Sunday, June 25, 2006

I missed the one-year mark! Auughhhh!

I should have written this post on Monday, but I just didn't realize. I am 6 days late. That's appropriate, I guess. I am always late. Heck, I was two weeks and 48 hours late for my own birth, so my continued lateness should be a surprise to no one. I guess my only comfort is that Geekwif is late, too.

But I digress.

I am late for my one-year blogiversary. I started my blog on June 19, 2005. Through this year, I've blogged about funny things, heartbreaking things, exciting things and mundane things. I've met new friends and acquaintances and I've forged closer relationships with my sister-in-law and my mother-in-law in Illinois.

I started my blog as a way to chronicle our transistion from living in Minnesota to Illinois, and continued it when it became apparent that we would not be moving to Illinois as quickly as we has planned. Since I started my blog, I've had a major operation and we have done a home remodel project, sold our house and moved into a rental property. When I started my blog, I expected to choose a school for Sweet Girl to attend kindergarten in Champaign - and she just completed kindergarten in Minneapolis. When I started my blog, my mom lived with us and now she has her own apartment and is living by herself for the first time in her life.

Yes, it has been a year of sweeping changes, unexpected delays and unavoidable frustrations. It has also been a year of growth and joys. I know I haven't been very consistent with my blog, but I will remain committed to it. When we do move in August, it will allow friends and family here to remain connected with us. And when I need to cry or laugh or just shake my head at all the changes life is throwing at me, I know my blog - and all of you - will be here to listen and help me renew my perspective of thankfulness and joy.

Happy year to you all! And happy blogiversary to you, Geekwif!

Moving: A Nice Idea if You Can Handle the Stress!

Our family is moving to Illinios in August. The second week of July we are heading down for a week to try to find a place to live and, hopefully, get some jobs lined up. We're driving in two vehicles; our car and Champs' truck with a U-Haul trailer filled to the gills. We're going to get a storage space and drop off all the stuff until we move. Then we're going to leave the truck at Princsiss' home (Thanks sis!) until we move.

We're hoping to also take our cat down and leave him with someone for the month. The move will be a four day process; two of them driving. The cat doesn't travel well. Our vet is two blocks away and he caterwauls the entire time! We'll have to drug him for the trip, so it would be easier and better for him to be drugged for one day instead of two. Also, we don't know for sure if a hotel will allow the cat overnight. We want to get another cat to keep Gus company, but it's too much work figuring out how to move him, much less move two of them. We'll get another cat in Illinois, probably.

We'll move in Mid-August. That will be, as I mentioned, a four-day process:
Day one: Get the 24-foot truck and load it.
Day two: Leave very early and drive to Wisconsin Dells and spend the afternoon playing and get some good sleep.
Day three: Finish the drive to Champaign (Champs will drive the truck and I'll have Sweet Girl in the car) and start unloading the truck.
Day four: Finish unloading, get our stuff from the storage space, and return the truck.

I was saying the other day that the stress of this move is almost doing me in. I figure, what with arranging the move and then getting everything settled and starting a new job, etc. I should be almost back to normal in, oh, say... October - just in time for the holidays.

I am trying to be positive and upbeat about all of this, but there is just so much going on and so many details to see to - and it seems to be all my responsibility. Champs is on the road three days a week, so I am taking care of the small details. Thank goodness I have him to help with the heavy lifting! haha!

I'm excited about the move, but I'm not happy about leaving my job and my family. What I am excited about, though, is the change in pace for our family. Hopefully Champs will have a normal, in town job that will let him come home every night and I am hoping to start a new business. So it isn't all bad. It isn't all good. It is all busy, and all stress, but when it's done, everything should be right where it's supposed to be.

The Last Heartbeat

My grandmother, who I loved more than anyone can imagine, passed away of pancreatic cancer when I was 17; one week before Christmas. My mom and my aunt were with her when she passed. Mom told me later that she laid her hand on Grandma's chest and felt Grandma's last heartbeat. She described it as incredibly peaceful as Grandma's pain and suffering were over.

The image has never left me and 23 years later I still feel the impact. Most people I know find it comforting to lay their head on someone's chest and hear the strong heartbeat of their loved one. Not me. When I lay my head on my husband's chest, it isn't long before I begin to think of the last heartbeat. I don't want to hear it. I don't want to feel it. So I move my head to the crook of his arm and rest my ear on his shoulder. His shoulder can't pull any surprises on me, right?

