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Monday, October 8, 2012

autumn...

photo by @iubloomington on instagram

i love autumn.  i really do.  i love summer more, but i love the change.

i hate that it's so brief.

i love the sweaters, the boots, the chill in the morning.  i love the feeling of the heater on my toes in the car in the morning.  i love the feel of the steam of my coffee, floating up and swirling around my nose.

autumn will forever remind me of college.  i went to indiana university, which was my dream as a little girl.  when i was small, the biggest thing in the world was indiana university basketball, and, specifically, bobby knight.  i knew who bobby knight was before i knew who the president was.  that's just the way our house operated.  dad and i, and sometimes mom, watched every single game.  i knew every player, their hometown, their stats, their jersey numbers.  and i decided when i was young, that no matter what i decided to be when i grew up, i was going to go to that school.

now, fast forward to high school, where this young and naive girl managed to earn the title of valedictorian, but by all rights did not earn academic scholarships to cover this schooling.  i applied to valparaiso, indiana university, university of saint francis.

the Big Guy Upstairs really knows His stuff, though, because when the financial packages came through, IU was the clear winner.  i had to work as a work-study in the office of the registrar, and i had to take student loans, but my once bigger-than-life and bigger-than-my-small-hometown dream was realized.

and the picture above is just a tiny part of the gorgeous, historic campus that i was blessed to call home for four years.

during those four years, i learned in class.  sure.  i majored in biology and minored in chemistry and spent endless hours in the chem building, in jordan hall eating bagels on the floor of the lobby, cramming for tests, and in the union, sleeping between 8am lecture and 10am lab.  but i learned a lot more.

i learned independence.  i learned nostalgia.  i learned a lot of values, and i learned a lot about people in general.  i learned that there are somethings that are okay to let slide, and there are other things that you just can't let go.

i learned more than academics.  i learned school spirit, pride, self-indulgence and self-control.  i learned what i wanted out of life.  i learned how to work hard, and how to play hard.  i learned what i could handle.  and i learned responsibility.

even to this day, the smell of an autumn morning reminds me of walking to class, fingers chilled, nose pink, rain or shine.  certain songs, too, remind me of the experience...an experience that i share with a lot of good people, some still here, some gone on to other adventures.  but the one thing that all of us have in common is that time, that place, and that excursion of being miles from home, and yet feeling at home all at once.  that bittersweet feeling of homesickness and independence, tempered with laughter and antics.

indiana, our indiana.  indiana, we're all for you!
we will fight for the cream and crimson
for the glory of old IU!
never daunted, we cannot falter.
in a battle, we're tried and true!
indiana, oh indiana!  indiana, we're all for you!

Monday, October 1, 2012

occupational hazards of mommyhood, part 2



so.  piper had to have stitches last friday.  five of them.  five, interrupted, 5.0 ethilon sutures put in by yours truly.

she actually did pretty well, except for the numbing part.  i've never understood why lidocaine burns so badly.  i mean, the whole point of numbing something is not to hurt, isn't it?

jay was there, held her head still, and 15 minutes later, she was patched up, almost as good as new.

and she immediately wanted to go back to school.

how did this happen?  she was chasing boys.

she's 6.  yes, she was chasing boys.

and i told her, "piper, the boys are supposed to chase you."

her response:  "but mommy, i'm faster than all the boys."

touche.

she also lost her top front tooth last week.  so it was kind of a weird week.

here's my question........why does this always happen before school pictures?

school pictures are this week.  wednesday.  in three days.  as in, she may still have her stitches, depending on how she heals.  lost teeth, i understand.  that's typical.  but stitches?

last year, she cut her hair, in the front, to about 2 inches in length, in one spot.  thankfully, i was able to hide that a little bit.  she lost the tooth, i thought, eh, no biggie.  every kid has a shot where they've lost teeth.  but STITCHES?!?



well, i guess this will be a way for us always to remember the year she smacked straight into the playground equipment because she was chasing boys.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Thirty Two

okay.  i'm 32 today.

to say it out loud, it sounds kinda old.

which is exactly what my 6 year old informed me of yesterday.  "mommy, that's an old age."

"so you're saying i'm old?!?!"

"no mommy, that's just an old age."

first, she guessed i was 15.  i should have gone with that.


however, not to be a downer, i'm interested in facts about the number 32.  here are some that i found:

it is the atomic number of germanium.

it is the number of completed piano sonatas written by beethoven.

in religion, the number of physical attributes listed for the appearance of buddha is 32.

it was the uniform number for sandy koufax, jim brown, oj simpson, magic johnson, bill walton, and karl malone.

it is the number of teams in the nfl.


interesting things that happened in the year i was born (1980):

pac-man was released.

the u.s. boycotted the summer olympics.

cnn was launched.

the phillies won the world series.

john lennon was killed.


in 32 years, i've seen, done, experienced, wished, dreamt, and worried a lot.  this year is going to have to work hard to top the last, and yet, there are many things that i look forward to being improved.  i know that, above all else, i am blessed to have been giving these years, and that the Big Guy Upstairs must think i'm pretty awesome to keep me around for this long.

i had a dream last night about my mom.  and i woke up sobbing.  i wonder if she was trying to reach out to me, to say happy birthday.  after all, she birthed me.  i wonder.

