Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shhh.... Don't Tell!

Princess Maren came home from pretty school with a new jumproke. She has been jumproking ever since - and getting mighty good at it. Please don't tell her it's not a jumproke. Don't even mention jumpROPE. The ROKE is so much better, don't you think?

She has figured out pretty school. "Mom, it is PRE -school - not pretty school..." she tells me disdainfully, with a far beyond her four and a half years eye roll. Like I'm the one who started it. I did not however, do anything to stop it, and in fact may have promoted it just a bit. How cute is pretty school? Pre-school has nothing on Pretty School. In my mind, pre-school will always and forever and ever be pretty school.

Parenting is a different story all together when it comes to your last child. I know we only have two, but the differences are there none the less. With Sweet Marissa, we were constantly watching and cheering for her first every things. We wanted her to be brilliant and talented and more brilliant and talented - and she is. : )Although, if Marissa had come home with a jumproke, I probably would have smiled, but gently corrected her, pulled out the flashcards and spelled it out properly and hoped and fervently prayed she wouldn't enter Kindergarten with a stunted vocabulary.

It seems I am mentally compiling a list of
lasts for Princess Maren. I remember the last time she fell asleep on my shoulder (four year old birthday on Lake Okoboji after watching the 4th of July fireworks on Uncle Don's boat) although I remember Marissa's too (Denver airport after a failed stand-by attempt - also four years old) I walk through Target and almost tear up and observe a period of silence and mourning when I pass the toddler girl clothes section.

Funny how those mispronounced words stick. My little brother Nate called hamburgers,"hangaburs" - and we still call them that in our family to this day. My patients granddaughter called ice cream "ham heam" and one of my old friends from Tulsa little three year old son called dirt "gick". This was before I had children of my own, but hearing Bryce say "gick" caused that maternal instinct to rise up in me so pure and strong and true, that next year we had Sweet Marissa. Marissa asked me what blog "ar-chee-vees" were the other day. So sweet. I need to go get out the baby book.

So, please don't tell Princess Maren about her jumproke. Let's just work that for as long as we can, OK? Thanks.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weekend Highlights

Not much going on in the IA Pilot Wife household this weekend, which is fine. Really. I was ready to regroup and realign and renew and all that other good re- stuff. Word of warning, the weekend highlights are not so spectacular, so if you're expecting lottery winnings or octomoms or AIG death threats - you need to go read yourself another blog.

1. I splashed myself in the mouth with toilet water/toilet bowl cleaner residue water as I was paying homage to the weird Dutch gene and getting particularly aggressive with the grungy toilet bowl. UGH. Super Ugh. Ugh on steroids. (I warned you to keep your expectations low. ) So if I die of septicemia or toilet bowl cleaner poisoning in the next couple days - you heard it here first. Things can only get better, right?

2. I did get my house cleaned. Curse the weird Dutch gene.

3. Princess Maren greeted me by crawling in my bed EARLY Saturday morning with her happy shiny face and no fever. Why is it she always wakes up early on Saturday morning and on any other day of the it takes a stick of dynamite and a small crane to get her out of bed? WHY? Glad she is feeling better though and a cuter alarm clock is yet to be discovered.

4. My relatives in Denver, Wichita, and Tulsa all got snow this weekend. Iowa did not. When does that ever happen? Sorry ya'll, but I am secretly smiling inside - just a little - and just this weekend - because I know things could look much different different here down the road.

5. Marissa and I watched the end of the Incredibles on TV together Saturday night. Did you know she has this spot just below her collarbones where she is REALLY ticklish. If we are sitting in the chair together (which we were) it is in the perfect spot to inconspicuously pretend that I am going to give her a hug (which I did) and go in for the kill. TICKLE TORTURE. It is always good to check (which I also did) if she has gone to the bathroom first (which she had). Fun.

