Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Nobody Wants to Be Us

(I am choosing not even to address the ridiculous lapse in my blogging here :)

I titled this blog this because that is exactly what I just thought as I looked around the waiting room that we are at and have been in since about 6:15 this morning.  No one wants to be the family in the waiting room at a hospital but we are even lower than that, we are the family that all the other waiting families feel sorry for.  We are the one's nobody wants to be.  This is quite an unusual feeling for me.  Most of the time, people would LOVE to be us!  Our family always has fun together and we are pretty close knit bunch.  We have a lot of things that most people don't have and want to have. 

Not today though.  Today we are just the family camped out in the waiting room who has the biggest group waiting, who has been here the longest and the group the staff gives the most attention to.  NOBODY wants to be THAT family.  I don't want to be that family.  I want to be the family that is spread over several states and they are all thinking about normal, everyday things like work, school, etc.  I DO NOT want to be the family that can think of NOTHING besides that precious, precious man who is the patriarch of our family lying on that operating table with his actual life in other's hands with NOTHING to do but wait. 

We are waiting here in the Shands waiting room in Gainesville, FL.  We are waiting in south Georgia.  We are waiting in Montgomery, Alabama.  We are waiting in Nashville, Tennessee.  We are waiting in Jingzhou, Hubei, China and we are waiting in Northern Luzon, Philippines.  Waiting and praying, praying and waiting. 

My aunt just read a joke that one of her school teacher friends had put on her facebook.  It went something like this: "You shut your eyes at home in your bed for five minutes at 6:30am and when you open then it is 7:45am.  You shut your eyes at 1:30pm at school for just five minutes you open them and it is 1:31pm."  You get the point.  That is what it feels like today except worse!  You look at the clock and it is 11:25 and you look up expecting it to be somewhere in the 12:00 hour and it is 11:29! 

I BELIEVE in the power of prayer.  I BELIEVE in The Great Physician.  And, I BELIEVE in Romans 8:28 and that all things ARE going to work for good!  I also believe that I might loose my mind before I get to see these things come to pass!  I thought earlier that as miserable as my recovery was from my surgery that I would MUCH rather be the one asleep on the table than the family out here waiting! 

PLEASE remember PaPa in your prayers, even if you are reading this after Tuesday.  He has a long road ahead of him with this recovery.  I will be SO HAPPY when this is behind him and NaNa!!! 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Counting My Blessings

Today, I had a meeting with another sales rep from another company. Yesterday, I found out that I have my first ever sinus infection. Now, admittedly, I never dress and have my hair and makeup done like I just stepped out of a magazine but today I was doing good just to get to work. I am wearing pants that are a little too short but they are comfortable and they were clean, my shoes are not cute but they are very comfortable, and there isn't any hint of make up, even to try to cover up my Rudolph like red nose (from all the sneezing and from it CONSTANTLY running) and my hair is in a unbrushed pony tail. She comes in wearing a dress that hits right above her knees, boots that come up to her knees, make up done just right and not a hair out of place. By the time she left I felt way grosser than I even had before. Couple that feeling with what can only be described as a TERRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD work month that today is the end of and the effects of the sinus infection and let's just say that I wasn't exactly a ray of optimism and sunshine this morning. These are the things I was thinking:

I am NEVER "put together" i.e. dressed well, hair, make up and jewelry all in place.
My car is always messy.
I am always behind on housework and laundry!
I cannot cook well, I do try but it is certainly NOT one of my "talents."
I always have good intentions but I never do as much with church and for those who are sick and/ or are needy as I know I could.
It has been over five months since my wedding, I STILL have not finished my thank you notes.
I always seem to run late.
Whenever there is an awkward moment, I am never going to come up with something to say to make it less awkward. For that matter, I am not even going to be able to keep it at the same awkward level, I am ALWAYS going to make it worse.

All of these things were running through my mind today and the devil was really using them to get to me until I remembered all of THESE things:

Whenever someone needs me they NEVER have to wait on me to get ready. I have no problem going in public a hot mess if someone needs me. That means something to people that you care more about being there as fast as possible in their time of need rather than how you look when you do get there.

