Sunday Morning Rush

Yesterday the creative juices were flowing so my husband and I stayed up until 1am. Definitely not the best idea we’ve ever had. Then this morning the cat decided he wanted to get into Moriah’s room at 6 am. Usually she will sleep until 7 but of course the one night we stay up late she is going to wake up early. This chain of events threw off our whole morning. We woke up early but some how we were running late. In the spirit of being efficient I got the baby bundled up as fast as I could while my husband put on his coat and shoes. I passed off the baby and he left to strap her in the car while I got my boots and coat on. Hurry, hurry, hurry!

I slipped my foot into the first boot and stopped my rush. Something didn’t feel right. I pulled my boot off and turned it upside down. A stream of Cheerios made their way out of my boot and onto the floor. “How did I get Cheerios in my boot?”

A big pet peeve for my husband is my things laying around. It drives him crazy. sometimes i remember to put them away but most of the time i don’t. My purse, the diaper bag, my coat, and specially my shoes all get left sitting where I take them off. He will never understand why I can’t take the time to put my shoes in the closet or hang up my coat. After all I just have to open the door to the closet and put them inside, but I rarely ever do this and he loves me anyway.

I proceeded to shake the boot to make sure they were all out and then I dug in the bottom of the closet to find my second boot. I found it, grabbed it and slipped it on in haste. But, it didn’t feel right. I stopped my rush again, slipped off my boot and turned it over. And what do you think fell out? Another stream of Cheerios. Okay, my husband is playing a trick on me. “Alright I get it. I left my boots out again.” I thought to myself.

I grabbed my coat and headed out the door. As I got in the car I looked at my husband and asked “did you put Cheerios in my boots?” With a chuckle he said “nope, guess I’m not the only one that noticed you didn’t put your boots away again.”

Gah! She got me. I guess Mama needs to learn to put her boots away! Maybe someday, but probably not anytime soon. 🙂

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The Little Blue Dress

Sometimes I need a reality check. I posted before about a pipe break in our main living area. I’ve been walking on concrete floors for a little over a 2 months now. I realize it takes time to coordinate repairs but walking out to see my main living space in such madness has been wearing my nerves thin.

Last night my sweet baby woke up at least 5 times wanting to eat. I walked downstairs in a dreary fog at 7 am greeted by my musty smelling floors I was going to wake up. I proceeded to finish the feeding ritual and watch the morning news while I tried to find some ounce of strength to start packing boxes so the new floors could one day be put in. Then my husband calls to tell me that the production schedule will be pushed back into February and I feel my nerves are about to burst! Out loud I prayed “my baby isn’t sleeping well, my house is a mess, and my milk supply is dwindling. How am I supposed to feed this baby in all this madness?! Help me Lord!” Anxiety took over and what I thought was starting my day turned into me pacing a cross the cement floor. I found myself staring out the window blankly. The baby was sound asleep and my home was quiet. “I need fresh air,” I thought.

I grabbed my keys and walked to the mailbox to find a package from Target. “What did I buy?” I walked back to my house and opened the package to find a little blue dress, I didn’t buy anything, someone else bought my daughter a special dress.

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Me sometime around 1984

The tears started to flow. It was definitely a special “mommy moment” for me. When I was little I had a very special little blue dress. It was made by a neighbor and given to my parents when I was little. It was MY dress and when you have a younger sister there are very few times in life when something is yours and doesn’t have to be shared.

Our family dedication was in January. My mom asked if she could get my daughter something special to wear. I told her to go ahead and pick out something special for my daughter to wear. I trust her judgment. The package came and it was a little blue dress. I’ve been trying to plan a special party for our family to commemorate this wonderful occasion but all of my plans kept falling through. Nothing was working out the way I wanted it too and on top of that my house was in such disarray that I could barely think straight.

Now I sit, in a fit of tears realizing that I don’t’ need a party. I’ve been extra hard on myself since the pipe broke. I want to be a great stay at home mom. I want to clean my house and make everything look perfect. I want to have everything in order when my husband gets home so that he can just focus on our daughter. But so far, that hasn’t happened. This little blue dress has helped me see the important things in life. I have a wonderfully supportive extended family, amazing friends, a new baby girl and a husband who showers our home with love every day. And now, a little blue dress. God is good.