6. I had homemade tamales and buneulos for lunch today. Can you say delicioso? Muy Bien? Magnifico, excellente, y mas por favor? Our church started a Bible Study to reach out to the Hispanic community in town. They, in turn, wanted to reach out and do something to help those less fortunate than themselves. So, they made homemade tamales and buneulos to sell to the congregation and all proceeds would go to The Bridge here in town. They made over 1200 tamales. Talk about a ministry. In word and in deed. It left quite an impression on my mind and my heart, but also on my waistline I am afraid. Thanks ladies!

7. And now for the lucky number seven. The best part of my weekend was the 59 minutes and 26 seconds I spent talking to my good friend in Tulsa. She is stuck in a motel room by herself after receiving a radiation treatment and for the safety of her family and others has to remain there until Wednesday. See, we had sort of lost track of each other over the past couple years, and they have obviously been a bit trying for her. Yet she considers herself "lucky" and "thankful". The prognosis is good.

As we talked, so many memories came flooding back - a Yorkie terrier wreaking havoc on our apartment kitchen over the course of a night shift, me backing into the parking lot support pole and chocolate muffins flying all over the car, crushes on Dr.'s later found out to be "happy", and always wondering if Arlene, while nodding off at the desk, would fall out of her chair and what in the world would we do if it did happen? She is a good friend. The best.

We had a lot to catch up on. Families and disappointments, Parkinson's disease and diabetes, Iowa versus Oklahoma, CHF and dementia, and Norwegian scabies. Yep, scabies. Really. I'm praying for you, girl! Love ya!

So, all in all, a pretty fine weekend. Toodles!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Oldies but Goodies...

Lately my ears have been inundated with the sounds of old hymns. As I was driving to the dentist, the radio was playing an updated version of "Come Thou Fount". We sang "All Creatures of Our God and King" in church a couple weeks ago, and Pastor Jon noted in his weekly e-mail message how meaningful "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" was to him.

I have a soft spot for these old hymns. Not that I don't enjoy contemporary praise and worship music, because I really do. I just hope we don't forget about these beautiful old hymns. Seems they have gone the way of the stodgy and the outdated.

I grew up attending a really small country church - maybe 80 to 100 members on a good Sunday. We sang out of an old green hymnal that I would share with my mom or dad or my brothers if the situation was really dire. But for some reason God blessed that church with some incredible musicians. We had excellent vocalists, talented pianists and organists, and we even had a lady who played the accordion - beautifully (is that an oxymoron?). Sometimes both my ears and my heart ache to hear the four part harmonies of my old country church. It is not Googleable - I tried.

I distinctly remember singing "Wonderful Grace of Jesus". Accompanied by both the piano and organ, the melody starts out pretty slow, but then builds to a rollicking chorus with the bass line rumbling underneath the tinkling sopranos. Tenor and alto (I sing alto - always and forever the middle child) neatly filling their niche somewhere in the middle. The song ended with Pam G landing firmly and with great conviction smack dab in the center of the high G (that's the one above the high E and F) to round out the final chord. She hit it every time. We would raise the roof on that small country church, sister, like no one's business. God's grace should illicit that sort of "High G "response, I think.

I also remember singing "O Sacred Head Now Wounded" at a Maunday Thursday service during a spectacular spring thunderstorm. Let's just say it left an impression.

Old hymns are poets. The Sunday we sang "All Creatures of Our God and King", was a gorgeous one here in NW Iowa. As I was doing dishes and looking out my open kitchen window it was impossible not to notice that "the lights of evening" had indeed found their voice and were praising God with abandon. After a somewhat trying week for me, the words in bold that reached my ears on the way to the dentist this morning from "Come Thou Fount" were "prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love." I had to bow my head in shame right out there in the parking lot.

I play (kinda) the piano (very badly) on occasion and I like to pull out the old green hymnal we used to sing out of at Newkirk Church. They gave them away for a small donation when the new ones were purchased. The binding is broken and ripped, the pages are falling out and the Captain almost chucked it on our last move. I find it therapeutic to pound out the chords of an old hymn (much to the dismay of our neighbors, I am sure). But it comforts me, mistakes and all, and brings me back to a time when things were much simpler, and my faith was young and new without so much reason and tarnish. And as a hymn said it best, it is well with my soul. What's your favorite hymn? Consider yourself tagged.

