Saturday, December 31, 2011

As 2011 comes to a close, I feel it is only appropriate to do a year-end recap.

Looking back, I would think I'd say 2011 was a great year, considering it was 2010 that Leslie had her cardiac event.  But now that I have gone through all of 2011, I have found that 2011 was likely harder than 2010.

I think any time a family goes through a tragic event, it is only natural that stressors will arise, especially with relationships, and my life was no different.

Jay and I have been together for a long time, and have been through a lot of sadness.  I think our first "loss" that we experienced as a couple was back when we were still in high school and my beloved pet rabbit, Floppsey, died.  I called him and told him to come over.  When he did, I was standing at the sink doing dishes.  He approached me, not knowing what was going on, and I turned to him, eyes full of tears, to tell him she died.  He held me as I cried, never once making me feel silly for crying over a rabbit.

We have been through losses of other beloved pets, his dog, Daffy and my dogs, Lady and Mya.  We have been together through family member and friend losses:  his grandparents, my uncles, a friend we graduated with.  But the tragedy we experienced with my sister really changed me a lot.  I hit the lowest of lows, and honestly, I will say that I was pretty hard to live with.  Yet he stuck by me.  I won't lie and pretend it was all perfect...we had some really rough patches and lots of arguing and bickering.  But at the end of the year, we are still holding strong and more in love than ever.

This year was a year of changes and challenges.  The biggest change was probably my job change.  It was (is!) a huge change in our lives, but we are all adapting fairly well, and I still fully believe that it was the best for me and us as a family.

Financially, we have been challenged.  Money is tight and it is a constant stressor in our lives.  We still struggle with balancing schedules...making sure everyone is where they need to be, homework is completed (Jay does math with Ethan, I do English/writing/creative projects) and due dates are met.

Stating all of that, you might think this has been a difficult year.  Well, it has.  There have been hurt feelings, tears, anger, and resentment.

However, there has also been a WHOLE lot of love and peace.  Do you know how incredible it feels to know that even at your worst you have this solid group of people who forever have your back?  Amazing.  Our kids are happy and healthy, and the light of our lives.  They make us laugh daily, and there is nothing we love more than spending time with them.  Even if we are able to sneak off to have dinner or lunch without them, we spend the whole time talking about them and sharing stories.  We are SO thankful for them.

We also have a nice, small home, two reliable, safe cars, and job security.  Our fridge is full, our beds are warm, and even if the credit card bill is cringe-worthy every month, we are still able to pay it off.  We have plans for the future and we are both so, so optimistic about the years to come.

So with that being said...2011 was no walk in the park, but it was a year of learning and growing.  It taught us just how strong we are and how even when the going gets tough, we keep chugging along.

I have no clue what 2012 will bring.  Leslie's incident taught me that you can never predict what not only tomorrow will bring, but even the next hour.  Nothing is guaranteed.  But I can say that we are ready for whatever it brings.  New memories, new challenges, and new opportunities.

Happy new year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I feel like with my new nursing position, I am sort of on the inside looking out.  That doesn't even make sense, but it does to me, so we'll go with it.

See... for the average person, they go to the hospital for one reason or another.  Get some antibiotics, get some blood drawn, have their vitals monitored, and then someone deems them worthy to go home and they leave. 

Today I was "behind the scenes", and I have to say, it was so fascinating.  I work with gynecologic cancers.  Once a week, some doctors, some lab pathologists, and a whole lot of medical residents get together and review patients.  On one side of the screen is the patients stats: diagnosis, labs, treatment, etc.  The other side is a beautiful pattern of circles in a lovely shade of purple.  The smart people call those tumor cells.  Same thing.

Anyhow, as I sat in on this meeting, the amount of time spent on each case analyzing every little was so amazing!  Sad, yes, because each case was a person who was very, very sick, but all of these people stopped what they were doing to get everyones point of view on the diagnosis and the treatment.

I'm a nerd, I realize this, but I thought it was SO cool.

Then MY job after this is over, is to take notes on what the diagnosis is, along with a possible plan of treatment, and hang on to it, so that when the patient follows up and meets with the doctor to learn of their sad diagnosis, I will be one step ahead and be getting all the ducks in a row, so to speak.

