Tuesday, November 27, 2012

We

Life is still a crazy jumble of emotions. As I was experiencing a breakdown last night, I called my husband on the phone to talk things out. I walked into the parking garage of the hospital in tears and sat in my car trying to compose myself for the 40 minute drive home.

I talked to him about where things are currently standing with my dad and some of the decisions that we are all making together. I was stressed, worried and concerned. But in that moment of panic, my husband said the magic word.

"We."

I didn't feel so alone in that moment. He was on my side, supporting me and understanding my point of view. To be a part of a "we" with him is the greatest thing to ever happen to me.

Christmas number 9 as a couple! So grateful to have him as my sidekick in this crazy life.
Decorating our tree tonight. Christmas makes my house happier. Much needed!

Let me tell you about this man I married. On Sunday while we visited my dad, my husband showed just what kind of guy he is. My dad was getting ready to eat lunch. His tray had several items on it: glasses, phone, papers, napkins, etc. One of those "etc" items was his urinal bottle. And it was not empty. For some reason (frequency of visits, I guess), I failed to notice it sitting there. When I did see it, I told my dad that I was sure he didn't want to eat lunch with THAT sitting there and he said I should call a nurse to empty it or I could just do it myself. "No thanks" was my response (obviously).

That is when my husband said "I'll do it" and I shot him the craziest look. "What? It's not a big deal." He got up, walked over, grabbed the bottle and went into the bathroom to take care of the problem.

My husband dumped out my dad's urine.

This new reality is not easy. Life is different in every way. But my husband is doing everything he can to be the support that I need at home and for that, I want to yell from the rooftop (or from this blog) that I love him so very, very, very much. He is my angel. He is my peace. He is my happiness. He is my "we."

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Our "First" Thanksgiving

The thought that keeps running through my head is "never say never, Michelle." It wasn't too long ago that I said, "I never want to host Thanksgiving. Too much pressure. Too much work. No thanks."


This is my dining room table. Those sparkly pretty place mats were only $2 each at Walmart. The cloth napkins were wedding gifts. This will be the first time using them. And the first time eating at this table. We aren't formal folks. 

And that. That is a turkey in my fridge. And a veggie tray.

We are hosting Thanksgiving. Don't tell anyone but I'm actually looking forward to it. Shhhhh. It's a secret. Chris is in charge of the turkey (he is using a smoker to smoke it. Scary). I'm making mashed potatoes and candied yams. I've never made candied yams in my life. We'll have appetizers and wine will be flowing early on in the day while I cook and clean. 

It is the combining of 4 families. 11 people total. Me and Chris. Chris' brother and fiancee. Chris' parents and sister. My sister, husband and nieces. My mom is heading to San Jose to my Aunt's house (where we go every other year). We will visit my dad at his rehab center after we eat. I'm struggling with that A LOT but I know it will be okay. My mom is seeing him on her way to SJ so he will have some company in the morning. 

Life is tough right now. It could be tougher though. On this Thanksgiving Eve, I want to give some recognition to all that I am personally thankful for:

-I'm thankful to my husband for being a constant source of support for me and my family.
-I'm thankful to my sister and mom for stepping up and making things happen. They are amazing.
-I'm thankful that my dad is okay. He isn't 100% like we wish he was. He has a lot of work to do but I'm thankful for his humor, his heart and his kindness as we all experience this challenge together.
-I'm thankful for my in-laws as they have been so caring and supportive as well. As always.
-I'm thankful for extended family and friends who have showered us with love and assistance. 
-I'm thankful for my cousin Christina who picked up the tab for lunch on Monday AND stayed with me after I got a flat tire (and a parking ticket) while we were at lunch.
-I'm thankful for my house and the space it provides to host family on this day.
-I'm thankful for my cat for being our (very early) alarm clock, our snuggle partner and a source of fun and laughter. 
-I'm thankful for my health insurance and the ability to see a therapist to help with my worries and anxieties.
-I'm thankful for my gym membership for giving me a place to go that makes me feel better about myself. Even when I can see my stomach rolls in the mirror when I'm working on my squats!

I could easily be angry during this time but I have nothing to be angry about. We are strong and we are working together to be positive and proactive. I refuse to be angry. People are suffering a lot more than we are. We are blessed. 

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. Be kind to one another. Appreciate what you have. And if you are planning on shopping Black Friday sales, please, I beg of you, don't leave family gatherings to hit up the stores on Thanksgiving night. No tv/computer/whatever is worth leaving family. It just isn't. 




Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Same Dad

I visited my dad last night in the hospital. We are hoping he is just days away from entering the rehabilitation center so he can start therapies to get him home. While he isn't the same physically, his mental state is to be admired.

When I arrived last night, he was in a wheelchair. I was told that he sat up for lunch as well and ate dinner in the chair too. It was so great seeing him sitting upright. His speech was sounding better and his voice sounded like him again. It was a good visit. I laughed more with him than I had all day. Sure, I cried all the way home but that is par for the course these days.

He was wanting to get back into bed to rest but because he is 6'3" and nearly 250 pounds, not just anyone can help make that transition. The nurse was on the hunt for 2 men to assist her. We waited and waited. We were facing the door of his room and we saw a man walk by. He wasn't an employee of the hospital. He was probably visiting a person in the wing. But as soon as he walked by, my dad said "there's a man. He can help." I said the same thing, at the same time and laughed. I told my dad how we are cut from the same cloth and he said "yes we are."

It is painful seeing my dad unable to be independent (for the time being). It is painful seeing the loss of spark in his eyes, to hear his speech slurred and to see him struggle with simple tasks. But when he speaks and cracks jokes or, like last night, give us a lesson on proper grammar, I see my dad. My dad is in there. We believe in his ability to beat this, to fight through the barriers this stroke has created and to be back to us soon. Hopefully, really soon.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Welcome to Adulthood, Population: Me

Saturday morning, my dad had a stroke. I've been in a fog for about 48 hours. I'm not sure when I'll break through.

I'm the emotional one in the family. Nearly everything sends me into tears so you can only imagine what the last two days have been like. I held it together well yesterday while at the hospital with him but as soon as I got in the car and walked into my house, the tears wouldn't stop.

We are in the early stages. Unsure about what our future is like. So much has changed in just 2 days. But my family is strong and determined. My dad is strong. I believe that he will work hard to get better. It could have been worse.

I've never felt more like an adult than I do now. Life before Saturday at 10:00 seems so trivial. The outpouring of love from friends and family has helped keep me strong. Prayers are being sent up above constantly and I am so appreciative of the people I have in my life.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

5 Things Thursday

Is 5 Things Thursday a thing that happens on blogs? Maybe Tuesday is the normal day for it. I'm a rule breaker.

1. I've downgraded myself to a 10K for my upcoming race. The half marathon just wasn't going to happen. During my training runs, I would get to 6 miles and start to experience issues. Not leg issues or hip issues. Other issues. I decided that being stuck out in the middle of nowhere during a 13 mile race just wasn't a good idea. 6.3 miles is feasible. I was stressing over the half marathon distance and when I decided to change distances, I felt so much better.

2. Remember when I said I downsized to a smaller purse? That didn't last long. I had to switch back to my large purse earlier this week. My problem with the small purse was I would put my keys and sunglasses on top, over my wallet. So when I needed to get my wallet out, I would have to remove the keys and the sunglasses and it all just became a huge pain. My new rule with my large purse is to keep things simple and each night, remove trash/papers/junk/unnecessary items. Purses, why do you even exist?

3. Speaking of downsizing, I've downsized my social media footprint. I know. Shocking. A while back, I wrote an entire post about how I love social media. I would have predicted that my exit from Facebook would have happened prior to the election but it occurred the next day. After a status which I still contend wasn't harsh, cruel or mean, I was "confronted" by someone who didn't agree with a statement I made. Now, I don't agree with a lot of statements people make on Facebook but in order to keep things fun and civil, I don't comment. What is the point? Facebook arguing is silly and immature, in my opinion. I don't have that kind of Facebook presence....ever. But this person insisted on picking and picking at every thing I said until I finally had to plea for her to stop. I begged. I understand-it is the internet. You get back what you put out but again, I'm not that kind of person. I would NEVER go on and on to someone just because their opinion doesn't match mine. What kind of world is this? Along with a few other reasons, I deactivated my account Wednesday morning. Did it feel strange? Yes. Do I wonder what is going on? Yes. I explained to my husband that I miss the time when my head was void of the thoughts and goings-on of others. The time when I knew what I was doing and no one else. Basically, I miss not being all up in everyone's business. And everyone not being up in the mine (or as much as I want to put out there). The still feel the pull to check in but I haven't. And I won't. I deleted the app from both my phone and my ipad. I know posts are being created and pictures are being uploaded but it will have to remain a mystery to me. Sometimes I wonder what people in other countries are doing right this second. Facebook will have to a foreign country to me from now on. A place I know exists but that I can't visit. My head feels clearer already.

