Friday, June 8, 2018

It's time to #bereal.

I listened to a podcast this morning that really made me think.
Why do I (am I am sure that I am not alone) expect so much of myself, yet am so forgiving of others for their imperfection?
On this podcast (Beautiful anonymous. If you haven't listened to it, you should) an English woman spoke about how she felt like the pressure to be the "perfect mother" is exhausting. I completely agree! It is something that is thrown at us all the time through social media. Pintrest is the worst. We see people that seem to have it all together. Pictures of their perfect life are all over their blogs, Facebook and Instagram and any other social media site you look at. There seems to be this standard of perfection that most of us will never be able to live up to, yet we all see it and want it or even expect it. It is exhausting to try and fail all.the.time.
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Why can't people be real and stop pretending all the time. None of us are perfect. It's okay to just be mediocre. Guess what, its even okay to fail. It's okay that my children aren't straight A students and that they don't participate in every extra curricular activity there is so they can get scholarships to any school they want. That doesn't make me a bad parent!! I am not a bad parent if my kids make their own dinner most nights because I am too busy studying for my nursing classes to make them dinner. I am not a bad parent if I choose to take some time alone and go for a run because nursing school is stressful. I am not a bad parent if my house is not always clean. I am not a bad parent if I let my kids play video games, or if I don't shelter them from every little thing. The fact is, I am a mother that is doing the best she can and so are you! There should be no judgement for that.
I want realness in my life. I need friends that are not afraid to show the bad stuff sometimes. Here is an example of some of my bad stuff for you.
Nastia moved out a while ago because she doesn't like me and refused to follow the rules we have in our home. She wont talk to me unless she is told to or it makes her look good. She has never liked me despite the 5 years I have spent trying to give her a loving home. She couldn't tell you why she doesn't like me and why she treats me horribly, because her brain damage doesn't allow her to understand why she feels that way. She doesn't even realize that the way she treats me hurts my feelings, despite the amount of times I have tried to teach her that. I hate knowing that someone feels this way about me, but that doesn't change it. It just is. I feel like a constant failure because I couldn't get her to like me. My house is never clean, my laundry frequently goes weeks without being washed (luckily I have a lot of clothes), my neighbors don't talk to me because I no longer attend church, I am struggling to keep my grades where I want them, because school is way harder then I ever thought it would be (and I knew it would be hard). We have a lot of debt (which is a huge stress on it's own) because lets be real, I suck at budgeting. I feel like I am missing my kids lives because of how much I study. Being a wife is hard and I feel like I fail at every aspect of it (luckily for me I married the best man around and he sticks it out). I could go on and on.
I am positive that we all have lists like this. At least I hope I am not the only one. Life sucks sometimes. I put on a brave face, live my life and most people would not know the pain I feel inside. I pretend. I just wish I didn't have to. I wish that it wasn't so socially unacceptable to show that you are hurting or that life is hard. Because, maybe, just maybe there wouldn't be so many deeply depressed people, if we felt like we were not alone in our mediocrity.
Help a mom out. Think about how you represent yourself on your social media platforms. It's great to show successes and share joyous moments. But, maybe put up some not so perfect stuff sometimes as well. A picture of your kids fighting, or your piles of unwashed laundry or dirty dishes. How about a picture of your kids eating cereal for dinner!! But mostly, please just BE REAL. I guarantee there will be people, like me that will thank you for it.

Thursday, July 27, 2017


Change It lyrics

Somethin' gotcha down?
Gotcha chained and bound?
Well break it.
If you built a wall
And you know it needs to fall
Then shake it.
Somethin' that you know
Is damin' up the flow
Tear the damn dam down
Let me explain it...
If you don't take the reins
It's gonna stay the same
Nothin's gonna change
If you don't change it!

Something on your mind
is nagging all the time
Well nix it.

Something in your life
Isn't sitting right
Then fix it.

If you've lost your place
Somethin' in your face
All the do-da day
And you can't name it
That feeling in your gut
That's got you in a rut
You're made of better stuff
And you can change it
Change it!

You don't want your little light to never shine!
Change it!
Turn it up on bright and get your
Goals in line...

Let it shine!
There's a great new world out there
For those who care to claim it
A better day is on the way
But only you can
Change it...

