Sunday, February 24, 2013

Feeling like normal (almost)~

As I sit writing this post, it is Sunday morning and everyone else is asleep.  I'm enjoying my first cup of coffee, fire in fireplace and ahhhh....
The house is clean.
Yesterday was the first time since my surgery six weeks ago that I was able to do housework.  And let me tell you, it was not pretty nor quick!  I live in a small home so my average Saturday morning complete house cleaning takes less than 2 hours.  This week it was more than four hours, and that with the Mr. doing the bathroom and running the vacuum!  Strip the bed, sit down.  Put away the laundry, sit down.  Sweep the living room, sit down.  That was pretty much the sum of the day.  By the end I was not only amazed that I had taken so long but actually had ended up perspiring!  I'm taking credit for working out AND doing housework. But the benefits are so worth the unattractive sweat and slow moving chores.
Sure, the Mr. has kept up with the place, Mr. style.  He's a guy, and guys (at least mine) see things a bit differently.  There has been no loving (un)dusting of anything and good grief, the man completely ignores the importance of the Scentsy!  I've not been able to reach up into closets and shelves or pull out heavy drawers so my clothing has been stacked on the dresser for easy access when I'm home alone.  This, in Dean's opinion, is a much-improved method of clothing organization.  I know this because somehow, his clothing had started joining mine on the dresser top.  Now all is put away and I even took the time to empty out all of my bureau drawers to get rid of stuff I don't want and glory be!  To purge my now-too-large bras.  P.S., those bras freed up significant space ;)
I discovered a shocking but not surprising fact in my clothing inventory.  I own, by far, more pajamas than street clothes.  In fact, once jammies were folded and tucked away, there was very little room left for actual shirts and such.  After surveying this interesting situation and finally finishing my tasks, I sat down with a catalog and daydreamed about summer pajamas that I need.  I need.  After all, a whole new pajama world has now opened up to me.  I actually picked up a very cute gray cotton nightgown with pink polka dots, but here's the thing, it's one of them with the little shelf bra boddessessesss.  Why is that worth mentioning?  Because I've never been able to wear p.j.s with an empire waist (any waist) or little shelf bra.  Goodness, I'm adorable now!  Ha!  Anyway, you can see the dilemma.
Have I mentioned that I can buy bras from anywhere and that I can also now fit into sweet matching bra and pantie sets?  I'm tellin' ya...I'm gonna need another bureau. 
Now, what was I saying?
Oh yeah, my house is neat and clean and lovely and I love its loveliness.  There's no better start to the morning than greeting the Holy Spirit before my feet hit the floor and opening my eyes to a pleasant home. 
I am thankful for my returning strength and stamina and being able to once again enjoy, yes enjoy, taking care of my house.  I'm thankful for my Mr. who has held the reins for the last month and a half and continues to watch over me and our home as I heal.  And I'm thankful for my surgery.  And my pajamas. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A list while taking a break from housework!

1.  Good grief, when am I going to regain my stamina?
2.  I have more pajamas than street clothes, and I'm not sorry.
3.  Got my hairs did this morning.
4.  My wonderful sweet Mr. just put a pot roast into the oven for our dinner.  I like him.
5.  Doing the latest and greatest in diet theories, take whatever your normal potion would be (even if it's over large) and eat half.
6.  I'm not, however, weighing.  I get obsessed and disgusted.
7.  I get a weird degree of joy from (un)dusting.
8.  I buyed me some clip in bangs at the Ulta and they are fab-u-lous.
9.  MEN STOP READING, you've been warned.  My cycle is all askew.  Started 2 weeks early following my surgery (breast surgery triggers hormone surges.)  Now I seem to be about a week late from where that should put me.  Please comment if you know when I'm going to start my period.
10.  Time to take my tortoise self back to work and clean this house.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Thinking 'bout...

1.  Woke up this morning to the smell of coffee brewing, love that!
2.  I think I may go to Ulta, got a $25 gift card from Santa that needs spending.
3.  I got new camel colored pants for work, now obsessed with a coral top which may or may not actually exist.
4.  I HATE these commercials with foolish characterizations of presidents, so disrespectful. 
5.  The Mr. still has to clean the tub, a side effect of my surgery that's ok with me.
6.  Happiness is having one son tell the other one he's a bonehead so you don't have to.
7.  I could live in pajamas.
8.  Insomnia returning, I guess I'm recovering from surgery.
9.  The Mr. asked me if I'd like a diamond upgrade for our 30th anniversary...uh, yeah!
10.  If you pay close attention, it's staying light out longer!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Donny, X Box and cookies~

