Monday, July 28, 2008

Trip Update

I haven’t posted because we left last Friday to go to Ohio to visit my family. Thankfully the drive was pretty uneventful, although I did see 5 deer in the woods. My mind works in strange ways, and after spotting the 2nd deer, I began to wonder why God allowed me to see the deer and not anyone else in the car (the kids were too enthralled with a DVD and TJ was driving). That thought lead to this next thought: how many other “things” (events, circumstances, people, animals, etc.) has the Lord allowed me to see that perhaps others did not? I know, pretty deep thinking for no apparent reason. But, it made me appreciate seeing the deer as more than just a simple glance out the window, especially since some of them were pretty deep in the woods and not near the highway.

The trip has been nice, although we are all running short on sleep. My kids do not sleep well when not in their beds, and this results in TJ and me missing out on sleep. Ta has a tendency to wake up at night and throw a tantrum whenever we are away from home. I don’t know why, but it happens every time we are away. Thankfully it happened at my mom’s house and not in a hotel, as my family is more forgiving than strangers in a hotel for being woken up in the middle of the night by a screaming child. The bad side to the situation, though, is that we are all in the same room, so when one child wakes, they all do. It makes for a stressful time period but TJ and I get through it with lots of prayers and even more patience.

We left my mom’s this morning and headed to my dad’s. They live about 2 hours apart, so we arrived here in the early afternoon. Ta took a nap while TJ did some schoolwork and T.G. played. I took my dad and Th to the grocery store to pick up a few things. We had a snack when we got back and then headed to the pool. It was cold! The temp is cooler here than in SC so the kids only swam for about an hour. We are headed over to my cousin’s house in the morning and will spend the day there. The boys are ecstatic, Th especially. He has been waiting for such a long time to go visit his favorite cousin, Austin. Austin is almost 14 and Th just adores him. Th and Austin have exchanged letters over the past year since we visited them last. Austin is really into Lego’s, and builds robots out of them. He and Th work on them together, and then they test them out for us grownups. Austin also plays the guitar, so Th thinks that is really neat, too. The ironic thing is, Austin’s dad was my favorite cousin growing up. I loved spending time at my aunt’s house because Darrin was there. He is quite a bit older than me but he always took time out of his day to be with me. They lived on a farm when I was younger, so I loved to go see the animals in the barn and help him do his chores. I think Austin inherited Darrin’s patience gene, and it makes me happy that Th and Austin have the same relationship that I had with Darrin.

Wednesday afternoon we are headed to my other aunt’s house to visit. My grandma, who will be 94 in a couple of weeks, lives in a nursing home near my aunt’s. My aunt has a pool, and she lives on a small farm, as well. I haven’t been to my aunt’s house in many, many years (at least 15) so I am interested to see how it’s changed and to watch the kids’ reaction to everything. We’ll spend some time with other cousins and their kids, so it will be fun for my kids.

If I don’t post in a few days, it’s because I have limited access to a computer and a lack of time. Until next time. . .

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cell Phones

My cell phone is only 2 years old. The contract expires mid-August, and I’ve been having problems with my phone. It no longer takes a charge from the vehicle charger, which is not a big deal, except lately the phone only holds a charge for a short time. Recently, it’s started to shut down on its own, even while plugged into the wall charger. I had to run some errands one morning with all 3 kids and planned to go to a friend’s house for lunch. I got my phone to call TJ and tell him of my plans, only to find my phone off inside my bag. I powered it back on, made the phone call, and before I could even hang up, it powered itself off again. Ugh! This was a few weeks ago, and was the last straw!

That evening, after supper, we headed to Verizon to see what could be done. I didn’t want to replace the battery because when my contract expired in 6 weeks, I was eligible for a new phone. Of course the Verizon store was packed, so I waited in the van with the kids while they watched a movie. I told TJ to work everything out and, if I was eligible for a new phone, to come and get me when I could go in to have the data transferred from my current phone to the new one. So, that’s what happened. TJ came to the van and said I needed to go pick out my phone, have the data transferred, and pay $50 and then we’d get a rebate by mail (making the cost of the phone free). Except, because he’s a State employee, he gets lots of “perks”, which includes accessories; however, I forgot to remind him of this before he went in to talk to the employee and didn’t remember until after picking out the phone. As the employee was transferring everything, I ran out to the van to see if TJ could come back in to do the talking. He told me we’d just get the vehicle charger on eBay if I really wanted one. Because my contract didn’t end for another 6 weeks, he didn’t want to make the Verizon employee angry since he was so willing to give us another phone (upgraded, I might add) free of charge without any hassles. I conceded and went back inside the store. The employee had already finished transferring everything and handed me a bag which included the new phone, a headset, a pack of ear pieces for the headset, a vehicle charger, and a holster. Plus, when I went to pay, the total bill was $34 instead of $50. He smiled at me and said, “Have a nice day.” I was so confused but I took the bag and I left the store.

