Showing posts from 2011

December 23

I already shared about my husband’s heart attack here.  That was September.  Now, fast forward to December.  Last week he got his blood test results back.They were AMAZING. LDL of 43! (Is there such a thing as TOO low an LDL?)  He’s been in cardio-rehab for months, and he’s been working very hard at diet and exercise…lifestyle changes in the most extreme way.  Now that he is graduating from cardio-rehab…yesterday we joined a gym. GASP!  I never did do the 10K that I was training for last year in September because the day of the race was the day Shawn was recovering in the ICU from heart surgery.  So, now I can train on the treadmills at the gym, and try again next year. Who knows….maybe cardio-boy will join us for the 10K next year.In November, Shawn’s grandmother Beulah was not doing well.  She turned 92 in May and was still living on her own with the assistance of family members.  But, in November, she had some health problems develop and her health started to turn quickly from “hea…

December 22

For years, I have been begging my husband to let us get a dog.  Years.  He finally agreed in June to let us get one.  So, I began searching for the perfect family dog.  Of course, I have since come to realize that no dog is perfect.  Those were my lofty dreams.  I wanted a dog that wouldn’t poop where it wasn’t supposed to,  would sleep when I wanted it to, would bark only when barked at, would not scratch my floors, and was loyal and devoted.  Basically, I wanted a giga-pet, but I didn’t know that at the time.We found Gibbs at an animal shelter about 2 hours away.  They had plenty of dogs.  He was the only one that didn’t jump on us when we approached him. He didn’t bark like the others. And when we took him out to the yard, he was calm and quiet.  Deceptive little thing.We took him home and learned quickly what having a 6 month old puppy in the house was like.  Definitely not like my trusty dependable Tamogatchi. He was barky and loud and whiney at all the wrong times. He didn’t lik…

December: #2

It’s still December.  December 14.  I was thinking today about one year ago.  One year ago, we were preparing for Christmas.  Marge, my mother in law, was at the nursing home. She had a tough year.  For the entire year, she had been in and out of the hospital and nursing home. She had MS.  Had been diagnosed with it in the early 80s.  She lived basically symptom free for years.  Then, in 1996, she had an attack and the disease began to progress.She started going to the Mayo Clinic and started a series of different treatments.  One thing led to another, she switched neurologists, and saw different doctors…. and for whatever reason, she opted to stop treatment of her MS.  Sometimes she would say that she wanted to believe that God would heal her.  Other times, she tried alternative treatments, homeopathy.  And as many times as I tried to convince her to pursue aggressive treatment for the disease, I have to respect the fact that she made the decisions that she wanted to make regarding h…


This morning, I tried to write my Christmas letter.  Tried, and failed.  How do you write a year’s worth of life-changing events in one page and not lose the readers? I don’t want to be “one of those”… who write a four page sad Christmas letter and end with Merry Christmas!…. you know who you are.So, I decided this.  I will take the next couple of weeks and actually blog.  And instead of writing a Christmas letter, I’ll just add a link to my blog… and anyone who actually WANTS to read…can come here and get their fill. Brilliant, I know.This morning, as I was thinking about what to write..and how to begin… I thought about December.  Advent. A synonym to advent is actually “beginning”. The first Advent was when Christ came to the earth.  And as Christians, we celebrate each year.  We celebrate his coming to the earth…and we anxiously wait for his second coming.  So, in a sense, it becomes to us a celebration of the beginning…and the waiting … for the beginning.  We tend to focus on the …

Second Chances….

I wrote this a couple of weeks ago.  What a whirlwhind these couple of weeks have been…..They say you don’t get second chances in life. But, as I lay in my bed, with my husband by my side, my eyes are fixated on the rise and fall of his chest.  I lay my head on his chest and listen to hear the steady beat of his heart… I’ve done that a million times over the last 23 years… and this time, I weep.  As I recount the episodes of the last several days in my mind…. the doctors, the nurses, the EKGs, the flurry of arrangements…and then the waiting waiting waiting…what seemed an endless amount of time in the hospital waiting room.When the words were spoken…heart attack, stents, blood clots… lucky.  We didn’t feel so lucky.  My mind is fixated on a couple of things in the last few days that I don’t know if I can describe in words.  The way the hallway looked as we rolled him to the cardiac surgery area… clean, blue, blank,bright. Just like the movies.  It felt like a dream. The smell of oxygen…

hello there

Dear Ariane,I just wanted to tell you that I am blogging tonight just because I saw you and you said something about my blog!  I am in a hotel room in your home town tonight (well, your almost-home town) and thinking of you! Good luck with the new venture and Garen’s new job! I’m truly very excited for you!  Now go make a comment so I know you read this. Love you!PS My dream is to be like your parents and jump in a truck with Shawn and travel the road.  They are so lucky.