I never tell my husband or a friend or family member that we can't do something fun because I have to clean house. I try to keep it where I would never be embarrassed if someone walked in with no notice and I AM trying to do better in this area but I know people who miss out on things a lot with the people they love the most in the world to clean house. I vow to try to find a happy middle ground between living in filth and making my house so clean that no one can be comfortable in there and I miss out on things keeping it so clean.

I married a man who doesn't really care about what we eat. He's just as happy eating McDonald's as he is when I work for hours preparing a four course meal. I am trying to cook more and get better at it but I am also trying to manage my time better and spending hours in the kitchen after we get home from work and not eating until 8:30 does not fit into my time management plan.

I am ACTIVELY working on getting better about helping others. I made this goal when I had SO MUCH help after the surgery but I have fallen VERY short of my goal. On this one, I choose to look at those who I have helped and think about those that I am GOING to help because I AM determined to do better. I am just SO thankful that I have SO MANY examples of how I want to be around me and that have helped me in my own life!

I am SO GRATEFUL that SO many people loved us that I have this problem with the thank you notes!!! What an AWESOME problem to have! (I know, I know, I'm getting on them!!!)

One of the main reasons I always run late is because I HATE getting out of bed with my husband! I told him just the other day and I mean it, I am SO excited every morning that I wake up and he is there! I feel sorry for people who live with lots of people before they get married because I don't think they ever get that excitement of getting to wake up with the person you love most in the world every morning! It's definitely not a good excuse for being late but it IS a blessing!

I never seem to have the right thing to say to people in an awkward moment but I ALWAYS have the right thing to say to God and I always make a point to pray for people when they ask for it or I see the need and I am so grateful that I have that avenue of prayer and that I never have to worry about what I am saying to Him.

When I walk in a room, no one looks at me and says, "Wow! She looks great!" or "Look at that outfit, I want to look like that!" but there is a little seventeen month old who's face lights up every time I walk in the room. To her I always say the right thing and she never cares what I am wearing or if my hair is done she just cares that I am THERE and that she knows how much I adore her. She doesn't have a lot of words she knows yet but there she will never learn one that will bring my heart any more joy than when she says, "LaLa" :)

I have blessings that I remember a lot (health, great family, the best husband, money to pay the bills, food to eat) to be grateful to God for DAILY but these are some that I overlook A LOT and that I seem to only look at the negative sides of these things. Today, more than anything, I am grateful that God gives us the ability to see that glass half full!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Me Vs (cough, cough) I Mean With "The Boys"

A few weeks ago Kesia one of my friends I originally met when I worked at 911 called and asked if her son Devin (8) could stay this past weekend with me. I made sure we were going to be in town and made sure Matt was ok with it and I told her yes. The first time I kept Devin he was 2, he has stayed with me a lot and has never been any problem. Then I had the idea that it would be "easier" and more fun if we invited Colby, our nephew (Matt's sisters oldest) to stay too. The two had met and really hit it off at our wedding but since they don't live in the same neighborhood, don't go to the same school, and don't go to the same church they haven't gotten to see each other since. It was a good idea even if I was wrong about it being "easier."

Towards the end of the work week Nathan, Leigh's husband, called Matt if he could get away this weekend. He had gotten to use his boss's condo in Orange Beach and since Leigh couldn't go he wanted to take the brother in laws on a guys fishing weekend. Matt at first said he couldn't go. We had the boys coming and he had another commitment at church on Sunday. I have to say here that Matt is a VERY hard worker. His job is not one where he goes and sits at a desk all day and leaves at 5:00. He travels to Troy (about 45 minutes- 1 hour away) almost everyday and I don't think he has ever left at 5:00. It is nothing for us to be at work at 6:00 or even 7:00 multiple nights a week. Then on the weekends he is constantly busy doing "home" stuff (i.e. painting, building stuff we need around the house, mowing the lawn/ lawn maintenence, etc.) at our house and his house that we are trying to sell. The man hardly ever has any time to relax and he never complains about it. So, I went into planning mode trying to convince him to go so he could just relax and have fun for the weekend. Finally he agreed to go.