Out-patient nursing is VERY different.  I'm only on week two and I feel like I have learned so much!  ...but I also feel like I have so much more to learn and that's a teensy bit overwhelming.  I'm getting there, though.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

When I was about 16 years old, there was this boy.  We will call him Jay.

Jay was very different from me.  I was pretty quiet and a little could find me on Friday nights just hanging out at home.  Jay, on the other hand, was likely at a party or on a date.

When I started to get drift that Jay MAY have a tiny crush on me, I'm not going to lie...I was scared!  ....but intrigued.

I remember the day.  Spanish class.  We were to go around the class saying how we feel.  Jay said he felt lucky (anyone know the Spanish word for lucky?  Anyone?  Me either) and right after that he asked me to homecoming.

Now I know it would be really lame and cheesy to say ...and the rest is history!   But, my friends.  That is the case.  The rest. is. history.  Jay and I both turn 30 this year.  So we have almost spent more of our lives together than apart.

And I wouldn't want it any other way.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The lights are all out, except the glow of the TV that is playing reruns, and the twinkling of the lights on the tree.  The soft (okay, not really that soft, but roaring would totally ruin my attempt at making this sound serene) sound of the dishwasher is whirring away in the kitchen.  Both kids are snuggled all in bed.  I love the holidays!

Today was wonderful.  Both kids slept until around 8.  Allison was very gentle and slow with opening her gifts.  She savored the moment, I suppose you could say.  Ethan went much faster, but every present he opened, he told us how "he was REALLY hoping he would get this!" which made me smile every time.

Once the gifts were open, Jay and I scrambled to at least make a pathway through the living room while the kids explored their new toys. 

Around 1, we made the drive to Newport for dinner at Jay's Grandma's.  This has been our Christmas day tradition since back when Jay and I were just dating.  By the time we got there, Ethan had settled in with some of his new DS games, and Allison promptly declared that she was tired and ready to go.

I hate to say that we pretty much ate and left but....we pretty much ate and left.  The kids were so tired!  We got home around 4 and spent some time with Jay's parents, which meant MORE presents!

Once everything was opened, we all sort of looked around the room at ALL of the toys (from my parents and sister, Santa, and grandparents) and realized.....we are beyond blessed.  Sickeningly blessed.  Can I say that?  That sounds strange.  But it's true.  Sickenly blessed.  Oxymoron.  The toys were literally stacked in piles because there was simply no room.  It gave me a quick moment to (again) remind Ethan that he was a very lucky child, and there were children right that very moment that had NOTHING.  Not even heat to keep their toes warm.  Their bellies were empty and growling while we were all moaning from being overstuffed.  Sickenly blessed.

2012 is a new year.  New beginnings.  I have already started a little mini-version of accomplishments for the year (no, nothing like lose 20 pounds and eat healthy...that won't happen) but little home improvement type things that we always SAY we are going to do, but we never actually do.  I've said it before, both on here and in person, but my 2012 motto is: give more, take less.  And I fully, fully, FULLY intend to do that. 

If I maintain a handful of faithful readers, you can hold me accountable, okay? :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

The holidays are so magical when you have children!

Allison, who is only 2, knows very, very little about what the heck is going on.  If you ask her who is coming, she will say "Santa!"  If you ask her what he is bringing, she says "toys!"  ....but that is pretty much it. 

Ethan, who is 7, believes in Santa with his WHOLE heart, and it is just the most precious thing, because I am assuming it will likely be his last year truly believing.  He may believe next year, too, but that grain of doubt will likely be there.

I'm not going to lie.  As I did my Santa duties, I looked back and thought, "Eek!  I kinda, sorta, most definitely went overboard this year."  Part of me feels a bit ashamed, as that money could have gone elsewhere, and Lord only knows, this 800 square foot house is already bursting at the seams!  But then the other part of me just enjoys this so much, it's just plan EXCITING!  I love having children to celebrate and I will love every second of seeing their faces in the morning and seeing their excitement as they open their gifts.

