Saturday, May 30, 2009

I might be paranoid, but I really think they are out to get me

A few days ago we decided to let our kids take some bread and feed some of the ducks that roam around all over town. I remembered about 5 minutes later that I hate birds. We ended up finding a flock (or gaggle or crew or legion or whatever) of geese and little baby geese who apparently had not been feed in like 20 years because they almost ate my hands off. Seriously. I might have pushed over my 4 year old while running from one particularly aggressive beast with his long brontosaurus neck and teeth filed into points. I might have shouted “Here! Take her! She’s smaller and tastes better!” Maybe. Anyhow, this little display caused me to realize that not only do I hate birds, but there are several other things that really give me the heebie jeebies. Here’s a rundown of some of the highlights:

1) Birds
Birds of all types freak me out. They have those weird little beady eyes and the hop when they walk and they’re dirty. I read once that birds are descended from dinosaurs or they are like shrunk up little dinosaurs or like lizards with feathers or something. That is messed up. I feel like they are looking at me just waiting until I’m not paying attention and then they’re gonna do some kind of pterodactyl voodoo on me or throw diseases at me or whatever. And the noises they make! It’s like creepy little voices planning to take over the world. And the ones that speak English are the freakiest of all. We should muzzle those little beaks. But they would probably just use their dinosaur instincts to chew their way out and then plan a strategic attack like those raptors in Jurassic Park. I’m pretty sure that all birds hate me too. They talk about me at their bird conferences.

2) Leprechauns
They are just plain ugly and also very tiny. Little things freak me out. I imagine that they smell really bad and have slimy skin and rotting teeth. Listen leprechauns, I know you are busy stealing peoples’ firstborn and protecting your pots of gold and everything, but there is no excuse for poor oral hygiene. I have no patience for that. Also, I tend to think that leprechauns by nature are probably very rude individuals. I mean that Lucky Charms guy has really messed up their reputation for being scary little mutants and that probably ticks them off. I am very concerned that if I ever meet a leprechaun he is going to be rude to me. I don’t want a leprechaun to hurt my feelings. That’s just embarrassing.

3) Children that speak other languages
It is very disconcerting to be in the presence of little children who can have entire conversations that I can’t understand in those little squeaky kid voices. I feel like they are plotting something, or possibly talking about my outfit. I don’t like it when 4 year olds appear to be smarter than me.

4) Butterflies
Anything that begins as one thing and then rolls itself into its own body secretions so it can violently turn inside out and morph into something else is NOT OK with me. You are not fooling anyone with your colorful wings and crawly legs. You used to be a furry worm and now you have wings?! And then you are going to dive bomb all around my head and get all up in my hair and land on my clothes and latch on to my hands with those scary little prickly feet. No thanks.

5) Dolls
When I was little, my grandma used to make porcelain dolls. From scratch. Or however you would call it when you make a baby from parts. So not only were there these horrifying frozen children staring at me all night while I slept (lit from the glowing orange eyeballs of the ceramic owl, I’m not even kidding); every now and then you might open a drawer or closet and find a bag of doll arms. Or torsos. Or a bag of hair. Or heads with no hair. Or feet. I spent most nights there laying wide awake ready to defend myself against partially developed, wide eyed porcelain children who wanted me out of their room. Then my mom inherited all of her dolls. And she recreated that bedroom in her own house with all of the same furniture. Are you people trying to make me crazier than I already am? Whenever I would house sit for my mom, my first order of business was to throw blankets over all of the dolls and just pray that this didn’t royally peeve the dolls and give them more reason to come after me. We don’t have dolls in my house. Not allowed. My kids put stuffed animals in their baby strollers and doll houses.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Things that I am really thankful for this week:

1) Patient Friends
As you may have heard, we took a little trip south this weekend to visit our great friends. We turned our kids loose in their house and it was only a matter of hours before catastrophe struck. And by catastrophe, I mean my highly energetic children meeting her breakables in a head on cage match. Check this out. It will explain. Anyhow, God love her for keeping her cool despite the amount of damage we inflicted. And God love her husband for leaping into action with a broom whenever necessary to keep everyone safe. He also took a solid smack on the kiester while chasing after one of my rouge offspring who decided to take off in a dead sprint without permission. I love them for being so patient, helpful, and assuring us that they are going to let us back into their home someday. Although we might need to give them a few weeks notice so they can wrap everything in bubble wrap.

2) The freedom to have kids, albeit destructive ones
I watched this Documentary today called “China’s Stolen Children”. It was shocking. And heartbreaking. I am so happy that I have the freedom to have both of my children with no fear of fines or being forced to give one or both of them up. I forget how good we have it here. God has been so good to us.

3) Summer break
I have taken the opportunity this week to soak in every second of summer break so far. I have stayed in my PJ’s until afternoon and watched all kinds of movies. I sat by the pool in the backyard and worked up a good sunburn. I could not understand why both of my children chose to get up an hour before sunrise this week of all weeks. I know that I can’t keep this up all summer, but it sure has been fun while it’s lasted.

4) So you think you can dance
This show is dangerously close to dethroning “Ghost Hunters” as my favorite show. I love this show! Maybe it’s because I cannot dance. At all. So I don’t find myself critiquing every little thing like I do with American Idol. Plus, not just anyone can just show up and be a great dancer. These people have obviously worked hard, trained hard, and developed what they do. Also, the people that haven’t trained fall on their heads. Their heads! Nobody does that on AI.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I know, I know…but I’m gonna get all withered up like leather anyway so I should at least wither up evenly

OK I was reminded that I didn’t finish telling the whole story of our Memorial Day weekend.

As far as the pizza goes, there is very little to tell. We ate pizza. Lots and lots of pizza. Absurd amounts of pizza. It was awesome. And slightly uncomfortable.

After we went to the water park, I realized that I have a great tan going on. And it’s only May! I was marveling at myself in the mirror (you are in NO way surprised by this and don’t even act like you are) I decided to pull the straps down a little and check out my awesome tan lines. We weren’t at the water park anymore, by the way. We were back at home, so it wasn’t like I was just stripping in a public bathroom. I mean, I look good, but not that good. So anyway, there is my great tan. And a little farther down…my blindingly white middle. You see when you wear a one piece to the beach for a week, your middle gets a little left out. It was not pretty.

So I needed to come up with a plan; quickly. Option A: Get spray tanned only across the middle and hope the color matches and I don’t end up like a stripped Easter Egg. Option B: Start frequenting nude beaches. I’ve seen nude beaches while on a cruise. Trust me, everyone there is so distracted by 65 year old flabby man bits that they won’t even notice the two starkly different colors of my skin. Option C: Suck in my gut, get a bikini, and tan the old-fashioned way: in the yard on a 6 dollar pool chair next to the blow up kiddie pool. Pure class.

We decided to go shopping on Monday. We had just stuffed ourselves to capacity at the awesome pizza buffet. I wasn’t sure it was a great idea to look for bikinis while I was still nursing a food baby, but we had the time. We got over to the store and started hunting. I had already decided that this is strictly a backyard swimsuit, never to be worn in public, so I wasn’t afraid to be a little bolder in my choices. And by bolder, I mean teenier.