Friday, September 14, 2012

cleaning DIY


okay, i've always wanted to one of those women....you know the kind.  the kind that look fabulous without trying.  that don't need make up.  that make their own clothes, jewelry, cleaning supplies.  the kind that have a house that always looks like a magazine photo shoot.

well, i'm not going to want anymore.  i can do this.  and with pinterest i can find all kinds of ways that are easy, cheap, and...well...easy to be this woman.  to be the mother/wife/homemaker that i've always wanted to be.  and to save money.  to stop throwing money away on stupid stuff.  and to make things more earth-friendly/kid-friendly/pet-friendly without so many harsh chemicals.

i already mark myself fairly crafty with some things.  i can sew, cross-stitch, make wreaths, and do lots of neat  home decor. 

but my first project with regards to my diy stuff is going to be cleaning supplies.  so much money is wasted on products full of chemicals in order to clean things....dishes, laundry, floors, tubs, counters. 

now, i have a steam mop.  and i love that for what i can use it for.  steam is clean, hot, antiseptic.  but i can't use that to clean my clothes, or my toilets, or my mirrors. 

so i'm going to figure some ways to do these things without the chemicals.

shopping list:
baking soda
vinegar
ammonia
dawn dish soap
hydrogen peroxide
borax
washing soda
oxyclean
rubbing alcohol
bleach
spray bottles/containers
scrub brushes
white towels (so that they can be bleached and the color won't bleed)
paper towels

products:
tub scrub (via martha stewart)
one cup baking soda to one teaspoon dish soap.  add enough water to make a paste and scrub.

carpet spot remover
one part ammonia to one part hot water into a spray bottle. spray liberally onto carpet, place white towel over and iron stain away.

glass cleaner wipes
2 cups water, 1/2 c. rubbing alcohol, 1/2 c. vinegar.  use 1/2 roll paper towel, into container, soak towels.  remove center cardboard roll and pull wipes from center.

baby wipes
2 1/4 c. water, 2 tablespoons baby wash, 1 tbsp baby oil.  mix and soak 1/2 roll paper towel as above.

bleach wipes
1/2 c. bleach, 2 1/2 c. water.  mix as above.

deodorant stain remover
1 tsp dawn dish soap, 4 tsp peroxide, 2 tbsp baking soda.  mix and scrub and rinse.

homemade laundry detergent (liquid)
1 bar of soap, 1c. borax, 1c. washing soda.  grate the bar of soap.  put into big pot with one gallon of water. cook until soap is melted. add borax and soda.  bring to boil.  turn off heat.  add one gallon of cold water.  use 1/4 to 1/2 c. per load.

homemade laundry detergent (powder)
1 box borax (4lb 12oz box), 1 box washing soda (3lb 7 oz box), 1 (3lb) container oxyclean, 2 bars zote soap, 1 box (4lb) baking soda, 1 bottle crystals fabric softener (optional).  grate bars of soap, mix all ingredients together and use 2 tbsp per load.

shower cleaner
1 part dawn dish soap to 1 part vinegar.  spray and scrub.

this is gonna be so awesome.  i'll need a pair of birkenstocks before long.

Monday, September 10, 2012

the best offense is a good defense


so, i realize that once a person has kids, or gets married, or moves into a new house, or starts a new career, there are bound to be scores of advice given from all corners of the earth.

"well when my daughter was born...."

"when we moved into our new house...."

"when i first started being a working mom...."

"when we got married, we...."

and the truth is, i thought i was totally equipped to handle all of this.  take it all with a grain of salt, i told myself.  and tuck back the really great advice for future reference.  and keep track of things that were helpful for me.  and try not to push my advice on anyone else unless they ask.  or at least preface it when i offer it with, "this is only my opinion, so feel free to ignore it, but..."

i never really steeled myself for having to defend my decisions, though.  to have to stand up to criticism.  unwanted advice i can let roll off my back.  and at least if advice is offered, there is the opportunity there to accept and learn from it.  but when i'm criticized for choices i've made or ignored, my hackles go up and i immediately go on the defensive.

the best offense is a good defense, right?  well, i suppose in order to be aggressive with the raising of my family/preservation of my marriage/furthering of my career, i'd better get my defensive line in order.  

i'm not perfect.  i make mistakes constantly.  if i can make it through a day without screwing someone or something up too badly, i count that in the win slot.  there isn't any such thing as a perfect person, or a perfect mother or wife, but i strive to be the best i can.  some days i end up just above sucking, and those days are the days that drain me.

but i'm not sure where it is that anyone has a right to criticize the manner in which i live my life.  i try not to criticize others if i can help it.  i don't bag on them for not doing certain things, or for making certain choices.  and there are days that i pray for bedtime....for the kids, or me, i'm not always sure which.  and there are other days that i don't want the day to end, ever.  there are days that the kids just grate on every nerve ending in my body, and there are days where i'd pick them up and put them in my pocket and carry them with me for the whole day.  there are more days than not that i'm so happy that things are the way they are, and only a few days where i wish i was better, more involved, more patient, more constructive, more present.

regardless of the way i feel on an ever-changing basis, it's my life....the life that the Big Guy Upstairs has blessed me with.  and as long as He and i are good, i can't see where anyone has the right to stand in judgment of me.  to try to penetrate my defensive line and get to the core of my team, my huddle.  and as far as i can say, no one is going to break that down.  that line may get battered at times, and occasionally it may miss a block, but overall, that defensive line is going to defend what i've got, what the Big Guy and hubs and i have built.  

