Tuesday, November 9, 2010

5 Things You Need To Know About Having Your Gallbladder Removed


"Well, young lady," the doctor said, giving his head a slight shake (the better to send his luxurious hair cascading over his left temple) "You’re in fine physical health, you're absolutely gorgeous, and I think you and I would make beautiful children together. Let's get married."

Yeah.

What he really said was "You need to have your gallbladder out." (And he didn't quite look as good as Dr. McDreamy)

Woo. Hoo.

By the way, the next time you catch yourself thinking "Man, I would give anything to get a full week off of work this year," be careful that God doesn't hear you or he might just say "Ok, how about an internal organ?"

Really honestly, however, I think this is the best thing that could have happened to me. I needed to have the gallbladder out, and I really really really needed some time to rest and recharge.

Something I realized as I went through the process (and I'm fine now, thanks for asking!) is that there are things that you might not know will happen when you go to get your gallbladder removed. Or for most any surgery, in fact. So I thought I would share these things, in case it helps you:

1. Don't pee before you get there. 
I repeat. Do. Not. Pee. They will ask you to pee in a cup so they can check something. Maybe it's a quick pregnancy test, I don't know. All I know is I signed in, used the bathroom, got called right away to go to a room to get prepped, and was given a cup. And what kills me is the woman who signed me in told me where the bathroom was when I asked. She could've said "you know, you're gonna have to pee in a cup in like 10 minutes." Oh, and don't forget no food or water after midnight, so squeezing out a few more drops (and getting them into the cup) when you've pretty well peed out your last bit of liquid is not that easy!

2. Shave your legs. 
Unless you don't care if people see/touch your legs when they're all stubbly. Because they will put these amazing wonderful plug-in wraps on your legs that will keep your blood flowing and feels like a wonderful little massage every few minutes. Which, of course, means that they will be touching your legs! So be forewarned. (Besides, you soooo won't want to take a shower or shave for a few days after the surgery anyway, so you may as well start fresh.)

3. Have your driver on call all day. 
I was told that I would be out of there by 3pm at the latest after my 9:45am surgery. Right. First off, they didn't even start the surgery until 11am (which is crazy, since I was only the 2nd surgery of the day) Then, if you have any sort of nausea afterwards, they will give you medication that will knock you out again. I didn't leave until 6:30pm! Thank goodness my mom, who was coming from 45 minutes away, stayed at home until about 5:30 and then just took it upon herself to start driving in, so she actually got there right as I was getting dressed to leave. But seriously, if she'd come in at 3pm like I'd been told, she'd have been b.o.r.e.d.

4. Find a doctor who has more fun in the surgery than the office. 
Ok that may sound weird, but my doctor seemed a bit abrupt and not in the best of moods when I first met him in the office. But when he walked in before the surgery, he was like a whole new person. He practically bounced in, gave me a big smile, stretched his arms and cracked his knuckles and said "Ok, we've warmed up on one, now we're ready for you. let's do this!" and I suddenly realized here is a surgeon who really enjoys his job. I like the idea of a doctor who is excited about doing a good surgery cutting me open, not just some guy who can be personable in the office but may or may not get jazzed up about removing organs. As long as you know he's professional, take the first guy!

5. Do NOT make a post-surgery to-do list. 
I don't care what you think you're going to be able to do. You most likely will not be able to or interested in doing it. Now I know there are some people who are more stubborn than me, or who may feel the pressure to be constantly "productive" out there, so if you manage to sort your entire photo collection 2 days after a surgery, well then good for you. But as for me, all I know is that in 12 days I didn't do a single thing besides re-read the Harry Potter collection. Now, that's no small shakes given that all 7 books must be at least 3,000 pages. But seriously, I did nothing else. I slept, I watched some TV, I slept some more, and I read. That's it. And you know what? I'm glad. Because by the end of my time off, I was rested, relaxed, and rejuvenated. I'm not quite yet back up to 100%, but I think having the time off (and the gallbladder removed) was exactly what I needed to take a big step towards a more healthy lifestyle. Booyah.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Oh Where... is My Camera?



If my camera worked under water, this is what the photos it took would look like.

Yes, it is true... my camera is lost to Davy Jones' Locker. Well... assuming that Davy Jones has a locker at the bottom of Lake Geneva, IL, anyway. 

So here's what happened: I was at a women's retreat, learning about how to worship God fully. During the afternoon break, a friend and I decided to walk to the lake, taking pictures along the way. It was a beautiful fall day, and my photos were amazing. I had a great eye that day, and was catching moments of beauty all over the place. I even remember saying "This is the best photo I've taken!" after taking a shot of a canoe at the edge of the lake. The funny thing is a voice whispered in my ear "That's prideful, you shouldn't say that!" so I tried to amend it to "This is the best photo I've taken today!" Not that my friend would have cared I'm sure, but I felt like someone was telling me "Oooh, you shouldn't be so proud of what you're doing, that's bad." 

And then 5 minutes later, right as we were getting into a paddle boat for a quick ride, I lost my camera. It was  a nice pocket-sized camera, so of course it was in my pocket. In its case, in my pocket, clipped to my jeans, to be exact. And yet, just when I was stepping into the boat it popped out--the whole case--and bloop! it fell right into the water. 

And I mean it when I say bloop! It was a nice loud, satisfying sound, the kind of noise that a medium-to-large sized stone would make when you drop it into water. Or, say, a camera in its case. Oh, and I also had my spare battery and about 4 SD memory cards in there.

So my first reaction was to swear. And my second was to stare into the water and flutter my hands. You know what I mean, right, that rapid flexing of the wrist that shows how incompetent you really are but somehow we just have to do it? As if fluttering my hands at the lake would make it regurgitate my camera dry and perfect. Yeah, right.

What really happened is I called our on-site manager, Joel, who came over right away and spent 45 minutes trying to find the camera. Because here's the thing: even though it only dropped right off the pier, the bottom of the lake wasn't a nice clear pebbly bottom. Oh no, the bottom of the lake was about 5 feet of mud, plants, and more mud. So every time we swept a rake through the water trying to catch the camera, we'd have to wait 10-15 minutes for the water to clear enough to look for it.

I'm sure you're hoping that I found it. I was hoping that I'd find it, because there's a chance that my warrantee may have covered water damage, but replacing a disappeared camera? Yeah, not so sure about that one. 

The 45 minutes Joel spent trying to find my camera were amazing, and terrible. I say terrible because--well, you know why, duh. I spent pretty much the whole time crying. That camera was like my baby, it was like my left hand. I'm sure you understand, if you're a fan of photography. It may not have been a professional-grade camera, but I believe I've taken more than my fair share of beautiful photos. See my previous post about things I see on the way to the train for a few shots that I took a week before the retreat to see just how much I was in love with finding the beautiful--the extraordinary, if you will--in the ordinary.

But back to those 45 minutes. Why were they amazing, you might be wondering. They were amazing because I have never had people I didn't know rally around me so much. Not only did Joel faithfully spend a full 45 minutes trying to find the camera, but a group of people, who had been intrigued as to why two people kept staring off the pier, came over and started looking for the camera themselves. Two of them even flopped down on their bellies and stuck their faces into the water in an attempt to see better. We're talking October, cold water!

