Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Conversations with a man trying to save lives

The following is a conversation (not word-for-word, but very close) that I had with my hubba while he was at work the other day. I just wanted to show you the kinda craziness that my man has to deal with on a regular basis because I think that the sun, moon and stars revolve around me.


Lovey: Hello
Me: Hey, what are you doing?
Lovey: Drowning with too many patients and not enough time.
Me: Oh, well I have some things that I have been thinking about. I think...
(beep, beep, beep)
Me: Is that your pager?
Lovey: Yeah, hold on a sec...

(In the back ground I hear, "This is Dr. Mad. Did someone page me? Uh, huh. Okay, I'll be there in a few.)

Lovey: Sorry about that.
Me: That's fine. Anyway I was thinking that we should really consider paying for Caleb to take the bus next year. I mean, I just...
(beep, beep, beep)
Me: Is that your pager again?
Lovey: Yeah. It's crazy around here.
Me: Anyway, I was saying that I know it's a lot of money for him to...
Lovey: I've been saying we should have him ride the bus from the beginning. Hold on a sec.

(In the back ground I hear, "This is Dr. Mad. Did someone page me? Okay, just give him ____ cc's of ____ and I will be there in a few.)

Lovey: Sorry about that. Babes, I trust you. Do whatever you think is best.
Me: Well, I don't want to be wasteful with our money...
(beep, beep, beep)
Lovey: I'm sorry Babes, I'm a little busy right now..
Me: That's okay, do you think that he should ride one way or both ways? I was thinking that I...
(beep, beep, beep) ...could take him in the am and the bus...
Lovey: Seriously, Babes, I've gotta go. Can I call you later and we can talk about this then?
Me: I just had a couple more thoughts.

(In the background I hear him talking to Nurse Betty)

Me: Are you there? Are you ignoring me?
Lovey: No Babes. Does this decision have to be made tonight?
Me: No.
Lovey: When does it have to be made?
Me: In a couple of weeks. But I thought we should start... (beep, beep, beep) ...thinking about it now.
Lovey: Alright, I will think about it as I walk to my patient's room and give you a call in a few.
Me: Hmmm. I've heard that line before. Alright. I love you.
Lovey: I love you (beep, beep, beep) too.


I love how you guys come out of the woodwork when I have a question and I am hoping that you will do so again.

There are two problems that are overshadowing other real issues in my life. The refridgerator and chicken.

I have some issues when it come to the refrigerator. I feel like I am constantly throwing things out for fear of food poisoning.

  1. The big rule, above all rules, is that nothing goes into the fridge uncovered! Ever.

  2. I don't like to cover things with saran wrap. Leftover food needs to be in some sort of container with a lid.

  3. I never put metal utensils in the fridge.

  4. I really dislike it when The Love puts open cans with a rubber band securing the saran wrap in the fridge!

  5. I don't eat leftovers if they have been in the fridge longer than a day.

And the list goes on and on. I won't even go into my bizzar-o issues with having a fridge that is organized by height and grouped by type of food!

Here are my questions: How long do you keep cooked chicken in the fridge before throwing it out? How long do you keep uncooked chicken in the fridge? Is it okay to thaw meat and then refreeze it with out cooking it? Generally, how long do you keep things in the fridge?

Help a girl out!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

1 down, 6 more to go!

Joseph pulled his first call of residency last night. It wasn't bad at all. For me that is. Poor man was up for 32 hours straight. I hate that. I hate the thought of him driving home after being awake for so long. He got home, slept for 2 hours and then took over with the kids so that I could get a break and go for a run. The man is amazing.

The kids and I have been super busy. I feel so blessed that we have so many friends to go and hang out with while Joseph is working such long hours. The nights are and have always been the hardest. Satan really attacks the kids and I at night when Joseph is gone. I was praying for Caleb last night, around 11:30pm, and in the middle of my prayer I heard crying from the boys room. I assumed that it was Luke becuase it is rarely Caleb. When I got in their room it was Caleb crying and saying that he was scared. I asked him if he wanted me to pray with him and he said yes. I did and then prayed over his room and the whole house.

The kids slept well, I on the other hand did not. I don't without my Love.

I also feel blessed that he only has 6 months of call over the next 3 years! Some of my friend have hubby's that pull call 9 months a year!! That would be so hard and I am thankful that we don't have to do that.

Joseph only has 6 more calls this month. Yeah baby!!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The other blogger in the family...

...has updated his blog.

That boy seriously cracks me up!! He has been wanting to update his blog, but always asks when I am in the middle of something - changing a diaper, making dinner, taking a shower!...

We found some time today, which was a good thing because he was sure that everyone was checking his blog and super disappointed that he hadn't updated it! (Poor child lives under the same delusions as his mama!)

If you have time, go check him out (link on the side) and leave him some love!

I need to stop wasting time at night!!!

Well, we finished season 4 of Lost!! It was so good. People, seriously, this is the best show ever!

And now I feel a little..lost! I miss the all my new friends.

Kate, Sawyer, Jack, Hurley, Sayid, Sun, Jin, and even you, Locke...I miss you guys. I can't believe that I have to wait until "Early 2009" until I see you all again. For some strange reason I thought we were better friends than that. I admit that I got way too immersed into your lives, but that's what happens when I spend at least 2 hours a night, for over a month, with you all. I love you guys and will miss you. Please don't feel betrayed, but I have a secret to tell you...

I found some new friends. Don't get me wrong, they are no where near as cool as you guys are and so far I am not as impressed with their story as I am with yours. With that said, I am only 4 hours into their 24 hour story. And I am going back to moviebuster to get the next 4 hours. We'll see... They have taken the edge off of my sadness of getting to see you guys!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I have time and am feeling random!

