I learned to braid in Brownies when I was their age :)
Charlene worked with the cute little Daisies on their Journey. According to Willow she had tons of fun. Their little plants are growing nicely...I just hope I can keep these things alive till May! LOL
I have to say, this little group of girls is so much fun. I am really lucky to be working with them. I had 2 girls on different sides of the room say to me "I have never done Girl Scouts before, and now I know I love it so much, I am going to stay in it forever and be like Mara" :)
I was thinking about that on the way home. Just the other night, Mara, her friend Lexi, Willow and I were looking at old pictures on my computer. Literally 6 years of Girl Scouts in Utah! They were laughing and reminiscing, and they said how much fun they had in girl scouts. Of course, they also said they looked terrible in every picture and couldn't believe some of the stuff they were wearing...especially at the overnights when they did crazy improve skits :)
Girl Scouts has definitely been a huge part of our family. There have been times when I have been ready to throw in the towel for sure, but for the most part it has been a amazing journey.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

PCOS and Rude Doctors

Warning...this is a long post ...read at your own risk :)

I am really good about doing the whole yearly checkup thing...this last week was that week for me. I really hate it...I mean, what woman doesn't?

So on Monday I went to my regular doctor, had my blood drawn in advance of my Friday appointment. On Tuesday, I went to the obgyn..the worst of the worst. And then on Friday into my reg Dr for a physical. I have been worked over and drained of blood and told I am healthy...all is good...except I have to get a mammogram for the first time...ohhh the joy I am sure that will be :)

I go into the GYN (her fancy smancy new building) and I am greeted by the rudest nurse on the planet and asked to follow her. She precedes to take me to a triage room with 4 other women and pulls a scale out and says "I need your weight" So I step on the scale and OF COURSE it is going to show a weight gain. I am wearing boots, wool socks, corduroy pants, a sweater and a wool coat! Not to mention my purse is on my shoulder with my wallet, keys and phone in it. I could care less what her scale says, weight is irrelevant. But she says to me (and the 4 other women) "oh, we have a weight gain, I will make a note of it"....I looked at her like she was nuts...Hello? I am wearing a freaking wool coat and we are talking a 5 lb difference here! So, I sit down and she does my blood pressure while I am listening to the nurse across from me tell the woman she has protein in her urine??? wth? Why am I here...where did the privacy go? So my nurse says "well, at least you have great blood pressure" WHAT? Who are you and why are you so freaking judgemental? I should have walked out looking back. So, I go in to see the DR and I have to say her bedside manner sucks, but she did do a great job removing the tumor I had on my ovary 4 yrs ago and she is very educated about PCOS so I keep coming back to her.

My regular DR is just a family practitioner and I love him!! He gets PCOS..as he puts it "I was dealt a bad card" It is a bad card. And now I am watching my girls get dealt the same card. First Aspen and now Mara. I am hoping that catching it early in them, they will not have to suffer the way I did.

So, I was diagnosed with PCOS or polycysitc ovarian syndrome in August of 1999. I had suffered with it for years (and what I soon came to find out, since birth) and did not realize what it was. Back in 1992, I became a vegetarian..a totally health nut. (This comes into play later)
In 1993 Josh was born and I was experiencing some weird symptoms. I could not lose weight for the life of me. I wasn't obese or anything, just about 15-20 lbs overweight. I was exhausted and my hair was falling out. I just attributed it to having a 2yr old and a baby :).
Then, in 1995 Mara was born. I became sicker and sicker after her birth. During my pregnancy with her, I felt great! That was because it goes into remission during pregnancy. When Mara was 3 (I was 26) I suddenly gained 40 lbs in 1 month. No lie...I was the crazy vegetarian who worked out every day at the gym and never ate a cookie. I literally woke up 40 lbs heavier one day...now I was reaching the obese category and NOTHING I was doing worked. At the same time, my hair was falling out in clumps, I had no periods (I never saw this as an issue cause I was always nursing :) and I started growing facial hair where their should be no facial hair!! So, I went to several Dr's got different diagnosis and nothing was right. After a year of suffering and the weight still packing on, I decided to go see a friends obgyn.

I went to the appointment only to find she had been called away to a birth but I was offered the nurse practitioner. So I said, sure, I am already here. The NP walked in said hello, and asked me how long I had been suffering from PCOS? I said what is that? Well, now...10 yrs later...have they joy of knowing what that is all too well.

PCOS is classified by a serious of de-humanizing, de-feminizing conditions:

  • irregular periods or none at all
  • acne
  • hirsutism (excess hair)
  • male pattern baldness (hair loss where your bangs would be)
  • uncontrolled weight gain/inability to lose weight
  • infertility
  • high cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • cystic ovaries
  • pain in the lower abdomen
  • thyroid abnormalities
  • sleep apnea
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • skin tags
  • elevated testosterone
  • Acanthosis Nigricans(dark skin patches)
  • insulin resistance
  • elevated insulin with normal blood glucose levels
  • extreme fatigue

PCOS is an endocrine disorder. It wrecks havoc on your body. PCOS is hereditary. PCOS is not something brought on by lifestyle. PCOS SUCKS!!!!!!!

