Thursday, July 30, 2009

aah...the pain only my enemies should know...

My dear hubby is in pain. (read carefully...I didn't say he was a pain). He has something wrong with his back. I'll spare you all the details, cause we don't really have any. All I can say is that he has had a place in his back that has given him grief for a few years. In the last few months it has gotten progressively worse. The doctor put him on muscle relaxants and then it got really bad. Last night we ended up in the ER. Cause being able to breathe is good...and that pain was making him hold his breath a lot. And that's not good. And he was starting to scare bubba with his groans.

Thankfully we have a new hospital close to home, and after a short, yet excruciating car ride in which I tried to coach my husband in some male form of lamaze breathing, we made it. First of all, we needed to go through case we needed to catch a quick flight out of there apparently...and I kept making the thing beep. That never happens to me at the real airports. I took off my watch. beep. Took off my bracelet and rings. beeeeep. My poor hubby is standing there in pain waiting for me...take off my wedding rings. beeeep. The man working there (who could have thought of this earlier) said that it was probably my shoes. Well, duh, I always take those off at the non-hospital airports. I think he wanted an excuse to wand me. Cause he did wand me. I guess it gets boring in the emergency room security business. Finally we got through and before long hubby was in some sort of vinyl recliner in a triage room.

That's when we met our nurse. She was nice enough and sarcastic and sort of funny (at least she thought so). She thought joking about everything was a nice way to build pateint rapport...which would be true if laughing didn't make the patient see stars! She also liked to complain in the name of humor and made lots of jokes about her glamorous job. "I'm going to check your urine now...cause it's what I live for. Highlight of my day." She told us stories. My favorite was the one about what her kidney stone sounded like when it clinked in the toilet as she passed it (not kidding at all here). We feel so close to her now. I shouldn't have been surprised when I learned we shared a common New York heritage...we sure can be a charming bunch.

I thankfully don't have a lot of emergency room experience (unless you count multiple trips into the hospital for preterm labor, but that's another story altogether) so I wasn't sure what to expect. Overall it was a pretty calm place. In fact they were awfully calm while my husband was in pain! I know it's normal life for them...but what amazed me is that they totally didn't react or seem to notice when he groaned or yelled out in pain. Didn't mention it. Didn't hurry.

I just wanted them to give him some sort of very strong drugs. We could chat later. Do you not notice him yelling out in pain? Finally, they gave him a mix of IV pain meds. I think it was some combo of tordol, morphine and vodka. Aah...we can rest.

Now, no offense is meant to medical professionals. I know they can become somewhat callous to pain because they spend so much time caring for folks who hurt or are sick. And we are so thankful for those people. I have the utmost respect for nurses in particular. In fact there was a time in our lives when our son was in the hospital that nurses were an absolute lifeline for us. (don't go searching, haven't blogged about that's coming). I LOVE nurses. I don't know how they do it. But I couldn't believe how easy it was for all those working there to calmly go about their business, calmy continue their conversations with each other and with us about nothing important while hubby was wincing and groaning. It was weird. At least to me. I get why, but it's weird.

Well, I'm happy to report that we got home by 12:30 am, strong drugs in hand. We now wait for hubby to get an MRI and find out what's going on in there. We're guessing it is some sort of large pointy object trapped inside him that gets mad at him if he moves. You would think that would show up in an x-ray...but no. Maybe we should leave the whole diagnosis thing to the experts, huh?

Anyway, if you are so inclined, please pray for my hubby. He's hurting and it's just about all I can think about. Thank you very much. You're dismissed.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I feel the wind changing

I have always loved the movie Mary Poppins for so many reasons (not the least of which is that I've always wanted the ability to "tidy up the nursery" by snapping my fingers). But if you remember the movie, you'll know that she only stayed until "the wind changed". It was sad that she left, but everyone who watches the movie knows it was time. She had accomplished what she needed was time to move on.

Well, I feel the wind changing here. I feel myself--my mind and my intentions shifting from the carefree, laid-back (although busy in a different way) summer days towards the schedule and routine of the school year. I have bought some school supplies. At work I've got both feet in the planning of our children's ministry programs for the fall--teachers, curriculum, new things. I have a bit of the organizing bug at home. Now that our travelling is over, I find myself pushing the kids back into some basic, you know, making their beds and reading now and then.

although... true confessions: we haven't quite gotten to the get-to-bed-at-a-decent-hour routine yet...for them or us. Oh well, that will come.

