Sunday, January 29, 2012

I Now Know What An HDMI Cable Is...

After Jimmy's crash, after the slow healing started -- I realized I had to get back to real life. I had to take care of our household.

I had to do lots of digging to find out how to pay Jimmy's bills. I am so beyond grateful that he's organized and kept a list of what bills need to be paid and when.

I had to take over paying our utility bills. Jimmy was really good about just telling me what I owed and when.

I had gotten really used to that.

Another thing I had gotten used to after living with Jimmy for years: his cooking. I was always a decent cook. Average at best. Not great, not horrible. Jimmy comes into my life and blows me out of the water. He can do that thing with the frying pan where you flip loose veggies (or whatever) in the air.

Amazement.

His specialty is grilling meats, as you may know. I hate I never had him teach me how to grill. For some odd reason, I'm scared of grills. Jimmy would have nipped that one in the bud with one learning session, had I asked.

I got comfortable with the fact that I'd never have to do that. That was his thing.

Other things that he did, that I often didn't: took out the garbage, stood in line at the post office, cooked the majority of the things we ate, budgeted, hooked up anything with wires, installed things, fixed computers, unclogged drains... the list goes on.

I was sad about these things for months. He took pride in being able to manage half the household, if not more.

But I took control, head on. That's what was needed.

Now I'm at a place where I can appreciate it all. I've learned so many new things. And thank God, I have the wonderful presence of my wonderful husband to verbally guide me along the way.

I made an entire Thanksgiving dinner -- all by myself! I shocked myself with this one.

Jimmy totally would've done this himself. Especially the bird.

I sat down, decided what I wanted to make, and freaking did it. Much of it homemade, mind you.

I now know what an HDMI cable is, where it goes, and why you need it! Jimmy has even shared with me the website where you can purchase these pricey cables for dirt cheap.

I have taken over all of the bills, and managed to improve our credit scores. I've created a master filing system. I have a desk now. (I also have a cute little teal stapler and purple paper clips.)

I have cooked meats! Pot roast, pork tenderloin, chicken, beef... (Not nearly as good as Jimmy's, though.) I made homemade eggplant parmesean! I made my favorite soup that Jimmy always used to make for me. It was edible and everything.

I haven't grilled yet, but I know Jimmy will teach me when the time comes.

I've learned my way around this crazy town. Well, for the most part. And with the help of my TomTom. When we get a car, I'll be able to get us around. That's kind of huge for me.

I now know what an NFL insider does, and even follow one on Twitter. What? I watch more SportsCenter than I EVER EVER EVER thought I would. You might even call me a sports fan.

Might.

I have a favorite player, and know his signature touchdown move. I guess I even have a favorite team, even if it's via marriage. Jimmy bought me a sports hoodie. A really cute one. I wear it on gameday. That's just crazy talk.

Before all this I didn't give a crap about sports. Most people know this about me.

Aside from the day to day stuff, I still deal with the paperwork that comes with anything accident-realted. Nurses, medication, Shepherd Center stuff -- all the while being there with Jimmy every step of the way so he's not alone.

All the new stuff he's learning, I'm trying to learn, too.

I'm learning and manage more than I ever though I would.

Full-time wife. Full-time housemaker. Full-time agent.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Morning

I crawled into Jimmy's really small twin bed this morning for some morning husband cuddles.

And look... No vent!

He was currently not on the ventilator when we took this picture.

And look... No make-up. Eek. :)


Friday, January 20, 2012

My Night in Paris

While Jimmy was hanging with the guys at Philips Areana for the game, I was boozing it up in France
Not really.
But boy did us girls do it up right at this fabulously wonderful place in Buckhead called Bistro Niko.
A little slice of heaven right here in Atlanta. The place was absolutely packed. Even the bar... it was hard to order a drink while we waited. I keep forgetting that there are millions of people here in this city, and they like to eat big. All days of the week.
First of all, I should explain that I'm lately obsessed with Paris. The images, the food, the language. I want to be there.
This place was perfect for me to 'get away.'
My food truck-ownin' friend and I went. The good thing about Jamie is -- because of her recent culinary explorations, she is a fellow foodie.
She appreciates butter, cream and cheese just as I do.
We ordered a massive appetizer spread.
These cheesy butter croissant balls....
a bacon onion tart...
and pork shoulder spread.
Yes, PORK SHOULDER SPREAD.
Jamie wanted to try something we normally wouldn't. Next to this item on the menu read 'Very French."
I tried it. It wasn't horrible. Tasted a little like tuna. But you know... "When in Rome...." (or a restaurant in Atlanta that has foreign-ish items on the menu.)
Dinner was devine.
I had twin tenderloins with brandied musroom cream sauce and sauteed spinach. Jamie was adventurous and tried the veal that was recommended. This is a picture of my food... I forgot to take a picture of it before I dove in.
Can I just tell you about what we had to drink? Jaime introduced me to an awesome new liquor awhile back called St. Germain. It's an Elderflower liquor that is so, so, SO good. And mixed with champagne, it's even better.
These folks here at the Bistro have a signature drink that consists of St. Germain, champagne and club soda. And these are few of my favorite things.
All throughout dinner, we kept saying... "Jimmy would love this..." or "Jimmy would order this..." I missed him so much. Eating out was one of our favorite things to do. New, fancy, fun places. He loved to take me out.
Mark my words though, we will get him there.
For dessert, our wonderful waiter recommended the hazelnut tea cake to me. I think a different day I would have loved it. But that night, I wanted something creamy and rich, perhaps chocolately.
Of course Jamie got something chocolately and yummy looking. Dang it.
What a wonderful night it was. We were the last one's in the dinning room. Closed it down!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What Qualifies?

