Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
I just want to say thank you to everyone for your COMPLETE and staggering honesty.
Aside from a few anomalies, I think my theory has been more than proven.
I didn't know that I'd be looking for a winner, but I think it's obvious that Swampy is the clear winner for the sheer variety (albeit a pretty weird variety) of stuff in his truck.
Well done, Swampy!
Other prizes go to:
Kelli for best one-liner.
(Can we start a list of Kelli-isms?)
Naomi for the least amount of clutter.
Sig for the most practicality.
Dad for the most escapist.
Brenda for the most encouraging response (I'm not filthy! Just busy!).
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
If her car is anything like mine it serves more as a moving home than a car and contains:
- at least two full changes of clothes
- two pairs of shoes
- two empty cereal bowls
- shopping bags
- coffee cups
- cell phone accessories
- a lifetime supply of pregnancy reading material (though this may be just my car)
- several magazines and books (aside from the prego reading!)
- dog toys
- about 500 straw wrappers
I have a theory about cars. I think that the older you get, the LESS like a moving junk-drawer your car becomes. Most people my age have cars that look like mine, and I can't think of many people over the age of about 45 that have cars with more than a few crumbs or the odd travel mug.
So...help me prove or disprove my theory. What's in your car? Are you older or younger than 45 (you don't have to give specifics, just over or under)? I'm sure there exceptions to my rule, but I can't think of any!
A haiku for my car (sorry about the formatting!)
My car's a junk draw'r,
Babe will only make it worse.
Half-way to fifty!
Monday, August 27, 2007
My weekend got to start by spending Friday night with my Noonie helping her get ready for college. My heart was so full of pride and love all night that when it came time to go home, I couldn't hold it any longer. We cried and hugged in the driveway, and I had so many things that I wanted to tell her that they all came tumbling out at once, "I love you, I'm proud of you, and always wear your shower shoes."
Luckily, we both had a giggle over this and I was able to go home. I don't mind telling you I cried most of the way home.
It's not that she's SO far away, or that she's not coming back or that I won't see her. It's that her life is taking off now, and I can't wait to see where it goes. I hope I get to be a part of it.
Ok, I have to stop now. (tear, tear)
Saturday, I had the pleasure of attending Nene's baby shower. What a joy to celebrate that little miracle who is well on its way here! Not much longer and we'll get to FINALLY meet little Presh!
Then on Saturday evening, we took Dad out to dinner at the Lexington to celebrate his 60th Birthday. It was such a wonderful night filled with laughter and good food that I didn't want to leave.
Yesterday was spent lounging and folding laundry (I wouldn't have it any other way), and it was very hard to leave my quiet, dark house this morning with everyone still sleeping.
I'll try to put up some photos later today.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Lauren decided last night that we HAD to make cheesecakes (plural) from scratch.
This, of course, didn't start until about 9pm. So...you guessed it, the 'cakes were still cooling when I forced her to go home at midnight.
So much for getting that bathroom cleaned.
Oh well. We had a good time anyway.
Before making any moves in life. ANY moves, apply the question:
"Does that sound stupid to you?"
If the answer is yes, you should re-think.
Here are some examples:
"I think I'll reproduce."
Does that sound stupid to you?
"I think I'll sell my car and use the money to buy a forklift."
Does that sound stupid to you?
"I think I'll quit my job and join the circus. My kids won't mind."
Does that sound stupid to you?
"I think I'll paint the kitchen orange."
Does that sound stupid to you?
I could go on.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
- Why doesn't head hair grow as fast as armpit hair?
- Or leg hair?
- When one is pregnant, the whole world suddenly seems pregnant.
- Never fails: Buy a new purse; spill M&M's in the bottom of the new purse before the end of the week.
- "Drama Queen" is contagious.
- Doesn't matter when you "went" last. You lay down on the OBGYN's table and instantly have to pee.
- Put any number of women alone in a room together and you can count on hearing gruesome horror stories about labor and delivery. Especially if one of those women is pregnant!
- A good friend is hard to come by, but a mother and sister are irreplaceable.
Forward this to 10,000 of your best friends before noon today and you will be very lucky.
