Thursday, October 19, 2017


The craziest thing is those are two of the hardest words to even type, knowing what it is associated with. It brings raw emotion. The night before I started my junior year of high school I was date raped by a man that I barely knew, but was excited to get to know prior to the events of that night. I actually met him at the end of another date, with a guy that I could have seen myself marrying and had known since he moved into my neighborhood several years before. My car wasn't working that day so we had walked quite a distance and he had to walk the rest of the way home, and I had to walk the few miles back to my house. Anyway, the man I met at the end of that date offered me a ride home, and I said he'd first have to give the other guy a ride home first, so we went and got him and drove him home. In the following days, the guy I was on the date with had met someone else and left for college (I'm not sure which order), and I didn't know what would come of us, since college was a big deal, and not within walking distance. So, one of my friends decided to give the guy a call that gave me a ride home to see if he would want to go out with me sometime... yes, back in the day when you had a friend ask a guy out for you.  

I had seen the guy a couple of times, with friends.  This night, he wanted to see me alone, that we would go grab some ice cream...

The night of the incident, a few weeks after meeting him, September 4, 1990, the man drove me up a road that lead to the middle of nowhere, I was physically shaking because I knew there was no ice cream stand up that road, and he said "What do you think I'm going to do, rape you, kill you, and throw you in the river?" The road was the Riverside Road. I didn't fight once it had started, as I had said no beforehand, my mind transported me to a field with beautiful purple flowers and I was running through them.  I literally felt like I had left my body and didn't come back to it until it was over.  The place my mind had transported me to, I had never seen the place before, but for the time, it made my life bearable. I figured if he was following through with the first half of his statement, I didn't feel like dying and being tossed in the river, where it might be a while before I was found. (It was called Riverside Road for a reason). I also really wanted to live, and I knew he had at least a golf club in his trunk (since I had given it to him), and he was bigger and stronger than me.  Death was not something that I was ready to face. 

I spent the next several hours, from about 10 pm to 5 am (three hours before school started, my first day as a junior) in between the hospital and the police department. I made it to my first day of school, then missed the next several. Life was hard for the next couple of years. I am sure I missed more days than I made it to school, or at least it was close. I was even runner up for the "Most days of school missed," or something like that my senior year.  

Very few people knew what happened to me. I was already pretty quiet and it was my own thing to deal with. My family knew, although my younger brothers probably didn't understand nor would I expect them to, and a select few other people.  There were many court dates. I hated men for a year, unless they were related to me. I didn't want to go out with them or spend time with them. I pretty much hung out with my friends and my family.  
In that first year, I organized a presentation to be put on with the New York State Police and the Cattaraugus County Community Action counselors, to discuss how to prevent this from happening, and how to protect yourself if it does happen.  I grew up in a small town, and this wasn't supposed to ever happen in my town, and it certainly wasn't supposed to happen to me.  I had no clue how to defend myself, or things to do to make the person rethink what he was about to do. We had a relatively good turnout from Saint Bonaventure University students, a few people from my high school and members from my church. It was the best way I knew to help others, educate others, so maybe they would not go through what I had.

A year later, I made a lot of decisions, several bad ones and some good ones, too. This kind of thing can really mess with your brain, and probably more so with the brain of someone that was my age. I went on to leave the area for college, and come out west to Idaho and Utah. I studied Psychology at Ricks College and Brigham Young University, so I could help others who have been in my shoes, but I never went on to get my Masters or Doctorate, so I can't do that.

In the end, the person was indicted of sexual misconduct. The Assistant District Attorney, police officers and my counselor figured that I wasn't the first person he had done this to, and he knew how to "cover his tracks." Being a child, having turned 17 during this time, and since he apologized after the verdict had been handed down, I asked that the fine be waived (yes, he was given a fine and no jail time).  Once again, the mind of a child, why should the courts get money when I was the one that would live with it for the rest of my life.... And my "he did say sorry, so he must mean it" mentality.

The sorry was just a courtesy, I decided later, but not much later. I didn't know the game back then. I was young and stupid, stupid enough to go out with the guy, by myself, although I didn't really know him. Young enough to think that the fine should have gone to me and not the courts, so why make him pay it anyway?! I'm not sure if the courts listened to my request; I hope they didn't. I hope he paid for his crime, even if it was just monetarily. I hope he never did this to another girl or woman. 
I have always said that I hope I was the one in four, so my mother, sisters, daughters and nieces, friends, in-laws never have to tell this story. 
I have left out names, because perhaps the guy I was seeing when I met this one doesn't want to be named... and I can only hope and pray that the guy that raped me has corrected his life and has made something of himself.  He was 21 at the time, so he would be 48 now.  
I don't tell my story for sympathy.  I tell it so, maybe, somehow, it will help someone else.  If you are raped, report it!  It could help prevent that from happening to someone else.  I once heard a statistic that a man could rape ten people before one will report it.  I don't know what the statistic is now, but if everyone reports it, then, if it still one in ten, then possibly nine women will not have to be raped by the same person.  

