God is always working to make His children aware of a dream
that remains alive beneath the rubble of every shattered dream,

a new dream that
when realized will release a new song, sung with tears,

till God wipes them away
and we sing with nothing but joy in our hearts

--Larry Crabb

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Random Tears

It has been a while since I've posted and even now I am really struggling to put my thoughts into words. Things have really been tough lately. Emotions are very close to the surface and tears seem to fall at the most random of times. There are so many thoughts in my head fighting for a place in the front of my mind. Fatigue and tiredness consumes me by day, but sleep evades me by night. The holidays are upon us and what used to be greatly anticipated is now met with uncertainty.
This is the first time ever in my life that it seems that more is going wrong than going right. I know that good things are happening and know that I am so blessed, but they are clouded by all the cold realities of my life. Kimmi and Dad are gone. Christmas will be here in 2 1/2 weeks. Our relationship with Madison is becoming more long distant. My job has left me feeling burnt out. It all--and then some--is true and there is not a darn thing that I can do about any of it so I must simply trust.
Trust that this all makes sense to God, becuase it certainly does not to me. Trust that He will see me through to a life that seems normal again. Life has forever changed in many ways, but will somehow find a new normal. Trust that my mind will again start to focus on what is important. Trust that my heart will somehow stop hurting so much. And trust that one of these times there will be a few less random tears.

Friday, November 13, 2009


I went into this week with mixed emotions. Excitement to get away from home for a bit and spend time with my mom and extended family, but a little reluctant, knowing that we were going to Branson on a trip that my dad had planned when life was normal. On the drive down I was inundated with thoughts of things Dad would say or do or how much he'd be enjoying the company or how he'd be helping the driver to take the very best route. When we checked into the condo my mind was flooded with memories of all the times that we had traveled there with Mom and Dad. When we went with Mom to talk with the timeshare people about how it all works I nearly cried when the rep talked about considering removing Dad's name from the deed. As we entered the theater to go to the Pierce Arrow concert I missed having my dad there--seeing the excitement on his face as he got ready to watch a show that he enjoyed so much. Once the concert started, I missed hearing his laughter at the comedian who was very funny. When we went mini putting it I was thinking about last spring when Craig and I went to Branson with Mom and Dad and we putted at least 20 holes until we were so tired that we were falling over--in a still slightly deformed bush to be exact. Dad loved his golf--mini or regular.
Maybe it's being around my aunts and uncles on the N side. Maybe it is going places that we used to go together for the first time without him. Maybe it is just because I miss my dad that has made this trip difficult, but it has also been wonderful.
Wonderful because I get to see little reminders of my dad in my aunts and uncles--a smile, a twinkle in an eye, a clever pun. Wonderful because we talk a little about him and grandpa and some of our best memories, and wonderful because we are going to my cousin Megan's wedding tomorrow.
I remember wehn Megan was very little. Her parents were living near us at the time and her mom babysat me on occasion. I was very concerned that her mom wouldn't have time for me anymore and she had just taught me how to fold socks. In retrospect maybe she was just coercing a little child labor to help get her laundry done, but at the time, learning to fold socks was pretty cool. I have very few if any memories of Megan as a young kid without her Cabbage Patch Kid, Roy. It is neat to see her all grown up and ready to get married. I am so glad that she has found love. Congratulations to Megan and Scott.
That's all for now.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Psalm 100

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Sometimes, Lord, it is hard to be joyful when the pain of life weighs so heavy on our hearts. Please help me to be joyful. Worship the Lord with gladness. Gladness to me means with a willing heart. I will worship you with a willing, but broken heart, Oh Lord! Come into His presence with joyful song. His presence. What a wonderful place to be. So serene and simple. Know that the Lord is God. I know, trust me, I know. It is He who made us. In His image He created us. Not evolution, not the big bang, GOD. We are His. We were purchased with his blood and belong to Him. We are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Lord, you know us as a shepherd knows his sheep. You know my hurt and fear. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Just as Dad has already, I too will enter those gates with gratitude and adoration. Give thanks to Him and bless His name. Thank you, God for all of the blessings you've given. Thank you for the memories of the past, the comfort in the present, and the hope for the future. For the Lord is Good. Is he ever. The best. His steadfast love endures forever and His faithfulness to all generations. God, You have been faithful. Your love has never left us, even for a moment. You were faithful to my grandparents, to my parents, to me, and will be to my children. Thank you for that. Psalm 100.

Mom and I have been working on memorizing this scripture. It was printed on the back of the memorial folder for Dad's funeral. Currently, it is 3:00 AM. My body is exhausted and craving sleep, but my mind won't let me rest tonight. It has now been just over 8 weeks since my dad died, and in so many ways it still does not seem real. Now more than ever I just yearn to sit down and have a talk with my dad. I have so much I want to tell him. I don't even know where I'd start, but I just want to be near him. I want to see his smile, hear his laugh, feel his love.
I've heard it said that in times like this the only people that don't get angry are the ones who didn't have a relationship. At this point, I have to admit that I am a little angry...maybe even more than a little. Not at anyone or anything in particular, but at the situation as it is. I am daunted by the evasive answer to the ever-present question of WHY? Why now? Why him? Why me? Why why why. For a long time I tried to not ask why, but have now learned that all change begins with a question. If I don't question why, then I can't find the solution to "How." How do I move on? How do I honor my dad's memory without reliving all of the hurt? How long until I feel normal again? How will our family ever adjust to this loss? How how how?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My Craig

My Craig. Sometimes I can't believe how blessed I am to have this man in my life. He is so good to me. Today he spent the entire day outside making our yard look nice. He raked up and bagged the leaves--9 bags so far and a few to finish tomorrow. He dug up the last of the stumps of those darn mulberry trees that keep growing up in our lilac bushes with his shovel and chain saw. He trenched in some more of the landscaping bricks. And that was just one day. He's always doing something around here!
At his "for pay" job he supports the Army as a Program Manager. He is currently working on MRAP support equipment and also the Hydraulic systems test and repair unit. If you want to know more details, you'll just have to ask him, though, because all of the military acronyms and technical talk makes no sense to me. I do know that he earns "excellence" awards at work complete with certificates, for which I just received reprimand--Craig informed me that he has only worked for PMSKOT for 3 weeks and already received and award and certificate, and in our 9 years and 3 months of marriage I have never supplied him with a certificate for anything. I'm working on that.
Craig also volunteers with the youth group and is active in Primerica where he recently became licensed in life insurance, securities, and mortgages. Somewhere in there he also makes time to spend with Maddie and I and has been a big help to my mom in assisting her with Dad's insurances and paperwork. I am VERY proud of him and all that he has accomplished.
With that being said, there are a few fine points that we are working on. Craig is trying to make a little less noise while eating potato chips, and I am happy to report that his average crunch is down to about 50 decibels from an all time high of 90, so hearing protection is no longer required. We are also in the process of acknowledging that there is a problem with the sleep walking/talking/waking me up. The past few nights he has woke me around 3 am by putting his arm around me, pulling me close, and saying that he loves me. While the initial gesture is nice, the incessant rubbing of my arm that follows is just plain annoying. To top it off, when I tell him to roll over and leave me alone, he then blames ME for waking HIM up. Like I said, we're working on it.
Seriously, though. If I believed in luck, I would consider myself the luckiest woman on earth, but I guess I'll refer to it as blessed instead. So blessed that he is my husband, my soul mate, my love. He takes good care of me and provides well for our little family. I can hardly wait to share the next stage of our lives together...whatever that may be. I love you, Craig!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Dear Mediacom,
It was been a pleasure being the victim of your screwed up policies today. I love it how you disconnect cable and internet service, then refer us to your website to review our account. That is fun to try to do. When I discuss with your "I can hardly speak your language and this is my first day off of orientation" customer service lady that it is impossible to review an account online when you can't GET online, the extra soothing voice and excessive use of "thank you Ms. Riedel" is very comforting. I needed some good old theraputic communication. That is why I called.
I am a little confused as to why our service was disconnected in the first place. Perhaps April was correct when she said that our check bounced, despite the fact that we didn't write a stinking check. Or maybe it was Jasmine that had it figured out when she told me that we never made a payment in the first place, which, according to your own records, was made on October 26th. Last but not least, I don't want to discredit Sasha as she attempted to explain that we had insufficient funds in our account. Funny how that could happen...we have overdraft protection, just in case the several hundred dollars we had in there wasn't enough. My very favorite, though, was Marie who kindly explained that they have a lot of people who don't pay their bill, so they have to disconnect their service. I kindly reminded her that for 5 years I have never had so much as a late payment and was apalled that my service was disconnected without even so much as a phone call. In my mind I was bracing myself and my mind cautioned her not to say it...but she did. They didn't have my phone number. THEY provide my stinking phone service. GRRRRR AHHHHH
Carol made me laugh when she listened to me vent about the rediculousness of all this and then prepared to transfer me to an "Internet Specialist." I don't think that she knows that she only thought she was talking to an internet techy when she told me all about how she had this "extremely pissed off customer that has already called 4 times and got stuck talking to the people who didn't know what they were doing and we really need to help so that she doesn't take this to management." Followed by "hello?? Is this internet support?" Following a couple of clicks she said "Ms. Riedel! I thought I lost you!" I heard the whole thing. :)
The internet service technicians, Danny and Donny, in their infinite wisdom instructed me to disconnect the router, which led to me losing my phone connection both times, even though they assured me that it would not.
After 2 hours of me freaking out on your people and 8 different calls, guess what! My internet came back on! As it turns out, we made a payment 2 weeks before the due date, none the less! Who reversed our payment setting this whole stupid thing in motion???? MEDIACOM!!! Evidently once the payment is reversed the service is disconnected without warning...even if it STILL isn't due for another week! Amazing! Thank you for providing such great service! It is nice to know that your policies reflect the best interest of those you serve.

