Friday, February 24, 2012

"You Just Talk, You Talk too Much"

Oh how I love the sound of my own voice, this isn't actually true. Some may think it is true by the way I talk and jabber on incessantly. I suppose that I have always loved to talk from a very young age. This may be because I was the first grandchild and niece, so they would put me in the center of the table and let me hold court. Rarely, if ever at I am a loss for words.

My parents aren't big talkers, they say I inherited the trait from my grandfathers family two of his sisters namely. Of course, my Gramie loved to talk even more than I do frequently chatting up strangers in the grocery store line. How she loved going to the beauty shop for her weekly chat session with Debbie.

Very often, she would have me play this game. She would give me her hand held mirror and tell me to pretend I was walking on the ceiling. It would keep me amused for quite some time and always fascinated me. I figured out this morning, she probably did that to keep me quiet and give herself a break.

One year in school, I was forced to sit facing the wall or a filing cabinet for half of the year. A young student teacher couldn't handle my jabbering and I wore her weary. I didn't mind because that let me be in my own land of imagination alas that is a story for another time.

My cousin Brianne came along and rivals me in the talking department. She would ( and probably still does) go to sleep talking and wake up talking. We both tend to be very loud when talking to one another and often our voices resemble a loud shouting on the phone.

Oh the telephone, how I have loved thee. Since I was about 12 years old, I have had long telephone conversations almost daily. I used to come home from school and call friends after doing my homework and spend hours on the phone. This carried over into my adult life.

When I moved away from my family and friends, the phone was my lifeline. I called my grandmothers and mother everyday for probably six months until I made new friends. One of my favorite antidotes to share is that my Grandma Brown taught me to make a whole Thanksgiving dinner over the phone. Even my Grandpa who was a rather quiet man would chat with me on the phone.

As a stay at home mom with young children who are homeschooled, I often spent hours on the phone talking to other moms. This was my life line of sorts for many, many years. It provided adult interaction while my husband was at work.

Since my grandparents are gone, I talk to my Dad on the phone at least four to five times a week. He gets anxious when I don't blog, Facebook or call him. Suddenly he thinks there must be something wrong with me!

Since Marty has been well, I spend very little time on the phone. Conner has inherited his momma's tongue and often chatters me ear off all day long. I now am the teach trying to focus the student and stop him from talking. I am the person handing him the mirror to go play a game for a moment of silence.

Marty will come home and usually he asks, " Who did you talk to today?"  and I answer, "Nobody" and he looks at me as if I have grown another head. I just have little time with exercise, teaching, and chores to talk on the phone. Plus I have been reading Anne of Green Gables aloud to the kids and teaching, that is a lot of talking time.

 I recently spent a week calling some of my long lost phone pals and catching up with them. I had to explain that its nothing personal, I am just busy and actually do miss them. Twitter and Facebook help provide the much needed adult interaction. I can easily send off a missive from my phone and go about my daily routine.

Sometimes change is a good thing, I think in this case it has been a bit of both. Of course, with my constant blogging, Facebooking and Tweeting there isn't much end to the talking. Now I talk in the written word instead of out loud. Sometimes its nice not to hear my own voice.

A/N Thank goodness Elizabeth has inherited her father's quiet gene. Sometimes if Conner is gone and we are all home alone the house is very silent.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

How my Tweeps Saved Me

Yesterday, I was talking to a new Twitter friend I've made in the past year. She was sharing some of her struggles with me and venting a bit. I told her that it was okay not to long ago, it was me in her shoes. I started to write this blog yesterday and ran out of time. Something happened this morning that showed me it was time to share.

In order to tell this story right, I need to go back to square one. Four and a half years ago, my friend Di
( notice a common theme her. She is a trouble maker.) told me she need me to "follow" her on Twitter.
 " What is that?" was my first thought. Her and her husband Eric ( the real ringleader) have some friends in the industry and always are finding the "new" social media platforms first. Back then Twitter was really just a bunch of bloggers using the service. We quickly latched on to the idea and loved having a place to share our daily lives with each other. I keet it private and just talked to a small group of friends.

