Monday, August 23, 2010

Hold My Heart

I am always thinking about hearts! So it's no surprise that lately I've been wondering about what it takes to hold somebody else's heart of for me to let someone hold my heart. I consider it a honor when someone lets me hold their heart or at least attempt. There is something almost sacred about those moments.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Invisible Clubs

The other day a co-worker of mine was zoning out and I recognized that look all too well. One of the boys at the RTC said some comment to him to which he replied, "No, I was just thinking about my sister."

His sister had just recently been killed in a car accident on her way to come see my co-workers new born baby. He had to return to work too early b/c he is the only one working in his family and didn't want to lose his job.

I looked over at him and the sadness that seemed to cling to him and I was terribly saddened that he was now part of the club. The club that is exclusive only to siblings who have had a brother or sister die. This is one of the invisible clubs, a club you never thought you would be a part of, and you never want anyone else to join. And yet since I've become a member of this invisible club my hear aches at how many people have involuntarily joined.

Today I woke up with a headache and laid in bed for a long time hoping and praying it wouldn't turn into a migraine. I get headaches a lot since I moved to Arizona and somehow I became a part of the invisible migraine club. I hate this club! I get so angry at my head when I have migraines b/c I have no control of my body. I sometimes go blind in one eye, I almost always get nauseous and puke, and most of the time I lose hours of my day. When I first stared getting migraines I did a lot of research and post on Facebook etc and was amazed at how many people I knew were also part of the invisible migraine club. It's awful to think that your pain is shared by so many.

There are good invisible clubs also such as my love of writing club, my old school appreciation of great jazz music club, and many more. These invisible clubs connect people through their pain or their passions. When you meet someone who belongs to you club you can almost instantly connect to them. In my good invisible clubs I love to collect members and I can relate to them as like-minded people. In my never-wanted-to-be-a-part-of-you invisible clubs it is almost painful when I meet people who belong to the club.

In my sorrow and in my happiness I am so grateful for my human connections to others!

In what invisible clubs do you belong?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Do you think that some relationships run their course?

I have been wondering if sometimes people are brought into our lives or we are brought into their lives for a very specific reason or purpose. Then when that purpose or reason comes full circle the rest is up to us. I wonder if sometimes it runs its course and we just prolong those relationships. Maybe we hold on longer than was ever needed or intended--maybe our human emotions or feeling cloud the real reason we were connected in the first place. Maybe we need to let go or asked to be released?

What do you think?

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Difference a Day Makes

Today I went to work and I loved every minute of it! The kids were fun to be around and the activity for the afternoon was roller skating. I spent the majority of the time teaching and helping the cutest 5 yr old and 4 yr old how to roller skate. I don't think I stopped smiling all day. This might sound cheesy but when you contrast it with day job yesterday it almost seemed magical!

Enter how yesterday played out...

This summer I started working at Residential Treatment Center (RTC) where kids come who are on their last chances. These kids are coming from the "system" or from jail. They have behavior (bx) issues or mental health issues. I am what's called a Direct Care Professional aka DCP. In other words I work directly with the kids, help them to program, go to school, etc.

I should have know that Friday the 13th would not be a good day at work but I had no idea what was about to happen. This week I'm what's called a "Float". This means I'm not assigned a dorm or a classroom. I take kids from place to place, from class to nursing for their meds, run errands, and most importantly I help keep the kids safe. If there is a restraint or AWOL I am there to assist in any way. Being the float can be nice at times but not yesterday!

I started off my shift by talking to one of my co-workers who had just returned to work after a few days. He and his girlfriend had recently had a baby. My co-workers sister (25) was driving out to see his baby when she was hit and killed by a car. He had spent the last few days planning her funeral and being strong for everyone else in his family. I've thought about him lately and wanted him to know he was in my thoughts and prayers. Then the day began as usual...

As a staff we had just transitioned the kids to their classrooms around 8:30 am. I was sitting in the courtyard outside the "comfort room" (seclusion-padded walled-room) trying to get kids to go to class. Mind you it was already around 112 degrees outside so I was already sweating. After about 15 minutes of school one of our boys runs out of class climbs the fence and somehow gets onto the roof. This is a problem. This is an even bigger problem b/c he is on suicide watch. So long story short he is talked into coming down and we all think that will be the highlight ( or lowlight) of the day--boy were we wrong.

Next came the 4 AWOLS, 2 that actually left the grounds, and 2 that attempted but failed (there would be 9 more AWOL attempts before my shift ended). Again the temperature was around 115 at this point in the day so you can imagine how hot it was for the staff and kids. While all this was going I was involved in a restraint of a girl, then another girl found kid scissors and cut her arm, all at the same time. So once I was out of the restraint, I started handing out gloves to staff, keeping my eye on other kids and so forth. At that point we had 7 staff in the school courtyard.

By the time the end of my shift rolled (3:00 pm) around I might as well have been showering in my sweat! I was exhausted, caught off guard by all the commotion, and relieved that I would be leaving soon. I had definitely earn my money's worth for the day (and then some).

The silver lining to my day happen later that night when I was contrasting my life (and some of my current hardships) with the lives of the kids I work with and I truly couldn't complain! The Lord has blessed me immensely. My best friend came over, we chatted, and then I talked to him about my life, he talked to me about his life, and in the end I was so grateful for his listening ears and heart. I went to bed feeling renewed. I chanted to myself, "tomorrow is a new day!"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

An Open Letter to...A Deceased Person I Wish I Could Talk To

Dear Leland Grant (Gus) Shields--aka Grandpa-

I sometimes just want to go to your house and see you sitting in your chair in the living room watching BYU and laughing. I miss you at random times and during different situations.