Even as we speak, or I type and you skim/read, this is what my boys are doing:

Wonder what could possibly have my two very active mini-men in a complete coma-like trance? Two words baby - Star Wars!! Since the Daddy will be working so much I promised the boys that we would rent all the Star Wars dvd's in order. They love it!!! LOVE IT!

So, when I feel like I am turning into a 'momster', I get a much needed reprieve from the brother drama by sticking in the dvd. Two downsides: 1. They want me to watch them too. (which isn't so much a downside because they don't care what I do, as long as I stay in the room with them - I think they get a little scared.) 2. After the movie we have to play Star Wars until it's time for them to go to bed. (I'm usually, uh-hmm, Yoda, Caleb is Ani and Luke loves -and I mean LOVES- to be Darth Vadar. This is bad because -as with most boy games- it ends with someone getting hurt.)

In case you were curious my friends, that is what the Mad House is looking like this fine Saturday.


Yesterday was Joseph's first day in the most dreaded rotation of the year. And, completely unsurprisingly, it was as long and painful as he thought it would be. The good news is that it reaffirmed his decision to be an ER doc and made him so thankful that he got into the program.

I did not find it that bad at all. And I even added to our chaos here by letting the boys each have a friend over most of the day. The boys that came over are 3 and 6 (and brothers!) so that was especially fun for the boys.

After their mom came to get them, I loaded up the kids and took the to the gym. We have been members of 3 different gyms since we got here and the one that we are currently members of is my favorite by far. It is a brand new YMCA that has a climbing wall for the kids, a very cool tree house, a place for kids 3-6 and a special place for kids 2 and under. For kids 7-12 is this whole other room that is super cool. The child care workers are always doing fun projects with the kids and reading to them or playing with them. It's really amazing! And the best part is that the kids love it! They beg to go and are sad when it's time to leave. All this and it is less than 5 minutes from my house!

And this my friends is thrilling for me! The hours from 4-6pm are the hardest for me when Joseph works long hours or is on call. Yesterday it worked perfectly to head out to the gym after the girls afternoon nap and by the time we got home it was time to eat dinner and then get the girls ready for bed. My hardest time of the day was a breeze thanks to the gym. And I got a great, long workout in! This is a very good thing my friends. Very good indeed!

At the Y, they are also putting in a spash park for kids and building a new pool. It will be done the first of August and that will also give us some place to go and something to do while Joseph is working his long hours.

Love the Y!!


Another thing that has been keeping us busy is SeaWorld. We have a membership there and live fairly close, so that has been something fun to do this summer. We go a lot and you would think that I would know every nook and cranny there, but last week our friends introduced us to this perfect spot in the water park for kids my kiddo's ages. It was perfect for those times that I take the all the kids to the waterpark by myself.

Here are some cute pictures from a couple of weeks ago when we went as a family:

I love this picture of Luke all my himself in the sandbox at SeaWorld. This child could play by himself for hours. He is so different from his brother.

The brothers.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Note to myself

I seriously have a bazillion things to do (don't I always say that?) but my house is so quiet, more quiet than it has been in days (my boys are at school and girlies are napping) and there is this fabulous, much needed rain outside - perfect napping and/or blogging conditions.

I am thrilled that it is raining for many reasons. First, and foremost, I love the rain. We live in a very dry area and it hardly ever rains, which has made me appreciate rain all the more. Our grass was desperate for rain. Desperate.

As I was driving up to my house today, I was thinking that the lawn didn't look too bad. There are other lawns around me that look worse. That was until I got up close for a more accurate inspection and realized that it was bad. Most of the green was weeds and the grass was dry and brittle.

When I thought about it for a moment, I realized that my grass was a perfect analogy for my faith. From afar it doesn't look too bad, especially when I compare it to someone else (isn't that the interesting thing about comparison's? you can always find someone worse off), but up close my faith is dry and brittle.

It's so easy to get to a point where you can talk the talk and things look good on the outside, but when I look into my heart (and I don't even have to look very deep!) there is so much that screams, "Do you really know the power of Jesus?" All the insecurities, self doubt, control, anger, anxieties, perfectionism..yuck! I leave it all at the cross and then a couple of days later go back and retrieve them.

When Joseph is around, life is much easier. Joseph has been around a lot. Since April he has barely worked. In April was super light, in May he didn't work, in June he was home everyday before 2pm and this month he maybe works 40 hours a week. 40 hours a week is hardly working in a world where 80 hours is the norm.

Tomorrow he starts back to the real world. And I am terrified. And sad.

I love my man. He is so helpful around the house and works hard to make life easier on me. It's been so nice having him home every weekend and at night for dinner. We have had so much fun watching the Lost series together (BTW - we are almost at the season finale for season 4!) every night, going to the gym together (he kicks my butt!) and just having family time. All that will change drastically tomorrow and will stay that way for the next 3 years. And I am mourning that. I'm sad, angry and scared.

What if I can't do it by myself? Driving everyone to all their events, taking care of 4 kids by myself, schools, homework, soccer, piano, bible studies, laundry, playgroups, MOPS, church...all on my own. I can't have any expectations that Joseph will help me because when I have expectations, I get angry. It's better to have no expectations.

I am way too reliant and dependant on Joseph and I know it. I always have been and believe it or not, I am getting better and not nearly as obsessed with needing him as I once was.

See what I mean? Dry and brittle. If my heart knew the power of Jesus, I would know that I am not alone. His power is made perfect in my weakness. God alone is the solid rock on which I stand, not Joseph. Joseph isn't supposed to be. My head knows all these things, but my heart is having a hard time keeping up.