Then all of a sudden I knew it was over. I was done. I couldn't ask Joel to stay away from all the other teams that were staying at the conference center for any longer. The camera, which likely was only about 6 inches away from where we were looking the whole time, was lost. Joel drove me back to our meeting room, where the session I was supposed to lead was just wrapping up. I felt like a failure. I had lost about $537 worth of camera stuff, not to mention the pictures I'd taken that day, and I'd missed the chance to continue my leadership development by leading a personal testimony session at the retreat. 

And yet.

And yet, I felt peace. I felt comfort. I felt God saying "I know the pain you are feeling." The speaker who did our morning and afternoon sessions spoke about how everything we do should be worship to God, and that we should give Him our all, our everything. When I walked back into the meeting room, we sang "I'm giving you everything I am, and everything I have," and I thought "God, I just gave you my camera." 

I will admit, I cried when I thought that.

But then something else the speaker said came back to me. She'd talked about how when we do good deeds on earth, we build up for ourselves treasures in heaven. But she doesn't think we're going to get to heaven and sit happily on our pile of gold. No, once we see God in His full glory, we'll be so overwhelmed that we will throw down our treasures before Him, because nothing on earth or in Heaven is as amazing, as fantastic, as holy, as praise-worthy as God. And it will give us no more pleasure than to cast our crowns down before Him as an expression of how His love is all that matters, His glory unapproachable. So next to all of that, what value my camera? And what helpful part does bitterness or anger play in getting over its loss? None, to both.

I will admit, when people prayed for me that the camera would be returned to me two-fold (as in, twice as good, not twice as many) I had an internal battle. Because getting a camera twice as nice as that one would be awesome. But I can't expect it, right? So would thinking about getting a new camera ruin my chances of actually getting one? And while we're at it, did I lose my camera because I had those prideful thoughts earlier?

My goodness, it's amazing how evil that thought was. Was losing the camera somehow connected to my pride?

I don't think so at all. I think if anyone had tried to find exactly the right way for me to doubt myself, and doubt God's sovereignty, that is the way to do it. Which is precisely why I do not believe it. I do not believe that losing my camera was God's way of getting back at me, and I do not believe that it happened without his knowledge. What I do believe is that He will, and has already, work this out for good. I mean, He already helped me to not tie up my entire sense of well-being with a physical object. He helped me to accept that sometimes things happen, and we can't live in the past, wishing we could turn time back to about 5 seconds before the accident, but that we have to move on.

I'm not really sure what "moving on" will look like, but I know one thing, God spoke to me very clearly that weekend about my writing. If a picture is worth a thousand words, and I can take 300 pictures in about an hour, I've got a lot of writing to do. Maybe that's why I'm not encumbered with a camera right now. 

Well, that's 1400 words down. Stay tuned for more tomorrow.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Things I See on the Way to the Train

So what do you do when you have to go in to the office on the weekend? Not only the weekend, but quite possibly the most glorious Saturday in forever. So, you could get bitter, or you could enjoy the trip. I chose to enjoy it.

Especially since this was the first thing that I saw:

Beautiful, isn't it? That's the building right across from me. I loved the red on red (on blue). I crossed the street and started walking, reveling in the sunlight, the warmth, and the beauty. I passed a bush in full fall splendor and thought "Maybe I should take my camera back out." But I didn't.

A few steps later I wondered why I cared if anyone saw me standing there, taking pictures of random things. I mean, who really cares, right? So I took my camera out again. And just in time...
So then I decided to take pictures all the way to the train. Perhaps when it's cold and gross I can look back and remember how beautiful my neighborhood is, in all the big and little ways.

Like the Lutheran Church...
 And the flowers in front of the church, clinging so tightly to life...
 The inscription that shows this building is exactly 55 years older than me.
 A dark door in shadow, and bright flowers in the light...
 This one is by far my favorite.
 And always, always remember that the sun is shining.
No matter how much humanity grows, it can always coexist with nature if we just try.
This one just cracks me up because it looks like the mail slot is drooling.
 I love the juxtaposition of light and dark, sunshine and shadow.
 See? I'm not the only one out taking pictures.
 Every balcony above a bar should have a flag.
Poor Orderly. He's always being left behind...
Ah, the Vic. Home of the bar within a movie theater. Or, vice versa.
And last but not least... Going up.
Well, that's my neighborhood.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Why I Love Google Chrome


Five Reasons Why I Love Google Chrome:

  1. Doesn't he look like a totally awesome, fun-loving younger brother of the spaceship/computer in Flight of the Navigator?
  2. When my computer got its virus (booo) the awesome guys at The Geek Squad installed Google Chrome because it had more built-in virus protection than my prior web browser.
  3. It has a download "bar" at the bottom of the screen so when you forget where the heck your downloaded files go because you hit "close" instead of "open," now all you have to do is click on the icon at your convenience. For that matter, you don't get the annoying pop-up window telling you that thing you downloaded is ready RIGHT NOW while you're trying to do something else.
  4. Because everything Google is just awesome. Have you seen their tribute to John Lennon yet today? (of course you might not see it if you're not reading this today)
  5. And last, but quite specifically not least, it has a built-in spell-check!!! Ok, maybe other browsers do too, but this came with it already on so I didn't have to go find it. And there is nothing better than having your computer tell you when you've misspelled "extraordinary," especially when you start asking yourself why oh why you decided to try ending all of your blog comments on other people's posts with "Have an Extraordinary Day" because seriously, it's like a tongue-twister typing that all out quickly!!!!
Ok, there you have it. From a not-very-technical person to you, the 5 reasons why Google Chrome rocks. If you have a browser you prefer, feel free to let me know. I might never switch, but if you can give me 5 good reasons why I should, I'll at least think about it. :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Why You Should Have Your Gallbladder Removed, And Seven Other Funny Things That Happened To Me This Week


So ok, when you go to bed with a sharp ache (incongruous, I know) right below your ribcage, and wake up with said sharp ache feeling like an alien is using a pickaxe in an attempt to burst out of your torso, you might want to consider the fact that you've got gallstones. Or aliens…

But in all seriousness, gallstone attacks are horrific. I've never had a baby so I can't compare the level of pain, but even if you're having quadruplets, you're generally going to have them over a rather short, prescribed period of time, generally not more than 3 days, not one every few days over the course of a month or so (thank God!). But there is nothing quite so heinous as an affliction that will show up this night but not that night, and possibly two nights in a row, and when Wikipedia (which is always right) says that the attacks can last as little as 30 minutes, you just want to find out who in the world wrote that, find their home address, and implant an alien into their stomach to see if it really only takes 30 minutes for it to pry its way out (and did I mention it's not a particularly sharp pickaxe, and it's pretty tight in there so there isn't much room to get leverage, so it's a loooooong process).