The boys left right after work on Friday and me, L, L, and E all went out to eat. We were having a hard time deciding where to eat so we finally agreed on a "progressive dinner." We started out at Panera for soup, then we went to Moe's for dinner, then to 32° for dessert! It was so fun! Ellie is so big now that she just sat with us in the booth's! I wish I had taken more pictures because she had so much fun! At 32° we met Kesia and Dev and my weekend was off!

Dev and I got home about 9:30 and I was EXHAUSTED! I set him up with a computer in the guest room, put a DVD on in there and told him that he could stay up as long as he wanted because we were sleeping in the next morning! I also set the milk and the oj on the bottom shelf of the refridgerator and sat out the cereal, a bowl, spoon, and glass on the counter so if he did wake up early that he could fix breakfast and watch cartoons. I told him he could wake me up whenever he needed me but that if he didn't need me not to wake me up until 9:00! (I will post a link later where you can nominate me for babysitter of the year!) I lit a path from his room to mine with night lights so he could get to me easy and evidently it worked because he would come in there three times before I finally got up (for the last time) the next morning!

At about 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning I woke up to the beautiful morning sounds of Romeo (our dog) throwing up. Lovely. Nothing like getting your weekend off with a bang than by cleaning up dog puke out of the carpet. I got everything cleaned up and went back to bed. About 7:30 Devin came in and woke me up with, "Laurie, there is a bug in my room." So, I get back up go in there and find a ginormous roach. I need to interject here with if I listed the three things I hate worst in the world they would be (in order) 1. Sin 2. Roaches 3. Throw Up. But, being the super woman I am ;), I got a shoe and killed the bug. I will admit that I had to have Devin clean it up and flush it but I had had my fill up cleaning up gross things by this point. I went BACK to bed for a couple of hours and was able to get some uninterrupted sleep. I got up he had his second breakfast and I had my first.

We then got ready and went to pick up Colby. Devin was really excited and Colby was too when we got there! We immediately went to Louise's for lunch then they played for a while in the back yard before we went with Louise and E to the park to burn off some energy. After the park we went to Faulkner so we could watch the basketball game while the boys played in the multiplex (think multiple basketball courts, a volleyball court, and multiple raquetball rooms) that is attached to the gym. This was pretty successful minus a few bumps that are expected when a bunch of boys that age are playing together. After the games we went with a big group to Dairy Queen for dinner. The boys each got to order (and ate and finished!) an adult meal and a dessert! They were really happy but WOW were they "sugared" up! All of my steps that I had taken to wear them out and I just "refueled" their energy tanks! So, we went home and they were BOUNCING off the walls!

The plan was to play the Wii but, of course, I couldn't get the stupid thing to work! Plan B was Uno. Not the same level of energy burning but it was the best my exhausted self could come up with! So we played for about thirty minutes I told them to get ready for bed and they did but with a lot of extra stuff involved! I was thinking there was NO way I would ever get them to sleep. I finally got them in their beds and I went to devin's room first to turn off the light and tell him goodnight. Right after that I walked down and did the same with Colby. When I walked back down to Devin's room HE WAS ASLEEP! I walked back down to Colby's room and HE WAS ASLEEP TOO! They must have been EXHAUSTED (mwuhaha! :) and I was not complaining!

My plan to get a solid night's sleep didn't quite work out because Romeo decided about 2am that it was time to get up for the day and look for Daddy! Grrr... Finally, Sunday morning rolled in and I got up and checked on the boys and they were still asleep! This was a little before 7 so I took the opportunity to get a hot, quiet shower! THEN I finally had to WAKE them up! We all got off to church and stopped and got breakfast and we were still there on time! That, my friends, was a WIN! The boys were SO good during services and they seemed to both have a good time in Bible class! After that was lunch at Leigh's where they both ate and then played outside for a couple of more hours before we all realxed and watched a movie. As the movie was just about over MATT WALKED IN! The boys were excited to see him but NO ONE was more than I!

I am glad I survived the weekend and, most of all, I am glad that both the boys had a really good time and asked if we could do it again! that, my friends, makes it a WIN and me ONE COOL AUNT! Now, I just need a few months to recover and we WILL do it again! This time though, I more than willing to give up the "cool Aunt" title and move back over to being the one who cooks and cleans up after the "cool Uncle" and the boys!