2 peas in a pod

I had a fun day on monday babysitting my sweet little granddaughter (left) and her friend Bella.  They played in the garden with the flowers.  Lulu pulled all the petals off a flower and had a great time. It was so cute.I snapped this photo just as Bella was staring right at the camera.  They are four months apart.  Bella is four months older.  And they are so much fun!Its so fun to see how their personalities are similar in some ways, and so different in other ways.  Lulu loves food. Bella has to be begged to eat anything.  They both love books and are starting to make up cute words that only they know.  They both don’t know what to do with each other. So, they hit each other and laugh.Just adorable.

Dad’s haircut–before and after

I cut my dad’s hair today. I think he was leery of letting me do it.  But, the alternative was for him to PAY someone to do it. He wasn’t ABOUT to do that. I didn’t do too bad.  What do you think?Before:After:


31. I’m thankful it’s summer when the dog threw up in his crate twice.  That way I could just drag it out to the hose and hose it off.  That doesn’t happen real easily in the winter time.32. I’m thankful I have the Dr.’s email address so I can email him in the middle of the night when my brother in law is throwing up and ask what his thoughts are this time.33. I’m thankful all the throwing up is in one night so I can maybe sleep tomorrow.34. I’m thankful for disinfectant spray that just makes lots of things smell so much better.35. I’m thankful I don’t have a 9-5 job, or a boss.  I would get fired for all the family emergencies lately.36. I’m thankful my cleaning lady and her family was able to find a home to buy. Even if it is in another state, far far away from my dirty stinky house.37. I’m thankful for the Febreze home collection wooden wick candle cherry blossom whimsy scent I got on sale and is burning now.38. I’m thankful for one pre-teen and one teenage daughter that are sleepi…


22. Weight Watchers Bonus Points.23. 81 degree breezy summer days, warm, and cool, all at the same time.24. diet coke. 25. The book of Ecclesiastes and the realization of what is of value in life. “A good name is better than fine perfume, and the day of death better than one day of birth” Ecc. 7:1  26. Beauty that is deeper than the surface of one’s outward appearance.27. yellow flowers on sedum in the summertime.28. a balanced checkbook29. sincerity.30. An honest answer.

less poetic, more practical.

14. sunflower seeds, salty and nutty.15. half lemonade/half tea16. weight watchers bonus points17. white cheddar popcorn seasoning.18. fresh veggies 19. vacuum cleaners20. appliance repairman21.  technology

one thousand

I have been reading Ann Voskamp’s book “One Thousand Gifts”.  In her book, Mrs. Voskamp recites things she is thankful for.  Not a bucket list, rather a list that encourages us to find joy in our insane lives.  She speaks of finding joy in the midst of our sometimes dark lives.  This book has helped me tremendously as I have walked through the loss of my mother-in-law, whom I dearly loved.  Challenged me to breathe deeply the cup of sorrow.  If we did not know sorrow, how could we ever understand pure joy?Some friends challenged each other to begin our lists as well… things we are thankful for….things that encourage us as we walk through our lives on this earth.  I started.  1. Quiet time to think, pray, reflect, remember.2. Tiny toes from beautiful babies.3. The bold aroma of coffee brewing in the morning.4. Memories of beautiful people, of days gone by.5. Ice water, crisp and clean.6. Crisp, fresh sheets.7. Little girl hair in the summer that smells like a wet dog from playing outsi…

breaking the silence

I haven’t blogged in so long, I’m not sure I know how to do this.But, this week, I have some things I want to say.  Things I want to record in some way…. even if it is just in this blog.  Things that just need to be said.My mother in law passed away this week.  On my 43rd birthday to be exact.  Tonight, as I lay there trying to sleep, I had to remind myself that this wasn’t a dream.  Although it doesn’t seem real.  I keep expecting it to just be a bad dream.  As I lay there, I calculated where our lives were when she was 43.  The year she turned 43 was 1987.  That was the year Shawn and I had our first child.  I had never really been around children much.  It was so scary for me to have children.  But, Marge was there for me.  She taught me so much about babies… how to change diapers, how to burp them with just the right amount of strength….how to test the bottle temperature on my wrist…. I still sing the lullabies she hummed to my girls as I rock my granddaughter.She taught me how to…

Stuff Christians Like

I just got Jonathan Acuff’s book “Stuff Christians Like” this week, and I’ve been thumbing through it.  So much in there that cracks. me. up.We are weird Christians, for sure.  The book is hysterical.  And at the same time, very thought provoking.  I found myself thinking…yeah…why the HECK DO WE do these crazy things???This one is one of my personal favorites: “THROWING THE DEVIL UNDER THE BUS FOR EVERYTHING”.  This is hilarious.  Acuff says in his book “For instance, if your band at church sucks one Sunday morning, it might be really easy to say ‘The enemy sure was attacking service today. None of the songs worked well, and our timing was completely off. What a mess. Satan was sure pressing in on all sides.”He says he agrees.  That is one way to look at it.  Then Acuff says “Another way to look at it is that you guys didn’t practice.”Recently, I read an email from someone who had some pretty disappointing things going on in their life.  They were “under attack”.  I didn’t know how to…