I would say that wasn't typed with any bitterness, but I was told that lying is wrong. :)

I think you get the point though, eh? If you or someone you know starts having pains like that, even if they're not that strong, go see a doctor!!!! Especially if you realize it happens at night after you've eaten something particularly greasy or fatty that day. Please, for me, go get it checked out. And if the doctor tells you to have your gallbladder taken out, well, I would strongly suggest you do. Of course, I'm still 2 weeks away from my surgery date so I'll tell you how it goes afterwards, but yeah... I'm all about getting it done. The only reason I've waited so long once I saw the doctor is because I've been trying to organize my work life so I don't leave my department unprepared, and I'm helping to organize my church's women's retreat the weekend prior.

But I will have you know, you truly must be careful. The cause for the pain in your gallbladder is not the existence of gallstones--lots of people have gallstones but no pain. The cause for the pain is when a gallstone gets caught in the opening of the gallbladder and blocks the passage of the bile which your gallbladder stores. But--but the danger is if that little gallstone gets out. If it gets out, it will (not might, will) get stuck in your bile duct, and that will mean agonizing pain (as if you haven't already been experiencing pain), jaundice, vomiting, and the possibility of death. Wait, what? Ok, the death part doesn't exactly happen a lot. A gallbladder removal is very routine. What makes it not routine is when the gallstone gets out, generally because someone attempted to gut it out and not go to the doctor right away. So please, please don't let that happen to you. If you think two weeks of recovery time for a laproscopic surgery is bad/annoying, try two months of down time because the doctors had to cut into your body through all the skin and muscles and open you up and then search--search!--for the rogue stone.

Now ok, I didn't mean to gross anyone out, or freak them out for that matter. That is why I didn't put an actual picture of gallstones at the beginning of my post (I know you were wondering). So in an attempt to lighten the mood, here is a list of funny things that happened to me in the last week. Ok, they may or may not be funny. I mean, I haven't written them yet, so I don't really know. So feel free to laugh, or not. I mean, it's not like I'm watching you read this (or am I? ooOOOOOooooo....)

Seven Funny Things That Happened To Me This Week:

1. Yesterday a guy on the train touched my boob. Ok I say this was funny because I don't know if it happened on purpose or not. The train was fairly crowded, so I was kinda standing in a way that if we'd been dating, I could have leaned back into his chest, and he could have wrapped his free arm around me tenderly and it would have been lovely. (and by "free arm" I mean his left arm was holding onto the same post I was holding onto with my left arm, for balance). After about 3 stops I exchanged hands, so his left hand was holding the post and my right hand was holding it, and I had a bag in my left hand, so when the train stopped and he moved his arm, his thumb totally grazed my boob. Ironically I'd just been standing there, studiously avoiding looking at him, 'cause I had just been thinking "Wow, his hand is close to my boob. I wonder if he would--oh, and yes, yes he would."

2. I found vegetables in my fridge. Last weekend I had a Silpada Jewelry party. (Super fun, I'm so excited for my new bracelet!) And what does one serve at a party? Veggies and dip, of course! Well I was so far behind in getting ready that my first guest arrived before I'd had a chance to do the food. I was, however, beautifully made-up and coiffed. I did make sure to get *that* done. But anyway, my friend offered to cut the veggies, which I gratefully accepted, and let her have at it. And then today I moved the orange juice and voila--green peppers I'd forgotten I'd bought!

3. I watched The Big Bang Theory. Ok, that's not really something funny that happened so much as it was a funny show that I watched. I love that show. Like really, really love. Like, I actually try to leave work on time to make sure I'm home by 7pm so I can watch it. Love it. You should all watch it. Go buy the first 3 seasons right now, in fact. Go on, I'll wait. la la la...

4. I had a book renamed just for me by the author. (Again, not "funny" per se, but dude, this is awesome...) Last year I went to a Matthew West concert right before Christmas. He had written a book called "Give This Christmas Away." I told my sister to buy it for me and it would be her Christmas present to me. Hooray, right? So the book is cd-shaped, which is quite appropriate given the musical nature of Matthew's job (he's a Christian musician if you don't know--and if you aren't familiar, go buy his new record right now!!!) So on Christmas day 2009, I get handed the present from my sister, and it's cd-shaped and I'm like "Oh my, I wonder what this could be, tee hee..." and she's like "I don't know, haha" and I open it, and it's a CD. Um, what? What? It was a mystery. What happened?? Well, this week the mystery was solved. The book had been placed in the glove compartment of the car, where it lived happily for 10 months. My stepdad, who wraps all the presents, didn't know about the book, so he put my sister's name on a CD they'd bought for me. Then two weeks ago they found the book. And gave it to me the night of a CD release party/concert for Matthew's new CD. So what did I do? I put it in my purse. And brought it to the concert. And gave it to Matthew to sign, while telling him the story. One of his opening acts joked "ha, so it's really give LAST Christmas away!" And we all laughed and Matthew crossed out "this" on the cover with his Sharpie, and wrote "Last" above it. So now I have my very own personalized copy of his book.

5. Dude, I've already written a lot. Who said this had to be seven? Um... I'm sure I've got at least one more. Hang on...

6. I heard a funny blonde joke this week, one I hadn't heard before. Here it is: A blonde called her boyrfriend and said "honey I'm trying to do this jigsaw puzzle and it's just too hard. Can you come over and help me?" The boyfriend didn't know she owned any puzzles, so he asked her to describe it. "Well, all the pieces are just so hard to put together, and there's thousands of them! And the box has a picture of a rooster on it, but I just can't figure it out." So the boyfriend goes over to her house. He walks into the room, looks at the table, then sighs, and takes his girlfriend's hand. "You know what, honey," he said. "Let's go buy you another puzzle. And when we get back, we'll put the cornflakes away."

7. Here's something funny--I decided to write seven funny things that happened to me this week, and then I realized how long this blog post already was.

So then I stopped.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Calm Down? Well, Eff You too.


Some people are very emotional. Some people are not. I'll give you two guesses which one I am. And the first guess doesn't count.

Yes, I am a rather emotional person. And you know what, I don't feel bad about it.

Now, I was watching The Apprentice yesterday, and one of the women was getting really loud and emphatic whenever she spoke, and everyone accused her of taking everything personally. And I must admit that she was a bit overdoing it. So when someone said she was being too emotional, I'm sure most people agreed.

But I'm not sure. I don't think you can be *too* emotional. What I do think you can do is let your emotions run away with you. But there's nothing wrong with having and even expressing your emotions!

I was reading a book about different personality types, and one of the things they said about dealing with the very emotional is that they need to be allowed to let their emotions out. Once they've done that, they can move on. Of course if you read about how to deal with the types that don't show their emotions on their sleeves, it says to be highly technical with them and don't bring emotion into it. So... I guess I can't just expect everyone who deals with me to feel that they have to put up with me being emotional about everything that happens, because technically I should be seeking the best ways to interact with them and their types,

But there is one thing I ask. Please, when interacting with me, if I do unstopper the bottle and let my emotions out, please do not tell me to "calm down." I will give you a hint towards understanding my people: "Calm down" actually translates to "Stop expressing your feelings, they are not valid." In other words... eff you.

