I toured 3 groups of people at once today, a record high for me! I also took 4 applications, and I straightened out 50 files. Overall, a productive day, and now I'm going to veg for the next 2 days since my weekend is finally here.
Yesterday I had to say, "I'm sorry, we can't rent to you." to a couple with a 1 month old living in a hotel on their church's dime. Today, I sat down and signed a lease with another couple, who have been living in a shelter and scrambling like crazy to get everything in order so that they could have a place to live. Emotions run high here, in this place of can we, or can't we make it work.
I love my new job, but it's very busy with phone ringing off the hook and people coming in and out all day. By the end of the day I'm exhausted! And then I come home to a cooked dinner, tired children, tired husband, and tired dogs.
Today was my first day of work at my new job. Hubs and I are both struggling with our new roles, but we've made it through one day, and tomorrow I'm sure we'll make it too. I'm very much enjoying being in the "real world" again spending the day talking with other grown-ups, and the office I'm working in is crazy and frantic but in a good way.
I had my ultrasound today and to my eye everything looks just about the same as it did 2 months ago when I had my first one. The gallstone is still there, still round, still rolling around inside of me making me say ouch. The report will go to my doctor on Monday, so it will be interesting to see what she will suggest.
Having a gallstone is no fun at all, in fact, it downright sucks. Spent this morning having fun with Anya at speech therapy, and the afternoon in the doctor's office talking about my options. Ultrasound is scheduled for tomorrow to check on my little round friend and see if it's moved or grown or what.
I feel very relived, and at the same time, nervous. I haven't worked full time as an employee for 7 years. So it's going to be a big adjustment, both for me and for the fam. But it's worth it. I'll be getting a pay check which we very much need, and I think it will be good for us to switch roles for a while, even though it's not what either of us had in mind.
To start out it will be part-time (about 25-30 hours a week) but it will become a full-time position within a few months. So maybe that will give us a chance to ease into it. I start Monday! EEEEEE!
Funny thing, I worked for this company 10 years ago for 7 months. I almost didn't send them my resume because I was never told why I was laid off. So I guess it's a good thing I got up my courage and sent it anyway! I still don't know what happened 10 years ago, and neither do they since nothing was written in my file, so I guess that's good!
When I got home from the interview/job offer this morning, we had letters in our mail box from Workman's Comp. And...
He's been denied again.
I really have an idea of why some people have gone on rampages. Like, with guns and stuff.
It's SO frustrating!!!
But on a good note, he was approved for long-term disability through his work! Which means 12 months of health insurance and an actual regular pay check for 70% of his normal wage. HURRAY! This has lifted a gigantic weight off our shoulders!!!
So we're going to be fine.
Not that we thought we wouldn't be.
Well, maybe a little.
Anyway, for you lovely people who are still following this blog even though I haven't written much at all this year, I really appreciate you. Thank you for sticking with me even though I haven't been around much. In an effort to actually post here on a regular basis I think I'm going to do something a bit different. My new goal is to write 3 sentences a day. Just 3, should be easy, right? It will be good for me, to return to sense of routine with my daily postings, and at the same time not overwhelm myself or push myself to do more than I can handle. So, that's what you can expect from me from here on out, hopefully it'll result in more concise regularity.
I haven't updated my blog in forever, so I thought I should, and then I thought, "But my life pretty much sucks, who would want to read that??" So I didn't. And then life started to suck even more, and more, and more. And now it's gotten to the point where I can't even put it all into words. I just don't have words. It's too vast.
How can one quickly sum up the incidents of a life that lead to this place? The place where sorrow and happiness meet. Where emotions run so high and so complicated that thinking about it makes you want to cry and smile at the same time. I have no idea. But maybe trying will help somehow, although I'm skeptical that's even possible.
