December 12, 2014

My Grandma...

(image courtesy of her still-existing Facebook page)

I've been thinking a lot about my grandma lately.  She passed away in July and her passing has been on my mind constantly.  It's weird to think about the days surrounding her death and the little miracles that had occurred.  The biggest miracle for me was that I was actually in Utah for an extended period of time and was able to be there not just for the funeral, but to have been able to spend time with her even beforehand.  She passed away on a Sunday, and just three days before that, my mom, my brother, and I went to visit her for lunch in her little retirement community.  Her health had be deteriorating over the last year or so, but there were no signs that she was going to pass any time soon.

At lunch on that Thursday afternoon, we chatted and ate.  She asked me about my hair as she always did, and I was excited to tell her about a new treatment that has been found to practically cure Alopecia.  I told her that it was still in the experimental phase, but that I was going to see my dermatologist the next morning to find out more.  We chatted about other things and enjoyed our time together.  I remember as I sat across from her, I looked up from my plate to find her just looking at me and smiling.  It was a very content smile, one that told me she was glad I was there.  I'm grateful to have that as my last memory of her.  That next morning, she fell in her little apartment and had to be taken to the hospital.  Her health quickly took a turn for the worse and her body decided her time on this earth was over.

There were other little miracles that happened within those three days she was in the hospital, but that last day I had with her will be something I will always remember. Every time I wear a piece of her jewelry, or see something that reminds me of her, I can't help but smile and think of all the fun memories I have of her.  She always made me feel special, but then, I think she had that affect on everyone.

December 11, 2014

Just checking in...

Today is just one of those days where I seem to find anything I can do to avoid the things I really should be doing.  I have a mountain of laundry on my bed (that was just moved from my bedroom floor to said bed), and I thought to myself, "I should do a blog post!"  Staying focused has never been one of my strong suits.

I have been mulling over a certain blog post topic for the last few weeks and I'm almost at the point where I feel like I can write it.  It's nothing momentous, but it will require a bit of vulnerability on my part. Oh, who am I kidding... It will require a lot of vulnerability.  I enjoy blogging about my dealings with Alopecia, but I haven't really put myself out there like I feel like I need to as I go forward with this new emphasis on my blog.  As soon as I can muster the courage (and the photos to go with it), I will post about it.

October 2, 2014

Some changes...

Hey there, everyone!  (Well, I hope there's still an "everyone," anyway...)  Some things are going to be changing around here in the near future.  As you may not have noticed, I changed the name of my blog.  It went from "Amber's Inner Mind" to what I am now calling "My So-Bald Life."  I really want to start focusing more on my life with Alopecia and the day-to-day experiences that come with being bald.  My family has been pressuring me to write more about this stuff and I thought to myself "Why not?!"  Life has been crazy over the last few months and I finally feel like I can put some focus back into writing and sharing what life with Alopecia - and maybe just life in general - is all about.  If you're reading this, thanks for sticking with me, and hopefully I'll get some new stuff up soon!

March 12, 2014

A Healthier Me

My biggest weakness: cookies!

For the last 3 1/2 weeks, I have given up sugar.  My goal is to give it up until Easter and so far it is going fairly well.  Within the first week, I noticed a huge change in how I felt and actually looked.  Before I started this, I was eating so much junk, it's unbelievable.  It felt like I was baking goodies every other day, we were finding reasons to get treats from the store, and I was even rationalizing having these things in place of actual meals.  (I may or may not have had brownies for breakfast quite a few times.)  Ever since having Livie almost a year ago, I have yet to fit into all my normal clothes.  I have finally gotten so tired of wearing the same things over and over that I decided I really need to start making some changes.

I certainly could have just cut back on my intake of sweets, but it has to be "all or nothing" for me when it comes to the sweet stuff.  I think that by the end of this, I will really be able to see how these kinds of things affect me and I will be able to better control myself.  I've also noticed that I haven't been snacking as much throughout the day.  Normally, I would grab just anything regardless of it's nutritional value.  Now I find myself making a more conscious decision when it comes to eating, and I've really only been eating when I'm hungry.  That's HUGE for me.  I'm sure that the good changes I've noticed in my body aren't just because of the lack of sugar in my diet; I'm sure it has a lot to do with the fact that I'm probably consuming a lot fewer calories as well.

Now, if only the weather would warm up so I could get out and get some exercise!  That's my next step in trying to get healthy.

February 21, 2014


DSC_0069, © AmberWall
Being a little different doesn't mean you're not beautiful.

I attended another "resiliency training" meeting yesterday and the topic was based on how we, as women, are constantly comparing ourselves to others.  I know I am certainly guilty of it.  I find myself getting discouraged because I just don't feel like I measure up to a lot of my peers.  I know that's wrong and that I do have my own unique qualities, but sometimes it's hard to get out of that mindset, ya know?