I got in the van and TJ looked at me with my puzzled expression and both of us were trying to figure out what happened. I thought perhaps he had told the employee about the accessories but was trying to surprise me. It took a minute to realize what happened, but basically the employee gave us an instant rebate instead of mail-in and charged me for the accessories, albeit at a discounted rate. I later exchanged the holster and earpiece covers for a memory card because, I must admit, I have an awesome phone. Now, I must say I don’t really get into technology. I have always had the free phones from the cellular companies, and they’ve been fine for me. Even this last phone was great- it was a camera phone, and worked fine until recently. I don’t have a desire to have all the “bells and whistles”, but since having this phone, all that’s changed! I can download and play music and videos to my phone, plus it is a camera phone and takes video recordings. I was able to capture Th on video as he was learning to ride his 2-wheeler. The other night, I relaxed in the bath tub while reading a magazine and listening to music on my phone. It was so nice! When we go on our road trip tomorrow, I am looking forward to listening to my phone with my headset instead of T.G.’s current favorites, “The Wheels on the Bus,” “ABC’s,” and “Ten Little Ducks.”

Isn’t technology wonderful?!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

SSgt. Danny Dupre

My sis told me last week that Paul received a phone call from his best friend still in Iraq. She didn’t know what was said, but when Paul hung up, he was really upset and didn’t want to talk about it. All he told her was that somebody from his unit in NC, serving in Iraq with him, had died. Here is the link to the article.

Remember, only 2 people have offered to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American soldier. The first for your soul, the other for your freedom. Don’t take either lightly.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Is It Monday Already?

Sorry for not posting in a few days.

TJ and I attended the wedding in Sumter on Saturday. As I suspected, memories of our time in the Air Force came rushing back, and our conversation during the drive home reflected some of those feelings. TJ and I both agree that although life in the military is tough, we both like the fact that we (members of the military) are working toward a bigger, common goal. We want our children to understand that, as well. In civilian life, the focus is on “me” and “Number One.” We want our kids to know that what they do affects others, not just in our family, but in all aspects of life, like a ripple effect. The military really helps one to learn that important life lesson. For instance, as a mechanic, if I didn’t do my job correctly, that affects the aircraft. If the plane breaks down, then the mission cannot be completed, and more than likely, there are others depending upon the mission (whether for fuel, supplies, people, equipment, etc). My poor action negatively impacted others, although I may not fully realize the depth of that impact because of my self-centered focus. We only wish more employers, and employees, better understood the “ripple effect”. Think about how different, better, the world would be!

At church yesterday our pastor introduced a visiting couple to me. The husband is currently in the Air Force Reserves, so we talked airplanes for a few minutes before I had to leave. Coincidence? I don’t think so! I hope they come back (this was their 2nd visit) so I can introduce them to TJ. We love to talk airplanes and it’s not very often that we get to do so.

We are going out of town this Friday for a week to visit family. It’s a crazy story, but our original plan has changed about 5 times since making it in early June. It will be fun but stressful trying to visit my ENTIRE family and a few good friends in one short week (my parents are divorced so it adds a bit of a challenge). I am trying to remain positive but as plans change, it’s becoming more and more frustrating for both TJ and I. However, we have not made a trip to visit the entire family in a year and a half, so I am trying to remember that as the plans change (people want to see us, which is why the plans are changing and our simple trip has become so evolved).

I am trying to get ready for our trip throughout the week. I was able to pack most of T.G.’s clothes today, and will pack the boys’ clothes tomorrow. I have a busy week despite trying to get ready to leave. Not only do we have things to do during the day, but also each evening. I like the busyness, though, because it will force me to make wise decisions in time management.

