Thursday, December 31, 2009

The blog of a decade

Every New Year's eve, I sit down and write a blog about the last year of life. My favorite of those blogs is titled "Annus Horribillis" written in 2006 after the worst year of the decade. I still think that is my best writing on this blog. I will link to it in the title so you can go back and read it.Ten years have passed since Y2K, so much has changed in ten years. So much that I don't even know how much has changed. I will attempt to remember each year in some detail and look back from whence I came. I love to look back on the markers and stones in my life to remember how far I have come.

2000- NYE's I was pregnant with Elizabeth, but also mourning our baby that was supposed to be born that night. In April our daughter was born and brought such happiness to us. We were living in a small apt. not far from where we live now. We were struggling to keep afloat on minimum wage jobs. I worked at a dept. store and Marty worked security. Conner was two and quite the handful, this was the year of the famous "I saw Jesus in the light socket" incident.

2001- In January, the same day we rented a cute duplex with a yard, my beloved Aunt Pat died. I will never forget January 5th, 2001 because of that. She was our matriarch here in Visalia and our big reason for moving here. Elizabeth was one and Conner was three. A week before Elizabeth's birthday we adopted our dog Max. The jury is still out on whether that was a good idea or not. I still worked at the dept. store and Marty worked some odd job or two.

2002- Marty got a job working for Frito-Lay and I was able to stay home. We bought our van and finally had a good car. My sister Carrie got married in the spring and we traveled to Brea for her wedding. That year saw us to financial freedom as we elimnated all of our past debt. Elizabeth was two and Conner was turned four. That fall saw the start of our homeschooling and our joining Parkside Chapel. It is also the year Conner started AWANA. Marty lost his job with Frito Lay and decided to go back to school.

2003- That was the year my Gramie died, she was my mom's mom and we were very close with her. It was a very sad time for me personally. She was more like a mom to me than a Grandma. Conner experienced grief for the first time. We still lived in the little brown duplex and life was moving along. Marty joined the Police Academy in February and spent the next 6 months struggling to make our lives change. He finally graduated after breaking his foot in three places during the final physical fitness test. He applied for his current job and we started looking for agencies all over California. I started working at the hospital in January and became a doula/labor coach. I truly loved my job for the first time and found a life long passion. Elizabeth was three and Conner was five. This was also the year that I started my online ministry.

2004- Marty and I celebrated 10 years of dating. We missed our ten year high school reunion because we went to Hawaii instead. My Dad was living on the Big Island and we went to see him. It was truly the best week of our lives and a trip we will never forget. Marty was working for Comcast and I was working three jobs at the hospital by now. We moved briefly into a little townhome on the other side of town. We were miserable there.I stopped communicating with my sister Kim, one of the best decisions I have ever made. Conner was 6 and Elizabeth was four. This is the year that I discovered blog reading!

2005- Was the best year of our life together. One day while schooling, a knock came at the door. It was a police sgt. from the place Marty had applied. He wanted to know why Marty hadn't sent in his background and was he still interested in the job. Whoa, hello God knocking on the door, who does that. Only God! We had missed the deadline for the background and thought it was too late. The next day I drove it out there and in April he was hired. Our life changed drastically, No more struggling, no more scraping. We moved into a very nice townhome, a real home in a nice neighborhood(or so we thought). Marty started his career and loved it. Conner was seven and Elizabeth turned five and started schooling with us. Our life was good this year! I started a blog in November on Myspace. Christmas day was the saddest day, my Grandma was clinging to life by the end. I took the picture on the top of this blog December 27, wondering where life was going.

2006- I rung in the New Year with my Dad and Grandpa in Whittier. Grandma was clinging to life and it was all about family. She died later that month and Grandpa followed eight weeks to the day later. The family home was sold later in the year. My mom had major surgery with a cancer scare. Our van broke down, completely unsalvagable. The only good part of 2006 was celebrating our tenth anniversary in March. Also Marty and I turned 30, I was happy about that and he wasn't. Conner and Elizabeth really grew up this year and started making so much progress in school.We did go to Big Sur and enjoyed a lovely family vacation. She was six and he was eight. I have many fond memories of this year but mostly look back on it as a bad year.

