Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Blond Girl Update 24.3

Merry Christmas!

It's time for another quick Blond Girl Update; 24.3 weeks in to this journey I've been on. We'll call this one "my day in pictures" and focus on Sunday. Why? Because I would have written this on Sunday evening, but I've been so busy since then that I haven't had the chance.

First, I will backtrack to say that I drove home on Thursday. The new tires performed flawlessly and I made terrific time, arriving home in the early afternoon. I will admit that I was was worried about leaving so early in the morning (4:30 a.m.), and the possibility of hitting a deer. My "discern-o-meter" was on high and I prayed a bunch - and was grateful to get home with no car or deer issues.

On Friday and Saturday, we worked on last minute Christmas preparation, including decorating the tree, which Sweet Girl refused to do even one minute before I arrived. After all that, we set our sights on a family day for Sunday.

Our first order of business was to head to the mall so that Sweet Girl could see Santa. She was so excited to see him so that she could let him know that she had been a good girl and to ask for those special presents she was dreaming of. Of course, she had to dress in her holiday best for the big guy:

After Santa, we all headed over to Sears to get a long-needed family picture taken. Long overdue as in, the last time we had a picture taken, Sweet Girl was two and I weighed 100 pounds more than I do now. We went through the whole photo shoot, only to realize that I left the discount coupon at home and they didn't have one there to honor. Not willing to pay too much for our sheets, we only bought one composite, which they printed up there, and ordered two sheets from the lab - intending to order more later. Now, I rarely show off our family on my blog, but here is a picture I took of our composite:

Turns out it was a good thing we hadn't spent too much on our photos... When we got home, Champs needed to go to the hardware store to pick up a piece of tubing to fix our faucet, so off he went while Sweet Girl and I picked up the house. Champs wasn't gone 15 minutes when the phone rang; when I said "Hi Honey!", he responded, in the most tired voice, "I've had an accident. The car is totaled." I have to admit that I was in shock. I had just celebrated the 10th birthday of my car. I'd just paid $430.00 for new tires. I had just driven 550 miles to get home for Christmas. Champs had just left the house. This had to be a joke, right? Wrong. I wasn't surprised, actually. Even though I'd arrived safely home, my "discern-o-meter" hadn't calmed down yet and somewhere in the back of me, I was still waiting for something to happen, and praying for the safety of my family. I'm glad I had been. As Champs explained, he was driving along, looking for the store he wanted, when the light turned red. He didn't realize it in time and hit the car ahead of him, which was coming to a stop. That car hit the van in front of it. He wasn't going that fast, approximately 20-30 mph, but as you can see, using the car ahead of you, instead of your brakes, to stop your car can do a good bit of damage:

This, ladies and gentleman, is what we used to lovingly call the Zoom-zoom car. Her new name is now the Boom-boom car. I picked Champs up at the scene of the accident (it was night - the picture you just saw was taken on Monday morning) and took him to the hospital, where he was checked out. He had a mild neck strain and hurt his wrist where the airbag hit it, but other than that, he was fine. Sore, but fine. The doctor gave him a note to miss a day of work to recover and we spent a lot of time on Monday dealing with the insurance company, working out the details. The insurance inspector will see it sometime this week and until then we won't know for certain how they'll handle it. We're pretty sure it will be a total loss; it would cost them much more to fix it than it is worth now. Like Champs said, the airbags alone are worth more than the blue book on the car.

I'll miss my car; as I told Champs, I guess it is appropriate for a married couple. I drive the car it's first mile, and he drove it the last. It is sad, but the last few days underscore what is truly important. A car is a hunk of metal and plastic; my husband and my daughter are my very breath. Somehow, we'll get another car. Somehow, I'll get back to Minnesota next Sunday with Sweet Girl - by plane, train or automobile - to finish up my assignment at the home office and then return home on January 17th. We'll figure it out - we always do. But when I was gathered around the Christmas tree this morning, watching my husband and my daughter open their gifts, I was filled with gratitude to God for sparing my husband, for keeping my daughter out of the car when it was hit, for getting me home safely. There will be a parade of cars in my life - some even as special as my Zoom-zoom car was to me, but there will only be one Champs and one Sweet Girl.

And they were my best Christmas present this year.