I am glad I didn't end up dead in a river; I'm not sure I would have, but the prospect was certainly made clear.  I have an amazing husband and four awesome children.  I have lived a good life.  I have an amazing family and I wouldn't have wanted to miss a moment of the last 27 years, good, bad or ugly.  I still have many of the same friends, I have made new friends and I have become a person that I don't mind living with. 
If you are reading this, it was just a small time in my life.  It was a bad, hard time in my life, but just a small time, looking at the 16 years before and the 27 after, it does not define who I am.  I look at myself as a survivor; I survived and I have tried to help others and let people know how important they are. And man, those pictures of my kids are from quite a while ago.  I haven't blogged in a really long time, but I thought this was worth starting again, so I could tell my story, but not write a novel on Facebook.  This way, if people want to read it, they can, but if they don't, it isn't in their face. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

My Four Year-Old

I am way behind on this blog... my daughter turned four on October 5.  She is such an amazing soul.  I took the day off work so I could hangout with her.  My husband took the day off too.  Hers is the first birthday that has been celebrated in our family since I started working full time.  Thus, the lateness of this blog.

For her birthday, she wanted Minnie Mouse cupcakes.  I went to the store, and brought her with me.  She decided she needed a birthday outfit.  After much persuasion, and it being her birthday, she got the birthday day outfit.  It was a Dora outfit.

My 11 year-old was in charge of making the cupcakes.  She wanted polka dot cupcake liners, white frosting and regular sized Oreo's and mini Oreo's.  The minis were going to be used for the ears.  The regulars were crushed up and put on the white frosting.

When I finally found the cupcake liners, they were right next to Minnie Mouse cupcake decorations.  I was once again persuaded to buy those.  Some were the sugar decorations that you can eat... It ended up being that you didn't want to eat those.  I guess they were really hard.  My daughter did make some of the Minnie Mouse cupcakes she was planning to with the Oreo's.

Her gifts were a "Frozen" bean bag chair, a toothbrush and toothpaste (which she really wanted), and a bicycle.  The look on her face when she got the bicycle was priceless... The YouTube video is below:

She goes to daycare now since my husband and I both work.  That night, she helped me get her cupcakes ready to bring to daycare.  She helped me get the decorations on them and then put Oreo ears on them.  She was so proud of the creation :)

She enjoys being with her siblings.  She loves to get to play with them.  She loves bath time.  She loves noodles.  She loves peanut butter.  She loves ice cream.  She enjoys getting to do crafts with her big sister.  She would prefer to be a nudist.  Given any chance, she takes on that role.

Nap time seems to be a thing of the past now, unless she is sick, or I get really lucky.  Then there are the days when she wants to go to sleep at 7 PM and I have to convince her that it isn't a good idea.  Mostly because I don't want to wake up at 4 or 5 AM.  Those hours and I are not friends.

She has a gorgeous smile.  She decided that she likes short hair.  She never liked having it brushed, and the short hair makes her happy.  I had decided that I could handle an A-line cut.  When I walked in and the instructor (we go to a cosmetology school) suggested a Pixie cut, I had lost the war.  She had been asking for a Pixie for weeks beforehand.  It looks good on her, but I have to admit that it seriously took time getting used to.

Her eyes change color.  Some days they are a really dark blue, some days they are a lighter blue and some days they even look brown.  My eyes are the same way, but they go from brown, to hazel, to green.  I have a brother whose eyes go from blue to gray.  I think it is pretty cool.

She loves watching YouTube.  She likes Masha and the Bear, or Lalaloopsy toys.

I am certainly blessed to have this little four year-old.  She keeps me young, along with her siblings.

She had a wonderful birthday!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Eleven Years Ago - April 30

April 30 is a wonderful day in our family.  It is the day we welcomed our first daughter, shortly after noon.  She has been such a blessing to our family.

She has always been an extrovert.  We would go to softball games, a couple of hours away, and she would have friends within minutes that she would play with all day long (or until the tourney ended for our team).

