Five Minute Friday

Five Minute Friday -Create

Joining Five Minute Friday before heading out to our camping trip!  This week’s prompt is “create”.  So, here goes:

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This weekend I aim to create memories.  I am living a life with my daughter who is on borrowed time and although I certainly hope and pray she lives a long and healthy life with her transplanted heart, I also try to be cognizant of the fact that I have no guarantees.  Now, no one really has any guarantees (see this horrific story about the dad and 11 year old son who lost their lives in the Nice attack yesterday), but my awareness of this is just a bit more acute with my DD.

Many of my favorite memories from childhood are those on the road.  I didn’t always have the most pleasant of experiences at home.  My father was an alcoholic, but for some reason, when we were traveling, he was usually pretty good about staying sober.  I remember my mom reading to me (for some reason, I really remember reading Ishi one year on our way to Wyoming), listening to the AM radio as we drove through darkness on unfamiliar roads, waking up in a new place each morning.  I remember one time in Arizona waking to the braying of a wild donkey (burro?) outside of our van at a rest stop.  I remember going to museums and old ghost towns and zoos in other cities.  We did a lot of things on these trips and they always felt like an adventure.  We didn’t have super specific plans.  There were no cell phones with GPS so we went by maps and stopped at Visitor Centers.  We camped at rest stops and KOA campgrounds and state and national parks.  And all of those trips created fond memories of family.  That is what I want for my daughter.  No one’s life is all good memories.  She will have her share of hospital and medical memories that will not be great, but hopefully we can create some others that will be her true place of comfort and joy.

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Travelin' Tuesday

Summer Adventure – Camping

We (my DD and I) are going camping this weekend for the first time!  I’m a bit terrified, but luckily we are going with three other families who have all been camping before.  So, I think we should be okay.  I went to Amazon this morning and ordered a blow up mattress (I think I had to throw ours out because it had a slow leak), a sleeping bag (how did I not own a sleeping bag?!?) and a couple of lanterns (which will function as flashlights when home, which we needed for emergencies anyways).  I’m borrowing a camp chair  and a tent and will share another family’s camp stove.  I’m working my way through camping lists on Pinterest trying to make sure I don’t look like a total rookie despite being a total rookie.

We camped a lot when I was younger, but we always had a trailer or van conversion that we slept in.  We were definitely NOT tent campers.  So, we had a sink and refrigerator in the van.  We had beds.  We didn’t have to “set up” anything when we decided to pull off and sleep for the night.  I guess I was a bit spoiled.  We spent many a night in a parking lot or a rest stop or something similar.  If at a rest stop, we would get up and bust out the camp stove on a picnic table and make breakfast and then get back on the road.  I loved the way we traveled.  It was relatively simple and minimalist.  We didn’t need a ton of stuff and could pick up things along the way.  I want to capture that same simplicity for Bean.  I am trying to decide if we can take the Prius or need to pay extra for gas and take the SUV. I am leaning towards the latter just because it would give us plenty of space, dirt roads would be easier to take and we could always sleep in there if everything went to hell.  🙂

We are going to a lake and I am already paranoid about her swimming in it.  We will probably try to do more paddle boats and such to keep her dry but enjoying the water.  The water will probably be too cold for her to spend much time in it anyways.  I am sure we will have a grand old time.  I am looking forward to sharing an experience that I really enjoyed as a child her age with her and I hope I can make many memories with her out in nature!  I am also looking forward to taking books to read and not much else. No iPad, no laptop – I will take my phone, but I don’t expect to be able to use it much.  It will be nice to have a tech vacation and see what we can do!

Wish us luck!

Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth

Today is Tuesday.  And in that, we can find some some truth.  I would like to share some truths I’ve realized today:

Tuesday Truth

First, others really can steal your joy, even from far away, if you let them.  And I let them.  I am currently at a teaching conference and really enjoying it.  I am in a nice hotel room in San Diego, right on the Marina, eating really good food and feeling excited about making changes to my classes.  But, I received an email about an issue that has nothing to do with what I’m doing here.  Something that was somewhat outside of my control, but is still within my realm of responsibility.  And more than the issue, was the way the message about the issue was delivered.  Backhanded insult.  Passive aggressive attack.  Something to highlight past mistakes instead of current successes.  And immediately, my mood changed.  I was no longer enjoying the conference, but instead was caught up in a defensive response and feeling less than adequate.  My joy was stolen by that email.  I didn’t speak to anyone.  I dealt with the issue as best I could.  I resolved myself to “fix everything and make it perfect” so that I would not have to ever deal with this passive aggressive attack again.  But, really, that isn’t possible.  Mistakes happen, especially when you are dealing with a pile of crap on a plate that is way to small.  So, I’m not going to be perfect.  Instead, I need to figure out how to not let these passive aggressive attacks steal my joy.  I have to figure out how to recognize that the insults are short lived and the amount of things I do are long lived.  I need to take the delivery and dismiss the insults while dealing with the issue.  But, it isn’t easy.  It is NOT easy.

