Monday, August 27, 2012

This is Me

     When I was younger, I had so many dreams and aspirations for myself.  I was going to set the world on fire!  I loved to sing and act, I lost myself in books and plays, I rode for hours on my motorcycle singing until I was able to fully let go of my emotions.  I had my head firmly stuck in the clouds, and I kept it there for quite a while. (As many of you can firmly attest.)  I believed that people were basically good at heart, that having a boyfriend made me complete and that if I wanted something badly enough, I would have it.  Yes, those were the days.  I was a dewy eyed romantic who wished that I could grow up faster and get on with what my life was intended for.  I was going to live my life on 'the boards' with the smell of greasepaint forever surrounding me, I was going to be a star!  I suppose in some small way, maybe we all were. 

But my life took a different direction a sharp turn along the way when I was in my second year of college and I met the man who was to become my husband.  I married young, very young -19 to not the first man who asked, and a short 10 months after we had pledged our vows, I had my first child.  She was perfect of course as it wouldn't be any other way.  I was naive as well as young strong willed, fiercely loyal and everything else that a 20 year old could be. I had a plan for my life, a purpose and somehow, someday, all of my dreams would come true.   In other words, I knew nothing.

Since that time all those many years ago, many things have changed.  I've grown older and presumably wiser.  I suffered loss and change, and lived to tell about it.  I've taken off the rose colored glasses-or had them ripped from my face only to be replaced with another pair. I have learned and grown to know much more about myself and the world around me.  Most of it, is unimportant drivel. What was important to me then is no longer a priority, I've changed along the way and though my journey has not been without its trials,  I wouldn't have it any other way.  I know that I am not what or where I thought I would be at this juncture of my life, but I also know that I am exactly where I was intended to be.  Those plans for my life were set in motion long before I was able to draw a conscious thought. Life has changed me and shaped me into the person that I am today.  I am still a dewy eyed romantic, and my head can often be found up in the clouds, but I'm different.  Having my name up in lights no longer matters anymore as I have made  my name important in different ways.  Though I have many different aliases, each one has its own unique and precious meaning to me: Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend, Mentor, Grandmother, Teacher, Child of God, and on and on and on.  All of those monikers I hold  close to my heart and have helped to mold me into the woman that I am today.

The bumps and bruises that I have encountered are badges of honor for me.  For without those, I would not be the person you see before you.  I know that life is rarely played out as we had dreamed, sometimes it is so much more. Sometimes, what we think we want the most can also be what holds us back from our fully actualized selves.  If you had told me when I was 16 or 17 that by the time I reached 50 I would have been married for 31 years, had 2 children, 1 grandchild, a job that I never knew I wanted till I got it, have seen friendships lost and found, seen loved ones pass, realize the importance of my faith and been diagnosed with a life altering disease, I would never have believed it.  Think back to your youth and try to remember what you wanted then and compare it to what you have now.  Funny, don't you think.  I am so much more than I believed I could be, so much stronger, more resiliant and so much more grateful. I've come to understand the true importance of my family in my life and the role that I can and do play in theirs.  I'm wiser than I could have ever believed, yet I have not lost my compassion or my joy for life.  I so love the life that I live and feel truly Blessed to have been given this gift!
This is me. This is who I am now, at this place in this time.  Tomorrow I may be one step closer to a goal or I could be one step further away, but I will be grateful for those steps and learn from each and every one.  This is me, this is who I was intended to be.  And I couldn't be an any better me than the one I am now...

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Back to School!

Tomorrow is Isabella's first day of school, she is going into the third grade!  I can hardly believe that she is that old already.  Time sure does pass us by quickly.  Bella is soo excited-like hopping up and down, can hardly contain herself happy.  I love to see that excitement about school.  Friday was her meet the teacher day and since I had her for the day, we werre to meet Michelle at the school, so I got to meet the teacher too. She seemed very nice and almost as excited about the new school year as Bella.  Another big deal is that Bella's classroom in on the second floor of the school. Big time.

