Sunday, November 1, 2015


I do blog still, I just don't hit 'publish.'

 The things I write about are less about the life of the Olson Bunch and more about the brain of Chris Olson, and it's not the same. My kids have almost all grown up. It's weird. We still do things together, we still are a family who is focused on bonding through shared, good experiences and embracing the weirdness that makes our family "us"-- but we're all in our own grown up-ish head spaces.  
It's not as fun to blog about grown -up head space stuff.

I have absolutely nothing new to share right now about my family that I love so much.
I don't have anything I feel like posting about New York these days either.
I never cook anymore. I've totally lost my will to bake with Zane being gone. I wasn't expecting that. I didn't realize how much he was the person I was baking for. 
Of course, I baked for Matt, but he and I are stuck in that 'perpetually on a diet' mode where we still eat garbage, but we hate ourselves for it so we tell ourselves every day that we will only eat healthy things and then we make a run to Five Guys and 7-11 because healthy food is depressing.

I have a new calling at church.  I'm the new Compassionate Service Leader. I think it is a good fit for me and I'm ready to be with the grown ups again.  I'm going to put together freezer meals in the next 2 weeks so that I always have something to bring anyone who may have a need. Our ward is Boss Level Service givers, though. I may never need to break those meals out for anyone but my own, newly starving, household.

General Conference was amazing.
I missed huge portions of the Saturday session because one of my kids threw a rod and had a meltdown and I spent an hour sitting calmly on the sofa in the front room while my child screamed and tried to kick the radiator to teach it a lesson. Sometimes that happens when you have a child on the spectrum and you just have to be with them to show support and also make sure they don't do something destructive as they freak out and lose it because that's just the way they are wired. It isn't fair in any way. It sucks for the mom and it sucks even more for the kid.  It seemed to suck a little extra on Saturday as I walked back to the family room after my child had calmed down and got the last 90 seconds of Elder Holland's "Moms are the best" talk.
Sometimes, you have to sacrifice the cheerleading to clean up a crisis on the field.
Ooh.... a football metaphor.
I'm sorry. 
(Also, Go Bears!)

The talk that stood out the most to me was Elder Nelson's talk.

That was the talk that made me feel like the Lord was speaking directly to me.
I'm paraphrasing what I remember from the talk, I'm sure I've messed up on the specifics because I am old and blonde.
He talked of his experiences as a cardiologist and how one family had a child with a congenital heart defect and he performed surgery on that child. The child did not survive.
Ouch ouch ouch in the heart.
The couple had another child and again went to him to perform the life saving surgery the baby needed. That baby also did not survive.
They then had another child and went through the same tragedy AGAIN.

When the third child died, Elder Nelson went home and laid on his living room floor and cried. He was done. He was broken and he vowed that he would never perform another surgery. He was finished with this painful and heart wrenching season of his life.
His wife comforted him and stayed beside him as he spilled his guts all over- as he went through this pain and he hit rock bottom. She loved him and was there for him, helping share his burdens.
The next morning, she lovingly said to him "Have you finished crying? Yes? Good, now get dressed and go back to work."
As he objected and said he would never return to that line of work,  she said "If you quit now, others will have to painfully go back and learn what you already know. "
He was lovingly reminded that he had a job to do. He had worked hard in that job and had invested countless hours of schooling and hard work into becoming a person who was good at that particular job. To throw it away was more than just some loss of a dream to him- it would be a choice to stop doing the work he had promised to do, simply because he hit a breaking point in his journey. If he stopped progressing- the work would continue, but someone else would have to re-do and learn everything he already had learned as they caught up to where he was when he quit.

I am a person who has always seen the hitting rock bottom as a sign that it was time to stop. I cut bait and bail and I have known for a long time that my doing so is not the healthiest of ways to live and I have worked to change that natural reaction to hitting the ground so hard that your heart splats on the pavement. 

Elder Nelson's talk taught me that hitting your rock bottom is not a sign that you should abandon the work. It is a changing of what your foundation consists of, a swapping it out for something better and after you have finished being broken and crying, get dressed and do the work you covenanted with God that you would do.
It is YOUR work and thee right path for you- even though there are times that you hit bottom and fall to the floor and cry.

As I listened to him speak, I looked over at that same child who had just 24 hours prior been so out of control and hurting. 

 I thought of how I felt like I was a terrible mother, to have a child who is having this struggle and not being able to fix it. 

I saw that as one of many 'rock bottom' moments I have had as a Mom and realized that I was doing better than I thought.

 Every single day, every hour- no matter how bad things may get, no matter how devastated or freaked out I may feel. When I was finished crying, I got up and went back to work- the work of being a mother who loves her children unconditionally. 
I hadn't quit when I was alone in that job, I hadn't quit when Matt's ex wife constantly was letting me know that I was *not* a mother, because I did not give birth to three of the seven children in our home. I did not quit when those kids made huge mistakes and didn't even stop making some of those mistakes. I didn't quit when they yelled at me, lied to me and tore my heart in two. I didn't quit during the sleepless nights and the lying on my own floor, racking with sobs days. 

So I missed the warm fuzzy "Mom is great" talk from Elder Holland, but for me, I was there for the better part- the talk that spoke directly to me and let me know I was doing better than I thought.  It matters that you don't quit more than you know. 

I have no great bridge to tie that in with any of the pictures I took during October.
I could come up with a few puns, but nobody wants that, so here are some pictured from Emma's trip to New Jersey this month.
We played tourist, saw a live taping of the Daily Show and went to Comic Con, where we bought a lot of rad shirts. 

  Rad shirts from Comic Con: