Friday, August 31, 2012

Little Brother

When did my little brother stop being a little dorkus monkey and start becoming a... man?

He was showing off a pic of his new girlfriend this evening... she's adorbs. He threw me this unexpected curveball compliment.

"She is so pretty... like you."

Wha? That little monster thinks his big sister is pretty?

When my big brother started complimenting me... "you look nice, you look pretty..." it was the official mark of grown-up-hood.

I've got great brothers. And I've always loved my little dorkus monkey. But now... I'm loving this little charming fellow.

I hope he's opening car doors for this chica.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Crummy Days, They Happen

Today hasn't been a very good day for Jimmy, physically.

Today hasn't been a very good day for me, emotionally.

The combination of the two has caused some anguish in the Moore household.

It's been a helluva morning.

Jimmy was freezing -- even under a thick blanket and hat. His neck is in pain and he's exhausted.

I'm just... blah. A little sad recently. Don't know why. It comes and goes. Sometimes it's because I want to talk to him about stuff, and I can't. Sometimes it's because I'm lonely. Sometimes it's because I'm bored.

Sometimes I get caught feeling sorry for myself -- or us.

Sometimes its a tough realization that because we're doing better and progressing, fewer people reach out. Their lives go on leaving us to fend for ourselves. It is what it is. We've got to live, too.

Sometimes I find myself still grieving. I think about the past.

I can't help compare the pre-injury Jimmy -- energetic and always on the go -- to the post-injury Jimmy. Always tired. Rare when he feels up to doing stuff.

I've made a good place for myself as being the strong one. I usually can knock it out of the park.

And this morning, Jimmy said, "I've never felt so bad."

He has. But it lets me know how crummy he's feeling.

Everything I was upset about seems minuscule. It's important to address it later, but my heart melts for this man.

We walked and rolled outside, if for nothing else to warm Jimmy up.

The fresh air always seems to chip away at that suckiness.

We don't even need to talk. Sitting. Daydreaming. Blogging. Listening to the air-conditioners kick on. The nearby interstate. The train.

Inhale... Exhale.

I've got a Starbucks appointment in a short while with a dear friend. Jimmy and I have peer support tonight.

Have a feeling the second half of this day is looking up.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Gratitude

I bought a gratitude journal today. I was introduced to this magical, wonderful, beautiful place called The Paper Source.

I take this shiz serious.

Pens, paper, stationary, stamps.

Calendars.
Coffee table books.
Desk gadgets.

Wrapping paper by the sheet on racks lining the entire outside of the store!

Every pattern you could think of from eggs & bacon, beer bottles, glitter, The Eiffel Tower, maps, peacock feathers... magical, I tell you!

So, I found this journal.

I've written on and off in a journal since I was in elementary school.

I wrote about crushes, my first kiss, my family life -- "my big brother farted in my room and played rap really loud! My little brother won't respect my privacy and my mom makes me do chores before I can go ANYWHERE on Saturday." The horror.

But I was really organized. There were rules for the journal. Well at that time -- The Diary.

Like, I'd write a boy's name in all caps at the top of the page. That would be the topic I'd be writing about for that day.

In my new journal, I don't write about boys everyday.

I write about grown-up stuff. With my watermelon-scented pen (which is one of the more fabulous things in life, by the way).

Today's topic was: "Pick out three things in your day that are beautiful. Take time to notice and appreciate them in the moment; then, when you get home, jot them down in your journal."

1) The Paper Source. Duh.
2) Magnificent French macaroons. Colorful, chewy, flavorful. I had two. Raspberry and Carrot.
3) Friendship moments. I spent half the day absolutely lolly gagging around cute parts of Atlanta with a dear friend -- by accident. It was long overdue.

I used to only write about sad and crying moments in my journal. Things I didn't want to burden friends and family with.

Here, I get an outlet to write about -- and look back on -- happy moments.

Things I'm grateful for.

Those things, I'm learning, do still exist.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sittin' Pretty

So Jimmy hates this but I love to arrange his hands so he's sittin' pretty.

This one is Olan Mills style, y'all.

Look at his face.

He's slapping me with his eyes.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Best Brunch Ever?

I was running errands one day late last week when I stopped in one of my new favorite brunch locales, The Flying Biscuit -- not be confused with The Flying Tire.