To catch you up to speed, Workman's Comp denied Hubs' surgery back in April. Since then we've been waiting for doctors and lawyers and insurance reps to get their paperwork ducks in a row. We're still waiting, and praying, and hoping for the best. In the meantime Hubs hasn't been working. We're living on savings (thank God we have it!) and praying we won't have to much longer.
In the midst of this waiting, our 24 year old niece passed away on June 19th. We're devastated. I could write a whole post simply about this incident, but I'm not sure I could bear it. Let's just say, no one expects their 24 year old daughter to go asleep one night and simply not wake up the next morning. Alisha was a sweet bright light in our family, we loved her dearly, and miss her terribly.
We drove to California for a party in her honor, stayed for a week or so, went to Disneyland with Hubs' family (Who does these things? We do apparently. Although I'm sure Alisha would have approved.) and came home. A grueling 16 hour drive home, but hey, who's counting?
Our dogs were sick the whole time we were gone, and although we had excellent neighbors caring for them, our house was a poopy barfy mess when we arrived and we spent the following 6 hours cleaning and sanitizing. And then we fell down and slept like rocks.
We also came home to some scary letters from Hubs' work and workman's comp, and had to wait for 2 weeks for our lawyer to get home from his vacation before we knew what it all meant. Basically, they can't fire Hubs, but they can stop paying for his health insurance and force us to pay for Cobra. We learned this on our anniversary this week. Happy Anniversary to us! Eight years, and we're still chugging along. At our Anniversary dinner last night, in the same spot where we had our wedding reception, we decided that I need to start looking for a job. It's not what either of us had planned, but we gotta stay solvent somehow.
To top it all off, I found out yesterday that I have a gallstone. I had the ultrasound yesterday morning, and I am waiting to hear from my doctor about whether or not she'll recommend surgery.
Truthfully, we're pretty scared and sad. We're not sure where this road is leading but it sure seems like it's not going to a good place.
The bright spot of course, is our girls. Without them we'd be wallowing in self-pity right about now. Instead, we're having so much fun with them! They're at such an excellent age right now, learning new things all the time, excited about such simple pleasures, and constantly saying things to crack is up. Laughter really is good medicine. Amen!
Today my yard is flush with fledgling birds. I feel a kinship with their parents, each with a squawking baby to feed. Often there is only one parent (I can only assume it's the mother) with two or three little ones following behind, each with their mouths open demanding their next meal. "Feed me! Feed me!," they say with gusto.
And then I inspected my freshly planted garden, and sure enough, they had already snacked on my bean sprouts. I growled as I tried to salvage the few with roots, carefully poking them back into the dirt.
Obviously, I'm just an instrument of God for their survival. Doing my part to feed the starling population. Begrudgingly.
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:26-27
"As the deer pants for water so my soul longs for you O, God." Psalms 42:1
Thanks to Amy Grant and Summer Bible School, it was one of the first verses I learned as a child. Repeat it, sing it, enough times and it tends to loose some of it's meaning. That as we have a need for water, the beverage that sustains life in all living creatures, we have an equally strong need for God. Without Him, we would die. And spiritually speaking, as we stray we experience spiritual and emotional death.
During hard times it's easy to forget. It's so easy to get caught up in routine. To rely on our own efforts to succeed (whatever that means). To accomplish items on our 'to do' lists, and then sit back and think, "Look what I did! I'm not doing half bad. In fact, look at all the stuff I got done today. I'm pretty awesome! Yay me!" Or just the opposite, to give up because we think we're not good enough. That it's better to avoid failure and just not try at all. Either way what we're really saying is, "Thanks God, but no thanks. I'll just take it from here. I've made it this far without your help, and I'm sure I'll make it through tomorrow just fine too."
Except, that God doesn't want us to be "just fine". He wants us to be MAGNIFICENT! And being magnificent requires us to rely on Him rather than our own efforts. Such magnificence requires just one thing, regular drinks of Living Water.