Here's the comment from this post:
Star said...
Merry Christmas. The pictures are lovely. Sweet Girl has the prettiest shiny hair! And you don't look old enough to be her Mom! You are right about the car. It's loss is inconvenient , but unimportant. It will all work out.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Blond Girl Update 23.4

Hello folks!

Time for another Blond Girl update and this one is full of fun news!

I AM GOING HOME FOR CHRISTMAS! We have new tires on the zoom-zoom car, so I am ready to go. I am driving home tomorrow morning, leaving around 4:30 in the morning or so. I'll be home until 12/30, when I have to head back to Minneapolis. While I am there, however, I intend to enjoy every possible moment I can with my hubby and my girl. I can't begin to tell you how much I've missed them. I'm not going to enjoy coming home, but it's not too bad; this time I know how long I am going for and when I am going home.

When I head back, Sweet Girl will be coming with me. We've taken Sweet Girl out of school for those short weeks - her teacher is going to pull her schoolwork together and then my sister-in-law, Liz, who runs a daycare, will help me with the homeschooling. I can't wait to see her and spend time with her and I know that while Champs wants us home permanently, he's looking forward to a break from the single dad routine he's been living for the last 4 months.

Sweet Girl and I will head back to IL permanently on Thursday, January 17th and I'll start working from home as soon as my system is installed. I cannot wait!

In the meantime, though, I wish all of you a very merry Christmas. As for me, I can't wait to see all my IL friends and family, decorate the tree, serve Christmas dinner... it's been a long 5 1/2 months! Just think... pretty soon the Blond Girl updates will be all done - and life will be back to normal! Who knows? Maybe my blog will even become a regular activity for me again. For now, though, Merry Christmas, Glory to God in the highest and...

Blond Girl out

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Blond Girl Update 22.00

Yes folks, I came to Minnesota 22 weeks ago today - and it is time for another Blond Girl update.

The most important news comes first: I am going home for Christmas! I will be heading home on December 20th or 21st and I cannot wait. Talk about counting the days! When I get home, I will be very busy with decorating, shopping and cooking for Christmas. One thing I’ve learned here is how to make a killer cinnamon challah bread pudding with brandy butter. I’ll be making it for our family’s Christmas Eve celebration and I hope everyone likes it. As for decorating, that will definitely be first on my list because our Sweet Girl has asked to hold off Christmas decorating until I come home. The other day we were talking on the phone and she related this story: “Mom, we were driving and I saw the most beautiful Christmas lights! The house was all lit up and it was so pretty, I couldn’t tear my eyes away from it until we drove past the house and then I looked at it in the mirror until I couldn’t see it anymore. It was so beautiful and I can’t wait until we decorate!” I explained that she and daddy would be decorating before I came home. “No!” she objected, “I want us to decorate as a family. This is the first year I’ve decorated and I want to put the ornaments on the tree and I want Daddy to hold me up so I can put the angel on top of the tree.” Now I ask you, how can you deny a request like that? I sure can’t. When I get home, I'll drop my bags on the floor, hug the two of them like crazy and start digging the angel out of the Christmas boxes!

Now on to news about going home to work: As it stands, the jury is out on two possibilities. Either I will be coming back to Minneapolis on December 26th for a 3-4 more weeks or I will go home for Christmas and be able to stay at home and start working virtual then. It all hinges on questions of technology. My training is complete; at this point it’s all project management and working out the details. Our goal is for me to go home and stay home, but nothing is known or settled yet - so much so that I haven't been able to make travel plans yet, since I don't know if I am taking my car home or flying home and leaving the car here for my final stint here in Minneapolis.

In other BG news... Well, I don't think there really is any other BG news! Other than a mild snowstorm (6-8 inches) last Saturday and another 5 inches on Monday, nothing of note has occurred. I work, eat, sleep, repeat. In other words, I'm marking time until December 20. I am trying to schedule as many fun things with Minneapolis friends as possible and to get some Christmas shopping done before I go home.