Ready for another Smith story?
Well, regardless you're gonna get one.
The other day, Mac was running late for school and left the gate open.  A few minutes later, I let Donny out and then wondering why he was staying out in the freezing cold for so long, discovered the open gate and lack of a dog in our yard.  If you have a dog that you love, you know the feeling of aggravation and panic.  Donny has a license and dog tags but I still worried that someone would just take him home or that he'd be hit by a car.  Home alone and without car keys (Mac had taken my car and both of our keys,)  I had no choice but to go walking the neighborhood looking for him. 
After about 20 minutes of walking and yelling, "Doooooonnnny!" a very nice guy came jogging up to ask if I was looking for a black and brown hound dog.  Shew!  Turns out Charlie and a couple of neighborhood kids had corralled him, given him a cookie and called Dean's cell phone which was on his tags.  Charlie walked me down the street toward the young men who had my dog on a leash and were in the process of bringing him home.  Donny was looking very happy at having met some new friends and was ready to be retrieved from this play date and come home.
Three very sweet teenage boys (Matt, Conrad and Paul,) informed me that Donny was "really cool" and that hey had enjoyed a cookie with them. 
It seems, as Matt reported, that the following transpired...
"We were in my basement playing X Box and I looked up and I was like 'Dude!  There's a cool dog out there watching us!'"
Yes, Donny was watching the kids through the basement window as they played video games.  The guys came up the stairs and as Charlie was driving by and saw the situation, enlisted his help to get a leash on Donny.  He was, it seems, very cooperative. 
So there I was, two blocks from home and already a bit tired from walking in the biting wind and yelling for Donny (who I now knew had been eating cookies and playing X Box.)  I snapped his leash on him, gave thanks all around and headed home.  Of course, hopped up on cookies and X Box, Donny was not well-behaved on the leash and pulled with all of his 70 pound weight toward home.  Happily, my incisions didn't all pop open but I was sure hurting for a few days afterward. 
The moral of the story? 
The combination of an absent-minded 23 year old and a social butterfly cookie-eating hound dog results in sore boobs. 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Saturday, February 09, 2013

This morning~

1.  I have my four month post op appointment on Wednesday, wow, a whole month!
2.  Which means I am within sight of wearing regular bras instead of sport bras.  Bra shopping today.
3.  Our bonehead dog got out of the yard a few days ago and I had to search the neighborhood and bring him home on his leash (pulling his 70 pound self for all he was worth.)  Now my incisions hurt again.  Doggone!  And then, doggback, I suppose.
4.  A few times a year, I have what I think of as "rapture dreams."  I'm never exactly certain if what I'm experiencing is the rapture or being called home in death but they always feel the same.  They used to disturb me but now I find them deeply comforting.  I had another one last night.
5.  Mac insists the Grammys are awards for the best grandmas.  I'd watch that.
6.  I can't find my phone charger, if you know where it is, please let me know.
7.  Raise your hand if you pin stuff on Pinterest but never actually open the link.  Kind of like a giant photo album.  Me too.
8.  Raise your hand if you pretty much ignore Valentine's Day.  Me too.
9.  Currently, my most exciting activity is trying on shirts and being astounded at how much longer they are.
10.  Already daydreaming about gardens and back porches. 

Friday, February 08, 2013

The magical blessing~

Ever since Mrs. Weinlander read the Little House books to us, her fourth graders, I have been enchanted by winter.  Laura painted such vivid and sweet pictures of her little family together inside their snug cabin with the winds howling and snow blowing.  Being warm and safe with a blizzard just outside seemed some sort of magic and blessing all in one. 
Many years later, I was traveling Up North with my little boys and parents along with my grandmother and aunt.  A snow storm stopped us halfway to our destination and we checked into the Bavarian Inn in Frankenmuth seeking shelter.  Far from the rural and rustic world of the Ingalls family, we spent the evening swimming as we watched the blizzard howling through the floor to ceiling windows.  Ahhh, more of the magical blessing!
Today the snow is falling in the Mitten and the school closings are scrolling down the right side of the television screen.  And here I am, watching the beautiful sparkling white from inside of my warm and snug little house.  My lovely generous co-workers agreed to give me a vacation day today and save me the drive in, encouraging me to rest and recover today.  I was awake shortly at 5:00 a.m. and immediately opened the drapes in my bedroom with the same joy I experienced as a little kid on a snow day. 
It's only 6:30 and I've already enjoyed my first cup of coffee and snuggled up to the fireplace in my flannel pajamas grinning happily.  I've prayed for the needs of friends and for those who are driving the sloppy roads this morning.  I'm going read a little, nap and little and possibly make a pot of soup (of course!)  In fact, it seems the perfect day for rereading The Long Winter! 
If winter brings the blahs to your heart, take a moment to consider the magical blessing of the view from inside your warm home.  Make a cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate and let the cold wind and snow give you an excuse to be still and restful.  If the Lord causes the earth to rest in the winter, there is surely respite to be found for his children in these snowy blowy days. 