Your loyal customer,
Ms. Riedel

PS. Don't EVER take my internet away again without reason--or even with reason! My current emotional state does not allow for rational responses.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I have not posted a random blog post for a very long time, and there are some very random things that have happened lately. Here's a peek

*I witnessed a chunk of rotting potroast being extracted from someone's lung. The doc pulled it out with some long curved forceps and held it up in the air victorious--just before nearly losing his cookies after catching a whiff of the foul aroma. Poor guy--the patient, that is!

*I put a picc line in an arm that was nearly 2 feet in diameter. Yep. I'm that good :) It only took me one try! That is the largest arm that I have ever tapped. Sad, really.

* Craig recently traveled to Maryland, and I completely lost my mind when I couldn't reach him. I was beyond stressed with life and needed to talk to him, and when he didn't answer his cell, blackberry, or hotel room phone, I freaked. So did he when he returned to his room after a walk and found the security guard and custodian in his hotel room making sure that he was OK. Note to self: Be rational.

* My mom got internet. I thought that this would be a good thing, but now am not so sure. 3/4 of the nights this week (not exaggerating) we've been Skyping until after 11:00. It is good to see her getting the hang of it, but seriously, I miss my sleep! Ok, mom, I know you're reading this what I really mean is the following.

* My mom got internet. It is a great thing. I have gladly foregone many hours of sleep to assist her in finding the very best recipe for popcorn balls. :) I love you Mom! Really it has been fun.

*A few weeks ago my Mom, Sister, and I had our annual apple pie making day. We made 33 pies. MmmMMmm. It was exceptionally fun this year because Madison and my nieces all got involved in helping cut that apples. Those days are a lot of work, but create a ton of good memories.

* Our small group has started back up again YEAH. I love those people!

* I was invited and went to a Point of Grace/Mark Schultz concert. It was AWESOME and on the way back to the car we got to people watch everyone at the Insane Clown Posse..um... "concert?" across the street. Very entertaining. Too bad we didn't stay long enough to watch them spray the 800 gallons of ginger ale over the crowd that they had planned. Now THAT sounds like a good time? Ok, not really, that is just wierd.

I think that is all I have. My mind is still a little preoccupied and can't remember everything, but it has been a crazy month--but November is slated to be quite a lot crazier!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Smile over a tear

As I walked into the church the numbness surrounded me again. On some level it all still seemed like I was living someone else's life and just going through the motions of how I was supposed to feel. On another level I had a feeling that I couldn't put into words for the longest time...(until it was defined for me at a grief conference this week)...like something inside me imploded and left a huge, empty hole that left me gasping for air. Not just feeling a little faint and short of breath, but gasping.

I studied his face one last time trying to absorb every detail. I yearned again to exchange one more "I love you" or one more hug. The face of my father. How could I live the rest of my life without ever seeing him again? Tears stung at my eyes. No, I can't lose it now. I want to honor my daddy by sharing some of my best memories with him at the service, and if I let myself break now, that might not happen. Then it happened. I noticed it and started to giggle a little on the inside. My dad was wearing lipstick! Of course he was, that is something that funeral directors do to the deceased to make them look more "natural" but his lips were the most rosy pink and the more I looked at them the more it struck me funny. He looked like he'd been to a Mary Kay party. Grief is like that, I guess. There is a teetering between sadness and happiness. (I also learned at the grief seminar that this is where the word "Sappy" comes from. Sad+Happy=Sappy. It makes sense, I guess I just never thought about it). I had mixed emotions about the appropriateness of the final viewing of my dad ending in smiles, but then again my dad would choose a smile over a tear anyday, right?

The service was not sad for me. We sang How Great Thou Art and Uncle Duane perfectly blended memories of dad with a message of hope and salvation. Uncle David sang "There is a Redeemer" and "He Hideth My Soul" beautifully and it held much truth. The words that I had put together earlier in the day (seriously, I didn't have much time at all) turned out ok. At the end of the service we sang Amazing Grace. Oh my. It was THE MOST beautiful thing I have ever heard. Mom later said that she felt like she was in Heaven singing right along with Dad. I have never heard a song build like that and Aunt Sandy was on the piano putting beautiful frills and grace notes everywhere. It was lovely. I'm not trying to brag by any means, but this was just the kind of service that my daddy would have talked about for weeks.

Following the service we went to the cemetery for the burial. The weather could not have been more beautiful. As we gathered around the grave the colors of fall surrounded us. The golden corn, the green rolling hills, and the trees with just a scant blush of autumn in their leaves. We read some scriptures and sang the last verse of "When Peace Like a River" to cousin Andrew's saxophone accompaniment. That, too, seemed not so sad. It felt almost like a picnic out there. My mind had tuned out all sadness and was relishing in the thought that God had just allowed us to see just a hint of heaven and how happy dad must be. He gets to enjoy the beauty of God's grace and not have to wake up to a tomorrow of grief and longing.

Somewhere inside, I knew the joy that I felt that day would only last as a memory, and that there were tough days ahead. I just could not have imagined then how hard it would really be. But if God would fill me with joy even for the moment, it felt so refreshing.

Sidenote: There! I did it! I've been struggling with putting my thoughts to words for the funeral piece. I bet I started over at least 10 times, but here, on Saturday night beginning at 11:00 on another night where I can't fall asleep....grrr...it all came together. Yay! Now I can hopefully have a little closure on that chapter! And thank God for auto save. I thought I lost it...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Be Still

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on thy side; Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain; Leave to thy God to order and provide; In every change He faithful will remain. Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heavenly, Friend Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.
Be still, my soul; thy God doth undertake To guide the future as He has the past. Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake; All now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.
Be still, my soul, though dearest friends depart And all is darkened in the vale of tears; Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart, Who comes to soothe thy sorrows and thy fears. Be still, my soul; thy Jesus can repay From His own fulness all He takes away.
Be still, my soul; the hour is hastening on When we shall be forever with the Lord, When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone, Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored. Be still, my soul; when change and tears are past, All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

When I think about all of the things that have happened or are planned to happen in a short time, my heart breaks all over again and the depths of me wants to cry out "Why so MUCH?" My body tries to pummel my soul into a state of unrest, but, for some reason, this song places my mind in a gentle trance and brings me comfort. The words perfectly illustrate what I need to hear and what I truly believe.
This year has brought more than its share of struggles and loss. The deaths of both Kimmi and my dad are on my mind a lot, but there are other things going on in my life that bring me to my knees daily. Life has not been easy, but somehow through all of this I feel the gentle hand of God lifting my chin and giving me strength for each day.
Sometimes in the midst of loss and sadness we lose track of all of the good things that have happened, too. We have been so blessed even in this. Blessings that I realize most when I can quiet my soul and just be still....
Have a happy Tuesday, all!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Visitation

Tuesday morning. It was the morning that we were to go to Bates for the family viewing. The funeral director had warned us that Dad had alot of "structural damage" to his head, so we would need to decide at the private viewing whether or not we would have an open casket. I didn't want to go. I never wanted to see my daddy lifeless, but yet I knew that I needed to. Maybe seeing him would make this seem real--but I didn't want it to be real. I had been trying (without much success) to convince myself for the last few days that this was some horrible mistake, but knew that when I saw his body it would become real to me.
Mom went first. Jeff was with her. I stood back to give her time and was amazed at all of the plants and flowers that had been sent. The stands were already full and they kept bringing more and more in. The flowers were a nice distraction, they somehow gave me a break from realizing why I was really there. Healthy or not, I needed distraction. I wasn't ready. I'd never be ready.
The time came when I approached the casket. My dad looked good. Very handsome. The new tie worked great with the tan jacket and coffe brown shirt. It looked like him. I wasn't sure whether the funeral director overexaggerated how bad his head injuries were or had just done a heck of a job with whatever they do to make someone look like they used to. I studied his face. There was the small bump on his left cheek that had been there as long as I can remember. There was the sunspot on his right ear that I kept telling him he needed to get checked out. There were the winkles under his eyes that we always warned him not to rub when his allergies were bad. There were bushy eyebrows, the smooth complexion. My dad. The ony thing that wasn't right was his mouth. His top lip had a little pucker that I had never noticed before. Looking back at his senior portraits later--you know, the ones you don't smile for--it was there. Why had I never noticed? It occurred to me that I had never seen my dad with his lips together. He was ALWAYS smiling.
That was the beginning of what was to be a long day. The visitation was to start at four. We went back to the farm, had some lunch, and visited with some family. Mom invited me to walk to the mailbox with her, and we laid in her bed for close to an hour opening sympathy cards. Around 3 we took off to go back to Bates. There were several people there when we arrived offering their condolences. The line picked up rather quickly and we stood in awe of how many people's lives my dad had touched for nearly 7 hours. People waited just shy of 2 hours to reach the front of the line. Amazing.
I held up pretty well. There came one point in the evening when I lost it. All of the sudden I found myself face to face with a crabby lady. I don't know who she was, but she was not there for the right reason. Instead of offering to tell how she knew dad she complained that the line was long. I apologized for the wait and thanked her for being there. At that point she glared in my direction and cut ahead to where my mom was, spoke briefly to her and left. Whoa. What just happened? I felt hurt and confused. Did I do something wrong? Tears stung at my eyes and I started shaking. Craig took one look at me and told me that I needed a break--NOW. I went out to the van and stood behind it because it was locked I just cried and let my emotions overtake me for a bit. I missed my dad. I was angry, and hurt, and confused, and somehow this visitation stopped being about my dad, and about her. I wouldn't give her any more of my thoughts that day. I was there for to honor my dad and she could do whatever and it wasn't going to stop me from honoring him any less. I prayed for strength and felt an instant peace. As I headed back inside there was clarity. It just hurt me to know that someone would come there and show disrespect for anyone in the family. It stung because I know that my dad's family was more important than anything to him and if he had seen someone hurt me, it would have hurt him, too.
The end of the line was met with mixed emotions. I was purely exhausted, but couldn't get enough of people telling how they knew my dad and what they would remeber about him.
I laid awake for hours that night trying to write and sort out my thoughts. I had agreed to share some thoughts at the service and couldn't make a sentence. Finally, I shut down my computer and drifted off to sleep. If God wanted me to talk at Dad's service, he was going to have to help me out in the morning, but for now, I needed sleep. I needed to face Wednesday well rested, because that was the day I needed to somehow figure out how to say goodbye.