And that is why I am not only thankful for the rain outside, but also for this time where God is pouring down His grace to a mama who wants to take a deep drink from living water. And needs a deep drink. And am writing this to look back and remind myself in those hard moments, because there will be hard moments, that the one who will calm my waters, and fill my cup is Christ alone. And not to expect Joseph to do those things. He is a precious gift, but not supposed to be the source of my strength.

So for the love of all, Sabrina, give the man a break! Your expectations are too high and in the wrong place anyway! In Christ alone. Say it to yourself, "In Christ alone." Good girl. Now, stay away from the chocolate!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thanks guys!

Hey, thanks for all the great ideas on outfits for the big family picture. I think I may take some of the ideas and combine them.

Lovey is hoping and praying that I will never be able to come up with outfits for this picture. He is not excited at all about the prospect of family pictures with the four Darlings. He's a little, okay maybe more than a little, traumatized by the last time we got family pictures FIVE years ago!

Something about me being a basket case and making it a miserable experience for eveyone... yada, yada, yada...

Well, noe I have 3 more kids and way less expectation. Way less.


When I blogged yesterday, I was so traumatized by my visit that I forgot to tell you all the exciting news that came out at our Doctor's visit.

(Drum roll please) The Twinkies are on the growth chart!! Whooo-hoo!! For their weight, they have moved up from completely off the chart to the 10-20%! Not exactly breaking any records, but definitely getting bigger! And for height they are in the 15-20%!

Luke is in the 30th% in weight and they are both in the 50% for everything else. I was very surprised that my Caleb was in the 50th for weight because he is so skinny. My doctor just said that most kids are fat these days. She makes me laugh.

I really love the pediatrician that we have. When the girls were small and not on the charts, there are other doctors that would have freaked out and wanted to do all sorts of silly tests on them. That has been our past experience, since both our boys did the same thing. Our current pediatrician, on the other hand, took into account that my boys did this same thing and that they were following their own curve. They are like their mama and have no desire to follow the crowd!

It's okay to be small. I don't personally know this, but the rest of my family does. Being skinny is in my kids genes. After all, look at their dad... and mom (evil cackle)!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

And now I remember why I don't go to the doctor very often

First let me preface the following story by saying that I am not a wimp when it comes to taking my kids out by myself. At least I don't think I am. Take yesterday for example. I took all 4 kids to SeaWorld by myself. If you think that's easy, you are c-r-a-z-y! But it's doable and the kids love it. We met up with helpful friends and we all had fun, so that was worth it. I've taken them to Chuck E Cheese, the zoo, restaurants...lots of places on my own.

Hopefully that gives me a few brownie points...

The kids had their yearly check-ups today. Now, it was the first time that either boy had been to one in 2 years, but the girls had their 9 month Well Baby visit a couple of months ago. They are 14 months old, so even though they are a couple of months late, that is pretty good for me!

I anticipated that this could be a day filled with drama, so I hired one of our babysitters to come along and help me. And let me tell you that it was worth every penny and I am so glad that I thought ahead to do this. Between undressing two babies, trying to keep two babies from crying because they are tired, filling out tons of forms for all four kids, answering Caleb's million questions, answeing stranger's questions, and trying to keep Luke off the floor and from touching every germ filled surface - we really needed an army of people. Yeah, I was thrilled to have another set of hands.

We were there for 2+ hours, the girls missed their morning naps so were exhausted, and the boys had used up all their "excellent behavior" and were quickly going through their "good behavior." I could seriously see "bad behavior" on the horizon!

And this is when we are ushered into a room so that they could do a "quick anemia test." I had no idea what to expect since neither of my boys had to do this. I know what I wasn't expecting and that was a blood draw!

Um, excuse me...did you not get the memo that I don't do needles? I don't like needles, and I r-e-a-l-l-y do not like needles and kids!!! At all.

My anxiety level went up. I had stayed quite calm through all the drama until this point.

So, they do Ella first. Three nurses hold her down while Ella and I cry our way through it. Lily Kate starts to cry after a while, so my sitter holds her and takes her out of the room because she kept watching her baby sister. It was terrible. Caleb started crying because he can't stand it when the girls get hurt. And Luke. Sigh. Luke was fussing because he couldn't hear the tv in the room. Seriously, like that is even remotely on the radar of my concern!

I hold Ella, get her calmed down and then switch with my sitter and carry Lily Kate to the torture chamber. At this point my anxiety level was sky high. And then, they poked her and missed her vein and then spent the next (I don't know how long because to me it felt like a lifetime) however long digging around looking for a vein.

This is the point where Lily Kate reached hysterical and I was really close behind her.

And then I did what I am known for doing at the hospital, I refused treatment and made them stop. Lily and I were done.

And now I remember why I don't go to the doctor very often.

Monday, July 21, 2008


I have about 1 bazillion things to be doing right now, but instead am completely stumped and need YOUR help.

I desperately want to have our family picture taken and have a great photographer lined up. She is totally into my kind of portraits...real life pictures taken in our everyday surroundings. She comes to our house (or park or whatever location we choose) and takes pictures of the kids playing and interacting.

And then there will be one of all of us together, but my expectations for that are low. Very low. We are talking - I will be happy if we are all facing the same general direction. Actually, who cares if we are all facing the same direction as long as I look good. We'll just scratch that right off or you will know how vain I really am!

Doesn't that sound perfect?

So here is my problem... What should we wear?

Do I go with the same 'ole, same 'ole that everyone does - khaki/white or denim/white? I really don't like following the crowd, but I can't think of anything better.

