Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rants and Rambles

It seems some people need an introduction to Common Sense or better yet MANNERS. I am thinking of creating a new phrase. Rather than having "road rage" (which I often feel the need to have) I'm ready to have "Reg rage" (as in register rage). I am very much aware that those working at a cash register are on their feet all day and work for little pay. BUT they are employed and they are accepting a wage for the time that they are working. That in and of itself requires some responsibility.

I am completely positive that there is no such thing as training for cashiers. I mean SERIOUSLY! I have experience in this area. I really really do. I started out as a cashier. I worked on Sunday mornings and Saturday nights and on school nights and on holidays. I did it. I did not love it - so therefore, I changed careers. I can spend days giving you horror stories of customers. Smelly customers, picky customers, rude customers, sad customers and then those that were a joy to help. I don't remember having to be told NOT to be rude to the customers. It was just plain old common sense to me that I needed to be nice. I actually was very proud of myself that this one lady and her mother would only check out in my line. They trusted me and me alone. I was not allowed to start checking out her groceries until she had everything on the counter. And People - there were NO scanners. I had to memorize the sale paper to give the proper discounted price. Yes mam - I could memorize that sale paper and I could key in those groceries at lightning speed (or so I thought). This one lady would even ask me to slow down so she could double check every single item I rang up. YEP - every single item had to be double checked. But not one single time was I rude to her or her mother. It was my job and I chose to do it to the best of my ability. Maybe mine is a pride thing. I just thought I had good common sense and good manners. But who knows - maybe they are telling their kids and grandkids what an awful cashier I was.

So I decided to define Manners:

Websters says that manners are the unenforced standards of conduct which show that you are proper, polite, and refined.

Wow - Refined maybe not me but I desire to be proper and polite. Yes I most certainly do fail and fail often, but this is my blog post to rant and I am about to rant about the lack of manners and common sense that I experienced last week!!!

I recently stood in line behind several customers that seemed to be taking forever to purchase - unpurchase - charge - pay a little cash and on and on and on. I simply wanted to buy my daughter a pair of tennis shoes. Just as it was to be my turn - he (the cashier) says - "oh she can get you at that other register". YEP - sent me to another register after I had waited for what seemed like an eternity. NOT when he noticed how long his line was or how long his customers were taking to make their decisions. Just seconds before it was my turn. REALLY!!

But the winner in lack of manners goes to the person Christina (and sorry I didn't ask your permission to use this) posted about on Facebook saving a place in line at that big discount store. Oh yes they were saving a place in line. I am so amused at that story. And heck no she didn't allow them to save the place. Good job Christina.

My next rant is a two part. Why on earth would a local discount store stock their shelves on Saturday morning? Is this not one of the busiest times of the week to shop and they have every single isle full of stock carts? I was beyond frustrated. I could not navigate down the isles and was very close to just leaving everything that I had managed to get my hands on right there in the buggy. They would never have noticed another cart blocking their isles. SO - I decide that I'll just ask someone where and how do I get to the deodorant so I can just get it and leave. Well by golly the two people stocking the shelves were BOTH talking on their cell phones. Loudly and while NOT stocking shelves. I was done by that time.

Last but certainly not the least of my rants was at a local fast food restaraunt in which I was ordering a cake for my little guys party. After several minutes of trying to get assistance I was given a book to peruse in order to make my selection. Then cashier number one refers me to cashier number two when I am ready to place my order. Cashier number two has Zero interest in helping me and does nothing to acknowlege my presence- so I do what any sane person would do - I get in cashier Number 3's line. By this time I am frustrated and ready to call it a bust and head to another location. Oh but no my little guy is looking at me with puppy dog eyes and wants that particular cake. Of course he does! So, cashier number 3 asks how she can help me - and I politely (yes I'm still being polite) tell her I would like to order this cake and point it out to her. Suddenly cashier number 2 rudely tells me that she was going to help me and I should step back over to the other counter. Really - Seriously - after zero acknowlegement, I am to assume that you are going to help me????????????????? My teeth are shorter from the grinding and my tongue sore from the biting but the cake was ordered and the boy was happy. Me - not so much - other than I was thinking "blog post".

So it seems that blogging about things that get under my skin seems to be helping me keep my cool. Since I see it as good writing material these days - I just smile and say - blog post!

Not going to ramble other than all of that rambling I did in the Rants!! Sorry!

Love you guys,

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Bath Time Fun or Not!

We LOVE bath time!

Simply laid back and chillin with the frog..

Then it comes to an end....

And the war to get dressed begins...

But in the end he's dressed and he survived!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

My Guy - Chivalry alive and well!