Next year, for 2012, Jay and I have been touching on doing a budget.  I hate the word budget.  It makes my skin crawl, because it sounds so...restricting.  So in my money-hungry head, I am looking at it not as budgeting, but more about doing BETTER things with my money. 

I hope all of my lovely friends and family have a wonderful holiday full of peace and love.  Remember it's not about the gifts you receive, but the gifts you give, and that doesn't mean material gifts.

Love lots.  Be patient and respectful.  Don't judge or speak in anger.  Be the same person you are in public and around others as you are when you are alone.  Appreciate every day, every breath, because nothing is ever guaranteed.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Back in September of 2000, I came home from my classes at U of M Dearborn.  I walked in the side door (of my parents house, which was my house, too, at the time) and saw this little ball of black and white fluff. 

"WHAT is THAT?!" I remember saying.

That was a puppy my parents adopted.  That puppy was soon named Mya, and was the a living nightmare for me for about a year.  What on earth could a harmless puppy do to be a nightmare (other than the normal puppy antics?) Well, she was...a puppy!  And at the time, we had another very OLD dog named Lady.  Mya wanted to be a puppy.  Lady wanted to be old.  I resented Mya for being such a nuisance towards Lady. 

A year later, Lady passed away.  I remember the day clearly.  At this point, her kidneys were failing rapidly and she could not hold any food down.  She was skin and bones, so we knew, without speaking, it was time.  When we returned home from the vet, the first thing Mya did was look in all of Lady's favorite spots for her buddy.

It was then that I allowed myself to love Mya.

Mya has always been the biggest (and by big, I mean BIG! ...more on that, later) sweetie.  She loved to cuddle and be rubbed.  She LOVED to be close.  All through my remaining years at home before I got married, I slept every night with Mya.  In fact, we shared a pillow!  Mya was a medical disaster, though.  She had all the proper puppy care, but she was developed Bells Palsey (say wha?!) on the left side of her face.  Due to the paralysis, she developed a chronic eye condition which made her eye put it bluntly...disgusting.  Totally harmless, but yuck.  Throughout the diagnosis of the Bells Palsy, we found out she had some pretty serious thyroid problems, which caused her to be HUGE!  She was such a big ball of dog.  You couldn't help but smile when you looked at her. 

She had the curliest hair.  When it was humid, it curled even more.  She also had what I am assuming was a cowlick right on her nose between her eyes.  When her hair would get long, the cowlick would form what my sister and I referred to as the "rainbow of fun", because it looked just like that...a rainbow.

Mya LOVED to "sing".  Her favorites were God Bless America and I Say A Little Prayer.  You could even just hum the songs and she would immediately "sing".  Also, if you talked real low in her ear or hummed deeply to her, she would make this crazy noise.  I referred to it as her dove impression.  Think "cooo!  cooo!"

Mya was Mya.  My parents worked with her relentlessly to keep her healthy.  Special diets, special medications, you name it.  She just had a bad batch of doggy genes, I suppose.

One thing I can say for certain, though, is that with all of Mya's health issues, it took ANGELS to put up with them.  My mom and dad put up with them.  Spent countless dollars, and loved her all the while.

Tomorrow Mya has an appointment with the vet.  We are pretty certain that Mya will gain her puppy wings and fly to Heaven.  She is very sick and her quality of life is extremely poor.  Prolonging it would be wrong, being that we are her family. 

The vet will come in to my parents house.  Mya won't have to leave.  I can't be there, as I have to work, but I know, with my mom and dad there, that Mya will feel the immense love she has felt all of her years.

I love you, Mya. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Confession time.  I am very judgmental.  If you have been reading for a while, you will know that I have said this before.  That's because it's something I struggle with.

Most might say I am this way because I feel superior to others.  In fact, it's the opposite.  Again, if you have read previous posts, you will notice that I don't trust my decisions.  Ever. 

Anyhow, the point of my post (there is one, I swear).

Tonight I was at the grocery store.  I had just received some news that made me sad.  Followed by a conversation with my sister that was a small slap in the face of the "old" Leslie that I miss.  Bottom line, I was having a pity party for one.  Big time.

