Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truths

I’m jumping in with some Tuesday Truths this week.  Just tryin’ to keep it real…and truthful!

Tuesday Truth

My first truth this week is ANTIBIOTICS ARE AWESOME!  I woke up yesterday morning at 1 a.m. with a terrible pain in my throat.  Having gone many years in college getting strep throat multiple times a year, I recognized the feeling immediately.  I tried to ignore it thinking maybe it was allergies (they’ve been bad here), fell asleep again for a while, but woke at 3:30 a.m. with even worse pain.  At 4 a.m., I took a Tylenol and started planning my day with cancelling classes and office hours, going to the prompt care clinic and getting this taken care of ASAP.  With an immune-suppressed child (tonsilless thank goodness, I think that makes the strep less likely to take hold, but still) and a national travel trip with 15 students scheduled on Wednesday, I could take no chances.  I got up and started sending emails, dealing with planning, and as soon as I dropped my DD off at school, drove over to the prompt care clinic.  Within an hour, I had tested positive for strep, got a steroid to help with the inflammation and pain, and dropped off my prescription.  Within three hours, I had taken my first antibiotic in a 10 day, 3X a day protocol and settled in for a nap.  By the time I picked up my DD, the stabbing pain had turned to a dull ache.  I was still achy and exhausted, but felt much better already.  This morning, I woke up and am feeling GREAT!  So, yes, antibiotics are awesome!!!

My second truth is God is Good!  I know, I know.  It is a bit cliche.  But, I’ve seen Him working in my life in so many ways this year already.  Life is certainly not all smooth sailing, but His hand touches so many things in so many ways that I don’t always notice.  And this “season”, while starting out tough with news of surgery, financial concerns and job anxiety, has turned into so much goodness.  The surgery is on and I’m thankful that we are with an insurance that doesn’t question the pacemaker placement even though my DD has not been symptomatic (I read a thread online where multiple people had been told no).  I’m thankful I have a job that I can get people to cover for me and make adjustments where necessary when things like this surgery pop up.  I got a raise at my current job, where I would really prefer to stay, so I’ve decided not to apply for the other job (which was a stress in my life, mostly because of insurance concerns).  I also got a grant for revising a class that is going to be really exciting to work on next year.  And I’ve got ideas and plans and exciting possibilities for the coming years!  And I can see where God has had a hand in all those things.  So, I am feeling extremely thankful.

My last truth this Tuesday is travel is stressful.  I THINK I have all the logistics of this trip handled.  Luckily, my DH moved up his return flight today so he got back a couple of hours ago.  Originally, he was scheduled to arrive back home around Midnight and I was scheduled to leave at 3 a.m.  That’s stressful.  Today, he had a two hour delay.  If that would have happened tonight, I would have been a basket case.  So, much better.  I’ve got all the rental cars and we actually ended up with a truck, which will be much easier to fit all the luggage in (as long as it doesn’t rain, which it is projected to earlier in the night – but I will bring some big towels to throw down under luggage and hopefully it will suffice). One of the students was notified he has mono this afternoon, so I had to cancel him.  He was really upset and still wanted to go, but I told him if he put his body through the 3 a.m. departure, time change and long days of a tournament, he might not make it through the semester when he gets back. Mono can be rough and I think he isn’t feeling it right now, but he DEFINITELY would be if he went through this trip.  So, I said no.  So, now there are only 14 students going…but that is still the largest group I’ve ever flown with.  So, it is a bit stressful.  But, seems to be going okay so far.



Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday -Alive

I am joining the Five Minute Friday crew over at Kate Montaung’s blog Heading Home again this week.  I hope you’ll consider joining them as well.  It is a wonderful group of supportive writers sharing their perspective on a prompt each week.


This week’s prompt is “Alive” – here goes:


That is my daughter.  The picture is from July 3, 2009, four days before her transplant.  She had not opened her eyes or been awake for days, maybe weeks before that.  She had been on a paralytic in order to keep her from fighting the ventilator and all the other lines she had going into her little, tiny body.  She had just been moved from the PICU to the CVICU because the PICU doctor had basically given up on keeping her stable after days of changing medication levels, plunging blood pressures to elevated blood pressures, bad labs, etc.  The CVICU is typically reserved for those who have already had heart surgery, but they moved her there, I think believing that if she didn’t get a new heart within a few days, she would need to have a Berlin Heart.  Either way, she would be in the CVICU soon enough anyways.  She was probably as close to death as a baby can be without passing away.  It was terrifying and exhausting and depressing.  But, she held on.  Day after day.  Through what had to be painful and frightening situations.  I must admit that I sometimes wondered if we were doing the right thing.  Putting her through all that. But I had to believe that keeping her alive was better than the alternative.

Bean post transplant one month

This photo was taken one month after her transplant.  The difference is pretty amazing.  In four weeks she was off the ventilator, smiling, had lost the puffiness that had been there for months before.  She was taking formula from a bottle.  She held fingers and loved to watch a mobile over her head.  She was ALIVE – not just at the basic level she had been before, but at the WHOLE level.  She was aware, awake and active.

I am now confident that we did the right thing putting her through everything.  She has thrived in the past seven years.  We have had our medical bumps and rough spots, but overall we’ve had it good.  We’ve had great times and we have wonderful memories and wonderful friends and being alive is good.  It is important to remind ourselves of that when things get rough.  Babies even know it. But sometimes life’s hard hits can make us forget that knowledge.  In this season of new life, remember that being alive is a gift.  A gift to us and a gift to others.


Simplicity Sunday

Simplicity Sunday #10 – Fun(ctional)

I realize this is now being posted on Monday, but I wrote it yesterday, so thought I would leave the title and just post it late.  I realize also that it comes to an abrupt end.  I apologize, but got really tired and decided to stop there.  I’ve added the ever-dreaded “To be continued” at the end and perhaps I will make this a series…some day.  In the meantime…enjoy…


Today has been a good day.  Maybe even a great day.  I took a long walk with the dog this morning.  We went to our friends this afternoon and spent the afternoon evening smoking ribs, eating and playing Settlers of Catan.  We then went to ice cream at our local place and came home.  It was a great way to spend a day that could otherwise be pretty stressful and full of anxiety.  I can tell that all of us are starting to worry about this week.  But, it was nice to spend a day having fun instead of cleaning and packing and stressing out.  We were a functional family having fun.  Something we aren’t always so good at in our day-to-day life.

In a way, I feel like I forgot how to have real fun seven years ago or so.  I find myself always holding back from totally engaging in the fun and frivolity.  Being frivolous is tough when you have a sick child.  I haven’t been one to “let loose” since then.  I used to be.  I used to have a good time quite often.  I knew how to have fun and be functional.  Now, I feel like I sometimes don’t know how to really have fun or be totally functional.  I’m achieving neither one.  But, I know that isn’t true.  I’m pretty functional.  I may even exceed at being functional at times.  But, I still lack the “fun” part.  So, how to solve that…

First, I need to figure out what I truly enjoy and have fun while doing.  Honestly, I used to drink quite a bit and part of my “fun” was had because of the alcohol allowing me to “let loose”.  But, since having Bean, I’ve lost my taste for alcohol and when I do drink a bit of wine or beer, I either get really tired really quickly OR I get a horrible headache.  Neither of those are really adding to any level of “fun”, so I avoid alcohol for the most part…


Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Share

Joining the Five Minute Friday crew once again over at Heading Home.  I love the simplicity of this writing “assignment” each week!  And I love the supportive group of writers who participate!  So, here’s to Five Minute Friday!


The prompt this week is:  “Sharing”

Sharing has a lot of different meanings.  There is the traditional notion of giving to others some of what you have, but there is also the idea of “show and tell” or sharing of information.  I think both are important.  We have a tendency to think of sharing as either based in generosity (giving with no expectation of receiving back) or in reciprocal benefits (expecting of receiving something equal or better in return).  But, in reality, we often share things not out of an expectation of receiving something back from the other person but because of the feeling we get when we give.  I believe that, too, is a gift.  But, instead of being a gift from the person to whom we are giving something, it is a gift given us at birth.  It is a gift from our Creator that has made gift-giving innate in us.  Some may ignore it or even resist it, but it is there.  We take joy from very early ages in giving to others and seeing their gratitude or their joy.  And as long as we are not discouraged by others who use our gifts against us or uses us for our gifts, we will continue to be givers who take joy in that giving.  You can see it all around us in the incredible gifts that humans give each other.  I see it, each and every day, in my daughter.  Someone gave us a gift without even knowing us.  A gift of a heart.  And I hope that they can take some comfort in knowing that they gave a gift.  It is who we were made to be – givers of gifts who take joy and comfort in that giving.  So thankful.  And looking for ways to give.



Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday – Enjoying Rest

February madness is over – calmness ensues.

March is here and there is such a difference between February and March.  I know that March Madness is basketball related, but I always feel like February is my own month of madness.  And it already feels much more peaceful and less chaotic in my life.  Thankful, but also pensive as to when the calmness might end and chaos take over unexpectedly. Hoping that doesn’t happen, but trying to be mentally prepared for it if it does.


Why Write?

I’ve asked that a few times.  That question is the reason my blog goes to the bottom of my list every time I get busy.  I don’t typically have a great reason for it.  I love the community that blogging creates.  I love that I see people “like” and comment on my posts over and over again and I feel like I’m reaching someone.  But, even minus that, I like to write.  I like the thought process.  I enjoy the result.  And this morning, I found this Medium article and it explained and justified and encouraged.

Although I would like to think that I will become one of those “famous” bloggers whose work is read by tons of people and whose faces you see all over the web and even on TV, I don’t write for that reason.  I write because I feel a desire to write.  I feel a desire to connect…with others, but more so with myself.

Lately, my biggest struggle is figuring out WHAT to write about.  And much of that has been driven by my feeling of a need to “brand” my work.  To have a purpose and a focus.  But, when I read this in the article, it made so much more sense:

“Elizabeth Gilbert discusses the concept of ‘creative entitlement’ in her brilliant book, Big Magic. In short, your own reasons to create are reason enough. Do whatever brings you to life. Follow your own fascinations. Create whatever causes you to feel alive. The rest will take care of itself.”

Yes…that.  Follow my fascinations (and they are many and often disconnected).  Do what brings me life.  Create what causes ME to feel alive.  It is like validation for my lack of focus and my love of random prompt memes.

And although my readership has increased quite a bit over the past year or so (thanks to those still following despite my irregular posts and especially thanks to those who take the time to click like or, even better, leave a comment), that isn’t what really matters in the end:

“Retweets, favourites and shares are arbitrary and the wrong reasons to create. This is your work, not an overly-filtered selfie. You should be doing it because you love it. When you look back on your writing in 5, 10, 15 years’ time, you won’t be obsessing over page views, you’ll just be glad you did it. Trust me.”

So, for all of you out there like me, wondering why you’re writing or for whom or letting your writing go to the bottom of the priority list because it isn’t “productive” work, remember that you can be writing for YOU and make it a priority because it is something you love.

Happy Sunday everyone!


Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday – Time

I am posting this a little early because I will be traveling tomorrow and I don’t want to miss the Five Minute Friday this week.  This week’s prompt is time…join the party if it inspires you!


Time is my ever-present adversary it seems.  This week has been relatively quiet for me.  I’m off from teaching.  I didn’t have any workshops to attend.  I was home, by myself, most mornings.  But, I still feel like I didn’t have enough “time” to get things done.  I think that I’m constantly blaming time, when really is the “things” that are the problem!  It isn’t that I don’t have enough time.  It is that I have too many “things”.

So, that is why part of my mission this year of “Myself” is to simplify.  I want to give “myself” more time and those things less time.  I want to give my family more time and those things less time.  And I want to be better at focusing on one “thing” at a time.

Time is such a strange thing.  Our perception of it is drastically different depending on what we are doing.  I often tell my students that impromptu speaking is the perfect microcosm of how time shifts depending on perception.  When preparing for an impromptu speech for three minutes, the time seems to fly by.  We are wanting more time.  But, when we stand up to speak, those three minutes stretch out before us like a road to the moon.  They go by so slowly.  We can’t seem to fill those minutes despite our best intentions.  There is three minutes of preparation and three minutes to speak, but those two three minutes are dramatically different.

My hope is to create a world where time is a gift that I am able to truly relish.