Please, pretty please, help me. Does anyone have any ideas of some coordinating colors that we could use for our family pictures? I want them to be done this summer while we all have some color to our skin. Afterall, being tan does make me look thinner. Vanity. I have been procrastinating long enough!! Please help!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Greatest Show on Earth!

Mom took us to the circus a couple of weekends ago and here are a few pictures of the event...

Nana and her boys! (The babies stayed at home for the circus this year)

We had really great seat...up close and personal!

Poor Caleb was not feeling very well. He had been up throwing up all night and I didn't even think that he was going to be able to go. He really wanted to go and hadn't been sick all morning, so by the afternoon we decided that he could go.

I LOVE this picture of my mama! It is so indicative of how she is as a grandma. Full of fun and excitement!

I just marvel at how in the world he is able to get these 4 wild, dangerous tigers to obey his commands and I can't get 2 little boys to obey mine?

This is Luke's tiger face...ferocious!

I had to get a picture of this overpriced snow cone. $9. N-I-N-E! Luke's was $12. For a snow cone!! And of course, my mom wanted the boys to have everything, so they got everything. Hmph. The good news is that they didn't ask for anything. The bad news is that my mom offered everything and the boys accepted. Joseph keeps telling me that I will be the same way when I am a grandma. (I have a sneaking suspicion that he may be right! Notice how small the print has become?!)

And this very cool picture is the last one that I got before my camera died.

Caleb's birthday party

I decided to finally put some pictures up from Caleb's birthday!

Each year we do a couple of things for birthdays...I write a letter, Joseph and I decorate the birthday child's room in the middle of the night and we have a birthday party. When Caleb was a baby we used to have huge parties, but as he is getting older he is becoming a person that only has a couple good friends and only wanted to invite them. Oh, and this is cute...he also invited Luke's best buddy so that, "Luke would have a friend to play with." So thoughtful!

Caleb's decorated room! The boys love this little tradition!!

Chuck and Caleb. Caleb really wanted to have a home party (how weird is that?!) but I just couldn't get it together for him this year. Next year I am really going to try to give him a home party - and then he probably won't want one!

Daddy and his beauties! Those little girl's love pizza!

Happy Birthday Caleb!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The sista's photo shoot!

The girlies wore a dress that their Great-grandma Carol hand made for them, so I had to get a picture or 2, or 3, or...50!

I am so thrilled sorry that you are stuck seeing all these pictures of my very cute twinkies!

Ella was giving Lily Kate a sisterly hug!
"Oh, Mommy, you are so funny!"
"You just sit there and smile at mommy while I take this bow right out of your hair and giggle when mommy gets after you for not having your hair bow!!"
"Who do you think you are?!"
Have I mentioned that I am so in love with these little girls?!?!?!? Look at these sisters...can't you just imagine them growing up and being best friends?
That is until Lily Kate takes away the pencil that Ella was playing with. I love how Ella is pouting! I didn't get the picture of Lily pouting after I took the pencil away from her!!
Check Miss Ella Grace standing on her own!!
Ella lookin' delicious!
And sweet Silly Lily Kate!
This isn't the greatest picture, but I had to take it fast! Ella would stand up on her own, but never take any steps...until today!!! She took 5 steps on her own!
The new big deal for the girl's is that they are allowed in the boys playroom. Until recently they have only been allowed in the living room because the boys playroom has so many hazards for the little beauties. We moved the Lego's and other small things to the boys room (off limits to the girls) so now in the afternoon after their nap and snack, they get to play in the playroom. And they love it!! Today I also put on Baby Einstein for them. It was awesome, they did the same thing that my boys did when the video would first begin and the opening music started. They dropped what they were playing with and came crawling as fast as they could to see that the music was all about. This was the first time that I put something on for them! We won't be making a habit of that around here!

Y'all are going to think I am so mean!

Last Saturday night Luke was up past midnight. Joseph and I went to bed at 10:30pm and he was still awake. Our room and the boys room share a wall (we will make sure that never happens again!) and at midnight I could hear him playing in the closet! I did what I always do, elbowed Joseph and asked him to see what his child was doing and then rolled over and went back to sleep.

The next morning Caleb comes into our room and announces, "You're not going to be happy when you see what Luke did!" Once again, I did what I always do and asked Joseph to please go and see what his child has done.

He comes back with a crying Luke in hand and this is what I saw:

Joseph's child had colored himself with a purple marker - all over his body. Seriously. He is almost 4 years old!! Definitely old enough to know better.

So, I did what any fabulous mama does. I grabbed my handy-dandy camera and told him to stand still while I took his picture.

I know, so mean!

If he didn't do silly things, I would't have to take a silly picture!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Works for Me: Staying in hotels with toddlers!

When you leave the hospital after having your first baby they should give you a list of all the things that will drastically change in your life. Okay, second thought, maybe they shouldn't...there would be some babies left at the hospital!

(I have a whole list in my head, but that is for another day!)

One of the ones that I would have never thought about prior to kids is staying in hotels. When Caleb was a baby, Joseph had a TDY (military term for business trip) and wanted Caleb and I to go. I was hesitant but Lovey was insistent so we went.

And it was a long time before we stayed in another hotel.

We have tried several things - closets (rarely big enough), bathrooms (rarely big enough), kids parked next to the AC in hopes that it would be loud and then we turn the light off and try to be quiet until the kids are asleep or we are which ever comes first (hours of silence in the dark is hard for a tired mama to stay awake through!) so that once the kids are finally asleep we turn the TV on just loud enough so that it makes it easier to read lips.

Doesn't that sound like fun?

