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This is the puzzle my brother and his family gave us for Christmas. Heath’s mom started working on building the border while she was here. That was about all that happened for quite a while. On Sunday Heath and I started working on it after church. I love early church! With a little bit of obsessive puzzling sessions each day I finished it today.

Heath is a little upset I finished without him. I’m just a little upset that we are missing a piece. I need to check the couches again. That’s where our missing piece was with the last puzzle we did.

Puzzles can be compared to life. There are times when my life looks like a box of puzzle pieces. Total chaos. The potential can be seen among the mess and it’s inspiring to want to put it together.

Putting the pieces of life together is difficult and sometimes feels impossible. I try to fit pieces together that just don’t go. Everything seems like it should work but still those pieces don’t fit. Quite often I believe there are missing pieces. There has to be. What other explanation is there for doing everything right but still finding no success?

This morning I had a moment of clarity. It made me realize that I have been functioning under a cloud for a while without even realizing it. As with a puzzle, I have had my happy moments but overall there has been a general feeling of frustration.

The sun came out on my disposition starting with an email from Gavin’s teachers. Let me give some backstory. I made the decision years ago that Gavin would not attend Outdoor Ed. I don’t consider a weeklong camping trip to the tune of $400 a student to be a once in a lifetime opportunity that must be taken. It’s just me. I told the teachers early on that he wouldn’t be going. Now that it’s about a month away they wanted to know where Gavin would be that week. In their email they gave three options.

  1. go to another class and do “busy” work
  2. stay home and complete an Independent Study Contract
  3. just stay home

They said that doing the contract would not excuse his absences and obviously just keeping him home that week would not excuse his absences. I was a little upset. My negative feelings about the trip intensified. I started to write a piquant post but was too tired to be that angry online! It was time to lie in the bed I had made. So I wrote a chilly response saying that we wanted him to do the contract but were surprised his absences wouldn’t be excused. “It seems as though Outdoor Ed really wasn’t much of an option.”

Within a few minutes of sending the email the teacher responded with a sincere apology for her typo. The contract would excuse his absences. It shouldn’t have mattered that much but I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I know I’m too opinionated when it comes to school, and frankly anything to do with my kids. Mother Bear Syndrome is automatic with me. But I was relieved to know that I could make a choice I felt was right for my family and not be penalized for it. Enter sunshine into my soul!

After driving Parker to school I checked my blood sugar. It was perfect. I thought I was happy before but my heart soared. Yesterday my blood sugars were good too. There is such a difference in how I feel when my blood sugars stay steady and in range. The high and low game is exhausting and irritating. My nurse didn’t make huge changes. Just small tweaks but the results are life changing.

I don’t take credit for the yellow pipes in the puzzle. That was all Heath but I identify with his sense of satisfaction at finally getting those pieces together. Two days of good blood sugars is the equivalent of figuring out that difficult yellow pipe section of the puzzle. He would get a piece in and say, “I tried that piece there before! Why does it finally work now?” Welcome to my life with diabetes. Whatever the reasons are, having those pieces finally fit is an amazing feeling.

Normally I’m not a resolution kind of person but it just felt like a good time to set some goals for myself. On Monday I started studying the Book of Mormon for 30 minutes each day following prayer. So far so good! We have even gotten back into the habit of reading each night with the kids. It’s pretty cool since the boys can read so well now. Gwen reads as much as she can of the chapter headings and the boys take their turns with five verses. It’s hard for me to share the reading with more people but I know it’s good for them in so many ways.

A few weeks ago I declared a family resolution of cleaning the house each Saturday. With my basketball team helping me more of the house is cleaner faster. We have only missed one Saturday. As I was throwing up I thought about how cleaning wasn’t going to happen that day! Other than that sick weekend we have been good.

My life puzzle feels complete. For now anyway. I know there will be another thousand piece puzzle to organize soon. That’s how life works. The puzzle addiction is still strong in me. I may pull out our other thousand piece puzzle of candy and start over. There is something so satisfying about organizing the chaos. It’s probably good for my brain too. Big thanks to Tyson and Deanna for the puzzle! It was fun and I love the life lessons.