28 May 2008

Attitude Adjustment

Well, to put it simply, my attitude sucked. Really, it was getting so negative that I'm sure my friends were trying to avoid me. I was negative about work and complaining a lot that I'd rather be home with my kids. I was complaining about my home, that I couldn't keep clean. I was constantly frustrated about something. And the worse part about it is that I would admit it but wasn't doing anything to change it. But today is a different day. I'm so thankful for Rhett who pointed it out to me indirectly after I bit his head off through an email conversation. I know where my joy comes from and I know what I need to keep my cup full. I wasn't doing it.

Now, things aren't perfect. I would still love to be home with my kids but also realize that I'm in this place for a reason. Ecclesiastes says that there is a time and a season for everything. And in this season, I'm going to choose to quit being so negative. And I might even agree to see the doctor about a possible problem that might be the cause of my constant state of exhaust.

Thanks to my friends, family and God who continue to love me even when I'm not so easy to love!

Memorial Weekend

A weekend to remember for sure, but not in the sense that I would have guessed or imagined...

Saturday was the 5 year anniversary to my wonderful husband. Ryan continues to bless my life on a daily basis. We are by no means perfect but I'm so thankful to have him as my husband and best friend. He prioritizes his family even when his schedule is hectic. He tries hard to leave his work frustrations at work (or in the vet truck). He's a wonderful provider. He loves me. He has a killer smile. He seeks to glorify God with his life. He is so many things but remember that I promised to try to keep it short, I'll say one more thing: I love the man I marred 5 years ago.

Friday night and Saturday we attended a marriage enrichment seminar. And to be honest, I wasn't looking foward to using my 3 day weekend in such a way. I wanted to do other things like place flags and crosses on soldier's graves, go out to eat with my hubby, etc. I'm so glad that I did the marriage enrichment seminar. It was such a good refresher on life. How easily I can get stuck in a rut. I so needed that weekend. My poor husband so needed me to be at that weekend where I would be reminded of how to love him in ways that he needs loved.

Friday was good. Friday night at home was tiring. I was up until 3am with Bethany which made for some serious dry eye issues on Saturday. I'm an emotional person, which most people wouldn't guess. I cry easy. So, to say the least, Saturday afternoon was a bit emotional for me and lacking sleep didn't help. But it was good to fill my cup so to speak. Plus, we had some good meals made by two of my favorite food people.

After things finished on Saturday night, we made a quick stop at the house to get our shopping list and check the mail before heading to supper with my family. In the mailbox, we had a very special card. It was from Hugo and Gladys. They are an older couple who five years before blessed us tremendously by Hugo giving us advice during our wedding ceremony. Their card is extra special because they don't send them to everyone, but we get one since they were part of our wedding. Hugo and his precious bride are 94 years now and don't get out much anymore. I mentioned to Ryan that we really, really needed to stop in for a visit as we usually do so every six months or so. We haven't been there since Bethany was born. I debated on stopping on my way to supper since we had time but opted not to because my kids desperately needed naps.

We got up to Decorah, which is a cute little town in plenty of time. Did a little shopping, stopped at the trout hatchery for a bit so Scott could check out the fish and I could feed Bethany. (sorry, no pictures, of either kid). Eventually we met up with my parents and my aunt and uncle for supper. My sweet uncle wanted to treat us to a meal for our anniversary. He was and still is, very thoughtful.

Sunday morning was a refreshing. I was looking forward to enjoying the day without having to think about going to work on Monday. Sunday came to be a bittersweet morning as well. My good friend, Hugo, passed away Sunday morning. He was an amazing man. He loved God, loved his family, loved people and loved to sing. He was a precious and sweet guy. I'm thankful that we did not stop by on Saturday night and see him as he was very near death. At the same time, I'm feeling a little guilty that I never made the time to stop by in the past 11 months and introduce my beautiful daughter to him. Oh, how precious is our time!

