A Boppy and Mimi Day and a Josh Shout-Out

What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies. ~Rudy Giuliani

The past couple of days have been pure bliss.  Boppy and Mimi have had tons of kisses, lots of hugs, a few boogers, and more fun than should be allowed!

The fun started Thursday as we all gathered at our go to place with the kids-Chick-Fil-A.  You just gotta love the service you are given, the reliability of the food and the play area…and the availability of sanitizing hand wipes!  (I’m that person who wipes the cart down at Wal-Mart, opens doors with my elbow, etc…yep-I’m that person!) Going to eat chicken nuggets and ice-cream and running around a play area just brings huge smiles to not only the kiddos, but also to their Boppy and Mimi.  (It also brings back such sweet memories of those times we spent with Meg and Josh when they were little.)  Little Ella is able to move around a bit to act like a big girl at the play area, but for the most part it’s E and B running full steam ahead.  Bird, Car, “that girl hit me”….ya  know…all the fun stuff!  One VERY concerning event was how our E was very upset that a boy would not play with her.  I quickly reminded her that boys were yucky and had cooties.  Boppy agreed.

Seriously, all boy!

Seriously, all boy!

Friday started with Mimi meeting Meg and the kids at this place with steeply discounted baby/kid items.  A line!  Upon entry, Mimi quickly realized this was not her cup of tea!  (I avoid TJMaxx, Marshals, etc…)  I honestly would have had to see something 80% off to justify the chaos!  Just give me Amazon or online ordering from anywhere …..Thankfully, we followed this event up with a trip to my favorite place to eat-Cracker Barrel.  Boppy was able to meet us so it was a great lunch!  This was followed by a quick trip to Old Navy where the fake dog at the front of the store was the highlight of the day for two of the kiddos.  The day quickly came to an end with a certain little boy laying down in the middle of the parking lot protesting the fact he had to leave the fake dog in the store.  Oh the joy of an almost two year old-but as a Mimi…I get to go home! The best purchase of the day according to a certain E-play-doh.  (I don’t think her Mommy agreed, but Mimi buys what E asks for!)

Saturday was spent working on a special surprise and then we had pizza and just fun play-time at the house.  Nothing is greater than seeing Ella giggle and crawl over to you reaching out for a hug….Blane sharing his lolly-pop with you or drawing beautiful pictures on the sidewalk with chalk….E and her Mimi and Boppy playing “crazy words” or when E so sweetly tells you that she wants to stay forever or when she thanks you for playing with her and telling you how much fun she had.

Scrabble or CRAZY WORDS!

Scrabble or CRAZY WORDS!

Being a Mimi and Boppy is the best….because you honestly are at a point you give those kiddos the best of you-all those lessons you learned in parenting in the trenches you get to use as a Mimi and Boppy.  You realize it’s the small stuff that matters…..the pretend play, the silly “Monster Tag”….the small stuff.

Mimi and Boppy are in a unique season though…we have this life and then we still have a kiddo of our own making his way in this world as a college student/emerging adult.  This kiddo, our Josh, was able to play percussion with the Nashville Philharmonic last night at the Schermerhorn Symphony Hall.  We could not be more proud of him…for everything he stands for, who he is, and what his future holds for him.  I honestly don’t know what God was thinking when He trusted us to raise this kiddo, but man…what a wonderful journey it has been!  It’s been almost eight weeks since we have seen him in person and the countdown is on to our relaxing getaway that he will be joining us at!  This Momma heart bursts with joy!

My Josh.

My Josh.

Ready to perform.

Ready to perform.

So, today has been a personal post…probably of little interest to anyone other than the two folks sitting at home today due to being heathens skipping church. (It’s DNow weekend and we thought we would leave today to those kiddos!)  I did get some grocery shopping done while in my pj’s!  (Thank you Wal-Mart Pickup!!!)

Look forward to a new feature starting weekly this coming Friday!!!  For my RRP followers, we will be highlighting a RRP patient/family member/practitioner etc every other Friday! Haven’t come up with a catchy name for it yet, but I’m sure my RRP family will quickly give me ideas!

That’s all for today folks!

Don’t get stuck in a moment!

K

The Empty Chair at the Table…..