Change it...
You can change
Change it...
Change it...
You can change
You can change it!
Come on and make a change!
Change it...
You can change
You can change it...
You can
Change it!
You can change...
Stand up
Grab a-hold
give everything you've got!
When the road is dark and cold
Walk on...
Fearing not...
Get your life in order!
Clean house and rearrange it!

Rearrange it.
Here we are, we've come so far
Committed now
To tear the damn dam down...
And change it

This song has become my new mantra over the last few months. CHANGE IT!!
That might seem simple to many of you. But, for me, not so much. 
I have felt most of my life that I was stupid and not good enough. Despite being told repeatedly by my husband and friends that that was not the case, there are just some things that are built in. They become your inner CORE beliefs. This is one of mine. Let me explain a little why. 
When I was 15 and in 12th grade at school, I struggled with some health issues. I had to take a few months off school and had some surgery done. When it was time to go back to school I realized I had missed a large amount of preparation work for some very big assignments, that I believed I wouldn't be able to make up, because I was also not the best student. SO I went to my parents and pled my case. I am sure that many 15 year olds would prefer to not have to go to school, I wasn't alone in that wish. But I didn't think it would be so easy! I had been working for a while part time at Safeway, and was told after I had explained how very difficult it would be for me to catch up and how I didn't want to fail (I hate failure), that if I could get more hours at work I didn't have to go back to school! Wahoo a win for the teenager! I was so excited to not have to return to school. I got my full time job and thought life was fabulous.
But as the years went on there has just always been something nagging on my mind and not sitting right. I knew at some point I would need to fix it, CHANGE IT! but I was afraid. Remember I said I hated failure, yep, I still do!

So I took the words of this amazing song to heart because I knew that if I didn't do something to fix it, nothing would change and I would always feel stupid. And with a little encouragement from my friend Samantha (who was also making some life changes) some very motivational words from my brother David (thanks Dave they bought tears!) and my wonderfully supportive husband, I decided to just do it. So I signed up for some online GED (high school equivalency tests) classes to help me study and I just jumped in and set up times for the tests. I really only gave my self about 6 weeks to prepare, which in hindsight was probably not great, but I pushed on. I set goals and I committed. 
There are 4 parts to the test (Language Arts, Math, Science and social studies) that total about 7 hours. I broke it up into 3 weeks. Today I took my last test and I am happy to say that I PASSED!!!  I have a high school diploma. About freaking time. 

Oh, and I thought since I was already in test mode, that I would throw in one more this week. On Tuesday I passed the Kaplan entrance exam for nursing school!! 
I will be starting my BSN September 5th. I am really proud of myself and because 
I sure grabbed a hold and gave it everything I've got, I am hopeful that I just smashed that core belief I had about myself into a million pieces. 

There's a great new world out thereFor those who care to claim it. 
A better day is on the way, 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016


It been a rough week and it's only Wednesday! Okay, its really been a lot longer than a week, but whose counting. 
I wanted to share my light bulb moment (not sure if it was the running I just did that turned my brain on but.....) Maybe if I write it for the world to see it might actually stick.
"Q: What if people are doing the best they can?
A: I'll never know whether people are doing the best they can or not. But when I assume people are, IT MAKES MY LIFE BETTER!"
"Generosity is to assume the best about people. Generosity cannot exist without boundaries.
Generosity is an inherently selfish act, because the life you change first is ALWAYS your own.
Empathy minus boundaries is not empathy.
Compassion without boundaries is not genuine.
Vulnerability without boundaries is not vulnerability.
Boundaries are FRICKIN important!

They are not fake walls. They are not separation, They are not division. THEY ARE RESPECT!

Whats okay and whats not okay.
Boundaries are not easy but they are the key to self love, and the key to treating others with loving kindness. 
 These are the notes I took from a video I watched this morning, of an interview with Brene Brown. If you haven't heard of her look her up. (or click the link above) She is amazing and her research is outstanding. I have read her books and watched training videos before, But I really needed to hear what she had to say today. 