Saturday, September 8, 2012

where is my easy button?



this year marks two milestones for the hubs and i.  it marked, in august, ten years of us being together.  and it marked, on june 16th, five years of being married.

that's a lot of stuff to mark in one year.

ten years is a long time.  and there have been a lot of things that have happened to us, around us, between us in the last ten years.  we've seen happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, bitterness, absolute chaos, death, life, and everything else that the human condition is subject to.

hubs and i have known each other, literally, since the first grade.  we went to elementary school together, but we weren't in the same class until third grade.  we both had mr. eichenauer, who was a former basketball coach with the curliest hair i've ever seen on a man.  there was a particularly messy child in our class, and mr. e used to tip over his desk on a weekly basis so that the child would have to actually clean up and throw things away.  nowadays, that'd be wrong.  then, it was hilarious.

we went to junior high school together, and it was at that time that i fit in more with the "brains" and he fit in more with the "stoners," because...well, i was a brain and he was a stoner.  and those stereotypes were not only correct, but they were true until sometime after high school.  that's not to say that's all we were, but that's what we were known for.  and that's the way it stayed, even up until the time that people were told we were together.  there was a whole lot of, "wow, you're with him/her?" on both sides of the relationship.

but the truth is that we've taught each other quite a bit along the way, good and bad.  he's taught me to loosen up when it comes to some things.  and he's taught me not to be such a doormat.  there was a time in my life when i avoided conflict at all costs, sometimes to the point of losing myself completely.  i had a past relationship where i came in second to just about everything else to that person...friends, booze, whatever.  and i let that go on for three and a half years.  that's not to say there wasn't fun that was had during those three and a half years.  there was fun.  but it was a sort of fun that i didn't really feel like i was part of.  i felt like i was just along for the ride.  hubs taught me that you can have that much fun and stand up for your beliefs.

and when things were hard, and we had our trouble involving piper's conception, i would like to believe that i taught him a little bit about loyalty, and respect.  and that you don't bail on someone just because they've made a mistake.  that if you love someone, and you believe in them, then you accept them for all that they are, flaws and all.

it's not easy.  some days are easier than others.  but it's never easy.  and there is always work to be done.  whether it's remembering not to take our bad days out on each other, or remembering to speak to one another with respect, or not roll our eyes when the other has a particular interest.

we don't share all the same interests.  we do have quite a few things in common.  we enjoy a lot of the same music.  we like music that rocks, that's loud, that has a lot of bass, and that has a message.  we have to have our coffee in the morning.  jay never drank coffee until there was me, but now it's a staple.  we like a lot of the same television shows and movies, although he's much more interested in action than i am.

i've learned a lot about him in the last ten years.  he loves history, especially anything having to do with ancient egypt or about the mafia.  he likes his coffee strong.  scratching his back turns him to goo.  he has to have the television on in order to go to sleep at night.  he loves a thick pair of sweatpants in the winter.  he owns more gym shoes than any man i've ever known.  his favorite football team is the raiders.  he believes his greatest achievement is being a father and a husband.  he is fiercely loyal.  he cares what others think of him despite his projection of self-confidence, almost to a fault.  he wants to help, and he wants to fix things.  he holds tight to his friends, no matter the things they've done wrong.  it's hard for him to write people off, even if he talks a good game and says he's going to.

the point is....i couldn't imagine ten years ago that we'd be where we are.  that'd we'd be in the positions that we're in.  and i really think that we have a secret.  i guard our secret fiercely, but share it openly....we talk.  we communicate.  we don't say things to deliberately hurt each other.  but we talk.  and we tell each other.  and we know that that is one thing we have that only we share together.

he's my easy button.

Friday, September 7, 2012

what memories will hold...


i suppose this is true of all mothers and fathers.  i wonder and think and try to remember every thing that kids have ever done.  funny sayings, facial expressions, favorite toys....i relive these things over and over, in an effort to memorize them.

to remember-ize them.

and as i was sitting here thinking, i had this realization (which, if my brain was working at.all, i would have realized a long time ago), that while i am concentrating on remember my children, they are making memories of me.

i wonder what my children will remember of me.  i wonder if it will be happy...i hope so.  i wonder if they'll remember me as silly...i'm sure of it.


my first memories begin at about age 2 or 3, which i'm sure is typical for most people.  this was the time that we moved into the house that my dad and step mom live in to this day.  but i remember bits and pieces of the old house, too.  that means that piper has memories stored up for about two years now, and dade is going to start having memories at this time that he'll carry with him until he's grown.


unless they erase them with self-medication like i did...which i pray to God isn't the case.


and it also occurs to me that out of all the things i remember about my childhood, there are a lot of basics that i don't remember, or didn't take the time to know.  what was my mom's favorite color?  what is my dad's favorite food?  jay and i know these things about each other, but i don't know those things about my parents.


