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Showing posts from 2010

Blogging

My first year of blogging was in 2006. I blogged 371 times that year.

THREE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-ONE TIMES!

I must have had an awful lot to say that year, as I blogged more than once. In 2007, I blogged 140 times, 2008, 186 and in 2009 121.

In the year of our Lord, 2010, I have blogged a total of...

Drum Roll Puhleeeeeeeese.....

46 times.

I said...46 times. With this post it will be 47 in total.

Now, either I had nothing to say this year (which is laughable for those that know me) or I was otherwise occupied. Or it may just be that I didn't know how to put into words what was going on in my life.

Sometimes the latter was very much the case.

As I sit here in our newly finished basement family room/bedroom and watch my 14 year old play piano, I am content. We haven't had a piano for her to play on since we moved here 3+ years ago and it has grieved me. My in-laws send me birthday money each year so this year I used it to purchase a piano so my children can once again make be…

I believe....

I believe that people are basically good. I see it everyday---good people, making good choices.

I saw a huge pile of food and cups with Starbucks logo on them that were given to the homeless guy on 145th today. I didn't see him, but I saw the evidence of giving that was left.

I saw a sister in our ward (who didn't see me) hand food to youth collecting for a food bank.

A young man held a door open for me today.

I believe people are basically kind and compassionate. I've been the recipient of that human kindness many times over the years. Most recently, due to my accident, good sisters in our church have brought dinners in to us every other day for two weeks. Two weeks. These are busy people with busy lives and yet they have taken time to care for me and for our family during this difficult time.

When my mother was dying and we were taking care of her, some of these same sisters came and cleaned my house.

People are good.

But sometimes people make poor choices. I&#…

Our Morning

She wasn't as nervous as I thought she'd be this morning. But then, she's usually a trooper at the hospital unless needles are involved when she's conscious. She had already been assured that she wouldn't even see a needle while her eyes were open.

And so it was. I hobbled back to the operating room with her and her nurse. She climbed on the bed and looked up at me. They'd given her the option of going to that room with just her nurse and she looked at me. Naturally she was old enough and mature enough but was I?

No, I wasn't. So I held her hand as she was given the option of strawberry or rootbeer or orange in her mask. One nurse lauded the rootbeer odor while another shuddered and said she couldn't stand that one and orange was best.

Ash opted for rootbeer. The nurse sprayed a bit of it in the clear mask and then placed it over Ashley's nose and mouth. I watched her eyes as she breathed in and out. They switched on the anesthesia and I…

Best Day since...since...since...

since ten days ago when I fell through some decking I actually got to go somewhere kinda fun.

The first was the Christmas party for my older sister Cheri at her new unit at Fircrest. The residents there and their families fill the dining room with mountains of food. Delicious food. Food designed to make you happy. Food that indeed gives you a taste of the holiday season while adding massive calories to your intake.

But I digress.

The food was amazing. Since I've graduated from crutches to a cane (stop laughing), I hobbled over to sit by my sister and others brought us plates of food. I helped Cheri eat, talked to family and and other families and met her new caretakers. Cheri was dressed festively, as she should have been. Tis the season, no?




For those you who don't know me, Cheri is a special person. An amazing person. I love her immensely and stand in awe of her innocence and goodness. I've been blessed to have her as my sister.

One of her friends there at Firc…

Nativitatis apparatum interrupta

I was given some wonderful treats today---twice actually. The first was when my husband came home and brought me some goodies from my work. Today was my work Holiday luncheon. I couldn't go. I wish I could have but I did too much yesterday by going to the doc and then the hospital for my doppler exam on the busted up knee. Doc thought I had a blood clot because my leg is incredibly swollen and hard.

No blood clot. I'm so thankful my wonderful husband was there to hold my hand while the technician pressed the device into my bruised leg. It was unpleasant. Except for holding Lance's hand. I'm so grateful to have him.

So, today no party for me. However, my husband stopped in at my office and picked up several goodie bags that people in the office had given me. Such delights!