So anyhow.  I was gathering my quick necessities: bread, milk, diapers, etc.  As I was checking out, the woman in front of me had a cart load.  She had a daughter, who was maybe 3, who was behaving as most 3 year olds do.  She also had 2 was maybe 6.  Again, behaving as most 6 year olds do, and an older son, who was autistic (this is not my own diagnosis...I heard her say it to the clerk.

Moving along.  Her groceries were all rung up.  The clerk gave her the total.  She swiped her bridge card (oooh, judgment!) and found out that the money that is allotted to her monthly was not put on the card.  She had no idea.  I glanced in her cart.  Like me, she had the necessities:  eggs, milk, etc.  I saw the look of defeat in her eyes.  I watched her ponder what the heck she was supposed to do as her kids ran all around and she tried to rally them up.  I watched as she glanced at her card, then at her kids to try to get them to sit still, then back at her card, and then to her groceries.

I was sad for her.  Our money is very tight, too.  She had about $100 of groceries, and I did not have $100 to give her.  The clerk told her she could void it all out, and she could leave the cart of freshly bagged groceries and they would be restocked.  The girl had no choice but to accept this offer.  I quietly leaned forward and said "Ma'am?"  She turned to look at me, then quickly apologized for her daughter who was bouncing around me.  I looked at her daughter and quickly said, "Oh!  She is not bothering me!  I don't have the money to pay for all of your groceries, but I will help you get some of them, please let me help you." 

Wanna know what she said?  She said "no, thank you." Then I heard her say to the clerk, "I will be back whenever the money is deposited.  It has been a rough day.  My kids are being unruly, I have no one to help me watch them, and some stranger just yelled at me for my son, who has autism, for standing in the middle of the aisle."  This whole while, she was so calm and collected.  Never lost her temper, never shed a tear, just did what she had to do.

She thanked me for my offer, but insisted I not help her, because again, "the money would be there, it just wasn't there yet."

Now my point of this post.  As I was drowning in my sorrows, at first glance, I could have seen her as the single mom of misbehaving kids, paying with her bridge card, and my quick assuming mind, could ASSUME that she was likely unemployed, and here I was, after working hours in a very busy clinic, stretching pennies of my own, and here SHE was, holding up the line.  This wasn't even the case AT ALL but you had to pay attention to notice.  It's not in my natural behavior to take the time for that.  I am constantly in a "go, go, go, and please, get out of my way" mentality. 

In general, I have just felt a huge sense of anger and hatred amongst most people lately.  People being close-minded and disrespectful.  A complete lack of personal accountability and the constant desire to place blame.  Hate crimes are running RAMPANT and frankly, it scares me to death.

I truly believe that a lot of this would be resolved, if people would just stop feeling the need to pass judgement. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

I never want to be that nurse.

You know, the one that sees it as a job and a paycheck, and not about what being a nurse really means.  Let me elaborate.

I was a "floor nurse" for almost 4 years.  Loved it.  Love it.  Will always love it.  There are so many amazing aspects to it, and the amount of learning is endless.  I can bet that every single shift I worked as a floor nurse, I learned something new.  Great, great opportunity.

But soon, I found myself getting burnt out.  I was changing.  It was changing from being my passion, to being a job.  I found that when I left after a 12+ hour shift, I felt as though all I did was pass pills, push narcotics, and listen to lung sounds.  Getting to KNOW my patients?  It wasn't happening so much anymore.  That's not how I ever, ever want to be.  I certainly don't blame my previous job for this.  This was all internal.  It all stemmed from me.  And I am so glad that I recognized it before I allowed it to become who I was as a nurse.

Today I got to job shadow the nurse practitioner at the clinic.  Let me just say....she is AMAZING.  Because I was shadowing her, I also more or less shadowed a physician that I will be working very closely with.  Again, amazing.  I watched them do their routine work:  physical assessments, etc.  But then both of them would sit down, eye-level with the patient, and ask at the end of the exam, "What else can I do for you?"  And when they asked this, they didn't necessarily mean medically...they meant it however the patient interpreted it (which opened some interesting conversations!) ...but the bottom line was, they never made the patient feel rushed, even though their schedules were packed.

