Friday, April 18, 2014

Giveaway Winner

Hi! Happy Friday. I have the winner of the Carry On, Warrior book giveaway.

Random.org gave me number THREE. And, the 3rd person to enter was Dana Ritter! Congratulations Dana! Yay, free stuff! I think you'll just love it.

Send me an email with your home address and I'll get it out to you. My email button is on the blog bar under "Connect."

Happy reading, friend!  Whew. That was fun.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Carry On, Warrior Giveaway

As a thank you for taking part in the Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project, Glennon and the folks at Momastery sent me a book to keep or giveaway. 

Lucky ducky for you, I have a signed copy that I probably will re-read this summer. I plan to be on a beach at some point. I need the beach very soon.

This book was just released in paperback on it's one year anniversary. This is the version I have to giveaway. 

Here's some of the what you can expect from G-Dog's baby-child, Carry On, Warrior:

*I've never particularly felt good at friendships. Friendship's demands -- like remembering important dates, answering the phone, and navigating group dynamics -- don't come easy to me. I have a reclusive side and a Sister. These two things make friendship hard for me to notice how much I need friends.

*Recently there was some talk in my Bible study class about homosexuality being sinful. I quoted Mother Teresa and said, "When we judge people we have no time to love them." I was immediately reprimanded for my blasphemy by a woman who reminded me of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. But I was confused because this woman was speaking. In church. And she was also wearing a necklace. And I could see her hair, baby. She had no head covering. All of which are soooooo totally against the New Testament Bible Rules. And so I assumed that she had decided not to follow the parts of the Bible that limited her particular freedoms, but to hold fast to the parts that limit the freedoms of others. 

*Baby, if you see a child being left out, or hurt, or teased, part of your heart will hurt a little. Your Daddy and I want you to trust that heartache... That heartache is called compassion, and it's God's signal to you to do something.  

There are many good life nuggets in this book. You don't have to agree with everything she says, or be religious to get something out of it.  It's a book worthy of a spot on the shelf, if you ask me.

Rules for the giveaway:

1) You must be an official follower of this blog to be qualify. 
2) You have to live in the US. 
3) Leave a comment and tell me that you want it!

A winner will be chosen at random (there's technology for that) by Noon EST on Friday, April 18th. I will post the winner of the giveaway on the blog then, so check back.

Good luck!

Happy Sunday: Berry Pancakes



Seemed like a good morning to wake-up and make pancakes. 

Yesterday was yuk.  Had a headache all day long. Was sleep deprived. Just... yuk. Since I woke up feeling better I thought: Sunday! Pancakes! 

These is the whole wheat pancake recipe I found a while back. I just added blueberries, blackberries, ground flax seed and some vanilla to the batter.

They came out yummy and berrylicious. And, a good way to use up the berries in the fridge about to turn.

And let's be honest: the berries make me feel better about eating pancakes for breakfast. 

Yay, health, kind of! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Wedding, A Wheelchair And Then Some Brownies – My Messy Beautiful

 
We all have stories.

Some are good. And some are like really friggin’  good. Upon hearing them: BAM! Instant hero. How’d she live to tell?  Ford Tough. Or something.  It’s not rare to hear a story that has me feeling grateful for our thing that happened.  

And these storytelling heroes?  I feel what they’re telling me. I physically feel with all my parts how they feel even though my story is different.  I hurt on the inside for people making their way through a traumatic thingy.  My soul gets scared.  It’s familiar territory.  The stories are different. The way your inside crumbles and tries to repair – it’s the same.      

May I tell you about my story? Here is a version.          

It includes:
1)      Jagemeister 
2)      A cute guy
3)      New Years Eve
4)      More  Jagemeister
5)      Spin the bottle (yes, with grown-ass adults. See #1 and #4) 

Yeah, so, liquid courage or whatever it is. Our seven year relationship has a liquidy foundation made of licorice-tasting liquor.

Five years of dating, a beach house proposal, a golf course wedding, a new city, new jobs, and a massive course-changer.  My husband and I have been through hell and back together. He’s now, for sure, my forever person.  

Jimmy and I don’t have kids yet. What we do have? A spinal cord injury.  Less than two months after we were married, Jimmy was on his way to work when The Flying Tire came barreling down the highway – changing our quiet, normal lives.  

Just like that, my husband was paralyzed. August 8, 2011. That was the last time he walked. Those steps to get into his work car, those were his last. That morning spent at home with coffee, preparing for work - it would be the last like that.  We had no idea of the new path we faced but we were slowly pulled into reality one day at a time. It was tough stuff, man.  What humans are expected to deal with sometimes – it’s just mean.   