Let's hear some of your words of Womanly Wisdom.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
I just spent my evening deep cleaning the carpet, among other household chores. (I actually have a little energy--can you tell?)
I went to take a shower, and came out to find my take-out cup completely destroyed and root beer ALL OVER the carpet in TWO ROOMS.
He is nowhere to be found. What a shock.
I think I actually know what it feels like to have an aneurysm now.
If you have any questions or want to talk about anything you've read, please let me know!
I pray that God touches hearts the way mine was touched upon reading Carla's story.
Being Real 6
I have 3 "friends" that have had abortions. Let me clarify the word friend. Two of them I haven't seen for years and one no longer talks to me. They are in denial, only they don't know it. They said things to me like, "it has just never bothered me the way it has bothered you." or "it doesn't affect me anymore" or "it was a tough decision but a good one for me."
I have some questions for you. Why do you drink like a fish? Why do you smoke like a chimney? Why do you swear like a sailor? Why do you under or over eat? Why the medication for depression? Where is the peace? If your decision was so right, shouldn't you be at peace with it? Why are you so angry?
You are running girls. Running.
The only way to healing is through the pain.I have had amazing resources to face into the pain. Forgiven and Set Free by Linda Cochrane is a book that I couldn't have done it without. I'll Hold You in Heaven by Jack Hayford is another one.
I have spoken at our church and I have led a bible study. I have talked on the phone for 3 hours to a girl who eventually did have one. I submitted my experience as a sworn affidavit in a court case. The rest of my story remains to be written.
My children will someday ask me what an abortion is. They will get an earfull. Ya think? I will be speaking at the state capitol in January, holding my sign that says I Regret My Abortion. Someday I want to stand outside Meadowbrook with only love written on my face or volunteer at a pregnancy center.
The truth will penetrate all of the lies. I have no doubt.
I never even typed what I thought about the father of my child. I denied him fatherhood. Husbands have taken their wives, boyfriends have taken their girlfriends to get abortions and they are hurting too. There are millions of hurting men and women. Millions of dead babies.
Abortion hurts us all.
And just what would my 16 year old child be like today???
Friday, August 17, 2007
Pat and I told everyone and their dog that we were pregnant. We were more than happy. We were walking on sunshine.
When I was about 10 weeks along I started to bleed and had an ultrasound. There was no heartbeat. The doctor I was seeing must have gotten straight A's in her How To Be Heartless classes. She was simply not concerned in the least. I was wasting her time. She asked me what I was going to do. What?! She asked me if I wanted a D & C. If that was a drug, give me some.
As she walked out of the room she flippantly stated, "Oh, you'll pass a plumsized clot." HHHMMMMM That is so not what happened.
I went into labor. I had contractions and was simply not prepared to deliver our baby in my hand. I remember screaming, "My baby, my baby, my baby!" Pat wanted to help his wife, but didn't know how. Who kept screaming?!
I looked hard at my child wanting to memorize everything, take a photo with my brain. Tiny feet with tiny toes, hands, fingers, arms and legs, a tiny rump and a sweet little face.
And then it hit me. Oh, dear Lord! I was this far along before my abortion! I had killed one, such as this?! A tiny unborn baby?!
There was absolutely no denying the humanity of this precious child! Nothing like truth slapping you upside the head. I finally understood. I got it.
This was the first in a series of events that led me down a path of repentance. My pastor mentioned abortion now and again. I thought I might throw up when he did. How could I reconcile what I thought was "my choice" and the faith that I claimed I now had? I could not. I repented and asked Him to forgive me for what I had done. I curled up in a ball in His lap and cried. I whispered, "Help me, please. I don't know what to do."
He heard me. I finally found The One. The only One who could remove my wet blanket of shame and bring me out into the light.
His name is Jesus.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
He is cleared to drive (which means he can come to my first OB appointment tomorrow!!) and start putting more and more weight on his leg. The doctor was very excited to learn that Rich hasn't used any pain meds in the last 3 days and encouraged him to keep stretching his joints to keep them mobile.
God is so good and has taken care of us abundantly on this.
Thank you, again, to everyone who has helped us survive the last two weeks. It's really meant the world to both of us.
Now, at long last, here are some x-rays that we might have stolen from the doctor's office while we were alone in the exam room. Tee hee.