So when Joseph and I were talking about our 3 week odyssey with 4 kids, the hotel room was a huge fear. H-U-G-E! I couldn't even imagine 1 room with 6 of us trying to sleep.

But, I came up with an idea that worked like a charm! I bought some cheap black flat sheets and thumb tacs. We made walls around the girls pack 'n play's and put a sound machine under them with white noise.

Here is our evidence:

and here are the boys:
They fell asleep in different beds and then we would carry one of them to the other's bed. It worked out perfectly! They were so tired at the end of a busy day and when they aren't in the bed and can't talk, they go to sleep. I usually blogged during this time while Joseph did... After the boys fell asleep we turned the tv on to normal volume and everyone slept through it!

People have asked how in the world we all slept in a hotel together and this is my secret baby!

It worked like a charm for me!! For more ideas, head on over to Shannon's!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Guest Blogger

The Husband’s Viewpoint

While I agree with Sabrina’s story for the most part, I have a few changes. Who’s recollection is better I’m not sure. Perhaps one of these days I’ll try looking through my old records to figure it out.

Anyways, let me provide a little background. Prior to meeting Sabrina I had dated several women who I at least wondered if they might be “the one.” Fortunately, none of them found the thought of being with a guy who had to spend the rest of his life moving every 3 years and who wanted to suffer through 4 years of medical school and 3 years of residency to be appealing. They had their own life aspirations with which mine were incompatible. Thus, I had written off dating. I was done with it. I told God when he found “the one” for me that he had better drag me to the alter because as far as I was concerned I was sitting the bench for the rest of the season.

Now I had met Sabrina before and my first thought was something along the lines of “who is the cute new addition to our study and how can I get her number.” Then she started to speak and I came to the abrupt conclusion that she was a free-spirited, rule defying nutcase. After that our study began to go out for lunch and as I spent more time around Sabrina I realized she had good points to make even if her logic was anything but logical.

And then we went to the Ben Glover concert where I think I actually did something fairly stupid like playfully push her only to find she didn’t feel well. After being such an idiot I felt a need to make up for my stupidity by comforting Sabrina as best I could. During the whole evening at the coffee shop I kept feeling the excitement of trying to start a relationship with her but I kept reminding myself that dating was a bad idea. I tried to just get to know Sabrina better in the hopes of making a good friend. In fact, while running with one of my buddies I repeated told him to stop me if I tried to date Sabrina because I didn’t want to damage our friendship. Meanwhile, every day I couldn’t wait until the next time I would see Sabrina and whenever I saw her my heart would begin racing with excitement (what can I say, I’m dense). Eventually I gave into my feelings and in my very timid way held Sabrina’s hand at a concert. Much to my joy she allowed me to hold her hand. That night in Sabrina’s not so timid way she kissed me totally out of left field. It caught me completely off guard which prompted her to immediately apologize. Of course I assured her no apology was necessary. Sabrina has little inhibition which is one of the many ways see lightens up my life.

Now here is where our views differ. According to my recollection I got my orders to Minot before we made our trip to San Diego. Who know what the correct order of events was but one thing I do know for sure. I know the exact words of our conversation the night I found out I was going to Minot. I called Sabrina knowing that this meant we would either have to break-up or try to manage a long distance relationship from Minot (let’s just say that the Minot International Airport is a little lacking). So I call Sabrina and she tells me what happened when she read the email I sent to her breaking the bad news. Her friend Rudy was reading over her shoulder so she asked him what she should do. Sabrina went on to say that Rudy told her to tell me that she would go with me. Then Sabrina told me “And I would.” At this point I am 100% positive the next word out of Sabrina’s mouth would be “but” so I tried to help her along and said “but . . .” Instead she said, “but nothing.” At that moment I knew Sabrina was the one. Not only did her spontaneity and lively personality add a spark to my life I had never experienced before but she loved me enough to go with me to Minot, ND.

While life since then has not always been easy, each day has been filled with a joy and energy that only Sabrina can provide. Thank you Sabrina for loving me, for allowing me to love you, for giving me 4 wonderful children, and for bringing such immense joy to my life.

Part of the love story

It's 6am and there is only one thing that would get me up at this ridiculous hour - my blog! Today is scheduled to be a repeat of yesterday, completely full and me not home until 9:30pm so if I am going to blog, then it's gotta be now.

Today is our anniversary. And we both agree on that. What we don't agree on is the day that The Love proposed. I know it was May 30th and Lovey says I'm nuts. He has no idea what day it was either and keeps randomly picking days.

And that is the beginning of this love story. Well, actually it's not. It's the beginning of our amazing marriage. Let me start at the beginning of this love story.

Joseph and I met in Colorado. I was aimlessly wandering and he was attending the United States Air Force Academy aka - the Zoo. I had been working at a camp, Lutheran Valley Retreat, in the middle of Pike National Forrest and through a bazillion bizarre circumstances ended up staying in Colorado past the summer and living with an amazing family. I had no idea why I was in Colorado (at the time) and what I was supposed to be doing there. I didn't really have a job, money, and had left my car, clothes and most my earthly belongings in Texas. (I'll stop here because this could be a whole post in itself and time is ticking!) So, yeah, I was really wandering. Joseph, on the other hand, was doing the complete opposite from wandering. He was a driven man, with a mission, on a path.

We are so different.

So while I was working at this camp, I would come down to Colorado Springs and attend church. Joseph attended the same church. And that is where we met. I like that we met at church. It will come in handy with the kids someday!