As most of you know, we've been going through a hard time. A very discouraging time. Every day passes, while we wait for miracles. So far, we haven't received any definitive answers, so we wait. And wait some more. Most of the time we spend trying to distract ourselves from all this waiting. We watch TV, we play computer games, we scour the internet for useless tidbits of info, and lately since the weather has been nice I've been outside gardening. But it's really just to forget. To pretend that what's happening isn't really happening.
And today something interesting happened...
I was thinking about back when I was in high school choir, so I did some searches on YouTube looking for songs we used to sing. Seems pretty harmless, right? Well, obviously God can work even within our time wasting because I came across one of my favorites, Sicut cervus by Palestrina. Within the first few bars I had a huge lump in my throat, and by the end I had tears. It's so hauntingly beautiful, the notes so beautifully express such longing. It aches with love. And so I wondered, because 14 years post high school I certainly don't remember, what does it mean? So I did another search and found this. "As the deer longs for springs of water, so my soul longs for you O, God."
Thank you, God. For speaking love into my life when I least expect it. For reminding me that you didn't design us to make it on our own, but to rely instead on Your strength and Your ability. I praise you Father, for caring for me. For lifting my burden. For filling me up to the brim with your Water. Amen!
We found out yesterday that Hubs' surgery isn't going to happen this coming week. As you can guess, we're very disappointed. And pretty pissed off at workman's comp and their failure to approve (or deny) the surgery even though they've had 6 weeks to do so. We're back to waiting. A situation we've become familiar with over the past 14 months.
I've been trying to look at the bright side. Since this surgery isn't going to happen when we thought, perhaps I might be able to see the opera that's performing the first and second week of May. More time before surgery means more time on our diet, which could mean a healthier outcome. More time to clean my house. To plant my garden. To visit with friends. To... oh who am I kidding I'd much rather have a healthy husband.
So as a means of distracting myself from the disappointment my mom and I took the girls to see the tulips in Woodburn, OR. This is the last weekend of the festival, so if you're in the area you should go check it out! It's so purty. Made me wanna pull up a lawn chair and just soak in the beauty. Too bad mom and I were chasing 2.75 year olds instead. We both kept saying, "It's an adventure!" After walking through the fields for about 15 minutes Ziva decided to throw a hunger and nap-time inspired hissy fit while Anya dragged her feet to admire each and every lady bug she came across. We ended up carrying them back to the tram. Yes, my arms hurt today.
Once we got home I showed the pictures of our trip to Hubs. His comment, "Why didn't you get any pictures of their faces?" Ummm... I TRIED!!! It's pretty tough to capture cute smiling faces when they're in a new place. Looking at the camera is the LAST thing they wanna do. lol
See for yourself.
"Hmmm... what's this?"
"What, you wanna take a picture of me in front of the flowers, sure thing Mom."
"Wanna see me smile? CHEEEESE!"
Well, at least we have proof that we were there.
For some better pictures and the story of our adventure with the tulips last year, check this out.
Me? I've been playing Sims 3 in between watching my kids grow and trying to remain sane. So let me get you caught up on the past few months since obviously blogging hasn't been my forte lately.
Hubs is scheduled for shoulder surgery the end of April. FINALLY!!! I know this is a good thing because obviously something needs to happen to get him healthy again. But I'm terribly nervous about what an actual SURGERY will mean in the here and now. It will mean that he will be even more incapacitated for the next several months. Which will mean I will take on even more of his duties, including taking care of him in his post-surgical state which I have been warned isn't going to be pretty. So we've been brain storming about things that should be done before then, and we've got a list going. My parents have taken the next week off of work for Spring break, so hopefully they'll be able to help out with the preparations.
My own health has been pretty terrible lately. I've been in a lot of pain in pretty much every joint in my body. Looking back, probably too much inactivity playing Sims for sure, but it's enough to be concerning to me. So I'm going in to get my blood tested this afternoon to make sure that it isn't something more serious. I'm not sure I've mentioned before, but I've been in 2 pretty serious car accidents in my youth, so I've always been a bit messed up. But this is probably the most pain I've been in since recovering from those accidents. Not good. Especially with Hubs' surgery coming up. I really need to be at my best by then.