So, its always kinda sad when summer ends. Soon will be gone the mornings when the kids and I get up when we want to (there's been a few of those...) and the trips to the pool to watch bubba swim and talk to my pool friends, and the warm evenings, the many excuses to eat ice cream. But, truth be told, once I accept it, I always like the start of a new school year. It's a fresh start with new notebooks, new classes, new routines and the hope of being more on top of things than I was before. (I know, I know, I'm no Mary Poppins who is "practically perfect in every way"...but I can still hope!)

Now, I'm not saying goodbye to summer yet, but the winds are changing. It's OK, it's almost time. Today I'm unwrapping the gift of switching gears. It's not always easy, but it's good.

This post is linked to Tuesdays Unwrapped--a tuesday tradition over at Chatting at the Sky where we are encouraged to find the gifts in the ordinary. Read more about it here.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Cathy is having a giveaway!

I hope she doesn't mind, but I am sending some blog love out to my friend Cathy. Cathy is an artist and photographer and I hang out with her and hope a bit of creativity will rub off on me. So far, not much, but I have fun cause she is an awesome person and friend.

Today I went with her to a wedding photo shoot. I got to be her cool is that? I didn't do much, but she says I was helpful. :) I mostly tried to stay out of the background of the shots. It was a beautiful wedding. A great couple in a really amazing place. Totally fun to be a part of. Can I just say the bride and groom rode away when all was done on a bright green schwinn tandem bike while the guests sang "bicycle built for two". How cute is that???

Anyway, Cathy makes cool, fun, soldered pendants...and she is having a giveaway on her blog this weekend. Head on over there soon, and check it out. Here is a pic of one of her pendants:

By the way, she also makes great journal covers. They go over composition books and can be reused on another book when you fill that one up. Here is
It makes me so happy. LOVE it.

Just want to keep my bloggies up on things. You're welcome. Happy Saturday.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesdays Unwrapped: a glimpse

Emily over at Chatting at the Sky has a feature she calls Tuesdays Unwrapped. It is a lovely chance to stop and notice something special, a gift, that might otherwise be overlooked in the dailyness of life. I love her blog and love this idea--so I'm participating for the first time!

The gift I'm unwrapping this Tuesday is the gift of the glimpse of something sinking in. Let me explain. As a mom of an amazing 13 year old daughter (pickle), I get the privilege of watching her grow and change before my eyes. (Seriously! i think she grows each night as she sleeps!) However, there are still many times where I wonder if the stuff we are teaching her ever "sinks in". I wonder if sometimes my words get stuck in her ears...and don't make it to her brain. :)

my pickle in hawaii

A mundane example that played into today's gift is regarding keeping things neat, clean and organized...developing routines to take care of her things...and following through on the things I've asked her to do. (sounds familiar to all moms of teens, I'm sure). Sooooo...yesterday was one of those days when I was really disappointed in her. I had left instructions for what she (and bubba) needed to do while I was gone to work for the afternoon. They were quite clear on it. She asked if her friend could come over...I told her AFTER everything was done (which usually works as a great motivator to get it over with). Long story still kinda long...I came home to learn that not only was everything still not done...but her friend had been over anyway. I was SO disappointed. Then after dinner, when I went off to a meeting, I left the kitchen and dinner clean up for the fam to handle. I came home after the meeting to the kitchen half-cleaned...pots and pans unwashed, crumbs all over the counter, table unwiped, etc. and the fam relaxing and enjoying TV. UGH!

I had a moment. You know what kind of moment. The kind when I felt like NOONE was ever going to learn, or care about the house or keeping it up and therefore it was obvious they didn't care about me one bit. (oh....the drama of it all...) I managed to keep my comments about it to a minimum, but had plenty of thoughts racing through my mind... Dang mind.

Back to the gift today: I came home from work and pickle had straightened up the house! It was obvious when I walked in. She hadn't done it to her standards, but to mine. And that is when it dawned on me. She gets it! Not only the fact that she knew how to do it really well, but also because she knew that doing it would show her care for me, that it would make a difference to me. I hadn't asked her to do anything today. But she did. She did it well. She may just be buttering me up for something...but who cares? Something is sinking in! She may not always be able to put into action what she understands, but I got a glimpse today. She gets it.

So today I unwrap the gift of the glimpse of what is taking place inside my girl. Truth be told, I actually get many glimpses of who she is becoming, and I couldn't be prouder. She is amazing. (I know I'm her mom, but really, she is.) I love her exactly who she is today. But I'm thankful for the glimpses too.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Be who you want to be.

I have a new mantra that I've been repeating to myself (cause that is what you do with mantras, right?) these last few weeks. And it is "be who you want to be". It's along the lines of Just Do It, but Nike took that one already.