Come thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
Praise the mount I'm fixed upon it
Mount of thy redeeming love
Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by thy help I come
And I hope by thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home
Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wondering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to thee
Prone to wander Lord I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for thy courts above!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Twilight Zone

It was a long weekend. Princess Maren was sick. High fevers, a little bit of congestion - she stumbled into my bed at 3 AM on Friday and whimpered that her "hair hurt". Poor thing. It does feel like that when you have a fever. So I doled out the ibuprofen, let her snuggle her hot little body next to mine where she promptly fell back to sleep, but I was wide awake, my mind scrambling about what to do about work in the morning. The girls only get sick when the Captain is gone you see...

I had to call in, which definitely made this Monday a bit more hectic. The Princess started feeling better on Sunday, but still woke up with a low grade fever that morning. No church, no Bible study, and not much face to face adult interaction all weekend. I was going a bit nuts, whacky.... how many kids movies could I endure, how many games of Word Challenge could be played, I even attempted Mario Kart on the Wii in an effort to keep Sweet Marissa from going nuts too. I am really horrible at Mario Kart. Bad. Bad. Bad.

Early Sunday evening, my mom stopped by and since the Princess had been pretty much fever free for all of eight hours without the help of drugs, I asked mom to stay with her so I could catch a break. Whew, what freedom is there in backing the van out of the driveway - alone. Is that bad to say? Can't help it - it is how I felt.

I went to the movie rental place in town, not really intending to get a movie for me, but maybe the M's would appreciate seeing Bolt. That was available, and then I just checked out what else was available. That's when it happened. I was walking by the T's and the air got chilly and a fine mist rose from the video display and TWILIGHT leaped into my hands with incredible speed and force. And then the case opened its jaws and attacked my neck, and warm bl.... nah....told you I was getting a little stir crazy.

I have resisted the whole Twilight thing for a long time. Isn't the whole premise and story line geared to the young adult audience? I have long been removed from that age bracket. Yet I have heard women my age positively swooning over Edward Cullen. No one has more FB flair dedicated to him than Edward Cullen. Also, I do not find vampires the least bit interesting. Too cold, too creepy, too bloody, too goth... whatever. Lastly, I inherently do not like things that I think have been too hyped up. But, in my weak minded state I did relent to the powers of Bella and Edward, and found it to be a pretty darn entertaining movie. Yes, even vampires become entertaining if they are wrapped up in an intriguing love story. I do think Ed needs to pluck some 'brow and ditch the white make-up and lipstick. Just a bit too distracting to me.

Now I need to decide, should I resist the books, or just take the plunge and get it over with. What's a girl (or higher than young adult age bracket mom, in my case) to do? I can probably get a good start on them next weekend when it is my turn to be sick. That's what you get when you snuggle in bed with a hair hurting four year old - but who can resist? Ed Cullen's got nothing on that.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Breng ons een bezoek! (Pay us a visit!)

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring! Princess Maren triumphantly told me so as I was picking her up from pretty school.
So that means we are a little closer to this.
Where you can hear a little bit of this.

And there will be tulips (hopefully) and green grass, and leaves on trees and lovely warm breezes. Oh My!

Or if you think all that Dutch stuff is way overrated, just stop by anyway and we can sit on the deck and have a beer or a glass of wine and we'll write sonnets to Spring. Either way, fine with me.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Last week was a busy week. One of the things that made me busy was the fact the I had somewhat reluctantly given in to helping out with an elective cardioversion at work. Thursdays are usually my day off. The cardiology clinic is on Thursday and therefore the only time cardioversions are done electively. Therefore I was working on Thursday. (And therefore all my laundry caught up and passed me in the final turn for the weekend.)