2007- looked great, life was getting back on track and we were moving forward. Until May, the doctor appointment that shattered our world. Marty was diagnosed with End Stage Renal disease and the wind was knocked from our sails. We did have a friend come visit from Ohio and had a lovely family vacation together that summer. I don't remember much except lots of doctors visits and picking up the pieces. November Marty was accepted as a transplant canidate at Stanford. Elizabeth was seven and Conner turned 10, double digits.2008- By now, we had accepted the diagnosis and were moving on. Every month wondering if Marty would end up on dialysis. My favorite part of this year was going to Southern California to see my family, friend Melissa and meeting Andrea and Di for the first time. The kids started bowling and we joined a bowling league also. Elizabeth turned eight and Conner turned 11, inching his way to teenager. Marty ended up starting dialysis that summer and it was a struggle.

2009- We finally found our pace, things were humming along for most of the year. Just always waiting for "the call" that never came. The governor's decision to cut employee's pay, affected us greatly. It has been hard to see my sick husband work for less than he is owed. Marty did not feel well most of this year. The kids have grown up so much, they are no longer babies and quite independent. It has been a very lonely year, no traveling, no seeing family. We did move into a lovely home in September, not a forever home but better than our old house. We discovered black mold that was making Marty ill, on top of bad neighbors. So we made a rather quick decision to move. It was a good decision and we are very happy here. In the last two days, our world has come apart once again with a doctor making a bad scene. We are waiting on change that seems like it will never come. The best part of this year was the kids and their busy lives. Also two old friends came to visit and brightened things up a bit. Conner is now 12 and so grown up, my little chubby cheeked guy is still there. Elizabeth is 9, getting ready to go double digits. She is fun, likes to cook and looks so different.

What will the next ten years bring, I am not sure that I would want to know. I am hoping for a better ten years, maybe peace and happiness, illness and death free. More traveling, visiting friends and a full life. In ten years, Conner will be 22 years old and Elizabeth will be twenty I wonder who they will be and what they will be doing. I will be..........43 and Marty will almost be 44. We will have been married 24 years by then. Thinking about that makes me panic a bit. I hope you join us in the next ten years, I wonder what blogging will be like then? It didn't even exsist at the beginning of this decade. If there is still blogging, I will still be blogging.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009, from our house to your's!

M is for Marty. He still is working for the state as a Sergeant. He is still waiting for a transplant, we are hoping that 2010 is the year for that. He enjoyed playing bass with the Band of Brothers, a group of retired and active law enforcement officers. We went to Hume Lake is October for a conference and their band was the worship group. It was a wonderful experience for him. He also was able to bowl in the Police and Fire games in May. He did well and even made it into the top ten.

E is for Elizabeth, she turned 9 in April and is full of energy. She has many friends, is very independent and opinionated. She is a girl who knows her mind and doesn't want to be swayed. She thrives academically and gives her brother a run for his money. She loves her stuffed animals and playing make believe with them. She bowled in the Pespi Nationals, it was good for her to see what a tournament is all about.

R is for really busy, we are on the go constantly with kids activities and church involvement. There is rarely a off day for us.

R is for reconnecting. This year we have reconnected with many old friends via Facebook. It has been nice for us since we can't travel right now. We did have a few old friends come to visit us this year also.

Y is for 13 years of being married this year. Hard to believe that next year we will be parents of a teenager. Our favorite highlight was when the Amgen Tour of California came to town. We got up early and were able to meet Lance Armstrong and many of the other pro cyclists.

C is for Conner who turned 12 last month. To know him is to love him. He is a happy go lucky boy with lots of energy and talents. He can do many fix it things around the house. He played another season of baseball with his team making it to the championship game. He is now busy with church and his last year of elementary school. He made it to the Pespi nationals in bowling and even won scholarship money in a youth tourney.