The past few days have been just overwhelming for various reasons, but the reality of the quickly approaching one year anniversary date of my Mother’s death has made my feet so heavy.  Each day has been full of flashbacks to that exact moment a year ago….taking my breath away at times.  Yesterday was unbelievably difficult as we celebrated our Ella’s first birthday.  It was as if I was back at the Circle of Life hospice house sitting on the couch as the texts began to come in from my daughter that it was almost time.  Leaving to go meet Ella and then coming back to show pictures to her great-grandparents and seeing, for a moment, that pure joy on my Mother’s face.  Seeing the sadness as reality crept back in and reminded her she would never know this precious little girl….or see her other greats….her days were numbered.  She knew….for some crazy reason looking back, it just didn’t click-not like you think it would anyways.

She had been sick for longer than we knew, with a pass off to this doctor/that doctor and when it became too hard for her to carry, finally an admittance and tests.  July 4, 2013.  Sitting in the ER with her as we waited to see what the plan was to figure out why the pain was so great, why she would fall ill when she ate, why she was losing so much weight……laughing, joking, making fun of my Dad as he was his usual self-looking for coffee or sweets….not for a moment thinking she would not leave well, but leave under the care of hospice almost two months later.

The days spent traveling back and forth to the hospital. A trip to Little Rock and back via ambulance.  Tests, NPO, TPN, on and on…..to finally learn there was nothing that could be done.  I still struggle with that word “nothing” even to this day.  My head gets the health condition of a patient can sometimes prevent curative/treatment measures, but to actually see that take place…that word “nothing” is more than our human brains can process.

So, these days are spent remembering.  Remembering that yesterday as a life entered this world a year ago, another one was wondering how many more she had.  Going to lunch at her favorite lunch spot and remembering just how fun those times were….only wish I had truly grasped that joy while she was here so that I could have told her.  Walking by her favorite store at the mall and going in…just to see what she might have purchased if she was here today.  The biggest thing is that empty chair whenever we eat and it’s a time she would have been there.  The silence she would always fill with countless tales or commentary.  (The thing that drove me crazy is the very thing I miss the most!)

She has her garden now....

She has her garden now….

I know she is having the greatest time in Heaven right now and would never want to come back…and I would not want that for her either.  I saw the pain on her face far too many times to ever want that for her again……I do wish I had made notes, something to remember more of those last days.  This blog, in an odd way, will be my “notebook” as I remember her and tell the story over the next few days….

One thing I do know is this: in my moment by moment flood of memories….no matter the relationship you have with your Mother, when she is gone, there is a hole that doesn’t close-that piece is always missing.  You move forward, one foot in front of the other…but the hole remains.

She loved Psalm 23 and I am confident God gave her the most beautiful garden to tend….something she loved and her health would not allow her to do for her last several years….when I see a yellow rose I wonder if it was the one she tended.

Walking towards October 10th…….

K

A Coffee and Mimi Rambling….Ella’s Day

Today, I wanted to take this space to celebrate our adorable Ella.  Ella is our third grandchild and well, she turns one today!!!!

Ella Smiles

Ella Smiles

Now, I’m not sure how it happened, but I have the three most adorable grandchildren in the entire world. Each with their very own unique personality, but all three with the most infectious smile you can imagine. Our daughter, because she is superwoman, had three children in three years and the youngest two are about 11 1/2 months apart. So, to say any outing is an adventure is an understatement….but adorable….oh my. Can you just kiss and squeeze those little cheeks all day!!!!????

IMG_8401

Today is Ella’s day! No longer a baby and now an official toddler….soon she will be tackling the hallways of high school…no really, it does go by that quickly. How many of us are sitting at home today wondering where in the world those eighteen years went with each child??

Ella's Mommy

Ella’s Mommy

Being a Mimi is awesome. Take being a parent, remove all the muck and daily yuck, and then add that your only job is to spoil and love and teach…and BOOM! Best job ever! So, to our daughter, thank you for sharing these kiddos with us…and to Ella…HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY GIRL!!!! You are loved to the moon and back and forever and always….

Ella, one year ago....

Ella, one year ago….

Love,
Poppy (Boppy) and Mimi

Words That Keep You Awake

What a southern Momma will do!

What a southern Momma will do!

I received a text from my college son last night.  “good grief….ICOC is on campuses in Nashville.  Just had a random student come up and invite me to a “nondenominational” Bible study……..so thankful I was the person to run into him.” (I left out the middle of the conversation…..some of this is just my son’s story to tell and not mine.)

Doesn’t sound like much does it?  Not a text you would consider “words that keep you awake,” but there’s a back story to this that will get us to the story today.