Oh yes, when people tell me to calm down, it actually makes me more angry. Because what that means to me is that they don't want to accept my emotions as valid. And since I am the emotional being, then I myself am not valid. (Ok, if this is just me, and not all emotional people out there, then fine, it's just me).

But I will tell you that you can be calm and rational when I get emotional--as long as you make it clear that you value who I am, and ask reasonable questions, I will be much more open to toning down the energy and returning to a normal conversational tone. Just please, please don't tell me to calm down. Let me do it on my own.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Art of the Straight Line


I love photographing buildings. Why, you might ask? Because there's something fantastic about how all those straight lines layer against each other. I mean, look at this picture. Isn't it awesome? All of those vertical and horizontal lines stretching towards the sky and the horizon... buildings stand tall like the hero stories of old. They speak of the strength of human character and ingenuity, permanence and change, tradition and growth.

They are so beautiful.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why Can't I Blog Anymore?


So, what has happened since my last post? Quite a bit, because not only has it been over a month, but well, a lot of stuff has gone down. I mean, I even missed posting on my Birthday. Earlier this year I was sure that by September 7th I'd be a SITS girl for sure. 'Cause let's face it, everyone was getting featured on their birthday.

Well, I suppose I will just have to do a recap, and hope that you can forgive me for disappearing twice this year. Here is what happened in the last almost 2 months:

My friend Mark died. He was a 34-year-old father of two girls with a combined age of less than 6, and he passed away from Pancreatic Cancer.

I called my doctor the same day I found out, because I suddenly realized that walking around with pain is not only negligence, but it could be life-threatening. So, four doctor's visits, an ultrasound and an MRI later, I can tell you that A) I do not have a torn meniscus in my knee, but I will need physical therapy, and I *could* get a Cortizone shot for the pain, except it would likely exacerbate the arthritis. Yes, arthritis. And B) I need to have my gallbaldder taken out. The night pains, especially after eating greasy foods, the fact that I'm full of "sludge" and have stones... well they said it'd be better to take it out now while it can be laproscopic, instead of waiting for a stone to get stuck in the bile duct and have to do open surgery. I do not need that, thank you.

Did I mention that I'm only 31? Yes, somewhere in the last two months I had a birthday. Hooray! I did have to work on the special day, sadly, but a group of us went out to lunch, and then I took the rest of the day off, and went to Millennium Park. That's where I took the picture of myself wearing the tiara that the girls at work gave me. How cute is that?? :) And then a friend took me out to dinner where I had the most high-class Chicken 'N Waffles EVER! It was quite amazing. And a very very high-class S'mores dessert too. Hooray for birthdays!!

But in and around all of this stuff is the imminence of my gallbladder surgery, and some serious self-doubt. I have to be honest with you, this has been a difficult last few weeks. I know that I am not the worst-off person in the world. I am not alone in having problems, and you may even have more problems than me! (although I pray you do not--it's not that I want to "win" the my life is the worst game, but I wouldn't wish multiple health problems on anyone!)

So this is where I am right now. I'm having a Silpada Jewelry party on Saturday that's kindof a birthday party too, although the lack of response to my invites either means that no one is used to me inviting them over yet, or no one realizes it's my birthday party, or no one wants to come. Whatever it turns out to be, this is the very very first time since college that I have hosted my own freaking birthday party and whoever shows up will have fun. And that's what matters.

One last thing that has happened in the last two months--actually just last weekend--I was asked to make cookies for a friend's son's birthday party. Now, I don't normally go to little kid parties and I never bring food or presents to them (yes I'm terrible, deal with it). But my friend Jennifer has invited me to two family events now, and after the first one I fit in so well with her family, and they all liked me, and they all loved my oatmeal raisin cookies... so much that just when I was trying to decide if I should risk bringing the same thing to last weekend's party, she texted me and said that my cookies had been requested, and that her family would even reimburse me for the ingredients. (which of course I didn't let them do).

But how cool is that?? I don't cook, I don't bake much, these cookies are like ALL I know how to do, and they liked them. Hooray.

One last thing that I decided to do in the last two months was not write Facebook updates unless I could write something positive. I dare you to try that for a while. I did it for a full week, then decided to do my best to continue on. Getting all the news about my knee and gallbladder made it difficult, but I am trying to at least find the humor in this all.

I mean think about it this way--I get to have a week of vacation--possibly up to two weeks! True, I will have some pain and discomfort, and I will have to spend at least a few days at home with my mom, my step-dad, two sisters, a dog, a cat, and what can only be described as an auxiliary backup family member before I can come back to my apartment, but I get a vacation this year! I get a full week where my work emails will probably be forwarded to someone else so I won't even have to check the BlackBerry if I don't want to! True I won't be getting out much, but come on, it's about time to start re-reading the Harry Potter series again. I think I'll find ways to pass the time.

And with any luck, I'll come back to work re-energized and excited about everything that will be waiting for me when I get back, patiently or otherwise. :)

Who knows, maybe I'll even start blogging regularly again. I do hope so... I have missed you all.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

So What Really Matters?



What really matters when you find out that someone you know has cancer? Does work matter? Does keeping up with the Joneses matter? Having a bigger better house/car/dog/spouse/401k? Is laughing as much fun? Does complaining that your life just isn’t quite perfect even make sense?

Do you think for even a moment that person would doubt switching lives with you if they had the chance?

What do you do when you find out someone you know has cancer?

Do you get angry?
Do you deny it?
Do you become incredibly selfish?
Do you eat all the foods you've avoided because it doesn't matter anyway?
Do you pray?

Do you cry uncontrollable tears at your desk and pray that no one walks by?
Do you try to make deals with God?

Do you find yourself with all questions and no answers?

Do you?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Do You Believe in Miracles?



Have you ever been able to tell a story about how God has done something amazing in your life? Not just a "Yay I found $20" moment (although that is quite amazing, especially if you're kinda low on money) but more along the lines of a "I once was blind, but now I see" experience?

Sometimes I think it's hard for us to see the miracles in the miraculous.

Let me say that again. Sometimes I think it's hard for us to see the miracles in the miraculous.

I don't know about you, but there are sooo many times that I can say "Oh wow, I found $20. God is amazing!" or "My goodness, I just tripped but I must have had angels holding me up because I should have fallen and twisted my ankle."

Don't get me wrong, any time God works in our lives, it's a miracle. Yessirreebob it is. So really, you're surrounded by miracles every moment of every day, because God is right here, right now. (Hi God!)

But do you ever find it hard to say that God has done an amazing miracle in your life? Like, one of those "No one is going to BELIEVE this" miracles?

Then the question is... do you see a lack of miracle in your life because there is a lack... or because you're not seeing it?

Interesting, yes?

I want to invite you to think about something in your life that is an absolute, knock-down, drag-out miracle.

Go ahead. I'll wait.

Got one?

Ok.

Now... I want you to ask yourself why you aren't talking about it more.

Or... why haven't you thought of anything yet?

I want to share one of mine with you. This is one of those things when in the moment I remember saying "Yay God, that's awesome!" But then I never shared it with anyone. And then at a prayer meeting at church we were asked to share any instances of healing that God has done in our lives. And God nudged me and said, "Hey, you've got one. Tell them about the cataracts."