This is an x-ray from Thursday night in the emergency room. Ouch, huh?
This is an x-ray of Rich's hip, so you can see how far the "nail" goes down his femur and where the screws are.
Being Real 4
I assumed that all of those crying girls were just not as mature as I. After all, I was relieved and ready to get back to my life. That is what I was told would happen. I believe the relief came from leaving that Shop of Horrors without a "thank you," "you're welcome," or a "please, come again."
Actually I was supposed to come back for a check up. Yeah, right. I went home to my apartment, took my pain pills and slept the day away.
I headed up to see Pat at college that weekend. I clung to him for dear life. I made him promise me that I would have more babies. Promise me. Say it out loud. He did with a very confused look on his face. Poor guy. One would think that there might be classes offered after an abortion. Getting On With Your Life 101. Make The Nightmares Stop for Beginners. I could not shake the uneasiness I was feeling. An anxiety that drove me to be constantly on the move.
I was a substitute teacher from 8-3pm and then worked at a group home from 3:30-10:30pm. EVERY DAY! If I sat still long enough I might start thinking and that would not be good. I drank, I ate too much or too little and exercised obsessively. I began to hate myself, hate my body. A self-loathing that drove me to desperate thoughts of suicide. I became depressed and oh, so angry.
I was one angry, hurting woman. I wore shame like a wet blanket. I declared myself to be pro-choice. I had one, so that made it right, right?! I would see those billboards for Prolife MN with cute babies and I would swear and flip it off and seethe.
There is a name for all of that behavior. It's called denial. A woman who has an abortion will stay in denial for 7-9 years. By then, careers have changed, a husband found, a family is started, a baby is wanted. The bricks that you have used in the wall to protect yourself start to crumble. The lies you believed unravel when replaced with truth.
Patrick Stream and I were married. We started trying to have a baby. We were thrilled to our toes when the pregnancy test revealed that we were indeed pregnant!
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
If you remember, when we left off with Being Real 2, Carla was considering an abortion. Let's pick up where we left off. Here is Being Real 3.
Please be warned and read with caution--this one was the hardest for me to read.
Love you, Carla.
The appointment was made for an abortion. I was a tormented soul. I went through great mental anguish. On one hand, I thought I could have a baby. I could do it. On the other hand, how in the world could I? On the outside I appeared to have my ducks in a row. On the inside I was a mess. What I really wanted more than anything was to curl up in a ball on someone's lap and cry. Cry until I couldn't cry anymore and in a tiny voice whisper,"Help me, please. I don't know what to do."
The day came. I had a ride and didn't have any idea what I was in for. Those that support abortion will say that it is like getting a cavity filled or a tooth pulled. No big deal. Another lie.
Bear with me, I do not remember everything. There are parts of my time in the killing fields that I cannot account for. I know I was there from like 8am to 1pm. I just don't know the exact order of events anymore. My brain is trying to protect me, I guess. Thank you brain. I do remember the smell of death and fear. It was oppressive really. Nobody smiled. Nobody looked at anyone else. Nobody made small talk. There were so many people! Like herd after herd of cattle. Boyfriends with girlfriends, mothers with daughters. We all knew why we were there even if it wasn't discussed.
I think I read some papers. I remember some kind of video. Looked like a cartoon drawing of a bunch of cells. Another lie. I was taken to "counseling." The counselor said,"Will it be Visa or Mastercard today?" She commented on how self-assured I seemed and that I should be proud of myself for having a plan. Lies. I waited. I remember a girl wandering around and crying. She was about 7 months along. Totally showing, feeling the kicks I am sure. She was begging all of the nurses to help her. With all of their compassion, they avoided her. She was a nuisance. I was so grateful to not be her. I think I had an ultrasound. But I am simply not sure. They told me I was 9 or 10 weeks along. How else would they know? But then couldn't they have just lied?!I was brought into a little room. The nurse babbled on about nothing. She told what was happening AS IT WAS HAPPENING.
The doctor came in. Did not even look at me or talk to me. In fact he seemed angry with me. He was rough, mean, and cruel.(Could he have been anything else?) All business and with such a look of disgust. When abortion supporters say that abortion is "between a woman and her doctor" are they talking about him?! I don't remember a lot of the procedure. Only parts. The word horrific comes to mind. A loud vacuum sound that I will never forget and pain like I have never felt. My insides torn out.
