Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Food, Family, Fun

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!

I'm thankful for you taking time to read my blog! :) I hope everyone is thankful for the loved ones in their lives. I'm so thankful for so many things I can't begin typing...

I'm in Minnesota for the weekend visiting the extended family. I love my family, and I don't see them often enough with mine and their busy lifestyles. It's always weird coming to a house you've been going to since you were a kid. It kind of brings me back to my childhood, good and bad. I never grew up in one particular house or town so I don't have that feeling often. I'm a grown woman now. Yeah, I still have lots of growing to do, but I can hold adult conversations and don't play with toys. I sit at the adult table now and am legal to have adult beverages, although I'm still seen as a child.

I had a long ride today with my parents, brother, and cousin. It was unique because I don't live or see them very often so of course conversation was unusual in a way. We were all in a single van, without the distraction of a TV or 3G or 10 people in a room talking. It made the 6 hour ride a little less painful.

Tomorrow I will indulge in more than necessary food. Copious amounts of food make me feel gross. I'm terrified of being overweight. I look down and feel my chin bulge and I'm scared I'm getting big....that's me.

So, Happy Thanksgiving again! Remember what it's all about and give thanks. :)

"Give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good, and his mercy endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Thursday, November 17, 2011

It's been brought to my attention.....

That I am selfish. That I'm spoiled. That I'm a mean girl.

It hurts me to hear these things. No matter who I think I am, someone will always see me as the enemy, a horrible person.

I went on my first mission trip in 2005 I believe. First time leaving the country. First time packing for a summer trip with no swim suit or short shorts. Matamoros Mexico was the destination. I "trained" for almost a year to prepare myself. I completely stepped out of my comfort zone, my culture, my habits. I saw poverty first hand. I helped build an added on portion to a church in 110 degree weather. I mixed cement by hand in jeans and a T-shirt that stuck to my body with every move. I put together rebar as a mere 14 year old. I talked to people about God, one of the hardest things for most Christians to do. I played soccer with Mexicans almost 10 years younger than me who kicked my butt. But that summer I changed. I realize my life was comfortable compared to all the people I met in Mexico. How much I took for granted. I'll never forget.
It impacted me so much, I did it again the following year, 2006. I spent a week of my high school summer in Mexico. In 110 degree heat. (Which most Wisconsinites wouldn't understand.) It wasn't easy.

For some reason, helping people and going out of my comfort zone gives me a huge adrenaline rush and I love it.

That's why in the winter of '05 after hurricane Katrina hit, I was willing to do everything in my power to get my parents to let me go to New Orleans to help. I will never forget spending that New Years Eve in a gas station somewhere between Wisconsin and New Orleans. I'll never forget the images of the Mardi Gras city that winter. It was horrible. I'll never forget having to wear a Hazmat suit and swinging a 20 lb sledge hammer. I'll never forget the smell of a house (or worse, refrigerator) that had been sitting in water for 2-3 months. I'll never forget seeing the home owners cry as their belongings were piled up in their front yard as garbage. I slept on a cot and showered in port-o-potty style showers during my Christmas break. I helped, and made a difference, it made me happy.

To visit the topic that I'm spoiled.....
I grew up getting made fun of because I never had a Ferbi or Gigapet. I remember the nights my mom would cry because teaching jobs were becoming as sparse as snow in Texas. I grew up thinking shopping at Goodwill was normal. The newest car my family has owned was 5 years old, but they were mostly 10-20 years old. I might be spoiled, but it's because my parents want to give me what they never had. I don't come from a rich family where money is no problem. I've been working since I was legally allowed to and even before that babysitting and mowing grass. We are blessed with everything we have. Sorry if I come off as spoiled or selfish. I'm not used to having nice things handed to me...

I don't appreciate being judged. I work for what I have. My life is not sugarcoated.