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She may be laying on our new floor. 🙂

 

Louie the Lover

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This year for Valentines Day, I’m thankful. I’m thankful for my two boys that I get to go home and snuggle with tonight. A few days ago, I didn’t think I would get to bring my little Louie home and now I get to enjoy his sweet snuggles again. Because, well, he drained our bank account with his vet bills so for Valentines day we will all just snuggle and be thankful for our love for each other.

Many have asked about the story of my little miracle Louie so here it is…

Last Sunday it had been almost a week and a half of in and out of the vets office trying to fix a urinary blockage. Yes, the smell of cat pee is still burned into my nose and everything smells like cat pee but I’m getting off track. Of course this happened 2 days before my husband and myself were to leave for a weekend getaway trip to refresh our leadership skills and learn more about Jesus. The devil attacks in mysterious ways and in all honesty I never thought my cats lack of the ability to pee would take such a tole on me.

After we left Louie for the weekend, we prayed that God would keep him safe and do whatever He wanted to do with Louie. I kept telling myself “he’s just a cat. He’ll be fine.” But I worried, because while I pride myself on being a farmers daughter and animals just being animals, I denied myself one truth: Louie isn’t just a cat to me. This reality came after my husband left for a few days on a business trip and it was just me and Louie. I never realized what an important role he plays when Lynn is gone. The condo makes weird noises at night, the neighbors make weird noises, and I can’t seem to distinguish the difference between a harmless sound and someone trying to break into my house and murder me, but Louie can. This resulted in me not sleeping. Every time I took Louie out of the garage, he would try to pee on me because he didn’t feel good. Then I would have to lock him back out in the garage. This went on for days. In the morning I would take him to the vet and they would give me meds and give it another 24 hours. But he wasn’t responding to anything that they did.

Finally on Friday, we decided to leave him in the kitty hospital overnight for observation with a catheter so they could regulate the problem. On Saturday, when Lynn got home from his trip we went to visit him at the hospital and the vet didn’t have optimistic news for us. She said she wanted to keep him one more day just to see if he would clear up on his own. The next step is either surgery (that cost the same amount we had already spent, so A LOT) or we would have to put him down. I cried all day on Saturday. My emotions were out of control. “He’s just a cat Joanna, pull yourself together!” But I couldn’t, because the fact remained that he wasn’t just a cat to me. Louie filled a void in my heart long ago. A void that needed to mother something and he was there. The thought of sitting in another exam room with someone in a white coat telling me I couldn’t take my baby home again was too overwhelming for words. I just wouldn’t be able to do it. On Saturday I prayed a little prayer, “Jesus I give you my kitty. Do with him what you will and please help me find peace.”

Sunday morning rolled around and the vet left me another less than optimistic message during our marriage class. I couldn’t wait any longer and we needed to go to the vet. I was trying to keep my emotions in order while my husband stopped to talk to all 5,000 people that got to our church. I made it to the car before the tears started to drip. I knew what was about to happen and there was nothing I could do about it. Jesus had made his decision to take my little Lou-Lou home to Him. We got to the clinic and I like to think I was still keeping it together pretty well. (sigh) We walked in and the vet met us within seconds, not a good sign, they only meet you right away when it’s an emergency situation. If your pet is fine, they usually make you wait for a little while. I gulped down my tears as the vet told us that Louie wasn’t doing any better. She asked if we could afford the surgery and we said “No, the surgery isn’t an option for us.” The vet excused herself to give us a moment. I sent a text to my dad, “We’re at the hospital. Going to have to put Louie down unless a miracle happens.” Just so he would be prepared when his blubbering idiot of a daughter called him afterwards. I would need his words of wisdom.

This is Louie, all doped up and expressing his undying love for the vet tech.

This is Louie, all doped up and expressing his undying love for the vet tech. He’s saying “I love you… You’re so pretty….(long pause) I REALLY love you… “

The vet walked back in and I thought, “okay this is it, you can do this, Lord give me peace” She said, “I called your vet and they said they will do the surgery for a 1/3 of the cost and I will knock $100 off his hospital bill. Can you do that? I don’t want you to put this sweet cat down.”