*I am thankful for our pool as we will be spending some time there tomorrow with friends in an attempt to relax before heading out on our trip.*

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Loss for Words

Believe it or not, I don't really have much to talk about.

The derm appointment went well considering I had one child who couldn't sit still, one who wouldn't sit still, and another that was about to break out into tears at any moment. Thankfully the nurse listened to me when I told her Ta was very nervous and asked the doc to take off her white coat (hence the term "White Coat Syndrome"- it really does exist!) before entering the room. It seemed to work great! Ta didn't like her looking at him, and he didn't say one word the entire time the doc was in the room, but he didn't cry, either. That is real progress!

Oh, about the diagnosis. All 3 spots are unrelated to each other. The bumps on his foot are a birth mark that will continue to grow as his foot grows. The spot on his leg is, um, I don't remember because I had difficulty concentrating on what she was saying because I was distracted by 2 of my kids. I do know it's not contagious and it follows a linear pattern that just so happened to coincide with his scratch from the dog. I got a prescription cream to take care of it. Now, the spot on his stomach is another story. It is caused by a virus. There is nothing that can be done for it; his immune system has to fight it on its own, typically in 9-12 months. But, my friend called me and her son had the same thing. She gave me some great tips and something OTC (liquid silver) that her derm recommended that I plan to try. She said her son's spot cleared up in 3 weeks. 3 weeks versus 9-12 moths- I wonder what I should do? (note the sarcasm in my typing).

I did not hear anything from the OB so I guess that means no news is good news regarding my sugar test. I still have to go back Friday for my dreaded shot so I'll get my counts then.

We are going to Carowinds again on Friday with a friend of mine and Th's from preschool. He is very excited! Saturday TJ and I are headed to Sumter for a wedding. It's on the Air Force Base and I am excited because we haven't been there since Ta was born. Being on the base brings back many fond memories of life in the military. I miss it so much sometimes. I know TJ does, too. We had so many good friends, people willing to do anything for us, including giving their life. It's hard to find friends like that in the civilian world. The camaraderie was/is indescribable, not at all like it is in the outside work force. Too many people are out for themselves, and in the military, it's not like that because rank is earned by time in service and nothing else. Like all things, there are pros and cons to that system, but the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Enough rambling. . .

*I am thankful for good results on my sugar test. I am thankful Ta does not have anything serious or that can't be treated.*

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Dermatologist

I cleaned the house yesterday. I didn't finish everything I had hoped to accomplish, but I made good progress and feel better knowing the house is clean. . . even if it is short-lived. I just have a few minor chores (i.e. cleaning the downstairs bathroom, mopping the kitchen floor, & dusting the dining room) to do today in order to be totally finished, and will do it this afternoon while the kids are napping.

Ta has an appointment with a dermatologist today. He has had some bumps on his foot for at least 2 years, if not longer. I mentioned it the pediatrician at one of his well-visits (either 9 or 12-month), and she wasn't sure what they were, but since the bumps weren't changing any, she wasn't overly concerned. Neither was I. Until about 2 months ago or so I noticed a bump on his stomach. It has now "spread" into the same type of bumps on his foot, except these bumps on his stomach itch. He was also scratched by one of our dogs a long time ago, and the scratch turned into a scar and now the scar is raised and itchy. I made an appointment just to find out what the bumps are and what type of cream I can use to help with the itchiness. I tried hydrocortisone cream but it didn't seem to help. Maybe it wasn't strong enough.

Ta doesn't do very well at doctor's appointments. In fact, he is petrified of the doctor- any doctor. We have been talking about this appointment for a few days, and I've been reassuring him that the doctor will only be looking at his foot and belly. He is just so scared of having his ears looked at, so hopefully once we get there and she really does only look at his belly and foot, he won't have a meltdown. A mother can dream, right?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Cleaning. . . Again

I planning on taking full advantage of the boys being at science camp this morning. I am hosting some friends of mine for Bible study on Wednesday morning, so today is the perfect opportunity to clean my house while the boys aren't here. I plan to begin upstairs with the bedrooms and full baths, then work my way downstairs to the half bath, kitchen, dining, and living rooms.

I have 2 1/2 hours to finish. Ready! Set! Go!