In 2007 when Marty was diagnosed my friends on Twitter would support me through Dr.'s visits, trips to Stanford, waiting to be placed on the list, Marty having surgery and going on dialysis. Everyone else did this too but later it would become something more.

Flash forward to 2008 when I met a lady named Tanya. She told me to follow her on Twitter and quickly introduced me to a bunch of people I didn't know. Through her I made several new acquaintances all over the world. I met Nekol whose husband was also waiting for a transplant who became a great support as our families waited together.

Sometimes when Marty was sick, he couldn't breath at night, spending all night coughing and awake. I could go on Twitter and talk to someone at all hours. They would listen to the really scary things I didn't want to tell my family or friends. When Marty passed out at work they were the first to know and talked to me during the long drive to his work. Marty didn't want our close friends, family or people on Facebook knowing and this was a way for me to vent.

Those were very dark times for our family. I was weary, worn, spun tight, and a bit depressed. Thanks to this lovely group of men and women, I could stay sane.  They talked me through each dialysis treatment and sleepless nights when Marty was so sick. They were there for the call, while I waited alone, in the hospital, and talked me through being away from the kids. They saw some of the very darkest times I have ever lived through.

Recently, I think they are some of the people who see the biggest change in me. They know what I was like before and they see what I am like now. One of them Becca told me that just this morning, she said " Look at you now blooming with positivity".

Recently my role has changed, I am now the person who can support my "tweeps" as I call them, in hard times facing health crisis, joblessness, family difficulties etc. I have been able to minister to a lot of people and relish this role of being able to pay it forward.

One of the people I met along my journey was a young lady named Ally in Perth. Ally was introduced to me because she loves the British Royal family as much as I do. She was struggling with illness when we were introduced during the time Marty was sick. Recently she had been tweeting a lot and I really thought she was recovering. This morning we were told this isn't the case and her prognosis is grim. It was so shocking that I cried for three hours. I've never met her but I cared and she had become a lovely bright spot on my timeline.

I often have wondered how I never had to take any anti-depressants or how I didn't end up going crazy. I truly believe I owe that to this special group of people. Each one of them comes from a different walk in life, with differing beliefs and opinions, yet we always find a common thread to hold us together. They are great secret keepers, sounding boards and most of all friends. We have become a little family. When they are happy, I am happy. When they are sad, I am sad. They are often first to pray for things or offer a encouraging word.  I thank God for them each day because in so many ways, they helped saved me.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Newsflash: Man Flu puts Training to a Stop

Last Friday, I came down with the worst case of flu that I have had in years. I got up to do my morning workout and did one plank only to crawl back in bed. I stayed on the couch or in bed for four days leaving my husband and kids to fend for themselves.

I've heard my British friends call the flu " The Man Flu" I am not sure why they call it that. I was told it was because when you get it, you are like a sick man whining and dying. Well then, I am saying that this was the man flu. I had aches, fever, chills, nausea and extreme fatigue over the last seven days. I've been told that its going around and everyone is being hit hard. I was hit hard and knocked flat.

Unfortunately this means I haven't worked out in a week or swam in 10 days. I am missing my routine and hoping to get back to it slowly. We got our bikes back from tune ups yesterday so today I think we will take a ride today.

I started feeling much better yesterday. Today even better, just feeling a little weak and tired still. No fever finally and the aches are gone.  I hope all of you stay well and that the flu passes your house by this year, it is no fun at all.

Getting to Know You

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Greatest Concert

A mom and a daughter sitting in front of me getting breath mints out of a purse in Sunday School. A hand stuck through the chair to ask for one. My friend giggles and says, " Mom, Julie wants one too"

Glances are exchanged, we all giggle like little girls. Sunday school goes on, I have somewhere to be and I have to leave early. A tap on the shoulder, my friend glances back and smiles. We wave a silent goodbye. Who would have known it was goodbye for now? Five days later she was gone to be with the Lord.

This past year, it really hit me she was gone. She was alive when the transplant process started so when it ended, it really brought home she was gone.

Last week I was driving around listening to the radio with the kids. I heard a song that reminded me of her and her love for the Newsboys. It suddenly hit me that she is at the greatest concert ever and I am really happy for her. 

