As if there was any question about whether we're totally crazy or not... I'm pretty sure we are! Last week, Matt took Emma to the vet, and when he came home he was very quiet. I asked him what was the matter, and he told me about a little boston terrier girl they had that needed a home to adopt her. I'm pretty sure the look I gave was worth a thousand words, but I just responded by saying... tell me more.
He said, oh honey she's so cute. Oh, man... I'm not good at saying no. Especially to needy animals, or my husband, when he gets real giddy and excited about something.
So, two days later we went to meet her. She's very sweet. She was owned by a man in his 70's or 80's that had dementia, and can no longer take care of her. Want to hear something sad? She is a year and a half old and she has never been named, she's never been out of the house, and she has never until last week even been in a car.
The vet wanted to keep her for a few days to watch her, and get her used to a new environment. They also had another person interested in adopting her.
From the sounds of the other person looking to adopt her, we were thinking that maybe their home would make a better fit, so we kind of dropped the whole idea. Although, I have to admit I thought about her little face all weekend, and was wondering how she was doing.
Today we got a call saying that she has been doing great since they have had her, and they think she's ready to go to a new home. We also found out that the other person interested, bailed.
So, I did what any big hearted, animal loving person would do... I told Matt we could TRY her. See how she likes us, and see how we like her, and we'd go from there... As soon as my girls fall for her, it's gonna be all over! I'm going to be a mother of two girls, two cats, a pug, and a little nameless boston terrier. Just what we needed, more to feed, and more to love! :)
So my dad was giving me a hard time tonight that my blog has been quite depressing to read lately... Which I couldn't even argue, because it has. Hopefully I haven't lost all my readers out there in this season of sadness in my life. Dad's critique got me thinking about what I have to share with you that is happy. I automatically thought of my favorite past time... thrifting. I love old junk! I love making it into something new, or re purposing it, or just giving it a new loving home.
When I was in high school I LOVED to thrift. I mean I did it ALL the time, most of my wardrobe came from thrift shops... and then I met Matt. He hated thrift stores. He found the whole idea of someone elses stuff totally disgusting. Slowing over time, I got him to appreciate antiquing (which lets face it is fancy thrifting), then I got him to garage sale/estate sale with me, and lately well he'll thrift if he has to, but it's my thing! My new found hobby, treasure hunting. It's fun to me. I love seeing what I can find and how cheap I can get it. I go through antique stores now and about choke at how much more things go for there.
Above pictured thrift or garage sale finds... picnic basket - $4.99 (perfect for storing craft items and fabric) old school desk - FREE! + a can of spray paint pottery bowl with aqua interior - .50 raggedy Anne doll - .50 * vintage quilt $24 vintage canister with red handle - $10 yellow tea pot - .25 vintage books - .50 each at my fav thrift shop Vinnie's WE HAVE COLLECTED A LOT OF BOOKS!!! old mixer $5 - vintage yellow measuring cups $3 set Vintage 1950's Westinghouse double oven stove - TO DIE FOR! $250 (it totally cooks with love!) Fairly large collection of glass canisters for pantry items, and crafting goods - .50-$3 Sweet little child's tin - .75
I could walk you around my entire house to tell you all of the stories about where most everything has come from and how inexpensively they have been purchased, but for now, I will leave you with these happy little thrifted finds! Do you like to thrift??? Where do you go? What's the best thing you've ever found? Does it make you happy? Do your children call it treasure hunting like mine do? Is it strange that my dream vacation would be going to the Midwest and doing nothing but to thrift, antique, and estate sale? I am pretty weird huh?!
So, if I'm honest, there is really nothing much for me to talk about. My life has pretty much been put on a permanent hold since hearing my grandmother's hospice nurse tell me one week ago, that we are looking at days to weeks left in her life, nothing more.
She has maybe eaten 1 cup of ice cream in 8 days. She has maybe had two glasses of water administered to her threw a dropper into her mouth in 8 days. Each day she gets a little weaker, and a little less.... anxious.