Backtrack to Fall of 2012.  Our son had taken his wings and flown off to Boston University.  One of our desires for him was for him to get plugged in to a great student ministry so that he could have a circle around him on those days/hours/minutes life is throwing grenades.  Staying grounded in his faith.  We, as his parents, were so happy for him when he said he had been approached by a group of students about a “nondenominational” study.  Looking back, all the signs were there he was slowly beginning to struggle (not academically-he excelled!).  About six weeks in, the phone call came from Josh.  You want to bring a Momma to her knees in record speed-let the sound on the other side be your son in such a broken, hurt, angry place that all you want to do is get the next ticket on Delta and get there.  It was on this night….the night of his call…that he told us that tonight’s “Bible” study was what we now know was a “breaking session.”  My heart is melting as I type just recalling those conversations the next few days, the pain I felt for my son…..and the thankfulness that I gave to God for protecting him in that moment.  Josh is strong…but he has a heart of gold.  He knows the truth.  He has been grounded in that truth.  It was on that night, in those moments, that truth brought him out.

Now came where he knew who this group really was….we were in the loop as well.  ICOC.  International Church of Christ.  We quickly all learned this group had been banned on Boston college campuses for years and had found a loop-hole in that ban.  Meet just off campus. If you know anything about BU, you know that it is on Commonwealth and one side will be campus and across the street can be businesses.  Police reports filed…..Campus Ministries involved…..my son had been almost proselytized into this cult/heretical religious group and the TRUTH and God’s love for Him is why he was not.

My heart grows heavy when I think of the kids that don’t have that armor…the armor of truth. Josh still bears the scars from that semester and I know that semester played a role in his decision to transfer for his sophomore year to Nashville.  Those scars have led him to be very untrusting when he hears the word “nondenominational.”  We, as parents, should teach our children to question that word…because it has to believe in something….what are those beliefs and who does that “study” or “church” most align themselves with?

So, we are at last night, and the words that keep you awake.  ICOC is in Nashville.  Won’t be called ICOC on the door, and it is NOT the same as other Church of Christ denominations!  What we learned two years ago, is they will just rebrand as they are brought into the light for who they are. ICOC is a cult.  A cult pretending to be a Bible preaching church.  In Nashville, in the Bible belt….approaching my son.  I am an angry Mom today.  Angry that this old wound is having to be dealt with.  Thankful that my son knew what to do.  Grateful for his protection, once again.

We hear of kids getting pulled into things like this and I think as a Christian family, we want to dismiss the chances it could be our kid…..but it can be our kid most of all….they are the ones out there seeking groups to share the Bible with…to study with…to fellowship with…and groups like ICOC…that’s exactly what they sell those first couple of weeks…and then it slowly begins….the breaking of a child…my child, your child.  I will never fully understand what that last night in Boston was like for my son….but I do know this….ICOC of Nashville….you approached the wrong kid last night.  You approached the wrong son-you approached my son…and this Momma Hen…well, she has an army of prayer partners who she’s calling up to duty today.

hen

I will not go into the details of ICOC on this blog. I don’t want to give them the audience.  Google/You-Tube…it’s instantly available.  Barbara Walters exposed them all the way back in 1993.  FOX news just last year.  They are on “cult-watch.”  All of the information is readily available.

An angry, hurt, thankful Momma Hen today……

K

Beth Moore, Friendship, Woman of God

LPL

This past weekend our church hosted the Beth Moore Simulcast of 2014.  Women from around the world gathered together in different venues, homes, etc as Beth communicated the following truths to each woman in attendance:

  • Blessed is SHE who believed. Luke 1:45
  • You ARE a woman of God.
  • YOU have the greatest story!
  • You are woman enough because of Him!
  • ALL of Heaven rejoices over just one lost woman found!
  • Every woman is well able/equipped to share how Jesus is changing her story!
  • Lesson in friendship

First, let me say that if you are reading “Beth Moore” and going “who is that”, I want to encourage you to do a simple Google You Tube search and just watch some of her clips.  Beth has a God given gift on how to communicate to women in Biblical truth.  She is a true scholar of the Bible, but she is real-you will identify with her as a woman.  She’s just like the woman you would love to have coffee with at Starbucks.

Our church had almost three-hundred women in attendance.  It started at about 8:30 AM on a Saturday and on a Razorback game day, so that attendance folks-well, that’s a God thing!  Women of all ages, all backgrounds gathered to worship and hear Beth communicate the message God had given her for this event.  Across the globe, on that one day, over 190,000 women were listening.

One thing about Beth is this-she is FUNNY!  She can be leading you into a deep passage of scripture and how it applies to your life and then suddenly…it’s a funny story or life event that she had to share at that very moment.  Again-real.