I took everything to the dressing room and gave Luke very specific instructions not to go far. I was going to text him when I was ready for him to come look at the potential bikini and give me a yes or no. I got the first little guy on and sent him the text…and waited…and waited…and waited…and texted again…and waited…and called him to no answer. Keep in mind that while I am courageous enough to wear this thing in my backyard, I still have reminders on my body that I have had 2 kids in a 15 month time span. I was not trying to walk out to husband row outside of the dressing room and get a yes or no from all of those guys holding their wives’ purses. So I hollered at him. “Luke! Get in here!”

He immediately popped up from the husband zone as they all glared at him with either rabid jealousy or intense desperation. He came into my little room and told me that this bikini makes me look old. Actually he also said “I don’t really understand the point of it.” As though bikinis are supposed to offer us the answers to life’s existential questions. I was not about to go through the calling and waiting process one more time, so I just told him to stay put while I tried on the next few. We decided on the one we liked best and we were out of there. Of course, then we had to run the gauntlet of “mothers waiting outside the dressing rooms of their teenage daughters” We got some nasty looks. Calm down and keep your panties on lady. I kept my panties on because it says to right in the crotch of the swimsuit. It’s not like that little room is big enough for anything salacious anyway. Honestly.

We made it out of there with my new swimsuit and went straight home to break it in. Even though it’s only the backyard, it’s still a little intimidating to be covered by so little. But as long as it stays between me, Luke, and some fortuitous neighbors jumping on their trampoline, I love it. I just can’t make any sudden moves. But my middle will match my extremities in no time.

This is as much of it as you will ever get to see. Unless you want to come over and jump on the neighbor’s trampoline.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Hey GAD, good to see you again

This past weekend we decided to load up the kids and the SUV and head south to visit our friends Bulls Eye and Tiger. We said it was because we wanted to take our kids to the water park and let them play on the slides, but really it was our husbands who wanted to run around the water park and play on the slides. So 3 life jackets, 4 swimsuits, 4 towels, a DVD player, 4 stuffed animals, 2 sleeping bags, and 2 happy meals later, we were on the way to the water park.

We started off a little rough, I’m not gonna lie. I guess GAD has been feeling a little left out lately and decided to make a grand comeback right around the time we were set to leave. We got a late start, and got stuck in some traffic which can make even sane people very tense. I was harboring some pretty intense fears about taking my kids to a huge public place like that too. Needless to say, I was jumpy, having trouble breathing, and having lots of trouble concentrating. Finally Luke asked me if I had brought my happy pills with me. I told him that I had, but I didn’t want to take one unless I really needed it. He assured me that I really needed it. An hour later, I was sleeping peacefully. Or so I’m told. I don’t remember much after taking the pill. But it was a much more pleasant trip for everyone.

After settling in, having delicious organic tacos, and a somewhat restful nights sleep, it was finally water park time. But there was one little incident just before leaving. You see my kids have a remarkable ability to turn seemingly safe and innocent household objects into destructive flying projectiles. It’s like a super power. So as the grownups ate our breakfast, the girls ran back and forth through the house chanting some crazy little song about swimming in the water. One of my dear little children ran through a door and closed it behind her with what we will call “exceptional enthusiasm”. The result was a chain reaction that started when the slam knocked a large picture off of a shelf. Which knocked off the next picture, which knocked of the next, and so on and so on. There was a fairly impressive shower of glass and splintering wood mainly centering right around my head and face. Amazingly, there were no human fatalities, but I can’t really say the same for about 6 or 7 picture frames.

With our daily whirlwind of destruction competed, we were ready to pile into the car and head to the water park! You can’t tell, but that last exclamation point was sarcastic. I was not looking forward to the water park. I was imagining every possible scenario that could go wrong. I really almost lost my cool as we walked through the gates. I could not have conceived how difficult that would be. It’s just walking though gates, right? But it’s a place I’ve never been and that makes it almost impossible. Combine that with the weight of being responsible for two little people when I can barely get my own crap together and it’s a pretty tough situation. I literally forced my brain to think no further ahead then putting one foot in front of the other. It worked. We were in.

When we started off the day, Bulls Eye and I were married to adult men. Suddenly we found ourselves in the company of 13 year old boys. Those two ran around like it was the first time they had ever been to a place as cool as that. But they brought me a chili-cheese dog which was awesome. I figure if they can act like 13 year old boys, then I can eat like one. So I did. I quit trying to estimate my calorie count somewhere around 4000. I don’t know if it was the food coma, or the coping skills, or the sun, or the great people around me, but I managed to actually loosen up and have fun. That’s so unlike me! We left the park exhausted and pink, with only one temper tantrum (but I said “Cut it out. You are a grown-up). All the little people were asleep as soon as we got in the car, and the big people were almost asleep 10 minutes later.

We managed to make it through the rest of the weekend without anymore shattered glass. There was a dance-off at about midnight which is what happens when you get old and nerdy. But it was a blast. I really hope we can do it again soon. Maybe this time we can make it, without all the medication and destruction.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I've just had lots of stuff going on

I promise to get around to telling you all about our holiday weekend.

Preview: Road trip, water park, shattered glass, dancing, pizza, bikini.

Later.

Friday, May 22, 2009

I will cleanse all over your plate

This day of cleansing was different than all others. I had been really thinking a lot about the advice given to me to avoid a full scale cleanse while still taking medications and managing OCD. I had not fully anticipated the mental effects of a cleanse. I had read that certain mental disorders can become exacerbated during cleansing but I just didn’t expect it to be so crippling. Also I am still getting used to the idea of me having “mental disorders” So, I approached this day with caution. I started with my lemonade but fully intended to eat some food during the day.

Already I could feel the positive effects of cleansing, even in such a short time. My body felt lighter, I had lots of energy, my headache was gone, and I slept well. All great things to be excited about. So morning lemonade went well and the soup from the night before was exactly what I needed to break the monotony.

Then we went to lunch. At Ted’s for cryin out loud. I knew I was going to eat something, but let’s face it; I fell off the wagon. HARD. I was not going to have sugar or Dr. Pepper or meat, but I thought, well I can have something vegetarian. Tortillas are vegetarian. They are also processed white flour. I also had cheese. And onions. I was about half way through with what I had ordered when it hit me: my body does NOT want this food in here. And it is very close to staging a revolt and expelling it all. The conversation between Luke and I went something like this:

Luke: You look bad.
Me: Shut it.
Luke: Why did you eat all that?
Me: I will poke you with this fork.
Luke: Maybe this wasn’t the best choice for breaking the fast. Hey, you sure “broke that fast” Heh heh, see what I did there? You broke the fast…fast.
Me: But this is so good. It’s so good that I don’t even care that I will probably throw it all up later.
Luke: Maybe that could be your new cleanse.
Me: I’m going to cleanse all over your plate if you don’t can it.
Luke: Point taken.