The cataracts??

So here's my story: About 3 years ago, when I was 27, I went in for my eye appointment. I had an appointment with a different doctor, but the same location--I've got such an aversion to that stupid eye puff test that I over-tense my eyes, and people tend to freak out and think I have glaucoma, so I tend to not want to go explain this to new doctors, even though I have to take a train for 45 minutes to get to my eye place now.

So I'm really liking the new doctor, she's very personable and professional, and everything is going just swimmingly until she says "Oh, and you've got cataracts."

I'm sorry, WHAT?

Yes, cataracts. Apparently people in their 20s can get cataracts. "But don't worry," she said, "Once it gets really bad, you can just have the surgery. It'll be fine."

Um, surgery???

I was not happy. I do not want surgery. Not only am I very much not financially prepared for any sort of surgery but hello, eye surgery is freaking scary! (although I did decide that if they had to do the surgery I'd have them Lasik those suckers while they were in there). But don't get me wrong... losing my vision in my 20s or 30s was NOT something I was prepared for. I mean, I'm a writer and an artist. I'd like to be able to see what I'm doing!!!

So, naturally, I didn't go back to the eye doctor for 3 years. I mean, the best way to avoid any sort of bad news is to, well, avoid it, right? (not right but you know that's what we all do)

But my gas permeable contacts are only supposed to be worn for 1 year, not 3, so I finally went back just a couple of months ago. I ended up with my original doctor, a quirky guy but he's pretty darn good at what he does. So we do the tests, and I read the letters, and tell him that 3 is better than 4, and all that fun stuff. And he tells me that my eyesight has actually gotten better in the last 3 years (thanks, gas-perms!).

So when he asks if I have any questions I clear my throat and gingerly say "Ok, so what about the cataracts?"

He looked at me like I was crazy.

Then he looked back at my file.

Where the last doctor had drawn the cataracts she'd seen.

He looked at my eyes again. And again.

"You don't have any cataracts," he said.

~

Well, I don't know about you, but I think that's a miracle! I mean, it's not like I also no longer need contacts. But I'm ok with my contacts. We can pray for complete eyesight later. But what absolutely blows my mind is how somehow I squelched my excitement, and didn't run around telling the whole world. Why? Probably because I'm just not used to seeing the big moves of God in my life.

But I'm sharing this with you now, because what other purpose is there for God to do miracles, but to give us more opportunity to praise Him? A wise woman said the other day that when we die we will all be given new bodies. That means that the blind will see, and the lame will walk. So the miracle is just that God blesses us with His power of renewal here and now.

And we should do nothing else but shout it from the mountaintops.

Praise God! I once had cataracts, and now I don't. He is Good.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Oodles and Oodles of Doodles

So I live in a fairly yuppie neighborhood in Chicago (I think Wrigleyville will always be yuppie... I mean, our biggest bar is located right there, even though it's only open from April till September--yes, I said September.)



And one thing about living here is that everyone seems to need to have the current "big thing." You know, like those strollers you can jog with.



And Smart Cars.



And, of course, Labradoodles.


Because seriously, our goals in life should be to have a pet that looks like Chewbacca.


Now I don't really have anything against any of the -oodle mixes per se, as long as they're nice dogs. I just know that poodles, full-size poodles specifically, are not my favorite dog. One of the kids I went to school with had a poodle and it was mean. Like, devious. So whenever I see an -oodle mix I think either of Chewbacca or how badly I hope that the poodle won't win the Thanksgiving Day dog show this year.


But it's just hilarious because in the last week I swear I've seen 3 people walking Labradoodles, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't the same one. I just wonder how people will feel when oodle-mixes go out of style. I mean, unlike the car, you can't just trade it in for a newer model.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

No, Wait... I'm Still Cool!

If I were a meaner person, I'd have a photograph of what I'm going to describe to you.

But since I was not in the mood to grab my camera or cell phone and blatantly take a picture of the gentleman who was walking through the neighborhood with his baby girl in a stroller and cute little "chick" dog, I'm going to just show you a google-image of what he was wearing:


Ok yes, there was a t-shirt too. And flip flops.

But did you hear what else he had with him? A baby girl in one of those strollers like the one I mentioned yesterday in my post about politeness in the Windy City (You know, the kind that look like they could be a new cast member in Transformers 3)

And the dog. Oh, the dog. The kind of cute tiny little thing that makes grown women squeal like little girls and grown men ask how on earth they were now the owners of a rat.

So here he is, walking down the street, listening to his iPod and pushing RoboStroller with baby girl princess resting serenely inside (I really want to say she had a bow on her head) and little Rat-dog scurrying along beside, with his little leash attached to the stroller because this poor guy probably didn't even want to touch it.

And then he was wearing Dark Side of the Moon pajama pants. You know it was his way of saying "yeah ok I've got The Little Princess and Ratatouille here, but I'm still cool. I didn't let the wife take these away from me. This is who I really am."

But the sad thing is the pants looked fairly new and well-cared for. Not college-issue at all, but perhaps a gift from said wife because she knew, she just knew, that if she ever wanted another child she would absolutely have to find something to give him that would keep his man-parts from completely shriveling up in shame.

And so, because I'm generally a nice person, I did not take a picture. And I tried not to stare. I just kept walking.

With every intention of writing this post as soon as I could. :)

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Politeness Still Exists in the Windy City



I saw multiple occasions of politeness today. On the bus.

Yes, you read that right. On a crowded Chicago Transit Authority bus I saw five separate acts of kindness. And I just needed to share this with you today, because I think it's important to remember that we're all messed up, but we can still be genuinely decent from time to time. :)

The first incident occurred as I got on the bus and watched people automatically moving to the back of the bus. That's one of those things that is always talked about by the announcer voice, but not always done.

The second one actually directly affected me, when a father asked if I would like his seat--next to his daughter. He not only let me sit down but clearly was confident that I was good enough people to sit next to his little girl.

The third happened for the couple who got on the bus after me. They had a stroller, the kind that looks like it should morph into a pup tent if you push the right button, and even on the crowded bus, people willingly got up out of the special seats up front, flipped them up, and made room for the couple to stand over on the side with their child and monster stroller.

The fourth moment occurred when a man in a wheelchair got on the bus, and then people willingly moved out of two separate seats this time, in order to accommodate this gentleman on the other side of the aisle from the stroller.

The fifth act of kindness was the man who got up from his seat so the mother of the baby in the Daewoo--I mean stroller--could sit down.

Seriously people, this is like abnormal. Maybe it happened because I had just gotten out of church so I was still high on Jesus, and a little of it leaked out. Maybe it happens more than I realize and I only noticed today because I was in a good mood... I don't know, but I was quite impressed.

I hope this instills in you a little more faith in the human race. We're really not all that bad... or at least we're all in it together, and that means something, right?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Getting Unapologetically Back Into It.