so, i suppose, for posterity's sake, i should record some things that i hope my children will want to know about me some day....

my favorite color is yellow.  i love yellow.  the color of the sun, of morning, of cute baby chicks.  i love yellow.

my favorite food changes a lot, but my favorite genre of food is italian.  i love the sauces, the pastas, the spices.

when i was a little girl, i loved school.  i loved to read, i loved to learn.  i still do.  for my whole life, i have been fascinated by science.  i wanted to study the stars, the planets, the constellations.  i loved physics and chemistry and biology.

my grandmother on my dad's side passed away when i was twelve.  she was a MASH nurse in world war II, and from the time that i could remember, i wanted to be a nurse like grandma.  before she died, grandma had to do peritoneal dialysis, and i would sit on the floor while she did her stuff, and listen to stories of the war, of wounded soldiers, of operations conducted under apple trees in france.  i always knew i would go into medicine, but i never dreamed it would be as a physician. 

jay would have been the furthest idea from my mind of who would have been my husband if you'd asked me fifteen years ago.  only because of the lives we led at the time...jay was very much a hell-raiser, and i was very much a goody-two-shoes.  but i thank God every day that He saw where things should go, because now, it's getting hard to remember life before him.

i didn't date that much in high school.  i had a few steady boyfriends.  and i wouldn't change that.  i dated enough to have some experience and some fun, but not so much that i became jaded. 

my favorite book, to date, is "the divine secrets of the ya-ya sisterhood."  i don't know why, but i love that book. 

my favorite musicians include sarah mclachlan, evanescence, pink floyd, and linkin park.  and i love the music i grew up on....creedence clearwater revival, zztop, bruce springsteen.

my best girlfriend of my life is my sister.  through thick and thin, no matter what time of day or night, i can call and she's there.  she and Hubs are the only ones i trust with my whole self. 

my favorite sports to watch are baseball and football.  i will forever be a diehard IU basketball fan.  i will always love the indianapolis colts and the st. louis cardinals. 

i was raised christian but was not baptized until i was 18.  i loved to go to church with my grandma.  i believe in God, and his Son Jesus Christ, and nothing will convince me otherwise.

my favorite teacher in high school was either mr. romary (trig and calculus) or mr. yager (anatomy).  they were the coolest.

my favorite class in all of college was organic chemistry.  although, i did have a comparative class in film and literature, and i loved that, too.  i wrote my senior thesis on the comparison between the film and the novel "fear and loathing in las vegas." 

my favorite rotation in medical school was either family medicine or infectious disease.  i wrote my senior thesis in medical school on a patient with coccidiomycosis. 

my favorite part of my job is truly the relationships that i develop with my patients.  i love that they trust me to come, in the middle of the night, speeding down the highway, to catch their baby, or guide them through their depression, or fix their broken arm, or keep them safe from a heart attack.

jay calls me "baby," and i call him either that or "sweetheart."  it's always been that way.

we danced to sarah mclachlan when we got married.

my favorite scent is lilac.  the prettiest flower is an iris.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

down the spiral


kay.

so.

what does one do when one sees a person they care for spiraling downward at an incredible rate?  

i've seen it.  and i've been it.  and the first thing that crosses my mind, the more that i think about this, is i wonder if this is what everyone else felt when i was out of control.  

when i was out of control, i was reeling from my mom's diagnosis, from the news that my future husband was father to a child that was not mine, and i was living hours away from my family (and states away from my sister).  i tried to maintain.  i tried to self-medicate.  and i tried, above all else, to hold it all inside and not to bother anyone else with what was going on.

i actually thought i did a good job.  i really and truly believed that no one had any idea how troubled and severed i felt on the inside.  

of course, that was the furthest thing from the truth.  which i didn't find out until i was approached.  only then did the healing begin.  the self-medicating eventually stopped.  therapy commenced.  

i'm still not healed, nor am i the person i used to be.  i don't know if i ever will be.  and i'm trying to be okay with that.  most days, it's fine.  other days, i wish like crazy that i could get back what i once had....that spark, that giggle, that ease of giddiness.

but now, there is someone that's going through something that is so different, so foreign to me that i can't begin to understand where it comes from, or what it's like.  i can't fix it.  and that irks me to know end.

it is so bothersome when i can't fix things.  i just want to fix it NOW.  and i want it to be over.  and i want things to be happy and rainbows again.  

but i can't do that with this.  i can't make this go away.  and what's more is that i don't truly know for sure what's going on.  and i don't know what to do.  i know that this person hurts, and hurts in a way that i can't relate to, and i know that i don't want that anymore.

i can't sit still.  i can't sit back.  but i do.  and i wait.  and i wonder if i should say something, try to yell, scream, push, pull, or prod.  or just let it be.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

occupational hazards of mommyhood

homework with piper

blogging is such an outlet.  and yet, it seems to be the thing that i always get to last.  the thing that sits on the back burner, always there, always waiting, patiently.  waiting for the moment when, at the end of the week/month/chaos, welcomes me back with open arms and says, "hello, friend."