So let’s summarize all the benefits and not dwell on the disappointment of not being able to finish. I have not had any carbonated or caffeinated beverage in nearly 3 weeks. I have had no meat in 2 weeks (which isn’t really that big of a deal because I was a vegetarian for 11 years). I lost 6 pounds. I discovered that my body really does feel better without sugar, processed flour, grease, and junk. I learned that I can live without all of that gross food. I discovered that food tastes so much better when you slow down and enjoy it. And most importantly I am considering this experience as my “first try”. I am going to re-vamp and come back with a plan that is better for my particular needs and continue to maintain the diet changes that I have implemented so far.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I am so thankful that Thursday finally showed up

This week feels like it has already had 42 days in it. I don’t know why I am dragging so much. This was my first week of official summer break from teaching. Somehow I managed to fill every minute that I used to spend teaching with cleaning, planning, writing, organizing, and generally staying busy. Here are some things I am thankful for this week.

1) A long weekend ahead
I am ready to get packed up and get on the road. We are going to see our good friends Bulls Eye and Tiger. Yea!! Once I get through the stress of actually packing and leaving, it will be a blast. I get all crazy right before we leave our house for extended periods of time. Everything has to be exactly in its place and packing is the same way. We are also going to a water park this weekend which is doing all kinds of damage to my sanity. But, I am going to see this as a challenge and put my CBT to the test. I am really stoked about just hanging out and talking after the kids go to bed at night. It’s been too long.

2) Food
I cannot even begin to describe the new significance that I discovered with food this week. I attempted my first Master Cleanse and discovered that it is much more challenging than I thought. I also learned that with my specific medications and disorders, I must exercise a little more caution than your average cleanser. I fully intend to re-vamp and give it another try because in the 3 days that I was able to cleanse my body, I had AMAZING results. And that was only 3 days! But what I really am taking away from this week is the revelation that I have so much food available to me at any time of the day or night. When it became necessary for me to break my fast, I simply selected the proper healthy food from a vast array of choices. Millions of people are not so blessed. They have no choice in what they eat or if they eat at all. Thanks be to God for providing so abundantly.

3) Norman Gentle
I missed you Norman Gentle! I am so happy you came back to the American Idol finale to make the whole season worthwhile again. I laughed so hard I almost choked and I loved every second of your campy, over the top, belty, sassy, colorful, energetic, down-right genius performance. You are my American Idol, Norman Gentle.

4) A husband who chooses to work at this
I have been reminded this week just how difficult being married can be. I sat glued to every breaking detail of certain reality TV Christian couple who have 8 children. I read every interview and looked at every picture. Luke and I have talked openly since Day 1 of our marriage about how to build protective walls around our relationship. He is a man of action when it comes to pro-actively protecting us. We are no more immune to the problems of the world than anyone else, but by the strength of God we are going to protect what He has given us BEFORE we find ourselves in sticky situations. I am thankful for a husband who understands the gravity of choices made and yet to be made and works hard to keep our marriage sacred and strong.

It really has been a good week.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Day 2 or maybe 98, or possibly I'm starving to death

This is crappy. I mean that in all ways that you can mean crappy. My colon is like a steam engine, or a wind tunnel. My colon is so empty now that you could use it for one of those tubes at a football game or baseball game that you spin around over your head and it makes that hollow train whistle sound. But my colon is way longer and you would run the risk of smacking people in the head or back with it. It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye to a flailing hollow colon. But enough about my colon. What happened on day 2…

By around the 48 hour mark, I was fairly certain that my body was about to start eating itself. I managed to fix breakfast and lunch for both of my kids and only drooled on it a little. I actually sniffed their bread for an absurdly long amount of time. The good news is that I wasn’t craving Dr. Pepper and sugar and junk. I really was craving carrots and rice and cheese. The fact that my cravings changed so quickly is enough to make me do a kooky little happy dance.

I just never knew that lemonade could be SO boring! But I was making it. I already lost 6 pounds and actually felt lighter. Then I went to see one of my many doctors. We talked about the cleanse and about my medications and about my motivations and my crazy issues. We can to a conclusion; I need to modify the cleanse. And by modify, I mean “don’t do that cleanse any more while still taking medication and being crazy.” Basically, my OCD isn’t going anywhere. I’m managing through CBT and medication. However, radically changing my diet was causing some bizarre OCD things to happen. Does this mean that I totally quit? Nope. I’m still trying to figure out how to get the benefits without the side effects.

So on the evening of day 2 I had organic vegan vegetable soup for dinner. It was probably the best thing I have ever eaten in my entire life. It was exactly what I needed. I had the soup and water and exploding gut tea and called it a night. I am counting day 2 as a victory.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Seven (Eight) Things I Love as a Kreative Blogger

I got another one! Bulls Eye passed along another blogger award to me. Although I think I got this one by default. Whatever. Still good. So thanks for my “Kreative Blogger” award. The spelling freaks me out a little bit, but I’m trying to deep breathe my way through the discomfort the poor spelling causes me.

Here are the rules of the “Kreative Blogger” award. Write about 7 things that you love, and then nominate 7 other bloggers to do the same.

I don’t want to state the obvious with my 7 things. Also, I’m going to do 8 things. It’s more even and it feels better. Deal with it. Anyway, I figure that some things are just a given. I love Jesus, Luke and my kids. I love the Bible and my church. I love singing and piano and my house. So here are a few things you may not have known that I love:

1) Converse
I have been in love with Chuck Taylor since the first day I knew these shoes existed which was when I was about 8. Throughout my lifetime I have had All-stars, One-stars, hi-tops, low-tops, pink, silver, black, white, blue, brown and yellow Chucks. I have worn these shoes with jeans, skirts, dresses, pants, and shorts. I have been known to wear them to church with dresses (but not since I’ve been a grown-up. Maybe once or twice since I’ve been a grown-up.) In high school I personalized my blue hi-top Chucks with glitter and markers. I wish I still had those. Currently I have 3 pair in my closet and I am already planning on making my next purchase.

2) Tragic Endings to Movies and Books
I love to read and I love to watch movies. However, I am not a big fan of happy endings. In real life, sure I love a happy ending, but in my entertainment, I want a tragic heartbreaker every time. For example: I cannot stand cheese ball movies like Pretty Woman, Sleepless in Seattle, or basically any movie/book that is classified as romantic comedy. I prefer Atonement, Revolutionary Road, Romeo and Juliet, and Titanic. I like my romances tragically romantic. Keep the comedy out of it. I don’t need my comedies to be romantic either. Just be funny.

3) High Heels
I’m going with Bulls Eye on this one. I love high heels. The higher the better. I am already knocking on the door of 6 feet tall with no shoes on. So when I put on 3 or 4 inch shoes…do the math. I’m not scared to be taller than any man around. In fact, I prefer it. I think secretly that Luke loves it too.

4) Loud Music
People think that since I am a classically trained singer and pianist then I must listen to every Met broadcast and go to the symphony every weekend. I do appreciate lots of really good classical music, but here’s a little secret; I love my music to be loud and fast. I like to feel it in my teeth. I love all kinds of hard rock, pop, dance, alternative, and punk. I need loud bass, break-neck beats, and some killer vocals I can sing along to. I really love Pearl Jam, Green Day, Britney, Justin, Ok Go, The Veronicas, The Beatles, Katy Perry, CCR, and Aerosmith just to name a few. I blown out more than one car speaker and also I think my hearing a little bit.