We are playing a waiting game. We are playing a one day at a time, moment to moment, take it as it comes kind of game. If I'm being really honest, it's really hard. Sometimes it's exhausting. She is 89, and has no real mental capacity left, and her body is failing. At this point, after saying all the things we could have possibly have wanted to say, we pray she now goes to see Jesus in peace.
Mom and I cancelled our business trip we were to be on this week, and are now wondering how and when we will play catch up.... since life has stalled, and slowed to a creeping speed, yet the world all around us still spins and goes on by as if nothing is happening at all.
I am sorry there have been no new pictures to share. I am sorry there have been no funny or witty stories to tell. Life as I know it has stopped. I am surviving... I am surrounding myself with my family, and the comforts of home. I am allowing myself to be sad when I need to be, and being strong when I'm needed to . I am taking care of my girls, and my mama, and my Grammy, and thankfully Matt is taking care of me. Life isn't easy. Hard things happen. If we're lucky enough we have people who are by our sides to help us through the hard stuff, so that in the end we can see the beauty.
As far as Gram goes, she has lived a full life. She has been and will always be my hero. She had strength, and courage, and a spirit that was full of life. She loves the lord with all of her heart. So, although we will be sad for our loss when we lose her, we celebrate for her that she will be spending eternity with Jesus, her Mama and Daddy, husband, and many many other loved ones that wait for her there!
In the meantime, we wait. We sit by her bedside. We pray. We cry. We remember her life, and our memories with her. ...and pretty soon, we will join the rest of the world who keeps on going.
Since, for some reason typing has become somehow therapeutic to me. I am going to use this blog once again, as a place to share something very personal. I have no idea why it is helpful to me somehow to see my thoughts typed out in words. But, somehow it is. So, here it goes...
I have always known that losing my grandma would be one of the hardest things I would ever have to do. Growing up somehow, I had convinced myself she would be around forever. When she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, I remember wishing that I would have spent more time with her, before the disease stole her from us. I had wished that I would have been less interested in teenage things, and more content spending time with her, as I had been when I was little, and life seemed simpler. I remember in that moment, of reflection, that I would use the rest of my time I had with her more wisely. I had no idea how difficult it would be to watch her slip away into her disease, and watch her personality alter. As difficult as that was, I still never let myself think about what it would be like to lose her totally.
I guess it was somehow naive of me to not prepare myself. Or human nature. Which ever way you slice it, the time is nearing, and I am not sure I know how to say goodbye.
I am not as tearful as I thought I would be...
Seeing her slipping in and out of consciousness today, made me aware that the time I have left with her is lessening everyday. My mind now wanders on all of the thoughts of does she know that I love her? I mean does she KNOW? Did I ever adequately thank her for all that she has been to me in my life? How does she remember me? Does she remember the selfish teenager I was when she was still her? Or does she remember the little girl that loved to play with her, and be in her presence? Or does she know me, on some level still, and know when she looks into my eyes that she is loved. Do words count now? Or are actions all that remain?
Peace is felt inside, when I know that she and I will meet again one day, and even if I can't tell her all the things I'd like to now, that maybe then I will get my chance. Death is such a hard thing... letting go is harder yet.
My prayer is that God will take her home in peace, without much pain or sorrow. I pray that she doesn't remember me as a selfish teenager, that didn't thank her, and lost my patience with her all the time. I pray that she does still know me somehow, when she looks into my eyes. I pray that in seeing those eyes looking at her, that she knows she's loved, even if I never say it again.
Before I left her bedside today, I kissed her cheek, and told her that I loved her, and she whispered back she loved me too...
Please keep her in your prayers. Pray she will not feel any pain when Jesus takes her home... Until that day, pray that I begin to prepare my heart to say goodbye, to one of the dearest people I have ever known. It may be the hardest thing I have ever had to do.
My kids are head over heals for the hilarious little friends Tom and Jerry... and I have to admit, I like watching Tom and Jerry too! Who knew that old time cartoons, with no words could be so entertaining for hours on end?! (yes, I said hours on end... sorry folks, that's right, I've been letting them watch a lot of re-runs of Tom and Jerry, because it has been raining like a freakin flood is coming for days now, and this Mama is running out of good winter/indoor activities to keep her little ones busy with!!! * this may or may not enter me in the mother of the year poll!...)
