Daisypath Anniversary tickers

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Lilypie Second Birthday tickers

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Adios 2008!

2008 has been quite the year. I guess I probably say that every year, but it doesn't make it any less true. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the year goes by. It just seems like yesterday that I was attending the information class on gastric bypass and now I'm almost 130lbs lighter. I've gone from a BMI of over 45 to one that's almost within the "healthy" range of 20-25 (I'm at 25.2! Almost!). I've dropped more clothes sizes than I know what to do with. I've learned that water is the ultimate beverage and vegetables are not the devil. I haven't had caffeine or sugar since April, and shockingly, one can survive without both! :)

I've also learned who my real friends are. They're the ones who say how healthy I look now, but that I was always beautiful. They aren't intimidated or jealous of my weight loss because they know it hasn't been an easy road. They are the ones who called and visited me during my three hospital admissions this year. They remind me every day how blessed I am to have such a core group of fabulous friends.

I have an amazing family. I knew this already, but after the year I've had, I've come to realize how truly blessed I am. I have a mother who will take off a week from school to be with me after surgery...and who will drop everything to come stay with me while I'm hospitalized. I have a brother who will stop by my hospital room every day after work, even if it's just to watch TV with me. I have a sister in law, not even a blood relative, who came to see me daily and bring me things to do so I wouldn't get bored.

I've learned that being a patient in the hospital is one of the most frustrating experiences known to man. It's a completely powerless feeling, especially when you don't know WHAT is wrong with you. I'm supremely thankful for my fabulous surgeon and his gifted hands...for not only fixing me the first time, but taking out that blasted gallbladder that my body decided it didn't need.

I'm thankful for small blessings....like getting up and drinking a glass of water without throwing up. Like putting on pants that fit last week and realizing they are too big this week. Like walking into a patient's room and seeing their jaw drop because they haven't seen me in a few months.

I have a lot to be grateful for this year, and I hope I never cease to remember that. I am truly blessed.

Monday, December 29, 2008

On call insomniac!

It's currently 5:27AM and I've been awake and up since 2:46AM. I have no idea why I woke up wide awake and couldn't go back to sleep! It always seems to happen when I'm on call...which would be when I probably should get as much sleep as I possibly can in case of transplant! At least I was productive this morning! I've put away all my suitcases and Christmas presents. I've also cleaned off most of the kitchen counters and scrubbed down the bathtub! CRAZINESS!

This past week has been one for the record books. I have been off since the 19th, which has been lovely. Sadly, I have to go back this morning and I have absolutely no desire to do so. Last weekend, I spent quality time with my sister and her husband after their long drive from Virginia. We went over to my grandma's house in Fort Worth and took her to lunch. Then we spent quality time in a thrift store looking for costumes for our family's pirate themed murder mystery dinner theater. I found some GREAT and cheap stuff!

Monday, Jen, Kim, and I went for pedicures and introduced Kim to sushi! Delicious! :) She's normally NOT a foodie, so we thought she was pretty brave. Of course, she didn't eat anything raw...and I doubt she ever will...but it was a good effort.

Tuesday. Bad day. Terrible, no good, horrific day. One of my sweet little patients is now safely in the arms of Jesus. Enough said. After the horrid morning, Kim, Evan, and I trekked down to Grandma's house in Wimberley for the Christmas festivities.

The rest of the week was filled with family fun and games. The only downer was that my dad was sick the entire weekend with what he thought was just tummy troubles. After taking himself to the ER on Saturday night, turns out he has kidney stones. OUCHIE! He's still in quite a bit of pain.

This week will hopefully go by quickly. I'm on call and my co-worker is out the whole week. It should be interesting!

I'm sure I'll do some touching "Adios to 2008" post at a later date....but you'll have to stay posted for that one!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Life aspirations!

Italicize all the things you've already accomplished in your life.
Bold the things you'd like to still be able to do!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Held a praying mantis
9. Climbed a mountain
10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill
24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone's life

90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Interesting. Is it just me or do most of my bolded items involve travel?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Picture tag!

Lisa tagged me...

Here's the deal:

1. Go to the place on your computer where you store all your pictures and open the 4th folder

2. Open the 4th picture.

3. Post the picture and give an explanation of what it is.

4. Tag 4 people.

DO NOT CHEAT!! You cannot edit or crop the picture!!

This is the post office in Vancouver. Of course, my picture wouldn't be interesting or anything. It would have been more fun if this picture was the one in the sauna...

I tag:
Kris K

Have a wonderful night!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The nitty gritty truth

I stole this from a friend's blog. It's an article about being single. I think it's one of the best things I've read in awhile. I spent the evening with both single and married friends whom I've known for probably six years now? This group has had people marry, divorce, have babies, stay single...and yet we all still stay friends. I think this is very unusual, mostly because most of the time things get way different when people get married and move into that next phase of life.

Anyways, I really REALLY like this article. Enjoy.

