The Secret to Changing Pants

In life, we wear all sorts of different pants.  When we are happy, happy pants, when we are angry, grumpy pants, and when we make most of the decisions in a relationship, we just wear the pants.  As we grow up, we wear all sorts of pants and we change them yearly, monthly, daily, and if we are super dirty or play several roles, hourly.  We change pants due to style, growth, comfort, or occasion. 

Here is the story of my changing pants.  I have worn so many pants in my life.  So many, even, that my mother made a twin sized quilt made up of all my jeans from over the years.  As a kid, jeans, sweatpants, and pajamas were about all that I owned.  I didn’t play sports so athletic clothes were not necessary because my role was only as a student and a daughter. I woke up, did went to school, came home, went to my music lessons, and then came home again, did my homework, went to bed, and did it all again.  My goodwill jeans were good enough.  Once I got to high school, however, everything changed.  Style played a big role in what I wore to school and my sports decided what I wore afterwards.  Leggings and a t-shirt were considered comfy, casual, and cute, but it was not appropriate according to my parent’s standards.  I was tired of wearing baggy jeans to school and I wanted to fit in so I usually wore my athletic pants.

When high school was over, it was time for me to REALLY change my pants.  I decided to go and serve my year and a half mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints which meant that my pants were gone out and my skirts were in.  While serving in California’s summer, skirts were amazing because they let my legs breathe while still staying modest and appropriate in that heat.  I did, however, wish for pants when I went lemon picking.  I expected to continue wearing these skirts for at least another year when my health issues first settled in.  I remember curled up on the floor right before being taken to the hospital when my skirt turned to hospital gown.

Going from wearing religious clothing to almost no clothing for an entire week felt strange as I was sure I was breaking some sort of rule, but my mission president’s wife just looked at me with love and pity.  My work was not over.  I had to cover up my hospital gown, grab my saline drip, and go to the conference room for a district meeting.  It was not pants time, yet.

It wasn’t until after my surgery and I was not healing right, that I finally got the go ahead to wear pants again.  A fellow sister missionary even gave me a loose pair of her pants to wear while the scars on my belly healed.  Little did she know; I would still need those pants even 4 years later.  As soon as I got home, I was expected to wear jeans again, but my incisions were not yet healed and the belt and buckle really hurt the freshly cut into skin so I switched to leggings (or as Jayson calls them, stretchy pants).  These were a perfect fit because they went along with long baggy shirts which also did not rub or irritate my scars.  I expected this pants role to be a short period, but I found myself back in the hospital gown not even 6 months later and after my third surgery, I accepted the elastics were my new friend.

Now that my health is finally improving, I find myself wanting to wear pants for fashion again.  While my 7 scars still prevent me from wearing jeans daily, I want to find some pants that have elastics, but also have some style to them.  I still wear leggings during my daily yoga practice, but I need something for in between.  A lot of the fashionable and easy on my belly pants are pretty pricey, though.  I have been able to find awesome, cozy, and cute pants on a budget!

My awesome new pair from Harem Pants!

This is the role of my pants today and I know that as I graduate, my pants will have to become more professional in my teaching, and casual again to wear as my mother pants.  I cannot wait to see what I’ll be wearing even next year!

Just Another Cyst

The topic of women and women’s health, especially in today’s world, seems like such a sensitive topic. Living in a conservative household, feminine products were hidden and when we shopped for bras, we always put them under something else in the cart so no one saw them. When it came to feminine health, we girls were encouraged to keep clean and that was about it,


When I was sixteen years old, I started to feel this sharp pain in my lower right abdomen. Not thinking or knowing any better, I immediately thought it was my appendix. So, my mother and I rushed to the ER thinking I would be needing surgery that night. However, after 8 hours of CT scans and ultrasounds, the doctors discovered what is called a simple cyst. Little did I know that my whole life was about to change.

Ever since I was 12, whenever I had a rough day or I had a cramp, someone would always ask, “that time of month, eh?” Now, I know they were not meaning any harm, however, when you have a cyst on your ovary, “that time of month” is all month, every month. My cysts typically form during ovulation, sit and hang out for a solid week and a half to two weeks, and then finally burst during the first couple days of my period. The pain is constant and my hormones and emotions are always changing. How does a woman, who already has so many expectations to be absolutely perfect and collected 24/7, manage it? Truth is, she doesn’t. These cysts really lower her’s quality of life and all she wants to do is curl up in the fetal position and sleep.

I was lucky and, for the first 4 years after finding the first cyst, I was able to get rid of these them through hormonal treatment, birth control pills. However, just as I was at the peak of all of my other health issues, those hormonal treatments stopped working. Just like that, what little motivation I had disappeared. I found it almost impossible to get out of bed and go to campus for class. I failed a class for the first time ever and I was not living. For an entire year, my doctor had me try 4 different birth control pills (imagine that hormonal roller coaster!) with the hope that they would help, but they did not. In December of 2017, I had my right ovary removed.

I was devastated.

My hormones were all out of balance. I remember staring at my dog and resenting her because she had more ovaries than I. It was a long, difficult healing process, but it was during this healing that I found yoga. I had an entire year to start and solidify my practice before I started showing symptoms of cysts on my remaining ovary. My heart broke as I felt that pressure pulsing on my left side, but this time, I refuse to let it get the best of me.

Women’s health is complicated and controversial, but it is real and I choose to not let it slow me down. I use my yoga practice, essential oils, heat pad, supplements, and when those are not enough, I use my ability to rest and my village filled with supportive loved ones. In my yoga classes, I am told to acknowledge the things happening around me, but then move on without letting it change my energy. So I acknowledge my cysts and I continue on. I still write, I still practice my yoga, and I still do my school work, but when I need to, I acknowledge my body’s needs and I rest and trust my body to do what it needs to.