Monday, October 12, 2009

One month ago today.

One month ago today in the morning I got up to go to work. It was a lovely day--sunny and bright. There wasn't a lot going on at work and by one month ago today in the afternoon I had become very bored. I placed one PICC line and processed orders in ICU to help the staff. I jumped at the chance to assist with an ultrasound guided thoracentesis (that's draining fluid from a lung for the lay person!) and went home early.
One month ago today in the late afternoon I got home from work and found Craig laying all of the landscaping bricks around the house as we had discussed, preparing to trench them in. Then I went in the house and decided to check my e-mail. My laptop was not even booted up when my cell rang. One month ago today at that moment a new journey started. A journey that began with shock and disbelief and is now somewhere between not understanding and profound grief.

One month ago today in the morning my dad got up to go to work. It was a normal day. There was so much to do, and it was a lovely day. One month ago today in the afternoon my dad drove home from work, talked to my mom for a little bit, rummaged through the refrigerator for something to eat and announced that he was going out to clear out the lot behind the barn in preparation for weaning calves. Sure, it was not his favorite job, but it was all part of life on the farm. The plans for dinner out later in the evening had been made. One month ago today late in the afternoon as my dad was hauling his third load of compost to the wagon a new journey began. A journey that led him to the promised eternal life and peace.

Sometimes life makes no sense and we can't comprehend why these things happen to good people. One month ago today all of the tomorrows that I thought I had with my family intact were reduced to dreams and memories. One month ago today, I lost the very best daddy a girl could ever want. Life has changed....I have changed...in so many ways since just one month ago today.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

One more time.

Dear Dad,

Oh how I wish that we cold sit down face to face. I have so many questions for you. So many things I never took the time to ask when I had the chance. I miss you so much. Tonight is another one of those nights where I am laying in bed trying to sleep with no luck. I keep thinking about life and how it has changed so much in the last 3 1/2 weeks. I see pictures of you in my head constantly as I try to sleep. You standing there against the gate looking out to the cows in the pasture, one foot up on the 3rd rung from the bottom. You blading off the driveway in your big red tractor last winter--you know, when you totally ruined our good sledding hill, right after all of the sled tracks had been made. You looking me in the eye and asking "are you ready?" just before walking me down the aisle at my wedding. And then comes the pictures of the last few weeks. The image that I never saw but somehow created in my mind of the accident scene. The solemn look on your face during the visitation. The lack of smile and character. Oh dad.

I think that it may be starting to hit me a little bit that this is the way life is now. You're not coming back. The very thought brings tears to my eyes that cannot be stopped. This doesn't seem like the way it was supposed to be. You were supposed to be here when my children are born. You are supposed to be here for the family reunion next summer. And for Christmas. And for....everything.

I know that God has a plan in all of this. His plan is not to make me hurt and push me to my breaking point. My God is not like that. He WILL turn this, too, into good. But then part of my wonders how something that hurts so much could ever be good.

There is comfort in knowing that you're without a doubt in Heaven. Even if I had the power to bring you back, I couldn't do that to you. I know that you are so very happy where you are. It is crazy to think that your joy is in the midst of our great sorrow. I'm so happy for you, Dad. Really, I am. I just wish that you didn't have to leave us to attain it. And I wish that we could hear your voice and see your smile and hear your laughter and hug you just one more time.

With much love and a broken heart,

Thursday, October 1, 2009

It felt good to wake up in my own bed on Monday morning. It was hard to get to sleep, partly because I was overly tired, and partly because I was deep in thought trying to absorb what had just happened. I called my doctor's office to try to get my Thursday appointment moved to Monday, which they did without hesitation. Before my appointment I called a friend to see if she would accompany me in my search to find something to wear to the funeral. After my appointment we scoured the quad cities looking for something to wear. That was one of the hardest things for me. I don't particularly enjoy shopping, but knew that I needed to. I wanted something simple, comfortable, and practical. Becky was such a blessing to me as I mindlessly searched through the racks and then would give up and move on to a different store. Finally I found the perfect skirt, followed by a shirt that may work with it. As I exited the dressing room at Younkers wearing my skirt from another store and the shirt I was contemplating, a complete stranger told me how nice the outfit looked. That was it. Sold. I guess that God knew that my brain was shutting down and I needed someone to make a decision for me. Thank you, fellow Younkers customer, for responding! Thanks even more to Becky for being so patient with me! We also somehow managed to find a skirt suit for my mom so that she wouldn't have to hit the stores back home that had such limited selections.
Becky dropped me off at home and I scurried to get things together to take. Craig was back home from his errands by now and I was eager to get back to my mom. In my absence, Mom, Jeff, and Shelli had picked out the cemetary plot and the Casket spray. I really had kind of wanted to be there for that, but knew that they would pick the very best and prettiest for Dad. When we got back to Osky we went to the flower shop so that I could see the flowers that would be used in the spray. There in a 5 gallon bucket sat a random assortment of fall shaded flowers and dried wheat. It was beautiful, but in my mind I was disappointed because it was such a small grouping. In my absent-mindedness I thought that the flowers in the bucket were the total of the flowers for the spray, not just a sample of the variety. Duh. It made us laugh, though, and laughing has always been a staple in our family, so it felt good.
On Monday evening, we gathered with the extended family again to share some memories of my dad. It was lovely. We laughed, cried, and loved. It was hard not to notice that my dad was missing. These were the kind of moments that he loved.
As I climbed into bed that night the numbness of emotion wore off again, and I felt the raw hurt. I decided that perhaps I should start thinking about what I would say at his funeral service, but there were no words. A sentence could not be made. That would have to wait for another day. Morning would come all too soon and with it bring the time to see what remained on this earth of my daddy--in a way I never wanted to see him. Tomorrow would be a day of firsts and the beginning of lasts. How would I handle it???

--sidenote---I am really debating about whether or not I should continue posting my recollection of these events. It is so important to me to remember as many details as possible in those days, and by putting them to words, the memories start to reveal themselves. It feels so good to write, but I don't want my blog to take a morbid tone. I guess right now I owe myself the opportunity to grieve in this way, so read on if you want...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Day 2

As the minutes turned into hours and that devastating day faded into the next I laid awake. I could hear Mom stirring in her room so I went to check on her. I laid my head on my dad's pillow and my body where he should have been laying. I could smell the scent of his hair and I felt so close to him. My mom and I laid there for nearly 2 hours crying and praying and talking about God and how this all had to be part of His plan and that we shouldn't question why it happened.

Finally around 3:30 AM I drifted off into a twilight sleep. I heard every creek in the old farm house and starting at 5 I heard the neighbor's rooster. The closest neighbor to my parents is 1/2 mile away but that dang rooster had some umph behind his cock-a-doodle-doo. In all the nights that I have spent at my parent's house I have never heard a rooster.

Sunday morning we sorted through pictures trying to find the perfect one for the obituary. I sat down with my sister and her laptop to write the obituary. That is where I felt my mind numb. On some level I knew what I was doing, but on another it was just the start of many things that I've done over the last couple of weeks that make me feel like I'm living someone else's life. We went through Dad's closet and found a suitcoat, pants and shirt. The suitcoat had a small coffee stain on the collar and sleeve. My dad never could eat or drink anything without spilling just a little. :)

We quickly ran to Penney's to get dad a new tie. We thought that he deserved something new to wear even though it seemed silly in some respects. When we reluctantly arrived at the funeral home and began making plans for the service. It was surprisingly not that difficult. The worst part? When the funeral director gently told us that dad had a lot of structural damage to his face and that we may not be able to have an open casket. I got an image in my mind at that moment that haunts me. In my delusional mind this planning was not being done for MY dad.
After the planning was done we retreated back to the farm, but before the extended family arrived there was something that we all wanted, yet did not want, to do.
As we walked back behind the barn--all together as what was left of my family--the first thing to catch my eye was the tractor. The fender was all bent up, the muffler bent off to the side, steering wheel broken, but had clearly been cleaned up a bit. I couldn't help but kick the tires of that dang tractor. It had taken so much from me, but yet, it seemed somewhat sacred. That seat was the last place my daddy sat, and that steering wheel was the last thing he touched. The keys were in the ignition and caught my eye. I took one key off of the ring and put it in my pocket. Knowing that dad turned that key shortly before he left us drew me to it. It felt good to have my fingers wrapped around the same thing that his fingers were on.
As Sunday drew to a close we headed back to Davenport to get our home in order to be gone for a while.
Somehow, we had made it through a full day without Dad.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The worst day of my life...