I have no fear of death in terms of what will happen to me after I die; Jesus is my Lord and I am confident of His promise of Heaven. I have to admit, though, that the process of getting there does scare me a bit. The thought of my husband or daughter dying scares the bejeebers out of me. So much so that my best friend, Geekwif, convinced me that I needed to stop watching "ER". All those emergency room scenes had me completely worked up over my family!

I wonder what my life would be like without the assurance of Heaven? Without the bone-deep awareness of God's grace? My niece is right; life is short - the promise of each heartbeat fleeting. How wonderful that we can look beyond our last heartbeat on earth... to our first in Heaven.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

300th Post (when it was on my old blog)

Editor's Note: This was the 300th post when it was on my first blog. Here it's about the 70th or so, but it was still worth retaining, so here goes:

Have you ever let the weight of expectation build up to the point where a reasonable task becomes an insurmountable task and you don't get anything done? Well, that's what happened to me. This is my 300th post and I've wanted it to be really special. Fantastically special. I couldn't come up with an approach that met my hopes for a great post, so I never wrote anything. The sad part of this, aside from the fact that I let the weight of expectation rob me from reflecting on some really great events lately, is that I have pretty much decimated my readership. Used to be that if I missed a few days of posts, I had comments from people asking where I was. Oh well. Who knows who will read this?

There is a certain sense in which maybe it doesn't matter for now, though I want it to. Our family's move to Another State is getting closer than ever and there are days when I feel like the stress of it all is more than I can take. I have so, so, soooo much to do before we move and I'm not sure I can get it all done. That being the case, I'm note sure how much actual blog writing I'll be doing for the next couple of months. Once we move, however, I'm sure I'll be back with a vengeance as I sort out the new chapter in our lives.

But, this is my 300th post, so I do have to write something. Let's go for my 30 top 10's from recently.... These are in no particular order; more a stream of conscienceness posting, OK?