there are always so many other things that need done RIGHTNOW.  kids need bathed.  laundry needs done.  homework needs completed.  my work needs finished.  specifically, charts have to be documented and organized.  dog needs bathed.  hubs needs loved. friends and family need help and support.  and i need sleep.

last weekend, i came down with some cruddy upper respiratory infection.  i haven't been sick like that in a long time, probably since i had H1N1 in 2009.  i actually missed work last friday and lost my voice.  however, the good news was that 1) Dade gave it to me, which means he's learning to share (always a good skill for a three year old to have), and 2) it only really lasted for about two days.  this meant that we were able to go to the linkin park/incubus concert.

there, we had a blast.

going to the concert was not the same as it would have been 10 years ago.  ten years ago, i would have partaken in many of the legal and illegal substances being passed amongst the other concert goers.  not anymore.  there are just too many things on the line that i stand to lose, to sacrifice, for three or four hours of fun. 

i didn't used to thing that way.  i used to partake without thought of the consequence.  that was many moons, two children, a husband, and a career ago. 

this week, as a i celebrate one full month of being a "partner" of the full medical practice to which i belong, i looked at my schedule and realized that i'm seeing about 25 patients per day.  which i love.  i love that i can see my patients, that i know their history, that i know their family, that i feel sort of like a "mommy" to them.  i don't think i could handle seeing more than that.  because then i don't think i could get out of the office to get home to do my mommy duties here.  but i thank God every day that He has seen fit to bless me with a blossoming practice and the opportunity to provide for my family.

through sickness, health, fun, sorrow, anger, laughter.  the occupational hazards of mommyhood.

Monday, August 6, 2012

recurring dreams


so....

i've been a really really naughty girl this summer.

i think i've only been to church, like, three times.  that's really not good.

and i really don't have any good excuses.  the first two times i missed were for legit reasons....i was on call and had to work.  and then, it was like, i just didn't want to, or i found other reasons i had to be home.  or, rather, i wanted to be home.  okay.  that's not okay.

and i can't figure out why i didn't want to go.  i love my church.  LOVE.  like, in capitals and underlined and italicized.  i fit there.  i love the people there.  i can have a for real, nitty gritty conversation with the Lord there and i feel like i'm home when i'm there.  

last night, i had the latest in a string of recurring dreams that i've had since i was a little girl.  i have always had these recurring nightmares about tornadoes.  i think this probably spawns from my mother's fear of them when i was little.  mom would seriously FREAK when there was inclement weather, and i probably translated that into my head.  but whenever i would have the dreams, i could always see the tornado, my family was always there, and i could somehow, in my dream, control something in the situation....whether it was getting away from it, or whatever.  and i'm sure, being as type-A as i am, that the whole reason that tornadoes scare the crap out of me is that element of non-control and chaos that the tornado represents.

the last few times, last night being the most recent, my mom has been in the dreams.  and she's there, and she's ever-so calm.  she's laughing, she's in control.  i can see her, she's guiding me, she's listening, she's offering advice, and in every one of these tornado dreams she's in, no one is hurt, no one is sacrificed, and i wake up without the panicked feeling that i usually wake up with.

which makes me wonder....is this possibly a way that she's trying to reach out to me?  is she trying to tell me to get my butt back to church, to have a convo with the Big Man himself?  is she just letting me know she's there?  is she offering me guidance?  or is my subconscious relying on coping mechanisms i used to have several years ago?

Monday, July 30, 2012

transitions

on july 10th, 2012, i was blessed with an honor.

well, rewind.

i was blessed with an honor even before that.  in november of 2011, truly.  that's when i found out that my sister was pregnant.  pregnant for the first time.  directly after she married the guy that she'd been searching for her entire life.

this guy, brian, is awesome.  he makes Sister so happy.  he really does.  so to find out they were pregnant was awesome.

to watch her during the pregnancy was amazing.  even though she had terrible nausea and developed ankles the size of small tree trunks, she did amazing.

she came in to the office on july 9th, after having pretty intense contractions all morning.




this was TWO DAYS after her baby shower.

baby's heart rate was good, but i kept her here, because she was only 36w6d and we got her started on some procardia to stop the contractions.  well, that didn't work, because her water broke here at the office in the bathroom.  she was so nervous and scared and anxious.

as was i.  in the few years i've been practicing medicine, i've never been the one to drive someone to the hospital.  i always show up after that part, when it's time to the catch the baby.

so i took her to my house, where we met up with brian, and he took her to the hospital.

Sister had asked me to be there at the hospital, since Mom couldn't be there.  brian's parents were there, dad was there, tery was there.  and we waited.  we drank coffee.  and we waited.  Sister dilated.  and we waited.  dad and i sat in my truck with the windows open, eyes closed, telling stories about childhood memories, and we waited.  and then i got the call to come back up to the labor deck because Sister was 9.5 cm dilated.  hooray!

and after about 15 minutes of pushing, i watched her make this amazing transition from my baby Sister into a Mommy as she gave birth to 5#9oz Daggar Xavier, born at 37 weeks.  10 fingers, 10 toes, all perfect and tiny.

i got to deliver my nephew.  how cool is that?  who gets to do that?!?




and it was amazing.  the most amazing thing i've ever done.  of all the babies i've ever delivered, aside from my own, this was the most special thing i've ever done.