Writing is my outlet. It helps me understand my thoughts and emotions. It helps me feel more connected with God. It forces me to put some of my thoughts into words. I wouldn't normally post anything so personal, but I feel like sharing. Here's a little peek into my thoughts...

The searing pain of loss is so fresh on my heart I can't even pretend to compose myself at times. Less than two weeks ago on Saturday, September 12, 2009 my life was completely turned inside out. What started off being a boring Saturday afternoon ended up being what is the worst day of my life to date. My mom called and I knew instantly from the sound of her voice that what she had to say could not be good. After about 15 seconds on the phone I learned that my dad was pinned under a tractor and the paramedics could not find a pulse. I knew at that instant that he was gone. The only words I could say were "NO and NOT MY DADDY!" My head fought with my heart trying to convince me that there had been a big mistake, but in my heart, I knew.
We gathered up the essentials for a nights stay and rushed the 2 hours and 15 minutes home. Craig is not one to speed and I was thankful that he was rational because I most certainly was not. We had to stop for gas and it seemed to take an eternity to pump. As we continued on our way we got caught up in conversation and somehow missed our exit. I was almost glad in a way because I didn't want to face reality. My sister called and said that they had taken my dad's lifeless body from the farm, and that everyone was meeting at the house. When we finally got there I hugged my mom and just cried, then found my sister sitting on the steps. We sat there and cried and hugged and shared our disbelief. How could my dad be gone? I need him. He had so much life to live yet. I felt weak and like I had just been beaten down. Craig left to pick up Maddie in Osky and I worried about his safety. I moved into the family room and began to talk with my aunts and uncles that had also arrived. I found my brother and hugged him. Out of instinct I looked around for my dad, but, of course, he wasn't there. The thought of it made me literally sick to my stomach.

To be continued....(when I am not in desperate need of some serious sleep)...

Monday, September 14, 2009

I lay here awake at 6 am pouring through the events of the last few days. Not wanting to believe it, overwhelmed, and with a broken heart. Tomorrow Iwill see my dad for the first time since his accident on Saturday. Tomorrow will be the first time that I can't look my dad in the eyes or see his ready smile. I know that it is just his body, an empty shell of the man that meant so much to me. I know that this is only a temporary separation and cling to the promise that we will meet again, but reeling from the fact I never got to say goodbye. I never got to tell him that I love him one last time. I never got to tell him thank you for being the greatest example of a life lived by faith that I have ever known. Yet, I know he knew. And, although it came at much too high a price, I am thankful. Thankful that death came to him instantly. Without pain or fear. Exactly as God himself had planned since the beginning of time, and thankful that he has already stood before the Almighty and granted permanant citizenship in heaven, where I will see him again. Thankful that I was given nearly 34 years with my daddy, and they were good ones. Thankful that we went on vacation with him this summer and that we met him and my mom for dinner just 2 weeks ago. Thankful that the funeral planning is done and that the only things left to do are order the casket spray and find something to wear for the service and find a way to somehow say not goodbye forever but "see you in a litte while." Thankful and tired and so so sad.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Reflection of our day 8.12.

Nine years ago today I married my best friend. It was a wonderful day--warm and sunny with lots of family and friends. Next year we'll watch the wedding video for the first time... Our verse: Romans 8:28 "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God."

Eight years ago today we went to Chicago to enjoy the downtown museums and Navy Pier. We were inexperienced at celebrating anniversaries, so this was a fairly boring trip.

Seven years ago today we celebrated our second anniversary by camping at the Eleven Mile Canyon in Colorado. Since then we have returned twice and has become our perfect vacation spot. Mountains, a river, and campsite #10. Only a water pump and an outhouse are there--if you don't bring the rest of it, you go without! There is something hopelessly romantic about falling asleep under the stars in the fresh mountain air while listening to the water flow down the river, and waking to a multitude of birds excitedly announcing the rising of the sun.

Six years ago today we headed out for a simple dinner at Bennigan's in Des Moines. As we sat over chicken fingers and Death By Chocolate (that sounds gross to me now, too!) we decided that we should do a road trip. We drove back to Ames, gathered a change of clothes and our toothbrushes, and took off for....Duluth, MN. We drove until about 3 AM, stopped at a hotel for the night, then took off again by 8. We arrived in Duluth around noon to take in the views over the lake for a couple of hours, then returned home. Wow, it was a quick trip with a LOT of time in the car, but sometimes car time is prime time for catching up and reflecting. It was refreshing.

Five years ago today we went to the Iowa State Fair for our anniversary. Craig says that was a one time event. He hates fairs. I had a great time, though!

Four years ago today we celebrated our 5th anniversary, again by camping in the Canyon. Love it!

Three years ago we celebrated our 6th anniversary in our first house. We decided to stay home in honor of meeting a major goal of purchasing a home. We did go out to Texas Roadhouse for dinner.

Two years ago we celebrated our anniversary in Colorado. Craig was on a 2 week leave from his depolyment to Iraq. When he flew into Denver, it was the first time we'd seen eachother since he'd left 6 months earlier. We rented a condo in Breck for a few days and just hung out. It was simple but just what we needed after a long separation.

One year ago we celebrated our anniversary somehow but, honestly, I have been racking my brain trying to figure out how. I know we didn't go anywhere, so maybe we just went out for dinner or something. Hmmm.

Today Craig is at work and I am still sitting at home in my PJ's at 11:30. This is rediculous. We had plans to spend the day together on Monday so Craig took the day off of work, but it was not to be, as I was ill. Tonight we will have dinner and go for a nice long walk. Perfect.

Next year....the big 1-0. Plans are in the works for a big trip and jewelry (...I must mention the jewelry part to Craig soon...). Who knows where life may lead us in the next year, but we will be lead with lasting love and the knowledge that "All things (REALLY DO) work together for good to them that love God," and that's all I need.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Class Reunion

This weekend was the infamous 15 year class reunion. It was so nice to see some of my old classmates. Saturday afternoon we toured our old high school. It was a strange feeling to wander down the halls of a place that was once so familiar. Everything was still pretty much the same, but seemed smaller than I remember. The building where our class attended elementary school has since been torn down and a nice new elementary built ajoining the high school. I found myself really wishing that I could wander through that old elementary building one more time.
On Saturday evening we had a meal catered by the grocery store in New Sharon--it was delicious--and then everyone headed to the bar. I'm not one to hang out much in bars, but it was nice to sit and visit a bit without all of the smoke! Thank you, Iowa law maker people, for passing that ban! Craig and I hung out until about 10:00 and then drove around for a while enjoying the fresh country air and gazed at a few stars.
On Sunday afternoon we grilled out and had potluck. Initial disappointment in a small turnout yielded rather quickly to a refreshing feeling of gratitude as we really had time to reconnect. Matt, Alicia, Travis, Susan, and I (along with spouses) spent 3 hours sitting around sharing memories...recalling so many of those fun times spent together and laughing hysterically as we revisited how awkward those teenage years could be. It was just what I needed. Refreshment for the soul that made all of the unanswered phone calls, unreturned RSVP's, and frustration in planning this event worth the work.
Is it 2019 yet? I want to see my friends again!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Facebook Status

I have a lot of things on my mind that I want to post as my status on Facebook today, but don't want to have an entire book for my status, nor do I want to change my status every 5 minutes to fit them all in, so I am just going to post them here. Lucky readers.

Melissa Nieuwsma-Riedel is not looking forward to tonight.

Melissa Nieuwsma-Riedel is looking forward to Wednesday.

Melissa Nieuwsma-Riedel wishes that she could have some of that six patty high burger. I'm hungry.

Melissa Nieuwsma-Riedel needs to do something productive.

Melissa Nieuwsma-Riedel is hot. Now cold. Now hot again. grrr.

Melissa Nieuwsma-Riedel so enjoyed yesterdays picnic...it was the best part of the reunion, I think.

Melissa Nieuwsma-Riedel needs a life

Melissa Nieuwsma-Riedel should probably eat something. It is 2:20 PM and all I've had today is a glass of water and some girl scout cookies. Dumb, but not regrettable.

Melissa Nieuwsma-Riedel should clean up the mess hauled in from the car before Craig gets home.

Melissa Nieuwsma-Riedel needs to call State Farm and Cancel the insurance on the car that we sold several days ago.

Melissa Nieuwsma-Riedel is looking forward to Jen's wedding and hanging out with her friends.

Melissa Nieuwsma-Riedel just spent nearly two hours updating the class reunion blog with pictures and stuff and it still looks crappy and needs more work.