Don't get me wrong - I don't mind helping out with the cardiology clinic. I usually learn a lot and think it is helpful to maintain a presence with the cardiologists that eventually make referrals for my real job of cardiac rehab nurse. I don't mind getting ready for the cardioversion itself. Don't mind getting the paperwork filled out, the consent signed, the lab run, the orders noted. Don't mind the clinical stuff of shaving the chest (if male - although I am sure they curse my name in about a week or so when all their hair starts growing back really itchy like and stuff - so I usually let Patty do that so they can curse her name) placing the defibrillator pads, starting the IV, taking the vitals, or getting the EKG to verify that they actually still are in atrial fib and really do need said cardioversion. Don't mind it a bit.

See, if a patient goes into the funky heart rhythm of either atrial fib or flutter, it's nice to get it converted back to a normal sinus rhythm. There is much debate about whether it is better to rate control (by medication)or rhythm control atrial fib- although I think the latter is preferred - otherwise why cardiovert? In atrial fib or flutter the upper part of the heart (atria) are sort of doing their own thing flopping around up there and the ventricles (lower, more powerful part) have a hard time following along and just start doing their own thing - which is good at least they are doing something - but the heart really loses a good part of its punch when the two aren't working together.

So last Thursday we wanted to get our patient back into normal sinus rhythm. The patient with advice from his physician made an informed decision to do an elective cardioversion. That is all well and good, but the part that makes me a bit nervous is having to push "the button". As the nurse helping out, I am in charge of "the button". Yep, that button. It goes something like this.

Dr. Wanner: "Are we ready?"
CRNA: "Yep." (he is sorta cocky like that)
Patient: SNORES LOUDLY- he is already under from the versed and propofol
IA Pilot Nurse: "Yes sir! Anything you say, sir!" (Nah, I usually say "yep" too - I like to pretend I am a bit more cocky than I feel)
Dr. Wanner: "Charge to 50 Joules."
IA Pilot Nurse: " Charging to 50 Joules. " (not even pretending to be cocky at this point and I select the right amount of joules on the Lifepak and charge away)
Dr. Wanner: "All clear?" (everyone scoots away from the patient - not wanted to have their own unelective cardioversion)
IA Pilot Nurse: "All Clear." (that's an affirmative)
Dr. Wanner: "...and shock."
IA Pilot Nurse presses "the button" and holds her breath.

Because what is worse than running "the button" is the one to two second pause after the shock. Any number of things go racing through my head in those one to two seconds of flatline. Really fast like this...

"where is the nearest code button, wow I really should have used the restroom before all this started, what is the ACLS algorithm for asystole again?, what is taking so long - man that pause is taking forever, is that a P wave I see - oh please let it be a P wave, speaking of P, I really do need to use the restroom, oh my, they may not be able to have an open casket funeral because I just shaved his chest, is a precordial thump good or bad these days? - I'll just let Wanner take care of that - he's got the better angle and oh please .... ahhh that was a p wave followed by a normal and lovely QRS, followed by another and another and another.

Normal sinus rhythm is a beautiful and wonderful thing after an elective cardioversion. And I'd like to say I helped - just a little.

And sort of like the A-Team of my youth... I do love it when a plan comes together.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Baby Love - sorta

One of the really fun things we got to do last weekend was watch my niece, Elizabeth, my oldest brother Don and his wife Michelle's little girl. (Was that really just last weekend? Seems like forever ago. What ever did happen to last week?) Anyway, Miss Lizzie really puts the toot AND the cute in cutie patootie. The girls are just all aflutter when we have the distinct privilege of watching Miss Lizzie. And that is basically what we do. We just sit and watch. Watch her smile, watch her giggle, watch her eat, watch her drool , watch her eyes sparkle - you name it - we watch - and love every precious minute of it.