I sat in a recliner when it was over, with a heated blanket on me and eating peanut butter and jelly toast. I was simply relieved to have it over so I could go home. I could move on. Another lie. I distinctly remember looking around to catch someone's eye and maybe smile with relief. Every single girl that sat in a recliner was crying.
When I left for work yesterday, I made Richard promise me that he wouldn't try to go down to the basement or take a shower or anything dangerous while I was gone. He swore he wouldn't do anything foolish.
I got home to discover that he had pulled the refridgerator out from the wall to "clean behind it."
As Kristi would say, "OMS."
Monday, August 13, 2007
Thank you again for all your prayers.
Everyone at work has been relatively understanding except for ONE GUY. Apparently last week he was on the rampage and thought it was ridiculous that I had to stay home with Richard. He reportedly wanted to call me at home to ask me to come in to work. Nice, eh?
This is making me a little cranky.
I'm going to have trouble holding my tongue when I have to talk to him today.
In an effort to contain myself here's a couple haiku dedicated to my dipwad co-worker. It is a little non-traditional, but I think you'll like it.
Dear Mr. Dipwad,
I'm sorry it was such a
problem for you when
Richard broke his leg.
I guess my priorities
are diff'rent than yours.
Thursday, August 09, 2007
Monday, August 06, 2007
Saturday, August 04, 2007
I am very tired, so I am only going to relay the facts of the last couple of days. I will try to fill in as time and energy allows.
On Thursday evening at church softball, Richard was rounding 3rd base on his way home when his feet got tangled beneath him. He did a barrell roll and didn't get up again.
I'm told that there was a loud POP noise, which I will be forever grateful to God that I didn't hear.
When I made my way (unsteadily) to the field, Jared came around the corner toward me. I said, "What happened?" He said, "He broke his femur."
When I reached Richard's side his face was gray and he was slurring his words. We stabilized his leg with third base and two softball gloves, and the team gathered around to lay hands on him and pray.
After what seemed like an eternity (6-12 minutes) the ambulance arrived. The EMT crew secured Richard's left leg in a brace designed to straighten and stretch his leg out. They loaded us in the ambulance (me in the front seat) and took off at 90mph to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.
We made it to the ER by about 8:15 (I think).
They assessed his leg and we discussed with an Orthopedic Surgeon immediately. The femur was indeed broken. A compound fracture that appeared to have punctured the skin and "popped" back in under the skin. (I know, right?) It was determined that surgery would be necessary after his leg would be held in traction over night. They performed the procedure to put his leg in traction there in the ER in front of God and everybody--everybody but me. I sat in the waiting room with all of our amazing friends who refused, even as I weakly tried to persuade them, to leave my side. I don't know how to express my thanks for this.
When the procedure was finished, 27 pounds of free weights were pulling Richard's leg back into alignment by a rope and pulley system. It was disgusting.
We got to Richard's thankfully private room at about 2:30am (I think) and spent a very, very hard night together.
The next morning Richard went into surgery at about noon and was finished at 2:30. He emerged groggy and confused but with a brand new titanium rod in his left femur.
He spent the rest of the day and night in pretty substantial pain, but was mostly weighed down by his own frustration and anxiety.
Thankfully, I was relieved of my bedside duties for about 8 hours when Mandi (my angel) came to stay with Richard for the night. I was able to get about 6 hours of sleep before heading back to the hospital this morning.
When I arrived I found an even more frustrated and confused Richard. We spent the day together both dozing in and out of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel until his physical therapy appointment.
And that's when everything changed.
My heart caught in my chest with pride and joy as I watched Richard sit on the edge of the bed, then stand, then WALK to the bathroom where we washed his hair and got him on the road to feeling a LOT better and a LOT more optimistic. This great victory combined with some much-needed Mom / Richard time (everybody just wants their mom in the end!), made Richard a very different man by the time he sent me home tonight.
This has been an incredibly difficult couple of days, but all I can think is how grateful I am and what a glorious God I serve that He would protect my husband from something so much worse and that He would work such miracles as:
-There will be no cast on Rich's leg!