Be who you want to be...for me, that means to stop thinking about who I wish I was and just be her. As I face one of the many seemingly small choices throughout my day... I repeat this to myself as motivation to make the right choice. I may be very simplistic, but somehow it helps me put my focus in the right place.

What types of choices am I talking about?

*the choice to look my son in the eye and listen as he tells me one of his many, MANY, imaginary inventions, or other "cool" idea
*the choice to clean up the house quickly before bed so as not to face a mess in the morning
*the choice to make time to read and reflect and pray
*the choice to say something uplifting in a negative situation
*the choice to get to bed on time
*the choice to keep my mouth shut
*the choice to take in some form of liquid nourishment other than diet coke :)
*the list could go on...

Be who I want to opposed to just thinking about trying harder, or doing better tomorrow.

Who do I want to be? I want to be someone who exercises personal discipline without becoming neurotic. I want to be a wife who is her husband's best friend and biggest fan. I want to be a mom who shows my kids that they are loved, accepted, and valued as well as one that nurtures Godly attitudes and habits in them. I want to be a friend that is caring and fun, and speaks truth. I want to be the fragrance of Christ in all situations.

These are lofty goals, but I believe accomplished in small choices, day by day. (As opposed to being ALL I can be, cause that is only in the army, you know) Be who I want to this moment. I don't need to try to be it all at once...just be who I want to be in the little choices of the day. The little choices that eventually add up to a whole. And that change me little by little in the process.

However, if I'm honest, I sometimes say this mantra to myself and then choose to be someone else than the person I want to be. I choose to play bejeweled blitz on facebook instead of going to bed...or say what I know I shouldn't...or tune my kids get the idea. But I guess those moments just reinforce what I already know...that this changing and focus and good choices (however small!) can only come to pass as I rely on God's strength. Cause without Him, I wouldn't follow through. Or even care about following through perhaps.

So, who do you want to be? How do you get there?

The person I want to be is going to stop blogging now and get on with it. :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

We're Baaaa-ack...

deep sigh.  we are back from almost two weeks of vacation in Hawaii. I thought I might be able to best give you a recap by giving you some of the keywords of our trip:

aloha! It means hello, goodbye and was used as an exclamation point by one of our tour guides. aloha!

family. ohana in Hawaiian. we traveled with hubby's parents, and his sister and her family. 10 of us making memories together. love them all so much.


relax. on the beach, reading on the balcony of our cruise ship stateroom, snoozing. aaaaahhhh.

blue. The water is the most amazing color of blue in the middle of the pacific ocean. it looks totally different than the murky waters of the atlantic in new york. wish I could bottle that color blue...

suntan. or should I say sunburn? we've had one on the way to the other a few times. par for the course with us.  pickle describes tanning as an eight stage process: stage one: sunburn. stage two: almost tan. stage three: peeling. stage four: irritation. stage five: fishskin (scaly looking). stage six: healing. stage seven: use sunscreen this time. stage eight: bronzed (hopefully)

turtles. green sea turtles. they are big and I love them. we saw them on the shore, from a boat, and in the middle of a crashing wave. swam near them in shallow water, and saw them hiding below while snorkling. awesome.

zipline. We took a zipline adventure in the jungle on kauai. a first for all 10 of us. A great time!!!

lava. never really thought much about or cared about lava before (except the lamp variety).  But it makes beautiful black formations on the shore, it makes wonderful black sand beaches, and is awe-inspiring in its red-hot form flowing into the ocean in the dark of night. We watched an island in the process of cool is that?

flowers. so many amazing flowers everywhere.  flower leis, flowering plants, flowering bushes, flowering trees. my favorites are probably the plumeria trees. beautiful.

shave ice. a favorite hawaiian treat. not like a snow cone. even better with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the bottom. yum....wish I had one right now. maybe pineapple. or lime. or both.

nuts. macademia nuts. kukui nut leis. more than one of our tour guides.

food. I.  ate.  a.  lot.   we all did i think.   why not?

fish. we saw many as we snorkled. incredible, big, colorful ones. we ate fish--pickle tried sushi for the first time and kind of liked it. and the kids were fish--they swam and snorkled and snuba'd and played in the waves and swam some more. Bubba even learned a flip jump into the pool.

my little bubba-fish snorkling 

mahalo. "thank you" in hawaiian. so much to be thankful for. a once in a lifetime vacation. a family that we love, play, and laugh with. a big mahalo to hubby's parents for making it all happen.

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