Three sessions, each with a different message but with one overwhelming theme-Blessed is she who believes.

I mostly want to just share with you today some of my notes-my little tidbits from the day.  Every woman there probably has totally different notes-as the message spoke to each of us in a very unique way.

Not part of the message, but one thing that stood out to me that day was her telling us how her foundation they used for the broadcast lighting smelled like dough-nuts.  I now have this compelling desire to figure out the brand just so I can smell for myself…..ok…now back to the meat of the day!

beth moore woman

All across the world, we were ONE gathering of many women yearning for God to speak.

Jesus changes the story of every woman He meets.

God is not only wanting us to hear what He has to say, He wants us to RESPOND!

Sometimes to heal a hurt/broken heart, you have to take off the binding and open it back up. (She used an awesome illustration of wrapping her hand in an ace bandage.)  Ya’ll this is a hard one for me….I don’t know about you, but I don’t like that feeling of your hurt/broken heart being exposed to the air. I want to protect it…BUT…I also heard the TRUTH in her message that I can’t keep it hidden forever.

Jesus so deeply desire to know who I am…NOT who I am not!

Here and now, based upon what I know, start meeting needs!  Don’t keep waiting for some big sign.  Just like Lisa Harper said at WOF, folks, sometimes we have to simply act and not go home and pray about what to do-ACT!

Satan is out there every single day…every moment of the day trying to put tags on us as women.  Other people are in this world doing the same thing, because of Satan.  Oh he is a crafty one.  He knows our weak spots and knows how to rip off that scab and make the wound bleed again.

Your dignity is NOT for ANYONE to take from you!!!!  YOU ARE HIS!!!!!

Sometimes we need a clean sweep to remove the yuck around us so we can see/hear our direction.  (Another great illustration as Beth swept with a broom across the stage.)

A women’s joy is not the same without girlfriends to share it with.  (Ain’t that the truth)  But ya’ll, this is where Beth communicated a truth that WE ALL need to apply and really absorb-We have TONS of contacts, but FEW connections!!!!! OUCH!  So, let’s get this one down now.  Our 1200 Facebook friends or twitter followers are NOT our friends/connections.  It’s the people we make time for-the people we have face to face interaction with.  Those are the ones we must have in our lives as women for joy!  Joy is meant to be shared.  We, as women, are having a hard time connecting the dots between joy and our girlfriend deficit.  We are to make our joy complete-share it!

Ya’ll now this is when Beth started getting to some tough stuff!

  • Can you rejoice with other women when they have gains???
  • You can’t out-love someone’s insecurity.
  • Insecurity pokes a hole in your heart.
  • Competition and Comparison breed insecurity.  We have head this ten thousand times, so why are we as women still doing it!  STOP-Don’t do it!  No more-what if we all said NO MORE!  No more Mommy-competitions.  No more one-upping.  Proverbs 24:17-Do not gloat when your enemies fall.

I have said this before…I could NOT be a young  mom in today’s world.  Social media and the constant barrage of pictures/status updates about my child is better/my party for my child was better/oh look at such and such….I would have walked around with FAILURE across my chest if I had to walk in that muck daily!  Ok…back to topic!

We need to fight for one another-not against one another.

Beth wanted to give us three items to help us identify “bad friendships”…not that these can’t be fixed, just some red flags for us to watch for as women.

  • Exclusivity
  • Possessiveness
  • Jealousy

(Her illustration here was do you have that friend you have to hide your activity with other friends from?  Ya know-keep a picture off of Facebook, go to movies in secret…etc..)

So, let’s add friends, set boundaries, and learn that we can have healthy conflict if we have healthy resolve!

At the end of the day, it was still about turning to Jesus for our hope, our joy, our identity.  Some days, we will simply take a step and breathe….but we are working towards progress.  Stop the Mommy competition, stop the Woman Wars….gather in unity and say no more-I am a woman of God!

2014 Final Commissioning:

My Beloved Sister,
Jesus drew you to this day
To call you to respond.
What will you do
With what He has said?
God chose you and gifted you
For this very generation.
You are the exact woman
Jesus came looking for today.
Stop telling yourself
This is about someone else
You are the one He wants.
You’re not too young.
You’re not too old.
You haven’t strayed too far
Or waited too long.
Let Jesus step fully into your story
And write a narrative for your life
That does the world good
And gives God glory.
People out there need what you have to offer.
Quit listening to your fears and insecurities.
Stand up and step out and meet some needs.
You are my sister.
I’ll cheer you on.
I will support you and love you
I’ll stop competing and comparing.
I want to be a woman women can trust.
Let’s do this thing side by side.
We’re so much stronger together.
Sister, stay in His Word
Fight for love and keep your faith.
Follow hard after Jesus
All the rest of your days.
He will never do you wrong.
He will never reject or betray you.
He will make something beautiful
Out of all your pain.
In every loss
He will be your gain.
A lost world is waiting out there.
The darkness is aching for light.
Get out there and serve with all your might.
Because, my beloved sister.
You
Are
A woman
Of God.
Go show somebody what she looks like.