P.S. As you sip your hot coffee and enjoy the beautiful snowfall, please be sure to pray for those driving,  those who don't have adequate warmth and those on the east coast expecting 2 feet of snow and 75 mile an hour winds.  We should always use our days of quiet peace to intercede for those in need!

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Early Sunday morning~

Early Sunday morning, I awakened to a quiet house and thoughts of the Lord.  I laid there for a bit (how long, I don't know for sure.)  I greeted the day and the Holy Spirit with it.  I gave myself to God, asking for his guidance.  I had a worshipful wordless spirit, if that makes any sense at all.  If it doesn't, I pray that you will soon learn what that means. 
The present day can be thought of as one of great opportunity for Christians.  We can easily find God through books, devotionals, calendars, online, webinars, small groups, conferences, I Tunes, You Tube...with the click of a mouse or a short drive to a venue or book store, you can find just exactly what you need.  How astounding this is, when one considers the people who have lived in  situations where a single page of the Bible was passed around and hidden from the government.  What tremendous privilege we enjoy, as others die fighting for the right to simply proclaim the name of Jesus.  So please, don't think I'm criticizing all of these opportunities to learn, grow and understand God.
But as I laid in my bed on Sunday morning, I was thankful for the simplicity of my relationship with the Creator of the universe.  Any pain that I bear can be relieved with just the mention of his name, all alone in the breaking dawn.  Any wisdom I lack can be obtained with a quiet heart and a spirit laid open to receive.  Any peace or courage or joy that I can imagine can be sought and found without a sound as I still myself before him. 
The distance between heaven and my bedroom grows smaller and my spirit seems to soar beyond the pistachio green walls.
I am reminded of a marriage that crosses the subtle line between celebrating love through romantic moments and relying on them to survive.  Candlelit dinners and flowers, sweet cards and gifts; how lovely it is enjoy the sparkle and shine of love.  Yet, there are couples who are forever desperately reaching for the next wonderful something to create the feeling of loving and being loved.  In the quiet of their home, the distance between their hearts is too great to cross. 
Show me, instead, the husband and wife who share a cup of coffee in the morning in their own kitchen and find it bliss.  Hair askew, bathrobes and slippers and no plans for anything other than time in one another's presence.  That is the kind of bride I want to be to Christ.  Enraptured by the luxury of time in his presence, by his nearness and the simplicity of his love.  Amazed that he chooses me; in pajamas and with nothing particular to say.
Nothing but, "I love you," and more importantly, "You love me." 
That is the message of the wordless worship I treasure. 
You, my Lord, are beyond words.  Let me lie here then, and be amazed.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Learning in small things~

