Happy Halloween Everybody! Peace Out!
Thursday, October 30, 2008
As I sit and write this, the blank page feels like a mountain to climb. I can't even find the right words to even say. I truly feel like I'm in a little fog. So here we go again! My friend Nina was diagnosed with breast cancer yesterday! WHAT IS GOING ON? Two friends in two months? I'm just struck with heavy emotions. Here's the deal though! I know she'll get through this. Nina is strong, funny, and loved by many. She will be held by those around her and carried by God, who is always there in joy and sorrow. That is a promise that Nina and those around her can hang on to - TO BE HELD. When our arms are just not big enough, God wraps himself around our hearts. And He gives us friends around us, that can uplift us when we are discouraged. I am remembering back a few weeks ago when Shannan was diagnosed with Leukemia and I received an email from Nina. Nina has already answered life's question.....What is our purpose? To love. She said that she just wanted to go home and hug her children tighter. And I'm sure she did that last night. I love you Nina Bonita!
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
There were a lot of parents that attended the overnight field trip to Pepperwood Preserve last week. There are 20 kids in Brandon's class and about 18 parents toughed it out! That is itself is amazing. But one mom intrigued me. She is deaf. My heart went out to her because I could see that this was not a comfortable situation for her. She sat in corner and just "people watched." I got my nerve up and went over to her. I introduced myself and very awkwardly played word charades with her. It was cool because she was so good at reading lips. So, off we went on a beautiful hike. The ranger stopped us and told us to look up at some birds that were nesting in a tree. I put my hand on Lynn's shoulder and told her to stop. She shrugged her shoulders and mouthed the words "What?" I enclosed my fingers in little circles, put them over my eyes like glasses and said, "LOOK" I bent my elbows to my sides and flapped my wings like a bird and said, "Bird". She started cracking up, which made me laugh. And she said in her deaf voice, "That is not the sign for Bird! You just told me we were looking at a chicken!" Who said I couldn't make deaf people laugh?
Monday, October 27, 2008
I feel like my life has been stuck on the fast forward button! I haven't had a chance to sit back and just be thankful. First of all - my friend Shannan's test results came back on Thursday. The second chemo worked and they see no cancer in her bones. So now she needs to build her white blood cells up, eat and gain weight, to get transferred to Stanford. Once she gets there she will have more treatments and then a bone marrow transplant. Her sister was a perfect match! Can I hear an AMEN?!! That is something to be truly thankful for! Next - I went on an overnight field trip with Brandon on Thursday to Pepperword Preserve. It was so nice to have one on one time. I really took advantage of just spending those moments with him. His eyes are so open to the little things in nature - he made me appreciate those things that I take for granted. Saturday, was Gianna's last soccer game, that she really didn't want to go to. And then the game clicked for her. Midfield she kicked the ball, followed through, and scored her very first goal. I didn't know whether to just watch or click the camera. But life is so different from behind a lens. I let the camera down and just relished in her first soccer goal! Yesterday, we did pumpkin carving, a hay ride and cookie decorating at my mother in laws. All in all, a good week. Do you know why they call it Fall? Because your sooo busy - you are going to fall down in exhaustion! But Blessed!
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I knew early on that this boy did not come from an ordinary mold. Any teenage boy that can put up with preteen girls is pretty special. I remember spending the night at my friend Tasha's house and her brother Graham graciously getting through the night. But then when the breakfast came out - WATCH OUT- he would pick on the skinny girls, like Vicki. She'd barely put a bite of pancake in her mouth and he would say, "Are you going to finish that?" I'm sure Vicki wanted to stab him with her fork. And then in a blink of an eye, 20 years flew by, and he is married to one of my best friends. My heart has grown fonder of this man, day by day. The little things that I see him do for so many people (including for me) is always done with a pure heart. He even made his wife VEGAN Brownies! What a guy! A couple of weeks ago he was outside with Gianna hula hooping. I wish I had a picture of that because it was the sweetest thing. He is such a gentle giant. Happy Birthday Graham! You are no ordinary cracker!
Friday, October 17, 2008
Don't you hate when your routine is a little out of whack? You just can't shake the feeling that something will go wrong because just one thing is off? Welp! That was me yesterday. I cleaned out my car in the morning, threw the kids in their seats, and we were off to school. It was my first field trip that I was going to go on with Gianna to the Pumpkin Patch. When we arrived at school I loaded them out, only to realize that Gianna had only one shoe! One freakin shoe! I swear I started to sweat. I started stalking mothers as they drove into the parking lot, not even waiting for them to get out of the car. By the way, I don't know any of these people. It was called DESPERATION! "Excuse me! You don't know me, but do you have any spare shoes in your car?" Its not like I live around the corner and can just go home to get her shoes. I live 40 miles from the damn school. The whole time, as I'm holding a 54lb child on my hip with a loaded backpack, Gianna is whining in my ear...."Mommy I don't want to wear boys shoes! If someone gives me boy shoes, I won't wear them. I will just wear my one shoe and one sock!" Okay, like that will work. Thankfully, I ended up with three pairs of shoes in 15 minutes and yes...they were all pink!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Picture it.... 3rd grade. A little blond girl, purple shirt, with homemade braided plastic barrettes in her hair, quite as mouse, ,wouldn't hurt a fly, and sweet spirited. Now picture this... dark brown haired girl, tousled hair like a rats nest, ragged jeans, loud, tomboy (some would even say a bully) and funny. Some would say that this friendship would never work! You may even go as far as to say, that the quiet one never had a choice, cuz the loud one just demanded that they be friends. But obviously it worked because it has been 25 years of true friendship. I love Tasha's quiet spirit and it is something that I truly value for many reasons. One is...when she talks, I really listen. Two...when she is funny, she is really funny. Three...what she says always has importance. Four... I don't have a quietness about me and I appreciate it. There is a pureness about it - that one can lead there life by example, not by their words that are spoken. That is my friend Tasha. The last couple of years, our friendship has flourished. We have climbed Half Dome together, laughed and cried at Women of Faith, and screamed together on California Screamin! We have had a blast. And I look forward to many more fun times! Happy Birthday Tasha. You are the best!