So, let’s be better women….we ARE all WOMEN of GOD!

Kim

The Red Cup, The Crown and Miss America

 miss-america-2015-crowning

Miss America is my super bowl.  I look forward to it each year and believe the Miss America Organization is a great avenue for young women to pursue excellence and obtain scholarships.  Yes, I know the negatives….our family knows them first hand; BUT, I am here to tell you that any negative is crushed by the positives that this organization can bring to a young woman.  We are a former MAO family.  Our daughter competed at the state level and was top ten and a prelim winner. 

abc crown

So, here’s my take on Miss America 2015…short version.

Being from Arkansas, I was rooting for our girl simply for the fact she was one of ours.  What I didn’t expect was to fall in love with her as the night went on.  She would have been an incredible Miss America, but I am confident she will be coming home just as excited to keep her job as Miss Arkansas.  (Miss America is a grueling job.  Judges know this and that’s what they are looking for-the girl who can do the job.)  I believe any of the top five last night could have done the job.

What I loved about the top five!  With the exception of Florida, none of the girls were “super hyped.”  New York was a bit, but when your state organization has won two in a row……you get to be hyped!  I didn’t sense “pageant patty” in any of the girls.  I love that!  Miss America and our state winners….they have to be real, genuine, VERY well spoken, quick on their feet, able to adapt to changing situations….they are basically the face of the organization.  The voice of the organization.  One sour winner or pageant patty traveling across the state/nation…there goes the brand, the sponsors, the reputation.

Talent.  Ok, here’s the deal to my non-pageant followers:  talent matters, but talent does not make your winner.  A consistent girl will win every single time.  (Look at last night’s top five-all were consistent!) Being excellent in just one area will never win the crown.  Being average in just one area won’t keep you from a crown.  (Unless that area is interview…and it will keep you from the crown.) The question to ask today is, “Was I entertained?”  That answer is YES!  That’s the talent portion of Miss America!

Red Cup-At first, I was going “really??”  Then…..look at her face as she performs it. Pure JOY!  She wasn’t a horrible vocalist.  Decent.  Good enough when you factored in her other areas. OSQ showed she likely had a good interview.  (PS-those TV OSQ’s are NOT scored-just the ones in prelims.)  Kids across America will relate to her and her talent…and that folks….that’s what Miss America is all about.  It’s not about black-tie affairs, or corporate meetings about sponsorship-it’s about getting to America’s kids and letting them know, especially girls, you can DREAM AND DREAM BIG if you are willing to do the work!  A HUGE portion is spent with CMN-she’s gotta be kid friendly!

I thought Ashton had it won after Florida was called, but I can totally see how Miss New York won too.  Let’s never forget that wonderful final ballot.  Sometimes, it can toss a monkeys wrench into things…but any one of those top five girls would have been an outstanding Miss America…and that’s what the judges are for at Miss America.  Give us the five who can do the job…and the rest is history.  Ashton has won over $40,000 in scholarships just at the Miss level……I think she is doing ok!

So, for every little girl out there who dreams of being Miss America….keep on dreaming!  Work hard!  Be your best self!  That’s the secret-be who you are at your best!

Our baby girl having her moment at Miss Arkansas.

Our baby girl having her moment at Miss Arkansas.

To those who are having a wonderful time bashing the girl(s), system, etc…..from experience I tell you that it’s probably the hardest thing you can possibly imagine to win a local, win state and just get to that Miss America stage.  It’s a pageant. What you don’t see is behind the doors….the work that goes into competing and being a title holder.

I love the crown.  I love Miss America.  Just a nice reminder that in our ever changing world…we have a constant in our pop culture.