5) Crime and Investigation Network
They have the best shows on there! It’s all forensic science and clues and DNA and investigating and cold cases and profiling. It’s fascinating. It also helps fuel my delusional belief that one day I might actually be a criminal profiler for the FBI. Hey, it could happen.

6) Ghost Hunters
I have loved the idea of paranormal investigation for as long as I can remember. I have even done some of my own unofficial ghost hunts and I even have a picture of what could be something paranormal that I caught. It’s very cool. Nobody else gets as excited about it as I do. This is why I love Ghost Hunters on Sci-Fi. These guys are awesome investigators and very entertaining too. I mean, convincing that kid to wear a tiara that he believed was a head lamp; that is funny I don’t care who you are. Plus they have caught some amazing footage. I went to one of the hotels that they investigated once. It was SO creepy. I loved it.

7) Tim Burton
I have no words for Tim Burton. He is an artist. He can tell a fairy tale in ways I never imagined possible. His movies are intense and beautiful and touching and scary and fantastic. Combine all that with Danny Elfman and it gets me every time. I couldn’t possibly even pick a favorite Tim Burton moment. Edward Scissorhands when the creator dies breaks my heart. Or Corpse Bride when the scary corpse is really the kid’s grandpa and he came back to visit him. Or any part of Big Fish. He’s a genius. A dark, beautiful genius.

8) Taco Bell
If you are surprised by this, then you don’t know me at all. I’ve been eating at the same Taco Bell since high school. My choice of menu items varies from time to time but everything at Taco Bell is good. There have been occasions that my voice has been recognized through the drive-thru speaker. I think that there may also have been a day or two that I got my food for free. Taco Bell provides all of your food groups wrapped right up in a neat little paper wrapper. I would have served it for our wedding if my mom would have let me. I’m there about 4 times a week. I truly love that place.

So that’s my list. I guess now I am supposed to nominate 7 people for the award. I don’t really know any other bloggers so if any one would like to nominate themselves for the award, give me a shout. I trust your judgment.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Day One of One? Maybe Two...

It’s here. I have prepared mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. I bought everything I needed to buy. I read everything I needed to read. I joined online support groups. I am ready.

The day started OK. I made my lemonade first thing in the morning. This was after drinking the herbal tea the night before. The herbal tea was EXTREMLEY effective. I woke up early as my guts were protesting every burrito I have ever eaten. So anyway, I made the lemonade. It was easy to make but it looks a little like dirty toilet water. I discovered very quickly that cayenne pepper does not dissolve. I learned this the hard way. As in, I took a big drink of lemonade through a straw and all the cayenne had settled on the bottom causing me to get a mouthful of straight cayenne pepper. That is not pleasant. My philosophy for the rest of the day was to keep the lemonade in constant motion while drinking.

I didn’t feel hungry. At first. It was around 3 or 4 in the afternoon that I really started to have some dirty fantasies about food. I kept drinking and drinking just like I was supposed to, but that did not quiet the screaming urge for pizza. I was very surprised to learn that detox happens very quickly. My face seems to have gotten the impression that I am now a 14 year old boy as evidenced by the overwhelming breakouts. I freaked out a little when this started happening, but then I remembered I am supposed to congratulate my sick little body for healing itself. Well, great job face; you sure know how to be disgusting. Also my tongue has turned white and when I breathe in, all I can taste is lemons. And my jaws have simply gone on strike and refuse to open.

I was done by nighttime. Luke had taken our kids out to get pizza while I stayed home to drink lemonade and exploding gut tea. He got back and informed me that since the order had been made wrong, they gave them an entire extra pizza for free. And he brought it home. And I looked at it. I think I might have actually blacked out for a moment. I was about 2 seconds away from quitting until he talked me out of it. Really he just called me a girl and told me that if I quit he was going to make fun of me. So I didn’t cheat. I just went to bed.

So I made it one entire day. Who knows how long I will last. I am simply proud of myself for making it this one day so far. I will be happy with any progress. Great job colon!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thankful (it's still technically) Thursday

It’s here. Thankful Thursday just under the wire. I know you were like “Oh no! Where is it? It has to be here by Thursday. It can’t be Thankful Friday. That’s not clever alliteration!” I really pushed the deadline this time. Mainly because we spent the better part of the evening at a dress rehearsal for a dance recital that my kids are in for the very first routine and the very last routine. But we had good quality time together during the 3 hours that we waited in between. But the dance teacher is a great Christian girl; they are dancing to great Christian music and learning how to be respectful in God’s house. It’s worth the extra time in rehearsal. So here is the list for this week.

1) Summer Break
I love teaching voice and piano students. I really love watching them develop and grow throughout the year. I love to get to know the students and hear about all of the things in their lives besides voice and piano. But, God bless them, I really really love summer break. Today was my last official day to teach until September. Now we just have to make it through two recitals. I know they will be fabulous!

2) Napkins
During the extra long dance rehearsal tonight, we promised our girls that they could have ice cream afterward if they behaved and listened to the teacher. Well they did, so we had to pay up. Unfortunately, they were also very adamant about having their ice cream in cones which is high on the list of “things that make me want to poke out my eyes”. I literally was forced to look away when they finally had ice cream cones in their little hands. We got the cones in a drive-thru of all things, so this fiasco was happening in the car where I was completely held hostage and could not escape the mess. I averted my eyes and let Luke lead the Sticky Bandits into the house and bat clean-up while I hid in the bedroom until it was all over. OCD relapse or clever tactic to avoid the bedtime routine…? You be the judge.

3) Sookie Stackhouse
Luke got me the newest Sookie Stackhouse book for my Mother’s Day gift! Man, I love Sookie Stackhouse. It’s like all the vampire, werewolf, romance, comedy and drama without all the teen angst, hormones, undying love, and creepy little half-vampire babies.

4) Rain and Thunder
It has rained for approximately 18 days in a row. Many of those days were cold, cloudy, and accompanied by thunder. I love it! Thanks be to God for earth soaking rain. It’s refreshing and cleansing. (Kind of like my colon will be in a few short days.) The sound of rain and thunder is the best sound to fall asleep to. Also, anytime I have an excuse to put on yoga pants, curl up under a blanket and read a book, especially when I have the new Sookie Stackhouse, sign me up.

Philippians 4:4
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Viva Las Wedding

A year ago I married my best friend. OK I married him one another time before that, but this time, it was so much cooler. Let me go back to the beginning.

Luke and I were married in 2001 in between semesters during our senior year of college. We had no money, we lived in a 500 square foot apartment, and we were both full-time students and employees. But we loved it. Needless to say, there was very little extra time or money for certain luxuries, such as a honeymoon. That’s right; we got married, and headed to Dallas for one night and spent the night at an EconoLodge or something just to say that we went somewhere. I’m pretty sure we went to a movie and had Taco Bell before coming back home. It was cheap and fun and romantic and silly and all of those things that getting married young should be. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Fast forward 6 years and 2 kids later. We were grown-ups now with real jobs and a mortgage, and we still had very little extra time or money for things like vacations. We actually had still never taken a real live vacation together. We had gone to lunch with the whole family to celebrate something (it must have been something good because I have no memory of what it was). Anyway, I remember being outvoted and ended up at a Chinese food restaurant, which in my opinion is a violation of all things that are good. So I grabbed a Wedding Guide magazine to look at while everyone else ate. I always like to read through the industry magazines since I do a lot of work in the industry even though I’m too cheap to put an ad in there myself. I like to know who I have to sabotage to get the business. My sister sees me reading and says “What, are you guys getting married again or something?” and Luke without hesitation says “Yep. But this time we’re just gonna go to Vegas and get married in a chapel.” and I said “Yeah, with Elvis and everything.” Luke says “You really want to re-marry me and you want Elvis to be there?” and I was like “Absolutely, I do. Get me to Vegas and we can have a real honeymoon this time too. And I mean a “real” honeymoon *wink wink*” And he instantly says “Done!” And that was how he proposed. Again.