All this, plus the whole chest pain incident, has lead me to the conclusion that one of the things we HAVE to do before the end of April is get on a diet and loose some poundage before then. My personal goal is to loose 10 lbs. I'm hoping Hubs will loose even more than that, being a man and all it should be easier for him. (Don't you ladies just HATE that?) I'm sure we will both feel better if we are successful with this and be more prepared for the physical demands that this surgery will require. So we're getting back on the Mayo Clinic Diet, since that has worked for us in the past and we didn't feel terribly deprived while on it. The only reason why we stopped doing it last time was because it's very produce heavy, which is wonderful but also expensive. But now that Spring is here and I'll be planting a garden soon it should help with the cost.
We're postponing potty training. The girls are VERY ready, but we're not. And knowing this surgery is coming, I just can't take on another project. I'm currently planning to start with the potty training once the weather warms up. I've been told it's much easier to do outdoors.
The girls are doing really well in Early Intervention. They age out of the birth-3 program in June, so soon they will start testing to determine if they will qualify for the 3-5 year old program. We've pretty much already decided that they won't be going to pre-school in the fall, even if they qualify for the free public pre-school. We're not ready to make any school decisions, we didn't think we'd have to until kindergarten. Hubs very much wants me to home school, I pretty much think I'd be terrible at that. But if they qualify for speech therapy then we'll probably do that.
Outside of that they're at an absolutely delightful age right now. Chubby chubby cheeks and smiles and giggles. Playing much more social games both with us and with each other. This whole twins thing is certainly easier in that regard. They are much more able to entertain themselves rather than needing me to entertain them. Ziva is much better at asking for things that she wants with her words, although there are certainly times when I don't understand her and she gets very frustrated. Anya now asks for some things, such as crackers or milk and sometimes requests which movie she wants, but her vocabulary is more limited and tantrums are pretty frequent for her as a result. Sometimes they're both crying and demanding things from me and unable to tell me what they want and I end up wanting to throw my own tantrum! Yikes! Thank God for Book Club and Bunco night so that Momma can get a break!
Anyway, so that's where we've been. Obviously my blogging life has taken the back burner. I'm hoping to update more often. I think I really NEED it, if you know what I mean. Writing is my outlet, and when I don't do it I end up becoming even more stressed. It's become part of what I need to do to take care of myself. This, and yoga. And if I stop doing either one I end up a mess, both mentally and physically due to stress. So I'm hoping to keep up better, both writing and visiting my fellow bloggers whom I love. As part of that I'm pairing down my blogroll so that it's more manageable for me. I've been following WAY too many amazing blogs, and then feel overwhelmed when I check my reader and there are 1000+ things to read. So please don't take offense if one of the blogs I drop is yours. It was either stop the following or just stop reading anyone at all. Truly, nothing personal.
I'm very tired today. Too tired to be creative or come up with pretty words. So I'm going to cut right to the chase.
Thursday afternoon was pretty much like any other day at my house. Until my husband woke up at 4pm and confessed to me that he had some chest pain, and that it had been going on for about a week. But that the previous night at work he had a pretty terrible "episode" which lasted a few minutes and scared both him and the co-worker who was there at the time. The only reason he told me anything at all was that it had gotten to the point where he felt he needed to see a doctor about it and he asked me to call and make an appointment.
Can someone explain to me why men do these things??? Why they think it's perfectly ok to keep their health problems to themselves until it reaches a severe magnitude???
Sorry, the whole "I didn't want to worry you, Honey." just doesn't work for me.
Instead of making him an appointment I questioned him, and then sent him to the ER. I had dinner in the oven and no hope of child care until 7:30pm so it was the best I could do. Honestly, I thought it would probably turn out to be nothing. Maybe it was just a panic attack or heartburn or something really simple. He's only 42. It can't be his heart. Not yet.
