Monday, August 6, 2012

Victory was mine!

Yesterday was simply gorgeous here.  Truly a gift! We decided to take full advantage of it and make it a family fun day.  We set out on our journey and found ourselves at the bottom of what is called the Elba Fire Tower. It's a really cool little local spot.  Here is a story on the tower..not the best quality, but still gives you an idea. The first 140 some steps have names carved in them with messages.  Here's a story the newspaper did on one of them.  Pretty neat!
 I've lived here all my life and never been here.  Mostly because of my insane fear of heights.  But also because I used to smoke and didn't know if I could hack the climb.  Life's to short, and I don't smoke anymore, so why not give it a try?! My husband said, "if you can't go all the way, we'll turn around".  All the while knowing that if I started it, I was going to finish it.

It took me about 85 minutes to go all the way up, take in the view, and all the way back down. All 742 (or so) steps.  The biggest challenge for me was that the steps were not all uniform.  Some were taller than others, some were wider than others, and I had to continue to change how I went up.  Of course my thigh and calf were on fire, and even though it really hurts today, it was still worth every step!

My youngest patiently waiting for me to catch up.  If you look closely you can tell that you can not see the end of the steps.  This was closer to the bottom.
I was greeted with many smiles, compliments and handshakes during a relatively busy day at the tower.  It was nice, but also strange.  It was really personal for me.  Proving to myself I could do things that I didn't think I could do when I had my own 2 legs.

100 feet tall rickety thanks! But my family was brave enough!
View from the top of the tower. That's the ball field where many games are held.
Elba Church - view from the bottom of the tower

I am definitely crossing this one off the bucket list.  Thank you Lord!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

butterfly no more

It's been quite some time since I've posted on either blog and I must say I really miss it.  But with surgery and recoery behind me, I'm putting posting toward the top of the list again! :)

May seems like such a crazy busy month every year.  We celebrated O's fourth birthday this past weekend.  (Very bittersweet for me - she's just growing SO fast!) We hadn't been to Como Zoo for quite some time and it is by far our favorite family past time.  We were very heartbroken to learn that the Butterfly house from the last 3 years is permanately closed.  They had butterflies from all around the world.  So it was a very unique experience to say the least. 

(this one was on the walking path so his wings got a little rough)
You could "purchase" a butterfly and release it into the greenhouse.  It was amazing! My oldest daughter was the only one who was old enough to do it.  And she thought it was amazing! As did I of course!

The wonderful girls at the information desk told us that the exhibit closed because their federal permit (to have the exoctic ones) expired and there was not also not funding available to continue the project. :( But, she told us that the other zoo in the area has a butterfly house this year.  So perhaps there is another zoo trip in our future!!

Friday, May 4, 2012

this is our home

I remember when I first came to Elgin.  If I were a little early for work I'd drive around and look at the town.  It was small, but simple and inviting.  Reminded me of my days as a kid.  I saw a for sale sign in the yard of this gorgeous house.  It was old, but had a big porch, with a swing.  And I could tell by the brick chimney it had a fireplace inside.  Clearly it had been taken well care of.  “That would be perfect, some day” I thought.  It went off the market several months later.