Sunday night was a interesting night in and of itself. As we watched the sky grow dark, we flipped on the news. And I hardly moved from there until I went to bed. We watched as the news flooded every local station reporting of the tornados in our area. Thankfully we weren't in or near the eye of the storm. One storm went north of us and one went south. However, our dear friends (the first friends I found in my church here) live in the town that sustained the most damage. I watched and prayed and watched and prayed some more as reports and pictures began flowing in about the small town of Parkersburg. Fortunately, our friends were out of town when it happened. However, they've lost everything. I just can't imagine what they're experiencing. They have a 4 year old, a 2 1/2 year old and a 5 month old. And nothing to call home. The only thing they've been able to salvage at this point is most of their clothes with the exception of the baby's. They still can't find the baby's dresser. Praise God who gives and who takes away that He chose to give them life and only take their "things". As they continue to deal with the aftermath of their own home, they also play a role in many others' hurt and loss as Ryan is a pastor of a local church there and will be giving a funeral service later this week. Oh, that God would bless them indeed in the coming days!

As the long weekend comes to a close, I am so thankful for:
  • my kiddos even if they wake multiple times during the night
  • my home even if I can't manage to keep it perfectly clean
  • my clothes even if I think I need new ones
  • my health, my family, my friends
  • and for the little things like toothpaste and deoderant as there are many people that have nothing right now as the tornado flattened 1/3 of the town of 1800.

yes, I am alive!

Man, I can't believe that two weeks have passed since I posted. Yes, I must have a crazy life. And I want to spend a few minutes informing all 3 of my readers about my recent life events. This could get really long as I've had an amazing amount of things in the recent past but I'll try to keep it as short as possible. I write a little about a few things and in no particular order in seperate posts....

16 May 2008

Small town

This morning I read a post by Meritt about living in a small town. Once upon a time I considered a town the size of hers as "small" but these days I consider her town to be decent sized. Anyway, I have a small town story of my own to share...

Our town is so small (~600 people) that every 5 years they have a homecoming. And to be honest, I'm not really sure why. The last homecoming was in 2004 and I was sad to miss the festivities but was glad to be celebrating the 60th wedding anniversary of Ryan's grandparents with the whole big family. Anyway, the homecoming is a big deal around here so prior to the event was like a spring cleaning for the community. People were re-painting their houses, fixing up sidewalks, etc. I found it entertaining that they were trying to show off for those who would be coming home. But maybe its more than that, maybe its that the community takes pride in their town, in themselves and wanted to put on their "sunday best".

What was really cute was that my parents had recently moved to town. And everyone knew that the new people were from California, were living in the Reir's house, and were Dr. Ryan's in-laws. So, a day or two before the homecoming event we were at my moms house visiting. It was a beautiful summer day and the windows were wide open. As we were chatting in the house, people were enjoying a leisurely walk. Two older couples were walking by and as they past my mom's house, they paused and one couple pointed to the house and told the visiting couple "... and this is where Dr. Ryan's inlaws live". No more did they finish the sentence and they were on their way again. It was too funny.

Four years later, there are probably many community members that still only know my parents as "Dr. Ryan's inlaws".

15 May 2008

Kids are Expensive

According to the USDA News (some of the text removed because it was more boring):
The Cost To Raise A Child:In March USDA released its annual report which details how much it costs to raise a child in America today. The report, titled "Expenditures on Children by Families" and released by USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, noted that for middle-income families with a child born in 2007, the costs of providing food, shelter, clothing, and other goods and services will total $204,060 by the child's 18th birthday.

"Since 1960, child-rearing expenses have changed noticeably," he added. Specifically, the cost of providing food decreased from 24 percent to 17 percent of total child-rearing costs, while child care and education expenses increased from 2 percent to 12 percent of total child-rearing costs. "For a middle-income, two-parent, two-child family," he said, "annual expenses for one child ranged from $10,930 to $12,030 depending on the age of the child, with expenditures on teenagers being the highest."