I was going to tell you that Princess Maren has this really strong maternal, nurturing instinct. She is always lovingly mothering her dollies, her stuffed animals (Pancakes, Pig-Pig, Seaweed and Lambie in particular)or her Barbies. I am always finding dollies, animals, or Barbie's neatly tucked in at various spots around our house with one of my dishrags or dishtowels - no wonder there are never any left in the drawer.
I actually love finding Maren's little babies "sleeping" here and there. It reassures me somewhat, because, see Maren has just a bit of a Diva in her. Upon waking, she slips on her most sparkly necklace, smooths her hair and clips it in one of the hair clips from the collection she keeps at her bedside, all before her little feet hit the floor. Then she dons her robe and slippers and sashays to the breakfast table and politely demands to be fed. She plugs her own nose while doing her own #2, and finds it distasteful to flush the toilet - #1 or #2. She is all about the shoes and the clothes and the purses - oh my.

I often wonder where this diva gene came from. I have heard some stories about her Auntie Kim and her girlie-girl ness - and am reassured that she turned out just fine. There is also Maren's Great Grandma Gigi. At 83, she has just succumbed to her first pair of "sensible shoes". I think she would argue that those two words do not belong together in the same sentence. Oh, we love Princess Maren to pieces - diva gene and all, but it is all somewhat foreign to my inherently tomboy self.

So last weekend, Maren would not leave Lizzie's side. She even helped me change her diaper. The sweetness of Miss Lizzie could not be resisted and all diva-ness was put aside. She was drinking the cute baby Kool-Aid. She was so disappointed to wake up the next morning and find Lizzie gone. All that was left was Baby Lizzie's rattle. Maren was beyond sad. Her heart had been stolen. So, I am reassured that Maren loves someone way more than shoes. It does this momma's heart good.

But speaking of shoes, Princess Maren has also been learning to tie hers and later that day I went to the play room in the basement and saw this. Should I be worried?

So much for the mothering gene. Don and Michelle may never let us watch Lizzie again. Sigh. We love you Maren!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Shannon Needs...

So, I got tagged from Miss Annie over there in the OK who is Having a Ball and I thought this looked pretty fun. I had seen some of these responses floating around on FB, and some of them are pretty darn funny and then some of them seem to hit just a bit too close to home. Anyway, here goes:

Shannon needs rocks in my dryer. (can add them to the collection of dried chewing gum residue and the ongoing ink pen explosions) I had to rearrange this sentence to make it work. Then I opened the link and saw Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer had already done the Shannon needs thingy. I entertained the thought of just using her list, but that would be cheating, right?

Shannon needs help. AMEN and AMEN

Shannon needs financial help. Please donate. (it really did say please donate - seriously)

Shannon needs cats picture gallery. (No thanks ...I'm really more of a dog person.)

Shannon needs to do her homework. (how did Google know that? I do have a PALS re- certification tomorrow - otherwise not much homework in my life)

Shannon needs to stomp that Latin out. (Hmm)

Shannon needs more ammo. (that is a bit scary)

Shannon needs to come back to Newfoundland. (never been, but wouldn't mind checking it out)

Shannon needs to visit a dentist. ( got my appointment scheduled for 3/26 at 9 AM)

Shannon needs football players. ( if you insist - as long as they are the hunky types)

Ironically, I had already heard of the blog Rocks in My Dryer from reading Annie's blog, and had been rummaging through her last few posts just last week. And my oh my, another mucho talented OK blogger. I clicked on her "best of "category and found this. That is what I really needed to hear on this day. The good Lord does work in mysterious ways... to meet our "needs". Thanks Annie, that was FUN.

I'll tag the Captain, Miss Dawn (the Queen B), Kelly, and whoever else wants to join in the fun... I've gotta go stomp that Latin out with those football players. ; )

Sunday, March 8, 2009

PTC's, Carnivals, Duraceramic, and Third Day (in no particular order)

WHEW! What a WEEKEND! We managed to get in a concert, laid some Duraceramic tile, babysat my niece AND played lots of Mario Kart. I think we took the magical whirlwind tour - all on one less hour of sleep.

