“Leaving Hearts, and Heartache, in London”

Over the summer I took a really special trip with some even more special gal pals. I’ve been wanting to share “formally” about the trip, other than some pictures on Facebook, but I knew that I had written a piece on the trip for a magazine, East of the City, so I didn’t want to share before that launched. Finally, the time has come and the submission is published, complete with a few snapshots from the journey. Here is the link to the online edition of the magazine: http://3dfv9j22sqvp2g8b542tgzv2.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/Sept_Oct_18.pdf (it is also in print, but obviously I can’t share that with you, so digital must do!) Even though I have put the screen shots here, you will want to connect to the link and scroll to pages 18 and 19 for my portion, for it will be much easier to read! Additionally, I wanted to include a few more pictures here, which I will add after the story. London 1

London 2c

London 3

Recent House Guests

We’ve had a good share of house guests lately, with some being good and some bad. I’ll let you meet them in order of their appearance.

First, I got the flu. That’s right, the flu, as in influenza. The sickness came the night of our Valentine’s date. The hubs and I date swapped with some friends, where they would watch our boys the day before V-day and then we would watch their boy the day after. Thomas and I had a great date, eating at a local restaurant and listening to some of our favorite songs as we drove around town, feeling young and in love. While on the date, an annoying cough was beginning to appear. I felt fine in a general sense (see how young and healthy I look in our date night photo!) but the cough was a bit distressing, and I assumed that after my cold morning run that day before church, I was welcoming myself a case of bronchitis. That night, I slept poorly and felt as if I was freezing the whole time. Monday, which was actually Valentine’s Day, we lived life as usual, with Thomas going to work and me caring for the boys, but I began to get very achy. Upon Thomas arriving home from work, we all went out as a family to run an errand, and it was at that point I began to crash. As we pulled into the driveway at 6:30, I told Thomas I had to sleep and he would need to put the kids to bed. That night was horrible. I tossed and turned, coughed and shook, shivered and whined. I actually even had a “fever dream” where I talked out in my sleep. Thomas was not yet in bed and came in to care for me. I told him to find out the exact moment that the doctor opened so that I could be there. After taking my temperature, we saw it was over 102.

That morning, Thomas called out of work so he could be home. We had some miscommunication and he thought I had said I would drive myself to the doctor. When I noticed he was not getting the kids in the car, I almost cried because the thought of operating heavy machinery in my condition seemed impossible. So, he scrambled to get the kids ready quickly. Thomas told Daniel to go up and get his clothes on, which resulted in Daniel wearing dress pants and a red shirt with a Christmas Tree and a bear donning a Santa hat on it. Everyone fully clothed, plus a blanket covering myself, we got in the car and took off.

While waiting to be seen, I think I hit the peak of my sickness, and I felt the worst I have ever felt in my life. When I told that to Thomas, he asked, “Even worse than when you broke your leg in 3 places?” to which I quickly responded “Yes” because every inch of me hurt, internally and externally. At least with the leg it was contained to one part of my body. All I wanted to do was put myself on the floor of the office in order to sleep, and possibly cry.

After they stuck a stick up my nose for a swab, I was told I had type A flu. I also had near a 103 fever. I was given a script for tamaflu, and even though I generally like avoid taking a medicine, I was a the point of doing anything to feel better. In fact, had the doctor told me the best way to combat the illness was to bite the head off a live cobra using only my left incisor, I would have done it.

About 3 hours after the meds were taken, I felt less awful. It actually took me nearly a full week to feel almost normal, and Thomas had to take the rest of the week off work to care for me and the kids. He’s such a super dad, for I seriously did nothing but sleep. Thomas said I was like an infant because I would wake, look around for about an hour, and then fall back to sleep. The boys did a decent job of letting me rest. Daniel could comprehend and see that I was sick but Wesley could not. A few times, Wesley just came in and cried “Momma….” and would cuddle up with his head on my chest while he patted my hair. I could tell me missed me, and I missed them, but I just could not do much. At least the boys made me a great breakfast in bed, placing it conveniently near my glass of water. Such sweet ones they are.

I can now see why the flu killed millions of people when the 1918 pandemic hit. I don’t wish the flu on anyone. And even though I am young, healthy, active, and not in the workplace around possible sick people, I will be getting the flu shot next year, for everyone else but me in my family had the shot, and none of them were graced with this awful guest!

Our second round of visitors were much better. We did have to postpone due to my flu, but finally we had dinner with our out of town friends. Jeff and Rachel are an amazing couple that are preparing to welcome their baby, Eden, into the world soon. Jeff has known us before we were even an us! And I lived in the same dorm with Rachel before she and Jeff even knew one another, so there is much to recall and reflect upon when we are together. We just spent time eating dinner that I made for us (gluten free!), playing with the kids, laughing, catching up, sharing parenting thoughts, and enjoying the company, for it had been too long since our last fun night together. They are such Godly, thoughtful, creative, and energetic friends that seek to find out more about you, not just talk about themselves. Thomas and I can’t wait to see them share all that awesomeness with their first child!