You don't have to have all the symptoms to have it, but I had the joy of having almost all of them. I was sent to an endocrinologist and was quickly diagnosed and put on the typical medication... Metformin and Spirinolactone. At the time, I did not realize that this medication was something I would take the rest of my life. I was also moving to Oregon that month. Big changes all around.

Once I was settled in Oregon I found a DR . I was SHOCKED to find out that in only a month I had lost over 50 lbs doing NOTHING. Well, nothing, except taking medication. Medication that was fixing two of the symptoms of the disease.

1. Insulin resistance.

IR is a condition where your cells reject the insulin in your blood stream and cause you to crave more food..in particular...carbs or sugar. You eat creating more glucose, causing your body to release more insulin..it is an ugly cycle if it is not controlled. In time you can become hyperinsulemic. You will have way too much insulin in your bloodstream and your cells won't allow it to absorb. This can lead to diabetes.

2. Elevated testosterone.

With PCOS, your ovaries secrete more testosterone and less progesterone. This is the UGLY part. These excess androgens cause male pattern baldness, facial hair, weight gain...etc Some think the IR causes the ovaries to produce more testosterone but some say it is the high testosterone that causes the IR...

Chicken and Egg? Which came first :)lol

Since I was in Oregon and surrounded by Naturopaths, Homeopaths and every natural Dr you could find, I decided to make an appointment. I went into a Naturopath and she said to me, "if you don't start eating meat, you are going to die" I was SO out of there...I thought she was crazy! So I tried a different one recommended by a friend. She said to me "if you don't start eating meat, you are going to die" I was shocked. What? There is NO WAY. Well, it took me 3 years to do it, and once I did I felt SO much better. I also found out that I was allergic to soy and all that tofu I had been eating was attributing to thyroid disease and hair loss!

All of this aside, you can be an overweight person or have diabetes and not have PCOS. You can also be a super thin person and have PCOS.

I knew Aspen had it when she called me from Portland and said. "Hey, you know how I have weighed 95 lbs for years...well, I finally gained weight! I gained 30 lbs!" I FREAKED. Get to the Dr now! Luckily, since I used to live in Portland, she just went to my old Doc and was put on the the meds right away. All of her bloodwork...normal..but her ultrasound showed cystic ovaries.

They won't even test Mara until she is 16 but they have her on the "cocktail" for now. I know some Drs will but for the most part, the tests come back normal.

I have good months and bad months. I say months because it seems to ebb and flow in that pattern. Right now, bbbbaaaaadddd months. It doesn't help that I loathe this time of year lol. Way too much stress. And well, stress is a killer for PCOS! I would so much rather be on a tropical island with no contact to the outside world. Anyway, I have been told I need to sleep...a ton more. So that is what I am doing. Sleeping tons. Hopefully it will make things turn around.

It is so interesting to me how odd people can be. I never look at people on the outside. I could never tell you what someone was wearing or what their hair looked like. I see people for who they are. I get vibes big time off of people and I can tell right away if they are someone I want to be around.

I have been amazed at my experiences being clinically obese to thin to just average. People are just mean! I don't get it? Why is it any of your business how much I weigh, or what size pants I wear? The funny thing is, when I was at my top weight, I was a workout Nazi and ate what most people would consider an extremely healthy diet! Now, I workout like a normal person...eat well and just need to sleep to make things a bit better.

According to my bloodwork, I am the healthiest person on the planet...according to how I feel, you would think I was dying a slow death. Because of my lack of sleeping over the last few months, I have developed Fibromyalgia. I am hoping to reverse it with sleep, exercise and diet...and of course my wonderful Plant Spirit Medicine treatments that I could never live without!

So, I am off to sleep :)

Happy Thanksgiving Day 2009


We had a great day, hope yours was wonderful too!



I can die happy....Michael's gourmet gravy and Kathy's butterhorn rolls...GOD they are so good!!!!!


Then of course the casseroles :)
Broccoli casserole..courtesy of my Mom My family's absolute favorite
Sweet potato casserole.. by me with brown sugar and pecans
Green bean casserole... by Kathy with smoked Gouda and bacon....YUMMY


The kids had a feast and loved it!


We are so thankful to have spent the day with our friends. Our dear friend Michael is headed to Calgary for a contract position since his job here was put on hold for 2 years. We will miss him so much!!! At least we will have him on WOW...and hey! we are coming to Canada eh' soon eh' :)

About Me

My photo
I am a mom to 5 amazing kids and married to my best friend and love of my life. We co-habitate with 1 cat, Asha, 2 dogs, Maggie May and Juniper Wren, a Chinchilla names Ozwald, and a Hamster named Fat Panda. We have lived in Salt Lake City for 13 years by way of Tennessee and Oregon. I love to be with my kids, knit, run, craft, sew, paint,travel, hike and play :) I love our crazy life!