Sunday, June 3, 2012

uncle


i suppose one could say that i'm a complex individual.  although, i'm sure we all are.


i don't know why it's taken me so long, but to be truthful, i still don't know my limits until i've passed them.


looking back, we always have the benefit of hindsight.  i can look back at things that i've done, and think, "wow, i can't believe i did that."  "i can't believe i was such an idiot."  "i can't believe i pulled through that."  we all do that.  we all have highlights and low times that we look back on, and it gives us strength to press on.


however, the last couple of years, i keep thinking that there is going to come a time when i finally call "uncle."  i think to myself, "if i have to go through this one more time, i am not going to make it."  and then whatever it is happens again, and i wake up the next day, giving myself another ultimatum. 


why do we do that?  why do we almost defeat ourselves before we're even put into a particular situation?  is it that we don't believe in ourselves enough?  is it that we look back and think, "but i've already been through so much!"  do we feel sorry for ourselves and want to give ourselves a way out?  do we doom ourselves by imagining another go-round of a particular situation?  or are we simply too coward to cry "uncle" in the here and now?


i would like to think that i don't cry "uncle" because i'm so tenacious and that i am the eternal optimist.  but i know that's not always the truth.  i don't want to give up on something, or someone.  ever.  i want to hold out hope that things will be okay.  i believe that whatever it is, i can fix it, i can make it right, and i can believe that okay-ness into reality.


and things will always be okay.  always.  sometimes it just sucks in the process.


and it's a blow to the ego when things don't turn out as okay as i would like.


and there's a big part of me that's starting to realize that i have to quit taking responsibility for others' actions.  i need to stop feeling responsible for the choices that other people make.  and i need to stop trying to find my fault in their situations and their decisions.


that's a tough thing to swallow.


the truth is, no matter the outcome, the only thing that we can do is what we do....we can't plan around an outcome, a possible insult, a perceived slight.  we need to love anyway, be happy anyway, smile anyway, cry anyway, give anyway.  even on the days when we think we're at out lowest, or we're facing our toughest challenge, another person may be relying on our love, our smile, our gift, to pull out of something that's tougher than any of us will ever know.  maybe they are crying "uncle," and they need us to take the pressure off.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

first to last

today was piper's last day of kindergarten.

where did the year go?
she started the year knowing her alphabet, shapes, colors.

now she can read.  she knows her address, phone number, and lots of other things, like how to play games, the rules to duck-duck-goose, how to sing.  she has favorite bible verses.

she has gained confidence, courage, and a sense of self.

she has lost teeth, lost shyness, and lost her "toddler"-ness.

how did this happen already?  and how amazing is this?



first day of school



last day of school

Friday, May 11, 2012

publicly unacceptable



this is so the truth.  seriously, the first thing i do when i walk in the door, without fail, without interruption, is take out my contacts and put on comfy clothes.


so i wonder something....in a world in which we are inundated with photos and social media, telling us what celebrities do all the time....why do they always look absolutely perfect?

i mean, i know that's, like, their job, but seriously.

do prince william and duchess kate ever wake up and have bed head?  surely, he must see her without makeup and in sweat pants.  i wonder if she even owns sweat pants. 

you know, i might send her some of mine....if i didn't love them so much.



this concludes the random thought of the day.  :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

accept...except?











if there is one thing that i could guess was a universal truth, it's that people want to be accepted.  not excepted.  


this has been a resounding theme to life in the palmer household as of late.  jay wants acceptance with his chronic illness.  he wants a solution.  right now, without a solution, he is an exceptance.  he wants to have acceptance.  


i know exceptance isn't a word.  but it is today.


piper wants acceptance.  there was a whole knock-down-drag-out explosive meltdown last night.  about how she doesn't want to do the things that are asked of her because her younger brother doesn't have to do the same thing.  kids are very literal.  she doesn't see that her brother is only mature enough to do the same things that she was doing at that age.  and that because she's older, she has different responsibilities.  she wants acceptance, not exceptance.

none of us wants to be different.  it's a catch 22.  we're all unique but we're all the same.  we want to fit in, we want to be a puzzle piece that matches and is turned just the right way to fit into our place.  we don't want to be that one piece that belongs to a different puzzle and accidentally got mixed into the wrong set.



it's a tough thing to teach, no matter the age, especially when it's not all figured out in the first place.  so what is there to do?  be supportive.  encourage.  demonstrate.  accept.


if i want to be accepted, my mind tells me that i have some accepting to do.  if i except, then i will be excepted. if you want to have a good friend, you have to be a good friend. 


one of the best things i've learned about relationships, and it's probably because i heard it somewhere and can't remember where...is that a person's contribution to a relationship and the value that they hold in that relationship is based on what they can contribute, not what they can take.  every relationship is about being accepted, not excepted.  but one should look at it from the point of view of what can i give to this person?  what can i provide for them?  


there will always be times when a person has to take, too.  but that gives the other person the opportunity to give.  sometimes it's really. really. difficult to give, because it's so easy to feel selfish.  it's so easy to feel slighted, to feel that i'm the one doing all the giving.  it's so easy to feel that we want to give up, and stop reaching out.  but sometimes, the reaching out is what fosters the continued relationship, the feeling of acceptance.  the denial of reaching out gives expentance instead.


sometimes the giving of acceptance is all that is needed.