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The Days You Just Ask Why……

This is another post that honestly deals with RRP, life with it and the days you just want to belly-ache and ask why….but as I sit here,  I realize it’s also for anyone that has a condition or a child or family member with a condition that has “robbed” them of something people all around take for granted.  I keep thinking about Philippians 2:14 where I am told not to complain…to be a shining light.  I also know that God hears my days where joy just isn’t the front-runner…and He still loves me and helps to remind me that one day I will know all the answers to my “Why?” questions…but today….I’m just not seeing the joy or the promises…just the mountains.

papilloma

Just in the past couple of weeks, I have a RRP friend who has had major reconstructive surgery in her 20’s, another RRP family whose child is fighting for his life as the disease eats away at his lungs, ….then a reminder that I am in the same boat as all of those in my RRP family as I have been coughing up some papilloma recently.  (Funny, you would think the trach would be a daily reminder, but I honestly am so used to it that I don’t think much about it.)  I, like many others, am tired.  Just tired of all of it and physically worn.  (You were told this was not a joy day…….)

I don’t question God in all of this….but I do ask “Why?”  I’m human and He knows that.  I love music.  Love, love, love music.  God knows that…He knows my heart.  Today, I just ask why I would love something so much and not be able to sing in an audible voice…..that’s an authentic, self-exposing question there.  One of those questions you hide in your heart that you don’t want the world to hear.  When I attend church and watch the choir and see folks just so lacking in joy as they worship, I want to scream out-“I would love to be in your spot…show joy!”

When I watch parents pass the opportunity to sit and read a book to their child…..oh what I would give for the voice to be able to sit and read an entire book aloud to one of my grand-kiddos.  I think of the young boy that is fighting for just the ability to breathe as RRP eats away at his lungs….and I know how much he would love to play sports, run around outside…all those things taken for granted by so many….and my heart grows weary.  Some days, the weight of all the things that have been taken…could be taken…and the unknown in all of it…they just zap your joy…and that’s today for me.

Yet…in all this…I think of how I am here.  I am breathing.  While I do not know an “end of construction” date, I do know that it will likely be because of RRP or a complication from it…but today…I’m here.  Which brings more why questions. Why do some of us get another day and others don’t? Oh how I long to see that great big puzzle God has been putting together since the creation of the world….to see where my piece fits…how it fits…why it fits the way that it does…that’s my glimmer of joy today…that one day I will know all the answers to all of my “Why’s?”

Today, I just want a voice.  A voice that doesn’t garner looks of pity or a hundred questions.  A voice that is like the person next to me.  Someone asked me the other day what bothered me most…assuming it had to be the surgeries and/or trach….and I said…the loss of my voice.  I have a feeling that is probably the almost universal answer from anyone with RRP.

Sorry for the “pity party” post today…but I told you from post one that I would be real and honest….genuine.

This is me…for today.

K

Surgery…funny…sure, why not!

Today’s post is kinda geared towards my RRP friends, but if you have ever had surgery….I’m confident you will either relate to a comment within today’s blog or have a funny story of your own to share.  

First, let me say that surgery can be scary and it does carry risks, so today’s posting does not mean to diminish either of those,  Today is meant to make us laugh….laugh at some of the processes and even at ourselves.  

So, drum-roll, to the Kimism’s of surgery…..feel free to add your own!  

OR

1.  What’s up with the 5:30 AM report time for surgery?  

2.  You can go all night and half the morning without eating or drinking on many days throughout the year, but you put the phrase “NPO” beside your name or in a voicemail and suddenly you wake up starving with the desire to eat a small cow by yourself.  

3. Global warming does not apply to an OR room.

4.  See-through sheets.  (Ok, maybe that’s a tad exaggerated, but you know those are some thin sheets!)

5. No, I would not like to get undressed now.  I kinda like my rear-view to be covered.  

6.  Fourteen people coming in at different times to ask the exact same questions.  (I promise, I am not suddenly going to become a smoker, a drug user or pregnant.)  

7.  Hmm…maybe I should have gotten that pedicure this week after-all…..

8.  I am not under the influence of anesthesia yet, so why must I travel to the OR or pre-op holding while looking up at the ceiling tiles?  

9.  Are you anxious? Are you nervous?  Let’s answer that universally one last time-yes.  You are fixing to render me paralyzed and insert a tube down my throat so that you can breathe for me.  Oh and about the tiny fire risk from laser surgery…….who wouldn’t want to be here today!  (Satire.)

10.  Moving on to recovery……after one thousand bags of IV fluids, the bladder wins.  You have been quiet and very still, trying not to anger the nausea man…..but you have to go..and now.  You aren’t allowed to walk yet…even if you could it would resemble someone who had been on the streets of New Orleans during Mardi Gras…not a pretty picture (oh and remember that rear-view the world can now see in that attractive gown)………the dreaded bed pan.  Nope….you try….just not happening.  It’s honestly not surprising….we are taught not to “wet the bed” and suddenly you are being asked to do just that…sorta.  Ok..TMI…but anyways…you know you are laughing right now…it’s true!  