It is a part of my personality to always want to go with the grain.  I don't want to stray outside what is considered normal.  I don't want to stand out, or make people upset with me.  I tend to follow the "in-crowd", so to speak.  When word started spreading that I was interested in this position, I was immediately questioned with "are you SURE this is what you want" or "this isn't nursing, this is social work" and my favorite "working Monday through Friday isn't all it's cracked up to be."  In typical Laura fashion, I heard this and shut down, deciding that THEY were right, and I was wrong, and this was a terrible decision.  It took me a mere few hours to realize that I will never know unless I try, and if I allow myself to be influenced by others, I'll never learn and grow.  What is working for one nurse, might not necessarily be working for another nurse. 

With that said:  Here is to new beginnings!  A fresh start and something new.  A clean slate, a fresh mind, and a very open heart.  Change is not always bad.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Leslie and I ran some errands today.  We finished up some Christmas shopping.  Every year, since Ethan was born (Allison, too), she has bought them a book with some sort of special meaning to her, and she writes a message to them.  This was her "thing", and both of my kids have a nice assortment of really awesome books, all with personalized messages on the inside cover.

Last year, she never once mentioned gifts.  Nothing about giving or receiving.  Last year she was pretty literally a blank slate.  Void of all expression and emotion.  The hardest part of the holidays last year with her was the fact that I knew the book giving was something that was VERY near and dear to her...and she had zero desire to do it.

This year, she remembered.  Since she can't drive, she was so thankful that I offered to take her out to Barnes and Noble to get books.  Flash back again to last year:  Last year when we would shop, she would just wander aimlessly.  Now, mind you, she has never been much of a shopper, but she could do what needed to be done.  Last year, again, she was blank.  Empty.  Zero desire.  This year, the first thing I noticed as we entered the book store was she instantly started browsing.  I did have to help her a little, but overall, she did it herself and she knew, without any reminders, that once again, this was her tradition with my kids, and she was carrying it on.

I love routines and traditions.  Christmas Eve is my very favorite day of the entire year, all because of our family tradition.  This year, I am so, so thankful that our traditions are continuing on.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

So last night, Jay and I were sitting on the couch together, and I was posting my extremely enlightening post about orientation.  Jay noticed what I was doing and asked, "how many people read your blog, anyway?"

Hm.  Good question.  I have no idea!

Blogger offers a counter, but I know there are TONS of sites that spam, so while it may LOOK like you have readers, it's actually just adware and spybots roaming the web.

So!  My question.  How many people DO read?  You don't have to post your name, but it would be kinda interesting to get a general number and location (according to blogger, I have readers from all over the world, which I highly, highly doubt) ...but if that is actually the case, let me know and I will send you a present.  No, really.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Allie Jaye got her first REAL haircut today! (I've cut her bangs a few times, but I'm not counting that)

This was at the same place Ethan had his first haircut at over 7 years ago.  They are fabulous.

Anyhow, I loved Allison's hair, but the mullet was getting out. of. control.

So here's some pics:

She has mastered the fake smile with perfection. 

The back.  Now I realize it doesn't look all that bad.  But the length of the back was NOT the length of the sides.  Not even close.  Hence my reference to it as "beautiful blond baby mullet."  And just in case you are a very good observer, she is most definitely wearing "backpack" from Dora.


My salon doesn't give me goldfish crackers and let me sit on a wooden airplane.  What the heck!


Last day of orientation today!  Such a relief.  I hate to complain, because it is easy money, but I don't think they organize the material very well.

I mean, I have been a nurse now for 4 years.  Out of the 20 or so people in orientation, I probably had the LEAST amount of experience, yet out of the 4 days, pretty much everything was review. 

For example.  On the power point presentation on patient safety, one of the first slides said this, "A fall is defined as an unanticipated change in body position in a downward motion."

Well I'll be darned!  I thought a fall was when your body suddenly (and unexpectedly!) began to levitate in midair. 

But again...whatever.  It's done,and next week I start the real deal and I finally get to report to the clinic.

I am so excited!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

History lesson time!

Jay moved into this house (the one we currently live in) in August 2002.

We did not live together until our wedding night (all together now, "Awwwww!!!!")