What if people (my daughter) are doing the best they can? What if when she tells me she doesn't care about my feelings, because I'm not her mother, that might actually be the best she can do to protect herself at that moment. But, it shouldn't matter if that is really the case or not. I should just assume she is and then i could and would be more compassionate and empathetic. Which in turn would help me to be happier.  My life, or my outlook on life, would change FIRST. And maybe, with my generosity towards her, hers might also change!
But I most definitely need to set boundaries. I am terrible at this. They are hard. They do feel like walls and separation and division.  But apparently, according to her research, Brene Brown says that I need them :)
My new mantra for this week is this:
B. I. G. 
B - What BOUNDARIES need to be in place,
I - to stay in my INTEGRITY,
G - and make the most GENEROUS assumptions about you. 
Boundaries. Who knew?!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Please Forgive Me

I have been contemplating whether or not I should write these things down, but I decided that I needed to. So here goes.....
I want to start by saying that  I am FULLY aware that I chose this journey. I am also FULLY aware that life is hard for everyone.
That being said I want to apologize to all the people that I may have offended or made to feel like I have pushed aside in the last almost 3 years. It was not my intention to do that. I had no plans, (none of us ever do) to change who I was when we started this path. But life had other plans. I have realized lately that I am not at all the same person I was 3 years ago. There are of course times I see her, but mostly she is gone. Life experiences change us all. This one has changed me and all of my family dramatically. Somethings have changed for the better, others have not.

One of those NOT things is that I know I am not the kind of friend I used to be. Let me explain why that is. Please know I don't say these things as an excuse, just as an explanation.

I live each day paying for the mistakes of others. Adoption is a beautiful thing. But what people forget is that in order for there to be children available for adoption, especially these older children who desperately need families, there first has to be pain, trauma, death, or loss or all of the above.  If life was great for them before, they wouldn't have needed us!
It really is a privilege to parent these girls, and the magnitude of their loss and tragedy is not lost on me. But does it make living each day easier? Maybe it should, but for me, it doesn't.
I am an emotional being. If you know me well you already know this about me. I literally wear my emotions on my sleeve for the whole world to see. That in and of itself can make life hard. I take things and make them personal. For example, I am hurt and sad when I feel like someone doesn't like me. I want to understand why they don't and what can I do to change it.
I am NOT the person that hurt my girls. But, I AM the one that gets punished every day for that hurt. It's not meant. Most of the time it isn't even chosen. It just is.  And while I UNDERSTAND (i read the books and have been to therapy) the reasons for the actions, the emotions I feel because of the anger that is constantly thrown at me, are exhausting. Most of the time feel like my child doesn't like me at all. (remember I told you how I feel about that) Those emotions wear me down mentally and physically. They make it hard to deal with everything and everyone else. They cause me to fight with my husband, they cause the other kids to be angry and fight each other, they cause kids to fail classes at school. They create a viscous cycle that is really hard to break out of.
Throw in some brain damage, (Known as FASD, also caused by someone else), that my poor child doesn't understand but has to try to figure out, causing sever emotional distress, and you might get a small idea about life in our house.
These are the reason that I might not be the kind of friend I used to be. I have withdrawn from a lot of things. I stay in my house. I don't call or message people that maybe I should. I feel alone most of the time. I don't like it, but I am too exhausted to initiate contact and I am too embarrassed to have anyone over to my house because it is a constant mess (one more thing that gets lost in the cycle). I am just trying to survive. I am tired of people asking me how life is, and doing my best to smile and tell them it's great, because I am positive they don't really want to hear about how crappy life really is. I HATE being a Debbie Downer!!!! So I try instead to stay away. This is how I survive.
OF COURSE there are days when life is great. There are many. I promise.
But, there are more lately when it's a struggle to get the kids out the door for school and those same days I'm dreading what it will be like when they come home again.

You're probably asking if I could go back would I do it again? The answer is a resounding yes! I have learned so many things about myself, about what I am capable of and things I very much need to work on. Also I have learned that sometimes the refiners fire isn't just about us. 
I KNOW with all my being that the Lord sent Olena to us so we would in turn find Nastia. He knew we could do this and that these girls are supposed to be here with us. Those are the feelings that keep me going on the terrible days. They have uprooted our lives, mostly mine, but I still know they are supposed to be here.
I am going to continue to fight everyday. I am just asking for some understanding. Please forgive the fact that I am not a good friend. One day I hope to be again. But for now, please overlook it and still be my friend anyway. I have lost many friends that I thought were close friends. I am lonely (and so are my kids) and my family is far away. I need friends even when I am not good at being there for you. I promise I will be again, one day, hopefully soon :). Just don't judge me for having a messy house or if my lawn isn't mowed enough or there are weeds in my garden or toys all over my front lawn or for being the ghetto house and bringing down house prices in the neighborhood or for being late for church every Sunday, or frequently not making it at all. Because there are things going on that you don't understand that we are all trying hard to deal with.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Miss Teen Extraordinaire Pageant

Last night we had the privilege of attending a fantastic event, The Miss Teen Extraordinaire Pageant.