She has always had a strong will.  She knows what she wants and she goes after it.  She sets goals to complete and she completes them.  She may get frustrated but there have not been many times that the goal wasn't completed in the time frame she had set.

This year, for her birthday, she chose to go to the Asian Buffet in our area.  She is big fan of sushi.  I can't eat much they have to offer, so I just sat and watched. but I couldn't miss being at her birthday dinner with her!

For her birthday gift, she wanted a mani-pedi.  She got one on Saturday, when there would be enough time to fit it in to the day.  She ended up with pink and black (every other toe) toenails and her fingernails have plants on them, with a black background.  They look really cute.

I bought cupcakes and popcorn.  We rented the third Night at the Museum.  We popped popcorn and watched some of the movie.  We didn't start it until pretty late, because we had to go to JoAnn Fabrics to get stuff to decorate teachers' doors for Teacher Appreciation week.  She spent a couple of weeks figuring out how she wanted to do each one.  We had three doors to do.

I am so incredibly thankful for that little girl!  She makes me smile.  She is so good at crafts.  She is a great singer.  She enjoys doing theater.  She loves learning.  She is a great daughter and sister.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Bump, Stitches, Headaches, Sinuses and Cerebral Spinal Fluid

This has been an interesting couple of weeks.  About 7 weeks ago, I brought my three youngest children to the doctor.  It turned out that my youngest had strep throat.  My next youngest had symptoms of strep, but ended up not having it.  At the appointment though, the doctor was concerned about a bump on his neck that had been growing.  She referred me to get an appointment with a dermatologist.  My daughter had been having horrible headaches, so she wanted us to get her in for a brain MRI in six weeks. 

Last Monday (the 6th), my 7 year-old son had athe bump on his neck removed.  I am the mommy.  I stood there and held his hands, as I stood by his feet, the whole time staring directly at the ground.  My three year-old was in the room too.  She came up and got between my chin and my feet and watched the whole surgery.  She was completely intrigued.  I am not sure exactly what she saw, because if I would have looked, I would have passed out immediately.  I know myself well enough to be able to say that.  He got two stitches in his neck.  She watched that too. 
The bump on his neck
My toddler wanted a photo of her neck taken also.  So, I took a picture of her neck, to appease her.

Her neck
I got the report back a few days later that it was a benign cyst.  That is always good news to hear the word "benign" or "negative" when coming from a doctor and discussing something that had been removed from the body.  I was never a fan though, when I was hoping to be pregnant, and I would hear the words "negative."  That seems like the only time when "negative" coming from the doctor, was actually negative news for me.  He does seem to be allergic to bandages though.

Stitches and allergic reaction to bandage
My 10 year-old has been suffering from headaches for several months now.  Recently, they started getting so bad that the light and noise affected her to the point of tears.  It was then that I decided to have her looked at by the doctor.  We were told to do a food journal, make sure she is hydrated and get her an MRI in six weeks.  Well, six weeks was this Monday (Apr 13).  She had her MRI. 

Going into the MRI
I have had an MRI before.  I had to take Valium before going in the tube.  I am not a fan of them, but I know they are necessary at times.  She was perfectly fine with it.  They gave her goggles that played a movie for her.  She chose "The Hunger Games."  I think the MRI wasn't long enough for her.  She would have preferred to watch the whole movie.

I was told that we should have the results by Wednesday.  The doctor was only in her office half a day on Wednesday, so we got the results on Thursday.  She has fluid in her sinuses which is usually a sign of a viral or bacterial infection.  The doctor gave her a prescription for zithromax to see if that helps.

She also has a spot where the cerebral spinal fluid in her brain is dilated more than average for someone her age.  The doctor doesn't seem too concerned about it because there is not a mass that is causing this.  She said it is an incidental finding, as this shouldn't be what is causing the headaches.  The MRI is going to be repeated in nine months to see if there has been any change. 
Getting the movie goggles on

I have told myself that I am not going to "WEBMD" what this could be.  It seems that only comes up with horrible things.  I don't want to see horrible things, especially when it very likely nothing. 

My 7 year-old got his stitches out yesterday.  It seems that the removal was more painful than having them put in.  He was brave about it though. 

I am hoping that my visits to the doctor are about over for my children.  If the medication doesn't help her headaches, she will be referred to a neurologist.  I am guessing she just suffers from migraines.  They seem to run in my family.  :( 

I am hoping and praying that the headaches subside and she doesn't need to go to a neurologist.  We shall see!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy 12th Birthday!