I remember the first time I met him. He went to church with 2 fellow cadets and all 3 of them walked into the room, completely self assured and (I would venture to say) somewhat arrogantly. Hehe. (It's funny because his "2 fellow cadets" that were with him are still very dear friends that we just vacationed with! They would mock my arrogant statement!!) I am full of digression today, so please be patient with my rambling...

This college class that they walked into was led by the father of the family that I was living with and he liked to pick a topic and debate (with scripture as your backing) the different topics. It was a great way to have very lively discussion and really learn your bible. Well, in walk these 3 cadets who think that they know everything. And Joseph and I had differing views on everything. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. We debated each other quite a bit. In looking back now, we believe that we get to the same ending point, of a thought or belief, but how we get there is very different. If you ask Lovey, he will say that he goes the straight, logical route and I wander over the river and through the forest. (this post may be inadvertently proving his point!)

He always says that he thought I was cute until I opened my mouth. Hmm....

We did agree on one thing: We did not like each other at all in the beginning.

And that was the summer of 2000. We would see each other every Sunday at church and outside of arguing with one another we would never talk.

Then January of 2001, I went to a Ben Glover concert (I wonder what ever happened to 'ole Ben?) and Joseph happened to be there. I almost didn't go because I wasn't feeling well at all. I must have looked like I wasn't feeling well because Joseph asked me if I was okay. Those were the nicest words that he had uttered to me in 6 months. And he seemed to genuine. So I was nice back.

Digression Alert: That is still so indicative of our relationship even now. Joseph is always the first one to offer the peace offering and is almost always the first one to initiate conversation after we have had a disagreement.

Back to the longest story in history... After the Ben Glover concert everyone was going to have coffee at this coffee house in the Springs. It was snowing and cold and I almost didn't go, but Joseph was encouraging me to go so I went. While we were there, he was being so nice to me and quite attentive so I thought, "This boy isn't so bad." We ended up staying to talk after every one else left.

After that he started calling me and then ended up asking me out. Our first date was to see a movie, and because I had to get to the movie early (I used to have this obsession about getting to the movies, like and hour early. Isn't that weird?!) we didn't have a ton of time to eat so went to Fazoli's. I remember paying for my own dinner, but Lovey swears I'm off my rocker and that didn't happen. Hmmm.

And that is how we started dating.

We had been dating for a very short while when we went on a Spring Break trip together. We took a road trip through Arizona, to Vegas, then to Disney and back through Moab before returning home. We were gone for a week and I'm really surprised we got engaged after that trip. You get to know someone really well when you travel with them.

Shortly after that, Joseph got his first orders to (drum roll please) Minot AFB, North Dakota. I remember the day clearly. He called and said he got his order and it was to North Dakota. I had to get a map to even see where North Dakota was! He was surprised that he got ND and I was surprised that he got orders. I had no idea what the military was like. Completely ignorant.

So when he called and told me he was moving to ND, I think I asked him something like, "Do you really have to go?" (how naive!)

He quietly replied, "yes."

And I said what any normal human being that has been dating someone for like a month says, "Well, I have no reason to stay here, I could go with you."

There you have it people. We met in July (2000) and couldn't stand one another, started talking in January (2001), dating in February, engaged in May, married July 15 and moved/reported to Minot AFB, July 30, 2001.

And while we are already spouting off dates: Got pregnant with Caleb, Sept 2001 and had him June 2002 a month before our 1st anniversary. Moved across the country to DC and had Luke a couple weeks later in the summer of 2004. Started medical school that same summer. Moved across the country again in the summer of 2006, had the twins in 2007, graduated medical school in 2008 and voila! Here we are celebrating our 7th anniversary!! That is a lot to accomplish in 7 years.

While there have been many ups and downs -how could there not be with that much going on?- through it all I know one thing for sure. My man loves me with every ounce of his soul. And without him I'm not complete. I have documented for you all more times than I'm sure you care to remember how amazing my husband is and I will continue to shout it from the roof tops. In a world where husbands/fathers are absent, self-absorbed and distant from their families, my husband stands out!

I love you JKM and think you are a Rockstar!! My Rockstar!

(I am so out of time, but I have to tell you how he proposed!!)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Isn't a stay-at-home mama supposed to stay at home???

At least long enough to blog on her little 'ole blog?!?

If I could blog right now, I would fill you in on all the cool stuff happening over here, but The Lovey will be very sad at me if I start blogging tonight. He has made a rule that there will be no blogging after 10 pm and it is currently 9:48 pm.

The Love is pretty easy going...until I cross him. So I should try not to do that. Especially since tomorrow is our anniversary!

I'm planning on blogging our "love story" tomorrow. Seriously, you don't want to miss this...there may be a guest blogger and I will give you 1 clue who it is: he doesn't like me blogging after 10pm!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hard lessons for little kids

I went to the viewing of Ms. Monica's son last night. It was very difficult and I was really nervous to go. There were a lot of teenagers there. That was really weird. In the past I have only been to funerals of elderly people that have died and, while that is still sad, it seems much more natural.

There wasn't anything natural about seeing a mom grieve, a 7 year old boy not wanting to leave the casket of his brother and all those teenagers crying over the loss of their friend. Nothing natural and completely heartbreaking.

When I went to say hi to Ms. Monica she asked, "Where's my baby, Caleb?" I told her that he wanted to come and missed her very much. She broke down, started sobbing and sat down. I walked away with so much heart ache for this sweet mama.

So sad.

I am so proud of the way Caleb's school has handled this whole tragedy. There were quite a few of the teachers at the viewing. Caleb's teachers did a great job explaining what happened to the kids. As a family we had been praying for Ms. Monica's son, so it's hard for Caleb to understand why God didn't heal him. It's hard for me to understand. His teachers told him that sometimes God heals us here on earth and sometimes he heals us in heaven. That answer worked for my perceptive, inquisitive and sensitive child.