I was playing with Eden the other day, Chelsea's beautiful baby girl, and I was doing "A Mouse Looking For A House" and suddenly I miss you. So I continued singing to her and was a little sad that she never got to meet you.

I remember wanting to read you letters so bad when It became my turn to be a missionary but you weren't alive to write to me and I was sad for that missed opportunity.

Sometimes when I'm around all the family I just miss you and your jokes. Sometimes when I do something silly I say, "Way to go Leland" just like you used to do.

Basically I just want you to know you are missed, you are loved, and you have quite the legacy!

I love you grandpa and can't wait to see you and Grant again someday!

Love Lots, Kylee

Monday, August 09, 2010


Lately I've been thinking a lot about friendships. They are so unique because they aren't like any other kind of relationship. They aren't family and they aren't your girlfriend/boyfriend. Yet, it would seem, at times they are the keepers of your heart, the ones who hold your tears, share your dreams, and the people you who make you who you are. They are the ones you live with, cry with, laugh with, and sometimes struggle with.

There is time when you've been friends for so long that you forget how you met or that it even matters and you can't seem to remember a time when you weren't in each others lives. It's then your realize you are lucky. You have the real deal.

And then there's that moment when you meet someone fantastic and you know you want to become their friend--it's just a matter of when and how! I lOVE that feeling. I love getting to know someone new, tapping into their soul, attempting to see the world through their eyes even if just for a moment.

There's also the friends that you hang around so much you might take them for granted except for every now and again you step back and realize you are so blessed to have them in your life. When they introduce you as their friend you still get chills. They are the ones you just might trust enough to let down your guard. They just might get to hold your tears. They may get to see you at your worst and best moments. And if you are lucky enough they will feel the same way towards you!

I am constantly amazed at how blessed I have been in my life for such amazing friends. If ever I wonder if God loves me all I have to do is look around at the wicked awesome friends He's placed in my life at the perfect time to know the answer.

So to all my friends, in all your arrays, know that I am grateful for your imprints and impressions on my heart. I am a better and more whole person as a result of your friendship!

Sunday, August 08, 2010

An Incredible Journey out of Broken Dreams

I was having a conversation with my new (she is gorgeous) roommate the other day about life. Okay, honestly I was dumping on her-which I try to avoid like the plague-but she was a great listener. In the middle of our conversation she was saying that she felt inadequate in her life compared to mine. She listed things she knew I'd done or accomplished and then compared them to her life (she's 4 years younger than I). I sat there for a moment and then I shared with her something I don't think I share enough and maybe haven't ever shared on this blog. So here I go...

Most of my amazing travels, accomplishments, goals I've reached etc. have happened over the last 5 years of my life. Most of my friends since I started this blog in 2006 only know the "Make it Happen" me. The Kylee who moved across the country, started traveling, writing a book, and so forth. They don't know the me that existed before I moved to Boston.

I think I've always been ambitious (it runs in the fam) but there was a time (2005) when I had graduated from college, didn't get hired as a seminary teacher, didn't know what to do with my life, and I wasn't married. In essence my plan had failed and I didn't know what to do. I had always thought by the time I was 25 I would be at least married if not married with a child. I was at a loss of what to do. From my broken dreams/plans came my desire to not "hang out" in life and make things happen.

So basically what I saying is I started going places and doing things not out of a sense of how "cool" of a person I am but out of sense of necessity. My dreams/plans/hopes had been unrealized and it became imperative to make new plans. Thus my life motto: Make it Happen was born.

I still want to get married, have kids, and spend my day using my cultivated talents and skills raising my kids and building the kingdom but in the meantime I'm going to go out and do my darndest to rock the boat and make things happen in my life

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Drowning Impact Awareness Month (AZ)

August in Arizona is Drowning Impact Awareness Month I'm very excited to share with you what this means and why I LOVE it! To me the topic of kids drowning is very personal as my brother drowned at the age of 15 and irrevocable changed my life forever.

I believe in understanding the impact of drownings and more importantly have to prevent them in the future. I am tired of hearing tragedies that may have been prevented with a little more information and awareness of drowning. I will be wearing a purple ribbon all month and invite any who wants to join me!

Below is the Press Release about this much needed Awareness Month:

Arizona Unites to Wear Purple Ribbons and Prevent Child Drownings

“Drowning Impact Awareness Month” is Arizona’s Most Unified Prevention Effort

PHOENIX, Ariz. (July 21, 2010) – The numbers are grim: between 2000 and 2007, 243 Arizona children drowned. Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death for all children in Arizona between 2000 and 2007, and top cause for children between one and five. To date this year in Maricopa County alone, nine of the 55 children involved in water-related incidents have died.

Going into August, the risk is likely to increase. Scorching weather and the changes in routine that come with back-to-school can cause distraction for parents. And in as little as four to six minutes under water, significant neurological injury can occur to a child.
But, Arizona is a state of resourceful and determined citizens – it takes toughness to live in 115 degree weather, after all. And a simple, tiny purple ribbon is a symbol of our resilience and determination.

Arizonans unite this August, with the Seventh Annual “Drowning Impact Awareness Month” effort. The statewide purple ribbon campaign encourages awareness and action, and is coordinated by Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

This year, the campaign will include: ␣
--More than 40,000 purple ribbons already distributed to supporters statewide.
--Formal proclamations signed by Governor Brewer and Mayors across the state, many presented at local Council meetings.
--More than 1,153 purple ribbons tied in the trees in front of Phoenix Children’s Hospital, to represent the number of children involved in water related incidents in Maricopa County since January of 2000.
--Banners and signs, donated and produced by SRP Safety Connection, hanging in public safety
buildings, libraries, La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries stores, and YMCA’s throughout Maricopa County.
--Involvement, support and educational events from businesses, schools, and the Drowning
Prevention Coalition of Arizona.