Melissa Nieuwsma-Riedel is signing off now.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A venti venti blah blah

I feel a little guilty about updating my blog right now because Craig's dad is grouting in the tile in the new shower, but honestly, I feel like crap. We've had several late nights because of the master bathroom remodel, and I had a follow up appointment with the ENT doctor yesterday. It was depressing. My hearing is not good. Matter of fact, during the word recognition portion of the test it was all I could do to not turn around and try to read the tester's lips. Embarrassed and defeated I left with a refill for the same dose of hctz and a recommendation for a hearing aid. Luckily, my hearing in my right ear is still very good.
The most frustrating part of all of this is that those around me keep trying to talk louder. It drives me crazy, because it is not that I can't hear, it is that I can't understand. The best that I can describe it is it sounds as if I am trying to understand what someone is saying while underwater. When people around me talk louder, it just gets nearly unbearable.
Yesterday after my appt I went to Lowes and Home Depot to pick up a few more supplies because SOMEONE (me) decided to change grout color. I became progressively tired throughout the day and by 4 pm couldn't even keep my eyes open. Then the vertigo started. Classic Meniere's, so I take a diazepam and go to bed with my puke bucket nearby, only when I woke up my stomach was very settled. This was not my Meniere's. What the heck?? Lights became hazy, I was starting to hallucinate a bit. Aha, it has to be the crazies coming to haunt me again. Those who know me well know what I mean. (I am NOT really crazy--all the time, anyway!). Luckily today is my last day for those stupid things this month. I called my Dr.'s office to make sure that it was ok to take my last dose today and found that I am one of only 6% that has those symptoms. Nice. I can't seem to fall into any cool statistics like, say, winning the lottery or being randomly selected to be on Wheel of Fortune, but when it comes to seeing floaties and feel like I am in a perpetual disco room I strike the jackpot. Whooppee!
Anyway, enough complaning. Things will get better, but frustration is the name of the game right now!
Thanks for listening,

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What's up

My blog has really fallen by the wayside lately. Life has been busy and I have not had much time or energy to write too much. When I have had the chance to write it seems that my thoughts have been a little too personal to share on the big old scary internet...so...that's what's up. I will hopefully update more frequently again soon.
In the meantime, here are some random thoughts.

~Madison has been with us for about 2 weeks now. I (insert heart) having her here. We've had such a great time just hanging out, talking, and biking. We've ridden our bikes like maniacs...at least 12 miles every time we go out, and we've gone out 3-4 times per week. One day we did 26 miles, but that is before the sun went into humid heat blower mode. Last night we added a new adventure to our biking journies. Madison needed a little extra encouragement to hit the trail, so I bribed her by saying that we could take some bread to feed to the geese when we went by the lagoon on our way home. Little did I know that there are now signs everywhere that ask that the poor geese not be fed--due to the large amout of excrement and unsanitary conditions. Nice. Well, the sign didn't say anything about not feeding the ducks in the creek, so it happened to be their lucky day. We found this momma and cute little baby and were feeding them small pieces of bread when Maddie turned around and saw that a whole busload of geese had crossed the parking lot to take advantage of the bread. They looked like they could become a little aggressive, so we hopped on our bikes and took off, leaving the bewildered ducks behind.
After about 50 feet Madison told me that my tire was hissing, and sure enough, I had a leak. It was flat in no time. 3 1/2 miles from home. We pulled into the driveway just as darkness fell. Madison riding her bike and me pushing mine. Go figure.
~I have become a total clutz. I don't get it. I have dropped a chair on my foot, a shelf bracket through my right big toenail, left the ice cream on the counter for more than 2 hours twice (not the same ice cream, obviously), and spilled a half of glass of soda onto my neutral carpet, got it cleaned up and then spilled the other half. Nice. So cool.
~We're leaving tomorrow to go to the Wisconsin Dells with my parents and sister's family. I'm pretty excited. Anna warned my sis tonight that when we're on vacation she would still love her, but would be spending most of her time with me. I can't wait.

That's all I've got. Hope everyone's summers are going well....

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Chat with a 4 year old about a dead bunny.

Tomorrow my mom, sister, 3 nieces, and Madison are coming to our house for a few days. We're going to have a garage sale and (hopefully) get rid of a lot of stuff. I called my sis tonight to touch base with her and make sure that she didn't have any last minute questions. As we were talking my niece, Anna, who just turned 4 could be heard in the background. "I want to talk to Missy. I want to talk to her RIGHT NOW." I told my sister that I better talk to her for a little bit. Here's how the conversation went.
"Hi, Anna. How are you tonight?" (In my sweetest talking to a little friend voice)

"Um, Missy, I am coming to your house tomorrow and I heard that we might play a game."

"Oh really? We should play a game, that would be lots of fun, but we're going to have a garage sale and might need someone to sell Lemonade. Do you know anyone who knows how to sell lemonade?"

"YES! I can do it! And maybe Adlynn (a cousin from the other side of her family) could help me! And what was your bunny's name...the one that is dead?"

"Um, the bunny that died was named Daisy. Dixie (the other rabbit) can't wait to see you, Anna." (Subtle attempt to focus on life, not death)

"I remember when Daisy died. Why did she die again?"

"Daisy got very sick and we had to take her to the bunny doctor, the doctor said that she was going to die and it made me sad. Dixie was sad too, but right now, she is just excited to see you" (a little dramatization...the only thing she isreally excited to see is food) "Are you excited to come to my house? (attempt to change subject).

"Where IS Daisy, anyway?"

(thinking...in a USPS box buried under our tree...) "Well, I suppose that she is hopping around in Bunny heaven somewhere"

"With Jesus?"

"Yep, probably.....so, Anna, what game do you want to play tomorrow?"

And CLICK. She was gone.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Needing some color

Craig has redeemed himself. He did not answer his phone because he had it on vibrate mode in his pocket. He was walking to the bar 2 miles away at midnight in a strange town to pick up his coworker who had taken the shared rental car and was too wasted to drive home. What a guy! I can assure you that I would not be walking anywhere at night by myself. Craig did change his travel schedule so that he will be home tomorrow. Yippee! I can't wait, but am going to delight in my last night of restful sleep tonight. :(

Today I went to Lowe's to pick out paint. I have been pondering the idea of painting both the kitchen and the family room for a while and finally decided that it was time to talk colors. I was thinking "Blade of Grass Green" for the family room. It is, well, the color of a blade of grass. I think that it will look nice--kind of creating unity between the indoors and the outdoors. As for the kitchen...I like the way that the dining room turned out so much that I want to bring some of that into the kitchen. I'm thinking the same creamy wall color for the soffits and walls. There is very limited wall space in this kitchen--it is all cabinets or windows. I'd like to do an accent wall above the table. So far, I am tinkering with the same color as the curtains in the dining room...kind of a reddish rust color. I currently have a sample color taped to the wall, but I think that I would need about 5,342 more to cover the entire space. I so cannot picture what it will look like from one of those tiny squares.

Now...the moment of truth. I want to know who of you, my friends, were going to call me and tell me that I absolutely CANNOT paint any part of my house the color of a blade of grass. It was just a trick to see what you all were thinking when I said that. So...leave me some feedback.

In all honesty I have no idea what color to paint the family room. The paneling is staying for now. :( We realized that it would be way too much work to remove it right now...all of the trim would have to be replaced and there is a LOT of freaking trim in this room. I am leaning towards getting rid of the stripe--kind of. I want to use the same color of paint but alternate between semi-gloss and flat to give it a subtle kick. Otherwise, It could look like painted paneling! Pale sage greens and pale blues are catching my eye right now, but I have to be a little careful. I don't want it to look like a nursing home only missing the pink carpet and scent of urine. Perhaps if I go ahead with my projects soon I will post pictures on the blog. I very rarely ever do that.

But for now, I need to go to bed. I have to go back to work tomorrow and would probably have better accuracy with my needles if my eyes are open. Goodnight, virtual world.

Monday, May 18, 2009

All in a day.

I'll probably be blogging more than my norm this week. I am bored. B O R E D. I have oodles of stuff that I could and should be doing, but today was not very fruitful on that front. I am having a garage sale in 3 weeks and am not at all ready. My mom and sister are bringing stuff, too, and I am just a little concerned that they are taking separate vans to accomodate all of their sellables. Oh my. This could get interesting.
Craig is on travel yet again...to Maryland again with some hydraulic line that has a piece of metal on it that he claims is ingenious. I believe him. He is smart and makes things work. When Craig travels I always ask that he call me when he gets back to the hotel for the night. It is now 11:42 PM and I am still waiting for his call. He did let me know that he arrived lately, but it really ticks me off when he doesn't call before bed. It causes my mind to keep me up asking "What if" questions. I hate those. "What if he got lost and is wandering around the streets in a strange town. What if he had another one of those vertigo attacks and became disoriented or passed out. What if he slipped in the shower and is bleeding and they won't find him til morning. What if..." Yet, I know my husband. When he is tired, he stops thinking properly and, quite honestly, about me. He falls asleep and nothing short of an earthquake will wake his slumber. I know that he has to be tired. He went to bed around 10 last night but had to be at the airport by 5 this morning. Yes, that is it. He just fell asleep and probably forgot to take his phone off of silent mode, too. The double whammy side of this is that he will probably call me at 5 AM when he is up starting his day to tell me that he saw all of my missed calls and is sorry...he fell asleep.

I did get to skype with my cousin, Tricia, in Australia tonight which was very nice. Her baby was making faces at me in the webcam and I was making faces back at her--so cute. It is nice to have modern technology that can connect us with people that we love and miss around the world.

Today was also the day that I got my annual evaluation at work. It went very well. I am an "Exceptional Employee." I qualify for the maximum raise....but...we're not getting any raises this year because of the economy, so I just got a good evaluation. Bummer. Praises are nice, but a little extra cash really gets my attention!

Char is also out of town this week, which makes my life a little more boring because I kind of look forward to hearing about the drama in her life a couple of days each week. She said I could call anytime, but she probably didn't mean on day 1.

Tomorrow I get to babysit in the morning for Anna while Molly goes to an appointment. :) I'm looking forward to spending some time with Anna, but am a little concerned because the last time I saw her she came and put her arms up, which I thought meant she wanted me to pick her up. Well, she didn't and made some sounds indicating that she was not pleased followed by a little push away when I set her back down. I'm sure that we'll be fine.