Around 7pm he called me to say that he was still in the ER. That they were getting ready to transfer him to his own room because they were going to keep him overnight for observation. He sounded calm, like it was no big deal. And then he casually stated that they thought it might have been a blood clot or a minor heart attack.
So although my neighbor knew what was going on from the start and had generously offered to babysit when she got home from work, I felt like I needed to call in the troops for reinforcement (the troops being my parents). They threw some overnight stuff together and hurried over. All while I ran around throwing a bag together for myself. Once they got here I piled in the car and headed to be with my man.
When I got there he was still in the ER, all hooked up to wires and tubes. He looked ok though, lethargic from the drugs they gave him, but otherwise his normal self. Just being there calmed me.
There really isn't much else exciting to share. We spent a very restless night at the hospital, and the next day they couldn't figure out what was wrong so they sent him home with a no-salt diet and a number for a cardiologist. They did notice an "electrical blockage" for one of his arteries on an EKG, but other than that there was nothing outstanding.
So we're home now. And he's back to not telling me if he's not feeling well.
He's frustrated because they couldn't find what was wrong. He's afraid that it will just be like his shoulder. That it will go on and on with no diagnosis and no answers to the point that he feels people don't believe his pain.
Me? I'm just afraid of loosing him. I knew when I married a man 10 years my senior that it was likely to happen someday, but I'm certainly not ready yet. Although, when is anyone ready for such an event? But I'm REALLY not ready now. I need him. And our girls will need him for at least 20 more years. So although his dad died from a heart attack at 62, that's still 20 years from now. This whole "it's just a little chest pain" scares the living crap outta me. And the fact that he doesn't share how he's feeling scares me even more. I hate it. It pisses me off. It makes me wanna scream at him, except I'm sure that won't make things better in any way.
Hubs: I don't see why you're so worried. If I die you'll instantly become a wealthy woman!
Me: I never wanted to be a wealthy woman. I only wanted you.
My New Year's Resolution last year was to post something on this blog every single day. And I kept up with that goal for a goodish bit, and then I got lazy and busy and it somewhat fell to the wayside. But I'm ok with that. I did my best (sorta). And in the end I think I started to share more from my heart. More quality, less quantity. I also think I've found a better balance between my computer time and the rest of my life, which has made a positive difference.
I won't be so foolish to make such a demanding resolution this year. At this point I think "blog when possible" is about as good as I can do.
But without further adieu I'd like to share some of my top posts from this past year. My blogging friend Helene gave me the idea on her New Year's post. (And if you like to laugh, you should really check it out!!!)
I started off with a bang and decided to share our birth story. I shared the recipe for my signature dish: Paprika Chicken. You know, back when I had time to take pictures of my cooking exploits. I was able to hypothesize about twin language development. And I ranted about the Octomom. Obviously I had too much time on my hands!
In February I was running out of things to write about. So I decided to take on a new resolution to clean out my spice cabinet that involved sharing recipes once a week. And Mystery Spice Monday was born! Again, obviously too much time on my hands! I also wrote about The Boys, and Our Love Story, along with a major case of Spring Fever and My New Babies.
This was the month when things started to look grim, but in the comments on this post Annie's Granny gave me some much needed advice. I shared an Artichoke Chicken recipe that would knock anyone's socks off (assuming they like artichokes). I was also the featured blogger on Multiples...And More!, which also happened to coincide with The National Day of Prayer. I also started to get pretty excited about my garden, and I posted about it here, and here. I also wrote about the twins in their Native Habitat.
This is the month when I cut back dramatically on my blogging. We went on vacation, and it was fun but crazy and I failed to write about it. I did manage to write about a Spinach Pesto Pasta Salad that I made for Father's Day, a gardening post, and something about what it means to be a Good Neighbor.