Second, San Diego is beautiful.  If you’ve ever been to San Diego, you know this truth.  There is beauty everywhere one looks down here.  The water.  The weather. The architecture.  The art.  The boats.  The surrounding environment.  It really is gorgeous.  I think we’ll be coming back here for a family vacation at the end of summer.

Third, having a home town that I love.  I really look forward to going home.  I love my home town and it is so nice to love where you live and where I work.  Even if you don’t love everything about your job, being happy to be where you ARE in the world is important.

So, what’s your truths for today?

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.

 

 

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday –

Joining up with Six Word Saturday this week.

Travel hopes are high.  No Whammies!

This weekend I am getting ready for a trip to Indiana with more students than I’ve ever taken before.  The logistics for the trip are like an LSAT problem and I’m dealing with some anxiety over the trip (as I always do, but with 20 people traveling, the stakes seem higher this time).  Last year at this same tournament, I had the worst trip I’ve ever had.  Two hotel issues (that were totally my doing), a problem with the advance (again, my doing)…I guess that was all but that was enough to scar me.  Luckily, I was only traveling with two students, so the problems were easy enough to deal with.  With 20, that would definitely not be the case.

So, I’ve been trying to double and triple check all the plans, but I still feel totally anxious.  I have not been sleeping great and I have a ton of grading and cleaning and such to do before I leave on Wednesday morning VERRRRRRY early (like 3 am early).

That’s the other part of this equation.  My husband is currently in FL for work.  He will get back around 11 p.m. on Tuesday night.  I will leave at 3 am on Wednesday morning.  We did this same thing last year (tournament schedules are usually very similar year-to-year), but last year was when all hell broke loose with my DD’s meds and we switched to pills and she wouldn’t take them for me and then I left and my DH got her to take the meds fine but when I got back she started having these horrible anxiety attacks about school.  It ended up being her med levels because of the switch from liquid to pills, but the whole experience with the traumatic days leading up to my departure with the pills, then the problems while I was traveling, then coming back to these horrible anxiety attacks…it is making me even more anxious about this year.  Sigh…

So, in a way.  This year HAS to be better.  Right?

Wordless Wednesday

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

I don’t do a ton of Wordless Wednesdays, so some of the photos below will be from more than just this past week.  But, what the heck…I have some good ones to share, so why not share them!

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We started our mini-vacation at Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing!  Bean posed with the snowmen…

We had a great visit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and got to see a ton of Jellyfish, big and small!

And spent some time at the beach, where there were cool weather and even cooler sights to see.

Thursday Thumbs Up

Thursday Thumbs Up

I will be traveling by train from Southern-Central California to the Bay Area today.  I haven’t done that in a while, but I am somewhat looking forward to it.  That will start my Thursday Thumbs Up today!

Traveling by train.  I used to travel by train a lot more in college.  I haven’t done it in a while, but it just worked out to be convenient this time to get back to the Bay Area to help out my mom this weekend without having to make my husband and DD leave his parent’s house early.  I’m looking forward to it.  I love being able to get work done while traveling.  Trains have plenty of space (versus an airplane, where I often feel cramped and restricted).  I can work on my laptop, read, sleep, and enjoy the view at certain points.  If the prices were more reasonable and the schedule more friendly from my hometown, I would choose to travel by train all the time.  But, it is a little too expensive to do all the time (versus my hybrid car, especially for a family of three).  But, it will be a nice change of pace.

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I am literally on the train right now!  And it is extremely pleasant.  And productive.  So, serious thumbs up to traveling by train.  I just wish it were cheaper!  I also got a reply to my tweet from Amtrak:

Not bad!

Organ Donation.  Six years ago today, my DD was officially listed for a heart transplant.  She was one of thousands on the list, with 100s of children.  But, we waited less than one month.  She was listed on June 11 and received a heart on July 7.  It was truly a miracle.  She was not doing well health-wise and I’m not sure how much longer she would have lasted.  There was a Berlin Heart in the hospital for her (which required an FDA compassionate use exemption because they had not been approved for infants).  She had been moved from the PICU to the CVICU because she was doing so poorly.  Here she is six years ago, following a respiratory therapy treatment, right before we got confirmation that she would be listed:

June 11 - Day she was listedNo medical procedure is perfect, but this one saved our daughter’s life.  And because of that, the anonymous donor (who was also a child – we don’t know any information other than that) holds a special place in my heart.  And the organ donation system is definitely personal to me!

Summer storms.  We have had a few doozies in California lately.  But, I certainly didn’t expect one in Bakersfield in early June.  But here it was last night:

Awesome.  Cooling.  And just plain relaxing.  I felt like I could have sat out there listening to it and watching it fall for HOURS!  Unfortunately, some places had some flash flooding, but there were no injuries or serious damage that I heard of, so that is good.  I do love me a good summer storm though.

So, those are my Thursday Thumbs Up for this week.  What about you?  Anything you would give a Thumbs Up to this week?

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