Monday, May 31, 2010

Golden Girls

"I believe that we don't have to change friends
if we understand that friends change"

My college roommates and I all got together last night for dinner. It was the FIRST time we were all together with our HUSBANDS (well...Mary & Jason will be married in August). Here are some random pics we have taken over the past 10 years. I love these girls.

The Bayers, Rogers, Shillings & Diffendaffers!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Green Acres

Here are a few pics from our trip to Green Acres.

"Green Acres" is what we have always called my grandparents land that sits

just east of Meeker, OK.

They bought 80 acres with a little, old farm house sitting on it back in the 60's.

They don't live here but visit just about every weekend.

We've made a lot of memories going to Green Acres:

  • Finding turtles for the annual Yukon turtle race
  • Campfires & weanie roasts
  • Learning to fish...with chicken liver and worms

  • This old cellar... always creeped us out!
  • Swimming in the pond
  • Staying the night and eating gma's biscuits & gravy in the mornings (which she cooked on an old, pale pink stove)
  • Learning to drive at 13

  • 4-wheelers...and 4-wheeler accidents
  • Hearing coytoes
  • The tree house and tire swing

    • Dalice & I talking Erin into standing in the creek and grabbing the hot wire. (Sorry Erin!)
    • Seeing how many fish we could catch before breakfast
    • Finding deer tracks with gpa
    • Killing snakes, turtles & fish and teaching ourselves anatomy 101.
    • Grandma making catfish "talk".
    Those were fun times! I'm sure I left a million things out.

    (All of these pics were taken on my iPhone)

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010

    Swimming with the Oldies

    It's always good to get out of your 'comfort zone'. I've been giving myself a pep talk to do this for about a week and a half now. My Dr gave me the okay to swim if it didn't result in any form of pain in my back. I asked around and did a little research and found the closest pool to me is the YMCA in Bethany.

    Except, I don't know how to swim.

    I know how to stay afloat in water, yes. But swim? Competitively? Or for exercise? No idea. I now understand how people feel when they start to run; they're worried about their form, or their clothes or looking funny. Getting in someones way or going to slow. I can relate!

    I had pictured in my mind an Olympic size pool with 4-5 serious swimmer athletes jumping off blocks, into the water and moving their arms just right so they glide across the water. I pictured them knowing when to breathe, when to keep their head in the water, how not to look goofy in goggles and how to do that flip-turn thingy at the end. I pictured it that way and when I tried to put myself in the picture I was in the way, slow, awkward and secretly being laughed at.

    Yesterday I was gonna just go do it. I told Chad my fears and he said "Who cares? You're married to me and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks." I had looked up the aquatics schedule and saw there was an "Open Lap Swim" time. Then the above picture came into mind and all of a sudden my stomach started cramping and I felt nauseous (yes-really.) So I chickened out. I looked at the schedule a little closer: 8:00am Water Walking, tomorrow morning. That's my style.

    So I woke up at 7:00 am (which I haven't done in 5 weeks). I feel a little more confident that I can handle "Water Walking" but now I'm nervous about the ladies at the front desk, I hope they're nice and can't really tell how terrified I am... Of joining a YMCA?! I'm 26 years old-what is wrong with me?! I can do this!

    So I walk in and met Marsha who was extremely nice and helpful. She gave me a tour, putting my mind at ease and then showed me to the locker room which led to the pool. Marsha warned me that there might be a bunch of old, naked ladies in the locker room so if I preferred I could change in the ladies' family locker room because there was no one in there. I laughed in my head and thanked her and then headed for the locker room. I got changed and went to the pool.

    I didn't pay too close of attention to my surroundings. I was focused on getting underwater where me and my limited padding, tight-in-all-the-wrong-places one-piece were semi-hidden. Marsha had mentioned that the current class (Water Walking) was mostly senior citizens and I probably wouldn't be interested in that.... but the deep end was open.

    So I'm swimming in the deep end. The lifeguard on duty is probably a few years younger than me. I'm sure he was wondering what the heck I was doing since I had the youngest person in the pool beat by at least 40 years. He casually mentioned that this time of day is for senior citizens and that I should come in the evening where people "..are still older, but at least they're like 30 instead of like 80". Oh, ok.