Then it dawned on me. I can't reciprocate. I have no way to do my usual Christmas baking frenzy and I feel so horrible about it. I always, always make tons of goodies for Christmas. I …

Rockwell Moment Destroyed

(Note: the only reason I am writing this somewhat coherently is that the pain meds have worn off. I am taking this searing-agonizing-between-oxycodone moment to regale you with my hilarious evening out with the family. Enjoy. )

We were having such a lovely family moment Wednesday night. All four of our children together for Santa pictures, then a trip to the Hallmark store to get our yearly ornaments.

"Honey, we could be a Norman Rockwell painting. This is so wonderful" I said to my husband. He laughed and agreed. It's an amazingly content feeling having all my children with us. I really did say that thing about the Rockwell painting. Honest.

However, I've not seen a Rockwell moment end in screaming, blood, sirens, medics and did I mention the screaming?

That's the way our Rockwell Evening finished up.

With our busy lives it's so hard to get everyone together, even for a meal. But we have one very important family tradition each and every year for the…

I know I just wrote a new post.....

but as I was looking at a friend's picture on Facebook just now, I started laughing. Then I laughed harder. Giggles, chortles and some mighty guffaws.

I know there's a fine line between hilarious and hysteria. I may have inched a bit too close to that line just now.

But I swear---once you hear my reason, and if you're the mother of more than one child AND you're not overly OCD, you'll understand. I promise.

The picture that made me laugh was of a tiny infant, wrapped so beautifully in a blanket, sporting a lacey headband and bow. Only her perfectly sweet face was visible. She was swaddled and laying on a shelf. Next to her were some nicely folded pink blankets and on the shelf below her were two gorgeous baskets decorated with pink fabric with large brown polka dots.

Inside these two baskets were disposable diapers, all lined up in rows. It was so sweet and perfect and I laughed.

Can you guess the reason?

My husband did. I showed the picture to him and …

Starting Over

Making a decision that's wrong is sometimes difficult to see right at the beginning. After a time, you can see that the path you rejected was actually one that would have been beneficial to you had you stayed on course instead of quitting.

Sometimes it takes time, distance and maturity to see these things clearly. I'm amazed at the way my 12 year old has come to a very wise decision all on her own: she shouldn't have quit her swim team.

Last year, as she was qualifying to go to the Nationals in her disabled category, she adamantly refused to continue. She quit.

This week she talked to me before an appointment she had at Children's Hospital and told me she wanted to join her team again. I was elated---especially that it was her choice and not the decision of her parental units.

It had to come from her.

During a break at the hospital we talked to the wonderful woman who leads the Shadow Seals Swim Team. Kiko never made her feel bad about quitting and welcomed her b…

An Attitude of Gratitude

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. The one day a year that we are required by law to take the day off from paid labor and labor without pay. See what I did there? I turned it arou.... Yeah. Nevermind.

It's 8:30 on Thanksgiving Eve. Four pies, 2 dozen deviled eggs, and a double batch of spinach dip were completed after my paid labor today. I'll rise early tomorrow morning to make stuffing, then stuff it inside dead poultry.

While I love the tradition that's been passed down to me--that of making mountains of food so the family can eat themselves comatose, that's not what I wanted to write about tonight.

Being thankful. Having a heart full of gratitude. My heart is indeed full and I am thankful for so many things. Here's a list, in no particular order of things I'm thankful for:

1. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (Remember, I said in no particular order)
2. My husband. Kindhearted, forgiving, giving, sacrificing, patient man.
3. Thankful that my oldest daugh…

Snow instead of waves...

This is what it's doing today here. Snow. Lots and lots of snow. Freezing temperatures, hovering between 27 and 28 but sure to dip down lower this evening. My day was a hectic jumble of starts and stops. Drop kids off, pick them up. Slide here, slide there. Catch a few pictures of the elusive and infamous Ashley The Patrol Worker. See?


She really tried to avoid having her picture taken in all that garb, but I managed to do it anyway. See those ear muffs? Yeah, I bought them this morning. The boots? Yeah, those too. Also, that jacket she's wearing isn't hers. It's her daddy's lumber-jack-ish jacket. At first she was reluctant to wear it, but once she felt how very cold it was, she relented.