Our lives look different now.  We used to both work in television news.  Jimmy was a photographer, I was a producer.  We actually worked together at the same station, on the same shift, on the same show when the injury happened.

Now we both work together on the injury.  Our lives are dealing with home care nurses and case managers. Catheters and bowels. Wheelchairs and ramps.  Ventilators and suctioning. Oxygen saturation and temperature. Skin breakdown and muscle spasms.  Medical supplies and medication.   

Being through a trauma shakes your core a little, doesn’t it? It changes your perspective.  

Some of the pettiness is exhausting now. On the same token, sometimes it’s the little things we’re thankful for because LOOK HOW CLOSE MY HUSBAND CAME TO NOT HAVING PETTINESS AND LITTLE THINGS!

Perspective.

While it can seem like me and my husband were robbed of a “normal” life, I’d like to list for you things I’m grateful for in my newish life. My silver linings. My don’t-take-for-granteds.   

1)      MY HUSBAND. Duh. The fact that he’s here. I can hug him. I can smell his skin. He can continue to coach me through my crazy.
2)       FOOD. I know this is really high on the list but a love for food is something me and Husband always shared, and continue to. (I’ve got homemade dark chocolate brownies in the oven as I write this.)
3)      TIME. I have so much more of it now that I’m not working. I have time to help nurture this injury. Time for me, time for us, time for Starbucks, time for TJ Maxx, maybe a little too much time for Buzzfeed quizzes…
4)      EMPATHY.  Tell me your story. I will feel it and I will hold my heart for you. And I will mean it. I’ve learned empathy over the past three years.  
5)      COMEDY.  When I tell you that sitcoms got me through the really dark, early days after The Accident – it’s true.  The nights I was alone, the nights when my neighbors probably could hear me sobbing through the walls? My friends during those dark times? Rhoda Morganstern. Chandler Bing. Niles Crane. Elaine Benes. Comedy. Saved. Me. (And, still does.)
6)      CHOCOLATE. This kind of goes with #2, but I really feel like chocolate is worth another mention. (Brownies are cooling.)
7)      FAMILY/FRIENDS/CO-WORKERS/COMPLETE STRANGERS. (This should be higher. I wonder if Mom will get mad she’s below two food categories.)  The people that came out of the woodwork during our two-person catastrophe -- simply amazing. The people that prayed. The people that sent food, money and love. The family that called everyday if they couldn’t be here. The family that was here and just sat with me. But the people that still continue to let us know they are still here? Almost three years later? Because they know we’re still wounded. Not just on the outside.
8)      A NEW CITY. We moved after the accident to be closer to top-notch medical care. We have a small support team here now. It's pretty sturdy. And, I’ve made new friends of all ages. I have a friend named Nesie who’s 80+ years old. She feels the need to take care of me. I let her.
9)      BROWNIES. Holy crap. These brownies with melty vanilla ice cream. Life is good. It’s that easy sometimes.
10)   YOU. I’ve met some beautifully messy wonderful people who have shown me so much about life and how to live through some shit. I get lost in in your stories.  And they help me. Maybe that’s why I share my brutal honesty sometimes. Because it’s the honesty of others, along with comedy and brownies, that pulls me through.  

And I have to give a shout out to therapy, because THERAPY! Therapy has helped me see that I need to be social sometimes as much as I want to hermit. I apparently need to distract myself.  Distract myself from the past and dwelling in what I miss. Remembering what was and missing it too much. That road can cause one to spiral.

Distractions.

Family. Friends. Stories of survival. Joey Tribiani. And brownies.You find what you can to help you live. Find your happiness. The small things will add up.

Because, let me be honest…

In the circle of great folks within this injury, a common thing we do is shine a light on Not Letting The Injury Win.  Let me tell you, friends. Sometimes you just have to. YOU HAVE TO LET IT WIN.  And I really think it’s okay.  Sometimes you just wave your little white flag, crawl back under the covers and then find a better time, a stronger time to fight back. Sometimes the hard stuff just sucks the smiles and energy from you. We just have to let it win sometimes. 

I mean, how do you truly build character by going undefeated anyways?          

So wrapping this thing up with some good news: As hard as this life can be, as soul crushing as this injury can get, my husband and I have been working hard with a wonderful doctor and a wonderful nurse within a wonderful team over the last year to bring a baby home. My husband needs this.  He needs a new fire.  He needs a new light from within.  Let’s face it. You can only get so excited about having a wife. But WE need this. My soul is telling me it’s time. 

The day-to-day emptiness in our home also tells me it’s time.  