Caleb and I had the following conversation on the day we found out Ms. Monica's son died:

M: Did you have a good day at school?
C: Yes.
M: Did you talk about Ms. Monica today?
C: Yes. Her son went to heaven to live with Jesus.
M: What do you think about that?
C: I don't know.
M: How do you feel about that?
C: Really sad for Ms. Monica. (silence for a while) How do you feel about that?
M: I'm really sad for Ms. Monica too. My heart hurts really bad for her.
C: Mine does too. (silence) But she has another boy.
M: Caleb if something happened to you, I would be devastated. I have Lukie, but no one can replace you. You are my special boy and I love you very much.
C: I love you too.
M: We need to keep praying for Ms. Monica, that God heals her heart.
C: Okay.

And then we rode home in silence. Caleb wanted to go with me to the viewing yesterday, but I wasn't ready for that. I don't think that he's ready for that.

I still can't get the image of that sweet 7 year old boy staying so close to his brothers coffin. Please keep them in your prayers.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Pain beyond comprehension

I haven't posted in a couple of days because while I have lots to blog about, it all seems trivial compared to what some people are going through.

Caleb's teacher at school, Ms. Monica, is in a place in life that I hope to never be. Her oldest son (he was 18 and she has another son who is 7) was in an ATV accident a week ago Monday. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition and died last Saturday night. I found out Tuesday morning when I took the boys to school.

I don't know Ms. Monica very well. She's a sweet lady and was Caleb's favorite teacher all last year. He was thrilled when he found out that she would be his teacher for his summer program. Ms. Monica loves Caleb and always commented to me that he, "is a special child". She also loves my girls and when they were first born and life was so hard she would remind me that it goes by fast, so enjoy the moments.

To say that my heart aches for this woman is an understatement. I cannot even fathom the pain that she is going through right now. In an instant, her life has changed drastically.

The viewing is today and funeral tomorrow. I am going to try to go. If you think about it, please pray for this woman. Please pray that she clings to Jesus.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Seeing and still not believing

Have you ever asked God for something specific? I don't usually. I think there are many reasons that I don't - I'm afraid He'll say no or worse, I'm afraid that He won't say anything at all. So I typically ask, but don't expect much to happen. This morning was different. I prayed, or maybe implored is a better word, hard for something.

I'm getting discouraged with MOPS. Some things are taking forever and others aren't happening at all. I feel like I'm in a canoe, on a stage 4 rapids, without a paddle and although my destination is upstream, I can see it but just can't get there. I am using my arms as paddles and just keep moving farther and farther away from my destination. How'd you like that word picture?

When I was asked about being Coordinator of this group, I knew that it would be hard, but this is really hard. And we haven't even started yet. And I'm getting discouraged. I'm not good with adversity. Actually I tend to run from adversity. Fast.

So in my quiet time this morning I was praying for MOPS. I know that this ministry is God's. And I know that this ministry is amazing and I believe in MOPS. I'm just not sure that this is where God wants me. So I asked Him to show me that I'm in His will. I don't want to be out of His will. I have been there before and it isn't a good place. Not good at all. So I prayed that God would let me know if this is where I am supposed to be. I asked Him specifically to please bring me a Steering Team Member. I knew that this would have to be God because I have hit a road block when it comes to finding people. I have tapped all my resources and don't even know who else to ask.

So after praying, I was feeling optimistic and hopeful about MOPS. And then the rest of the day happened.

Two, not-so-good, long phone calls left me feeling completely defeated and ready to give up. I was in the middle of telling my friend this when I got a call on the other line. It was another Steering Team member calling to tell me that she found someone who is interested in one of the positions that we have open.

I was shocked. And then responded (the way I tend to and I can't stand) with, "Well that's nice, but the job that she wants isn't one of the harder ones that I would like filled. If God was behind this he would have sent me someone for the job that is causing me most angst right now."

UGH!! Will I ever learn? I am as bad as my children wanting everything my way, right away and so ungrateful. It drives me crazy about my children, but I need not wonder where they get that attitude.

I am reading through the Old Testament right now, and I am always marveling at how dumb the people are. Seriously, the OT is full of people who are slow, ungrateful, impatient, rebellious, controlling, and completely unfaithful and distrusting in the God of the universe. They irritate me and as I read I think, "Why are you people so dense?"

If others read my life story, they would probably say the same thing.

Thankfully, God is still faithful when I'm not and slow to anger and full of love.

Exodus 34:6 (New Living Translation)
6 The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out,
“Yahweh! The Lord!
The God of compassion and mercy!
I am slow to anger
and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Do you notice something different?

The new pictures on my header!!

I would love take credit, but tried (it was pathetic) to change them and couldn't figure out how to, so Sarah over at Real Life Design did it for me!!

Isn't she sweet? Go over there and check out her designs. She has fabulous designs, excellent prices, and is super easy to work with.

Go on over..

Go on.
It's 9:06am and I am still in bed this fine Sunday morning. We have had a super fun weekend, but now I am tired and feel like being lazy. It's super easy to do when my mama is here and between her, Joseph and my sister all my work is being done. Ahhhh...

Our 4th party was so much fun. If I wasn't feeling so lazy, I would get my camera and download some pictures for you to see. I'll do that later. For now, you will just get my dialogue.

Yesterday we went to the circus and that was a blast. My mom treated Joseph, Caleb and I to the circus and all it's glory. It was Luke's first time and Caleb's second time and they both loved it! We had fabulous seats and caught all the action up close and personal.