I often take for granted the things that my guy does. We have been married for 26 years. Dropping him off at his office recently I commented about where he parked. The far side of his company parking lot. This was noteworthy because he arrives at work very early and often parks close to the front door of his building. I commented that he must have been later than usual. He agreed but then added - "it was raining this morning - I wanted to let the ladies park by the door". Yep - he thought that and did it.

I know that he does things like for me but it sure made me proud to be reminded of him treating others that way. He was recently harassed (jokingly) about meeting me to pump the gas in my car. It was very cold outside and he met me to pump the gas to keep me from getting out in the cold to do it. Yes - I am capable of pumping my gas. I am willing to pump my gas. But he is glad to pump gas in my car if it is possible.
The big things that he's endured on my behalf are things that no husband should have to do. He was by my side when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. He was also with me for my treatments. He stayed awake with me on that first night of chemo while I threw up all night. He drove me to the ER in the middle of the night after giving up and calling our Doctor. He has a VERY weak stomach but never once complained about helping with my barf bucket. Each and every treatment and shot brought the same result and he endured it with me.

My guy did what no man should have to do. He had to use a razor to finish shaving my hair off after brushing it out. This may not have been so dramatic for everyone, but for me it was major. This was much worse than it should have been. He had to do this task while I sobbed. And sobbed. And Sobbed. Seriously hysterically crying. Not a pretty picture. I can't imagine what the poor guy was thinking. I certainly did not make that an easy task.

My guy has been the rock of our marriage from day one. He put up with some serious hormones from an all girl household. That is a tall order for any man. Those raging hormones are killers. For a long time we even had all female pets. He just couldn't get an ally. He took it all in stride though and put up with (and still does) all of our hormonal days.
Many years ago we went through some very difficult times. I thought he should be the perfect husband (you know because I was the perfect wife - NOT) and his job was to make me happy. I was wrong on all accounts. Although we had issues that we had to work out - the problems were not his fault alone. I didn't respect him in the manner in which a wife should respect her husband. Nag Nag Nag - that was me. Some Godly counsel and a class on Covenant Marriage and things made big changes. We never went through pre-marital counseling. We were kids when we got married (really 18 & 19). God had plans for us and our marriage. He turned two self centered hot headed individuals into a couple. It is his job to love me and protect me. He does that and does that very well. It is not his job to make my life happy. Happiness is a benefit of his love and my relationship with Jesus. Life is not a bed of roses. It's not going to be without trials and difficulties. We are certain of that.

He loves me unconditionally. I am loved and I love him.

Love you all,


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Princess - Daughter of the King

Some friends recently went to a conference and came back with some great insight regarding self worth. I absolutely am the worst at accepting compliments. I don't like to have pictures taken. Obviously I have very poor self esteem. There are many factors that contribute to that. Some issues have been life long issues. Other are more recently. None are worthy of lacking self confidence. My confidence should come from within. Part of my lack of confidence lies within the fact that I don't give enough time to my King. I would be much better equipped to accept compliments if I believed that I was the Princess that my Father believes I am. He knows my worth. He created me - He didn't make a mistake when He created me. He made me just the way He wanted me to be.

Recently I fought the urge to Not fully accept a compliment. It felt totally awkward to say thank you without the "but" attached to it. I still feel like I need to go back and say thank you but I am Not worthy!

Our worth is found in Christ. So when I or you say "I am not worthy" we are belittling what Christ made. Psalm 139:14 (New International Version)says "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

You are beautiful - you are lovely. You are loved! You, who are a child of God, were made in His image. He chose you before you were born. We are His Princesses.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Too busy to be Diagnosed

My diagnosis with breast cancer was a week long journey. A Fast paced week full of questions, doubts and concerns. The diagnosis was a long time coming. Long before my diagnosis I knew I had a lump in my breast. I knew that lump was growing. What I didn't know was how important it was to have a mammogram. I didn't know that early detection saves lives. I didn't know that a growing lump could mean a spreading cancer. I didn't know that young women can and do get breast cancer. I didn't know about breast cancer. I knew about heart disease. I was a care giver for sick and dying parents. I was a mom to two young daughters. I was a wife. I was an active church member. I was renovating a house. I was busy!! Being diagnosed with breast cancer was not in my plan. I didn't have the time to have breast cancer. So - I did what all wise young women do - I ignored it! Yep - I ignored it. I listened during the month of October as they promoted breast cancer awareness. I knew they were talking to me. I knew I needed a mammogram. I even thought about attending an event to try to win a free mammogram. If I won one - then I would go and get the thing and just play dumb about this lump growing.