4. I'm wearing a black blazer to work today with my black skinny jeans and boots. I feel so fancy.

5. We are taking a trip to Apple Hill this weekend and I'm beyond excited. I told Chris that I want to stop by a winery, grab a bottle of Merlot and drink the bottle this weekend. Yes, yes I will. I also ordered Wayne's World so I plan on sitting on the couch, with wine and possibly cookies and watching Wayne and Garth on Saturday night.

Perfecto!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Rules for Election Day: Social Media Edition

Election Day in America is always a bit crazy. With the 24 hours new cycle, no story, no angle is off limits. But with social media use at an all time high, the gloves come off and people will type anything that comes to mind without putting much thought into it. Here is a guide to how to survive election day online.

1. No, you aren't going to move. Don't even think about typing it.
     Oh, what's that? You are going to move to Canada/Mexico/Amsterdam/Italy/Australia/China if ________ wins? No. No you aren't. You aren't going to move for several reasons. One reason being that it is completely absurd to move your life elsewhere just because your candidate didn't win. Stop saying you are going to move. You aren't. Alec Baldwin didn't and neither will you. And a special shout-out to my Conservative friends: This really applies to you because you aren't going to find a country with more right-leaning values. It ain't gonna happen. Canada should be the LAST place you threaten to move. Do some research and then move to Utah. You should be safe there.

2. Don't be ignorant
    I know this is a lot to ask for some people. They are going to spout off their thoughts, unfiltered, wherever they can. But please, don't be ignorant. Don't actually type that people didn't vote for Obama because he is black. And don't type that people who vote for Romney are stupid rednecks. Just don't do it. Be intelligent in your online vocabulary. I will respect you more if you argue FOR your candidate rather than against the other guy. It is easy to take shots at someone you don't agree with. Stand up for what you DO believe in. If you want to read examples of what not to type, go to Twitter, type in #whyImnotvotingforRomney or #whyImnotvotingforObama. Read some of those tweets and then DO NOT type those things.

3. Not everyone thinks like you and that is okay.
    Personally, I wouldn't want to live in a world where everyone has the exactly same political leanings. SCARY. If you state your case intelligently, I have no problems thinking "well, I don't agree but guess what, that is okay." Do I want people judging me based on my political thoughts? Hell no. So I won't judge you based on yours.  But if you are ignorant, you are hidden/unfollowed. Simple as that.

4. Don't be a sore loser/sore winner
    Neener Neener Neener, my guy won! The world is a better place! I made it happen! Go me!
    Well, the end of the world is near. That guy won. The world is a crappier place. How do YOU feel about knowing you made the world a crappier place?
     That isn't cute.

5.  Don't punish yourself
  During the conventions and debates, I channel surfed to see what the talking heads were saying and I ended up wanting to smash things in my house, including my head. Election night isn't the time to explore and get curious about what people are saying. Stick with the channel that you agree with and enjoy. Don't punish yourself and risk a concussion by channel surfing. You don't want to spend election night in the ER. Or maybe you do....

6. Just stay away. 
   If you are afraid of having a Hulk moment, just stay away from social media all together. Don't even watch the news. Or watch it on mute. The news will have percentages and graphics eye assaulting you all night so its not like you actually need to hear them speak. Turn on some of your favorite music or read a book. Every so often glance at the tv to see if anything has changed. Turn off your phone and put it in a drawer.

7. No one cheated.
 When my middle school students are playing a competitive game and one team loses, they often call the other team cheaters. Without hesitation, I explain to them how childish and immature it is to call a person a cheater just because you lost. So don't use that word tomorrow. The likelihood of either side cheating to win in slim to none. Calling people cheaters is one of the lowest forms of immaturity. And guess what? People are ALREADY doing it. It makes my skin crawl.

8. When in doubt, just remember....

Friday, November 2, 2012

Ode to Tootsie Rolls

The Tootsie Roll. My life wouldn't the same without thee.
You are soft and chewy. You are shaped unpleasantly.
Your color is not pleasing to the eye but I look past that.
Your odd taste is delicious.

I like you rolled up in paper,
I like you tucked inside of a pop.
I like you tiny,
I like you long and skinny,
I like you any which way you are.

Your flavors vary. Traditional is my favorite.
Some people don't like you.
Those people are no friends of mine.

If you are near, I find comfort in your presence.
But it is a mixed feeling, for if I consume too much of you,
I feel sick. And guilty.

Oh Tootsie Roll.
Until we meet again.
Stay brown.