I'm wishing it was warmer and we were out here watching this instead of the snow :)

"You look so happy"

This is what my brother-in-law said to me as we walked into his house tonight.

"What?"

"I don't know, you just look so happy"

I smiled again and said, "I am. I really am"

And I am. As we were driving over to their house this evening I felt extremely content. Just having my two girls in the suburban with us, having them chat and talk and laugh with us, made my heart happy. I am blessed.

As we drove I held my husband's hand. I am blessed.

Then I turned on my heated leather seats. OOOOOH I am blessed. Seriously, if you haven't ever had the experience of sitting on heated seats, you MUST. Not that having leather seats is my most important blessing of course. It's lovely and it's cozy and I adore those seats, but that wasn't the main reason why I looked happy.

It helped of course. :)

It's family. It's love. It's listening to the sounds of my teenager laughing in the backseat with her sister. It's knowing our oldes…

Tired...

It's 11 at night and my new neighbors are dumping their glass recycle into their bins under my bedroom window. It's noisy and just a little irritating. It's also their pattern. Each night it's the same. Each and every night.

It's not that I'm asleep at that hour----because I'm not---it's that my husband is. He has to go to sleep early because he gets up at the crack of holy-crap-it-can't-be-morning-already. And it's not. Morning, I mean. He gets up before the birds do.

My new neighbors are noisy but that's not why I'm tired. My baby girl keeps me awake. Or wakes me up. Or keeps me up. Worry about what's going on with her and why she's suffering so much.

The last three weeks have been less than fun. Doctors and tests and pain and angst and worry. Does she have blood clots? More damage? No, CT scan shows no more brain damage than what was already caused by the stroke. Small blood clots? Maybe. Ulcers? Won't …

A tiny white coffin...

Today I drove into the cemetery under a cold wet rain and saw the tiny white coffin sitting on it's stand under the canopy. Empty chairs faced the coffin.

..oh...oh....

I parked and walked into the mortuary where the mourners were waiting. I hugged the bereft mother and whispered how very sorry I was...

Sorry that she won't be up for 2 a.m. feedings and giddy delight over her girl's first smile. No potty trainings, no first steps or sticky kisses....No first days in Kindergarten and crushes on boys...Oh so sorry...so very sorry...

We walked up the hill in the cemetery to baby land. Tiny headstones were spaced a foot or so apart in the green grass. I tried not to look down and read the names and dates as I passed them but I couldn't help myself.

Sweet Angel in Heaven....Cherished Baby Girl...Beloved son.... So many baby headstones, so much anguish accompanying each one...

My heart ached as I clutched my big black umbrella and listened as these words were spoken ov…

Letting the Light In...

If you look closely, you can see the tiny patch of blue sky peeking from behind the dark clouds. It's not easy to see because the dark clouds surround the area where the light shines through.

I took this on Monday as Alli and I were driving up highway 2 towards Steven's Pass. For those of you that worry, no, I was not actually driving at the time. We'd just come out of a very small town grocery store with some snacks to see us through our morning adventure.

Yes, I was supposed to be working and she was supposed to be in school. Neither of us were where we should have been that morning....but we were where we needed to be. Away and alone and under threatening darkness with small patches of light shining through. I was looking for more light for her. And some peace.
.
Once we got to Skykomish, I turned off the highway and just....meandered. It's a postage-sized small town nestled in the Cascade mountains. Alli nodded off once or twice on the way there. I&#…

Things that frighten me

Fake blood and eerie things that go bump in the night...goblins and ghosts knocking on your door, asking for candy. Halloween is the time of year that brings out gory movies, rubber masks and terrifying Lady Gaga costumes.

Those things don't frighten me. Ok, the Lady Gaga thing is unsettling, but she usually doesn't make the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. Usually.