I was starving but didn't want to blow the diet.... completely.  I wanted something semi-healthy and hearty.

I got...

Egg-Ceptional Eggs...
Two large farm fresh eggs over medium, on black bean cakes topped with oven-roasted tomatillo salsa, feta cheese & sour cream served with creamy dreamy grits.

First of all... James Walter and I had the best grits of our life at a place called Refuel in New Orleans while on our honeymoon.  These 'creamy dreamy grits' are the only that have come close to Refuel's. I brought some home to Jimmy and he agreed with a head shake and an audible "mmmm..." as he ate his first bite.

The biscuits are amazing. Clearly. Namesake.  Mine came with cranberry-apple butter. Tastes like friggin' Christmas.

Eggs over medium? My favorite. Black bean cakes? Protein-a-mundo. Tomatillo salsa? My favorite of all the salsas. Feta? Perfection. Real, non-light sour cream? I eat it on occasion and demand it's highly underrated.

You clearly have to be in the mood for something wild and wacky. 

I die. 



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mean People Suck

I'm documenting this. 

I shell out good money to these people only to be treated like a flaming bag of dog poo. All I wanted to do was to trade out my one crab rangoon for an egg roll.  

It feels like an even trade. Doesn't it? DOESN'T IT?

The dude didn't have to get all crotchety on me. 

This place wasn't even that good. 

This went back in the take-out menu drawer so I will have my note-to-self never to order from (un)Lucky China. 

Now I have a sodium hangover and I'm pissed.

Happy Life Day!

Last week, we had us a little Celebration of Life party to celebrate Jimmy's Life Day.

August 8, 2012 was our one-year-since (I kinda hate calling something like this an anniversary. I know it's hard to avoid all the time, but I'll avoid it at least in this sentence.)

Someone dear to me gave me the idea to hold a party to celebrate life instead of making it a day of mourning and grieving.

Just because we proclaim it a day of rainbows, sunshine and puppies doesn't mean certain emotions don't creep up. So, while I was cleaning for the party, I had some... moments.  Does this surprise anyone? No.

Tears and vacuuming. So Jaimie.

The party was on a Wednesday, which meant middle of the week, which meant horribly inconvenient for most people.

We had Atlanta friends over and one friend from Columbia who dared the drive.

Small group, but great group.

Jimmy with the guys of the group.
The girls sat on the other side of the room. Classic.

We had beef tenderloin on biscuits with horseradish, a mashed potato bar and asparagus. Thank God for my foodie friends who helped me. It would have been to-go Mexican or Dominoes or something random.

There was strawberry mojitos and a Belgium beer sampler.

There was a cupcake garden (I just made that up -- extremely cheesy. I realize this).



I found these candles that spelled out CELEBRATE. They were perfect.

We lit the candles and sang "Happy Life Day" to Jimmy.  It was a sweet moment. I felt like such a proud spouse.

I used white crepe paper to decorate because I thought it would be more "classy" versus colored crepe. Jimmy asked who TP'd our appartment. Great.

It wasn't a huge party and there were only a few people, but this time it was all about quality -- not quanity.

Before the party at 2:17pm, in true Jimmy fashion, Jimmy said, "Oh look. I was laying in the road at this time last year."

I know it sounds horrible and inappropriate but it's exactly something my dear Husband would say. If you know Jimmy well, this does not surprise you. Not one bit.

I gasped with a smile.

Then, we celebrated Jimmy's life. 

Let's do it again next year!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sidecar

Jimmy and I decided we're going to get a sidecar for his chair.

Why should I drive everywhere? He's the guy in the relationship.

He can sip and puff me around.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

My Love Letter

"Love is my religion - I could die for it."
-John Keats
English Poet


My Dearest Jimmy,

Tomorrow will mark one year. One whirlwind of a year. One year since we started our new journey.

One year since we both worked in news (I guess that's what we get for complaining about not enough time off, aye?).

365 days.

I feel like we've learned so much, come such a long way -- and yet -- have so much more to understand.  In the grand scheme of things, we're still new at this.

We have a new morning routine.

I wake up before ten.
I get my coffee.
Usually watch Will and Grace, but lately the Olympics.
I wait until ten on the nose.
I walk quietly into your room, try not to startle you so I don't prompt any spasms.
Find out how you slept, so we know what we're dealing with. Grumpy Jimmy or Happy Jimmy.
I check the weather, pick out your clothes, turn your TV on, go in the kitchen and toast your English muffin and spread the chive cream cheese.
Grab your gummy vitamins.
Maybe suction you before you eat.
Then call the nurses in to get started around 10:20.