When I moved in in June 2003, our house was, in every sense, a bachelor pad.  Complete with a Keg-o-rator.  No, I'm not joking.

My sweet mom tried to help me make the house look more homey, and bought a bunch of cute items to help decorate.  One of the things she bought was a little miniature manger scene.  I loved it.  The figures are no more than an inch tall.  I have displayed it every Christmas for the past 9 years, and I always put it in the same spot:  right on a shelf (that is at kid level, mind you) in the hallway.

Thankfully, Ethan never broke it.  He played with it, but it always ended up back on the little ledge intact.

Then came Allison.  Allison played with it, too, and while she never SEEMS overly aggressive with it, I can't help but notice some changes.  Here, I'll let you look and see if you can see what I mean:

Now we've got the farm animals.  See the little goat (mule?) over there?  And one of the shepherds is holding a little lamb.  We've got the three wise men and their strange little gifts (I bet Mary would have preferred bottles, diapers, and wipes, but whatev)  We've got an angel in pink, praying over sweet baby Jesus (you can't really tell from the pic, but there is a halo and wings on her) and we've got Joseph, looking at his new little bundle of baby boy goodness.  But....where is Mary?  Anyone see her?  Was baby Jesus colicky and she needed to go out with her holy girlfriends for a while?  Or maybe she was laying down somewhere cause Lord knows (haha!) that after delivering a baby, your body is kind of...gooey.  I don't know.  All I know is she high-tailed it out of there and I hope Joseph doesn't go after her for child support.  And who invited the hedgehogs??!
So this past week, I have been attending orientation for any new Henry Ford new hires.  Except I'm not a new Henry Ford new hire, I'm a transfer, but apparently that's beside the point.

Here is the dress code for these off-site training sessions:

No denim, no artificial nails, no crocs or open-toes shoes, no bare legs, no exposed tattoos or piercings, must wear dress pants/slacks, skirts/dresses acceptable, shoes should compliment clothing, skirts no more than 2 inches above the knee, clothes should be neat, pressed, in good and appropriate size, yadda yadda yadda.

Now don't get me wrong.  I realize the need for these (terribly outdated) necessary (what is it, 1950?) dress code rules, because you can't go out in public without seeing someone in pajama pants and/or slippers, looking as though they just rolled out of bed (or the bar) but it still makes me kinda giggle.

So!  When I went to get dressed this morning in my (neatly pressed) dress pants and my (complimentary to my clothing) brown flats, I realized it was rainy.  Rainy weather + flats = cold feet.

My way of handling this predicament?
                                                                Oh yes.  I did. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In my last post, I brought up Chris Medina.  I don't know if anyone looked him up on youtube, but if you did, you likely came across several heart wrenching, amazing videos about Juliana.  You might also have come across Juliana's mother's blog.  I found it.  And by reading it, I found out she wrote a book.

It only seemed natural that I get this book for Leslie (which I did).  It came in the mail today.  My intentions were to give it to her for Christmas (which I still intend to do!) but first I wanted to read it.

I sit down to read it, and the similarities nearly took my breath away.  From the frantic phone calls they all went through (we did, too) to sitting in the "special" room in the ICU which everyone knows is often used to give a family tragic news.

But then I read this:

"I spent the next several days writing a journal for Juliana.  I just knew that she would want all the details when she woke up.  She was going to feel so bad for all that we went through.  She would also want pictures, though she would have been mortified if I showed them to anyone before she saw them."

Followed by:

"That night, Juli's adoring fiance Chris and I slept on and off either in her room or on the couch in the waiting room.  Since we expected her to suddenly wake up at any moment, leaving was never really an option because we needed to be there when she woke up."

Oh my God.  Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.

It took me back.  Literally, that is EXACTLY what we experienced.  What we thought would happen.  And what didn't happen.