I have other things that scare me. Here's the short list, in no particular order:

1. Not graduating from high school--or having to go back and do it again. I have a reoccurring dream in which I've somehow decided to go back to high school and graduate. These dreams do not end well, as I would not exactly blend with the current population of my former school. Then there's the whole I-never-went-to-a-class-and-today-is-the-final-day part of the dream. I do not wake up feeling rested and calm from this dream.

2. Having my youngest daughter suffer more damage from her condition than she'…

Writing

Some people think I write too much. Or over share when I do write. Some don't think I write enough and others, meh. They simply don't care.

I've developed a thick skin over my writing. I wrote newspaper columns for about seven years as a freelance columnist and even had a steady writing gig for two papers for five years. That was both fun and tedious. One effect it had on me was that I didn't look at everyday life in the same way. I was more observant. When something would happen in front of me, my first thought was how to put that to ink.

Now, not so much.

Except last night when my husband said he'd had the 'best breakfast cupcake that morning' and it took me a while to figure out he was in fact referencing a muffin. I immediately wanted to write about it. It was amusing, spontaneous and downright funny.

I'm not sure I have a lot of those experiences lately. When my children were younger, sure. Nearly every day there was a catastrophe t…

Thursday

Where does the week go?

Here's some good news. The bandages are off my right hand. It's been...what....7 weeks since I was in the ER with my hand in agony? All I've got to show for my extremely close encounter with the hot oil is a few scars, some new skin and a mountain of paperwork from L&I.

Have I mentioned how much I hate paperwork? Well, I'm mentioning it now.

I'm grateful it wasn't worse and it's awfully nice to have the use of my right hand again.

What other good news is there...

thinking....thinking....thinking....thinking....

There's lots of good news. We're breathing. We have a roof over our heads, good health, the gospel perspective on life and death, and everything else under these cloudy foggy skies of Seattle.

Well, the health thing isn't 100%. Alli is home from school today. She texted me from seminary, and I quote, "Mom, my head feels like it's going to explode. I want to go home". Since I am opposed…

This I know...

Time marches on...

This week has been quite busy for me. Getting up around 5:30 each morning to take Allison to seminary, turning around and coming home to get Ashley up and running and then taking her to school. I either go to the gym before I go to work or I head straight to work. Lately I've been going straight to work. So much to do there...and not nearly enough time to do it in.

This week has been parent teacher conferences and I've been racing from school to school to Interpret for teachers and parents. I've had meetings and conferences and summits and more meetings. I'm meetinged out. Yes, that's a word. Hush.

I've had long chats with the mother of my friend that died...and I had lunch with her brother. My heart aches for them... Perhaps the ache is the realization of my own mortality coming home to roost within me. Or because it's the first of our little tight knit high school group that has died.

I'm not sure. I do know that we go on…

Dear Blog....

I feel I should apologize to you. We've been together for several years and lately I don't seem to have time for you. I know it might sound trite, but it's not you, it's me.

Entirely me. And my circle of family and friends and work. They wring me out each day and hang me out to dry each night.

You see, I have four children. I worry. I don't sleep. I worry some more. I pray. Sometimes falling to my knees is the only way to gather up enough strength to soldier on in this war---and make no mistake--this is a war. Light and darkness on opposing sides, each tugging for those souls in the middle and neither willing to give an inch. Sometimes I wonder if I'm equipped to lead these particular skirmishes. My training seems inadequate at times, my heart heavy and my head bowed. I keep taking blows, am occasionally knocked down but I always manage to put myself back on my feet because I'm not in this fight alone. Someone is always there to lift me up. …

What a long, strange trip it's been....

And I mean our road trip. I should add it was wonderful as well, though it didn't end the way we'd planned. But what does? Life? No, it doesn't. They say it's not the destination, but the journey and they're right.

Our journey began Friday the 13th. For some of us it ended on the 22. For me, it ended on the 26th.

We had planned to leave early in the morning on Friday the 13th but even our beginning didn't go as planned. We left at midnight and I drove for six hours while the rest mainly slept until dawn and a nearly empty gas tank caused our first stop.

It was a beautiful sunrise, by the way.