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Whirlwind Week

It’s been a busy week for us. Monday night we promised the boys we’d take them bike riding in our church parking lot on Tuesday because Th wanted to learn to ride without training wheels and our neighborhood is too hilly. However, the worst storm we’ve had in months hit Tuesday night, forcing us to retreat to our house. We have been in a drought for a year and the night we want to do something fun for the kids, it doesn’t just rain, it storms! The storm was so bad that lightening struck TJ’s building at work, causing him to be extremely busy on Wednesday and work a 12-hour shift. We couldn’t go bike riding Wednesday because we go to church on Wednesday nights, so we finally made it there last night. Of course, it was overcast and threatened to rain the entire time we were there, but nevertheless the kids had fun and Th learned to ride his bike sans training wheels.

Speaking of Th, I am so proud of him. We did the same thing last fall, and he was just so afraid of falling that he wouldn't try to go alone. This time around, he was fearful, but he literally balanced himself the first try. He just took off! We couldn’t believe it! It was so easy! LOL! We went back up there tonight and he was doing tricks (standing up, trying to do a wheelie, wiggling his bike, making me nervous!) as he rode down the hill from the upper parking lot to the lower one. What a difference from last fall!

I am exhausted! Wednesday night, after the regular church service let out, we had a “family meeting” for only members over the age of 18 where our pastor informed us of something that another family, friends of ours, is going through. I can’t and won’t share any details, but it was very heartbreaking news involving their 19 year old son and caused me much grief. I had difficulty sleeping Wednesday night because I just kept thinking about my friends, his parents. My friend and I met at the park this time last year as her son was about to enter his freshman year of college. We spent the morning together talking and sharing, and as my pastor was sharing the news, memories of the day in the park flooded my mind. I called my friend yesterday to talk and hopefully was an encouragement to her. She is very distraught over the situation and although we are not family by blood, TJ and I are much closer to families in our church than we are to our own families. I think it’s because we see our church family 3 times per week and talk to them on the phone and email more often than that. Our church family has filled the void that remains by not having family close. Our babysitters, best friends, and kids’ best friends are all members of our church. We would like to have the same relationship with our real families (we’d save a lot on babysitting :0), but because of the distance separating us, it’s nearly impossible.

Today I had to wake early for my glucose test for gestational diabetes. I won’t get the results until Tuesday, but at my appointment, my doc told me I am measuring 2 weeks bigger than I am (I am measuring 29 weeks and I am 27). I measured big with the boys, so it’s not uncommon, but I was diabetic with Th. I pray I am not again because I really don’t do well with needles. I had to check my sugar levels 5 times a day and it was to the point that I just ate green, leafy veggies and avoided sugar at all costs to keep my insulin regulated just so I wouldn’t have to prick my finger again. I also had an ultrasound done that measured my cervix to be sure it wasn’t opening when I have a contraction. From what they could see, so far everything looks okay but I have to immediately get off my feet when a contraction comes. I had some pretty strong ones while in the office today which is what made her check my cervix. It was amazing to see the baby’s head pounding on my cervix when I had one- it literally was trying to pound its way out! I think the docs are more concerned about me going into preterm labor than they have been in the past , especially because of my history of early deliveries. The goal is for me to get to 35 weeks. If I go into labor anytime after 35 weeks they won’t stop it (they usually stop it if it’s before 36, but like I said, the magic number for me is 35). At this point I’m not on strict bed rest, but it very well could be in my future. I hope not, as I don’t know what I would do with my kids.

I have to go back to the OB next Friday for a Rhogam shot because I have a negative blood type and TJ is positive (seems to match our personalities too, huh!). If the baby’s blood type is positive, my body builds up antibodies against it and basically tries to attack it, thinking it is a foreign object (which, when the baby kicks and punches, it is a foreign object!). Again, I hate needles so I get it on the backside where I don’t have to see the needle coming at me. The shot helps my body to not fight against the baby. That is another risk factor for preterm labor (my body thinking it needs to rid itself of an "infection"). I have to have another shot after delivery. One would think that after having so many pregnancies (this is my 6th) I would be used to it. I’m not! I hate it and wish I didn’t have to go through it. Thankfully the boys will not be at the appointment with me because my eyes tear up whenever I get shots or have lab work done. I have such small veins and the technicians have a difficult time getting a good vein. For my sugar test today, the tech left the tourniquet on the entire time she was filling the vials and by the time she took it off, I had lost feeling in my lower arm. She was afraid to take it off too soon because she didn’t want my vein to collapse. When I was pregnant with Th, I was poked 16 times while they attempted to get blood for my sugar test. They succumbed to poking the veins in my hands and feet in order to fill the vials. It was a horrible, painful experience and I will never forget it!