13 May 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Yes, its a few days late but still fresh in my mind. I certainly enjoyed a day with my family on Sunday but at the same time my thoughts were filled with other women. We all know someone who longs to have their own baby but for whatever reason hasn't had the opportunity. I thought of two specific people a bunch on Sunday. I do believe that life begins at conception so then it would be perfectly reasonable for them to celebrate Mother's Day as well. Yet, at the same time, I struggle with the realization that I got to hold my babies and they didn't. It blows my mind that without a spoken word, God knows their hurt. So, today I continue to pray for my friends that are hurting. Will you say a prayer for them too?

This Very Moment

If its not my tailbone, it is the muscle in my back is driving me crazy with pain, my contacts are blurry and my body is tired. I had a hard time falling asleep last night and was awake from 1am to 4am. Bethany was awake and crying twice in that time and nothing would console her so I finally, completely against my own will, gave in and breastfed her. That always works.

Thankfully today I spent a few hours out in the field. It was quite peaceful and although I was focused on my work at hand, I thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of some very rural scenery.

12 May 2008

My plate is full

A few people have commented or emailed me about my lack of posts lately. I'm totally here but life is a whirl wind right now and my plate is so full. What have I been up to lately...

Food Finally
well we finally bought groceries so my child will have something more to eat than corn dogs. We even have Bethany eating some fruit. She loves real food and spits out the expensive crap you buy in the store. Saturday was spent preparing two weeks worth of meals.

My Saturday
Well, Ryan did the cooking while I slept in for a bit before working on my own projects. I finished up Bethany's quilt top that I started last year. Whoopie! Made a few cards for Mother's Day with Scott which took way longer than it should but that's okay. Did dishes while Ryan cooked and played with the kiddos. I would have liked to get my basement cleaned up so my father in law could have his trailer back but that didn't happen.

High School Reunion
I'm really looking forward to this. There are a few classmates that I keep in contact with but not many. I would love to see friends, hear about their families, etc. A few of us girls have been working hard to contact all our old classmates which has become increasingly difficult. We're hoping for an August reunion and that month is fast approaching. Ahh, lots to do with that.

Service Saturday
Our small group tries to do one service project a month. Nothing to pat our backs, in fact, we usually get more out of serving than they get out of being served. Anyway, one of our big projects didn't have someone to take the lead. I sat on my hands for a long while but I was afraid the project would get dropped and it was such a rewarding event last year so I raised my hand. As if I don't have enough other things going on in my life. The past few days have been busy but fun trying to get some details taken care of. Our group voted for a May 31 date... yeah just over 3 weeks to plan. Good thing my friends had already laid the foundation for the project. Our group has some fun connections so its actually fun to plan.

Aunt Janie
My Aunt Janie is here. Yup, she just got here after lunch today. I'm super excited about that. She'll be here for several weeks and I'd love to take every other day off while she's here. Unfortunately that won't work. Currently I haven't even picked time off to hang out with her but I hope to nail that down soon. I also would like to find someone to keep my kiddos a few days while she's here so that she and my mom can run around and do their thing without lugging kids around. Ick, I always dread asking others to keep my kids.

Oh yes, still doing that too. I enjoyed a few days in the field recently but now I'm back to my desk chair. Hating that at the moment and not so much because of work but rather because of that nagging tail bone. Ryan and I have talked and even prayed some about my work situation. I enjoy what I do but I'd rather be home with my kiddos... at least some of the time. I wish it was simple to figure out but unfortunately there are many strings attached to this one. Just finished a plan today that has taken way too much time. It had 95 waterways on it which is a ton of work but at least its done.

I've been exhausted lately. Serious friends, I'm just plain tired. I know one of my friends suggested having my thyroid checked but I'd rather think its just the simple fact that I'm going a hundred miles a minute. When I crash, I crash! I've had fussy kiddos the last few days and they've really shown me how much patience they require. Scott was whiny, didn't want to eat what he'd been given, wanted a hair cut, didn't want a haircut, that kind of thing. He had to be in my lap much of Sunday. Bethany is a trooper but she too has her issues. She continues to have a hard time being "regular" and even though I've explained to the doctor that we've tried suppositories, apple juice, watered down bottles, fruit, veggies, dark karo syrup and even a laxative, nothing works. Not even combinations of all those things. They don't get it. They go through the list and I tell them I've tried each thing and then they go through it again. HELLO, are you listening nurse? Tried it! So, that's frustrating. Plus she's raw in the diaper area and as soon as the diaper comes off, she starts to scratch. I've recently been sitting on the floor to change her and have to hold her arms down with my legs while I change her so she doesn't irritate her area even more. It's a fun task, especially when you're whipped. We've tried all kinds of things for that too, A&D ointment, plain vaseline, butt paste, etc. Tonight I'm going to try the L&D and bacitracin mixture again and see if that works. Grr.