Monday, April 30, 2012

be brave, young grasshopper


i want to get brave enough to do this....









it's me that i have to get over.  jay wouldn't care...if i'm happy, then he's happy.  but that's what i want to do.  could be funked out, or smoothed down....and would be cool in the summer.  hmm....can i do it?  that's the question.  we shall see.  


like anything big, i must think on it for awhile.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

we've come a long way, baby



ten years ago, there was this...



and this...





six years ago, there was this...





five years ago, there was this boy...



and this girl....



and they got married... 





now there is this...




and this...



and this... 



and this...


i love you, baby.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

shelter from the storm


"come in," she said, "i'll give you shelter from the storm."


it seems of late that there has been a lot of sadness surrounding us.  in family, in friends, people are suffering....from illness, from poor decisions, from dramatic life events. 


and my husband, bless his heart, is more a caring individual than he would ever have you believe.  i'm not sure why he denies it so vehemently, but he really is a very kindhearted person.  he cares for those around him, and he cares what they think.  he cares if someone is hurting, and he wants to help.  he truly will drop everything else to make sure that someone has what they need, and he does so to the best of his ability.  it's part of why i love him so much.


and as of late, i feel almost like the four of us, Hubs, the kids, and me, are holding hands in a circle, and the events are spiraling around us.  and we lift our arms to let the sufferer into the inside of the circle, and we dance around them until they can hold their heads up, and they exit the circle, to let someone else inside.  i am happy to do this.  i will help anyone...friend, family, stranger...to find their way, so long as they are willing to put in the effort, too.


i can't change anyone that doesn't want to change.  i can't fix something that isn't wanting of being fixed.


while it pains me, there are times when i can't fix something.  this has always bothered me in the past.  i will worry and fret and overanalyze until i find a way to fix it, whatever it is.  it's caused me sleepless nights, arguments with Hubs, and me sliding aside other responsibilities so i can fix something that ultimately either can't be or doesn't want to be fixed.


i have learned to let some of that go.  and now THAT bothers me.  am i too quick to dismiss?


i think about this in terms of my faith, sometimes.  Hubs is still on the fence about God and his faith, and it's okay.  he is a work in progress, like we all are.  he's just at a different place in the path.  he has asked me on several occasions:


where was God when i needed Him?  where was God when this happened?  or that happened?  where was He?  if he is God, why couldn't He just fix it? 


that is true, to a point.  i get it.  we all think that, to a point, i think.  we all wonder the same things.  however, i have an answer that satisfies me.  i don't know if it makes sense.  i don't know if it's logical or right.


He was there.  He is there.


He is our shelter from the storm.  He is the glue holding us together on the inside while things spiral out of control outside.  He is there in the eyes of our children.  He knows the ultimate goal.  why did He allow this or that to happen?  because He knew the end results, years down the road.  He knew that you'd learn from this or that, and it would make you a better person.  He knew that if this happened, you'd make it to your job/your family/your friend.


on a personal note...


why did He take my mom when i was only 25 years old?  why did He take her before she saw me get married, have children, succeed in my career goals?  why?


He knew that it was right, and necessary.  He knew it would inspire me to be vigilant about making sure i let my children know the things that i was too self-absorbed to ask my mother.  He knew that that event would cement Hubs and i together, and teach me to lean on someone instead of being so darn self-sufficient all the time.  He knew that while i would question my faith, it would ultimately allow the holy spirit to move in my life, and for me to see that.


He's right there.


why did He allow Hubs to go through all the things he has in his life?


He knew that if even one of those things didn't happen, Hubs and i wouldn't be together.  He was there.  all the time.  planning and pushing for things to happen the way they are now.  He knew these beautiful children we would have.  and though it sucked in the process, He was there, sheltering from the storm, providing strength and guidance and fostering faith.  teaching Hubs to be a better father, a better spouse, a better friend than he could have been without those life experiences.  He knew.


why did He allow me to have such a blissful childhood while others suffered?


He knew that i would bring to the table of Hubs and my marriage a stable example of the ways that children and parents should relate to each other.  the ways we should play, and encourage, and discipline with love, without disrespect.  He knew that i could be a teacher for Hubs, as well as a student.  He knew that Hubs had many things to teach me about standing up for myself, and being forthright, and learning to be a partner.  and He knew that ultimately, we together would provide shelter from the storm for our children, for our family, for our friends.