Let me back up a little.
It was two years ago on Wednesday 25th of March that the girls came home to America and became part of our family.
For two years I have tried and tried to get Nastia to want to participate in something. She has tried track and hated it. She tried gymnastics and hated it. She tried to  play guitar and hated it. Each of these things she quit before she could perform for us or even show us what she had learned.
I understand the reasons for her not wanting to do these things. But a a parent it is sad for me to watch her just give up every time and not try to keep going. We have wanted her to feel good about herself and find something she loves to do. Find a group of people that she connects with and show us who she is and especially show herself what she can be. I believe that for the most part our other kids have started to do that.
So when this opportunity came to us, I thought it would be a fabulous way for Nastia to feel special.
But let me tell you how it went :)
Nastia came home from school and showed me a note she was given at school. I asked her if she knew what I was signing. She didn't, so I explained to her that it was for a pageant. I then explained to her what a pageant was and what she would need to do if she participated in it. (I explained it was completely optional and in fact it was limited to only 15 girls and they could come from all over the south of our county.) She flat our refused to participate! Shocked? Neither was I :)
I tried to talk to her some more about it and told he how much fun it would be and that her best friend Jenny (a cute girl with down syndrome from her class) has done it for a few years and love it. She expressed that she didn't think she had any talents and when I gave her some ideas of things to do she just said no. So I left it alone (I try to pick my battles).
A week later she came to me again an asked if I had signed the paper. I explained again that she would have to be on stage and perform in some way and this time she wasn't sure for a minute, she thought and made comments and then said no again. Again I left it alone. But I kept feeling like I should just make her do it.
So a few days later my neighbor and friend Maddy (She and her fantastic Daughter Whitney run the pageant) came to my house to tell Miranda of a dream she had had of her performing at the cultural festival (another story!). I decided to just ask if there were any open spots and if Nastia could possibly participate. We were told that a couple of girls had just dropped out so there was a spot available. So I just decided to sign her up right then and deal with the consequences of that choice later. Did I have to deal with it, Yes I did, and YES I WILL (after). But as you will see from the pictures. It was so worth it!!!!
this is there opening number. They danced to Shake it off by Taylor Swift.

Nastia is on the far left.

Nastia doing her talent

She sang a Russian song

Being escorted out by Colton

Some of the other girls waiting to get their awards (Jenny Nastias friend is in the Red)

Award for Miss Enchanting!!

Girls from the ward that came.

At the end!

My great friend Raychellene who loaned us Nastias dresses for the evening.

We were all very proud of Nastia

Our other family member Robyn came as well!!

Almost fell.

Some peer tutors and friends from school.

Heading home with crown and sash.
Let me quickly express my gratitude to Whitney Talbert and her Mom Maddy Talbert for putting this fantastic event together.
Without people like you, there wouldn't be a place for these fantastic young ladies to be able to share with us their talents, joy of life, amazing personalities and beautiful spirits. They are an absolute joy to be around and you can't help but fall in love with them. You have given them an opportunity to show the world that they are more than their disabilities. That is a truly amazing gift.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing my daughter to show us all (especially our family) her contagious smile and personality that she usually hides away behind her past traumas. We knew it was in there! Thank you for giving her a place to shine and to feel accepted for the person she is. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

PS: if you missed it. Come next year. You will NOT regret it.  :)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Life Is Too Short To Wait

Life takes the strangest twists and turns, and I am just along for the ride.
I have been thinking about this post for many days and just wasn't exactly sure how to write it.
So I just decided to jump in.

No nothing untoward has happened, I have just so many thoughts floating around in my head I needed to find a way to express them.

Last week, one week exactly ago, I had the privilege of participating (watching), through the magic and power of fabulous technology, the funeral of Jeremy Bear, which took place in Australia. Jeremy is the brother of some of my closest, dearest friends and also someone I have known, because of my friendships with his family, since I was a teenager. I obviously wasn't as close to him as many others were but I was still extremely saddened as I followed his journey battling melanoma cancer. Jeremy was a fantastic guy. He was someone that touched many peoples lives with his kind heart and gentle manner. He was a wonderful husband to his beautiful wife and a fantastic father to his 3 adorable kids.I was touched by the many beautiful things that were said about him during the funeral by his family and close friends. It made me think. 
I have pondered many things. The reasons we are here, why the Lord would call back someone with a young family that needs him and why we, all of us, need to suffer though such sadness?
I am sure each of us could come up with all kinds of answers to questions like these. The fact is, none of us really know the answers. I have things I believe, and you may share those beliefs or even understand them differently to me, or you may believe something entirely different. It doesn't really matter. What matters is what we take from situations like this. What can we learn to do better.
Here is what I took from the sadness of losing Jezz and his example to me.