Fast forward to summer 2004.  Jeremiah and I were engaged.  And expecting.  (not perfect order, but obviously I have no regrets!) That same perfect house came back on the market!   We hadn’t talked about where we would live.  In fact , we already had a nice, large 2 bedroom apartment that would work fine to start a family in.  One  day with nothing to do, we drove by and noticed that there was an open house.  We couldn’t help ourselves.  Two rooms in and I knew this really was the perfect house! In fact, we never looked at another house!
In September 2004, we received the keys to that perfect house! We didn’t have much to move in, but it was so exciting.  We spent the entire first night asking each other if this was really ours! The next several months would be spent preparing the nursery, and then later getting everything made for the wedding. 
Now we are quickly approaching our 8th anniversary here.  We didn’t know it at the time necessarily, but we weren’t buying our first home, we were buying our forever home.  I still marvel at the before and after pictures of the dinning room Miah and I gutted and finished ourselves in a week! Over there is where Emma took her first steps.  That’s the tree I take so many pictures of because it’s just beautiful.  Miah made the inside/outside dog house for Molly and added a kennel because we literally can not get her in the house.  And that’s where my hospital bed was after the amputation.  We still use the ramp the amazing EFD built me, even though I’m not chair bound all day.  Miah replaced that porch floor when the corners finally rotted out.  My lily garden is amazing! Down there is where the house fire started, a horrible seeming fate that turned into one of our best blessings! Olivia learned to ride her first bike down this sidewalk.  And that’s where the neighbors live that have become closer to us than some family! J The girls even call them grandma and grandpa! I remember how my heart sank when I saw the ambulance pull up that day.  That’s the same bedroom I would seak refuge and comfort in on the rare occasion I was allowed home between chemo doses or hospitalizations.  This window is where grandma and I stood and one of the best conversations we’d ever had, right before we found out she had cancer and she quickly went to heaven.  Some people would say 'those are just memories.  Memories can be taken anywhere.' But it's so much more than just memories. This isn't just a house, this is our home.  And yes, home is where your heart is.  Our heart is here.  And always will be.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Some Summer planning with the kiddos!

 We stopped at Saver's tonight to pick up some sheets to use for our growing flower beds.  I've never really had to worry about it before, but since so much is up, I figured I'd better.  Monday's are 25% off at my Savers, but even with that, I still think I'll hit up Goodwill and Garage sales for more. 

No matter how you look at it, Summer is quickly approaching.  With my oldest just turning 7 and no longer purely entertained by being Mommy's helper or running errands, we've decided to do something really fun! She is compiling (with my help) a list of all things we'd like to do this summer.  Small things from plant extra flowers to big things like try new day trips.  Of course I have to monitor, because "running down to Disney World for a quick trip" just isn't quite in the budget this year!  And we want to be realistic! :)

She is really into science lately which is really fun.  She wants to do the messy and fun things, like the classic volcano everyone has seen and/or made.  I was not a science kid myself so I do not know of a lot of other big fun science projects.  I've searched like mad and finally come across a site I love and took a lot of ideas from. Science Bob is a great place to go for things science related for the younger kids.  Its more than just projects, although that's all I read, but check out his site - really great stuff!

Our list also includes other fun ideas we haven't heard much about before.  Like a Life Book.  Similar to a scrapbook, except less pictures and she is in charge.  She can read very well and writes quite clearly also.  So this book is totally compiled by her.  I will give her guided pages and provide her information, like about her birth and trips she's taken so far in her life.  Then she can add her own pages, like collages of things she likes, maybe brief journal entries, pictures she's drawn, etc.  I would like to come up with a standard page that I have her fill out every summer.  Like "Summer of 20XX" and then have her answer 10 questions every summer.  Hopefully by the time she graduates it'll be something really amazing.  I'll take pictures along the way so if you are interested you can play too.

Bed Time starts in 10 minutes! So off I go!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

It's not all potato chips and bonbons

To be honest with you, I am not even really sure what bonbons are.  Sure I know they are something you eat, and I'm assuming its something really great. But I've never had one.  I'm ok with that because I have cool ranch Dorittos, a cold mt. dew and a brand new bag of Cadbury mini Eggs - my most favorite holiday candy of all holiday candy.   They are amazing!  So, my waistline has enough temptations without bonbons. :)

I'm slowly recovering.  Slowly.  Its more frustrating then I first thought. I am home.  But I still have the chest tube in.  They attached this goofy looking contraption that is beyond annoying, and even scary at times.  I wont gross you out with the ins and outs of it.  Its quite sore and varies through out the day.  Hence my frustration.  I want to get back to things.  I have 5 scrapbooks waiting for completion on my desk.  I have an order for 100 birthday board coins.  I have 3 new scents just dying to be made into soaps and candles and I can't remember the last time I scrapped in my own books (thank you fire for burning all my photos) not to mention its my favorite time of year and those weeds are begging to be pulled!

If you've read my Caringbridge site, you know our house is in foreclosure.  While I was in the hospital they set a sale date of May 2nd.  I can't help but have a heavy heart.  I feel much fear and panic and anger.  I don't know what else to do to keep my home and I've prayed and prayed and I just don't know what to do! I wish there was an easy answer or even a crystal ball so I could at least know if I can stay in my home or not. But I don't. And so I keep praying.  And I keep waiting patiently for my latest setback to heal.  I guess these really are the days of our lives. ;) ha!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

So this is what a nervous breakdown feels like!