I wish I had more exciting news to share, but I don't. You might think this is silly, but what I do have is a prayer request, if you are one who prays. As I said earlier, I want to go home. Sweet Girl is learning to knit and has joined a knitting club - and I've never even seen the needles in her hands. Champs has a new job and I'm not there to kiss him goodbye or cook dinner for him when he comes home. When I came here, we thought it would be for 16-18 weeks. I am now heading toward 22 weeks and looking at the possibility of a total of 24 weeks if I go home permanently on December 20, and a total of 28 to 29 weeks if I can't go home until mid-January. This much time away is just hard on our family. I'm not saying this to whine, but just to ask that you remember our family in prayer and ask for favor and a downright miracle with the technology that needs to fall into place.

Some comments from this post:
colleen said...
Time spent with family is always precious. It's going to be COLD up there, I bet. Where Michele lives is even colder.

kenju said...
I think it is very sweet that your girl wants to wait on the decorating until you get there - but it puts additional pressure on you. That pudding sounds wonderful. I will indeed pray for you guys!

Smiler said...
Sounds like you're all going through some challenging times. Which will make the holidays spent together that much more precious. Your cinnamon challah bread pudding sounds out of this world. Yum! Thanks for you thoughtful comments on my blog. Come back anytime!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Dream Hero

The other morning, I had a dream. Now, I almost never remember my dreams and if I do remember them, it is because I have them just before I wake up. The other morning, I woke up with a rare dream clearly focused in my memory.

For anyone who hasn't read my blog in awhile, it is important to know this: I am currently in Minneapolis for work training to be a brokerage customer service representative. I've been here 5 months and I've seen my husband, Champs, only twice since I left. Soon I will be going home to work virtual for The Big Company. I can't wait to go home.

This was my dream: I was walking in the park I used to play in as a little girl. I was headed toward a clear glass room with a phone in it. I had to go to the room in order to meet up with Champs. I wasn't going to call him on the phone; he was going to be there.

As I walked closer to the room, I noticed tiny little green grasshoppers. I continued to walk and they got thicker and thicker. As I walked toward them, they would fly away in a wave like a glittering curtain. The thousands of insects moved as one, much the same way a flock of birds rise from a tree in flight and swoop off, all in the same direction. Surprisingly, even though I detest insects and I didn't like them flying near me, I was calm and continued to walk toward the glass room in the middle of the park.

As I got closer to the room, the grasshoppers stopped flying away. They weren't green... they turned to red-brown and they were dead. There was a layer 6 or 7 inches deep of the dead bugs. As I walked, my heels came out of my shoes and the dead bugs stuck to me. I couldn't reach the room - the bugs got deeper and harder to walk through. I was beginning to panic and I was near tears.

Just then, Champs strode up behind me, picked me up and said, "kinda gross, huh? Well, I'm here" and then walked me out of the dead grasshoppers, past the flying ones and out of the park. I felt calm and safe again. Just then, my alarm clock went off.

I spent the day wondering what it meant... I know it confirmed that I feel safe with my husband. But he came to me - I didn't go to him, as will happen in real life when I return home. And I never reached the phone. Did it represent my job? Champs took it that it is his job to keep me safe and help me feel safe in situations where I feel trapped. I guess now you know why I call him Champs. He had the nickname before I met him, earned in soccer, but it means so much more than sports to me.

Verrryyy interesting. I must say, though, that I hope I never, ever encounter grasshoppers like that!

Here are some comments from this post:
Jean-Luc Picard said...
I know what you mean; my dreams tend to vanish after a minute.
Michele sent me here.

Sara said...
Thanks for visiting my blog...and I enjoyed this post about your dream...I agree with Champs...I think that is what it means.
Me - I can't ever remember my dreams - but, I do know if they are good ones or nightmares!!!

2:20 PM
Blogger utenzi said...
Michele sent me over to see you, BG. I read your update post below. There's been quite a lot going on in your life since I last visited.
I love finance and had no idea it took so long to train for the brokerage rep position. You have to be quite confident and brave to hold down a position like that at home, without the normal support situation of being in a cubicle farm. I'm impressed with your ambition. I hope you're able to return to home and family very soon!

Michele sent me. I like your blog....unique. I don't usually remember my dreams. The dreams that are premonitions freak me out...even if they are good. My dreams are usually extremely good or extremely bad.

kenju said...
You ought to think about this one often, BG, so you can puzzle it out. What do grasshoppers mean to you?