    More people kept coming in. I was people watching. There was a little old man that came into the pool near me. He smiled at me with his shorts pulled up to his chest and his bright yellow flotation belt. I thought in my head "He is the cutest thing ever!" I love old people. And I'm probably just as comfortable in a pool filled with 70-80 year olds as I am with people my own age. Then I remembered how they can be incontinent at times without even knowing it and I decided it was time to go home.

    But I realized... This is where I'm supposed to be. No, not necessarily at the YMCA pool during the Water Walking class (except I think now it was the Arthritis class), but working with old people, geriatrics. In my heart of hearts I'd love to be a Labor & Delivery nurse, I've always wanted to do that. And I truly hope one day I get the opportunity. But right now, for the time being, God has called me to be surrounded by wisdom-filled, grey hairs. I know some think "What is the point? Most of the time their diseases are terminal and they won't really ever get better". To me, it's more than that. It's learning from them and having a respect for what they've gone through and accomplished in life. It's giving them the best years possible for what few years they have left. It's loving, caring, listening. Being respectful and honoring. I know that most don't understand it. And I don't claim to understand it myself, but God has given me a love for this population and I'm thankful that I am where I'm supposed to be. It's a great feeling.

    Sunday, May 16, 2010

    Learning to Love

    "Dear children,
    let us not love with words or tongue,
    but with actions and in truth."
    1 John 3:18

    It has been 4 weeks since my accident and Chad has lived out this verse. I was on my way to work on a rainy Sunday morning when an 18 year old girl carelessly ran a red light and pulled right out in front of me. Both cars were pretty mangled.

    She was lucky enough to walk away with a scratch on her knee, while I suffered a 50% compression fracture at my L1 vertebrae, a fractured sternum and a 4 day stay in the hospital. I stayed for pain control and to make sure I didn't have a pericardial tear or any pulmonary contusions, which are very common with any chest wall injury. It's almost unheard of to break your sternum, it is the strongest bone in your body. And for good reason, it protects your heart. Almost always, with a sternal fracture there is some kind of chest wall injury. The Lord was protecting that part of my body.

    "The LORD is my strength & my shield..."
    Psalm 28:7

    My mom helped me a lot in the hospital, but Chad hardly left my side. A lot of the time Chad seemed stunned, in a daze, shocked, and he didn't know what to do or say. Bless his heart. He told me later that he thought that this was the end of "me" as he knew it. He thought I would be constantly battling back pain and have to take pain medication on a daily basis. Praise the Lord for his healing powers and that so far, this has not happened.

    Chad bent over backwards for me when I finally got to come home. Nights were rough, and still can be. I was unable to sleep for more than a few hours at a time. Then I had to carefully and slowly get out of bed and shuffle to the living room to sit in the recliner for a little pain control. I slept in the recliner the first two nights. Chad slept on the couch. Anytime I moved, he was up, helping me reposition or getting me a pain pill. He would say, "You need anything?" "Are you ok?" At one time he even said "I'll go buy a new couch if it will help you sleep...". He would do anything for me. I love that. Since I couldn't lay flat he spent a whole day drawing out a plan to build something out of wood to help raise one end of our bed. I never really understood it but he mentioned we would have to lay the wrong direction on the bed! Thankfully, we found Relax the Back and the nice people there helped us decide on a wedge pillow.

    At a time like this I couldn't be more thankful for such an awesome, godly, soulmate and partner in life. He is perfect. He loves with all of his heart and he meets my needs. Somehow at times he knows what I need before I even ask! Like late one night my back was killing me and I needed a pain pill but didn't want to exert the effort that it took to climb out of bed (getting out of bed had become quite the process). I thought he was fast asleep, but he went and got me a pill and brought back crackers too-how did he know?! I never said a word. He's thoughtful. And he knows me. That's how.

    I can't imagine going through this alone. He has helped pull me through. He makes me want to be strong. I love him with my whole heart and consider myself blessed.