Next, friends that we met when we lived in this city the first time, that had also moved away, came back to check on some rental properties that they still own in our town. They were planning on spending a few days completing tasks and needed a place to stay. Being that we have enough space, I told my friend Erin that she, her husband Dan, and her kids, Caroline and Daniel, were more than welcome to stay with us. For three nights we had house guests and my boys had new live-in playmates. It was fun telling Daniel to do something and seeing both boys respond.  We resorted to calling them by their last names too, or first and middle names, but often just Daniel came out, so both boys reacted. One morning I watched all 4 kids while Thomas worked and Dan and Erin took care of business. I had such a loud and active house. It was so much fun! During their stay, the kids threw balls, drew pictures, stuck stickers, fought over toys, played with the toy kitchen, swang on the swingset, cruised around on scooters and bikes, watched a movie, read books, and so much more. It was really a fun time. It was great as well to catch up with a sweet friend, not to mention get to meet her daughter for the first time! I appreciated getting to know her husband more too, being that he was a deployed solider for over half of the time she and I taught together and lived near one another.  Daniel does not really understand that his buddy, does not live close and will not be able to come over tomorrow too. We vowed to begin a sticker exchange in the mail, being that they played with stickers so much, so maybe that will help him cope.








Finally, we had an old friend, that we knew from our first round living here, randomly come over for dinner. I had began our lunch before church, thanks to the crock-pot, so when we ran into Chad at church, we had to deny his request to go out to eat, but that meant he could come and join us at our home. He totally went with the flow and listened to Daniel’s stories and acted very impressed by the shoes Wesley showed him. Being that when we knew him first we did not have any kids, he jumped right in and acted like he’s known them forever. We had a yummy lunch and had some quiet conversation afterward, once the kiddos went to sleep for naps. I did not truly take a picture of Chad, not even a crummy cell phone photo like I did with Jeff and Rachel, but I did not want him pictureless, so I present to you a photo from about 6 years ago, when we knew him first. He’s still just as Godly, happy, geeky, funny, and lovable as he was before, so why should an old pic not do the trick?

That about does it for our house guests. Maybe that will explain the absence of blog posts here the past bit.

I hope all of you are well, and if you are ever out our way, you are welcome to visit and be added to the visitors list! Who knows, I might even blog about you too! I am pretty sure it will be kind, unless you are the flu, then I will have only awful things to say about you :O)

Sometimes I’m Wrong…Sometimes

Ever since we were dating, Thomas and I agreed that he was funny 9 out of 10 times, while I was right 9 out of 10 times. Corny, but typically true. Recently, however, I have found myself to be wrong.

Example 1: While making a Lowe’s run to grab painting essentials for Wesley’s room. I remembered we needed to buy a little plastic tray to put under my potted plant in order to avoid leaks onto the carpet. Thomas picked out one that was huge in diameter. I insisted it was way too big, so I went back and exchanged it for a smaller one. He proceeded to tell me mine was too small, but I assured him it was the size we needed. I then told him, “When we get home, if it does not work, you can say ‘I told you so.’” Then we bought. Once home, it was too small. I, in complete honesty, was thinking of another plant basket that is currently not in use, so I began to tell him I had the wrong basket in mind when making the purchase. That did not save me much face, for the plastic tray was too small for the second basket as well! My good, sweet husband just laughed.

Example 2: Many folks have been asking if Daniel understands the coming little brother. I would honestly say I do not think he has made the link, for when asked where Wesley is, he will point first at my belly…..and then at his……and then at Thomas’s…..and then at his stuffed animal’s. Well, we were eating dinner out the other night and Daniel was being silly. He was saying “Where’s Daddy???” and we would all look around for Daddy until Daniel chimed in with a pointed finger and an ecstatic, “Oh, dere he is!!!” This continued with Mommy, then Daniel, and ultimately ending in “Where’s Wesley???” Daniel immediately pointed to my stomach, and there was no more pointing after that. He then hugged my belly and rested his head on my tummy. As I was lavishing in the sweet, precious mommy moment, Daniel very quickly grabbed the hem of my shirt and pulled it up to my chin and screamed, “Dere’s Wesley!!!” We all laughed so hard, and I was really glad we were in a casual place with no one near us that could see my preggo belly! So, I think he has finally made the link, but there is still no doubt that his little toddler world will be rocked when Wesley officially arrives


Example 3: I was very fortunate to meet up with an old friend, Dana, along with her son Owen, while they made a visit to TN. She asked if Daniel knew he was going to be getting a little brother soon. I then began to relay the story above, at which Daniel heard the name Wesley and began to point to my belly again, ultimately confirming that he was connecting the dots and proving mommy wrong again. But this day, I was wrong more than once, for while we were eating lunch at the mall food court, Daniel eyed the carousel the entire time we ate lunch. I told Dana that he only imagines it looks fun and thinks he wants to ride it, but as soon as I pay and put him on it, he would scream and cry (he did that very thing last summer at the fair, and when I put the penny into the horse at Kroger’s for him to ride, he cries immediately to get off.). After we said goodbye to our friend, Daniel kept saying “Momma…peeeeaaassss! Horse!” I told him that if he agreed to go to the potty first, we would ride it. Successful potty trip later, I paid the money to get him on the ride. This is the result:

Needless to say, I was wrong, yet again. Sometimes though it is not too bad to be wrong :o).

Looks like I have a long streak of being right coming my way!