By that evening, we had already narrowed down the list of hotels, flights, chapels, and gone over our finances and frequent flier miles. It was happening. We boarded the plane on Mother’s Day. I knew that I was going to be afraid to fly, but I had no idea I was that crazy (see “Leaving on a Jet Plane Pt. 1). But we made it there and we were alive and he still loved me anyway. Bonus. We decided that since this was our re-wedding and first official honeymoon, we were going to do this right. We stayed in the top of one of the New York New York towers in a gorgeous suite that was actually bigger than our first apartment by about 150 square feet. We spent our first few days in Vegas going to shows, eating out, and walking to every hotel on the strip. I also spent those days in a flurry of crazy OCD behavior but it is only now that I realize what I was doing. At the time, Luke just shook his head at me and called me crazy. He still loved me anyway. Bonus.

I started calling around to find a wedding chapel as soon as we got there. I called several places and Luke called several places, but it was starting to look like an Elvis wedding was out of our budget and we thought we would settle for a cheap chapel wedding instead. But I made one last call to the Hollywood Wedding Chapel just to check it out.

Me: Hi, my husband and I want to get remarried. Well, I mean we are still married. We didn’t get divorced or anything. I mean we just want to renew our vows. Can we get married there?

Little voice on the phone with a heavy accent: Oooohhhh!!!! You get marry here. You love here! We very pretty. I put you on schedule. You love. Congratulation!

Me: Great! Um, one more thing…do you have Elvis there?

LVOTPWAHA: Oooooohhhhh!!!! You get Elvis. I call right now. He very professional. You love him. I call him come tomorrow. He marry you. You loooovvvveee Elvis. Have great fun. See you tomorrow. OK bye. *click*

Me: OK. Hey Luke. Lets get married at the Hollywood Wedding Chapel tomorrow. Elvis is going to be there. He very professional.

So there we were at the Hollywood Wedding Chapel. I bought a new white dress for the wedding and Luke had on a new shirt. We both wore flip-flops and were much more comfortable than the first time we got married. Elvis showed up right on time and he was everything I dreamed he would be. Gold suit, big black hair, twisty hips, and curly lip. I almost married him instead. He walked me right down the aisle. We shared our vows the real way and then it was time for the Elvis vows. We promised each other never to leave the other at heartbreak hotel and that we would love each other tender. Then he sang several songs for us while he mugged for photo ops. Because honestly, why would you have Elvis marry you if you didn’t want like a hundred pictures to document it?

Finally, the moment came and he pronounced us…still married. Viva Las Vegas fires up and down the aisle we go. In a kickline. With Elvis. Awesome! That is way better than all the traditional wedding stuff. We celebrated our re-marriage by heading straight to the tattoo parlor. After that, off to the honeymoon suite, which was still just the same room we had been in all week but somehow it was a little better now. We popped the cork on a celebratory bottle of champagne because in Vegas you are allowed to do that even though it was 12:30 in the afternoon.

Happy Re-anniversary Baby! Or Happy Elvisiversary? Or Congratulations for sticking with me this long? Or Happy Viva Las Wedding? Call it whatever. I love you!

video

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

8 reasons I love Pilates

1. Everything is in groups of 8
When I was doing my Pilates this morning I noticed that we count everything down in groups of 8. Then I went back and looked at some of the other Pilates workouts and they all count to 8 too. I figure, that’s pretty awesome because 8 is one of my “good” numbers. Way to enable my OCD, Pilates.

2. The Breathing
Pilates is all about the core. I am all about the slow, deep, methodical breathing. It is great for singers. It is also very relaxing for those of us who are wound a little tighter than most.

3. The British Woman
One of the Pilates workouts I do is led by the most incredible British woman. She can be totally kicking my butt and never raise her voice above a hypnotic, rhythmic, drone. She says things like, “Imagine you’ve got a cup of tea on your middle, darling. We don’t want to spill our tea, do we now. Lovely, dear” It’s awesome.

4. It makes you taller
Pilates gives you longer, leaner muscles which supposedly make you appear taller. Because that’s exactly what I need, isn’t it? I need to be taller.

5. You don’t get all sweaty
I avoid all things that make me sweaty. I do not lift things, throw things, catch things, run, jog, participate in recreational or competitive sports teams, or voluntarily attend any classes where the instructor or coach yells at me to “pick up the pace”. I find all of these things tend to cause me to sweat and in some instances yell “I gotta place where you can shove your pace”. Serenity now!

6. You get to wear cute pants
Yoga pants are so comfortable! I mostly stick to the cropped pants because the darn Pilates have made me so flipping tall that I can’t find any pants long enough.

7. You don’t need to go outside
Outside=sweaty. See number 5.

8. You sound really cool saying it
Saying that you do Pilates is like ordering a grande half-caf non-fat latte, or attending a poetry reading. It’s very classy. I’m all about being freaking classy.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it. –Mark Twain

It’s Mother’s Day! Now that I get to celebrate Mother’s Day as a mama and a child, I see things a little differently. I find myself saying things to my kids that my mama said to me. I have discovered that it is, in fact, possible to survive for months on end with approximately 2 hours sleep. I have had my diet reduced to left-over chicken nuggets with one bite out of each one because “they aren’t any good after the first bite”. I have broken up fights, fed imaginary friends, applauded over poo, and mastered the art of healing any ailment with only a band-aid. I have also proudly hung pictures on the wall that clearly depict a rhinoceros with 4 recognizable feet and “that thing that his pee-pee comes out of”. I know how to clean nail polish off of the carpet when fingernails “accidentally painted themselves”. It’s a circus that never ends and I love being the ringmaster.

Here’s my way of saying a big thanks to the mamas in my life. What goes around comes around and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I give thanks to my God upon every remembrance of you." ~Philippians 1:2-3

My Mom
I’m not even sure where to begin. My mom would have gone to the ends of the earth to protect and would do it still today. Once she even called the police to report me missing. I was asleep under the covers in the same room she was calling from, but that doesn’t negate the sentiment of being worried enough to file a missing persons report. I learned from her how to work hard and be thankful for what we have. She took it all in stride, from the time I convinced my brother he was a dog, to the year when I wore all black and tied shoelaces in my hair. Thanks for driving me to and from piano lessons for years, and sitting through every recital, concert, contest, and show that I produced in the living room. Thank you for staying strong for us even when times were tough. Thank you for continuing to check on us, worry about us, and celebrate with us. I love you!