We went to Carowinds this afternoon after the boys got home from camp (they are attending science camp on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings for 3 weeks). Th and Ta both rode on the log flume with me, and they loved it! Th has gone before, but this was Ta’s first time, and I thought he’d be scared. He wanted to go on again but the line was too long. Th went on a grown-up roller coaster with TJ for the first time today, too. He feels so grown up because he is now riding a 2-wheeler and roller coasters, plus he went to the dentist by himself for the first time yesterday (in the past, I went in the room with him when he was called back. Yesterday he went back alone)! He cracks me up on what little things mean so much to him- I love that kid! We came home, ate supper, and headed back to church so the kids could play and ride bikes while I watched. TJ played some basketball, if you could call it that! Then we went out for ice cream before coming home to wrap up our day.

Well, I realize this has been a long post but I haven’t posted in a few days so I am making up for it. I hope to sleep in a bit tomorrow and we are just going to hang around the house. With all the rain we’ve had this week, TJ actually needs to mow the grass, which is always fun for the boys. I hope you have a great weekend!

During the storm Tuesday

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Anniversary Dinner

TJ surprised me on Saturday by arranging to have a sitter come and stay with the kids while we went out to dinner for our anniversary. Although we didn’t make it to the Cheesecake Factory or the Melting Pot, we did try a restaurant that we had never been to before called Harry & Jean’s. It was very good, and although a little expensive, it had a quiet atmosphere and excellent food.

We debated on going to watch a movie, but since neither of us knew what was playing, we decided to order our dessert to go, headed to Wal-Mart and bought “Radio” from the $5 bin, and came home to enjoy a peaceful evening. . . once we got the kids settled.

They were really excited all day because a sitter was coming over. We got home shortly after 9pm, so it wasn’t terribly late for them to still be awake. When TJ and I got closer to our house, he asked me if he should park in the garage (he feared the opening garage door would wake up the kids). I chuckled and told him to go ahead because I knew the boys would still be awake. Although all the lights were out upstairs, I could hear their giggles as we entered the kitchen and made our way up the steps. Just as I reached the top step, Ta came running out of his room and Th was close behind! Their mouths were going about a mile a minute trying to cram everything they had done in the past 2 hours into a 10 second briefing. Within 20 minutes of our getting home, both boys were asleep and TJ and I were eating our desserts (he got a peanut butter pie-type dessert and I had apple crisp) and watching the movie.

Now, I want to tell you about our sitter. She is fabulous! She is a few years younger than I am and, although she doesn’t have kids of her own, she is great with them (which is why the kids were excited she was coming over)! She apologized that they were still awake, but I assured her it was okay and I figured they would be too excited to go to bed. When I tried to pay her, she wouldn’t accept, saying the babysitting was her anniversary gift to us. Is that not sweet!?!? What a blessing she is to so many (as she is also the church secretary). As much as we missed them, TJ and I enjoyed our night out together and had a great time having dinner without the kids. We needed to spend the extra money to go somewhere a little more upscale and made the investment in our future- our marriage.

*I am thankful for friends who are a blessing and encouragement to me, and for my husband who is full of surprises.*

Saturday, July 5, 2008

My Dad

I guess the day my dad had to call 9-1-1 he was napping on the couch since it was raining outside. Erin came in and woke him up and said she thought he had better call for help. Well, he jumped off the couch, ran into the kitchen, and poured a glass of orange juice. He brought it back into the living room where Erin was sitting and told her to drink it, and that he wasn’t going to call until she did. She told him she didn’t really feel like drinking orange juice, but he insisted, so she did. When she was finished, he asked her if she was feeling any better, and when she wasn’t, he then called. She was a little confused as to why he did that, so I explained that my uncle (my dad’s twin) is a diabetic and has been since he was a child. My dad’s brain is programmed to give him orange juice to help bring his blood sugar back up, and it was probably just his first reaction, especially since he was asleep. His mind wasn’t really processing everything she was saying, and he just knows to give OJ before calling 9-1-1 so diabetic shock doesn’t occur.