To make sure that the weekend ended on a super good note Matt had planned a fun date night at our favorite restaurant after church Sunday night! We had some really good sushi and even better conversation and quality time. All together I am calling it a very successfull although EXHAUSTING weekend!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Funny Thing About Dates

Although I was never alive or at least of dating age when a date was very simply defined I always wished I had been! This "hanging out" and just being around each other a lot while you figure if you like each other always seemed so much more complicated than boy likes girl so boy asks girl out and if girl is interested in boy she says yes and they go eat, to a movie, etc. Then if they have a good time boy ask girl out again and girl says yes. If they continue to have a good time it becomes regular habit and the girl agrees not to say yes to any other boys that ask her out and the boy agrees not to ask any other girls out. As we all know, MOST of the time this is not how it happens for couples and we are no different, it didn't happen anything like that for us.
After Matt and I had been dating for a while we started discussing when it was that we actually started dating. These are the facts: I met him in my interview at the end of October (although some like to say they could see the writing on the wall at this point that seems QUITE impossible to me. I was VERY unhappy in my current work situation and I had NOTHING on my mind except getting this job. I did remember a guy being in the interview but I couldn't tell you ANYTHING about him. In fact, a few days later he would ask me to be his FB friend and I would have no idea who he was.
Back to the facts: I started full time in the beginning of November. Sometime around the second week in January we exchanged phone numbers and started spending time talking in the parking lot for a long time. This is around the same time that I found out that he had just gotten out of a three year relationship just a few days before. Even though I knew at this point I was developing feelings for him, I KNEW I wanted NO part of that. Proving once again that the heart is STRONGER than the mind, that didn't stop us from squeezing every extra second together at work that we could. I found myself missing him when I went home and looking forward to when he walked in every morning. Even though we had exchanged numbers already it took a week or so before we actually started calling and texting each other. Then that started happening a lot and it was over the course of these conversations that we both agreed he needed to be by himself for a while since he had just broken up with someone. We agreed but kept talking, never seeing each other outside of work but talking.
That brings us to January 17th. Thanks to Leigh's urging I invited Matt over to watch a movie that night with me and Leigh. We all watched We Are Marshall and when Leigh went to bed we stayed up and talked for a while. Even though it went completely against our own directions, he kissed me goodnight before he left. I knew I was in trouble RIGHT THEN. The next day we both snuck away from the office in separate vehicles and met at Farmhouse Kitchen for lunch. Even though they have some of the best food I have EVER had there and it has since become one of my favorite restaurants I could barely eat a bite and when Matt held my hand as he walked me to my car after he paid I thought I was going to lose the few bites I had managed to swallow!
We started seeing each other regularly from then on and haven't stopped :) Because there is no real first date per say we decided that the night he came over to our apartment would count as when we started dating since it was the first time we kissed and when we stopped fighting it. It would be a few weeks before our families and friends would find out and a few more before our co-workers and bosses would but the decision has been made and it stands, January 17th is our dateversary! People think we moved fast but if I had known then how good it would be now, I would have hurried things along even more :)

"Scarcely had I left them When I found him whom my soul loves; I held on to him and would not let him go Until I had brought him to my mother's house" Song of Solomon 3:4

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Plan

A few days ago I was working downtown and on my way back to the office I passed by our old apartment and it occured to me that it has been just over a year since we moved in there! When we moved in to that tiny one bedroom apartment I had just met Matt and he was still just one of the new people that I was working with! The plan was for Leigh to set up the living room as her "bedroom" and then I would have the place to myelf in August when she got married. That old saying "If you want to make God laugh tell him your plans." comes to mind. I'm glad that God has the ultimate plan and He can laugh at mine!

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Out With The Old?

For the first time ever, I am really not sure about letting go of this year. Not because I don't look forward to wonderful things in the new year but because 2011 has been SO GOOD TO ME! Here's a quick recap:

In October of 2010 I was able to quit my job with the city and join the living and I got a job working during the day so I could sleep at night! PRAISE! I met a lot of people that I really liked at my new job including the Industrial Supply Manager, Matt.