-He put 25% of his body weight on his broken leg the day after surgery!!
-The incredibly helpful and loving staff we've come in contact with in every new department.
-The amazing love and kindnesses we've been shown by friends (who cleaned our house, brought food, and made meals) and family (who have shown unfaltering patience and steadfastedness).
-The unbelievable fact that I've been able to survive on only 8 hours of sleep in the last two days!
-I could go on.
The point? God is good.
Thank you so much, everyone, for your thoughts and prayers. Richard is very touched by your thoughs, kindnesses and generosity.
I will try to keep you posted. He has two physical therapy appointments tomorrow and he wants to go home tomorrow. I'm going to shoot for getting him home on Monday, though.
Turns out, these "bones" have a lot more meat on them than I thought I had in me.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
I have decided not to open the "Being Real" series up for comments because I'm not interested in an abortion debate. I want Carla's words to be read for what they are--a testimony of God's healing power.
Being Real 2
It was Rebound guy.(Not McStreamy. We hadn't even kissed.)I couldn't believe it. The pregnancy test was positive. My mind kept repeating no no no no no but the truth does rise to the surface. Yes. I was pregnant. I was 24, lived in a dump, my family wasn't speaking to me, I drove a 1980 Chevy Chevette and worked part-time at a daycare center and Lerner clothing store. I was working on getting my teaching license so I could hopefully land a teaching job.
I told Pat and my roomate. 2 people.
My roomate said she would drive me. She had driven lots of girlfriends to get theirs. A Chauffeur of Death, if you will. Nice. Pat didn't say anything. We were friends, he was heading back to school and I was alone. I wish I would have sought out others to be informed or simply to listen and be there for me. I was terrified. Out of my mind. Terrified. What would I do? What kind of life would I have? I rushed headlong into a decision before I could even let my thoughts settle. I sorta fantasized about having it.(no, not an it! A baby! My baby!)I could almost let myself feel excited to be a mom but those thoughts were immediately shut down. No. My mother took my sister to get an abortion. Her own grandchild. My example. I went to the phone book and looked in A's. Right there. Right in front was a long list of places. I picked one. I dialed the phone and made an appointment at Meadowbrook. My problem would be over, finished, solved in one week. I could get on with my life.
OR so they told me. So I thought.
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Here is the first post, Being Real 1.
If I don't jump in with both feet this post will never be written. Here goes.
I grew up in a family where talking about feelings or emotions was discouraged. There was zero meaningful communication about anything. My mother's weapon of choice was the silent treatment. My parents checked out of their parenting gig when I was probably 10. They followed other more worthwhile pursuits. I was cast adrift on a sea of self-doubt and loneliness with a shoreline of despair in my sights. A girl searching for love. A recipe for disaster. What other people said I was-I became. I started drinking at age 14 to escape the pain of losing my grandmother. She was the only one who showed me unconditional love. I miss her still. Along with the drinking came the suicidal thoughts and the desperate plans of a desperate girl. Hey, wait a minute there are boys out there! Boys who will be nice to you for only one reason. Since I had no moral compass to speak of I was quickly drawn into behaviors that I should have turned from. I was used by many. I believed I deserved no better. On this path of self-destruction I met an extremely abusive man. He kept that under wraps until we were engaged. He beat me and one night tried to rape and kill me. I ran. I ran to Connecticut to be a nanny for a loving family. I was healing, or so I thought but the loneliness and longing to be loved led me to have an affair with a married man. I honestly thought he would choose me over his wife. Ha. That's what they all think. On the rebound I found someone else. Thought it was love, wanted it to be but it wasn't. He should have just been a good friend. I left Connecticut after my contract was up. I came home to a very icy reception. My family wasn't even at the airport to meet me. I had to beg my sister to come after promising that I would pay her for gas. WELCOME HOME, CARLA! I found an apartment with a co-worker and started partying.
There he was. The man I would marry. I saw him and felt like I had known him all of my life. Patrick Stream. I fell in like. Wanted to do this right for once. Just be friends and have fun and get back on track. I wouldn't even kiss him on our first date.
The world came crashing in when the pregnancy test came back positive. Stay tuned.