The dank breeze couldn't help but carry his exotic cologne across the park and into her senses before he even entered her field of vision. He brushed her hair to one side, and whispered lightly against her cheek: "Did you know that it takes 21 days to make a habit, and only about 2 to break it?"

~~~

Ten Reasons Why I Didn't Blog For The Last... I Don't Even Know How Long

1. I got a computer virus and was unable to do anything until I got my baby back from the Geek Squad
2. The computer virus killed my modem so I had to order a new one (fortunately I got a free one by threatening to change my service plan)
3. Blogging was cutting into my sleep time
4. By the time my modem showed up I was already waaaay too out of the habit
5. I tried blogging at work and it just didn't feel the same
6. Did I mention the sleep thing? It was nice not having to go from being on the computer all day at work to being on it all day at home. (or getting up an hour early to get on it)
7. I wasn't really happy with the 4-day-a-week MEMEs that I had going on. I mean, they're each individually quite awesome, but I felt like a hack doing nothing but those.
8. SLEEEEEEEEP
9. I just haven't felt creative in a long time.
10. There was a part of me that just wanted to see if it would be noticed that I wasn't blogging. (And thank you to the person who emailed me, that meant a lot!)

So there you have it. Apparently a few of us have let our blogging lag as the summer began. But since I seem to be having problems sleeping anyway (I'm sure I'll post on that later) I figure I may as well do the getting up early thing again so I can get some writing time in.

Well, see you again soon (hopefully).  :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Be My Guest Monday! Rooftop Melodies


Hello! Today is another Be My Guest Monday! Thanks for coming by... I've been a bit out of it lately with the crazy computer virus, so my apologies for the late post time on this. But I'm glad you came, because today's post is fabulous!!! Today we have Katie from Rooftop Melodies bringing us some excellent thoughts on what it means to find the extraordinary in the ordinary...

Rooftop Melodies

"Hmmmmm... ordinary in the extraordinary. Or wait, maybe it's the other way around..." I pondered what I would write for Out of the Extraordinary. My mind was blank.

As I mused, the sound of a glass-packed muffler pounded through my window. That vehicle had to be at least a block away, down by the bars where I could hear people talking a little too loudly and a little too enthusiastically. The engine revved over and over and over. People raised their voices. I was annoyed. I find myself often annoyed lately. I don't know exactly why this is, but I am even annoyed with the fact that I am often annoyed. Yes. It's self-perpetuating.

It's times like this when I think to myself (why do we say "think to myself?" To whom else would we think?) "Self, it's a good thing you do not have children, or even only one child, or even a mere husband. You could not handle a relationship. You could not handle caring for anyone other than you. You would quickly become uber annoyed with these people and eventually fall into insanity" Then I begin to argue with myself, "That's so not true. I love kids and I'm sure I could rise to the occasion if I were in a relationship." But I'm not very convincing. I'm afraid I'm right. Er... wrong? No wait, um... What did I say about insanity?

The voices drone into my window again. I want to tell these people that it is late. It's only a Thursday night. Can't they hold off on the drinking for one more night? My neck is stiff from laying on my tummy in bed and typing with my hands above my head. My eyes blink closed. I just realized how tired I am.

Then I decide it really doesn't matter. The act of being annoyed doesn't change anything. You choose your battles. Some will need to be addressed. Some will need to be ignored. And that's exactly what I will do about the fair patrons of Bottom's Up down the street.

Sometimes I just have to remind myself that God gives the grace to deal with every situation he sends. From noisy neighbors to crying children and family priorities to dealing with loneliness and the realization that my plans are not his plans, I'll find the strength in him. And as I remind myself of this fact, I also remember that my iPod will drown out annoying neighbors. My eyes close again and I thank God for the little things, because ordinary, everyday annoyances are what make life extraordinary in its own crazy way.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Out, Out, Damn Virus!

Alas, yes my computer did succumb to the virus that's going around. This is why I'm writing today's post from the office, after working hours (much, much after actually).

So let this be a Public Service Announcement:

Update your virus protection software! Or if you don't have it, buy it!!! I will admit that I let mine lapse a very, very long time ago, and since I generally do not make it a habit to vist skeezy websites, I did ok. But wouldn't you know it, the day after a friend at work got a virus, I got the virus. It's like how colds just jump from desk to desk, except my computer has never been near his. Stupid internet. :p

And of course this happens after my 3-year warrenty expires. So I have to drop $260 at Best Buy for the Geek Squad to fix it, because honestly right now I don't have many computer geek friends that I know well enough to burden with a viral plague-infected computer.

The only plus side of the event was that the guy I talked to, Bruce, was the epitome of everyone I used to hang out with in high school, and it was so much fun chatting with him while filling out the paperwork. I almost wanted to go back and be like "Hey Bruce, would you like to be my friend?" and then I realized how insanely pathetic that would have sounded so I just kept walking.

But it's funny how in the space of 8 days I've managed to both break my digital camera (still under warrantee, thank God) and get a virus on my computer. Like seriously, does God want me hanging around Best Buy for a specific reason??

The highly ironic thing is that I haven't been good at blogging in the 3 days of the week when I don't have a MEME going on, and yet today I made darned sure to make sure I wrote something. And hopefully in the next week I'll start getting caught up on the last month (or more) of comments I haven't responded to. Because you never really understand how much you love doing something until it suddenly becomes harder to do. Like using the internet. I mean, hooray for my BlackBerry, but unless there's a blogger app out there, I can't see myself doing a blog post with it. (IS there an app for it??)

Well, folks, that's about all I have for today. Sorry it's not much. But if you take nothing else away from this, remember: Update your virus protection software today! It's worth not having the headache later!

Cheers.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Be My Guest Monday! Her Silent Musings


Hello! Today is another Be My Guest Monday! Have you decided to be my guest yet? If not, you should!! (hint... just click on the link...) :)

Today's guest is Lauren from Her Silent Musings. When I started my blog I had to decide how much of my deepest thoughts I would actually be comfortable sharing to the public, since the "public" includes my mom, friends, and potentially people from work. What I love about Lauren's post is its simplicity, its transparancy, and the stream-of-consciousness writing style that I adore so much. I dare you to love this post more than I do:

Her Silent Musings...

There is a difference in my writing when I journal versus when I'm writing my story. You can tell. My journal reads horribly; the writing difficult to wrap your mind around either because of the jagged style or ill-scripted handwriting. When reading my story, it sounds like I try too hard, try too hard to be perfect. Often times, when I journal I also try to sound poignant, and more so just come across as dramatic and foolish. Yet when I write for my blog, I find that my voice sounds more authentic and wholesome. I actually sound like a real person delving into her inner soul and sharing pieces of it with people. You would think this would be the same for journaling, even book writing. However, such is not the case. When I'm writing my story, my mind almost feels completely detached from the moment, as if my fingers know more about what's going on than I do. When I journal, I think too much about someone possibly reading my thoughts in the future and I want to sound deep and reflective. When truthfully, I'm just a woman (yes, I'll be turning 20 in less than one month, and will no longer be a teen, so I shall refer to myself as a woman now) who eats goldfish crackers while writing her innermost thoughts.