In December of 2010 Leigh and I moved from our house into a tiny little apartment downtown. The apartment was super nice but super tiny! We knew that Leigh would be getting married and moving in the summer so we grinned and bared it knowing that it was temporary. The plan was for me to live there alone after she got married and moved in with Nate.

In January of 2011 I went through a bit of a change at my new job transitioning from mostly operations work to a lot more sales. I also went out on my first date with Matt from work.

In February Janet and I celebrated our 6 month Kidneyversary and Matt and I celebrated our first Valentine's Day!

In April I went with Matt, his parents, his sister, and her kids to Disney World! SO FUN!

In June we all went into wedding season with Leigh. Her first of nine showers was in June and the countdown to August 25th was on! Also on the first Sunday of June while I was in Trenton for one of Leigh's shower's Matt texted me and let me know that Dirt had just baptized him! We had been studying and praying and I knew he had been doing a lot of studying on his own but this news still came as a surprise and the best news of the year!

In July Matt took me on a riverboat cruise for the 4th to watch the fireworks. I LOVE fireworks and he used them as the perfect backdrop to ask me to marry him! Now we entered into DOUBLE wedding planning mode! We decided on September 24th, 28 days after Leigh and Nathan!

In August Leigh married Nathan in a ceremony that was just beautiful, romantic, and all the things a wedding should be before sailing away on a cruise to the Bahamas for a week!

In September our little Ellie turned ONE! It was bittersweet. She is growing so much which we are so grateful for but at the same time a little sad that she is not a baby anymore. That girl can walk and she can say "Mama" "Dada" "Titus" "Walt" "LeighLeigh" "LaLa" "LoLo" "Matt" "Nate" "MawMaw" "PawPaw" (or her version of these things) and can tell you what a puppy dog says, a kitty cat says, a duck says, and what Santa Claus says. She can walk like a champ and she makes the FUNNIEST expressions. She has developed quite her own little personality this year and A LOT of it! Also in September I got to walk down the aisle to the man I have no doubt God created just for me. We married in a ceremony that was just perfect and had a reception afterwards that was better than I ever could have imagined! We left that day and drove to Atlanta before flying out the next morning to the Secrets St. James resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica! Best week of not only the whole year but maybe of my whole life!

In October we got settled in to our new home and started settling into our new life together.

In November we celebrated Thanksgiving with my entire family in Trenton the weekend before Thanksgiving and celebrated on Thanksgiving day with Matt's family here in town.

In December we went "home" to Valdosta and had Christmas with the Walker's and came back and celebrated Matt's 31st birthday with a lot of our family and friends at Matt's favorite restaurant, Miyako! On Christmas Eve we went over and celebrated with Matt's grandparents and aunt, uncle, and cousins and then went over and had Christmas with his immediate family. Before midnight Christmas Eve we had already received WAY MORE than we deserved! Since we got in so late we just stayed up and waited on Santa and celebrated our very first Christmas together just the two of us at our house a little after midnight on Christmas morning! Later that day we celebrated with my immediate family after Mom, Dad, and Grandma arrived. By the time we went to bed that night we were POOPED! WONDERFUL FIRST CHRISTMAS!

See why I would be a little hesitant to let go of 2011? My life has changed more than ever but all for the better! God has already surprised me by giving me way more that I could have ever even asked for in 2011 and I fully trust that He will take just as good of care of us in 2012 but I am still putting 2011 away as my year ever. So far :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

I must say that either Santa has REALLY lowered his standards or he got me confused with someone else this year, there is NO WAY I was good enough to deserve all I got! I am making myself blog this morning because I want to remember this Christmas! First, this is what our Christmas season has looked like:

December 9-11: Christmas with the Walker side in Valdosta and my high school homecoming.
December 11: Matt's birthday party at Miyako.
December 15: Girl's Night Christmas Party and ornament swap.
December 16: Melissa and her girls came into town and spent the night with us.
December 17: Santa Claus came to our neighborhood and the nieces and nephew came to see him and have a big brunch.
December 18: The Young Professionals class from University had their annual Christmas party and Dirty Santa.
December 22: Office Christmas party.
December 23-26: OFF WORK!
December 24: Christmas with the Sulkosky side of the family.
December 24: Christmas with the Morris'.
December 25: Santa came to our house so Matt and I had our first Christmas together.
December 25: That afternoon my parents and Grandma Garner came in town and we had our Walker Christmas.
December 26: Christmas dinner at our house.
December 27: Christmas with the Bond's.
December 30: My parents will leave to go back home.