Family is the most important thing there is.
In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller "Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
I believe we all get caught up in our own very fast paced life and we do miss what is going on around us.
I live in a place I love. Mike and I have been so blessed to be able to create for our family a wonderful life. I believe with everything I am, that this is where we are supposed to be living. I know that if we weren't here, we wouldn't have the girls with us. And I know they are supposed to be here with us!
But, living here in America means not getting to be a a part of life with my side of the family. Mike has a great family, that I love. I couldn't imagine our life without them in it.
But he, through circumstance, is an only child and his father passed away 10 years ago. While he has extended family who are fantastic, we only get to see them for large family gatherings, which sadly only happen occasionally. His mom is the only family that we get to spend time with on a regular basis. We all love to see Grandma. She is fantastic and there is nothing like spending time with people that love you no matter what.
My family is big. 10 kids. 7 of us are married and my parents have 26 grand children (including my 6) That is a lot of family that my kids are missing out on.
It was that thought that spurred my decision to JUST DO IT! You've all heard that nike slogan before. I used to just do it, all the time. But as a parent with bills and the every day living of life, I have stopped just doing it, for fear that I might do it wrong. I might make a choice that I will later regret. I especially feel that way when the decisions are about spending money, a lot of money.
But after Jezz passed away, and before, when I saw his brother and sister in law, do everything they could to get over to Australia to spend just a little more time with him before he passed, and then watched the videos of the time they had there and the enjoyment that came from it, I realized something.
I realized that it shouldn't be about all the other things I could spend that kind of money on (because believe me there are a lot of things) it should be about the experience of my kids getting to know my family, or for some of them, getting to meet them for the first time.
It should be only about the memories that they will get to make with their family.
It should be about the TIME that they will get to spend together, because none of us know exactly how long we have here.
We shouldn't waste a second of it worrying about how much it costs.
We should worry about what memories are we making with our kids, because in the end that is all we have when we die. Memories of time spent together.

So I say, just do it. Live like you are dying. Do the things that make you happy. Visit the place that you have always wanted to go. Make memories. Life is much to short.

So THANK YOU Jezz for your example.
For giving me the push I needed to JUST DO IT! 

I am so excited for us (all 8 of us) to get on that plane and make the trip and some fabulous memories. 10 years is too long.

                                                   AUSTRALIA HERE WE COME! 

                                                                    So you better
                                                                      Watch out ;)

Friday, February 13, 2015

A Small Look Into My Soul Today

This post is written for me, and it's long. Feel free to keep reading but please know that this is more like a look into my soul than a blog post about my family. I am not asking for anything, I just needed to write it down. Here is just where it ended up. So be warned :)

I had a little epiphany last night. I had had another fight with Nastia about food (it's a very frequent occurrence these days) and I left the house, after much yelling and a broken bowl, in a bad mood. I know, not the best parenting choice, but I am only human and sometimes I snap.

I left with no place really to go. I don't have family around and I hate to just drop by someones house in the state I was in. So I drove and ended up at the Payson Temple and just sat there. I sat and looked at it and cried. I cried at the emptiness I felt. I cried for the loss of myself. I cried for the constant battle I feel like I am in. I cried for my kids and the turmoil they seem to always be involved in. I cried for Nastia and for the battle and struggle and loss she feels with me and herself at all times. I cried and prayed for help. I begged for help from my Father in Heaven, for strength to continue down this path that he put us on. I prayed for guidance. For the best way to help my struggling angry sad special needs daughter. I prayed for the faith that I know I need to keep going, but that is slowly disappearing.