Someone today texted me and asked... "Are you having a good day?"

It got me thinking... What's a good day, these days?

Well, this morning we had a good business-type meeting. Business in the morning... shouldn't it be that way?

Then I decided to go to the mall. Jimmy needed a new pair of jeans, and I had a gift card!
It's always dangerous when I do that. I think I can get tons because of a $30 gift card.

But I love to bring back Jimmy little surprises. He always used to do that for me. He loved to surprise me. Still does, actually.

He lives for the reaction.

Anyways, I got him a new hat, some jeans (because he's slowly starting to wear more of those) and a shirt.

When I came home, Jimmy was off the ventilator! He was so proud to tell me that he had been off for two hours. He said, "I feel good." That's after the hour he did in the morning. Sometimes going off the ventilator makes him feel not so good, so this is a plus. He also pointed out that his voice is getting stronger while off the vent. That's a good sign, as well.

He got back on the vent, and said he wanted to play on his computer.

This week, Jimmy got his new computer with voice-activated software.

He is still learning it -- it's gonna be a process. But he can totally do Facebook, read the news, etc -- all by himself.

Then we had dinner and watched TV and visited with our Atlanta friends before heading off to bed.

That to me -- qualifies as a good day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Clean Shaven

We recently lost one of our caretakers that we loved. He's going back to school to become a Physical Therapist's Assistant.

What we loved about Jonathan, among so many other things, is that he groomed Jimmy's head hair on the regular.

He shaved him and cut his hair like every other Friday. How awesome is that? We didn't even ask him to do it.

With Jonathan gone, Jimmy started getting a little... grizzly.

I decided it was time.

I've shaved him before, but it was back when he was an inpatient at Shepherd.

There's something fantastic about shaving your husband and helping him to feel SO MUCH BETTER.

He was so itchy for him.

And of course it breaks my heart that he can't scratch.

He's got this 'dry skin here, oily skin there' issue that makes not having a beard preferable.

I was happy to do it. And how handsome does he look?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mountains of Adjustments

There are so many new things in our new life we are still adjusting to.

Saying goodnight to my husband and parting for my own separate room is certainly one.

When I was scouting out new apartments for Jimmy and I here in Atlanta, I had to look for one comparable to ours back in Greenville. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms.

We made the decision to stay -- and to get the apartment.

Then, as we started to get closer to discharge date from The Shepherd Center, we realized Jimmy would be getting his own hospital-type bed.

Then, came the supplies. There are so many supplies.

Jimmy requires a lot of care, 24-hour care.

He gets turned every few hours, nurses check on him to see if he needs a drink, medication, etc.

So, we knew when we got the apartment Jimmy would need his own space because of that.

Someone along the way told me (because I really had no clue how to set things up at home) that I needed my own room, and Jimmy needed his own room.

Foreign concept. Especially considering that we're now newlyweds.

That person was right. Although I didn't want to believe it.

When we got home, things were so fragile, crazy, scary -- it was 100 MPH all day, everyday. So many different people were trying to learn Jimmy's medical needs, his routine.

It was one of the hardest things we ever had to do.

If I didn't have my own sanctuary, I would have lost my freaking mind.

I understand that now.

But, things have calmed down. And I still have to say goodnight to my husband, and go into my bedroom.

The bedroom that has our bed, our bedroom suit, bedside tables, etc. It's our stuff.

Maybe if I got all NEW stuff , I'd feel better. Wink, wink.

There are so many other mountains that we have to climb together. But for some reason, this has become one of my own little personal mountains.

Things just happen to hit me so hard at night, and I don't know why. The harsh reality of what has happened to us punches me in the gut as I walk into my bedroom every single night.

Day time, fine. Night time, tears, tough memories, reality.

Luckily, this has been a huge learning experience for us. We have talked about ways to make this not so hard when we get a bigger place, bigger beds in the future.

Being able to lay in bed with my husband, forcing him to watch horribly bad TV is something I absolutely cannot wait to do.

There are measures I now know to take... Friends, Khloe & Lamar, That 70's Show, stuff on TBS. ...TV helps.

And writing helps.

Tonight, apparently peanut cups are helping, too.

Chocolate and peanut butter and Chandler. My saviors.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Six Degrees of an Impulse Purchase

1) Bad day = 2) Dining in at Mexican restaurant = 3) Tequila = 4) TJ Maxx really close to restaurant = 5) I shouldn't have come here = 6) Impulse buy(s).

But aren't they pretty?

Will it? Yes.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaclynejaclyne/

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Nana

I wonder what my Nana would do, how she'd handle something like this.

Would she tell me she constantly feels for me, that's she's sorry this happened to me, or would she be strong, and help hold me up?

Would she tell me I was born to play this role?

Would she she tell me I've been training for this my whole life?

Or would she cry for me and to me a whole lot?

Maybe a little of both.

It's the hard times like these that make miss her dearly.

I know I'd hear from her more than once a month. Maybe even more than once a week. She'd be so involved, whether I asked for it or not.

That much I know.

What I also know is that there is a lot of her inside of me.

And my mother.

I've got the spirit of strong family women inside my soul... and for that I'm very lucky.

Those strong women are also sensitive, and smart.

I've learned a little from all of them, and have perhaps been using that to build my toolbox my whole life.

I've been packing for this.

This is it. This is no doubt the hardest thing I've ever had to do. To be strong, and not completely run away from this scary, scary thing.

Reaching into my toolbox every step of the way.