He knew.  He was there all the time.  He still is.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

a promise is a promise



marriage is hard. but it is the best gift i have ever received. marriage is a promise made, and should be a promise kept. the vows that are taken should not be taken lightly.

when it's hard and difficult, why do we keep going?

marriage is a promise made to your spouse. and it is a promise your spouse has made to you.

now, as i was sitting to write this, i was looking for a good quote about promises to include, something that would awe-inspiring and strike a cord....and you know what i found? there are a lot of quotes about breaking promises, but not many about keeping them. there is a plethora of quotes about how promises are foolish, but not much about reaping the benefit of a vow kept.

i wonder why that is. i wonder if promises are made hastily, without full consideration of their weight. i wonder if the consequences are so lightly considered that it's almost impossible to keep their sanctity.


i'm also wondering why promises made are so often what we will do for others.  why don't we make promises about ourselves?  


for example, in the wedding vows, there is mention of the things you will do for the other person.  you will honor them, forsake all others for them, you will love them through all of lives endeavors.  but why don't we promise that we'll love ourselves for them?


i keep thinking there will be a magic point in time when all of the sudden i'm completely comfortable with myself.  now, i have grown a lot, and there are a lot of things about myself that i've quit denying and have started accepting.  but there are still times, all too many, that i doubt myself, my abilities, my intelligence, my kindness toward others.  and this puts a strain on my relationship with others, especially with my husband.  


why, when we marry, don't we promise to the other person that we'll love ourselves, that we'll trust ourselves, that we'll believe in ourselves?  we promise to believe in them, why not ourselves?  when is enough finally enough?  when do we stop doubting, and where does that magically come from?  i don't remember my mom being insecure, but as i'm older, i'm finding that it was probably true.  why is that?  we marry, we have children, we have faith in God, and yet we falter when it comes to examining our inner thoughts and our intentions.  is it truly that there is something in us that makes us that way?  and why does it seem that everyone else has it so together?  believe me, i don't have it all together, and i don't have it all figured out.  i wish i did.  that'd make life so much easier.  


i know that deep down, i'm worthy of the gifts i have received from Him....all of them, including His grace, and yet, i doubt.  i wonder.  i ponder.  it's difficult to accept, i suppose that all of the good things that we receive are truly for us.  and yet it's so easy to accept the bad things when they happen....we blame ourselves.  we just figured it would happen that way anyway, because of some flaw about ourselves that we perceive.  


is there a magic time or turning point that we'll reach in which we finally lean back and say, okay, i'm really alright.  i'm not as bad as i thought.  does it come with age?  wisdom?  experience?  is it something that i can teach to my children to prevent them from second-guessing their every move?  i don't know.  but if someone has the answer, i'd be tickled to know the secret.


maybe it's just a promise that i should make to myself, to my husband, to my children, that i will begin to love myself the way i love them.  


a promise is a promise, after all.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

babies and puppies





okay, so, our 6 month old lhasa apso is in heat.

i discovered this last night at about 10pm while trying to desperately finish charting from the day yesterday....a day that can only be described as swamped.  first day back from vacation, plus i have a nurse practitioner student that is here on mondays.  so it was a little busy yesterday.

luckily, i am blessed to have the best hubs in the whole world.  got home yesterday, and he made dinner, went to the gas station and got me a diet mtn dew (which, is one of my vices and was the thing i gave up for Lent), wrangled the kids...in short, was just amazing.

seriously.  and on a side note, he and i have been having some wonderfully deep and meaningful conversations as of late about how dedicated we remain to our marriage.  and how we both want to strive to be a better spouse and parent every day....better every day than the last.  and i have to say that it's so incredibly refreshing to know that i really do have a partner in crime, someone to back me up, someone that would bail me out of jail, or hold my hair if i puked, or laugh with me over silly things, and to watch our children grow and learn.

anyway.

so, i was charting and discovered, sort of accidentally, that our dog is in heat.  it's her first heat, and i've never had a dog in heat before, so i convinced myself that i'm the worst pet owner EVER because i kept meaning to call the vet to get her spayed and everything else was so much more important.  and now she's going to get breast cancer and DIE all because i waited a week to call the vet and she started her heat cycle.

however, my Sister reassured me, since she is a registered vet tech and all, that i'm not the worst pet parent ever, nor is she going to die of breast cancer just because the dog is having one heat cycle.  thank G-O-D for my sister and the way she puts up with my high-maintenance-ness.

mkay, so on the way to drop piper off for school this morning, i was trying to explain to her that maizie (the dog) would have to stay in her crate mostly for the next week or so because she'll be all messy, and we can't let her run around the yard for awhile because we don't want her to have puppies.

hmm.  i wondered how do i explain this to a five year old.  so i tried in my best, self-assured voice to explain that just like grown up women can have babies, maizie is now a grown up dog and can have puppies.  and we have to keep any daddy dogs away from her so she doesn't have puppies.  and even though puppies are fun, they are a lot of work just like dade was a lot of work when he was a baby.  

"but what if she only has one puppy?  that wouldn't be so much work!"

well, sweetheart, it doesn't really work that way.

"well, why is she so messy?"

well, because that's the way God made it.  girl dogs and women, if they don't have puppies or babies, have some bleeding from where the puppies/babies come out.  and it's okay, it doesn't mean they're sick or hurting.  

"okay."

...

and that was that.  

it amazes me the way that children can be so black and white sometimes.  it's not that they're being mean, or derogatory, or anything else....they just want to know "why."  and whatever the answer is, it just is.

there's no judgment, no condescension....it's just the way it is and that is that.  

i think we could learn alot from our kids if we'd approach things that way....stop over-analyzing everything and just accept.  ask why, find out why, search for the answer to why, and when it's found, accept.  if it's never found, be the one that finds it.  and accept.