And then I lost it….. a miracle happened! I cried so hard I could barely breathe. I was so happy and sleep deprived!

Truth is… Louie is a big deal. Not just to me but to many others that he’s “rescued” from emotions over the years. He’s converted cat haters into cat lovers, and I guess shared his love of people with some vets and vet techs as well. He has his own little kitty ministry. This has been a long road and it’s still not over, but hopefully now he will make a full recovery and live for at least 10 more years of snuggles.

So this is the shortened version of the story… I know… pretty long right? The devil attacks in mysterious ways but God always makes it beautiful in the end. I am so thankful that I am so blessed!!!

Skinny- Veterans Day Tribute to my Veteran

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Some of you may have heard me refer to my husband as “Skinny”. It’s really because of all the pictures from his early days in the Army. So today, I want to pay tribute to my “Skinny” and thank him … Continue reading

Meet the parents

Colorado Springs November 2006

Oh how exciting it is to be a crazy young love sick fool… “Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough, ain’t no river wide enough, ain’t no distance FAR enough?” That’s how the song goes, right? The love of a young couple is VERY strong… or so we think…

And so begins my “meet the parents” story…

I met my army boy while he was still active duty Army stationed at Fort Carson. While he hates it when I describe it this way… I was a “crazy college girl on the prowl for a man in uniform” So I went to Colorado Springs with my wonderful cousin (who shall remain nameless because she actually convinced me to move with her using this argument). It was an exciting time. No jobs and no responsibilities… This situation led us quickly to realize that we needed both of those things.

Fast forward two years, I was still crazy, not so fresh out of college, and still in need of a good quality man. Some good friends of mine and army boys decided that we would make a great couple so the “set up” plans began. We met at their Halloween party which was thrown so we could meet. After a wonderful evening of me working VERY hard to impress the wonderful Army boy, he handed me his phone. Ummm… what? What else is a crazy girl to do other than put her number in it, right? Smooth… which is really funny because this army boy is not so smooth. Thus began our two week relationship spending every spare second we could with each other. After this romantic two weeks, he was getting out of the army and off to his homeland Nebraska he would go, back to nursing school leaving me in Colorado Springs. I did my best to convince him to stay with me but the plans had already been made. It was too late to change them now. When we will see each other next? We didn’t know…

After Christmas, I decided it was time to work my schedule out with my boss so I could get a long weekend. I had 2 whole days to do what I pleased. I was working every weekend in the retail business so to get two days off in a row was unheard of! YAY this was the perfect opportunity! I wanted to see the love of my life! I would drive 6 hours by myself, on the back roads, (because he said they were faster), in the dead of winter… Let me say it again… “in the dead of winter”…

(Insert the very dramatic, “Lord of the Rings” –ish music)

After what seemed to be the LONGEST drive of my life, I made it to Elm Creek, NE. I was going to meet him there. Wow I was so excited I could barely contain myself. My romantic story was about to begin! I sat in the parking lot of the gas station for what seemed like another 6 hours waiting for my handsome prince to arrive! Oh joy!

There was a subtle knock on the window… I turned my head fluidly as my hair flowed down my back I gazed up to see my clean cut army man I saw a…a…a…. mountain man? Apparently, when you get out of the army you don’t cut your hair or shave. I was so excited to see him though! I jumped out of my Buick Century and wrapped my arms around him! He was wearing the awful hat and scarf set that I made him for Christmas. Complete with variegated blue yarn and a seam up the back holding my rectangular square together to make it a hat. (not my best work but I was trying) He was there and I loved him soooo much!!! That’s all that mattered…