The Captain got home Thursday just in time to help out at Sweet Marissa's 3rd Grade Carnival at school. He was the head Twister man. Not sure who had more fun Marissa or the Captain. The original plan was for me to go after my cardiology Lunch and Learn which ran way late, but the Captain swooped in to save the day. Lessons learned in adaptability.

No school for Big M on Friday so it was hang out with Daddy day. We had parent teachers conferences this week and we heard a glowing report from Big M's teacher. What a difference a year can make. IA Pilot Mom had to work on Friday, but got much accomplished. So I couldn't feel too bad about not being home with the fam.

Then it was off to see Third Day in concert!! This was Big M's first live music concert, and we were a little concerned about the noise, but knew it would be a great show, so really wanted to try it out on her. Let's just say she Loved it. With a big L.

Third Day is a contemporary Christian group with a decided southern rock (yes, they used a cowbell) edge. The Captain and I are mucho fans, (the Captain more so than myself) so to have them be as close as an hour away seemed like an opportunity that should not be missed. Mac Powell, their lead singer, has this voice that seems to rise up out of his toes, rumbles around in his chest, and falls out of his mouth and resonates in everyone listening with sincerity and passion for God. He's kind of a skinny, full goatee wearing dude, so it's a bit surprising that such a big voice comes out of slightly scrawny him.

Revive, a relatively new group from Australia, opened the concert and they were great! Marissa was hooked and all giggles when the lead singer asked us all to get off our butts and out of our seats. Bathroom anatomy humor goes a long way with my child. It did sound pretty good in an Australian accent. Revive was followed by Brandon Heath. He was great too! Very acoustical and soulful with a lot of emotional content tied into his songs. He will definitely find a home in my iPod.

Then it was Third Day. They gave a great concert! Song after song was familiar and seemed better than the one before. The Captain loved every minute of it and has definitely passed on his live music loving gene to his oldest daughter. See, the Captain is a high clapper. Got his hands over his head, sometimes one hand, sometimes two, usually a whoot whoot and singing at the tip top of his lungs. I am a low clapper, hands out in front, not much above chest level, maybe a slight booty shake every now and then and I try to harmonize. Must be that reserved NW Iowa upbringing. Marissa is a high clapping, booty shaking fool!!! Lots of fun to watch her though!

Probably the best part of the evening was when our close to the worst seats in the house turned into the best seats in the house. Mac Powell left the stage for what we all thought was a well deserved break, but then showed up in the back of the arena and threw an impromptu acoustic party for about 50 up close and personal fans. Marissa was off like a shot and got a within arms length seat for a really nice set of their old and familiar songs. No fear, no second thoughts, just a plan to enjoy the evening for all it was worth. I really like that about my girl.

I hope it left an impression on her. That our God deserves and loves to be greatly praised. It was a wonderful night.

King of Glory - Third Day

Who is this King of Glory that pursues me with his love

And haunts me with each hearing of His softly spoken words

My conscience, a reminder of forgiveness that I need

Who is this King of Glory who offers it to me

Who is this King of angels, O blessed Prince of Peace

Revealing things of Heaven and all its mysteries

My spirit's ever longing for His grace in which to stand

Who's this King of glory, Son of God and son of man

His name is Jesus, precious Jesus

The Lord Almighty, the King of my heart

The King of glory

Who is this King of Glory with strength and majesty

And wisdom beyond measure, the gracious King of kings

the Lord of Earth and Heaven, the Creator of all things

Who is this King of Glory, He's everything to me

The Lord of Earth and Heaven, the Creator of all things

He is the King of glory, He's everything to me

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Connecting or Community or Both?

The novelty of Facebook, Twitter, blogging is still pretty new too me. It is easy to get sidetracked by, no make that addicted to all the above. I used to complain that the Captain spent wayyyy too much time on the computer, but now have to admit that I am giving him a run for his money.

I especially like what I term (for lack of a better one) leapblogging, I go to one of the blogs I read and pick just one of the blogs they read and so on and so on. There are some really talented and creative people out there! And Rush Limbaugh gets paid for what he does? I could argue there are many out there in the blogosphere that I would rather hear from and probably pay them to do it. Anyway, I digress.