I love that Tom and Jerry give Meritt and Bella something to agree on. Things that they both agree on are rare, so when they are cuddled up watching their favorite little furry Friends, giggling, and belly laughing, I can't help but feel HAPPY! It's their new favorite thing, to cuddle in my bed and watch all of the episodes I've recorded for them.
Today while searching for treasures at an Estate Sale, I found a vintage Tom and Jerry birthday book - I am so excited to surprise Meritt with it on her birthday!!! I also found two copies of vintage Tom and Jerry Golden Books at one of my fav thrift stores! I have a new thing to keep an eye out for when I'm hunting my treasures at antique stores, thrift shops, and estate/garage sales. Fun. Can't wait to see what I can find!
Thankfully, I am feeling human again after my surgery, Christmas, Grandma crisis's, etc.! Thank you for putting up with not the happiest of posts the last few... (well, let's leave it there.)
I feel like I'm seeing a big rainbow ahead, after a terrible storm. I still haven't gotten to the gold at the end of the rainbow, or the sunshine filled day that follows the storm... but I can see the promise ahead of me!
Feeling MUCH better, and after MANY days cooped up inside a house (it really hasn't been so bad!) I stole my mama and my girls for the afternoon and we did what any red blooded American girl would do after she's been cooped up for too long. We went shopping!
Just what the doctor ordered! Fun.!
I Got this cute purse for my upcoming business trip... because my belly is still too big, and too swollen to fit into clothing that doesn't have some stretch and some elastic (or at the very least a draw string!)... and I even splurged for the matching wallet.
The girls talked their grandma into a couple of fun new outfits on clearance at Gymboree... and I found Meritt an outfit for her Birthday party next month.
...and while we were at it, we got Meritt's Birthday all planned and ready to go... the easiest party I will have ever thrown, by the way. More on that coming up, but I don't want to spoil it's wonder and brilliance too early! :)
Anyway, just wanted to check in, and say a heart felt thanks for the encouragement and love that I received here lately! I am glad to say I am feeling my zip, zam, zoom, starting to resurface! Hallelujah! A girl must always be able to feel her own sass!
So yesterday, I started to share with you my story, about what has been happening with my health. Today, I'm going to share the rest of the story!...
I think it's called dealing with life. I think. Yes, I'm pretty sure when challenges arise, we can either deal with them then and there, or sweep them neatly under the rug until another day. But, eventually we have to deal with them!
For me, I'm not sure if these other things that have been happening in life have been hidden under the rug for long or not, but they both definitely have made me (us) deal with them - right now!
One of these things that has had to be delt with is Meritt Rose, and her speech problems. I guess I have known on some level for quite a while that she was getting her sounds, and words later than I thought she should. (but as a mom I try really hard not to compare my kids) Bella, was quiet, but always verbal. Meritt was a very loud baby, but not very vocal. In fact by age two, she barely said anything at all. Still, I didn't get too upset about it, because I assumed that it would sort of correct its self like many childhood issues do. But, by this year (her first preschool year) when she wasn't being understood by other teachers, kids, or parents, I felt like it would be a great idea to use a resource available to us at her school, and have a free speech evaluation. I'm not sure that I thought about what that evaluation meant much further out than the actual evaluation... But, by the end of the screening, I have been forced to face that 'challenge under the rug' that had been hiding. Meritt is in need of some private speech therapy. We are now in the process of learning more about this, and also finding some programs available through our county that may assist us as well.
Meritt was born four weeks early, due to a terrible case of bronchitis and flu that I had at 36 weeks prego. I felt as if I coughed her out. (but, I didn't ;) ) She weighed 7lbs 2oz and besides being very jondiced, and not having her sucking reflux yet, she was a thriving new born, baby, and even toddler. I had never thought that her prematurity would hand us problems later down the road. You always hear about premature babies at birth, but rarely about kids who have disabilities because of their prematurity. The professionals I have talked with say, it is very likely this is at least part of why she is having difficulty. I am just hoping that with help now, at almost four, we can correct any problems she may have, so she doesn't experience them once she is school aged.