My Step-Mom
I have taken from her the knowledge that women can work hard and achieve anything you decide that you can. I have also taken with me the inspiration to paint, decorate, and re-model my house. Once she turned us loose with sponges, feather dusters, spray bottles and paint. We made a mess, had a blast and the walls stayed that way for years because we painted our rooms ourselves. It gave me courage to be creative. I also take away a killer tuna casserole recipe that we all still eat at my house at least once a month. Thanks for letting each of us be individuals. I love you!

My Grandmother
This woman introduced me to things I never knew existed. We spent summers at the library earning our reading awards followed by fancy lunch at the tea house. We played dress-up in the basement and painted in the studio. We had tea parties with real tea pots that still sit on my shelf to this day. We made cookies, pancakes, apple crisp, and carrot cake from scratch. We tried to get my dad to eat vegetables and grew tomatoes in the garden. We learned about different cultures and spent time with college students from all over the world. We turned her staircase into a ski slope and made sawdust play dough on the deck. She used to tell me not to sleep with my night shirt inside out or the witches would get me. It scared the living daylights out of me. I have no idea why she always said that. I still can’t let my kids sleep with their night shirts inside out for fear that the witches will get them. She also used to tell me that I shouldn’t drink coffee or it would stunt my growth. I still think of her every morning when I pour my coffee. I can’t wait to get to heaven and have coffee again with her someday. We miss you and we love you.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I don't think he minds if I lick his face, right?

I have made it through week one of the detox. Also there is big news: I have decided to push up the date of the actual fast by two weeks. Why would I do something so crazy you ask? Well, for one I am ready to get it over with and two, I really am looking forward to it in a crazy masochistic sort of way.

Also I have narrowed down the details of the actual cleanse/fast. It actually will be 10 days instead of 5-7. All 10 days will consist of a lemonade made of cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and maple syrup. All of the essentials calories, vitamins, and nutrients are right there in the drink. I’m getting ahead of myself. Week one of detox…

This week I decided to rid my body of several addictions before starting the cleansing fast. I used the book and created a list of things to eliminate and separated them out into weeks. Since I’m pushing the dates up, that means week two will be a LONG list of “can’t-haves”, but I guess compared to cleansing week it will still be pretty easy. On this week’s agenda: eliminate 5 things: coffee, pop, alcohol, tobacco, and cigarettes. Hey, this isn’t my list, it’s in the book. But I don’t want to do this half way.

Let’s be honest here. Giving up tobacco and cigarettes. Not a particularly big deal, but saying that I was able to give them up completely gives me an inflated sense of accomplishment and that is really what I thrive on. So right off the bat 2 things gone. Go me! Next up, alcohol. OK. Honestly. This one took slightly more will power than tobacco and cigarettes. Not that I’m some closet alkie or something, but I like a good martini at a really nice restaurant, or champagne cocktail on a special occasion. I’ve tried to make them at home, but they come out looking more like what I imagine will eventually be expelled during my cleanse and tasting like disinfectant. That wasn’t too difficult to part with. Current tally: Me; 3 points Detox; 0. Go me!

Now to the hard part. I also gave up coffee and Dr. Pepper. 6 days ago I drank my last cup of real live coffee. It was fully caffeinated and sinfully wonderful. About 3 hours into the first day of the detox, I really thought I had everything under control. No headache, still alert, all good. Then about 3 hours after that, it hit me: the caffeine headache. There was no easing into it either. It just barreled over me like a WWE wrester and kept me in a headlock until about 4 days later. All of the heat in my body seemed to be escaping through my hands. I’ve never been a smoker, but I was ready to light up just to distract myself from the desperate urge to rob a 7-11 of nothing but Dr. Pepper and coffee. I’m pretty sure that my speech was simply a series of growling noises and occasional drooling. I’m also pretty sure that I licked Luke’s mouth just to taste the pop he was drinking. My thought process was reduced to something like “Lights. Owwwwww! Noises. Owwwwwww! No more talking. Brain exploding. Unsure who these children are. They seem to be trying to communicate. Can’t handle anymore thinking. Tylenol PM! Zzzzzzzzzz!”

I spent most of the week in a drug induced sleep, because the list didn’t say anything about no pain meds. Then the most amazing thing happened; the headache eased into a dull pain and finally went away (mostly). I went to restaurants no less than 3 times this week and ordered WATER! I never thought I would see the day. I actually feel better AND I’ve lost about 3 pounds. I think that this by far will be the harder of the two detox weeks. And I did it!

There’s still time to join in. Next week eliminate all meat, dairy, extra sugar and salt. Eat as many fresh fruits and vegetables as possible. The first day of the cleanse is only 8 days away. Don’t get all jealous when my colon is better than your colon.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thankful Thursday

I spent most of this week with a raging headache that just would not go away. I have slept about 12 hours every night for the past 4 nights. But God is still good, even when I have a headache, and even days with blinding headache pain are days the Lord has made so I will rejoice and be glad in them. So here are the things I am thankful for this week:

1) Luke taking care of me
Like I said, the whole week was kind of a blur of headaches, light sensitivity and splitting ear pain. Luke dove right in and took care of the kids, house, food, and even brought me ice cream to eat during the 45 minutes I was awake in the evenings. I love him!

2) Our DVR
It seems like such a small thing, but what did I do without my DVR?! I can catch up on all of the things I missed while I was sleeping away the pain in my head. I also have the luxury of fast-forwarding through all of the screamy, tight pants, guy-liner performances on AI that I have come to dislike so much.

3) Grace’s Pre-K class
She is learning SO much, that I feel like I can’t even keep up. They are learning things that I never would have even thought to tell her, like stranger danger, and how to count in Spanish, and who George Washington was. Although she did tell me that our President is the “boss of the world”. I’m just not super great at all that crafty kid stuff so I love seeing all the things she brings home. God has given her a great Christian teacher and I am really thankful for that.

4) Reconnecting with friends
I am thankful this week that two people who are dear to me were able to reconnect. God is at work through our challenging times and He puts people in our paths on purpose. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” Proverbs 27:17. I think that can apply to the ladies too.

Luke obviously doesn't care about my liver

The next part of “the great cleansing” was to talk to Luke about my intentions and my dietary experiment. I gathered up all my information and I set him down. It went something like this:

Me: Hey, guess what. I’ve been reading some stuff and I think I have an idea I want to tell you about.
Luke: Oh crap, you what? Not again. Conversations that start like this have never ended well in my experience.
Me: Shut up. Seriously, I think I want to try something but I want to tell you all about it first and see what you think.
Luke: Ok, hold on. *eyes closed*
Me: What are you doing?
Luke: Shhhhh!! I’m mentally preparing myself…*sighs* OK, I’m ready.
Me: Well, I was reading this book about how all the food we eat is really not meant to be digested and that it makes our bodies work extra hard and how my poo should be one way but it isn’t and that sometimes people stop eating to help heal their bodies and I think that I’m going to try to fast for a few days just to see what happens because all of the OCD books say that I should cut out caffeine and sugar anyway and because all of the food we eat is so toxic and bad for our colons and livers and kidneys.
Luke: *blank stare*
Me: Seriously, if you fast for a week it can heal your body of all of the damage done by processed foods.
Luke: That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. What are you reading?
Me: There are several books about fasting. It’s legit, you can check it out.
Luke: This is going to be very unpleasant for me in so many ways isn’t it?
Me: Shut UP! I am not even asking you to be involved. I’m just going to do this experiment and see what happens.
Luke: Fine. How does this work?
Me: Well, it will take like 4 weeks to get my body ready to fast. I have to cut out lots of stuff first.
Luke: So you have to not eat, to prepare to NOT eat? This is stupid. Who wrote this stuff you are reading?
Me: She’s like a holistic healer or something. She is very knowledgeable. What are you doing?
Luke: I’m checking your armpits to see if you have grown sasquatch hair yet. Are you going to start wearing Birkenstocks and going to peace rallies?
Me: No, I’m just trying this. As an Experiment.
Luke: So how did her little experiment turn out?
Me: She died. But not from the fasting. Would you stop laughing!? She died from cancer, not fasting. Fasting helped her beat the cancer. Well, until she died. Shut up. It’s a good idea. I’m cutting out all crappy food and then fasting on juice for 5-7 days. I’m going to have healthy poo and your colon is going to be all corroded and angry with you.
Luke: You’re gonna get scurvy.
Me: I will not get scurvy.
Luke: Fine, just don’t come crying to me when your bones are all shattered.

So he has accepted my experiment. So far it hasn’t affected him too much so he’s cool. As long as I keep the bacon and brats coming, he’ll be fine.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I’ve got to stop reading things

I have been reading several books lately about my disorders, and various treatments and whatnot. One common theme I have noticed is that all of these authors/doctors/therapist strongly recommend eliminating all caffeine and sugar. Approximately 64% of my dietary intake is, in fact, caffeine and sugar, so I was not really too happy with this recommendation. But I decided to do a little experiment on myself. I switched to half-caff and cut my sugar by about 50%. I thought that the process was actually going to kill me, but wouldn’t you know it, eventually I did feel an improvement. Well, crap. That means that I need to continue this thing because it’s working.

So then I thought, why stop there? I started doing more research and I found several books and articles about body cleansing through fasting. It isn’t an unfamiliar concept. I’ve known people who regularly fast and absolutely swear by its effectiveness. Then again, they may just be delirious with hunger. The idea is that your body is full of toxicity from processed products that were never intended to be digested by our bodies. The fast gives your body a break and a chance to expel all of that nasty garbage. The more I read, the more I thought “Hey, I can do this. This actually sounds, really plausible. I’m going to do this as an experiment and write about it” I have really got to stop reading AND thinking.

My first step was to keep reading, and create a plan. I read one book that told me all about my poo. What color, shape, aroma, and frequency of my poo. It was very informative and I am extremley thankful it was not illustrated. I read another book that outlined safety precautions of various fasts including water only fasts, juice fasts, and raw food diets. I was warned that fasters often have really bad breath, lose their hair, feel like death, and smell terrible. Awesome. But I learned that you should congratulate your body for smelling like feet and ripping open your skull because it is eliminating everything that is bad for it. I’m supposed to say things like “Good job kidneys! Thank you liver! I’m sorry I poisoned you for all these years.”

So after all of my reading, I decided on the type of fast. I plan to do a combination juice and raw foods for a total of 5-7 days. Primarily it will be a lemonade recipe made from natural ingredients, all manner of fresh squeezed fruit and vegetable juices and after that a week of raw foods. But, you can’t just jump into something like this. You have to prepare your nasty old digestive system for a fast. Otherwise your guts will stage a coup and backfire on you. Nobody wants backfiring guts. I read about that in the poo book. It’s not pretty. I created a 4 week plan to detox my diet in preparation for fast week. I will update you at the end of each week, if I live through that week to tell the tale.

My next step was to tell Luke about my plan, but that is a story for another day.

Fasting challenge: Who is in with me? You can share your stories here too. I’ll send you the plan if you want to do it with me. Come on, you know you want healthy poo.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A day in my old life

In an attempt to help others like me, I’ve decided to share a typical day in my life BEFORE getting help. This is from a time that anxiety disorders and OCD had pretty much taken control of everything I did. At this point in my life, I didn’t even have a name for my behavior which made it even more frustrating. I thought that I should be able to pull myself together and just cut it out.

Some things will still be left unsaid because they are still only for me, God, my safe person, and my therapist. Some things will still be left unsaid because there are still lots of words that OCD won’t let me say or write. I’m gonna talk about the “just so” feeling. If you’ve never experienced it then there is no easy way to describe it. You just have to keep doing something until the anxiety tells you it’s safe to stop. It is too hard to give every detail, because there is just too much. This is an overview. Maybe you’ll see yourself in this story, maybe you’ll see someone you know, or maybe it just lets you into my head a little more. Hold on tight.

6:45am Awake but still in bed
*Dear Lord Jesus keep Luke safe (repeat until it the just so feeling is satisfied)
7:00am Bathroom
*touch the doorknob with the back of my hand.
*Count to 8 while running the water to brush my teeth
*Shake brush 4 times; shake water off my hands 4 times
*Count to 8 repeatedly while washing hair
*Dear Lord Jesus please keep Luke safe. (Repeat)
*Have intrusive visions of terrible things (OCD won’t let me say the words)
*Clear the “bad” visions with “good” visions otherwise I am afraid that I will cause the bad thing to happen
7:30am Kitchen
*Dear Lord Jesus please keep us safe (repeat)
*Still continue to see “bad” often violent, disturbing, and scary images
*Consciously clear the “bad” images with “good” images in order to prevent the bad ones from coming true.
*Make coffee using a complex series of doing things 4 or 8 times.
*Check all oven knobs, locks, and a few plug-in appliances. Everytime I check could be anywhere from 2 to 20 times or more.
8:10 am In the Car
*Touch the door with the back of my hand
*Start feeling the dread in the pit of my stomach
*Dear Lord Jesus please keep Luke safe (repeat)
*Call Luke to make sure he’s safe
*Get really really tense while driving, possibly have a panic attack, repeat certain words out loud while driving
11:30am Home in the kitchen
*touch the oven knobs, locks, and appliances until just so feeling is gone
*clear visions
*call Luke repeatedly until he answers. If he doesn’t answer, I am sure that I have caused something terrible to happen to him because I didn’t clear the vision correctly
*touch, touch, touch, count, count, count
*watch my kids checking all the knobs and locks
*get frustrated and cry a little
3:00pm at home
*fall asleep from exhaustion
*check all the locks, oven knobs, appliances
*clear visions
*call Luke repeatedly
*feel like throwing up from all the stress
6:00pm at home
*ask Luke to go to the store, because it stresses me out to go
*feel guilty for making him go to the store because I should be able to do that
*stress out about making a decision for dinner
*clear visions, repeat words while talking to Luke
*check all locks, knobs, appliances
*accidentally turn off the oven several times while cooking because I am checking the knobs and locks
*get really frustrated, possibly cry some more
9:00pm at home
*start getting REALLY apprehensive about getting ready for bed
*turn on TV to try and block out all of the visions that need clearing
*fall asleep on the couch
10:00pm
*start bedtime checking of knobs, locks, appliances, and lights
*get ready for bed in a routine involving counting in my head
*lay in bed for an hour trying to make my brain shut up long enough for me to fall asleep
1:00am in bed
*wake up with hear pounding, can’t breathe, tingly hands and feet, not entirely sure where I am, or what is happening for a few minutes
*realize that was the first of several nightmares that happen each night
*repeat going to bed routine in order to fall back asleep
*Pray
*Nightmare 2
*Pray
*Nightmare 3
*Pray
6:00am almost morning
*realize I only have a few more minutes to sleep. Stare at the clock. Try not to see the images from the nightmares. Pray for the images to go away.
6:45am in bed
*Dear Lord Jesus please keep Luke safe (repeat as needed)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I think I was probably the most beautiful girl in the room even if it wasn't acknowledged by famous people

Everyone wants to know how the Flight of the Conchords concert was. It. Was. AWESOME! However, they did NOT fall in love with me and propose marriage! I am just as shocked as you are. I think that they were just holding back as so not to offend any of the other ladies in the house. Let me back up and start at the beginning of the trip.