I don't know where I was 12 years ago on Saturday, or 12 years ago next Saturday.  I do know that 12 years ago last night, I went to the hospital to have my pregnancy induced because I had too much amniotic fluid.  Who knew there was such a thing?! 

Anyway, I gave birth to my little guy 12 years ago today, well, tonight actually.  He ended up being an emergency c-section.  I was so blessed to have given birth where I did, because there was a NICU right next to the operating room.  I think this saved my little guy's life.  I knew something was wrong immediately, because all the shows I watched, the mother always got to see the baby after birth.  This was very different.  I had never seen them grab the baby and run out of the room.  This is what happened though, in real life, for me. 

I had just had major surgery.  All I kept saying was "Keith, you need to find out what is going on.  You need to find out what is wrong with the baby!"  It seemed like a lifetime and no one told me what was going on.  Perhaps, because they weren't quite sure what was happening or what the outcome would be.  My baby wasn't breathing.  They had some work to do to change that, but they did change that. 

They came out, after that lifetime, and asked Keith if he wanted to go see his baby.  He looked at me, knowing I had just had major surgery, and I said "Yes!"  Off he went!  After they finished getting me stapled up and stabilized, they started wheeling me out of the operating room.  As they were wheeling me out, Keith came out with this little bundle, completely wrapped up from head to toe, except for his face. 

The tears started streaming, and I uttered, "Hi, I am your mommy!  I love you!"  He was so white and so tiny.  I was not permitted to hold him.  I couldn't count his little fingers or toes.  I just remember how white he was.  I blamed it on the fact that Keith and I are both quite pale.  I didn't realize that it was because he hadn't been breathing.  I didn't learn this fact until later. 

He stayed in the NICU for four days.  Thankfully, I was in the hospital the same amount of time.  I was finally allowed to hold him at about 3 AM when I could make the trip to the NICU.  Before that, I had my husband go and take pictures and count his little fingers and toes.  That was how I saw my baby for the first several hours of his life.

I have been blessed everyday since then to have such a wonderful young man for a son!  There hasn't been a day in the past 12 years where he hasn't made me smile.  He is an amazing big brother.  He always has been.  He became a big brother at 13 months and 13 days.  He can not remember his life without being a big brother.

He will get the Aaronic Priesthood in our church on Sunday.  He will be able to start going to the temple to do baptisms after that.  He is very excited about both things.  He is a good helper around the house.  He is sensitive and loving.  He never wants to cause anyone sadness.  I was truly blessed by this fellow choosing me to be his mommy! 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Year's Resolutions

This year I made a few New Year's Resolutions, but I neglected to blog about them.  I decided that I was not going to make any "lose such and such amount of weight" resolutions.  I want to get in better shape, I don't care about my weight.  I guess that isn't completely true, I do care, but I figure if I am getting into shape, the rest will fall into place itself.

First of all, I decided a few months ago that by the end of this year, I would do a chin up...unassisted.  My upper body has always been weaker than my lower body, well, at least since adulthood.  I remember when I was younger I could beat boys at arm wrestling...

Friday, Jan 17, we got a membership to your local fitness center in the area.  They have a couple swimming pools, an indoor track, cardio machines and weight training area.  This past week, on Thursday, my husband and I went and did some weight training.  I managed to bench press 65 pounds.  I thought my husband was going a little loco when he suggested that, I thought the bar would be enough since I hadn't done any real weight training in almost four years.  I did three sets of eight with 65 pounds.  I have to say I was proud of myself :)  Then I did bicep curls.  The first set was 8 pounds, 12 times. Then 12 pounds, 12 times.  Then my husband thought I should go to the assisted pull up machine.  I took 112.5 pounds off of my weight, and I did three sets of six chin ups.  Then I did, two sets of eight dips at that weight and then one set of five at 93.5 lbs.  I have been sore for a few days now, but I feel great (if that makes any sense).  

Another resolution was to exercise 3 to 5 times per week for 20 minutes or more each time.  We have been swimming a few times since we got the membership.  It is a nice place to bring the kids to swim.  I need to sign my three year-old up for swimming lessons.  She is doing better being in the water, but she still has some fears I need to figure out how to help her overcome.  My daughter, and another person and her two daughters have been training for a 5K with me.  We started on Wednesday.  Before that, I was still making sure to get in my 20 minutes or more.  This structure is helping.  My children love going to the fitness center, so it makes it a lot easier.