Celebrating three weeks post surgery!  Two weeks at home, one week of half work days and just maybe...working normal hours this week.  I won't be able to go to patient areas until I'm six weeks post op due to the potential for injury but I'm moving in the right direction.  I know that because I am moving, which I wasn't during week one!
The Mr. & daboyz have been in charge around here and I've come realize, they shouldn't be in charge around here.  I'm tolerating the Men Folk Standards of Operation, and I don't like it.  The kitchen table has been piled with stuff since the morning of January 14 when I walked out of here to have surgery.  The pillows on the living room daybed haven't been straightened a single time.  The bed wasn't made at all until I regained enough oomph to do it my own self.  Of course, then I'd have to lie down in it to rest.  I dusted (undusted) the house myself on the Monday after my surgery when the Mr. returned to work.  I know better than to attempt to vacuum so I have convinced Mac to do that for me because certainly, no one else seems to notice it needs doing.  The bathroom?  Oh heaven help us, the bathroom.
I'm not complaining.  Yes, yes I am.  I am complaining.  Not about those men, they have done exactly as I would have expected.  Just a little whining about not being able to do for myself.  And more than whining, I am grateful that this state of temporary disability is indeed temporary.  The clutter and dust, in a strange way, gives me something to look forward to.  I am happily anticipating being able to go through each room and lovingly dust (undust), shine and straighten.  That will mean that I am really and truly recovered. 
The day when I can take all of that folded laundry off of the dresser and pull open drawers, reach into closets and up on to shelves to put it away...what a day that will be! 
That will also probably be close to the day I can hold up my arms and blow dry my hair properly!  Yay for no pony tail! 
That might be near the day that I check my incisions and find all of the margins are healed and closed.  Which will be the day I can stop packing myself with gauze.  That will be a very nice day.
Today I am easily tired and making pajama fashion statements whenever I am inside of my house.  Also, today I am deeply aware of how much I love God, how I appreciate the comfort and closeness of his Holy Spirit.  Because there were days when the cluttered kitchen table, the dusty table tops and laundry piles would have stolen my joy.  I might have even played the martyr and slowed down my own healing process by pulling out the vacuum or scrubbing the bath tub.  Thank you Lord Jesus, for teaching me to rest in you.  To find my joy and peace really and truly in your arms.  To understand what really is a small thing, like messy rooms, and to give it only small attention.  To be able say, "Ah well, soon enough I'll be up and around and how good it will be to tend to my home!" 
I love the lesson of the temporary and the eternal.  Such peace comes of embracing the wisdom of God, of understanding the significance of the stuff of life.  In the simplicity of accepting that I am tired now, but I will be able to sweep the floors in a week- I can find the great truth...there is pain and hurt now that will be forever wiped away in heaven.  In Jesus, all frustrations, large and small, are temporary things.  In him, the greatest devastations men endure are no more significant than aggravation of an unmade bed.  As easily fixed, and of no eternal significance.  It is as easy for him to reach us across the chasm of death as it is to reach across a cluttered kitchen table. 
There is no secret to navigating life.  I have to remember to fix my eyes on him.  I can stare at the laundry until I cry, or I can close my eyes and let the Spirit of Christ wash over me.  I believe, with all of my heart I believe, that it is now that I am learning to look up higher when my frustrations are small.  It is the mercy and love of God that provides me this time to be still and know the temporary is not the eternal.  Some day, I will face greater pain, should the Lord tarry.  There are no promises that illness and death will not cross my path.  But if I have learned to raise my eyes to heaven in the face of small obstacles, I will be able to keep my face turned toward the throne in the greater pain. 
As I have found quietness in my body and spirit, I have heard the voice of the Lord, "Learn my child, learn." Perhaps I should seek more knowledge and less deliverance.  What an army could be made of soldiers who learn to run toward victory than those who beg to be plucked from battle.
Let us, then, learn patience in the moments of unrest so that we might have courage in the times of war.

Saturday, February 02, 2013


1. Breast reduction surgery on January 14.
2. Went back to work on the 28th, half days at least.
3. So glad it's Saturday, I don't think I had another 4 hour day in me.
4. Almost pain free now! Almost!
5. I can only think of 5 things, thinking makes me tired.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Two weeks and 5 days later...

Week one back to work and a lesson in humility for me.  I've worked four hour days except for Tuesday when I had to stay home with a little bit of bleeding at my incision.  Today I'll work the second half of the day and then I will welcome the weekend for a few days of much-needed rest. 
I understood full well the extent of my surgery and the pain and restrictions that would accompany it.  What I underestimated was the impact on my stamina to manage it.  There's determination and then there's pride and I think I may have leaned toward the latter.  I'm a terrible patient, as most nurses are.  I don't like being taken care of and I don't manage feeling weak or needy.  Of course, if you don't submit to the care you need, ironically you can extend the amount of time you need that care.  I don't think I quite crossed that line but I probably got pretty close to it. 
I'm fortunate that my job is relatively flexible so I have been able to relocate to an office on the first floor and limit my tasks to desk work.  Even with those accommodations, I'm just plain tired and achy after a few hours.  Actually, I'm done in after putting on make up!  Also frustrating, I don't feel as mentally sharp as usual (or maybe I usually convince myself I'm sharper than I am.)  It seems to take all of the energy in my body to just remain upright and look attentive!  The only thing I remember to do is shriek "Don't hug me!" when people want to welcome me back to work!  The tiredness also lowers my already low thresh hold of bluntness resulting in statements like, "I gotta go home, my nipples hurt." 
Monday will be week three post surgery.  My concern now is the continued healing of the incisions.  Some of the areas have already closed but there remains quite a bit not yet healed over.  Perhaps the biggest achievement of week two was that (with the use of extra pillows for propping and cushioning,) I have been able to sleep on my side. This has greatly improved the quality of my sleep. 
I had better start getting myself together for work as I still move in slow motion.  My morning routine used to take about 20 minutes but it's about an hour now to get presentable. 
Have a wonderful Friday!