My friends Sam and Stacy will understand this part. I always think of it like one big "Festival Con Dios" day for eternity. Whenever I think of her, I think of the beautiful day we all spent together worshipping the Lord and I can't wait until we all are together again.

It's been a privilege to be able to walk alongside her mom and sister in law during this time. What a privilege to pray for them and support them. So often, people forget and move on. Time heals for others but never for a family's heart. This is a little something from me to Val today to show her, I haven't forgotten, I won't forget and I am always here.

Often, this Superchick song makes me think of Tami's story and its a lesson for all of us. Love your family, love your friends, life is very short.

" We live, We love, We forgiving and never give up. For the days we are living are gifts from above, today we remember to live and to love." We Love- Superchick

Friday, February 10, 2012

Things You Didn't Care to Know About Me

On my Twitter journey I  recently met Eric @Trimon who introduced me to his wife Pamela's blog. Pamela is a real writer with real talent and she is hysterically funny. She is brutally honest and transparent, shares her life warts and all. I love reading her adventures and sometimes misadventures. I really hope you check out her blog, especially if you love good grammar, a great story teller and a funny story.

Sweet Eric tweeted Pam's blog today and this post was hysterical. At the very bottom I noticed she challenged me to repost it.

So here I am, sharing 11 things You Don't Care to Know About Me

Pam asked:

1. Who was your favorite teacher and why?
Mr.Roswell a great English teacher who put up with some of my shenanigans. Also, Mr.Fawley whose love of history inspired me.

2. What were your sports of choice when you were younger? I just wanted to be a gymnast like Nadia or a ice skater like Dorothy Hamill.

3. What did you want to be when you grew up?
A history teacher like Mr.Fawley

4. What profession did you ultimately end up in and why?
I still haven't figured that out. I am currently teaching history,math, science and other things to my children. I am currently thinking about my future career.

5. What is the single most important thing you think parents should teach their children?
To love others as they love themselves. To be polite, honest, respectful and contributing members of society.

6. When you run, what is the one thing your mind turns to the most often?
I end up praying. " I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" and then I pray for other people. Because if I think of myself, I end up saying " God please don't let me die running."

7. What is your favorite book and how many times have you read it?
I tend to have a photographic memory when it comes to books. It's almost as if I memorize them in chunks. So its really boring for me to re-read them. I recently decided to force my children to listen to me read them my favorite book of all time, Anne of Green Gables. I highly identify with Anne.

8. If you could only pick one movie to watch for the rest of your life what would it be?
This question has me in a panic. One? I have to pick one? Anne of Green Gables for the win. It was a toss up between that and the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. I better quit now....Grease would be next!

9. Are you more comfortable in the city or the country?
I'm a bit of both so I say the suburbs

10. If you had the option of spending three months of the year in another place, where would you choose?

11. What is your all time favorite museum to visit?
National Museum of American History. I could live in that place.
There are apparently rules to this randomness, so I hereby tag 11 other blogger writers to join the fun, and I recommend you, dear readers, check them out, after you go read Pam:

Bethany at Striving to Be Bold
Di because she needs to blog! Baja Bound
Stacy at Finding Purpose in The Pain She's also hosting a great giveaway today.
Jenn at Misadventures in Motherhood she is just plain funny and her tweets are hysterical
Christina at Spilled Milkshake I hooked up to a blog hop of her's a long time ago and still get hits from her site.
Felicia at Felcia's Legend one of my best commenters
Trish at Everyday Trish another great commenter

You Know What They Say

About people who assume things. Lately the subject of assumption and judgement are something I have been thinking about. I often feel like people assume things about me before they get to know me or people who judge the choices of other women.

You often hear working mom's feel brought down by stay at home mom's and the reality is that judgement goes the other way. I have been both kinds of mom and neither job is easy. I worked until my children were 5 and 7 years old, I've been staying home since 2005. I will one day return to being a working mom and maybe in the not so near future. I think it all goes because one feels less than the other. I know when I was a working mom it would be rough seeing my SAHM mom friends going out to lunch and to play dates. They would tell me "someday" when I stayed home, I could go. The reverse goes for Stay at home mom's when working mom's think they are lazy and do nothing all day. Why the need to judge? I think it comes from a place of feeling somehow less than the other.

