Thursday, July 2, 2009

Girls Camp, Picnics and Headaches

On Tuesday evening I had the chance to go visit the 12-18 year old girls from church that I work with at their week-long camp. Normally I would have been there with them all week, but I am just glad I got to visit with them at all. What a choice and wonderful experience this was! We shared so many wonderful, happy tears in seeing each other. In most cases, this was the first time I have seen the girls since leaving for the hospital in May. Some of them have come to visit me, so they were more prepared to see the "new" me.

I can only imagine what it must have been like for the girls to see me, my face half paralyzed, not walking well, my eye puffy and red... But regardless of what I must have looked like to them, they were truly amazing in their show of love to me! The hugs and tears are unforgettable. They also helped me at dinner time, as I attempted to eat without drooling or spilling my drink. They accepted me 100% and seemed honestly grateful I was there. What a blessing this was for me! If they only knew how much I love them!!

Visiting with Emilie and Lisa at Girls Camp!

"My" girls helping me walk around the campground. Without them I could have ended up in the firepit! I'll see if I can get more pics from other leaders. :)

Word spread quickly that I was visiting camp and before long, many good friends started appearing at the campsite (from neighboring sites where other wards were camping). Each of these little reunions brought me to tears and I tried to express my thanks for all the love and support these wonderful people have shown me. But how can I really say thank you for what all of YOU have done?? I simply can't. Just know you all have my unending love and gratitude.

Yesterday I pushed myself to see if I could make more progress. I made my kids lunch for the first time (it was only macaroni, but I did it!!). I also helped my mom clean Lindi's room and worked around the house a bit. As a reward for all our hard work, my mom packed us all a wonderful picnic and we went to Fort Buenaventura and had dinner in a great spot by the river. It was a super evening and I was so thankful to spend fun time with my family and mom. My mom is the most amazing woman...she packs a picnic better than anyone I've ever seen! We loved the time together in the woods!

We went on a drive in the mountains afterwards, which was also beautiful. It was challenging for me, as the altitude (I think it was the altitude that did it) caused me to have severe head pain. Since the surgery on my ear/brain, I haven't really experienced pressure changes, so it is hard to say if this was the real culprit. Still, it was worth it for the views and the company!

Today I have been suffering with headaches again. These are normal, both for the tumor, and for my recovery, but some days are tougher than others. I think I may have worn myself out a bit the last few days, so I am still working on finding that balance between pushing myself to progress and not over-doing it. I rested and took some painkiller this morning and am feeling a bit better now. I am so glad, since Janene Bennett is coming over to watch the kids so I can "take" my mom to lunch for her birthday (on the 3rd). She deserves far more than lunch, but it will be wonderful to spend a little time alone with her, just to celebrate!! LOVE YOU MOM!!

Enjoy some pictures from our family night out last night. Thanks to the Bennetts for all their help this week (and always!).

All of us enjoying our picnic!

My mom is sooo amazing! She does the best picnics and helps bring lots of smiles to little (and big) faces!

So many smiles. My mom especially loves picnics and being in the mountains (perhaps that's why I love it so much too!!


Carol Liptrot said...

What fun pictures! Jodi can I just tell you how amazing you look, you look absolutely beautiful and I could tell what a wonderful time everyone was having. Your family is so blest to have you! I am so thankful too for your Mom being there and helping you with everything. I hope you have a great time with her to celebrate her birthday. My Dad's birthday is also on July 3rd! I think you're doing wonderful, but you are right, don't over do it! Thanks for a fun and wonderful update. I hope you and your family have a great holiday together. Love to you.
Carol Liptrot

britt said...

what a great family outing! I bet it was very much enjoyed by all. And I am anxious to hear more about camp!! Glad you got to go and had such a choice and amazing experience. Just what YOU and so many others needed, I am sure!
love ya

Anonymous said...

Jodi - You look great. Thanks for posting the pictures. Those darn headaches - I hope they improve. I have to agree with you - your mom is amazing and she does pack the best picnics ever. Tell her I love her and happy birthday Sherri. Jodi, I hope all of you have a very Happy 4th of July.
Love, Sue Davis

wjmom said...

Your pictures show you looking beautiful! I'm sure it was a "switch" for your young women, but you've truly come so far. You look amazing!

I'm so, so, so glad you got to go to YW camp! This will be a learning time that your girls will remember for a lifetime.

You are an inspiration for so many people! You continue in our prayers!


Kara said...

I am so sad that I missed seeing you up there. That is so neat that you got to go up and see your girls! I am glad that you are doing so much better and hope and pray that it continues!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jodi,

What a treat that you are the one right now keeping us updated on your progress. I love to see that you are doing better and getting stronger each day. You are a beautiful and remarkable woman, and your mother is really an angel!! I put your name in the Sacramento Temple last night while we were there. I had the sweetest feeling as I dropped that slip into the box. I know that you and your family are all being blessed, but I feel blessed just "knowing" you. Our prayers continue to be with you!

Love you,
Shauna and Jon Fish

Nichole Giles said...

It sounds like you've had a great week. What a great experience. I hope you take it easy this weekend, but still have a wonderful holiday. You deserve to do some celebrating.


Quote of the day:
"Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential." ~ Liane Cordes

Pam said...

Jodi, your mom IS amazing! And all these photos of you and your family and the your girls are priceless. Thank for the time you take to give us a peek into your new and evolving world.