I bought my parents a Thank You card because sometimes I feel like I don't show them enough appreciation. I can be very grouchy if my mom calls and I'm not in the mood to talk. I hardly ever talk to my dad on the phone during the week, so the only time I'm ever pleasant is during the weekend when I'm at their house visiting. Maybe I'm just looking at myself in a darker light than most; maybe I'm too hard on myself. Regardless, I want them to know that they're appreciated, and I know a card doesn't really do or say a whole lot, but it's better than nothing at all, and it's not like I don't ever say “thank you” to them when they do something for me. Sometimes I don't say thanks, so it makes me come off looking like I think I deserve to be catered to, but that's not how I perceive myself. Maybe I used to when I was in high school and still living with them, but not anymore.

Sadly enough, I'm going to be draining my bank account thin by the next pay period. While I was at Buffalo Wild Wings the other night with some friends, I bought a three-pack of screen guards and a new cover for my cell phone from Amazon, not considering that “Hey, Lauren, you have a doctor's appointment coming up this week” and not even thinking that I would need a refill on my medication for which I would have to pay. So that's a thirty dollar doctor's visit – and my real doctor wasn't even there, it was the head honcho lady who made me feel somewhat like she was talking down to me, which never sits well in my stomach – and then however much my prescription is going to cost. Not to mention, I bought lunch at various fast food restaurants before I went and bought groceries today, still have to buy gas for next week, and pay my car insurance. Ugh...

And then last Saturday my mom and I went to Kohl's where she bought me three pairs of pants for work. I tried them on Sunday afternoon and only one pair fit. My mom asked me if I'd gained any weight since I'd been on “the pill” and I said no, at least it hadn't felt like it. I mean, yeah, my belly's gotten a little rounder because I'm not walking my arse off from one class to another everyday, and I don't dance or cheer or do gymnastics anymore, but I didn't feel any heavier. She said it's possible that I had gained weight, and it disturbs me that this possibility unsettled me.

All my life, people have been telling me I need to gain weight, and the honest truth is that I've always resented their comments. I never wanted to gain weight, even though I knew I was small and could use a little meat on my bones. I don't have an eating disorder, I don't starve myself, or make myself vomit. I'm not obsessed with counting calories and doing two hundred crunches before bed every night. Now, truth be told, I could probably eat a lot healthier than what I do. I eat way too much junk. But since last weekend, I've turned sideways in the mirror many times and longed for my lost abs packed down by lack of exercise and too many Zaxby's milkshakes (too many Zaxby's anything, really).

There's a lady I work with who constantly informs me of her envy over my body and weight, something that annoys me to no end. People have told me they would kill for my body. Kill? Seriously? When I was in middle school, a curvy, curly-haired classmate pointed to my belly at a pool party and said, “That's how I want to look!” I curled into myself a little, slightly embarrassed by the attention, already feeling awkward that I was the only girl wearing pink and blue plaid boxer shorts over my swimsuit because I'd just started my period and was afraid of tampons. I've been accused of having nearly every eating disorder in the book, both behind my back and to my face. People have really surprised me by what they've said, yet looking back on it, I don't feel at all shocked by their words. Thinking of the kind of people they were and the way they treated not only me, but others, too, helped me make sense of the things they said to me and about me, and why they said them. That probably sounds harsh, but it's true. People can be mean, jealous, rude. Eventually, I learned to ignore the remarks. People would say what they were going to say and you couldn't do much to stop them.

So, in conclusion, I've learned that writing just has to be done, gratitude needs to be shown, and acceptance needs to be made. We are not perfect, we are just human. To be human means to be imperfect, sinful, but most importantly redemptive. I will probably never write perfectly the first time, will never say “thank you” enough, and will never look exactly the way I want to, because if I did, I have discovered that I wouldn't need God or His help. Because I am all of these things, I need Him, and will always need Him.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fictionary Friday - Repercussion

So here are the rules. I will post a word and its definition. It will be a real word, and its real definition. But then I will create a fictionary definition for the same word, and invite you to do the same. Sound good? Good. Here we go:

Dictionary Definition:
Repercussion n. an effect or result, often indirect or remote, of some event or action: "The repercussions of the quarrel were widespread."

Fictionary Definition:
Repercussion n. at a concert: a repeat by the drummer/percussionist of his/her solo, often leading into a replay of the chorus or the entire song: "I loved the concert, but that drummer added too many repercussions."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Curvy Thursday

Reason number 692 why curvy women will rule the world:

When we're running low on pockets, we can just store stuff in our bosoms.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wit & Wisdom Wednesday

Time for Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, where I post a quote from a well-known (or not so well-known) person. Please feel free to comment with quotes that have touched your soul.

~

"Excellence is not a singular act, but a habit. You are what you repeatedly do."

~ Shaquille O'Neal  ~

Monday, May 10, 2010

Be My Guest Monday! Living, Laughing, Loving


Hello! Thanks for stopping by today. Today is Be My Guest Monday! I'm looking for people to do some extraordinary summer posts for me... how about YOU??

Today's guest is Angela from Living, Laughing, Loving. You've got to check out her blog when you're done reading this post... if you can't smile after seeing the picture... well then you may just need some help. :) But today you are so lucky to read this beautiful Mother's Day tribute. And so...

A Blink After Birth
by Angelia Sims


<a href="http://youthinkyoucanblog.wordpress.com/" title="Living, Loving, Laughing"><img src="http://i1007.photobucket.com/albums/af194/iamconfessing/living-1.jpg" width="175" height="175" alt="Living, Loving,Laughing" /></a>

When I was a little girl from age four to ten, one of my favorite stories my mom would tell me was about the day I was born. As often as I could, I would beg her to tell it to me again. Maybe it was for the closeness we shared on that day. Maybe it was because my mom told it with such heart and soul. Maybe it was because I got to snuggle with her under the covers in her big brass bed. She would wrap me up and stroke my hair as she began to quietly speak. Transfixed, I would listen as she recounted the day with perfect clarity.

My mom, your Grandma Dorothy, died while I was pregnant with you. I was only 29 years old. We were so close and I loved her so much. It was devastating to me. But I had your two brothers, and sister to take care of. I could not grieve forever. As much as I would miss her, I had to do the best I could for my family. You were five months in my tummy when I said good-bye to her for the last time.

The months went by as slow and hard as I thought they would be. The emptiness and loss were a hole I could not fill. The boys were a handful, but thankfully your sister, who was eight, was a BIG help. She wished and wished for a baby sister and not a brother. I told her how sorry I was but I didn't think I could have any more girls. I wanted a girl more than anything but just couldn't get my hopes up. It seemed the last possible thing in the world. But in my dreams, I couldn't help but picture a big brown-eyed baby girl.


Two weeks from your due date the doctor informed me that he would go ahead and induce labor. He felt it was time. I had not gained much weight. I was too thin and too unhealthy. In my harrowing days, I had not taken very good care of myself. It was losing my mom. It was raising three children. It was so many things.


I couldn't believe after laboring all day when the moment of your arrival came and the doctor announced, "It's a girl!" I told him, "It couldn't be! I couldn't have any more girls." The doctor just laughed at me. "Of course you can have more girls and you did. She is beautiful. Just look at her."