I didn’t drive. I know I was supposed to drive and that there was this great big buildup about me driving as part of the CBT, but it just didn’t happen. We got away late so it got dark, it was pouring rain, and I just didn’t do it. Not this time. I am trying to learn not to be disappointed with less than successful situations. I would like to focus on the positive things I was able to accomplish in this little trip.

We got to our hotel late in the evening where we discovered that the only King room was smoking. I’m not a smoker, but fun fact; I really like the smell of cigarette smoke. I like to sit by smoker who are lit up and just absorb the secondhand smoke. Remember how I’m crazy? Anyhow, sure, we said. We’ll take it. Except that when we got to the room we could hear country music very loudly blasting from inside. Ooook… So back to the front desk where the little girl who could not have been older than 15 told us that we should just go right on in and check it out. This culminated in a very lengthy circular conversation that went something like, “Hey, we think there is someone in our room.” Her: “Well the computer says there’s not, so just go on in there.” Us: “But there’s crazy loud country music playing and we think there’s someone in there.” Her: “Well the computer says there’s not so just go on in there.” Us: “But we don’t want to just go on in there because we think there is someone already in there.” Her: “But the computer says there is NOT.” At which point I believe Luke told her “Look, I’m not gonna just walk in there and interrupt some naked cowboy playing rodeo with his wife and a saddle.” Or something like that. It may not have been the exact words, but I’m sure that’s what he meant. “But sir the computer says that no one is in there. So you can just go on in.” So, he went on in. I covered my eyes because I’m not trying to see naked rodeos either, especially not on accident. Turns out, no one was in there but the room was flipping nasty because of all the smoking or possibly from all the barnyard role playing games, so we went back to the front desk and changed rooms anyway.

Day two: we made it to St. Louis despite unrelenting rain that was ruining my hair. We met up with my mom and my brother so we could go to dinner before the concert to celebrate both of the guys’ birthdays. Luke wanted steak, naturally. My mom spent approximately 3 hours researching every steak place in the city, creating lists of pros and cons, sorting them by distance, price, and dress code, before we decided on “The Steakhouse”. It was a really cool little place and even had a buffalo wearing a headdress right on the wall which is beyond awesome. Turns out that “the Steakhouse” is actually “the” steak house. When you want a steak, you order “the” steak from this cheeky little waitress with a whole lot of spunk. It turns out that “the” one steak on the menu was actually really good. My brother did have his manhood questioned when my mom finished her steak while he was making sounds that could have been mistaken for childbirth because he was so full. Not to be outdone, he then finished the rest of his steak in about 14 seconds and it is quite possible that he later had a case of the meat sweats.

Finally on our way to the theater after my brother spent 15 minutes looking for his belt. Turns out his belt was in the belt buckles of the jeans he already had on. We were off, only to turn back around and go back to get his wallet which unfortunately was not in the jeans he already had on. Back in the car, and now the poor kid has to pee about 5 minutes after we get going, but Luke won’t stop for peeing. Trust me. I know from experience. I don’t drink anything for like an entire day before I go on a long trip with Luke. So now Luke is making him hold it, but also making him laugh while I am threatening him that if he pees in my car, he has to sit in it till we get there.

When we get to the theater, it is so awesome! It is this fully restored old silent movie era theater with all this crazy wood carving and brass. There is this insane organ being played by this little old guy who probably used to save his wooden nickels to go see the talkies at that very theater. It is supposedly haunted which is even more awesome, because you know how I love a ghost or two. Actually, maybe I should check and make sure that someone else actually saw and heard the little old guy playing the organ.

So how did the show turn out? Like I said before, they didn’t fall in love with me! Although, I suspect that the guys behind us and possibly the ones a few rows over were all talking about me. But that could be because I counted all the stairs on the way to our seat. There were 2 groups of 8! Plus I was in seat 2-8! I got excited about that and shared it with everyone! But the show was about the funniest thing I have ever seen and I strongly recommend everyone going to see the Flight of the Conchords at some point in your life. It will make you a better person. Or maybe make you pee your pants a little. Or throw a hernia. Either way, awesome. Bret did leave the stage and dance with a girl holding a sign during one song. So basically I was foiled by proximity. Blast!

The next morning we headed for home, in the ever pouring rain. Luke drove. And drove and drove and drove. I promised to stay awake, but it was raining and cold and I was really tired. I am a little disappointed that I didn’t get the opportunity to try out my driving skills, but like I said, focus on the positive. I went to several new places, including gas stations and restaurants. Granted, I made Luke pass about 4 every time we needed to stop until I found the one that felt right. I went to a concert with thousands of people and at one point was separated from my safe person. I held tight to the left side of the wall, took one breath at a time, put one foot in front of the other and found him again in the lobby. I didn’t even care if anyone noticed me touching the left side of the stair rails with the back of my hand. This is me how God made me. I’m dealing with it so they can too.

We had a great time! Thanks to Luke’s sister for keeping our kids and to my mom for letting us crash at her house one night. It’s great to be home!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Thankful Thursday...On Saturday

We made it home yesterday evening after a whirlwind trip across the entire state of Missouri and back. It was cold and raining for the entire 3 days of our trip, which included about 18 hours of driving, about 10,000 calories of fast food, and the most awesome show ever. I’ll tell you all about it soon. But first, thankful Thursday.

1) Birthdays!
This week Luke turned the big 2-9. I have been lucky enough to celebrate birthdays with him since he turned the big 1-3. Everyday is a adventure. God willing, I am looking forward to many more.

2) An awesome show
We saw the Flight of the Conchords this week. I laughed so hard that I was actually hurting. Everyone should have the experience of laughing until you cry. Or even laughing til you pee your pants a little, as I am pretty sure my brother did. It’s very therapeutic.

3) A safe trip
Traveling is not something I do very well. Remember the agoraphobia, and whatnot? But we were able to get all the way to St. Louis and back safely. Thanks be to God for keeping us safe.

4) Our house
Being on a trip is fun, but coming home is always the best part. I am so thankful for a beautiful house in a great town to come home to. I love everything about our home from the coloring on the walls to the lilies in the front yard. I am very thankful God has provided us with a place to put down roots.

Your turn! What are you thankful for on Thursday (but really Saturday)?