Our bodies are SO beautiful!

Living with something that will always be there is sometimes scary and daunting, but we have beautiful bodies and as long as we take care of them, at the end of the day, they are still there for us and they are perfect in their own way. We got this ladies!

Not New, Just Focused

Before I started even thinking about the idea of writing, I would always tell myself how I am finding and creating a new me. I felt that my past weaknesses are my current strengths and that my new mindset has turned me into someone completely different.

However, my sister brought something to my attention. I am not new, I am just more focused than before. She told me that I am the same Anna she grew up with, but I have taken those skills, people skills for example, and focused them in a different way. I found that interesting because as I have grown up, gotten married, and moved out, I found myself having relationships and conversations with people I never thought I would in the past. I have always had those communication skills, but now, as I am more focused, I am channeling those skills to benefit myself and others.

I found this also applies to my body image. Over the past year and a half, I have focused a lot of my active time towards yoga and meditation. As I have done this, I have found myself loving my body more and more. An amazing yoga instructor who I follow on YouTube, Yoga With Adriene, always instructs us to kiss our body. For example, when doing a forward fold, she prompts us to kiss our knees. I felt so silly doing it, at first, but as I have continued to practice this act of self love, I see my insecurities melting away. Instead of thinking, look at my belly, I wish it didn’t look this way, I think, look at this new yoga flow I learned and I am so proud of myself for being able to do it!

I am in the same body and I have my same personality, but I have focused it on good things. Looking at my focused self, I think, wow, I have completely changed! But that is not it, I am not different, just better and more in tune.

One Bead at a Time

Over the past few weeks, I have found this need to create. I have started a yoga journal, I have started to make my own face lotions and other self care supplies, but my most exciting new beginning is my new love for crafts!

Growing up, my mother, sisters and I would all sit down, on Sunday evenings, and my mother would try and teach us how to crochet and knit. Being a home maker was extremely important in our family and learning these skills was considered something fun. However, my patience was short and not developed yet so my crocheting experience only lasted about as long as it takes to make a slip knot and put the yarn on the hook.

I always found myself dismissing any thoughts or ideas regarding crafts or home making until I found my muse in California. My husband has and amazing friend out in Granite Bay who has taught herself just about anything you could possibly need to know about making things yourself. She makes headbands, juices, nut milk, and even grows her own mushrooms! And even if she doesn’t know how to do it, she will look it up and figure it out! Staying with her for just a few days was all I needed to get my creative juices flowing!

One of my more recent interests has been making home made bracelets. As I put each bead on the string, I think of how every day and every experience is a new bead on our own necklace or bracelet of life. Some are dark, some are light, some accent others, and some just stand out! I love staying busy with my hands, AND I get to create something! It also gives me something to share!

My whole life, I have compared myself to others and thought that I was not good enough, but even just this week, I sent a friend a picture of one of my bracelets and she responded and said “I want one!” I just thought, “what? you like what I made so much, you want one?” How could someone like something I made? That is when I learned to stop doubting myself so much! If I want to write, I will write! And if I want to create, I will create! Chances are, someone will like what you do because we are all unique and creative beings. And if they don’t like it, who cares! You are beautiful for just being yourself!

Take that

Growing up, I was shy and unmotivated.  I grew up in an abusive and toxic environment and I was introduced to death at a young age.  I spent most of my time trying not to get in anyone’s way and I did not accomplish much. However, when I was 19 years old, I started to get very sick.  In 3 years, I needed 3 surgeries and 2 organs removed. I had since moved out of my childhood home and I was alone. While I was sick and weak, I was able to grow into the woman I wanted to be and move across the country, away from my demons. I believe that who I am today is my greatest accomplishment because now I am a wife, a full-time worker, and a successful student. I am who my abusers never wanted me to be

Hallo, Hola, Hello

I have always considered myself very well rounded. I grew up in a bilingual home. While my parents did not speak the language, my sisters and I took pride in being some of the best German speakers in school. When I was 19 years old I was called on an LDS mission to California where I learned Spanish. This was yet another thing I could take pride in. Not many people in the United States are multilingual.

However, I found myself becoming a jack of all trades and a master of none, so I really put my efforts into my Spanish studies. As I did so, I found myself losing my German speaking skills and, coming from a predominantly Germany family, losing my identity.

My identity has been something I have been trying to find ever since I got married. How does a woman go from a life where tradition and religion defines her to being a married woman across the country from everything she knows? The Spanish language has helped me to find that identity. Through Spanish and Latin American culture, I have found my love for speaking, writing, and teaching. The well rounded self I thought I was 4 years ago seems like just a child compared to how much I have learned and read through my language studies.

While Germany and the German language is very important globally, locally and nationally, the Spanish language and the Latin American population is something that is addressed daily. I will always have a place in my heart for my German roots, but that topic will have to be something I have to outgrow and move on from as I continue to master the Spanish language through literature, music, and relationships.

And it begins

Thanks for joining me as I start this new part of my journey.  I am so grateful to have this opportunity to write about my journey and document my growth.  I hope that I am able to help someone through my experiences.  This world is getting more crazy every day and it is easy to find hate and negativity. I hope my blog can be a light in your day as these writings and experiences are all happening on my way to finding my own enlightenment.  Thank you

”Let man lift himself by himself, let him not lower himself; his self alone is his friend, his self alone is his enemy.

– Vyasa


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