Okay, I think that's it. I should upload a picture of the kiddos but I'm lazy right now so I won't. Off to the parlor I go...

05 May 2008

Good and Bad Mommy Moments

Good Mommy Moment = I played outside with Scott with his t-ball set that he got for Christmas from our cousin.
Bad Mommy Moment = I busted his lip open slightly while helping him swing.

Good Mommy Moment = I raced Scott and Grammy home from church on Sunday.
Bad Mommy Moment = He fell and scraped his arm on the sidewalk while running.

Good Mommy Moment = We had a lot of fun playing this weekend (flying the kite, playing with dominoes and rummikub, sewing together)
Bad Mommy Moment = I didn't get his hair cut and its getting a little shabby around the ears.

Good Mommy Moment = We had a picnic outside for supper.
Bad Mommy Moment = It was the second consecutive meal that he had a hot dog.

02 May 2008

My Grandma is Famous

Yesterday my grandma had open heart surgery to replace a faulty valve. I didn't have a chance to talk to her before the surgery. In fact, I didn't even know where she was living or how to contact her. Yeah, I'm a bad grand daughter.

In years past I was actually really close with my grandma. She is an amazing woman and would give you the meal in front of her even if it meant her going hungry. She's a humble woman. She raised 8 children. She loved and respected my grandpa even after he past away. She opened her home and her kitchen to anyone who walked through the door. I have a deep respect for my grandma. But since I moved to Iowa, I've not had the opportunity to stop by once a week like I use to. I haven't taken the time to pick up the phone either. And we've drifted apart. But she is my grandma. I could have cried on Wednesday when I realized I didn't bring home the email from my aunt with my grandma's phone number.

What if the surgery doesn't go as planned? What if I never have a chance to say "adios". I planned to call her the night before her surgery to pray with her and tell her I love her. But the phone number was at my office, 25 miles down the road. I was home for the day and many times throughout the morning thought about my grandma and prayed for her. Finally I called my dad for an update. She was on bypass but still in surgery. It would be approximately an hour more. Later the phone rang, it was my dad. The valve was replaced, she was off bypass, everything went wonderfully! Thank you God! They still had to close up her checst, etc.

God, I know that if you know about every sparrow, you also know the number of hairs on my head and also know when my grandma will breathe her last breath. It is my prayer that she understand that she is a sinner, she deserves death but you conquered death and offer her eternity with you instead.

Oh, and the famous part... my Aunt Carol called me last night to give me an update. My Aunt Carol is a gem of a woman as well. Anyway, she gave me the update, shared the events of the past few days (which are super cool) and told me that they aired her surgery live to the medical students on one of the Univ. of CA campuses. My grandma was on TV, she's famous!

01 May 2008

May Day

Where I come from, May Day is not celebrated. However, I grew up in a swedish community and they held the Swedish Festival which included dancing around a May Pole. The early May celebration that I recall is Cinco De Mayo but people here aren't cultured in that arena. Regardless, people around here celebrate May Day and take May Baskets to people. It was fun to see kids out scrambling around giving May baskets to neighbors and friends. For us transplants to this area, we had no clue what May Day was all about. So I searched it today on my favorite website. And I found out that it actually has pagan connections and isn't overly popular in the US. It was interesting to read, check it out here. Happy May Day!

p.s. thanks to my dear friends who brought each of us a May basket tonight. I loved that Bethany's "basket" was specifically for her with baby food and crackers. You Schmitt's are too thoughtful!