Catching Up

It’s been a weird week being home but not feeling like I’m home. So close, but so far away. My mind is awhirl with randomness, so come join me if you dare…

1. My parents. First off, let me just say my parents are amazing. They are golden. I have no clue how I would have gotten through the past 18 months without them. They have walked through so much with me. I have watched their hearts hurt and their faith strengthened. And every day when my phone rings and I see “Mom & Daddy Cell” on the caller ID, I smile. Because I love them so much my heart hurts, too.

2. My hair. Y’all, it needs help. Mind you, I’m not complaining. I’m just thankful to have hair. One year ago I looked like this.
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Now, I look like Peter Brady from The Brady Bunch. I have never had curly hair before. (Ok, well, never naturally curly. Let’s just forget about those perms, shall we? In fact, let’s just forget about 80’s hair fashion period.) So I’m asking y’all… any bright ideas on how to grow out my curly hair and what to do with these in-between stages?

3. Southern gentlemen. My boys apparently had several conversations with my mother-in-law, Sue, while she was here from Phoenix helping hold down the fort. We have manners charts plastered on our fridge and rewards systems and all kinds of fun things as I try to raise my boys to be polite. I even have a book called, “How To Raise A Gentleman” by Kay West . While Sue was here they told her in no uncertain terms that they were NOT southern gentlemen. I am happy to note that they have changed their tune.

I asked them at the dinner table one night if they knew what it meant to be a southern gentlemen and the glazed eyes, blank stare, and “Ummmm, no” clued me in to how I haven’t been doing my job well. So I told them what it meant, and my Bear grinned that charming grin and said, “Oh, Mommy, I can be dat!” Buddy rolled his eyes, then cocked his head mischievously and said, “Okay, Mom. I’ll work on it.” Then Bear promptly picked up his fork, shoved way too big a bite in his mouth, and talked while chewing ferociously, “But Daddy’s not a southern gentleman. He bites his fork when he eats.” Is obnoxious one of the characteristics of a southern gentleman?

4. Report cards. Always the overachiever, my Buddy got his report card. Full of S and S+ marks. I went through each one and praised him for how well he is doing in school. “Well,” he sighed, “Looks like I have my work cut out for me.

What are you talking about?” I asked him.

I don’t have all S+ on there. I need to do better.

Can you hear me sigh? My poor boy has inherited my task-oriented perfectionism. I’m not so sure that’s a good thing.

5. Bella. Where do I begin? Of all my children, this crazy schedule and life with no mommy has been hardest on her. She hasn’t napped in weeks. One day while I was gone she screamed all during naptime. That is something she has never, and when I say never, I mean NEVER, done in her two (almost three) years. She is exhausted and emotional and sassy and short-tempered. My heart aches for her and my arms long to embrace her. This morning she stomped her little foot, put her hands on her hips and cried, saying, “But I don’t YAAAAANT my Daddy to hold me. I yant Mommy!” And I melted, right there.

6. Natalie. Ya’ll have read about her before, and I’m sure you’ll be reading about her again. She calls me almost every day to check in and keep me company while I’m alone for 10 hours (or more) a day. And almost every time she catches me putting on my make-up, which she finds absolutely hysterical because I’m not going anywhere, so why should I put on makeup? This from the gorgeous Italian-Japanese girl who only wears eyeshadow and eyeliner! Anyway, Tuesday I was putting on my makeup and she called.

“Whatcha doing?”
“You want to take a wild guess?”
“Putting on your makeup?”
“Yep.”

Laughter.
“Whatcha doing after that?”
“Making some lunch.”
“Really? What’s for lunch?”
“Mmmm, turkey sandwich, grapes. I don’t have much of an appetite.”
“Do you want some company for lunch?”

I paused. (Nat lives 4 1/2 hours away, y’all.)
“Wait a minute.” I choked up. “Tell me you’re here.”
“I’ll be there in 8 minutes.”
And the screaming commenced.

She was on her way home from skiing all weekend and had a week off from class. (Pause a moment while I brag about the fact that in one year we will be calling her DOCTOR.) So she came and spent the night and held my babies when I couldn’t and helped Bri get supper on the table and read books and watched American Idol and played Scrabble and listened and talked and it was wonderful.

7. Sickness. Y’all it feels like we can never catch a break. Buddy and Bri are both sick. Again. And when Ash is sick, his fever spikes scary high.

8. Dave’s. Any of you who read my blog regularly probably have figured out by now that I heart Dave’s Taverna. We are raising our son well. Bri and I had a special night of supper with just Ash. When I asked him what he wanted to order from Dave’s, he told me, “The usual.” So what exactly does that say about us as parents?

9. Update. Several of you have asked how I’m doing. Emotionally? This blog post is already too long as it is… so I won’t go there. Let me just say it is HARD in so many, many ways. Physically? There is still some pain in my neck and I am extremely fatigued from having been off my thyroid medication for so long. I am finally back on it, but it will take another 2 1/2 – 4 1/2 weeks before it regulates into the normal level. Monday I go back to the cancer center for bloodwork and for them to work on my port (which if you recall, wouldn’t access last time they tried for bloodwork. That means I’ll probably be at the cancer center for several hours while they work on it and try to flush it. Ugh.) Tuesday I see the oncologist. We’ll talk about future scans & tests and look at the bloodwork results. I am tired… emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually. Y’all, I am just tired. But I keep clinging to Jesus. There’s nowhere else to go.

10. Blessings. I was tagged by Queen B, a blog I read regularly (and she makes me laugh and cry regularly), to post my 6th picture in my 6th folder. After I agonized over which of our four computers to choose from, I decided to use my laptop, because it is the one I use for my blogging. So, I give you… Blessings.

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6 responses to “Catching Up”

  1. I’m so sorry Bri and Ash are sick again. It’s just not right. Hope that by this time next weekend, you’ll be putting on your makeup, getting ready for sunday morning church with your three beautiful children and your handsome husband, all healthy and non-radioactive, all praising God together for the ways He has held you even tighter than you’ve held onto him. I love you and your beautiful family.

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  2. I must admit that you DO look like Peter Brady!! I too am so sorry that Bri and Ash are sick again. Will it ever end? I love this post and I love you.

    Mom

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  3. You’re much prettier than Peter, friend! 😉 Sitting here next to my sick Laney and running a fever myself wondering how these germs keep finding us and what else God is trying to teach us through it. I know for sure it’s about clinging to our God who is ALWAYS GOOD. I love you.

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  4. Peter Brady? Remember that episode where his voice was changing? That’s the one I always think of when I think of him. Which is not that often, by the way. That, and “pork chops, and applesauce.” Please tell me you know what I’m talking about…

    I love the picture! She is a blessing indeed! I am so anxious for you to hold her!

    Well wishes to you all. Sometimes it’s like this. Sicknesses over and over and over. We’ve been there. Hang in there.

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  5. Dear Peter Brady,
    Both pictures are so great. I like you with pink hair AND imagining you as yourself, Peter Brady. Greg wasn’t the hot one anyway, really. It was Peter all the way!

    Thinking of you and praying for you every day,
    Heather

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  6. OK-naturally curly hair is one thing I have had to learn to deal with…. my best styles have to be layered in order to keep it from being frizzy. The longer my hair, the more layers I need. I also have to use a dryer with the diffuser….

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