The next thing I did was give up ice cream.  I had my last bowl on New Year's morning.  It was the rest of the Turkey Hill Peanut Butter Chocolate ice cream in the house.  I even took a picture of it before I ate it.  My addiction to ice cream has probably contributed to a few several of the unwanted pounds I am hauling around.

My last bowl of ice cream for 2015...taken 1/1/2015
I have not had another bowl of ice cream since then.  I haven't even really been tempted.  It might be due to the fact that after I ate it, I prayed that I would have help not eating ice cream for the rest of the year.  Heavenly Father does answer prayers, and sometimes you know He has a sense of humor in the way that He answers.  By the end of the night, I was puking out of both ends (as one of my friends phrased it).  Sorry, about all the information, but what better way for me not to want to eat ice cream, for quite a while!  

I resolved to plan meals ahead of time.  I have not done too well at that.  Although, I do know what we will be eating a couple of times this week, although I don't know what days.  I need to do better about that one!

I resolved to learn to cross-stitch.  I haven't started that yet, although I bought all the materials for the item I wanted to cross-stitch.  Then my daughter taught me how to crochet.  I am working on a blanket that might take me the whole year to do.  It is BYU-Provo's colors.  My daughter (she is 10) thought a good size would be 400 links.  I think this will be a California king size blanket.  Oh well...our bed is a queen, but it wouldn't hurt to have something that the whole family can sit on the couch and cover up under while watching a movie!

I also like to make spiritual resolutions.  As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we get callings.  We don't get paid for doing the service we provide.  Currently, I am one of the librarians. I have been a primary teacher, scout leader and Relief Society teacher in the past.  I want to be there to fulfill my calling as one of the Ward Librarians.  This entails making copies as requested, giving out pictures, chalk and erasers, etc.

Another resolution is to go to the temples more often.  Before I became a mother, I would go much more frequently than I do now.  I want to change that.  There is a peace that is felt at the temple, where I know that I am doing things to help others.  I feel like it is a time when all my stress is left outside and I can concentrate on serving others.

Ogden Utah Temple
I am already thinking about New Year's Resolutions for next year.  I didn't think of them in time for this year.  I think that the ones I have this year will help with next year's resolutions a lot though.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Christmas Eve Came and Went Again

This year for Christmas Eve, we drove to Rock Springs, Wyoming, to have lunch with my sister and her son.  It was a nice trip and I am thankful that there was somewhere we could meet and have lunch.  We ended up at Golden Corral.  They do have pizza on their buffet, so it wasn't like we went against the pizza on Christmas Eve tradition.  I just couldn't eat it, since it wasn't gluten free.

The three of us girls were together again.  I enjoy getting to have these times with my sisters.  Even if it is for just an hour or so, it is definitely worth the time.  One of my sisters lives with me, her husband had to work, so she rode with us.  She sat in the back with the children and got to play referee.

After we had lunch, we headed to a music store.  My daughter has wanted a guitar for a while now, and they were having good deals there.  She didn't have enough money for one, or any money for one, so she borrowed it from her brothers.  She agreed to pay them back.  So far, the only hitch is, she isn't allowed to play it until it is paid for.  She is really happy with it though.  It is purple, which isn't a surprise!

After going to the music store in Rock Springs, it was time to say goodbye to my sister and my nephew.  I always hate the goodbyes, but it is definitely worth it to see them.

My husband took the kids to see Big Hero 6 when we got home.  I stayed home with my toddler, because she isn't a big fan of sitting in movie theaters.  I also had some things to do around the house before Santa came.  Santa comes on Christmas Eve in our house.  My sister and her husband also stayed home.

My husband called when they were on their way back from the theater, so my toddler, sister, bro-in-law and I could go walk around the neighborhood and look at Christmas lights so Santa could come. My daughter loves looking at Christmas lights.  It was a beautiful night.  While we were out, we saw a TV by the curb saying that it was free, and that it works, so I remembered where it was so we could go claim it if it was still there, after opening gifts.

This was taken a few days before Santa came.  There were a lot of gifts under there.  My seven year-old exclaimed it was the best Christmas ever.   I was happy that he felt that way.  Opening gifts on Christmas Eve, gives us the time to remember why we celebrate Christmas on Christmas Day.

My sister made all the children blankets.  Our puppy always loved laying on the blankets, so it wasn't too shocking to see this under the tree later that evening.

I am so blessed to have my children.  We enjoyed Christmas Day with my sister and her husband, and my sister-in-law, brother-in-law and nephew.  It was a nice day with them.