H is for home. We moved into a new home in September. It is located in a very nice, quiet, secluded neighborhood. We have a lovely gated entry, large yard and patio. We love living here and really don't miss our old house at all!

R is for ready. We have been ready all year for life to not be on hold anymore. Unfortunately that didn't happen this year but we are hopeful for next year.

I is for involved. We have been involved in a few bowling leagues, church, homeschooling and with our many friends.

S is for still homeschooling. Conner is now in the 6th grade and Elizabeth is in 4th. We are studying botany, Ancient history and California history. We are still enjoying the challenge and making much progress in their education.

T is for our travel. We didn't do much traveling this year. It is too hard to make dialysis mobile. We did spend time in Santa Clarita for the Police and Fire Games. We haven't been home to So. Cal in over a year now. This has been hard for all of us.

M is for many, we have recieved many blessings this past year including a person who offered to house us when it is time for transplant. We are also thankful for our many friends that act as a surrogate family to us. The kids have a few surrogate grandmas and aunts in our church. It is so nice to have them to count on and to be able to share in their lives.

A is for a savior, Christ is the true meaning of Christmas and we are trying to keep our eyes fixed on him this holiday season.

S is for somehow I have to fit me into this letter. I have been busy caring for Marty and the kids. Between dialysis and homeschooling there is little time left for anything else. I think some friends think that I am avoiding them since I rarely get to go out these days. These times in life are brief and will be gone before I know it. I enjoying blogging and keeping up with friends online. It has truly become a outlet for me during this season of my life. I am looking forward to the future and the light at the end of the tunnel. I enjoy my days with the kids and chatting about life with them. It is fun to hear their thoughts and opinions, they both are such big helpers too. I have been teaching them to cook and bake this year.

Merry Christmas, Marty, Julie, Conner and Elizabeth


Monday, December 14, 2009

Some of my new favorite things

I have two new favorite household items. I must rave on them and share my love, that way they will keep making them.

Purex All In One Sheets

I love the ease of just throwing in one sheet and not having to add softener or dryer sheets. These work well, have a Photobucket scent and really do live up to the hype. I love that you buy the first package with a plastic container and then simply buy refill packs. You simply must give these a try.

The next thing, I actually just found in the store yesterday after a three month long search. I was finally able to try these on our Hume Lake trip. WOW, the Carmel Macchiato tastes just like a coffeehouse drink and the White Chocolate Mocha is great too. Good luck at finding them in the store though. When I finally did locate our local store........they were sold out!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Good days

Lately, we have been having many good days. Marty has been feeling better than he was feeling for a long period of time. He has been getting more fluid off and that seems to be making a big difference in how he feels. His blood work is getting more balanced and free of extreme highs and lows. His energy level has even been increasing, helping him to stay awake more.

We know things will never be perfect, so we enjoy the good days. I am so thankful to have a break from the sick and tired that we were facing. It has been nice! It couldn't come at a better time to enjoy the holidays with our kids. We are hoping that 2010 will be the year for the transplant, it could still happen in 09' but looking more like next year.

Thanks for praying, we can feel the prayers and they are being answered.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I wish...

I wish that you could all hear Conner talk. He is so funny, he says so many funny things all day long. Tonight Marty and I were talking about how we wish that we could record it all for someday. Conner loves Christmas lights, he put some on the bush out front. His dream is to have a synchronized display, in a walnut grove with a aerial view. He saw a house while were driving tonight and said, " Now that's what I am talking about, way to show Christmas spirit!"

Even Elizabeth cracked up at that one!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


So we have reached the end, it has been a pretty good experience this year. My posts have not been fancy, simple and easy this year. But I blogged everyday and kept up with the pace, for that I am proud. Marty has really been feeling better the past couple of weeks. So I didn't have much to blog about on the front this time around. The kids need some more up to date posting, Conner still says funny things but I forget them so fast these days. I am hoping that I start maintaining my blog a bit better. I still have posts to tag and fix, I went back and read my first few blogs.........ugh, horrible grammar. Thank you all for reading along and keeping me motivated.