OK, well, I think that I have probably taken up enough of your time for now. I am going to try one more time to call the hubs and then am going to bed! 'Nite all.

Moments that I will never forget

I will never forget the day that Craig returned home for good from Iraq. I'll always remember him walking down the tarmac in uniform looking for me and me trying to push my way to the front of the crowd to get to him. Someone may have ended up with bruises, even. I remember falling into a long embrace and then thinking "Oh my. There were a few people in uniform getting off that plane. Did I get the right one?" I did.

I will never forget the day that Craig came home TDY from Iraq and we met at the airport in Denver. We went to Outback to eat and I just kept staring at him and could not stop smiling--so happy to be together again. I even successfully navigated around an airport to find him. That is not one of my strengths. He was wearing the ugliest jeans that I have ever seen. I coined them his neon jeans and they "disappeared" rather quickly. He needs me and would be a mess without me.

I'll never forget the day I left for college. It was sad. I knew that life had changed forever and I cried all the way to my sister's, where I lived for the first half of my first semester. It turned out to be a great experience, but I have never been good at saying good bye. Even for a short time.

I will never forget the time that I was mad at my dad and shocked him with a hog buzzer. I was in high school and my friend Jen was there, too. As soon as he reacted to the jolt I knew that it had not been a good idea. That was the one and only time that I really felt that it may be in my best interest to run away and never return. Don't worry, he got me back. Bzzz : thus, "natural" curls.

I'll never forget the day that Craig and I got married. It was wonderful start to finish. Almost 9 years ago. Sheesh!

I'll never forget the night that each of my grandpas died. (not the same night, thank goodness). As said before, I am not good with goodbyes. They were both such loving, family oriented, Godly men. I can't wait to see them again someday!!

I'll never forget the first time that we went in the giant wave pool at WaterWorld in Denver. It was Craig, Madison and I facing a 14 foot wave crested with a wall of people. Madison literally crawled up Craig and held on for dear life while screaming "DADDDDDDYYYY." As soon as it was finished she begged to do it again. I was glad because I thought it was fun.

I'll never forget the day we bought our house. We cleaned and moved in the same day. I love that day.

I'll never forget my 16th birthday and the hokey pokey incident. I'm not going to explain this one in too much detail but, trust me, I will never forget.

I will never forget the day that Craig and I bought our first car. 1997 Accord. Loved that car. Hondas rock. We're now 3 Hondas later and bought our first Toyota. Never had a mechanical problem. Knock on wood.

I'll never forget the day that Kimmi died. I'll forever regret that I was in the bathroom when they wheeled her out of the ambulance and missed the big smile that she reportedly had when she realized that she was home.

I'll never forget the day that Maddie learned to ride her bike. Craig chased her around the parking lot at a local elementary school making sure she didn't fall over. She had no idea how to stop but had "daddy breaks" so all was well.

I'll never forget the time that my cow drug me around the ring at the Iowa State Fair. I've tried to forget, but can't.

I'll never forget the morning after Madison spent the night with us for the first time. "Daddy? Is it up-time yet?" So sweet. I love that girl.

I'll never forget how much work it was to paint the outside of our house and I'll never do it again.

I'll never forget the moment that I learned that my mom had accidently developed our honeymoon pictures and that Craig had unknowingly taken a picture into a mirror in all of his manly glory. Whoops. (The picture was not at all indecent...except for the reflection!)

Monday, May 11, 2009

How family cable has changed my life.

We have had the family cable package for 6 days now. Six glorious days. I am still very much interested in watching every single episode of anything on HGTV, but just tonight started flippin through to find out what else I may be missing. These are some of the changes that I have noticed since this happened in our house.
~I have not watched the news. Not even once. For all I know we have switched our currency to pigs hooves. Wait...do pigs even have hooves? I really don't know! I also have no idea what the weather is supposed to do this week.
~I have suppressed the desire to rip down all of this blasted paneling in my family room and have began selecting paint colors for the "next project."
~I have not gone to bed before 10:30. I used to go to bed at least an hour before that. Sleep sound tempting...maybe after "one more episode."
~The new remote has been mastered. However, I still cannot figure out how to make the VCR work. (yes, we still have a VCR, but how am I supposed to tape one thing while watching another??? It's family cable, not DVR!)

Hmmmm. I'm not so sure that this was a good thing for me, but don't even think about taking my remote away.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My Wonderful Husband

Last weekend Craig and I went to Michigan. We spent 2 whole days together--just him and I. It was wonderful. We took a walk out on the pier on to Lake St. Claire. We shared a Peanut Butter Cup dessert at Uno's. We laughed. We reminisced about the last 11 years together and shared some reveries about where we hoped our future would take us. We dreamed. We cried--well, one of us did anyway! We connected. We loved. We watched poker until midnight. We slept in and we observed a culture much different from our own.

Sometimes it is good to get out of the ordinary. To get away from the life that is overcommitted, over worked, and over scheduled. To bask in simplicity. To reconnect with those we love. The difficult part of this weekend was the trip home. I dropped Craig off at the airport in Kalamazoo...he had to fly to the east coast for work. Although it was nice to have some quiet time in the car to think, pray, and listen to a few tunes I was sad. I missed my husband. Our lovely weekend had come to a screeching halt back into reality. There was work to be done, a house to clean, doctor's appointments to make, a lawn to mow, a family cable package to order :), oil changes that needed to be done, and on and on. But, as I spent Monday on my hands and knees scrubbing floors and woodwork and washing windows I found myself more blessed than ususal. I have a comfortable home, a great relationship with my husband, a beautiful stepdaughter, great friends, and a lot of love in my life. There's so much that I am thankful for....all blessings from God.

As I sit and write this the birds are playfully chirping outside my patio door. My house is a lot cleaner than it was yesterday (but still has a way to go), and my heart is a little more content with life. Ahhh God is good....and so are weekends away.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Update to Missing my Girlfriends

So, occasionally I go through my old posts and re-read--who doesn't? I realized that when I was writing this list I was thinking of one person that I missed in particular. I was trying to think of just the right thing to say that I missed about her, but in that process evidently skipped writing about her all together....so sorry! Blame it on the meds--you know what I am talking about!
I miss Lonita...aka Neeter...because I haven't been on a spontaneous and unplanned road trip since the "Uno's dos our hotel is gross" adventure. So many good times with you, friend, and we need to make some more fun memories soon!!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Missing my girlfriends

These are a FEW of the friends that I miss and some random reasons why.
I miss Jen S (the COOL one) because we have such good talks while we're walking and then find healthy things to eat.
I miss Jen A because she's going through so much and I see her so seldom.
I miss Molly because we haven't done lunch in weeks and haven't had the time to connect lately.
I miss Char because she moved, makes me laugh, and keeps secret #11 oh so well.
I miss Kim because we haven't been able to chat and have coffee for 2 weeks now...and this Sunday doesn't work, either
I miss Amanda because she understands me and reassures me that I am not crazy. (she may be wrong, though!)
I miss Tara because I haven't seen her in forever and we just click. (It was great talking to you today, though)
I miss Brenda because we haven't had a good facebook chat for a while.
I miss my girlfriends. You're all awesome...I am so lucky!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wanted: New Spring Purse

I need a new purse. I tried to talk my friend into having a purse party...one of those ones where you design your own, but she said no. I don't have parties like that at my house--probably because I would have to clean and I don't feel like it. Last fall I bought a super cute (I think, anyway!) purse at a craft fair but it is rather fall-ish looking. I need something bright and fun and springy. Not leather or another Sak. I'm tired of plain. I want fun. Perhaps I should look online. Or learn to sew...then I could make my own. Wouldn't that be interesting? I can see it now....I'd be walking down the street or through the mall when the bottom of my purse, which NOBODY says is cute, rips a seam and all my junk flies in random directions. Yeah, probably should leave purse making up to the professionals. Seriously, where can a cute springy purse be found???

Friday, April 24, 2009

catch up

I have had bloggers block all week this week--thus, no updates, but this morning I feel like writing. Things have been pretty run-of-the-mill here this week. The only real news that I thought that you, my internet friends, would like to be the first to know that I am losing my ability to be graceful. I am sure that you have referred to me using words like a swan gliding across a gentle stream, a snowflake falling from the heavens, or a drop of dew slipping off of the petal of a freshly bloomed rose. This is no longer the case. I am a clutz. I have fallen UP the stairs at church, ran smack into the automatic door at the clinic (of course, the waiting room was full!), run over my heels with the PICC line cart more than once, broke a plate, tripped over the cat, and nearly fell out of bed. This has all been in the last week--and that is just the beginning. I don't know what is going on, but be assured that it is not easy being me.

I actually wrote this a while ago and then decided not to post it. Now, since I haven't posted anything for a while, I will put it out there for your entertainment.

Life has gotten a litte chaotic. Funny how that happens, isn't it? I find myself wanting more than ever to write but often being at a loss for words......

Monday, April 20, 2009

Things to do.

These are the things that I hope to accomplish today. As usual, they are not in order
1. Tidy up the house
2. Sell the Civic
3. Shower --done. Time unimportant. I didn't go anywhere!
4. Work out--done. 9:40-10:15--elliptical x 34 minutes while watching Hitch :)
5. Make a green bean tater tot casserole--done
6. Pull the old dried stocks out from around my day lillies and live forevers--done
7. Make dinner for my husband--done
8. Water my droopy plants
9. Blog--done. 10:20-10:35
10. Laundry
11. Call Molly--done. 8:45-9:05 ish. What a good friend.
12. Talk to Char--done
13. Return a vase to Ben Franklin's
14. Do something other than a ponytail with my hair.--done. Not much more than a pony tail, but it's down.
15. Catch up with Amy
16. Touch base with Rob and Jeni about the cat travel arrangements--still not done
17. Trim my nails--done
18. Watch the news--done
19. Clean the car after the weekend travel
20. Relax--???