Enter divine intervention. Intervention in the worst kind of way. I had already become and Internet Doctor. I studied Endocarditis and Renal Cancer and Hospise. I studied about all those things happening to my family. All of my knowledge could not save the lives of our parents that were suffering. In December, 2001, my dad went home to be with Jesus. That same weekend it was discovered that my mother-in-law was terminal. Her renal cancer had spread all over. I spoke these words to my mom "I don't know what God's preparing me for - but it's big". Over the course of the next few weeks I went about the business of losing a loved one. I strolled through Christmas in a fog. After the new year I turned my attention to more research about renal cancer and hospise on behalf of my mother-in-law. Toward the end of her fight in March, 2002, I typed in two words in my medical search engine. Breast Lump. It was time to face this reality and I did. Clearly I didn't like what I read. Reality was slapping me square in the face. I made an appointment to see my GYN but had to cancel it due to the death of my M-I-L.

One week later I was attending the funeral of my dear friends mom. She had lost her battle with cancer. I was really beginning to see the writing on the wall. I was not playing with a simple cold here. It was time to get serious. I confided in my sweet friend Traci. (My mammographer friend Traci) Yes - I know now just how dumb I was. She knew how serious this was and had me set up a mammogram with an immediate ultrasound. She was NOT dumb. She tried to hide her tears that Monday morning while she looked at those films. She could not tell me what she knew. It was not her place to do that. She just reassured me and tried to keep her composure. Another friend offered me a Coke. That was a sure give-a-way. I asked her if I NEEDED a coke. Then the ultrasound tech tried her best to have a poker face. She also told me what "other" things it could be. Reality was beginning to set it. Even before the films were read I had an appointment with a Surgeon. Once again, I was told of all of the things it could be. I was reminded that I was young, had no history, was not a smoker - was really not at a high risk. Remember that 80% are benign. Even after he took a large portion of my boobie as a biopsy - I was reminded that 80% are benign.

A few days later on March 25, 2002, Dr. F's words were "but unfortunately you are in that 20%". He flipped his pencil and looked at the chart. Even Dr. F didn't want to say - you have breast cancer. But I did have it. I had breast cancer. At 37 years old I had a 3.1 cm lump removed that was Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.

.................too busy to be diagnosed

"Big" had arrived. I was no longer too busy. I had a battle to win.

Please don't ever think you are too busy to be diagnosed. Early detection saves lives. Mammograms can save lives. Self-breast exams should be done each month. If you think you are being brushed off - get a second opinion. No matter your age - you can get a mammogram. Fight for your right.

I sure do love you guys!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Motherhood Plans - Mine and God's

I grew up dreaming of being a mom. I had my children named long before I became a mom. Those names changed many times through the years. Most of those names have long been forgotten. Most of my plans changed. Rather - most of my plans Were changed. I made plans about having children. Mike and I made plans about having children. We didn't really agree on how many - but we didn't actually disagree. He wanted a house full. I wanted a few. Enter problem Number 1. We made these plans. We didn't check with God on what His plans were. I wanted children early. I wanted them to know our parents. I never knew a grandfather. I felt robbed in some way. My friends had them - but not me. So I wanted my children to have grandparents to love them and spoil them. Enter problem Number 2. Infertility issues. Never dreamed I wouldn't become pregnant just by saying "hey - I'm ready". Fortunately a wonderful doctor and six months of fertility drugs took care of that issue. Three pregnancy tests later and I finally phoned the doctor. Still not believing it to be true. She confirmed it - yes I was going to be a mommy! I was thrilled. Could not wait - made sure I told every person that would listen. A few short weeks later and it seemed I would not remain pregnant. Complications arose and I was devastated. My world was coming to an end. I could not believe that after the wait and then the fertility medicine that I would lose my baby. An ultrasound confirmed that I was still pregnant but not likely to remain that way. Every two weeks I would return to the doctor and every two weeks she was shocked to see me and to see that our baby was still alive and growing. As a matter of fact - I remained pregnant for 8 months. Giving birth to a 5 pound baby girl was one of the happiest days of my life. She was healthy and she made me a mommy. (more on her in a later post!)

Less than two years later - I was a mommy again. Another girl! I was on top of the world. I wanted little girls so badly. Living baby dolls is what they were to me. But I decided that two babies was all I could handle. Mike was working away from home most of the time and I decided that whatever the second child was - he/she was the second and last child. Once again, this was not a decision that was discussed with God. It was a decision made on current circumstances. I was satisfied. Mike and I could raise our children while we were young and by the time they graduated from college we would still be young. We would enjoy life to the fullest. We had it all mapped out!