Hopefully you've read my caringridge post and you are in the know in my upcoming surgery. 

When it rains it pours.  We know this well.  And usually have our umbrella handy.  But it rains so much, from time to time the umbrella gets weak.  That's this week here.

The cookie sales are ending their season and so the normal chaos of that is occuring.  The icing on the cake is that my darling Emma bean has lost her money envelop and order form.  I have no idea how much still needed to be paid, who still needs cookie, or any of the other info I NEED to have.  I've turned the house upside down and then back again.  We cleaned out the tahoe completely.  I've gone through 5 bags of garbage.  I've gone through every paper in my file cabinet and desk.  I've looked under all furniture and emptied all bags. We even made a trip to school at 5 oclock to clean out her desk.  I've prayed to the Lord and St. Anthony.  I even have other people praying. Maybe if I was just a "normal" mom in a normal life, I wouldn't be freaking out as bad.  But that's not the case.  And I start to have a mini panic attack whenever I start thinking about the stupid envelope.

I am not making the headway on the must-do-before-surgery list I thought I would.

I have to get the taxes done.  But not sure why we haven't received on of our forms yet.  Maybe we did...I honestly don't know at the moment.

The kids are having anticpated anxiety, but still hard to deal with in the midst of all the other chaos.

I'm having some leg issues, which leads me to believe God might have a very sick sense of humor. Just kidding...I dont ever think of things that way.  I just try to remind myself that all of this stuff happens for a reason.

I will try to post as I am able.  But at this point, not really sure how that will go! If it's medical related, it will be on my Caringbridge site.  So check there also! Thanks and love to all!

Monday, March 5, 2012

My latest Prosthetic victory!

Yikes! Already March 5th! I just realized tonight that I posted less than a handful of times in February.  Now that's a little sad.  I guess I focus on my other blog so much and creating the image I want for my some day actual business, that I forget about this one.  And I've honestly been so busy with Girl Scout Cookie Sales, I have little time left for a personal blog. But I've wanted to share something exciting for awhile.  So I made some time! :)

If you are a prosthetic wearer, or you know one, you know that every day is a victory in and of itself.  I did a post awhile back about my leg.    I talked about wanting toe nails that we could paint.  I went to Walmart and bought some regular acrylic toe nails. 

I did it like you would do any other acrylic nail.  I held up the closest size to the "real" nail.  I shaped, filed and sanded those nails like mad! It was a challenge for sure.  The toes are laid almost side ways on the prosthetic foot.  The more I look at it, the weirder I think it looks.  But its better than nothing. 

Yes, this picture probably looks familiar.  I was so excited to put the nails on, I forgot to take a true before picture! :) But, here is the foot I have before I put the nails on it.  It gets really scuffed and dirty (even in my sock and shoe) so I just wash up the foot shell with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and then wipe it down with a Clorox wipe just because that's who I am.

Ta-Da! One foot shell with realish looking toe nails. Hell, lets be honest, these look better than most real toenails! And of course these can be painted.  And with the right remover they can be repainted. 

Some tips I have for anyone else wanting to do this would be: make sure you clip and sand in small increments.  I had to completely reshape the last 3 nails.  The foot shell nail was nothing like the acrylic shape.  So just do this in small steps. I also cut it much shorter.  I made sure there was no way to catch the acrylic on a sock or something and rip the nail off.  Also, the instructions say to only use a few drops of the glue.  I gobbed it on.  I used the included stick to clean off any extra as soon as I pressed the nail down.  I tried to hold them down with my finger and took extra care to try not to let them bend - even slightly.  Because any slight opposite bend created these whitish lines. And if you used the stick to press them down you will get these same white lines.  They are hard to see to the naked eye and you can not really tell looking down when I have the leg one, but of course I know they are there, and so I can really tell :)

I hope this helps someone (if they haven't already done this!) and I will try to remember to update how they do against wear and polish and the like! Here's hoping for some sandal weather soon!