Craig and I went to Omaha this weekend to spend some time with his parents. We had a good time, but, as always, it went too fast. We spent some time trying to gather ideas for a monument for Kim's grave, which was not as bad as I had anticipated. It is heart breaking to see people grieve so hard. I keep praying for peace and serenity for his parents.
When we got home there was a message on our machine from someone who wanted to buy our Sentra :) Yippee! The used car lot selection is dwindling! You better act fast...there is only the Civic left and I am hoping for a call later today from the people who test drove just before we went out of town.
We had small group last night, also. Craig and I both so enjoy getting together with these people every other week. We studied the parable of the talents and were amazed to find new meaning in the scripture even though we had read the parable many times before. God is funny like that.
That's all for now. I have a checklist to complete.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Drowned out

It happened again. My heart was broken. I don't understand it. I want to shake people and say "Don't you see?...Love?...Care?....What are you thinking?" People get sick. Very sick. Only God knows why, but it happens. Sometimes their problems can be fixed, other times they are beyond the scope of what modern healthcare can provide.
My patient was laying in his hospital bed saying he didn't want to go through it. The cancer is throughout his body, causing pain, shortness of breath, exhaustion. He didn't want surgery. He didn't want chemo. He didn't want to fight it again--he beat it twice already, but it just comes back, and it is far worse this time. Last time it nearly took his life. He was so sick. He says he wants to live his life until he dies, not die trying to live.
"No, Dad, you're going to fight this." "You're going to win." "You're stronger than this."
You don't have the right to choose. We will choose for you, and we've chosen to make you fight, and you don't want to let us down so you'll agree.
And so he fights. He had the feeding tube placed so he could eat. He had the PICC placed for chemo. The pain is intense and the battle has just begun, but, for his family, he will fight....because they said so.
This is what bothers me. Why doesn't a patient, in their sane mind, get to make decisions and have their family stand behind them? Why do others get to choose? They don't feel the pain, lose the quality of life, or suffer because of the decision...only the patient does. So why does the patient's voice get drowned out in the sea of everyone else's opinion?
I personally think that the ideal way to die is a heart attack in your sleep at age 85 in your own home, but don't know what God has planned...pretty sure I don't want to know. I do know that if disease has overtaken my body to the extent that I cannot talk, eat (please don't take my food away!), or do the things I enjoy then my earthly body has done its time. Life to me is not determined by longevity, but by quality. If I can't have quality, I wouldn't want to fight for more time. It just doesn't make sense to me.
Just had to get that off of my chest.
Sorry that this is so deep. It just hit me square in the face today...once again.
(P.S. This has absolutely nothing to do with Kimmi...her situation was completely different! I truly feel that the best decision for her was made on her behalf. She could not speak for herself. This other person can...just isn't allowed!)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

All I have to be.

I've really had a lot of songs running through my head lately. Music, along with writing, is one of the ways I deal with stress. There is one song in particular by Amy Grant that sums it up for me. I first heard it several years ago when I was in college. During challenging times it tends to find its way back to the front of my brain and bring comfort to my soul. The blue are the words of the song. Black are my random thoughts.

When the weight of all my dreams. Are resting heavy on my head. Lord, I have dreams. Big dreams. I'm tired of dreaming. Ready for reality. Am I ready? And the thoughtful words of health and hope. Have all been nicely said. I've had so much support to follow all of my dreams. From family, friends, even strangers. I'll never forget one of my first patients, Walter. He had advanced Parkinson's disease and his body was failing around his intact mind. He struggled for about 5 minutes to say "Keep going, people like me need nurses like you." I've had so many Walters...so blessed. But I'm still hurting Why does it have to hurt so much? Why is there still a yearning and discontentment? When will relief come? Always wondering if I'll ever be the one I think I am. I think I am. I THINK I am Then you gently re-remind me. That calm, still voice from the inner depths of my soul. Is that You, Father? Of course it is. Help me not to doubt it when I hear it. That You've made me from the first. YOU made me. You understand. I was crafted and put together by Your hand. The same hand that crafted the mighty mountains made this little Iowa farm girl. Split ends, cellulite, and all. And the more I try to be the best, the more I get the worst. The best...what I think is best. My own ways, not yours. And I realize the good in me is only there because of who You are. Good. There is a lot of good in there. That is all a reflection of your grace. Who You are.... And all I have to be is what You've made me. Any more or less would be a step out of Your plan. I'd really prefer to trust Your plan as opposed to mine, thank you. Mine would be disaster! As you daily re-create me help me always keep in mind. Always being mindful. Always knowing. Always believing. That I only have to do what I can find. Why borrow tomorrow's worries? Today has enough of its own. And all I ever have to be. All I have to be. All I ever have to be is what you've made me. Yes, what You have made me. And help me to be content being me. Just as I am. As long as you're with me I really need not worry. Even if my dreams don't pan out, I know that You have good things in store. That's really all I need to know.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Thursday I went down to Osky to see my cousin, Tricia, who is back visiting from her home in Australia. She has a beautiful 8 month old daughter, so we had fun playing with her and looking through some old photo albums. I learned some stuff looking through those pictures. I couldn't believe how many snapshots there were of the two of us. Tricia in her cute matching outfits and perfectly pony tailed hair, and me in my way-too-short shorts (not helped by the fact that they were also pulled up to my chin) and sporting a mullet. I had to have a talk with my mom later that afternoon. She was the one responsible to tell the beauty shop lady how to cut my hair, and was the one who provided my attire.

Mom swears up and down that mullets were the '80's style. If that is true, why didn't Tricia have one or why didn't my mom have one herself? I don't really remember caring too much about how my hair looked as a child (who does?) but I do remember thinking that Cindy from the Brady Bunch had a nice do. Those two perfectly parted golden ponytails with a nice pipecurl in each one. I remember asking my mom once if she could help me get my hair looking like that. That day is very clear in my mind. We were at K-Mart in search of ever elusive blue light special (back in the day that they had REAL blue strobe lights on carts and announced it over the speaker system!). It was the same day that I got the Barbie that had a button on her back to make her kiss--complete with lipstick. My mom said she didn't know how to do those curls and something about how Cindy had beauty shop people do her hair everyday. Tricia had those cute curls and she didn't go to the beauty shop to get it done.
I did a quick google search to see whether mom was right or not about mullets being the "IN" thing in the '80's, but had little luck. The only thing I really learned was that a chick version of a mullet is called a femullet--This is worse than I originally thought. I must end this now. I have some things to sort through in my head.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Beginning of a Journey

Her Journey's Just Begun *
By Ellen Brenneman

Don't think of her as gone away--
her journey's just begun
life holds so many facets
this earth is only one.

Just think of her as resting
from the sorrows and the tears
in a place of warmth and comfort
where there are no days and years.

Think how she must be wishing

that we could know today
how nothing but our sadness
can really pass away.

And think of her as living
in the hearts of those she touched...
for nothing loved is ever lost--
and she was loved so much.

It's been a month, Kim, since you left us. We miss you, but are keeping you close in our hearts and memories of times spent with you strong. Rest in peace, Sister.

*The actual title of this poem is "His Journey's Just Begun." Words were changed to make it feminine.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Car Lot.

WhoooooHoooo! I am done working for the week. And for the first part of next week. To celebrate, I cleaned out the CR-V. It is now shiny and spotless just like two of our other 4 cars. Yes, I said 4 cars. I wrote earlier about the used car lot in our driveway and it is still there. In Craig's defense he has been on travel this week but seriously...these cars have got to go! Our current advertising plan doesn't seem to be cutting it, but I don't understand why. I mean, we've got the "FOR SALE" signs all filled out and laying obviously out in the open on the desk AND the cars are clean, which should raise some suspicion that something is going on! Why aren't the offers pouring in? Why aren't we constantly refueling after all the test drives? Why aren't there people lined up on the sidewalk with cash in hand?
To answer some of my questions I googled "how to sell a used car." The website that I was directed to gave some very innovative ideas. Perhaps we should try some. They included: 1. Decide on a price. 2. Clean the car--inside and out. Check. That is done. 3. Pay off any outstanding parking tickets. Pretty sure that we don't have any of those. We only owned one of these cars when in Ames and Craig went through his parking ticket collecting days. 4. Find out if you are responsible to get a smog certificate. Never even heard of one of those. We'll skip that one. 5. Advertise your car. Duh. What else are those "for sale" signs on the desk for? Of course, we're advertising!
Maybe we're overlooking something...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hodge Podge

In the last 24 hours I have:
--Been accused of clothing a cement goose on someone else's front step. Who DOES that?
--Falsely accused Albert Einstein of inventing the light bulb
--Attempted to mix dry pudding mix with cool whip...oops, that isn't what the recipe SAID to do! (don't try it, it doesn't work)
--Been completely shunned by a certain foster cat.
--Been lathered in Old Spice. I hate that stuff. Maybe next time I won't taunt Craig...or maybe I'll get rid of the stinky stuff...
--Got lost at Wal-Mart. No kidding they re-arranged the WHOLE store. Now I can find nothing.
--Checked my e-mail at least 20 times in anticipation of becoming the Publisher's Clearing House's next millionaire
--Cried over a chocolate chip cookie and coffee with a friend. Seriously, one minute we were laughing and then next thing I knew I was overwhelmed and had tears running down my cheeks. Sheesh!
--Doubled my dose of Vitamin "C"...a scary venture all in itsself.
--Helped a lost little girl find her mother.
--Have had a non-stop buzzing in my left ear similar to the sound a fluorescent bulb makes when you're way too close. Darn Meniere's. Someday it will get better...it HAS too!
--Listened with sadness as a friend poured out her breaking heart.
--Found someone to got to Confessions of A Shopaholic with me. Yeah!
--Repeated the Casting Crown's sont "The Voice of Truth" over and over in my head and wonder why I don't get out of the boat a little more.