The other funny thing that happened was with the deck. My dad is building a deck for my mom, and the wood planks weren’t being delivered until today. In the meantime, my dad was putting in the footers and the cross support beams to get ready for the delivery. I guess he was so excited about sitting on the deck that he laid a piece of plywood out the sliding door so he could sit outside in the morning and drink his coffee. He called my mom to come and sit out there with him, and she declined, but from the sliding door in her dining room, she could see him (she was sitting at the dining room table). I guess he got up to walk to the end of the deck, balancing himself on a cross bar, and lost his balance. He fell through and got stuck (thankfully the deck is only 3 or 4 feet off the ground, not terribly high)! My mom and brother had to pull him out. He said he fell because he was bare foot and didn’t have his shoes on. Today, he went outside again to drink his coffee and again attempted to walk to the end of the deck. My sis happened to be sitting at the dining room table and saw him and told him he’d better get down before he fell again. His response? She didn’t have to worry because he was wearing his shoes. . .

*I am thankful I didn’t get my dad’s idea of common sense. :)*

Friday, July 4, 2008

Update #7 on Erin

Erin was released from the ER last night. She was told she over-exerted herself yesterday which made her heart rate drop too low. I don't know exactly what tests the doctors did, but the last I spoke to my mom, Erin was having a chest x-ray taken. I'm not sure why; I think to check and see if her lungs were collapsing again.

I spoke to Erin this morning and she sounded fairly good. Of course her voice was weak, but Paul was there and my mom was home from work today for the holiday. She said her biggest challenge was wanting to care for Kaylee and not being able to, especially when it came to nursing. She is not used to having to depend on others for so much help, especially since Paul has been gone since March. On the other hand, Erin told me a funny story that happened to my dad today, so at least her spirits were up and she was able to laugh (if you know my dad, you know how "accident" prone he is).

As far as I know, Paul has to report back to NC this upcoming Thursday, but he is trying to get his orders changed so that he won't have to go back to Iraq but rather continue to work out of NC. If that happens, then at least he can drive to Ohio when he gets his next "96", which is basically 96 hours off duty without having to take leave. Plus, if Erin takes a turn for the worst again, he is closer in NC than he is in Iraq. That's the latest report.

*I am thankful Erin is doing better today, and especially thankful to hear her laugh.*

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Update #6 on Erin

My sis was released from the hospital Tuesday evening (with no diagnosis and instructions to follow up with the dermatologist and rheumatologist next week). She is staying at my mom’s house where there is more space and less people so she can rest and recuperate. I spoke to her yesterday morning and the plan for the day was for Paul to take Kaylee to his parent’s apartment (30 minutes away) for the day so Erin could nap without worrying how Paul is doing with Kaylee. Paul and Kaylee left around noon, and my mom came home from work at 3pm so she was only “alone” for 3 hours (she was never alone because my dad and brother were there working on the deck outside).

I called again this morning to check on her and she still sounded weak but the plan for today was the same as yesterday, with the exception of my brother being gone at Boy Scout camp until Sunday, and my dad stuck inside because it was raining (can’t build a deck in the rain!). That was about 9:30am.

At 3:45pm my mom phoned to tell me Erin had just been taken back to the hospital by ambulance. I guess she started to not feel well and could tell her heart rate was low. She phoned Paul and he said he would come back to my mom’s. In the meantime he told her to get my dad. She told my dad she needed help and either he checked her pulse or she just knew her heart rate was low, but either way, my dad called 9-1-1 and an ambulance rushed her back to the hospital. My dad called my mom at work while waiting for the ambulance to arrive, and she got to the hospital at the same time as my sis.

When my mom called, Erin was still on the stretcher in the ER waiting to go back to an exam room. At this point I’m not sure if she’ll be readmitted (I hope so!) or what the deal is. I am waiting for my mom to call me with an update. I called my friend Chelsea as soon as I hung up with my mom and she said if Erin was admitted again, she’d go up to see her, which of course made me feel better. I hate being here, not knowing what’s going on. I know I wouldn’t be able to do anything if I were there, but at least I’d be closer to her and could help with Kaylee and share the burden with my mom. She’s a diabetic so I worry about her health, too. That’s the latest news on Erin. It seems as if she’s getting worse instead of better, but again, the Lord is in control.