I don't THINK I left out anything except THE WORST stomach virus I have ever had (20th-22nd) and passing some kidney (or bladder, yet to be determined) stones (24th-NOW). Even those things had NO CHANCE at spoiling this Christmas though!

I will be posting some actual pictures later but these are some of my favorite gifts I received this year:

  • A Nikon D3000 camera from the world's greatest husband!

  • A cooling memory foam mattress topper from my parents!

  • Some more pieces of my Lenox Holiday Christmas china from my parents!

  • A Dyson vacuum cleaner from my in laws!

  • A Waxing Poetic necklace from my in laws!

  • A Kindle Fire from my in laws!

  • A steamer from my sister in law!

The two gifts that I CAN'T WAIT to post pictures of are the one's my sister's gave me! This year we decided that instead of buying each other gifts that we would make each other something. Since we are all on Pinterest we all had a plethora of good ideas and we just thought it would be something fun and less expensive. Louise and Leigh both got the crafty gene that skipped completely over me! Louise made a wreath for my front door using Hydrangea's similar to the ones used in my wedding. It is SO PRETTY! Leigh made such a cute hanging calendar that you use dry erase markers to write on and this magnet board that is one of THE CUTEST things I have ever seen! I can't wait for you all to see them!

I need to tell you all that I am quite convinced I am the MOST blessed human being that has ever walked the face of the Earth! To have been blessed with the most wonderful family that I was born into and get to be raised how and where I was and then get to marry THE BEST man that God could have ever created for me who has a family that I just LOVE getting to be a part of! If I started actually counting my every blessing now there is no way that I could live long enough to name them all. I just could never begin to thank God enough!

This husband of mine, this best friend/best nurse/ best helper/ best at making sure the garbage gets taken out/ best gift giver/ most thoughtful/ best provider/ best hugger/ most loving/ sweetest/ best Uncle/ best gift giver/ best cookie decorator/ even does the dishes sometimes husband of mine is the present God really outdid Himself with. I have always had a wonderful family, although I try not to take it for granted and I love them with all of my heart, I have never known anything different. The same goes with my great friends. I have always hoped that if I ever had in laws that I would love them and have a good relationship with them. But, in my wildest dreams I never even knew a husband could be so great so I didn't even know TO wish for it! God took my greatest expectations for a husband and basically said, "THAT is the best you can dream up?!? Thank goodness I was in charge of creating him!" and gave me something SO much more and SO much better!

I was SO, SO sick Tuesday night. Not a I just feel bad and need to be left alone to recover sick....NO, a somebody had to be there to help me and clean up after me, no less pleasant in the world kind of sick! This man was so wonderful. He never complained and never made me feel bad for the high level of grossness that he was having to deal with or his lack of sleep. He put himself in harm's way (I can't imagine anyone in their right mind choosing to even breathe in the same air as me for fear they might catch it) to help me not only LIVE through it but to help make me as comfortable as possible. He had me at the Doctor when they unlocked the doors that next morning and did all he could to help me recuperate from that night of terror. What did he get for all of his hard work? Well, me passing stones and feeling terrible just as all of our guests were arriving. Bless his heart. I know he wasn't planning on pushing the "in sickness" part of our vows so early into our marriage!

All the gifts I received may sound like they are the reason this was the best Christmas ever but I assure you, they were not even the icing on the cake, they were just the sprinkles. I can honestly say that spending Christmas with Matt and my family made for the greatest Christmas. Plus, truth be told, as great as all of those gifts and all the others are, I got the greatest gift back in September.

I hope all of you had just as wonderful of a holiday season as I did!