Bella had asked me to help her make a gift for her teacher so on Friday we baked sugar cookies.

Apple shaped cookies.  Bella actually made the batter completely by herself and rolled out and cut the dough.  She loves to bake!

Some we baked with lollipop sticks in them for the project that we had in mind

Others Bella choose to add sprinkles to prior to baking.

And the rest, I iced. 

This is the final project.   A bouquet of cookies in a decorated flower pot.  I painted the bottem of the pot  with blackboard paint and the brim was painted red.  I added a measuring tape ribbon to the brim and Bella wrote a message to her teacher on the blackboard paint.  The only problem was that her hand was smearing the chalk as she wrote, so it took a little bit of work. Then I wrapped it in clear plastic and tied it up with a red bow.

In other  news, I will not be going back to work until Friday at the earliest!  I feel like I am physically ready and I am actually quite anxious to get back to work.  Unfortunately, I cannot return to work without a note from the doctor and the earliest I could get an appointment was Thurday afternoon.  I called all week and first of alll, their hours are a bit strange.  Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8-12 and Tuesday and Thursday 10-1, and they only see patients on Monday and Thursday.  To make a long story short, the woman who schedules the appointments was out on medical leave and the person who was to cover for her was also out on Medical leave.  So, I guess I best get comfortable.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

When we last left off...

To be honest, I can't even remember. Ha! But I know that I had promised pictures of Disney and I will post just a few. We had a good time, but it was HOT, HOT, HOT!

Aiden and Isabella posing with a 'muscle car' at the hotel.

Shawn, Michelle, Isabella and Aiden

Jesse and Woody pose for a picture with Bella and Aiden

Isabella and her adorable Aunt Courtney on Tom Sawyer Island

The whole gang in front of Cinderella's Castle

This is Bella dancing with Rapunzel.  We got to take her in to visit with three of the princesses and she was just totally star struck, it was so cute!

  Finally starting to feel better from my surgery and hoping to be released to go back to work next week. Feeling a bit useless. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Where Have I Been?