I see 2011... as a great year for Meritt to thrive in. I am thankful, and hopeful that by getting her the help, and therapy she needs, that she will be able to develop her social skills, as well as her communication skills, and frustration about her speech.
As a mama it is hard to watch your little one struggle, or act out, because they can't tell you what they are trying to express. It breaks my heart that she says her teachers are her best friends at school. (not because they aren't lovely, but because they aren't kids!) I desperately want her to develop relationships with other kids, I want her to fit in, and be happy, I want her to be able to play, and enjoy this sweet little age that she's at. It is my prayer and my hope that this new year will bring her only positive growth and change!
The next thing that has been hard this year, has been watching my grandma take a downward spiral with her health. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 1999, but has ALWAYS been healthy as a horse otherwise! Six months ago, she could sit cross legged in the floor playing with her great-grand girls, and today, it takes two people to carefully move her aging, frail body, into another room. I have talked a bunch here about my Grandma, and how much she means to me, so I'm sure I don't have to go over that in detail. Needless to say, it is harder than I ever imagined to watch her now in her final time in life. I feel amazingly blessed to have been able to help with her these last few months. I feel in a way that I have gotten my Gran back. I love that when i rub her back, she loves it too. I love that she tells me she loves when I visit, and she appreciates me spending time with her. I'm glad that Meritt and Bella are having a chance to spend a lot of time gr owning and forming some priceless memories of their Gigi!
As beautiful as it is to be fortunate enough to spend this time, it breaks my heart in a million pieces to see the pain she has in her eyes. Her body is finally at 89 doing what her mind did years earlier... it's dying.
I know she's headed to heaven, and that means peace and triumph for her. However, what am I going to do when that day comes? When I must say goodbye. How will I ever live without her?
She is all of my best childhood memories. She has been my safe place. She has taught me obedience, and what a godly woman looks like.
I pray that God will use me in this new year to be there for my Gran. To give her love, and time, and attention, and all of the things that I would want if I was heading to heaven soon. I want her to KNOW that I love her, even if she isn't always sure who I am. (because of her disease) I pray that I will grow up to be half the beautiful God fearing woman that she has lived to be. I pray I make her proud when she looks down on me one day from heaven's pearly gates, and knows Exactly who I am!
There have been a bunch of challenges in my path in 2010. I'm sure there will be more in 2011, but, I can only hope that while dealing with these challenges, I will grow, and change, and flourish into the woman God desires me to be!
I was at one of my favorite blogs the Reed life, and Shauna had an inspiring idea that we could bless each other by 'giving' of our own stories... I think we can really be helped by listening to other peoples stories. It's important not to feel alone in our struggles. We all have them. They vary from person to person - family to family. But, we all have them! Joining together, being this support team for each other, is awesome! I feel so blessed by getting to read, and getting to know other Christian women out here in the blogosphere. These women totally inspire me!
I haven't posted for a while, because well frankly, there has just been so much ugly going on in my life I just haven't wanted to even bring it here... to my place where i try and celebrate the beauty of my life. (I truly do have so much beauty in my life!) As beautiful as life is, the ugly parts of life have a way of creeping up on you. 2010, was a great year, and a very challenging year. As I enter into this brand new 2011 year, I am hoping that some of the hard things I've been going through will be over soon.
Where do I start to explain what I'm talking about... Let's start here: Do you remember when I poured out my heart here to share with you that I have been living with fibromyalgia since I was 15 years old? I think I shared that I really wanted badly to get off of my medications. Sadly, that wasn't a good reality for me. After talking with my doctor, and even a fibromyalgia specialist, I was told to be grateful for having found a drug to help my pain, and to stop resisting it. I was told that my fibromyalgia will never go away, and the best that I can hope for as I grow older each year, is to not become disabled.