We landed in the podunk of podunks. I'm not even sure I remember the name of this no-stop-light town with a curmudgeonly store owner who growled at us while his wife used an old adding machine atop a battered, ancient desk. We purchased crushed ice from the man and his wife and then went across the street to have a morning picnic in a small town park. We had to kill time…
This is my beautiful fourteen year old daughter. She's about about 800 miles away from me. This is very far. Very far indeed. She's attending EFY, which is Especially for Youth with a great many other kids her age. She called me and then sent me a picture of her dorm room. She said she loves it!

I'm thrilled that she's so happy. Happy is good. Happy is much better than not happy.

I love this child, and will be thrilled to take her in my arms and give her a huge ole hug next Saturday when we pick her up.

In the meantime, I've got three other children and a job to keep me occupied, and occupied in a big way.

I LOVE what I'm doing. Totally love it. I was given high praise from my boss today, which is just a big ole cherry on top of a delicious ice cream sundae--which I'm not eating but you get the picture. What I'm doing is making a difference and helping people. It's fulfilling and exciting and I get paid nicely to do it. What more could I ask…

Luther Burbank Park

When my handsome man got home from work today, we headed to Mercer Island to have a barbecue at his old childhood stomping ground--Luther Burbank Park. The weather was glorious and we brought our swimsuits, though we didn't end up using them. We had most of the area to ourselves while we ate burgers and corn on the cob and grapes. I had a Gardenburger, which was pretty yummy. Here's Lance getting things going.



Alli really enjoyed her corn!



After a nice meal, we cleaned up and went for a walk. Alli and Ash out on one of the docks.



They dipped their toes...well, Ash did.



Ash and her Daddy



Slides were next!



We had a wonderful FHE together and the girls topped it off by their big brother taking them to see the new Shrek movie. They just came home, all happy and excited about the movie.

And now, it's time for me to close my eyes. I have work in the morning. Yep, me. Life goes on...

The Girls Have Camp This Week

or in other words....Lance and I have a week of FREEDOM!

I'm not sure to be happy or sad. I guess I'm a mixture of both. Today my youngest went to camp for the very first time. Tuesday, my second-to-the-youngest will go to a different camp until Saturday. Our two oldest are....well, old. They can get by mostly on their own.

This gives Lance and I FOUR ENTIRE DAYS AND NIGHTS almost alone. Nearly. Well, close anyway. We both have to work during the day but the evenings are all ours!

Now we just need to figure out what to do with ourselves.

Here's Ashley with her friend Kiera as they prepared to get on their bus.



I was sternly informed that under NO circumstances was I to hug her or otherwise become touchy-feely with her as we signed in and she got on the bus. She was adamant. I was wounded but did manage a bit of a hug before she boarded. I was worried about her ability to manage all her bags and supplies. I think she did ok, see?



They weren't much for waving go…

Thanks for the memories...

I'm writing this under the influence of Nyquil, so I take no responsibility for what it contains.

Last week we spent the entire week at the beach cabin. And by 'we' I mean me and a bunch of teenage girls. The estrogen levels were off the charts. We brought Cassie along (our doggie) and that only added to the hormone level.

Much fun was had by all. Alli and her friend Emily went out in a rowboat. I didn't get a picture of that but I caught them post-rowboat fun.




It was Allison's 14th birthday, which I spoke about in my previous post. This was her wish, though I hadn't intended to stay the entire week. There was a reunion planned for the next weekend and I was hoping to, you know, look halfway decent when I was to see people I hadn't seen in 30 years. But noooooo, I looked like I'd spent the week at the beach cabin. Oh well. Not that it probably mattered much anyway.

Alli brought her bestest friend with her and even though the water was brrrrrrrrr…

Beach Cabin Surprise

Alli wanted to spend her 14th birthday at the beach cabin. I was reluctant (no, really) because we were going over the following week.

However, I could not tell her no. So we went.

I had no clue we were going to stay the entire week.



We have friends here. (yes, I'm still here)




I'll post more...but now I need to get back to this...