A funny thing happened on my way to post pictures of our Disney Adventure.  Well, not really funny but you know how it goes.  Monday I had a very busy day at work as I was still trying to catch up on everything since being on vacation.  Sometimes I have to wonder if it's worth going away.  Thought about it and yeah, it's worth it.
Anyway, after work I picked up Isabella at her school and took her for a swim at the pool.  We were there for a little over an hour and almost the whole time that I was there, I was doing some of my PT exercises in the pool.  We got home and I popped into the shower and changed into my pj's and made sure that Bella had everything that she needed.  Shawn came in to pick up Bella and I mentioned to him that I thought the PT in the pool had really worked on me as my stomach was kind of sore.  Jim was working late so I had dinner by myself, a couple of plain hot dogs and some canteloupe.  After Jim came home, we sat together for a while and then headed up to bed.  As I laid down, I felt as though I had a gas bubble stuck high in my stomach, right below my breastbone.  I thought if I could burb I'd feel better, but I just couldn't.  I didn't fall asleep and by ten o'clock, the discomfort had turned to pain and I began to think that something was wrong.  At eleven I woke Jim and asked him to take me to the ER.  Something was definitely wrong!
We got to the hospital in about ten minutes and got put at the head of the line, but still had to wait for what seemed like hours.  (It was likely only about 30 minutes or so.)  They called me back and by now, I was in some serious PAIN.  The dr. came in and asked if I had my appendics and I told him no and then he asked about my gallbladder.  Yes, I still have it and no, I'd never had any gallstones or attacks of any kind.  He ordered a sonogram and got me a shot of something strong.  By now I was calm and the nurse came in to do the sonogram and determined that I did have gallstones.  The doc came back and asked if I had a surgeon or if he should call the surgeon on call.  The call was made, I was to be admitted and have surgery.
By 3 am I was in a room and at 4:30 the nurse finished the paperwork with me and went to get a bag of IV fluids for me.  Surgery was to be sometime on Tuesday and released Wednesday.
Because it's me and things tend not to go in a routine fashion, I was put in a semi-private room.  My roommate was a classic case of crazy. Kid you not!  The woman had probably used up her share of crazy and was now working off the reserves.  She was on the phone constantly, complaining about everything under the sun, mostly the hospital staff, climbing in and out of her suitcase and talking to me when all I wanted to do was sleep!  (Pain meds - remember?)  I found out that the dr. was going to operate at noon and after he left I motioned for Jim to come close.  He looked at me and I whispered to him that perhaps after my surgery I would be moved to a different room.  He went right out into the hall, found a nurse and made the arrangements.  Thank goodness! 
So, I had the surgery, had a lousey recovery and finally came home on Thursday evening.  Remember what I said about things going against the normal for me?  Yeah, I didn't dissapoint.
All things said though, I have to commend the staff at FMH because everyone that I dealt with was wonderful.  Kind, caring and compassionate.  Wednesday I had a terrible day, I was sick to my stomach, dizzy, my blood pressure was all over the map and I was in terrible pain. They were just wonderful.  The nurse in charge came in and sat with me for a while, to make sure that I was stable and didn't need anything.  She called in the PA from the surgeons office to consult and she was terrific.  They finally determined that the morphine that they had been giving me was causing the problem and worked with the doctor to find a different medication that would work.  They also took blood and did some labwork and found out that several things were off, can't remember what now, but it was enough that it would contribute to my feeling so poorly.  Later on when I had begun to feel better, one of the CNA's came in my room, cleaned it up and got me into a chair so I could bathe myself while she put fresh linens on my bed and then helped to get me into a clean gown as well.  They really were great.
Now I am under strict orders to take it easy.  No lifting, easy on the stairs, and another week or so off work.  My company has been great and told me to take whatever time I need.  They sent flowers in the hospital and after I got home they sent a Honey Baked Ham, 2 sides, rolls and a carrot cake!  Nice to work for a company with heart.  :)
Promise to get to the photos soon!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Bloggy Break

Sorry for my unexpected Bloggy Break, it was unintentional but sometimes that happens.  I have been extremely busy at work and at home and sometimes I just don't get the time to write.  I've also been entrenched in the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy and am currently on the last book.  Oh, so good!
We were away on vacation last week, a real one week vacation!  We headed South to Disney with Michelle and Shawn, the kids and Shawn's parents and sister.  I will be back with lots of pictures to post as soon as I have a chance to go through the 600+ photos that I took and the 700+ that Shawn shot.  Ha!  Could take a bit of time.

In other news, lots of changes going on at work.  Not changes that are totally positive and welcome, but changes none the less.  And after being gone for a week I have a lot of catching up to do.  It never ends!
I am truly swamped and scrambling to get in some kind of a rhythm.  (How many years 'till retirement?)
Yesterday was my first day back and I had to leave after only half a day to make one of my treks down to Johns Hopkins for an appointment, this time with my cardiologist.  He is a specialist in heart conditions that are associated with Myotinic Dystrophy.  My appointment was at 1:00, but since I had to be there at 12:30 I had to leave the office at 11:30 in order to get there in time.  I left the Outpatient Center at 3:10, after my exam, an EKG and having a Holter Monitor strapped and taped to my chest.  I have to wear the monitor for 24 hours and then send it back to them for the results to be read.  Can't wait to get the thing off me though as the tape and leads are pretty uncomfortable, not to mention the fact that I look like a science experiment!

Hopefully I will be back later today or tomorrow with pictures and a round up of our vacation.  Oh, and Bella had some big news the week before last.  She had an eye appointment because she had been squinting a lot and she now is sporting glasses!  She only has to wear them for distances, but she loves them and the problem is going to be to keep her from wearing them all the time.  And much to my surprise, she got her hair cut donating 12" of her long lovely tresses to Locks of Love.