*I am thankful my dad called 9-1-1 instead of minimizing her complaints.*

Update #1
Update #2
Update #3
Update #4
Update #5

Happy Anniversary

Today is my 9 year anniversary. Happy Anniversary, TJ!

I received the sweetest card and hand-written note from him. Here is a little excerpt from the note:

You have given me 3 1/2 children and I am truly thankful. God
placed us in California on that day when we met for a reason,
He had a plan for us and we are still learning what that plan is. I
thank God for you and my children and how fortunate I really am.

Are those not the most heartfelt words you have ever read? TJ is not the mushy type, so for him to write this to me, it really means a lot.

We did not exchange gifts because we are planning to make a major purchase sometime in the near future, and that will be our gift to each other (and our kids). However, I would still like to go out for dinner (thanks to everyone who gave me suggestions and recommendations- I appreciate it!) and that's always a nice break. So often we hire a sitter to come but it's usually for me to go to appointments alone or take one of the kids somewhere. Rarely do TJ and I get to go out alone; I can't think of the last time we had a date night.

Well, I am off to clean my house a little bit this morning before we head over to a friend's house for lunch. My MIL is coming over to spend the night and I need to get ready for her visit. I was going to clean up last night but while we were leaving church to come home, I started having severe contractions that lasted all night. Some brought tears to my eyes and it was to the point that they only stopped when I was perfectly still. The moment I got up or changed positions they started again. TJ was a little worried but I told him if they didn't stop by this morning, I'd make an appointment to see the doctor. I didn't sleep well because whenever I changed positions I'd have one, but so far this morning I haven't had any. We'll see how the day goes.

*I am thankful for 9 years of marriage. I am thankful for the trying times that made us stronger and brought us closer together, and for the blissful times that made us appreciate each other more.*

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My Anniversary

My anniversary is on Thursday. 9 years of marriage. I can’t believe it. I honestly can’t. No one in my family has been married this long, and it really isn’t that long. It still seems like just yesterday we “tied the knot” to each other, although I will be the first to admit that as time passes, the easier marriage becomes. I guess it’s because we mature spiritually and, in turn, our marriage matures.

I can remember some of our earlier years, and they sure weren’t pretty. In fact, they were pretty ugly. On both of our parts, not just mine. I’m glad, though, that we’ve stuck together, committed to making our marriage work NO MATTER WHAT! We both come from divorced homes for various reasons and neither wants that for our kids. At the same time, we don’t want to stay together for our kids. No, we have a higher authority Who calls us to remain committed to each other, our children, and Him. I am thankful that we both agree to this calling because I think that is where so many families struggle- only one person is committed to the preservation of the relationship so it falls apart despite the best efforts and intentions. I also think too many people use divorce as the “easy way out” because I know, I’ve been there. I’ve been angry at TJ plenty of times, and he’s been angry at me, and in the beginning, before our strengthened relationship with the Lord, divorce sounded pretty good. Separating is easier than taking the hard road and accepting responsibility, asking for forgiveness, and making changes. But, as I’ve learned in many areas of my life, taking the hard road now makes it easier later. Of course I still have my flaws, and TJ still has his, but “love covers all sins” (Proverbs 10:12) so as best we can, we overlook them and keep going.

We have no plans for our anniversary. Our town is having their annual 4th of July fireworks on Thursday night, so we’ll be there with the kiddos. Friday is the 4th but TJ won’t do anything that night because all the drunks are out on the road. Perhaps Saturday we can get a sitter lined up, although it is sort of late notice. I really want to try this restaurant in Charlotte called the Melting Pot, but I think we need reservations to go; I’m not sure. I also don’t know if they serve entrees or only dessert. There is another restaurant in Charlotte that I want to try called The Cheesecake Factory. I know that restaurant serves both entrees and desserts. If you’ve ever been to either (not necessarily in Charlotte), let me know your suggestions. Whenever we do get our date night, I really want to go somewhere different.

*I am thankful the Lord brought TJ into my life. Our personalities compliment each other well, and we have learned to work together as a team.*