Monday, October 13, 2008
My friend Shannan Wirt has been diagnosed with AML Luekemia. She has been through quite a journey for the past several years, beginning with her son who was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer. Then two years ago her husband was treated for Lymphoma. And then this August, thinking she had strep throat and Mono, she went to the doctor. And we all wished that is was the strep and Mono, but it was an unexpected diagnosis - Leukemia. Have you ever felt hit in the stomach and you can't catch your breathe? Well, all of Cloverdale lost their breathe that day. She is the most positive person I know and is using her story for good. How can all this happen to one family? She is rallying for someone to step in and admit that it is in our environment and we need to do something about it! Please visit her journal at http://www.caringbridge.org/ and type her name shannanwirt under "enter website name. Please forward her journal to anyone you know because you never know who's hands it will get into. We all need to rally together to help our friend and our community! And pray, pray, pray!
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself-and especially to feel, or not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at any moment is fine with them. That's what real love amounts to - letting a person be what she really is. And that is why it is so easy to love my friend Tina. It's her birthday today and I wish her many more years of happiness to come. Our friendship is "A God Thing", as Tina would say. She has been passing through my life ever since we were teenagers. And then at the toughest moments in our lives, God brought us together. And it has been a wonderful journey ever since. We've laughed, cried, shared our deepest thoughts, and even shared the "ugly parts" about ourselves. Speaking of ugly parts - we've even showed one another the cellulite on our legs - now that is true freedom and letting go. I truly am blessed with her friendship. Its funny because a lot of people think she is so quite and reserved. And I see the exact opposite. I see a silly, laugh to your stomach aches, kind of girl. Her heart is bigger than anyone I know. She makes me want to be a better person in so many aspects of my life because of the way she lives her own life. Happy Birthday Tina! I know that we will grow old together, but our friendship will always feel new! You are so easily loved by me.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
I'm usually on top of the Halloween decorations. I love this season. The ever changing colors, changes in weather, and the smells of the fresh ground. Time passed by quickly and all of a sudden, the first week of October was gone. The kids reminded me that we hadn't put our decorations up yet. I dusted off the cobwebbed Rubbermaid's in the garage and spent 3 hours decorating the inside of the house. I am "a little" anal retentive when it comes to decorating. After the kids went to bed, I placed the pumpkins and ghouls in "just the right spot". You should have seen where they placed things. Gianna had 15 different candle holders on a 12 inch table. And Brandon tried to scotch tape a skeleton costume to the fireplace mantel. UMMM...doesn't work. Scary that I can't just let some of that stuff go. The other scary thing? Costume discussions. On our 40 minute ride to school this morning, Brandon wanted to be about 40 different things... army guy, policeman, rock star, mad scientist, skater, surf boarder, Scream(which is way out of the question), a snickers bar, a zombie prisoner, a motorcycle rider.... and on and on. Gianna? Simple (for once thank God) - a cheerleader! I remember my favorite costume as a little girl (my Aunt Cindy made it for me) - I was a bag of Jelly Beans. That was when Halloween wasn't soooo commercial. What happened to the good ol' days of Halloween? What was your favorite costume when you were little?
Friday, October 3, 2008
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
What's your story? Everyone has one. Where your born. Where you grew up. Where you've been. And where your are today. I was almost to work when I saw the most beautiful thing. Thank you God for that precious moment. A homeless man was sitting on the curb with his garbage bag full of cans, held tightly over his shoulder. His only possession. Another homeless man quickly hobbles down the street toward the man on the curb and they embrace. They held that embrace, not afraid to hold on. I kept driving as my heart smiled. And then before I knew it, my minivan turns around like Knight Rider and I'm heading back toward the two men. I stop Knight Rider in front of the man with his one possession and blurt out, "Excuse me, but can I buy you breakfast?" Whoa, poltergeist! Who just entered my body to speak for me? He comes up to my car and says, "No, thank you. I have a food card." "Are you sure? I really would love to do it. I just saw you hug your friend and it made me smile." He still declined and I sat talking to this man for a good five minutes, as cars buzzed around our conversation. What's his story? Maybe it was his life today that made me look at my own this morning. No matter what our story is, or walk of life, we can love and be loved. I simply can say, I am in awe and wish all of you could have seen that one embrace between those two men. It certainly would have changed your heart this morning.