Apr 20, 2017

In Sickness

All joking aside, giving up Caribou mochas for the past two weeks was actually been (mostly) a good thing. Every time I had a craving, I used it as an opportunity to remember to have a conversation with God. Whether it was praying for others, giving thanks, or asking for forgiveness. And because during those two weeks there were many instances I thought about and craved getting my coffee from Caribou, there were many instances (more than in a usual two week period) where I found myself talking with God.

*****

Easter came, and I got my Caribou mocha, and it was delicious. (wink) But what actually made the day so beautiful was the warm sunshine and being with family and friends. Our niece sang in church on Easter morning and witnessing her as part of the children's choir brought tears to my eyes. (Which, to anyone who knows me knows that's not such a surprise. I'm a crier. Especially when it comes to music in church.)

My parents have the perfect yard for egg hunts and the seven kids spent a good chunk of time scavenging the trees and flowers and rocks to find their 20 eggs each. The grown-ups *may* have spent some time searching too. There was only one egg casualty when a purple egg disappeared into the abyss between two boulders. A sweet Easter treat for whatever critter can squeeze in and get to it.

Unfortunately by the afternoon the bug I'd been fighting for the past several days over powered my immune defenses and I spent Sunday night and Monday mostly horizontal and mostly miserable. Poor Hope kept looking at me and saying, "I'm sorry, Mom." As wonderful as it is to see her empathy, it's hard as the mother to see your daughter trying to comfort and take care of you, when it feels like your job to be comforting and caring for her.

Health is such an important aspect of our well-being and it is so incredibly easy to take for granted. As my body was overcome with fever and chills, as my muscles ached as if someone was stepping on them and my joints burned as though being lit with matches, I had thoughts of awe and amazement at what our bodies can and do endure, and how many people with chronic and terminal pain suffer so much worse than those few days I did.

Luckily by Tuesday morning my body was feeling a significant difference, but instead of pain and fighting it was exhaustion and recovering. It's been ages since I've worked out, but the overwhelming sensation my body had was that I'd just fought through a marathon without the proper training. Every one of my cells was tender from the fight and I was so weak I could barely stand long enough to shower before having to lay back down again.

By Wednesday I was well enough, but then poor Nora came down with something. And as miserable as I felt when I was sick, I would take it a hundred times over to take away my baby's misery. I was pretty convinced she got whatever I had, but a call from the doctor today informed us it's strep. The one benefit of that is that we can give her antibiotics to help speed up the recovery process instead of just waiting for her body to fight off a virus.

(The downfall being that Paige is now pretty much guaranteed to get strep because anytime there's a whisper that someone she knows has strep, Paige seems to manage to get it.)

Being sick this week, watching my baby be sick the past day and half, I have a renewed appreciation for our health, and the fact that for millions (if not even billions) of people in the world, health is being fought for every single moment of every single day.

My baby is sick, yes, and it tears my mamaheart out. But she only has strep. She will not stay in the hospital. But we have access to a hospital if she needed it. She won't have to take anything stronger than a low-dose antibiotic. And that medication is easily available to us. She will be happy and healthy and running around like herself again within a day or two.

My heart is full of love for those who do not have the same access to the healthcare they need. Who don't have the money or resources, who can't just run to the pharmacy to get medication. And I hold space in my heart for those whose health is not so easily fixed as ours have been. For those who are in and out of the hospital, who are watching their babies suffering and fighting. Who are living every day on the edge, hoping for a cure, praying for a miracle. I'm praying too.

xoxo,
christine

Apr 14, 2017

Countdown to Coffee

Whose dumb idea was it to give up going out for coffee the last two weeks of Lent when one of those weeks is also spring break. If I thought last week was hard...this week has almost been torture. A shopping day without handcrafted tasty Caribou mocha? A rainy morning sipping a bland so-so drip coffee from home?

My husband, bless his little heart, told me that this two week fast might be good for breaking my Caribou coffee addiction. (It's true, that addiction is a verified medical affliction -- ahem.) After laughing hysterically in his face for a good five minutes, I gently explained to him that no, depriving myself of the life-giving caffeine, that is delivered to me through that critical invention of the drive-thru window, for two weeks will not, in fact, curb my addiction. If anything, I will spend the next week (okay, let's be real, two weeks) binging.

I know. Trust me, I know. #FirstWorldProblems and #SpendingWayTooMuchOnCoffee and #YouAreALittleRidiculousChristine But give me this vice. I don't smoke. I don't drink wine. So I think a *minor* Caribou addiction is doable. (Just please don't ask me to calculate the math on how much I spend going out for coffee...)

Only two more days and I can celebrate Easter with a big fat made-specially-for-this-Caribou-obsessed-girl mocha. Hallelujah. Amen.

xoxo,
christine

Apr 7, 2017

One Year Later

Hellooooo.

A year. A year? Has it already been so long? Where does the time go? And yet it feels like so much longer than just one year. When I sit down during the day, or at night, or any time, the thought of getting on the computer hardly a blip on my radar, so long has it been that I have fueled my desire to write.

So many things have come and gone, birthdays, vacations, seasons, and holidays. Scariness and craziness the whole world over. There is so much to say and yet the words feel frozen.

When faced with the realities of the world, of the country, of being a grown up, I find myself with a deep desire to curl up in my bed Rip Van Winkle style and sleep it all away. Which is occasionally overcome by an ignited fire to get out and run for office, start a world-helping organization, sell all my possessions and give them money to people truly in need.

****

Time keeps on slipping...

My baby is no longer a baby, well on her way to being three years old this summer. She is still as spicy as ever (although not so much today as she seems to be feeling quite punk -- hopefully better soon with the help of a healthy dose of Tylenol and a nap). She knows what she wants and what she doesn't and she will tell you with a wild screamy whine and sometimes even body flailing. She adores her big sisters (of course, who wouldn't?) and is constantly copying whatever it is they are doing or saying or wearing.

I'm sure Hope and Paige are tired of hearing about being a good example to her.

Hope and Paige. The two big girls. My big girls. My nine-year-old and just-turned seven-year-old. Have I mentioned how time has kept on going? They are amazing and I know that I have played only a minuscule part in that.

I am so in love with these girls.

****

In recent news, I have given up Caribou for the last two weeks of lent. Well, I should rephrase. I've given up going out to get my coffee. I am still very much drinking it brewed at home. (No need to worry about the safety of my family.) It has only been five days and I'm mostly over it. Sad, I know. Definitely makes my addiction that much more obvious. (Although I never questioned that it was there.) It kinda sucks. But I know it's not that bad. First world problem and all. So every time I think about the sweet creaminess of my favorite mocha, I try to take it as an opportunity to have a conversation with God and to be thankful for what I have.

I've had a lot of conversations with God these past five days.

So, cheers to home-brewed coffee, being a grown-up, writing again, and time.


xoxo,
christine