I hear a lot of bad things about Christians, all the time. People automatically lump you into a group and then just assume that you are all the same. This couldn't be farther from the truth. I make it a point to not judge someone else because of their faith. I have friends and family of all different faiths and I am accepting of their choices. People can be different and still find common ground if they take the time to get to know each other. Unless you take the time to know me, you may not see where I am coming from. I don't assume things about you because my Grandma always told me, " You know what they say, when you assume, you make a *ss out of you and me" yeah, I said it. Judge me.

All I am saying is we aren't the judge. I have seen a trend recently in my fitness quest, that women are so inspired by other women. We should encourage each other, inspire one another, support one another instead of tearing each other down. This is my goal. I go about my merry little Pollyanna way being cheery and happy trying to encourage others. It's as simple as knowing, I am not the judge and neither are you.

Getting to Know You

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tibits 2012

I've been steadily organizing old blogs. Mainly the blogs relating to Marty's renal failure, transplant wait and transplant. The other day while going through blogs, I found one that hadn't been published and published it. Unfortunately, I wasn't thinking and it published as a new blog because I didn't back date it.

A friend asked me if Marty was okay? and I was mystified until she explained she read my blog and was worried. Marty is just fine! His health is still good and there are no problems right now. In fact, Stanford just called yesterday with his bloodwork and all is well.

The kids are still doing very well in school in 2012. The progress they are making is really good and next year we will be starting high school with Conner and junior. high with Elizabeth. Time flies, seems like just yesterday we started homeschooling.

Still swimming and working out. I was offered a coaching position with the swim team and I am going to take it. I love being back in the water and each day I feel stronger and stronger. I've been enjoying getting fit and learning about fitness and healthy living.

Life isn't much different in 2012 the major change is Marty is well and that makes life even sweeter. Sorry if I worried any of you with my little blogging mistake. Hopefully soon I will be done organizing and can see the benefits of my work.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pay It Forward Monday

This morning my dear friend Viviana directed me to this blog. This family was involved in a car crash on Christmas eve. and their one year old was killed. They made the brave choice to donate his organs to other families. This blog moved me beyond belief and I wanted to support this family by getting their story out and thanking them for the choice to save another.

Please read this, pray for them and support them in any way you can.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Guest Blogger: Swanky Baby

Today's guest blogger is from She used to be my co-worker and has a super successful blog. She has been so kind to give me advice and tips over the last few months. So grateful for her support. Be sure to check out her site Swanky Baby for great tips,articles, polls and reviews for the Swanky Mom with young kids. 

This hilarious author Amber Dusick, from the, wrote this cute list of things she (and all of us did) as a kid, but you won't see kids doing anymore.  I know you will all relate to this, and hopefully laugh too!! The illustrations come from her article, but the commentary from me. 

No Seat Belts
I have the best memories of my brother and I jumping from the back seat to the back
3rd fold up seat of the station wagon while driving down the road. 
Don't forget getting to sit in the back of truck beds too!! That was the best!
 I think I would flip out if my Swanky Baby even tried to undo one of her seatbelt straps today.

No Helmets
I think we rode our skateboards while holding on to the back of a friends bike, although we would have used a red wagon if we had one!  Oh, and sitting on the handle bars of a bike was considered cool, not unsafe! I do have a fun memory of riding my bike too fast, falling face first on the sidewalk and ending up at my dr. due to a little mishap with my braces and my lips. Ahh good times, maybe a helmet would have helped.

Flying attempts
This makes me laugh because I remember all the kids in the playground doing this!!

We all had freedom as kids that our Swanky Babies will never know.  The author wrote how she would just wander the neighborhood all day and we did too.  We rode our bikes around the neighborhood, played at the park and walked to the bus stop with out parent supervision.  We were gone all day and came home when Mom called us in for dinner.

Do these bring back some fun memories of your childhood?  Please share what were your fun times that you wouldn't let your kids do HERE.  Illustrations are welcome too! ha!
If you would like to see more things that she did as a kid, please click HERE.