But when do you slide down that slippery slope of spending too much time online, of foregoing your offline life (right now I am ignoring my offline life of cleaning my house - a clean house is way overrated anyway right) to connect to your online "community". Can you even call that a true community? Hard to say. Click here for an interesting discussion on just that subject . I do know that I have enjoyed Facebook and blogging tremendously for a few reasons.


First of all there is Word Challenge - nuf said.

Secondly, I have found it so much easier to connect with far away family and friends. You get these little glimpses into thier lives that you miss with a phone call or even an email, and these are the things that real life is made of. The Captain's family went out to a Japanese restaurant in Derby, KS and posted some great pics of the event. So, even though we were not there, I still feel connected to the event and in that feel more connected to them in their lives.

My friend Dawn got flowers from her mom the other day and she posted that on FB. Would she have called or emailed to tell me about that sweet gesture from her mom? Probably not, but I'm really glad I know about that. Knowing Dawn and knowing her mom and knowing Dawn lost her Dad a few years ago, it warms the cockles of my heart and makes me love my dear friend even more.

Another college friend and I have recently connected on FB. She has been struggling with thyroid cancer. I knew of this diagnosis, but did not know about the four surgeries thereafter. I did not mean to lose touch with my dear friend, but it happens in the keeping up with the day to day of your life. Not intentional, but just a can't seem to get to it in all the to-dos on the list.

So in that respect, I am glad to lift my head up from the things I think may be important (like cleaning house) and realize friends should not be put at the bottom of that list.


Blogging is a great outlet for me. Some of the things I have learned from my blogging friends have been very beneficial to my life of late.

Annie has taught me that even though her hubby is gone a lot too and though she may vent about the circumstances, she NEVER vents about her husband. Period.

Kim. Did I really ever know my sister-in-law? Did I take the time? I love hearing what she has to say and enjoy every minute of connecting to her life.

Did you know the Captain has a blog? I KNOW! I think I have come to appreciate more of what the Captain does on a daily basis. I am thankful he has a "job" that he loves. This is my favorite post. A Pilot Poet perhaps? Be still my heart.

Baloney has taught me to stand up in all circumstances for your children. She puts the pro in active in being in her child's corner. I have learned something from that. My kids need to know that they ALWAYS have someone in their life that has their back.

Dawn has taught me that friends are friends forever. That good friends are like bikes, you can just hop right back on and enjoy the ride. I am glad to have the easy graceful rhythms of her friendship back in my life.

Pioneer Woman. I think Pioneer Women is well on her way to becoming the new Oprah. She makes me laugh to the point of snorting! I am thinking she must be taking out computer screens one quip at a time as all her readers collectively spit out our morning coffee (or Dt. Dr. Pepper) in true LOL fashion. Laughter is good medicine.

I have also loved reading my FIL's blog. Another one that has me ruining my poor computer screen. Whether is is Maggie (that's the dog, not my MIL to clarify) pooping where she is not supposed to, or the underline that mysteriously appears halfway through the post - it makes me laugh - hard. That Beaty/McGough family tree has some writing talent and I love catching up with them.

The McGoughs and the Van Zees have recently adopted. There is the tiniest whisper in my heart about this.

God can work good out and in and of all things, but the devil can certainly charm as well. All things in moderation - seems a good place to stop. I really do have to rescue my house from the vermin that have overtaken it. What? You say those are my children? That explains everything.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

She Really is His Better Half

Happy Birthday to you (cha cha cha)!

My little bro did good. Found him a good one. A true keeper. A++. Tanya has had to put up with a lot over the years - before and after they were married. On a daily basis she has to corral three little Nate mini-me's -(but aren't they the most handsome boys ever - Nate claims he does not know how to make girls)and has to keep that hubby of hers in line. (I swear it was the dog food. ) She truly deserves a medal - or atleast a large shot of alcohol in the evenings. To see what I mean check out Three Active Boys at Vanessa Bartels Photography.