11.  You want out of recovery…asap.  So you will your eyes open.  Please stay open.  Let all the nurses see you are awake.  (Should have brought in those toothpicks!)  

12.  Aaahh…back in the “room” or whatever it is called where you are.  In come the nurses, aids, everyone that has a pass.  (The eyes close now….you made it out of recovery.)

13.  “Kim, Kim, we need you to get up and go to the bathroom if you want to leave.”  Brain is thinking yes…great idea….any input on how to rid my body of the drugs floating through it right now so I can make that happen for you???  

14.  Sprite and crackers.  

15. Phenegran, Zofran….give me all of the above.

16.  Forgot one!  OR room…oh dear.  Doctor is a country music fan.  It’s blaring.  Mouth is wanting to ask if we can listen to classical or Christian instead…ya know…something calming..that allows focus.  I am not sure your dog leaving, your wife cheating on you and your car exploding and being out of beer are exactly calming lyrics.  

17.  Thankfulness.  You did it.  You made it.  

18. When will someone install a self-serve Valium dispenser at check-in?

There are probably a hundred more if not two hundred more…..but in a time where you just feel powerless….sometimes it’s nice to look back and find some humor in the process.  

K

Finding joy in the yuck.  

Friends and Laughs and Celebrations

Friend: a person you like or enjoy being around.

I like to think it’s those folks who make you feel as if your cup runneth over!  

friends jens

Last night, some of my “people” had the honor of attending a “End of Cancer” party for the daughter of one of the gals in our little posse.  As indicated in the picture above, we may have been slightly obsessed with the photo booth. This party was so much fun! This morning, I am awake just in awe of how blessed I am to be surrounded by so many amazing gals.  Not all my “people” are in these pictures, but a good many are.  This post is for anyone in my “people group.”  You know who you are and you are loved to the moon and back!  

There’s something so sweet about friendship.  Take a group of folks that are so incredibly different, yet so incredibly alike…toss them together through a series of events such as moves, children, life experiences….and boom!  “Your people.”  Then the sweet spot of getting a little bit older….having those friendships that sometimes cross into your different social groups, and having the friendships that may not and realizing it’s ok!  Those relationships that you can go months without a single word, then one day you talk and it’s as if you see one another daily.  Aaaahhh….the sweet spots of life.

Friends that have known you for thirty-five years, twenty years, fifteen years, one year, or just a few months…..life is fuller because of them.  They each add that little “something” you never knew was missing until they became part of “your people.”  I’ve always been of the mindset if you journey through this life with just one good friend..you are rich.  So, this morning, I am feeling a tad rich…and a whole lot of undeserving….”My people” are amazing and I am grateful for the laughter they bring to my life…and the fun…and the shoulders when life gets cruddy….I am grateful for the time spent over countless lunch dates….but most of all, I am grateful for folks who love me for me and I hope I do the same for them.  

So, if you are in the picture above, thanks for a night of laughs and thanks for NOT laughing at my feeble dancing attempt.  Sherry Clutter Raines, you will be happy to know that has not changed in thirty-five years. Kim can’t groove!  For those I love not in the pic….let’s make sure we get one the next time we are together!  Let’s let the world around us be that funny, crazy, cramped photo booth!

Jen's Party

Peace Out and don’t get stuck in a moment! 

K

Middle-Aged….What! When did this happen?

middle age

“According to Collins Dictionary, this is “… usually considered to occur approximately between the ages of 40 and 60”.[1] The current edition of the Oxford English Dictionary gives a similar definition but with a shorter span: “The period of life between young adulthood and old age, now usually regarded as between about forty-five and sixty.” The US Census lists middle age as including both the age categories 35 to 44 and 45 to 54, while prominent psychologist Erik Erikson saw it ending a little later and defines middle adulthood as between 40 and 65. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the standard diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association, used to define middle age as 40–60, but as of Edition IV (1994) revised the definition upwards to 45–65.” From the most reliable source on the internet-ask.com

Geez….thanks for this little tidbit of information that honestly was better left not defined!  Basically, I am coming to terms with the FACT I have been “middle-aged” for thirteen years, or eight years or three years (depending on the source)…..my fifteen year old self is screaming, “YOU ARE OLD.”  Who am I kidding, my twenty five year old self is screaming it too!  