Here is a link to the words to that song...something to chew on....

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Just some thoughts.
1. People shouldn't say mean and judgemental things. It makes people (like Me) not like you much. I am not always, but CAN be a little sensitive, but I'll never tell you that to your face--I'll just write about it on my blog. I wish I could be more direct at times.
2. Our driveway looks like a used car lot. Basically because it is. Currently 2 cars and a motorcycle for sale. What is this? How did we get here?
3. I love Craig. He is so patient with me when I say I want to go to bed early and then stay up an blog. Plus, he is cute..and he is going to clean out the rabbit cage tonight--I think.
4. Secret number 5 is still a secret. It's kind of fun watching people wonder.
5. I spent an hour cleaning a car that we're selling while the CR-V is in need of a good scrubbing--why??
6. I have developed a strong liking for Almonds. They are so yummy.
7. We have cancelled any thought of a family vacation this year. We're spending the time at home. It will be nice--and a lot less stressful.
8. The Iowa State Fair is less than 5 months away. I can't believe that I'm starting to get excited already. Bring on the funnel cakes (glazed, of course), guinea grinder, and turkey drumstick. I must be getting old because I even want to watch some livestock shows.
9. I am going crazy. I ALWAYS pay off my credit card on time at the end of each month, but somehow last month I did not and got charged like $140 in fees. Believe me Citi heard from me and graciously refunded the charges. Thank you, Simon, at Citi. You're my new BFF.
10. I have stewed over what kind of jell-o salad to make for a meal Sunday evening for 4 days now. I still have no idea. I'm thinking a bowl of strawberry jell-o will do. Just plain jell-o. Why not?
That's it. I'm out of thoughts. Thanks for listening. Good night.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Lilly

The Lilly

by Ellen Brennemann

We can't know why the lily has so brief a time to bloom
in the warmth of sunlights kiss upon its face,
before it folds its fragrance in and bids the world goodnight
to rest its beauty in a gentler place.
But we know that nothing that is loved is ever lost
and no one who ever touches a heart can really pass away,
because some beauty lingers on in each special memory
of which they've been a part.

Today I found myself filled with sadness again. It is amazing how grief strikes you in waves, isn't it? I will have several good days and feel like I'm dealing with all the thoughts and emotions and then I smell a certain smell or hear a certain sound or think a certain thought and I'm right back in the middle of the confusion, the hurt, and the missing Kim. As I was folding laundry this morning I thought of Kim...perhaps because I was in Omaha the last time I really did laundry--scary, I know. (Truly we were not wearing dirty clothes, we just have a lot of them!) My mind took me back to a time long ago when someone else I knew passed away young. This poem was on the card I sent to his wife and it always struck me as beautiful, so I thought I'd share.
Honestly when this hit me today I thought "Oh God, not today, I have too much to do!!" I need to go see our insurance agent to get our new car covered, I need to call the cat vet to get the ball in motion again for him to be "deported," I need to finish these 5 loads of laundry, I need to do some baking and cooking, I need to clean my house, and I would like to spend some time relaxing, too! But first, I need to spend some time with my Bible and with God.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Do vs. Wish

We had such a nice weekend with Craig's parents. It felt so good to be together. Now it is Monday and as I am reflecting back on the past 4 days I keep thinking. Maybe too much. We kept busy, we talked about happy memories of Kim, we played the Farming Game (beginner's luck caused me to lose to the 2 newbies), we shopped, walked, laughed, loved, cried, and started thinking. This is the way life is now. A reality I wish wasn't so. If only it were as simple as making wishes. Wishes that Kimmi was still here. Wishes that more could have been done to restore her. Wishes that she had been born healthy. Wishes that this all didn't hurt so much. Wishes...
On the other hand, my selfish wishes would be disaster. They would mean that I, not God, was in control. I can't even consistently keep my house clean--how would I manage all of these difficult things? I know that if I could have any wish I wanted come true at any time, life would not be anything like it is today. Madison is such an important, beautiful, rewarding part of my life that I would not now trade for anything, but the difficulties that were imposed upon Craig and I during the early days of our marriage would certainly have been wished away. It would have been easier and felt better in the moment to not have to deal with all of the hurt and frustration but in retrospect it all made our relationship even better than we could have imagined. What would I have wished away?
I guess where I am going with this is that I need to stop. Stop the wishes, stop the need to know, stop the fighting against what God has planned and just surrender once again. Surrender the need to understand and control back to God's plan. He knows what is best for me and will continue to reveal His plan in His time...not mine. All I need to do is surrender. Finally...something that I can DO and trust in instead of WISH and wonder.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What a fun couple of days. My weekend of fun started on Thursday when I went to Cedar Falls to see Jen. What a great day. We didn't do much--ate lunch (at a restaurant where they will place your forks in the proper place if you don't get it right :)), went for a walk, sat around and talked, and went out to eat with her beautiful daughter, Cheyenne. It was wonderful. I've missed her so much! I got home just in time to throw the clean sheets on the guest bed, tidy up a bit, and run the vacuum over the carpets as Craig's parents came later in the evening.
On Friday Craig, his parents, Maddie and I went to Chicago for the day. We enjoyed the downtown area, took Madison to American Girl Place where we senselessly bought her doll (our "grandchild") a new outfit and a new bedding set. When we left the store 1 1/2 hours later and $60 poorer we walked out by the lake and froze! It was sooo cold. Once we left the downtown area we went to IKEA ;) , out for dinner, and home. It was a nice trip.
This morning (Saturday) Craig pulled me aside and asked what my thoughts were on buying a new car. After coming to again and removing the ice pack from my head I realized that he was serious. We spent the afternoon at the Honda and Toyota dealerships. The deals right now are incredible! We didn't buy anything, but decided that the '09 Corolla is what most closely meets our needs right now. Maybe Monday....
Now we have a chicken in the oven and will make some cupcakes and salads tonight to take to a potluck at my sister's tomorrow for my cousin's baby shower.
What a fun-filled, family-filled, travel filled weekend.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day away

Today I am going to treat myself. I am going to drive to see my best friend from "home." Jen and I grew up together--elementary, Jr High, and Highschool. After highschool we kind of drifted apart, but we have one of those friendships that, when we see eachother, time and distance fade away and we find ourselves as the same old good friends from long ago. I haven't seen her now for about 4 years--can that be right? (Shame on me!) I have no idea what we are going to do, but I know that it will involve a good long catch-up time.
I have so many other things that I should be doing today. Craig's parents are coming for the long weekend and should arrive around 10 tonight with Maddie. I am so looking forward to spending some time with them without the stress of hanging out in the hospital or planning for arrangements. We've got some fun stuff planned. My house is not at all in the shape that I would like it to be in for company, but in my defense I have not been here much! I will at least throw some clean sheets on the guest bed and do a courtesy clean up of the new coughed up hairball (thanks, kitty) that I found this morning.
So much to look forward to...so little time!
I am so thankful that I finally made it through my work week and am now in my 7 day off stretch. Ahhh. Life is good...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Vacation me please!!

I need a vacation. I want to go somewhere warm, feel the sand between my (in need of a good pedicure) toes, to feel the sun warm my (in need of a good tan) pale skin and to feel the vibrance of a tropical sunset.
We've planned on a vacation this summer with Madison--going to DC to see some of the national landmarks--but I'm just not feeling it. Everything seems to have changed now. I don't want to go somewhere and dash from place to place trying to defy land speed records and take in as many tourist traps as possible. I want to spend time with my family. Connecting. Appreciating. Relaxing. Laughing. Loving. Making memories that matter.
What to do. Where to go. How much to spend. Fly or drive. Maybe the destination doesn't matter so much, afterall, to make it real. It just takes the love of my life and husband, (they ARE the same person, you know!), my Maddie, and me. Family together. Maybe we can have a vacation next weekend. Right here. At home...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Note to self.

Dear self,
Please do not let yourself have another day of work like today. It is not good for any of your personalities. These are some things that you may want to avoid in the future.
1. When the stockroom calls you, do not take them seriously. When they tell you that the cart has a sign on it that says "locked--could not restock" ask if they tried opening it before going to see for yourself that it never was locked. Do not underestimate the depths people will go to to avoid doing their work.
2. Do not drop the glass vial of lidocaine on the floor. It will break and you will have to hunt down another vial--not to mention the issue of glass on the floor.
3. Quit avoiding the yummy cookies in the cafeteria. They make you so happy.
4. Don't ever get the seafood salad again...you are disappointed every time.
5. "The Palace" will always call late in the afternoon and have an "emergent" line that needs to be placed. Get used to it.
6. Instead of getting frustrated when a line doesn't go in just right relax and appreciate how boring life would be if we were all exactly the same. It sounds good in theory, anyway.
7. And finally...quit trying to stop drinking soda. It tastes so good and isn't THAT bad for you. Just no more than 1 per day, Okay?
Thanks for listening.