More good news? It looks like we may be on our way.  

Maybe we won't beat the injury but we're gonna kick ass as parents. 

LOVE WINS!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Miami Project

A while back, a new website on the verge of launching asked me to contribute a story about mixed couples during it's Beta phase. It was something I've never written about, so I enjoyed the challenge. Humanthology is a pretty great website. It's a collection of some truly amazing, heartfelt stories.

My untold story is HERE

And now, they've taken it a step further and allowed contributors to attach a cause that's important to them.

Many Humanthology writers have chosen causes that relate to their story. That makes the most sense. I have not done that.

I chose The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. There's a groundbreaking (FDA approved) clinic trial happening there right now.

Hope hope hope. 

Because they've allowed me to add this important cause to my story, it's my duty to tell you about it.

I've started with a $250 goal. 100% of what I raise for The Miami Project will be sent monthly to the organization. I'm happy to be able to send any amount. You can donate to The Miami Project HERE

Thank you in advance for anything you can do. If you don't wanna, or can't -- that's perfectly okay, too.

Smoochies.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

TBT: Forging Ahead

Looking back and throwing back to when I discoverered this quote, read a great book about The Reeves thus discovering a hero in Dana.  I loved this photo so much I tried to re-create it with Jimmy.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Decent Days


Nobody move. The last few days have been... decent. Jimmy has that semi-refreshed look in his face and it's a relief. The world seems like a better place when he's having an okay time. 

Heyyyy, Tuesday. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Two Things

1) Throwback
A happy moment I found on my phone camera roll. I think this was a year ago-ish. I can see happiness in both our faces. I love this picture.


2) Jimmy Meets Baby Sofia
Are you kidding me? Today our friend's one-month old daughter got some face cuddles with Uncle Jimmy. Jimmy was tired but sweet Sofia baby cuddles helped a bit. I like this whole look.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Waving the White Flag...

 
[But just for today.]

This injury is kicking. my. ass. I feel beaten and beat down. I'm tired. I'm exhausted. I'm waving the flag. I'm waving the Spinal Cord Injury flag. Okay injury. You frickin' win today.

Jimmy is also very tired and tired of the "always something." It's so exhausting. I'm being so whiny and I don't care. It's hard. I'm tired. I want to go to bed.

I want to pull four different covers over my head and go to sleep.  [Four might be excessive. Will I get sweaty? If I get uncomfortable, it will add to the anxiety. I digress..]

Jimmy has been having a rough patch lately. I have been having a rough patch lately, though they are very different patches. We went to couple's therapy today to discuss how we're holding up through our own things that really do intersect quite a bit. It's tolling to put it all out there and risk coming across like a nag to your partner. But even when things get super tense, our therapist can maneuver us back into friendly waters; he truly has a gift.

Maybe that's why I'm so tired and feel beaten. Cause I therapied myself to hell and back today. Jimmy is napping. He's smart. He knows what's up.

I ate sea-salted chocolate cashews and then swiss cheese and now feel nauseous. Yay, bad food decisions based purely on emotions.

I will be better tomorrow. Almost certain of it. It's always better tomorrow. Or at least different. I will have learned something from the wonderful therapy hell we put ourselves through today and will, perhaps, navigate with a smidgen more wisdom.

Right now I'm going to climb onto the couch under the afghan and take a lesson from Jimmy who is getting a thick nap in. He's got it right.

Come to me afghan.  Also, Seinfeld is on. The one with the horse and the beef-a-rino and the marble rye. The syndication Gods are good looking out for The Moores. 

Shut up, you old bag.  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Heyy.

Oh hi. Remember me? I'm a girl who used to occupy space here. Apparently I needed time to hibernate, replenish, and remind myself to exhale. It's good to be back.

I'm sitting on my patio watching the sun inch down and, while it's still pretty cool out, I can almost feel the warmth that will soon be here.

The squirrels are starting to scope out the trees that they used last summer/fall. Jimmy and I would watch the Mamma's fend off any unwanted visitors barking up near the wrong nest. For whatever reason, after a massive squirrel fight we witnessed, we dubbed it, "Squirrel Gate." 

What have I been up to?

1) Spinal cord injury stuff: dealing with an array of things going on with Jimmy. Some big, some not so big. Some causing me to overreact, when in reality, I know deep down Jimmy is gonna be okay. 

2) Reading: Skimming this, running through that. Just finished Tina Fey's book. Man, I love her even more now.  It's probably good to have a hero for when I finally realize that Bridget Jones isn't actually real life.

3) I just checked the DVR. There are 92 unwatched items in there. So, yeah. Guess we haven't been watching TV.