What I'd like you to know: A Single Adult

The year I turned 30, my birthday happened to fall on Father’s Day. A few days before the combined event, I phoned my dad to tell him I wouldn’t make the three hour drive home to visit. I had just recently moved back to the city of my youthful stomping grounds after 3 years away, and I was the first of my friends to hit the big 3-0.

Dad graciously understood, and asked “So, how old are you this year?”

“Thirty.” I replied.

“Oh.” He sighed, and paused. “I never thought you would be an old maid.”

I know what you’re thinking. But coming from my dad, I wasn’t offended. I knew that in his generation, that was the plain truth. Moreover, I knew that he was really saying, “I can’t believe some man hasn’t snapped up my charming, smart and attractive daughter.”

Eight years later, I’m still not married, and still have no children. I am sure that many people I encounter see an old maid. Of course they don’t say it in as many words as my dad. They show it instead.

They show it when they say, “Not married? Oh, you must be picky.”

I hear it when others, incredulous, refuse to take it as fact. “Just kidding.” I want to say in such cases, “ I am married. Don’t worry. I’m normal.”

I think the inability to categorize me makes some people uncomfortable. If I were divorced, they could make sense of it. Were I a single mom, I’d find sympathy and compassion. But by admitting my single, never married, no-child status is akin to announcing there is something wrong with me. I’m reasonably attractive, funny and pass for intelligent, so people are only left to ponder my fatal flaws. Some people actually ask, “So what’s wrong with you?”

Our society sort of views marriage as a given. A rite of passage. When I read news accounts of a young woman or even a child who died tragically, her parents inevitably say “I’ll never walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. I’ll never hold her children.” It is assumed that everyone who was born will marry and have children. I assumed I would too. When it just doesn’t happen, knowing that it is expected of us only deepens the pain.

That is why it is so hurtful when it is suggested to a single person that they “must be picky.” As if we can just pick a guy and get married. After all, did you settle? Now you’re suggesting that you could have married just anyone. Would you have had as successful a marriage if you had ended up with one of your exes? As much as I long for marriage, I sure am glad I didn’t marry any of the men in my life so far.

That’s the trick about marriage as a goal. It’s not like learning to dance, or committing to losing weight. It doesn’t take will power to find a mate. It takes a mate. It takes a miracle. Oh, that I could just go to the store and pick one up!

True, single for some people is a choice. For those of us who truly desire marriage and children and family, it is not. Marriage is a vocation that two people agree to take on together. I can’t do it by myself. I learned, in just the last two months that I can’t make someone love me. No matter how much I love him, or how strong in faith he might be. Not even that our shared faith made us both stronger. No matter how happy we are together until all the Ifs and Buts step in.

And the simple fact of the matter is, I’ve never been asked.

That alone makes me question my womanhood and my desirability. It’s a very uncomfortable place. I am a woman who desperately desires motherhood. My clock is tocking not ticking. I am very aware that my best reproductive years are over.

What not to say

Please don’t remind a single woman that her chances for a healthy baby are diminishing every year she is over 30. But also, please do not try to encourage us with stories of women who successfully bore children well into their 50s. All of this is completely irrelevant to a woman without a husband or serious boyfriend.

While we’re on the topic, yes, I know adoption is an option. I am adopted myself and believe that adopted babies are indeed the best kind. If I were blessed with marriage, adoption would defiantly be a consideration. But adoption is as far out there as infertility treatments when there is no man in your life.

You’ll find him when you’re not looking

I’m never not looking. Yes, my life is full and happy. But I am a mother without a child. I am a wife without a husband. I want my other half. Think of the loss you would feel if your husband or child suddenly were not there. I feel, not daily, but often, that an important part of my life is missing.

And by the way… dating after age 30 is not fun. It is a chore, like scrubbing the bathtub but less rewarding. It’s hard to look forward to dinner and disappointment. I want to anticipate a nice evening, but this much experience has taught me what to look for in a man – and more often than not, it’s not there.

In the meantime, sometimes I just want to dote my pent-up motherhood on your kids. It’s probably terribly inappropriate, but I will snuggle your baby and sniff its’ head to soak up that sweet smell. I’ve been guilty of tickling and twirling a smiling baby until it spits up. Sorry. I will nosh on your toddlers’ chubby legs and lift his shirt to plant a raspberry, just so I can hear that throaty, from-the-gut baby giggle that makes my heart sing. If it’s no trouble, please just indulge me. (I promise not to do that to your husband.)

Seeing women my age or younger with kids in tow – can stir a pang of deep pain. I once called my church office to ask when Baptisms were scheduled, as I needed to avoid them. Second Sunday of the month, I would attend a different church just so I didn’t have to see the happy couples with their beautiful babies.

That’s another point. Church is no place for a single woman. Church is all about family. That’s why you see so few single adults there. It’s not that they no longer believe, the fact is they don’t feel welcome. When your pastor asks you reach out to share a blessing, do you turn to your family first? I stand there waiting for a hand to embrace.