And you were....you were so, so beautiful. You had BIG brown eyes that peered up at me like an Owl. And you were so tiny too, only 5lbs 12oz, the smallest baby I ever had. Your thin blond downy fuzz on your head was so soft, and how I loved to count your precious little fingers and toes. Oh, I was amazed and in love. I only wished my mom could be there to meet you.


Back in those days, the babies would lay in the nursery while the mom recovered in her room from the medicines and birth. I was laying there in my hospital bed thinking of you and smiling, when suddenly, at the foot of my bed stood my mom. She was standing there looking at me with such love and adoration on her face. She looked right in my eyes and said, "Oh Sharon, you did it again. She is beautiful, just like you dreamed she would be with those big brown eyes. I'm so happy you got another girl."


I was so amazed and startled. I did what any normal person would do, I closed my eyes. I shook my head. When I opened them, she was gone.


Oh how I wished I had not closed my eyes. I wish I would have talked to her. I wish...I wish...I wish....but I didn't and just like that, she was gone. But she WAS there. Really there. It wasn't a dream. I will never forget that moment for the rest of my life.

Her story is both heart-wrenching and joyful. I am usually crying with her at the end. In my heart of hearts, I know my Grandma met me. She gazed at me through the glass. She lovingly reached for my downy head and stared into my big eyes. Oh Grandma, I heard so much about you. What you must have done to visit your daughter in a gesture of comfort, a gesture of reassurance, and a gesture of compassion that you were still there in her deepest period of loss. How much you loved us all. I know one day we will meet again, all of us, and no blink will ever miss that moment.

In loving memory of my mom's mom, Dorotha Marie.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fictionary Friday - Incensed

So here are the rules. I will post a word and its definition. It will be a real word, and its real definition. But then I will create a fictionary definition for the same word, and invite you to do the same. Sound good? Good. Here we go:

Dictionary Definition:
Incensed v. past tense. to inflame with wrath; make angry; enrage "When Peter broke my vase I was incensed."

Fictionary Definition:
Insenced v. past tense. to cover with large amounts of perfume, usually in a department store. "I hate walking through the beauty department at Macy's because I always come out incensed and it makes me sneeze for hours."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Curvy Thursday

Reason number 107 why curvy woman will rule the world:

Because our milkshake does bring all the boys to the yard.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Wit & Wisdom Wednesday

Time for Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, where I post a quote from a well-known (or not so well-known) person. Please feel free to comment with quotes that have touched your soul.

~

"Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude."

~ William James ~

Monday, May 3, 2010

Be My Guest Monday! Nouns Make Verbs


Happy Monday! Today is yet another Be My Guest Monday! You should definitely click that link and let me know if you'd like to be one of my guest bloggers!

Today's guest blogger is proving yet again that the quality of my blog goes up every time I have someone else write for it. :) Please welcome Sabrina from Nouns Make Verbs. This is one of the first blogs that I started following, and I am so very glad I did! Enjoy...

Useful


Tumbling with the waves as they rolled foaming, the glass bumped into the gritty sand. Yesterday the waves were angry, crashing on the shore, but today they slid up, nonchalant, rolling. The gulls skipped out of their way. They were bored and fighting over nothing, because there was nothing to eat, and they fought loudly.

The glass was sharp. It was a bottle an hour ago and useful, but now broken; forgotten, unwanted and broken. Its pieces were pretty but missing from each other and less useful, even dangerous. It skipped along in the grit. As the foam cleared with each wave, the glass glimmered soft blue.

Smallish things scurried past it, over it, under it. The sun above it was a strange yellow ball. There was a constant humming, the power of the ocean humming. The waves rolled the glass along the grit. They licked the shore and rolled the glass, whose sides were becoming dull as it tumbled.

The yellow ball of a sun went down and it was dark. Sometimes the glass was on the beach and there was no water, but the gulls were there fighting over what was left to eat, grabbing and fighting. A gull picked the glass up and flew with it for a moment, then dropped it. Forgotten and left, and also broken.

Haunting waves, moody waves, gentle waves, as the yellow sun rose and sank again and again. Time by the ocean. Time, with waves rolling, is all of time and also is no time, because it is the same always, without mercy. The glass was changing. It was cloudy now, its edges quite smooth. It shone soft blue but in a different way.

It had become useful again, no longer dangerous. The yellow sun rose once again and people came to walk in the surf and laugh at the fighting gulls, fighting about the food they brought. Their umbrellas and towels and laughter filled the beach.

The waves were soft today for the people. They rolled onto the sand like a mother rolling a ball to her baby. The glass tumbled with them and landed at the feet of a young girl who saw things. She picked it up and put it in her pocket.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Fictionary Friday - Appease

So here are the rules. I will post a word and its definition. It will be a real word, and its real definition. But then I will create a fictionary definition for the same word, and invite you to do the same. Sound good? Good. Here we go:

Dictionary Definition:
Appease v. to bring to a state of peace, quiet, ease, calm, or contentment; pacify; soothe

Fictionary Definition:
Appease adj. the ability to download and use iPhone applications with little to no effort

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Curvy Thursday

Reason number 482 why curvy woman will rule the world:

Because our TV lingerie ads are so good they show less skin, and yet get called too sensual.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wit & Wisdom Wednesday

Time for Wit & Wisdom Wednesday, where I post a quote from a well-known (or not so well-known) person. Please feel free to comment with quotes that have touched your soul.

~

"Regard it as just as desirable to build a chicken house as to build a cathedral."

~ Frank Lloyd Wright  ~

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Two Stories

Story #1

Three days ago, the World Cup was played at the schoolyard by my apartment.

At least, that's what it seemed like: players running up and down the plastic grass, bumping into each other and careening off to the side, diving to save the ball, and lobbing it back into play.

But what really made it important is the spectators lining almost the entire field. "Go, go, go-go-go!" yells one man. "Bueno, bueno, bueno!" cries another.

You would think they had put money down on the outcome.

And it made all those "Soccer Mom" stereotypes come to mind.

Because really, it wasn't the world cup. It was a game between 11-year-old girls.

But you'd have thought it was the World Cup.


Story #2

Yesterday on the ride home from work I stood near four kids: two boys, two girls. Probably about 10 or 11. I'm assuming a parent or two were nearby (possibly enjoying being on the other side of the aisle). Each child had a cell phone.

You can tell that the parents had a part to play in which phone the children got. There was the nearly indestructable one for the boy who probably breaks everything. The "cheap" phone for the boy who probably leaves his phone "somewhere" once a month. And the super cute phones for the girls, because of course it's all about how you look on the outside (but that's another post).

What I found so charming, however, was not the fact that they each had their very own copy of technology that didn't exist when I was 11, but that they were weilding their phones like swords, holding them up in salute to each other, and then taking photos or videos, trying to get the silliest picture.

And then when they had taken a round of photos, they all held their phones into the center and compared the pictures.

There was something very endearing about this simple game they were playing.

And it kinda made me really, really jealous.

I mean, dude, they each had their own phone! :)