4) I got to hold a newborn belonging to a dear friend this past weekend. A newborn's lips are like the greatest thing. So squishy. Pretty great meeting this baby and getting reacquainted with her other boys. 

5) Jimmy and I watched some movies recently. Today we watched Nebraska and I absolutely adored this film. There's something soothing about a black and white movie and then Will Forte not doing sketch comedy? He brought something endearing to his role.

And THIS.
 
I love movies sometimes.

Jimmy watched and he didn't pretend to not be watching like when I put on the Kardashians, or some crap like that. He definitely, all the way watched.

Tomorrow is Friday. People are happy on Fridays. Have a good weekend!

Does he have Alzheimer's?
No, he just believes what people tell him. 
-Nebraska

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Val Day Wrap-Up

This is what I got Jimmy:

This is what he got me:

Hey Server! Can you take our picture?
[Thee most awkward positioning ever and that guy in the background
who may be scratching his butt. THANKS.]

Fiiiiine. I'll do it myself. Val Day selfie-ism.
 

We got home and, yay, my Birchbox came! I got this super color-changing nail polish.
[Sucks that I had already committed to a black and white color scheme for this particular blog
so, you know, you can't see the actual color or anything. It's hot pink, btw.]

Oh. And later than night? There was an earthquake. In SC, close to the GA line. For me, in Decatur, it felt like a couple of elephants moving furniture upstairs and my lamp was shaking a little. There was definitely some butterfly action happening in my belly. 
Then I went back to watching Sherlock thinking: I wonder if that was an earthquake. 
I should look that up later. 
Then about 20 minutes later I get a panic text from a friend in SC. 
Confirmation.
[Nothing to show for this little rumble so I'm reenacting what
 my face probably looked like when it happened.]

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Dear Snow

It's cool. You can hang. I see you've made yourself comfortable. However, there's a sliver of sunshine that has other plans. So, heads up.

You see, tomorrow is Valentine's Day. I've made reservations. I don't want to cancel them. I need a little lovely, sweet meal with Husband. My feet and his wheels need to make it downtown. I will carry my Costco container of sea salt if need be.

You've made your point. You're pretty. Everyone is looking at you. Look, I even joined in and took some pretty snow pictures. Yay, snow pics. Woooo.

Okay. So, on your way now. Spit spot.

Thanks. 

PS: I don't hate you. I really don't. You're actually kind of nice. I just need Valentine's lunch with my husband, okay? You understand.  

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Dining Room Table

It's happening again. The tears. The memories. My mind is going there.

It's pretty amazing what can pinch the trigger. 

Tonight it was me, saying goodnight to Jimmy. I lingered in his room a little longer than normal. He was drifting off. 

I walked to my room, passing the dining room table I had recently set up. Placemats, cloth napkins, creamer and sugar dishes, decorative vase with filler and just added today: fresh cut flowers.

I thought the table looked so nice. And, in that moment, I had a quick glimpse of Jimmy sitting there eating. His legs propped up on the bottom wooden rung. You know, that spot where most people rest their feet on higher, bar-like stools. 

It was like a dream. But I was wide awake. He was eating. Happily. Maybe reading a newspaper. 

I then walked in my room and got incredibly sad. 

Jimmy will probably never sit at that table and eat and/or read a newspaper.  We won't be sitting there together in two wooded chairs. His chair will most-likely always be metal. 

In fact, there's a whole generation of furniture in our new life he'll probably never touch. 

Do you know how bad I miss him on the couch?

That couch has been in our lives for over a year and it hasn't brushed up against his skin. Not once. 

The sad moments like I'm experiencing are fewer and farther between, thankfully. 

But dammit if the pangs I'm feeling inside of me aren't as sharp as they were the first few nights after the accident. 

I miss my old Jimmy sometimes. Maybe it's good I go down this road every once in awhile. 

I don't want to forget the literal pep he had in his step. It's something I didn't even realize I loved about him, until after the accident. He bounced. He walked more on the balls of his feet than I did. 

The morning will bring all that comes with the light of day, and the chance for me to hug my husband's neck; an act that will put a little band-aid over these particular pangs.

We'll share breakfast and coffee and I'll probably tell him about my sad moment.  

He'll probably tell me to bring it in for a head hug. 

I'll do it, and yeah, band-aid. 

We'll get on with our day because that's what we do. 

We take time to acknowledge the sad moments and allow ourselves to feel them. 

Because, it's actually not all bad. It always doesn't hurt. I don't always miss my old Jimmy. 

The "new" one is working out just fine.