1. I just got an insulin pump! It is so cool and it will really help to control my diabetes. It is the coolest thing and it can calculate exactly how much insulin I need for each meal or anytime. I must say, though, that it is really weird having something attached to me 24/7.
2. Sweet Girl just turned 6 years old. This is a post in itself, really. We had a wonderful party and she enjoyed every minute of it.
3. Champs may soon move from a 3-day trip to a 2-day trip. Or, his boss may make it a 2-day trip just before we move, so we'll see....
4. Sweet Girl got a free swingset. She loves it. I painted it blue and Champs worked like crazy putting it together. Again, a post in it's own right.
5. Sweet Girl is done with kindergarten and couldn't be prouder of herself. Shortly before school ended, she was tested at a third-grade reading level, so we couldn't be prouder, either.
6. I had a third Longaberger party since January. While it was very successful, I think I am basketed out for awhile!
7. I have a possible job interview on Tuesday morning. Well, I do have the interview, it is the job that is possible. It would be a virtual job, allowing me to work evenings, weekends, from home, etc. I'll know more on Tuesday.
8. I am so happy that "Last Comic Standing" has returned! Love that show!
9. You know, salvation belongs at the top of every "top 10" list, so please pretend that was right up there.... I am beyond grateful to Jesus for His grace.
10. I have a new boss at work and I love her. She is supportive, flexible and understanding. She's also helping me cope with the changes that are coming with great humor.
11. I bought the cutest black high heels in the world and believe it or not, they are comfortable! And soft! And I bought them on clearance!
12. I recently discovered I must admit that it is a bit confusing, but I'm learning. I need to borrow a teenager to give me an instructional tour.
13. My Longaberger consultant is retiring after 20 years. She had a sale of TONS of baskets and pottery that have piled up over the years. I bought some wonderful pieces at a great price. Of course, I could have spent much, much more. I'm actually proud of myself for holding back.
14. Sweet Girl starts new daycare on Monday. I was blessed to find a great daycare provider whose husband is a teacher. They're a great couple and will work to keep Sweet Girl's learning up over the summer while ensuring she can run around to her heart's content.
15. Today is Princssis' birthday! Happy birthday, pretty lady!
16. I have an idea for a business when we move to Another State. Everyone I've told it to thinks it is a great idea. Now I need to create my business plan, etc. Nothing like a little goal to keep you motivated.
17. Our zoom-zoom car (97 protege) is heading to the 94,200 mile mark and doing wonderfully. I love my zoom-zoom car!
18. Champs, Sweet Girl and I are heading to Hometown City, Another State the second week of July. We are hoping to have job interviews and to find a place to live. We also want to get a storage place for some of our stuff and hopefully find someone who will watch our kitty, Gus, for a month between our visit and our move date. Again, a post in and of itself.
19. My dearest friend, Geekwif, is getting a puppy and she and the Geek are beside themselves with joy over little Razz.
20. Speaking of the Geek and the wif, they are Sweet Girl's godparents. They gave her the most lovely kid's bible for her birthday. This is an easier version for her to read, and it should carry her through to her early teen years. She loves it. Way to go Geekwif!
21. My friend, Amy, has a great website where she's promoting her new CD, "Sparkle". It's Christian pop/rock and a great album. Sweet Girl is Amy's biggest fan and can sing along to almost every single song. I just got a signed copy of the CD today for Sweet Girl. Though we've already got the album, she'll love having her own copy.
22. The local wading pool just opened. It's about 2 blocks away and Sweet Girl can't wait to go. It has a fountain tree for the kids to play in.
23. I was told today that I have the two most important features a woman should have; a great personality and a great pair of legs. Since it was my husband's co-worker and he said it in front of Champs, then there is no guilt and I can just enjoy the compliment. I needed that!
24. We took Sweet Girl to the build-a-bear workshop for her 6th birthday. You've never seen a child have so much fun! The best part: she choose a velvet bear and dressed her in a purple dress. The voicebox she chose? A lion. So my girl has a sweet bear dressed in purple who ROARS! Tell me, what does this say about my daughter? I'll tell ya - Helen Reedy better not stop by here!
25. Champs bought me the most beautiful diamond "mother and child" necklace for mother's day... Now if I could just pick a great present for him for this father's day...
26. I found the cutest frame in the store the other day; it is decorated with daisies, buttons, denim and lace. It says "Sweet Girl". Well I had to buy it! How could I not?
27. When we move to Another State, hopefully (and most likely), Champs won't have a traveling job. Oh, it will be so nice to have him home all week! It's been three years now that he travels three days a week and it is wearing on him, me... even Sweet Girl.
28. OH! I almost forgot! Champs saw his eye Dr. today and though his right eye is still rejecting the transplanted cornea, the rejection is getting better and the doc feels strongly that it will be completely done rejecting in in the next few months. Woo Hoo!
29. My brother-in-law, Tank, is home from Iraq and he is safe. We are proud and truly grateful.
30. The last of my 30 Top 10 is just this: I have so many people who I love and who love me back. They make my life complete and give meaning to all the crazy things I do. Champs, Sweet Girl, my mom, Geekwif, my brothers and sisters, Champs brothers and sisters, friends from church... There are so many. When life gets to be too much (as it has lately), they really anchor me. Thanks, all.

So that's my 30 Top 10. Hope that suffices for a 300th post; the weight of expectation aside. I have to admit it took a lot of thinking, especially near the end of the list, but I think I'll come back soon and talk about a few of these. Night night!

Here are some comments from the post:
Geekwif said...
Yay for 300! Sorry I didn't finish that little project in time. I actually am working on it, believe it or not. Time is just very limited.

A few comments on your top 30 -
#7 - New development? This is news to me. I must know more!
#12 - I've checked out Myspace a couple times, but can't get over the teenie-bopper aspect of it. I think I'm getting old.
#20 - While we would be proud to be parents of such a beautiful little girl, you may want to add the letters g-o-d to that one to avoid any confusion. :) Glad you like the gift.
#24 - Ha! Hear her ROAR!!
#30 - You are always welcome. It goes both ways.

Blond Girl said...
Yeah, Geekwif, Champs saw that about #20 and advised me to change it before you saw it... We were laughing that, if you did see it before I fixed it, you would be soon calling to see when we were dropping Sweet Girl off to her new home.... I've fixed it now. And yes, you are the most wonderful G-O-D-parents!
I'll tell you about #7 soon. We need to get on the phone!

princssis said...
Congrats on #300! Great list, especially #15! :) Thanks!