Enter Problem Number 3. God had other plans. As I stated earlier, all of our decisions about having children was based on our desires and our circumstances. We were going along just perfect with our plan. There were many times that each of us would wish that we would not have closed the door on more children. Once the girls were a little older - the missing the baby stage hit hard. But....not so hard that we made any effort to change the situation. He placed two children in our lives and asked that we become Foster Parents. This was not something that we ever anticipated doing either. It was a divine appointment walking into the fabric store and being asked about sponsoring a 5 year old boy. He needed someone to spend time with him. Soon after that we scratching our heads on how we would add to our family. (you know at our age!) Not only did the little boy need a sponsor but he had a sister. So - if we were to plan to foster him we would be also sponsoring his sister. It was never a question - it was what we knew we would do. He would ask us every visit when he could spend the night. Then he wanted to know when he could spend a bunch of nights. Then he wanted to know when he could spend all of his nights. We knew that God placed him in our lives for a reason and we would be obedient. But we knew that it was time to get to know his sister because we would never separate them. So she began to visit as well. Soon after we learned that we could foster them full time with the intent to adopt.

Our lives were taking a major turn. I find it comical today to think that I had my life mapped out - planned. God must laugh at me often. He loves to let me think I'm in control. Then BAM - guess what? I'm not. I am far from in control. He gives me things that I don't deserve. He blesses me in ways that I would have missed out on if I closed doors that He swings open. In June, 2009, I became a mother of four. I still laugh when I say it. Oh - I have four children. It's amazing that people still think that 4 is a mega family! After all, I had two brothers and a sister. And now - part time parent to a baby. Oh how fun and tiring and bizarre. At this point, I am declaring that I think our quiver is full. Seriously - God - I am so blessed and thankful and grateful. But I am woman enough to say - I think we are done. I think we are at the point where Grandparenting will be lots of fun. You read it here - my plans are to be DONE! I sure hope those are God's plans. I hate to think of our younger guys pushing our wheelchairs into place at their graduations! Oh the joys.

FYI - Don't ever laugh at a friend that is pregnant later in life! Ever - trust me.

I love my kids! I love being a mom! I love you guys.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Rants and Rambles

Two things recently sent my blood boiling. I should title this - "Let's pray for the children of crazy moms!" But then I thought - oh people will automatically begin praying for my kids. Oh then hey - let me go ahead and say it "Let's pray for the children of crazy moms. My kids need all the prayers they can get.

Rant #1 - Driving to school I pass a young woman standing with a couple small children. She was great with child (at least 8 months) and holding the hand of one young child and another child stood near. My guess was waiting for the head start school bus. She was Smoking. Smoking - yes while pregnant - and holding the hand of a smile child. Oh yes - I was Not impressed. Not at all. My neck still hurts from the whiplash I suffered as I whipped my head around to see it she was really smoking while pregnant.

Rant #2 - Driving home to my country home - about 20 miles out of town - I was passed by a mid sized SUV. I always set my cruise in order to avoid a driving diploma. So - I am motoring along about 68 miles per hour in the right hand lane when said SUV passes me by. Low and behold this little petite young girl is standing in the backseat looking over at me. The SUV's speed is increasing more and more. Soon I can't see them. Yes - this vehicle was driving down the highway at a high rate of speed with a very young child standing in the backseat. NO CAR SEAT. Where are the Highway Patrol Officers when you need them most! Holy Cow - Someone please knock some sense in that mother. Seriously.

OK - enough of that.


Bought myself a few new shirts this week. Cheap little t-shirt type things. Comfortable inexpensive - plain. Proudly wearing one of my new little shirts - I pick my son up from school to these words.... "Mom - have you been in the hospital? Cause that shirt looks like a hospital gown shirt". Yep - thinking I need to re-think the shirt! Kids brutal honesty is so sweet.

Had writers block last night and today my brain is overflowing with things I want to write about. Got mad when I sat down and could not remember all the things I wanted to write about. I am so into this blog writing that I dream about it. Crazy - yes. But - I am really really loving it. If I can just remember all those things that pop in my mind at random times.

It's Teacher Appreciation Week. My guy took in a candy bar yesterday to his favorite teacher. Today he took flowers. We cooked grits casserole for their breakfast this morning. He loves his teachers and so do I. Cathedral has been a great school for Owen.

American Idol was not my favorite this week. Just not feeling the Frank Sinatra night. When I want to hear Frank Sinatra - I want to listen to him. Just don't see any current day Sinatra's. But - we watched. And we critiqued. This week I even voted. Just hate to see Casey voted off - but feel its inevitable.

Won a Mother's Day basket from a great blogger this week. How exciting is that??

Feeling blue about not exercising and eating right still. Must get busy with that.

You guys have a great day. Love you all.