Tanya, do you remember that trip to Colorado when said hubby was acting like a piece of dog doo-doo. (It sure was fun rollerblading down that trail at Breckinridge, but what sort of torture to make it up again - UGH!) I am glad he finally got his head on straight! Happy Birthday T! So glad you are a part of our weird and dysfunctional family. You are a great mom, a more than tolerant wife, and a daily witness and testimony to God's wonderful plan in your life. We are blessed indeed! Love Ya!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The IA Pilot Wife Comes Clean...

I am sitting here by myself in a quiet, empty house (a very rare occurrence) nursing my so sore I can barely walk upright back. Princess Maren and I got a little crazy "Moving It" (think Madagascar II) the other night and now I am in the hurt box. Oh well, it was worth it. The Captain left for a four day trip. Big M is at Abby's. Little M went to grandma's out of sheer boredom. Mommy is no fun when she can't move it, move it.

When I started this blog I really had no idea what I would do with it. I only knew that in the past I enjoyed writing and that sometimes I had all these feelings balled up inside me that I didn't know what to do with. I did not start this blog specifically to address the pilot wife life, but rather to help me embrace it. In many ways that has happened. Being a pilot wife, whether I like it or not, does seem to color every aspect of my life, and I have not always been too happy about it. In fact, if you had talked to me this time last year, or even five years ago, you may have found me to be scathingly mad and inwardly resentful about the hand I had been dealt. All covered up with a happy smile that everything was just fine.

The Captain is gone from our home most months, over half the time. Last month was wonderful. He was actually here more than he was gone. This month, due to his check ride, he will have a measly 12 days off. So if calculated by time, I feel like I only have half a husband, half a marriage, the girls have half a daddy and we have half a life together. In the past, I most certainly have seen that glass as being half empty.

There are the trivial things about being a pilot wife that seem annoying. Perpetual white shirt, navy dress pants laundry, weird pilot BO (The Captain always comes home smelling like this strange mixture of jet fuel, stale cockpits, grimy airports, and the last challenging landing he made - but there is something comforting about it because that means he is home) numerous battery packs being recharged at every outlet, and this aura of clutter (flight bag, overcoat, pilot hat, computer bag, carry on and these days, a large packet of index cards to prepare him for his check ride) that seems to follow The Captain everywhere he goes. And sometimes I am mildly resentful about having to share the bed that I have become comfortably accustomed to sleeping in all by myself.

Caption reads: "Could you stop making that breathing sound?"

(Bloglifted from Mandy at First You Make a Roux)

But less trivially, once I have gotten a good nights sleep, I really hate waking up in the morning to his side of the bed being completely undisturbed and all I have to do is fold my covers back into place and the bed is made. Makes me horribly sad. Such a physical reminder of my crazy half life theory. Then, there's that feeling of no air when watching news coverage of yet another airplane crash. And there are the girls. I get overly anxious when they miss him too much,

Princess Maren: "Mommy, I miss Daddy! When will he ever come home?"

Will they be emotionally scarred for life? Will they ever develop a good relationship with their Daddy - girls need that you know.

and equally anxious when they don't really seem to miss him at all.

IA Pilot Mom : "Daddy's coming home today. "

Sweet Marissa: Oh yeah, well... can I go to Abby's?"

Do they even remember they have a father? How can she be so nonchalant about that? She hasn't seen her Dad in five days?! Sometimes I feel so inadequate to the parenting challenge and really wish I did not have to go it alone as much as I do.

Somewhere in this past year me and the pilot wife have come to terms. The white flag has been unfurled and the peace treaty has been signed. I am not sure how it happened. God's grace, some maturity, a little bit of perspective that all in all we do have a lovely life. The hand I have been dealt is beautiful and more than I could ever have imagined for myself. We are healthy, we are blessed and we love each other. Oh, I am sure there will be days - our mamas always told us there would be. Maybe it is the choice I have finally made to look at things half full and in that seem to have been completely filled.

2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.