After working my 8 hour shift in the customer service department at the furniture store, I hopped into my car and drove 6 hours. We met with his brother and had a drink at the local bar following a rousing game of pool, and then it was time to meet his parents. “Umm… Can I just meet them in the morning?” At the time, my army boy was going to school so he was living with his parents. I didn’t receive a response so I proceeded to change into my pajamas and get ready for bed. When I came out of the bathroom to my surprise my army boy woke up his parents! He turned around, zipped up my hooded sweatshirt anther inch so that I wasn’t showing too much cleavage and turned around and said with all the enthusiasm in the world “these are my parents!”I thought, “ummm.. Hi I just started dating your son and spent the evening in a bar, and now you have been rudely awakened in the middle of the night by me. Nice you to meet you!” Not my best foot forward from the beginning. Bathroom bag full of toiletries in one hand and extending my other for a handshake I was greeted with 2 giant monster hugs. “ha ha I’m not wearing a bra” Again I said in my head… “This is uncomfortable”… Out loud I politely stated, “So nice too meet you!” and I was greeted with the same greeting in return. I immediately felt like I was back at my own parent’s house. Considering how awkward I must have looked on the outside and how embarrassed I really was by the situation, I felt remarkably comfortable at that moment. I knew I was about to be welcomed into a wonderful family.

Our wedding June 6th 2009

Now, you may be thinking that this is the worst part of this story… but oh it gets so much better…

I woke up the next morning to the wonderful smell of coffee and a very welcomed greeting. If you know me, you know I am not a morning person. I don’t drink coffee, I don’t talk in the morning, and I’m generally not a very nice person unless I’ve been up for at least 20 minutes. This particular morning was going to be tough for me. “The weather report says freezing rain for the rest of today” reported army boy’s father. “Well, I guess you are stuck with me sticking around inside the house then” I replied. The freezing rain proceeded to fall…and fall…and fall… In fact, it didn’t stop falling for another 3 days! Take a look back and remember how many days I was SUPPOSED to spend in good old Nebraska. I called my boss after the first day of making puzzles and watching movies to let him know my situation. He was very understanding and told me to be safe. In all honesty, I probably should have lost my job over this situation. But Jesus loves me.

I spent the entire day reading “Silence of the Lambs” which my Army Boys mother nicely said was “the spawn of Satan” (Ugh.. another epic fail. I should’ve brought Anne of Green Gables), watching movies, and putting together a puzzle. I learned very quickly that there were “rules” to building puzzles in this house. There were specific piles that all the pieces had to go into and a table that was specially constructed for puzzles by Army boy and his father. It would spin so you wouldn’t have to stand up to see the other side of the puzzle. I quickly learned that Army boy was sucking the fun out of putting a puzzle together so I retreated back to my book.

Zip, zip, ZAP! The power went off. It still hadn’t stopped raining ice. “Whelp, who wants to help me hook up the generator?” asked Army boy’s father. “We will” Army boy and I said eagerly. It would be an awesome adventure to stand outside in the freezing rain and help hook up a generator, right? We put on all kinds of winter gear and headed outside to the old machine shed. “Crunch, crunch, crunch…” went the grass under our feet as we walked across the lawn. The blades of grass were like tiny daggers shooting out of the ground.

We drug the generator from the shed to the side of the house where we fed the wires through the window to army boy’s mother. We stood patiently waiting for the go ahead to turn on the generator. We heard an “OK!” come from inside the house and army boy flipped the switch… Zip zip ZAP! Blue lights starting flashing form inside the house. A wretched scream left his father mouth. His mother ran to the widow waiving her hands yelling “TURN IT OFF!!!! TURN IT OFF!!!” Army boy immediately shut off the generator switch and ran to the window. “What’s going on?” “Your father didn’t have it hooked up yet you almost killed him!!!” screamed his mother.

A few days and a few laughs later, the sun came out and travel was once again advised in the state of Nebraska. Army boy and I went outside and cleaned the 5/8” thick ice off of my Buick Century to reveal a crack that spread across my entire windshield, as well as my heater no longer working, and the handles to my car doors frozen shut. However, I did learn a few things… First, if he’s so excited for you to meet his parents that he would wake them from a dead slumber he might be a keeper. Second, when the power goes off that also means there is no hot water. I can go for days without showering and still look presentable. And finally, a terrible “meet the parents” experience may just mean that you are meant to spend the rest of your lives together. My husband and I will have been married for four years this coming June. We have been together for 6 years in October.

Before I left, my first real experience in the state of Nebraska just wouldn’t be finished without my future Father in law seeing me slip on the ice directly onto my fanny. SO many more stories to share at a later date…