As I sat there I felt alone and empty. I felt unsure if my family would or could continue to survive this roller coaster we have been on for 2 years. I continued to stare at the Temple and tried to recall the feelings of overwhelming joy that I felt when we were sealed to our daughters. I tried to remember the promises given to us in that building. I tried to find my testimony that feels like it is leaving me. But, I struggled. I thought about all the people that have much greater struggles in life than I do. I thought of my friends brother that is losing his battle with cancer and leaving behind a young family. I thought about my sister in law that is currently going through a very painful treatment for a disease that has left her unable to speak or move well. I thought about their strength and faith through each of their journeys and felt guilty for my minor uncomfortableness.

But then I listened to a few conference talks and a song. 
I wanted to share with you the answer I received while I was crying in the night in front of the temple.
Elder L.Tom Perry quoted this scripture in one of his talks and it stood out to me.
“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall” (Helaman 5:12). 

Then President Dieter F Uchtdorf said this:
"Does the Spirit of God dwell in your hearts? Are you “rooted and grounded” in the love of God and of your fellowmen? Do you devote sufficient time and creativity to bringing happiness to your marriage and family? Do you give your energies to the sublime goal of comprehending and living “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height”9 of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ?"

 And again in another talk he said this
"We were created with the express purpose and potential of experiencing a fulness of joy. 4 Our birthright—and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth—is to seek and experience eternal happiness. One of the ways we find this is by creating things.
If you are a mother, you participate with God in His work of creation—not only by providing physical bodies for your children but also by teaching and nurturing them.

You may think you don’t have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us. 5 The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.
What you create doesn’t have to be perfect. So what if the eggs are greasy or the toast is burned? Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside.
 If you still feel incapable of creating, start small. Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify it."

Then I found this beautiful talk given by Sister Hilarie Cole from the West Jordan Utah Stake, in April 1995. It is a short talk so if you get a moment you should listen to her give it.
"We are all different. Each of us has been given talents as well as challenges. Some of us may have physical or mental limitations; others may be lonely or come from homes that do not teach gospel principles. Because Heavenly Father loves each of us, he has provided us with a source of comfort and strength—the scriptures.
I had a desire to gain a personal testimony of the power and truthfulness of the scriptures.
But that did not happen easily. Because of my learning disability, it was hard to read the words and even more difficult to understand them. I often felt embarrassed and frustrated. I didn’t like to go to Young Women because I felt inadequate. I was afraid I might be called on to read. I felt more comfortable with my family, but I continued to feel frustrated.

I prayed for help and I found this scripture. Moroni 7:33, I will share with you my answer: “And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.”
What a wonderful promise! If I would put my faith in the Lord, he would help me. He would help me to understand the scriptures. This was the key for me. One verse at a time, one day at a time, I began to understand. Even my schoolwork improved. The Book of Mormon got me through high school. I still have my learning disability and face challenges every day, but daily scripture study reminds me to have faith in my Heavenly Father.

No matter where you live or what kind of family you come from, Heavenly Father loves you and will be there to help and strengthen you whenever you need him. I know this because he has been there for me". 

I highlighted some of the points that really stood out to me. And, the point that kept coming to me was that I NEED to put my faith in the lord. I need to make sure that I am grounded, and have a sure foundation in him and his gospel. President Uchtdorf asked "DO you give your energies to the sublime goal of comprehending and living “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height”9 of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ?" Sister Cole said if I put my faith in the Lord he will help me. And President Uchtdorf reminded me that I should not let my own voice of criticism paralyze me. 

My challenges are just as important to my Heavenly Father as anyone elses. The atonement does apply to me.  If I build my foundation in Christ the winds of the devil (my trials and challenges) will not be able to drag me down into despair. He will be there and help strengthen me when I need him. And he was, last night.
I am still struggling. I am still exhausted in every way possible. My bucket is still empty and has been kicked down the street. This answer doesn't change that right now, But, I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for giving me a way to find my bucket and add a little to it each day. 
I need to remember to put my faith in him. To read my scriptures, say my prayers, attend the Temple and do the basic things we are taught to do. I have been so tired lately I have allowed those things, and therefore my foundation in Christ, to slip.
This song really brought it home for me last night. Please listen to it.
 I know these things, but somehow I have allowed myself to forget them. But my Heavenly Father really does know me. I am at a different place than you are on your journey. I may have even fallen back a little from where I was, even a year ago. But, I know I can find his peace again. I don't have to feel alone and afraid anymore. He is with me. I have to let some things go, and I have to allow him to lead me again. I have felt that burning so many times in my life and I know he is leading me along my journey. No, he is carrying my along my journey. With his help I know I cannot fail.