Monday, October 1, 2018

Getting My Spooky On

Four years ago, according to my daughter's FB memories she was listening to Christmas music at the end of September and I was praising her for it. Fast forward to present day and I am so bombarded by Christmas that I am ready to protest its very existence. I'm looking at you Hallmark Channel! Don't let their website fool you with their autumn foliage! It changes to Christmas on a click! They are counting down to Christmas beginning October 26th! What!?

I'm not just picking on Hallmark though. I am also calling out personal friends who keep reminding me how close it is to Christmas. Everyone needs to calm down about Christmas!

Don't get me wrong, I'm no Scrooge. I actually love Christmas and all things Christmas. In fact, bring it on! Just not BEFORE Halloween or Thanksgiving, and for the love of all things creepy and turkey let's back off a little. Now I understand crafting, I do.

However... I refuse to count down to Christmas three months before the fact! Freeform is doing it right by having 31 nights of Halloween. No, they aren't paying me. I just love that they are putting Halloween first!! 

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to get my spoopy on! Are you getting for Halloween? 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Little or Grown

My baby turned 21 yesterday. 

I am not sure where the time went, but she is now 21. Her eyes are still crazy big just like her heart. 

It's true what they say, blink and they are all grown up. There are times now and then when I long for the days of kiddie shows and barbies.
However, as it was told me to recently, the trade off is quite nice. They are right. We share secrets--it's true. We laugh...a lot. I have spent years building this relationship and I would not change it; even if it meant I could have her little again. Nope. They are such a pure treasure when they are little, but who they become is an even greater one. 

I have truly enjoyed the first 21 years, (and yes I have two others) I cannot wait to see what comes next not only for her, but for each of my kids as they forge their way.

Monday, September 17, 2018

One Super Surprise

I'm going to take you back about 16 years and all the way back east to VA, when a certain Barbershop Quartet was formed. It was known as: 66 West! The above picture isn't the original 4, but it is darn close. Not only is the picture close to the original group, they were also close and remain close to this day. Our families do as well. The lead left first (for work) and moved to CA. It was a sad day. But the remaining three insisted on staying together so they found another lead. 66 West carried on and our families celebrated together throughout the years. The quartet was annually invited to the Little League World Series to sing the National Anthem and was also regularly invited to sing it at the minors at our local team. I may or may not have downed two and half hot dogs while pregnant with my son at one of the games.

After 5 years, my family was the next to go. It was a bittersweet day as we left VA. I had become so close to friends in the area, and leaving our quartet family was hard as well. Thank goodness for Facebook which had literally just been born as we become reconnected with all of our friends that we had just left; including our quartet family. We were able to keep tabs with one another over the years and it is like we never parted ways.

Fast forward to the present and the original members contacted me wanting to surprise my husband for a weekend. For one, this would be easy as he lives a couple hours away. For the other two it is a cross county journey and no easy feat. It was sneaky talks in FB messenger among the three of us for several weeks. We had it all worked out and Rich was none the wiser. It was meticulously plotted. These sweet men flew across the country, while the other had been out of town and made special plans to fly in one day sooner so that they could come see their long time friend.  (Shout out to the wives who fully supported this effort!) 

Rich simply could not fathom that these two would fly across the country just to see him. And yet, that is exactly what they did.  Sadly, the original had an emergency-- his wife became terribly ill and ended up in the hospital so he was unable to be there personally. He did, however do a live video chat with us. He was sorely missed and we are all praying for his lovely wife. 

All in all it was an incredible day filled with laughter and singing and good times. I am so happy to have been a part of the planning. All I did was agree to the terms and conditions. It was a great surprise. 

What was the best surprise you ever pulled off?

Monday, September 10, 2018

Inhale the Future, Exhale the Past

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I'm dusting off my blog! It really needs a makeover. That will come in time. For now, I will just stick with writing and trying to remember how things work around here. I miss blogging and I think I need to get back to it.

I will start with a quick recap: A few years ago, I made the decision to go back to school. It was a scary decision to make, but I did it. I was able to obtain my degree online. I had moments when I just wanted to throw the towel in--particularly when I was in math classes--but I soldiered through. I earned my Bachelor's degree in English. I am proud of that accomplishment. During my time in school, I took a break from blogging as it was too much to keep up with both. Education first! 

During my time away we had a total of three graduations counting my own. While I chose not to walk, I still have the honor of holding the degree.

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Kristin graduated in 2015

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Emily graduated this past June

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I completed school May of 2017

On November 17, 2017 our lives changed forever when Rich had a stroke. Thankfully we were at the hospital when it happened. I am not sure what I would have done if we would have been at home. Some might say it was a terrible thing that happened, but for us this thing was a blessing. Rich was given a new chance at life, one that he had previously been missing. He was extremely lucky in that the stroke mostly affected only his balance and his dexterity which has been moderately corrected through therapy. He is happier now, and works hard everyday to be more stable on his own.

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Just when you think life is going forward you are hit with a roadblock, and by roadblock I mean severe tire damage. You seriously were not paying attention. Honestly neither were the doctors. See, Rich is diabetic and his kidneys were already in trouble back in November. By early June, they were failing. He ended up hospitalized just before Emily's graduation. Don't worry, he made it! He even went to Universal Studios! He was put on emergent dialysis where they removed 11 pounds of fluid. I have since heard of patients having upwards of 40 pounds of fluid removed! How were they functioning!? After a few rounds of hemo dialysis (through the blood) Rich was looking better and had ankles again. We began training for in home peritoneal dialysis. This is done through the abdominal cavity and much easier on the body. I do the hook up and disconnect each night/morning. When we first started training, I had panic attacks and sweated through my clothes during the training sessions. There was no way on earth I was ever going to be able to do this without killing him. Our nurse assured me I would be able to do it without thinking. He was right. I  now know the procedure without thinking about it. It has become second nature.  

Our lives took a dramatic shift back in November, and then another in June. I think we will stay the course now. We have life jackets, spare tires, food and water! In other words, it is all good. 

What will I write about next? Caregiving. Peritoneal Dialysis. Something totally random. A product I like. A gripe. Who knows. Come back next week!