Let’s be honest….it’s not like the signs weren’t all there.  It’s the tag that feels like a dagger to that inner part of you that is still clinging to that thirty year old self….at least my brain is. (Notice I did NOT say body…that ship has sailed and lost its way back to port!)  Let’s talk about some of the signs you are at the half-way point.

1. Progressives-it slowly sneaks up on you.  One day you are looking at a menu and then the next day you are sitting at the table attempting to be the Incredible Stretch Woman as  you force your arms to extend ten feet so you can read the special of the day.  They should rename your 45th birthday the day of readers!   (And the day you purchase a Bible with larger font.)  

2. Collecting-while some circles might want to call what happens with our change in mindset towards “knick-knacks”  hoarding 101, I prefer to call it “sentimental saving.”  Remember going to your grandparents house and seeing all the “knick-knacks” and you could not begin to understand why anyone would want curio cabinets full of “stuff” that ranged from the finest of china to the latest trinket at the local Cracker Barrel?  Get ready…..it’s coming to your casa too.  Now, some of this is actually a very good thing-it shows your sentimental side, which shows maturity!  You have reached a point where you cherish that odd little “blinged owl” because you remember who bought it, when and where.  It has a story.  See, that’s what we missed in our blazing 20’s and 30’s….some stuff that we viewed as “junk” had a story.  You hit that magic middle button and you crave “stories” around you!  

nick nack

3.  Muffin Tops-no, I am not referring to the delicious muffin top you can grab at Panera in the morning. It seems that every muffin you have eaten from childhood-“middle age day” never really left…..you wake up one morning and voila….muffin top.  You can exercise, you can do 1000 crunches daily…but they are still there.  One collective group.  Embrace it.  Sure, work on the jello aspect of your muffin top, but you earned the right to carry a little dessert around town with you!  

4.  Face Prep-it now takes you longer to prep your face than it does to apply makeup.  Product A-Exfoliate.  Product B-Cleanse.  Product C-Serum.  Product D-Moisture.  Product E-Skin Corrector.  Product F-Eye Cream. Product G-Primer…..are we there yet?  Repeat at night, but add in another step-Makeup Removal.  What everyone tries to tell you in the blazing 20’s and 30’s is the importance of sunscreen, good skin care, etc…but really….your skin was rockin’!  Why bother with so many steps, so much money when you see a reflection looking back of firm, even, bright skin with that beautiful, youthful glow????  Here it is-you hit this magic middle button and boom….sun spots, wrinkles around your eyes, smile lines, skin that looks like it  might have been baked at a slow 250 in the oven….and…your cheeks suddenly have decided to migrate south!  FACELIFT please!  

05 986 003

5.  Spanx-all I am going to say about this is they are an amazing invention that I’ve grown to love, but in that same thought process they are a curse to women……You see that woman walking past you in her cute little outfit and she just seems to not have a jiggle in the world?  Spanx.  Yes.  I learned just this year, the world is walking around in Spanx and no one is telling anyone!  Buy them now.  Allow twenty minutes extra to get dressed as you work to pull them on…but just know…everyone has them on.  

6.  Grace-this is the sweet stuff of getting “middle aged.”  Maybe it’s because of your life experiences or a greater understanding of life and your Christian walk…but you will have so much grace that you are so willing to give to others.  Granted, it’s not really “our grace”, but His through us…but you get the point.  Compassion, empathy….it seems like it’s easier to give.  

7. Oh this one is good!  You don’t care what others think! – Act crazy, wave the warms in the air during worship, wear something a little out there, run to the store with no makeup…..you have earned this sweet reward of the middle button-you no longer care what others think of you. You have finally gotten that lightbulb moment of “be you”….people will say what they are going to say no matter what you do…so “be you!”  

8.  And then comes the sweetest of sweetest signs you have reached the middle button of life….grandchildren.  Play, dream, imagine, spoil…..all those things you maybe didn’t have time for in your 30’s due to work or juggling three or four or five toddlers/elementary schedules/etc….now….time is your friend and you can just sit and enjoy.  

grandchildren

Middle-Age.  The physical pitfalls are real…and things will sag, droop, drop, wrinkle….but in the journey you appreciate the quirks of your own grandparents so much more and well, maybe we will all realize this stage is really the sweet spot of the journey.  After-all, we do have a built in muffin top now….

PS-remember thinking how dusty  your grandparents house was sometimes?  Here’s the scoop-YOU CAN’T SEE THE DUST!  It’s a beautiful thing! 🙂