Today my mom and sister, Amy, are leaving and my other sister, Carami, is coming. I have gotten so spoiled living this close to my family. I am so thrilled that the boys are getting to make memories with their grandparents and aunts. As a military family, this is so rare and I want to enjoy it and never take it for granted. Who knows if this will ever happen again.

Over the past couple of days, I have been listening to a lot of my most favorite band on the planet. They have this song that has been resonating with me a lot lately. It's called, Mystery of Mercy, and it has amazing lyrics. Check this out...

I am the woman at the well,
I am the harlot
I am the scattered seed that fell along the path
I am the son that ran away
And I am the bitter son that stayed
My God, my God why hast though accepted me
When all my love was vinegar to a thirsty King?
My God, my God why hast though accepted me
It's a mystery of mercy and the song, the song I sing
I am the angry man who came to stone the lover
I am the woman there ashamed before the crowd
I am the leper that gave thanks
But I am the nine that never came
My God, my God why hast though accepted me
When all my love was vinegar to a thirsty King?
My God, my God why hast though accepted me
It's a mystery of mercy and the song, the song I sing
You made the seed that made the tree
That made the cross that saved me
You gave me hope when there was none
You gave me your only Son My God,
Lord you are My God, my God, Lord you are

I have been encountering a lot of entitlement lately. In my kids, in my family and most of all in myself. I deserve the, house, medical care, opportunities, plasma tv's, vacations, things. I work hard so I deserve...time to myself, obedient children, time with my friends, opportunities, peace and quiet...the list goes on. Not only do I deserve, I deserve it my way.

And I really feel like God has been hammering home that I deserve nothing. I am all the "people" in the stories in the song above. But by His grace, alone, I live and breathe. By His grace, alone, I have an amazing husband and gorgeous, healthy children. It is by His grace alone that I have anything.

And would I still love him if I had nothing? Or if His grace didn't match my picture of grace? Would I still call him Abba? Would I cling to him if I had 4 very ill children and lived on a dirt floor?

I want to say, yes with conviction, but my heart is so ugly. And God sees my heart. And still calls me by name. The ultimate grace.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a loyal spirit within me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and make me willing to obey you.
~Psalm 51:10-12

Friday, July 04, 2008

Red, White and Blue!

Happy 4th of July!

I love this holiday because I love summer, fireworks and cookouts! Later today we are having around 40 people over for a cookout! Five years ago, that would have stressed me out and I would be in hyper get-the-house-ready mode. Days in advance I would be cleaning, planning the menu, having my kids look cute when guests got here and making sure that our house looked like a model home.

Now, I am a realist. I wipe down the bathroom.

I want to be a gracious host (with a clean bathroom) who concentrates more on fellowship than perfection. Not concentrating on perfection can be hard for me. Very hard. So God blessed me with 4 little lovies.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Lovey and I went on a date last night! We go out on dates quite a bit, probably more than any couple I know, and since my sister is in town and we have free babysitting we have to take advantage of that!

Oh, did I mention that for the next 3 weeks, my 3 younger sisters will be taking turns coming to help me?!? How sweet is that?! Heaven knows I could use all the help I could get around here!

Back to my date... We went to my favorite Mexican food restaurant and then to Malibu Grand Prix where Joseph soundly kicked my butt around the race track. As did a couple of eleven year olds and a man riding with his son in a double car! It was sad. In my pathetic defense, I had a very slow car. Very slow. I had the pedal to the metal so hard that my knee was hurting afterwards, but that didn't seem to make a difference. And then to add to my already injured pride, The Love slowed down to hang out with me only to speed up and laughingly pass me by. Chivalry is dead friends. D-E-A-D.

After we were done at Malibu Grand Prix, Lovey asked me what I wanted to do next. It was around 8pm and a gorgous night, nice and breezy for South Texas. It would have been a nice evening to take a walk outside in one of the many fabulous outside walking places around here, but I alas did not want to do that. All I wanted to do was come home and watch Lost with my man.

We are pathetic! Every night we grab one of my favorite ice cream dessert, a cup of coffee (Joseph makes THE best coffee...if this whole doctor thing doesn't work out, the man could become a baristo - is it barista for a man or baristo?), cuddle up together on the couch and watch Lost. We look forward to it all day and get so excited once the kids are in bed and we can get our date night started. We are in the middle of season 2 and addicted.

So of course that, to me, would be the perfect ending to our lovely evening. Are we boring or what?!

What do you guys do on dates?!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Works For Me: The Five-Ingredients-Or-Less Edition

Shannon asked us to share a recipe that involves 5 ingredients or less and I thought that I would contribute the yummiest BBQ Chicken Pizza recipe that is also a Weight Watchers recipe! "Yummy and
lo-fat? Are you serious?" Oh, I assure you this is a good one!! Only problem: it has 6 ingredients!!! Shhh...

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

(Found in the Weight Watchers 15-Minute Cookbook)

1 10oz package refrigerated crust
1 1/2 cups of shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup honey barbecue sauce
1 c. mozzerlla cheese
3/4 cup red onion
3/4 cup green pepper

1. Bake the pizza dough for at 425 for 5 min.

2. While crust bakes, spray skillet with non-stick spray and green pepper and onion over med-high heat until veggies are tender. I like to carmelize them for added flavor!

3. Spread half cooked crust with sauce, then top evenly with chicken. Arrange veggies evenly over chicken and top with cheese. Bake an additional 8 min. or until cheese melts and crust us golden.

Viola! Six yummy servings that are 5 points each (or 238 calories for all you non-WW type)!!

For more great recipes head over to Rocks In My Dryer! This recipe Works for Me!