I worry this writing might sound all bitter and lonely and sad. I am happy. I am blessed with an incredible network of friends. My family is amazing. I enjoy my single life to the best of my ability. People remind me that marriage is not easy. I remind them; neither is being single.

Oddly, Barb in last week’s post on Empty Nesting provided me a point to expound upon. She wrote:

“Life is a circle. You flow from one stage to the next. And with a little time, you become comfortable with the newest stage.” --Barb, A Chelsea Morning

For a perpetually single person, that’s not so. My life is a wandering squiggly line – darting in and out of other people’s circles. Everyone else is buzzing along on a predictable cycle but there is no circle of life in my world. There are no ‘stages’ for me to move through, save the aging process.

I am not Less Than

I realize I may sound contradictory – as I have already pointed out here that I feel a part of me is missing. But I am a whole person. Perhaps I have not yet realized that God intends for me to be alone, and that to Him I am complete and not in need of a husband. I’m still working on trusting God’s divine providence.

What I mean to emphasize is that you need not view me as pathetic and alone. I am not waiting for my life to begin. Marriage is not going to make my life worth living. My life is worthy now. I’m just a little lonely.

Invite me over to play with your kids while you tackle the laundry. Seriously.

Think about introducing me to someone. Don’t wait until you find the ‘perfect guy’ for me. It’s just nice to meet people. You never know who they might lead you to!

If you do make an introduction, don’t make a big fuss. Don’t tell either of us you’re setting it up. Just put us in the same room. If we’re interested, we’ll figure it out. But feel free to point out after the fact, that you introduced me to so-and-so if sparks did not fly.

Pray for single adults. There are ministries for single moms, working moms, elderly widows/widowers, and petitions for the sick. But when does society reach out to the single? Pray that your single friends might daily, feel the love of God and of their friends and neighbors in a tangible way.

Invite your single friends for a meal. We’ll help prepare. I attend my church’s weekly fish fry during Lent – even though I’m allergic to fish. My priest teased me until I explained at home, I have to eat alone.

Keep in touch with your single friends. They’re not out tearing it up and having orgies. We’re not out to steal your husband. Sometimes we just want to experience the hum of a household with a family. Look for things in common with single adults. We might not share your challenges, but we can still relate.

Completely loved this article. AMEN sister.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Guess I've been hiding!

Wow, I really haven't updated for awhile! Ah well, if something truly fabulous had happened, I probably would have gotten on here....so you can guess that nothing has! :)

The parade was SO MUCH FUN! I don't have any pictures of myself, still waiting for people to forward me their pictures. It was an amazing experience! I was able to get there much later than I usually do since I was a character! I put on my fabulous costume, and then felt HUGE! :) I guess I never realized how big those characters are meant to be. I had about a nectarine sized area I could see out of, which was completely freaky. Thankfully, the fabulous character escorts walked me out to the golf cart and then shoved me into the antique car. I know there was a child sitting next to me, but I couldn't tell you anything about them. I couldn't even SEE him! I sat waving for a solid hour, hearing children scream my character's name. I didn't even know anyone knew him! After the parade was over, I was thankful to get back to the safe area so I could rip that stupid character head off! Not being able to talk for all that time was torture.

This week really flew by! I had two sweet babies that I had to do all their transplant teaching this week. It's always more fun when it's not in English. Their going home makes my clinic more crazy. That's okay. I love when babies get new hearts, even if it makes more work for me.

Today I finished a 26 day streak on call. AWFUL! I've been on call since November 17th, but it's all good now...because I'm DONE! I will not be sleeping with any phones next to my bed, and hopefully, I'll sleep better. I've been having headaches this week, and I think it's because I don't sleep well.

Tomorrow, I'm hopefully going to do some Christmas shopping. I need to mail a few, and it's starting to get late in the month. I'm normally good and have at least the majority by now, but not so much this year.

Okay. Liberty and I are going to attempt to stay warm. I think it's only in the 40's here today! :)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I DID IT! :)

After three years of slaving away as a character escort at the Neiman Adolphus Children's Christmas parade, I am finally going to be an actual character! I get to be in the parade, too! :) I'm so excited! The costume will be SO hot and stinky, but I'll get to be in the action!

I'm going to be "Puddle", who is a pig from the apparently famous duo "Toot and Puddle". I've never been small enough to wear the costumes before and it's kinda surreal that I get to actually do it this year! I feel snazzy!

Here's a picture. Puddle is the one in overalls...

Tonight, I came home from the character meeting to find NO POWER in my house. Lovely. Apparently, the electric company has been sending notices to my OLD apartment. I guess I just paid the bills as they came in and didn't notice there wasn't one from them! Anyways, I'm using my computer on batteries and I tapped in to someone's unsecured network (I know, not smart!) so I could post this. Guess I should go save my battery now. I'm sure the electric company will love hearing from me at exactly 7:30AM when they open. I pity that poor customer service rep.

Have a great day!