How ironic is it that I heard from an old friend yesterday, telling me how when we were in elementary school together and I started to lose my hair, she worried that she wouldn't be "cool enough" for me now that I got to wear all these cool hats and be bald and stuff.  For one thing, I can't believe she of all people would think that because she was one of the coolest people I knew, but secondly, I was probably thinking the exact same thing - "Why would she want to play with me?  I'm this weird bald girl wearing weird hats and stuff."

On what basis are we comparing ourselves to others?  We are all blessed with unique talents and abilities, some more obvious than others, but who's to say that one quality is better than another?  Someone brought up a good point yesterday... What if we started comparing ourselves to Christ instead of trying to be like Him?  Just think how miserable and defeated we would always feel!  Luckily, it is our goal to be LIKE Him.  Some days we may fall a little shorter than others, but that's why we're here - to be better than we were the day before.

So, the point of all this is, I need to stop comparing myself to others.  I can find things about them that I admire and use those things to inspire me to be better, but I don't have to be THAT PERSON.

February 20, 2014

...There shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost...

Last night, as we were having dinner as a family, the topic came up about being an eternal family and what that means.  Brett explained to the boys that because he and I were married in the temple, and as long as we live righteously, we can all live together again after this life.  The boys balked at the idea of them someday having wives of their own and being able to live with them for eternity, but they understood the idea.  When Brett explained that because of Christ's Atonement, we all would be resurrected when He comes again and that out bodies would be made whole again, the boys didn't quite grasp what that meant.  I mentioned that I would even have hair again.  Brady said, "Maybe... Maybe you'll have your hair again."  I reached for my scriptures and was able to show him where it says that even my hair will be restored when Christ comes again:

 (Alma 11:44)   44 Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be arestored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the bFather, and the Holy Spirit, which is cone Eternal God, to be djudged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil.

This section of the Book of Mormon is talking about the resurrection and when Christ comes to the earth again.  It is such a comfort to me - you have no idea how much of a comfort - to know that even something as silly as hair will be in its proper place in that time.  I guess if I can't have hair in this life, I can wait until the next.

January 24, 2014


Yesterday I attended a resiliency training put together by my ward for all of us military spouses.  They do it twice a month and it is such a blessing to have that as such a great resource for those of us dealing with the craziness of military life.  The best part about it is it can help no matter if you're in the military or any other situation in life.  The topic that was addressed yesterday was fear, or as I interpreted it, "facing your fears."

I was really hesitant to go because I knew I was going to be late and then I knew I was going to have to leave early.  I got this prompting to go anyway and I'm so glad I followed that.  I really needed to hear the things the instructor talked about and the things that were discussed with the other ladies in the group.  I feel like I have so many fears rolling around in my head right now that I'm almost numb to what is going on around me.  The hardest part is I don't really know what I'm afraid of.  Maybe it's just the stress of a bunch of little things boiled down to, "I'm going to do it wrong."

On the bright side, the resiliency training really helped me see how all these things I'm fearing aren't really as bad as they seem.  Yes, they can be real and difficult, but I have resources to get me through.

One of my biggest fears right now is whether Brett and I are making the right decision about him getting out of the military this summer.  He has a job lined up, but we still have the option to re-enlist up until his official separation date in July.  On the one hand, if he gets out of the Air Force, he's free to explore job options anywhere he'd like to go if we just don't want to be in Maryland any longer.  There's definitely a lot of pressure to choose that route.  On the other hand, if he re-enlists, there is a lot more job security, but at the expense of being subject to wherever the Air Force wants us to be.  We have some say in where we would like to go, but not much.  In some ways, that's not so bad.

I am constantly running a "pro's and con's" list through my head and I can never come to a clear winner.  I pray and I pray for guidance and clarity, but I still have yet to find peace in either of the options.  Sometimes I think that I have that peaceful feeling with re-enlisting, but then I feel like I have only come to that because it is the "safe" choice, the "comfortable" route to take because we know what to expect if we head down that road.  On the other hand, if that is the right choice, I feel guilty because for so long our plan has been to get out of the military, move back west, and finally be settled in one place.  I feel like we'd be breaking a promise or something.  I don't know who that promise was made to, exactly, but I feel like we'd be letting someone down somehow.

So, that's just one of the fears I'm facing right now.  Maybe I'll write about some others in my attempt to "face them," but for now, any advice or insight into this big one is most welcome.

IMG_5783bw, © AmberWall
(This photo I took a couple of weeks ago seemed fitting for this post for some reason.  I guess the thought of seeing those birds flying through the fog reminded me of what I need to do.  Just keep going and at some point the way will seem clear.)