Friday, September 27, 2013

Trading Spaces and New Faces

Aunt Bea has finally made it.  She's been here for about two weeks and and she's loving every moment of Kaylor time.  She currently looking for a job and we will be moving into a bigger place mid-October.

We traded places with her after a week and visited Louisiana.   I wish I would have taken more pictures to show y'all but we had a lot of great time and visits.

We had a bbq with family and friends and it was quite fun.  We also visited with our Hammond peeps.  Of course, Noni and Papaw (my parents) were equally excited to spend time with our great K.  Kaylor took a few minutes to warm up to them but they are all best friends now.

She couldn't get enough of PaPaw's phone.  And he was fool enough to give it to her.

Also, while we were in Louisiana, we decided to head to a sonogram office so my parents could witness their second granddaughter first hand.  We all found out in the same moment.  We knew we were pregnant but wanted to discover the sex with my parents.  I haven't scanned the ultrasound pics yet but will hopefully post them later.

I was trying to hold out but Ginny suggested Canes on our last day in LA.  #sauced

 Our return trip home yielded this.  A tender moment since she never falls asleep in our arms. She was very tired because her crazy parents woke her up at 4 am to get on a plane.


While growing up, my mom worked for American Airlines.  My whole family was able to fly anywhere we wanted to for a very low rate.  We were given carte blanche to fly almost any time we wanted.  I became very accustomed to flying and it was almost a way of living for me.  I would fly by myself, even at a young age, and would know all the ins and outs of flying. It was so enjoyable.

After I met my wife, we made several trips to her home in California to visit family by plane. Each trip became more and more stressful for me.  One trip to visit family in Michigan was going to be my last airplane ride ever.  The minute the plane's wheels touched down, I leaned over to her and with tears in my eyes, said I would never fly again.  Somehow, I had developed a fear of flying and this trip was the last straw.  This posed a problem since we were several hundred of miles from home and needed to get back to Louisiana.  Out of severe pride and fear, we bought train tickets home.  After that LONG but fun trip home, I realized I needed to do something about this anxiety laden within me. I knew something had to change.  Later, I went through some counseling for an anxiety disorder and was counseled to meet with a hypnotherapist to help with my phobia of airplane travel.  I met with a hypnotherapist as a last resort.  She helped me to understand a lot about myself and I knew I could overcome this anxiety issue.  A few weeks later, with moderate anxiety, I boarded an airplane and had a lot of self-talk and positive encouragement from my loving wife.  It was still very hard for me but I pushed through, hoping all the while I would never have to do it again.  This hope would not be fulfilled.  After relocating to California, we would need to return to Louisiana to visit my parents.  A few months ago, we were given this opportunity.  The moment we booked the tickets was the start of a very long two months.  Everyday I would go to bed with racing thoughts of taking off in an airplane.  Some thoughts would entail my daughter cringing in fear with the unknown of what was going on around her.  Day after day, I had to give myself pep talks.  I reassured and reassured myself of the confidence I had in the pilots, the understanding I had of planes and how they work, the previous flights I had been on and the safety I had been afforded.  One day, I was given a brief moment of relief, a tender mercy that gave me peace.  I knew I would would be safe and, even more important, I would be able to do it with little anxiety.  

The day of the trip, I was surrounded with the most anxiety I had experienced in over a year.   My worst fear was about to come true.  I would either stay home and allow my wife and daughter to leave while I allowed this demon to take over my life or I would board the plane and be so fearful I would be incapacitated.  I would be unable to exist in a sense of awareness.  I would be unable to console my daughter when she was afraid.  Throughout all of my anxiety, I have always prayed.  I constantly pray as I go through these thoughts in my head.  I even received a blessing the night before we flew.  As we boarded, I thought of that blessing and the power of the priesthood and how much my Father in Heaven loves me.  I also thought of how far I've come.  I knew I would have some issues on the plane and was prepared for the worst.  I sat down in my seat and prayed one last prayer.  The next thing I knew, Ginny and I were helping our daughter read a book and we were taking off in an airplane and I was not only coherent but present. I almost felt euphoric.  I cried but mostly out of frustration from past experiences and the time I had wasted in anxiety.  My crux was normally during take off so to have this situation be successful and less stressful was definitely a triumph.  We had a layover and the next trip was the same.  The return trip home was also a triumph.

I only say all of this to give a sense of what I've gone through and to let others know anything is possible. Some things we cannot control but I know I can control my own feelings.  I am in charge of my own thoughts and this experience was for my own betterment.  I feel almost empowered and definitely blessed to have gone through this.  I have become closer to my Father in Heaven and grateful for his help and guidance.