I remember asking my parents permission to take pictures of Leslie on the ventilator.  My dad said he was thinking the same thing, so that night that I stayed the night with her, I took all kinds of pictures.  Like Juli's mom thought, she was going to want to see them!  ....or not.  But we didn't realize that at the time.  After I took the pictures, I told my parents (just like Juli's mom) that I would not post them on the blog.  Again, because I didn't want to embarrass Leslie.  I wanted her permission to post such intimate, sensitive pictures.  A few days later, my mom asked why I posted them when I said I wasn't going to.  My answer was something along the lines of wanting our faithful readers and those who loved Leslie so, so much, to see just how serious this situation was.  In my head, though, I was thinking, "Because she isn't going to wake up like we thought she would.  She isn't going to look at the pictures and think, "Wow!  That really happened!" None of that was going to happen, and I knew it."

It's been a little over a year for Leslie.  It's been about 2 years for Juli.  I'm not reading the book.  Those two quotations I used weren't even a part of the actual story.  It was a part of the preface.  I'm choosing to not read the book because it's too hard.  To similar.  I don't like to cry, and reading those words didn't bring teary eyes, they brought sobs.  I don't want to do that.  And anyhow, after reading those two excerpts, I think I already pretty much know the story.

(Quotes are in the book, "For Juliana, Almost to the Almost, One Penny at a Time" by her mother, Janet Spencer Barnes)

Friday, December 9, 2011

So tonight, as I was browsing the internet (who, ME?!), I came across a link about a man named Chris Medina.  He auditioned on American Idol.

I don't really watch American Idol, so this was the first I  had heard of him and his story.  He was engaged to be married to a beautiful girl named Juliana.  In October 2009, Juli was in a terrible car accident, which resulted in a traumatic brain injury.

This type of brain injury is different from Leslie's.  Leslie has an anoxic brain injury (meaning her brain was damaged due to lack of oxygen).  It's pretty clear that Juliana's physical injuries are way more severe than Leslie's, but regardless, the story is similar in that it involves two young, beautiful girls that had their whole lives ahead of them when it was all disrupted.  Taken away?  No.  But definitely disrupted.

It just makes me again ask WHY. 

You must search on Chris Medina and watch him sing.  Grab a box of Kleenex first, though.  Don't say I didn't warn you!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Let me tell you a story.  No, you don't have to pull up a chair.  It's fairly quick. 

So about 2.5 years ago, Jay, Ethan, myself, and fetus-Allison were killing time before we were to go bowling with friends.  To help pass time, we figured we'd stop at Petsmart to let Ethan look at the fish.  Once we had our fair share of fish-looking, we stopped to watch the puppy training class.  Well, just past the puppy training class, sat a card table with two elderly people sitting there.  On their lap, they had a Beagle.  He was cute.  I was pregnant and hormonal, and apparently lacking a bazillion brain cells, because I figured this was the PERFECT dog for us to adopt.  $175 later, he was ours.

Would you believe that this little furry dog, (and when I say furry, I'm not kidding...he sheds like a freaking MANIAC!) caused me major anxiety?  For one, our current dog thought he was the worst new family member EVER.  She H-A-T-E-D him.  She would bark and growl at him with every move he made.  His first night in our home, he whined the entire night, so I had to lay out on the couch with him, all the while thinking to myself....WHAT THE HECK WAS I THINKING?!!

But.... here we are, almost 3 years later, and Logan the Beagle is still a part of our family.  I still wonder WHY WHY WHY, but he's not going anywhere...he's good with the kids, he poops in the basement, he gets along with other animals, he has chewed up my brand new couch, and he hardly ever barks.  What's NOT to love?

Anyhow...there was a point to this story.  No, really, there is.  Bear with me.

The point is, I am one who HATES disruption in my life.  I like things to always stay the same.  No changes.  Adopting Logan was a HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE disruption and I had a very hard time adjusting.  It's not just adopting him that was difficult.  It's ANY change...big or small.  I don't like to change.  Period.

But what's funny about that (not funny haha, more funny weird) is that this HUGE change I made recently with changing my job, just feels so RIGHT.  I am not scared.  I am not wondering what the heck I was thinking.  I am not worried that it won't work out. 

What is also funny, is that the nurse I orientated when I worked on 6 is the one who helped me get this job.   I remember the first time I met her.  I instantly liked her and I have always felt a connection with her.  When we hang out (which isn't very often) it just feels so comfortable, like we've been friends for forever.

I am SO ready for this.  I just know this is going to be a very good thing.