That was alot for me to swallow, but somehow through the support of my family and friends, and mostly my God, I came to feel some peace over the whole thing.
Unfortunately, that wasn't the ending to my medical woes. I was also dealing with terrible lower abdomen pain as well as very frequent urination (like 30+ times a day). After Matt and my anniversary trip I could no longer ignore my pain, as my bladder was now spasming. So, I went to my doctor where he treated me for a simple bladder (the third that year) infection, and sent me on my way. He told me to come back to see him if after my two weeks of heavy antibiotics didn't stop my symptoms. I'm sure by now, you see where this is heading... no the antibiotics didn't work, and he wasn't sure what else to do, so, he sent me on to my OBGYN. First she checked my IUD, it was fine. Next, I had ultrasounds of my pelvic region, where they found a cyst (nothing too big to worry over). Finally, I was tested in her office for something that before this whole experience I had never even heard of... Interstitial Cystitis. My doctor found through that testing, that I did in fact have IC, and that it was now up to me to make a decision.... My decision along with hers was pretty aggressive, in hopes to get on top of this insane pain I've been experiencing. I had surgery this Tuesday, as well as some laproscopy (to check for more cysts, and condition of the bladder).
The most frustrating thing about this IC, is that it almost perfectly mirrors fibromyalgia. In fact people that have fibro are much more likely to develop IC. It is thought to be an autoimmune disorder, where your brain is sending pain signals to parts of your body they shouldn't. Over time, these pain signals get worse, and worse, and worse. The surgery I had is only a temporary fix, she said it can only last about 6 months... the medication for this IC, takes 6-12 months to take affect, so I am praying the combination of the two will bring relief to my tired body.
I feel so absolutely defeated inside, living with these diseases. I feel like people around me think I'm some kind of hypochondriac, but I'm not. I would give any earthy possession I could to be me...... to just feel like me! To not have pain so severe it changes my spirit. I would, I really would! In fact, I will be damned to let these things defeat me. I may feel sad sometimes about it, even frustrated, and mad, but, I will find a way to live a joyful life in spite of these challenges I face!
I am trying to stay positive, and realize that it could be worse. I try to acknowledge and give thanks for the blessings that pour out upon me, but there are days, and weeks (sometimes) where it all makes me feel so sad. But, I am realizing that that's okay. Feeling things all the way can be healing. Not hiding them, but releasing them out, so they don't fester inside!
I don't want to live my life with the restrictions I have to, but that's my reality! I don't want to take medicine everyday for the rest of my life, but I have to! I don't like that i have more of these kind of posts to share with you, than the happy ones...
But here's the deal... (I told this to Matt on Tuesday right before I went into the operating room, when he asked if I was nervous...)
I said simply this: I'm not afraid, cause I know who's got my back. God is my Homey! He's my friend.
...and that's the truth friends, and with that in our hearts we can get through anything!
There is a reason for this suffering. There is a purpose. There is a lesson, and a humility being given to me, a gift even, I just can't see them yet.
Maybe in being transparent, and open about these afflictions that I'm going through, I too can 'GIVE' to someone else. Maybe there is someone else out there feeling defeated. Here's my advise; it's okay to be sad, it's okay to get mad, it's even okay to let it all out and have a good cry, but always remember to go to God in prayer with it. He is the only way, the only truth, and the only light, in these dark times! For if we don't praise him in our bleak, hard times, how will he ever bless us in our good times?
Thanks for letting me share this journey! Please keep me in your prayers... even more please keep my family in your prayers, I think it's even harder on them!
To be honest, that is only part of why 2010 has been hard... but for now, let's leave it there, shall we??? Maybe the rest will be better to share another day! Thanks for letting me talk blog peeps!
I'm Mandy. Mama, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Lover of God... Each day is a journey. Life is an adventure. At this point in my life, I try to go one day at a time, enjoying the moment I'm in, because today is a gift that will be gone tomorrow. I hope this can be a place to share the joy that can be found in everyday simpleness, watching kids grow, enjoying those you love, and this crazy little thing called life!