1 Peter 3:15 In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you

Thursday, November 10, 2011


The past week has gone from unplanned, to even more unplanned for me. I'll start from the beginning and hopefully not leave out any detail, except the part when I was unconscious for 45 minutes.

For the past year my Grandma B has been in the nursing home after a stroke that severely worsened her health. We all hoped and prayed she would recover, but that was the end of her walking or being able to use her whole left side. Her memory also dwindled which is always a hard thing for family members. My family spent that year to visit her weekly in the nursing home and spend holidays with her. The decline was gradual, but that's what happens when you're 86. I think the severity hit me this year at Easter when she asked my brother if I was his wife. That was hard for me to hear, but I still loved her and realized it probably just wasn't the best day for her memory. So 2 weekends ago, my mom called to tell me my grandma was very sick and taken to the hospital ICU. They first found out when she came down with pneumonia, then discovered she had a bowel obstruction and an elevated heart rate. The bad news seemed to keep coming. Last Monday I knew it was important for my grandma and mom that I go see her. We sat by her hospital bed for almost an hour which was calming for me as it would become my last goodbye. She was quite talkative for the condition she was in. In the following days my mom told me how my grandma would talk about being thankful Berea came to visit. That meant a lot to me because a few months earlier she did not even know me. Throughout the week her condition worsened until God called her home Saturday morning. That is the closest person in my life to ever pass away, which made the transition very hard for me. It was calming to know she had a strong faith and said multiple times her place was ready in heaven. We all know she is in a better place now which is a calming thought. My mom and I both talked about the tears being from our jealousy at times, haha.

So, last Friday was also a changing point in my life. I've noticed my eyes have become worse when driving at night or not being able to see things far away that I used to. I had an eye appointment Friday for the first time since I was a kid and found out I'm getting glasses. It's weird. I hope they help and don't make me look stupid.

For weeks my boyfriend and I planned to go to Chicago for his sister-in-laws 30th birthday last weekend which is what we did. We left Friday night in hopes of getting up early to go shopping. I've never been to Chicago to hang out before and was so excited. Unfortunately, I woke up with a horrible throbbing/stabbing pain in my mouth that had gradually gotten worse since the middle of the week. I was in a lot of pain and wanted to go home. Well, my dad found a dentist that was open in Chicago that I went to see. After finding out my grandma died in the middle of the night. So I go to the dentist to find out my wisdom teeth are coming in and I had an infection under one. The dentist told me to get them taken out within the next week. So, between my grandmas' funeral and surgery yesterday, I've been out of school this whole week.

This week is my 10th week and since I'm on trimesters, next week is finals. SOOO this week is the last week before finals. I.WANT.TO.CRY. I HAVE been crying. I've told all my teachers, some of which understanding, others not at all. These haven't been planned things. When I have an infection, it could get worse...and I can't plan deaths.

So it's been about 30 hours since my surgery and I'm really sore. Yesterday wasn't as bad cause I was numb and on pain killers, but today I'm all puffy and swollen and sore. I'm still taking my meds, but OUCH. I tried eating chicken and rice soup and couldn't even do it today. I feel sick and weak.

Genesis 3:19 For dust you are and to dust you shall return

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's All Relative

Have you ever had that conversation with someone about something being purple or blue and you argue against each other even though you're looking at the same object and neither of you are color blind? Why do kids paint pictures with purple elephants?

We all see things differently. My friend might like a stupid pattern of wallpaper and I love it. It's just different opinions. So many times in life, there are not right or wrong answers. There are things that are good and bad, but there are better and worse things too. It's all relative. Every person sees and understands things differently, there's really no one to judge right and wrong.

Everything is in relation to what a person knows or has seen and everybody has seen and knows different things.

My perception of 15 feet might be different than yours and different from what is actually 15 feet. In that case, there is a right answer, but no one can be to blame without measuring.

That's why my family has a hard time with the phrase "I told you so". Whatever "I told you so", was probably a guess and you knew no better than the other person that you were right. It was just a better guess. It's all relative to what you think.