I know morning time is your least favorite part of the day. Your a.m. spasms are wacky and wild. Your neck is stiff and sometimes hurts. Most of the time you don't sleep well and wake up feeling not rested, which is the worst.

We have created a lot of new routines. There's comfort in our routines, don't you think? 

I'm so proud of you.

You handle so much, so well.

I'd have to think if it was me, I'd be crying all the time. Well I cry all the time anyways, because I'm an emotional train wreck.

But you find a way to comfort me, even as you deal with all your daily challenges.

We've just recently found a new way for you to hug me. I put my head in your neck-nook. You tilt your head down and give me a head-hug. Neck-nook, head-hug.

Hugs aren't just for arms anymore, baby.

You make things better for me. Your stupid sense of humor saves me. Your personality hasn't changed and thank God for that. How would I have gotten through a year of this without you?

I am always acutely aware of the fact that you almost died one year ago. And while I yearn for our past and cry over memories of holding hands while walking, swimming in the ocean together, and you helping me carry groceries in -- I'd take this any day over death.

My therapist has told me stories of other couples who don't adjust so well. Of spouses who wish their loved one would have just died. It's final. You grieve and move on with your life, eventually.

I never wanted that. I never wished for death. And I can't judge either. I can understand someone not being able to deal. Not being able to handle it.

But when my day turns to shit and I have a meltdown -- your presence is my healing force.

So thank you.

Maybe I've helped you over the past year, but you have helped me even more. You have helped me build all kinds of mental muscle. I feel like I can lift a proverbial car off the ground sometimes.

I'm grateful for you.

Everything we have been through in the past year and how we've come out of it has validated the very reasons why I said yes when you proposed two Junes ago.

We continue to push and challenge each other the way a married couple should. We continue to bicker and argue the way a married couple does.

You still don't like it when I leave, but you know it's for the best. For me to do somethings for me. Tennis, grocery shopping, Starbucks. But it's always exciting to bring my outside world experiences back home to you.

And the same goes for you. The rare instances when you go on an outing without me. It feels normal. We used to run errands alone. We liked our alone time. I adore hearing the excitement in your voice when you return.

I get so envious of people in chairs with arm movement. I want that for you so bad. To be able to pick up the phone and make a phone call. To be able to feed yourself. To be able to change the channel without it being a frickin act of congress.

If you never regain any movement/feeling -- I'm prepared. We're prepared. We know how to manage. People manage with a lot less, I suppose.

After a year, I have to think it may stay this way, although miracles do happen.

We'll live on love. Deal with the constant challenges. Adore our down time in the living room while it rains in the afternoons. We'll continue to find things we like doing together. We'll console each other through the dark times.

You'll yell at me for stopping by TJ Maxx -- again. I'll fuss at you for eating too many Reese's cups.

It's kinda fun -- this thing.

Tomorrow we'll celebrate with a Life Party. Beef, beer, friends, maybe some family. A small gathering that's sure to include some laughter.

Looking forward to many more years with you, Dear Husband.

You rock.

With Love,
Jaimie

Jimmy

Summer 2011

Friday, August 3, 2012

Shots

We ate at this place tonight called Flip's Burger Boutique. Super trendy. Super Atlanta. 

Jimmy got a chicken-fried burger with pimento cheese called "The Southern" while I got a burger with caramelized onions and blue cheese called "The Butcher's Cut." 

The atmosphere was fun. We were with friends who help to make everything feel so easy. It was a super, duper double date.  And it's nice on nights like these that we were with a nurse who is social. Some nurses don't like to eat, or talk and keep to themselves. 

Sometimes that works perfectly for us. 

My burger was undercooked. Jamie's burger looked completely raw. 

Between the two screw-ups, the server and manager sent over free milkshakes (they are known for these) AND (!!!!) Key Lime Pie shots. 

I'm not usually a shots kind of gal, but these were delicioso.

SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS!

Jimmy started to take his with a straw, as he drinks everything with a straw. He said, "No straw, it's a damn shot." 

Hells yeah. 

Friends With Kids

I have lots of friends with kids. I have friends without kids. I have friends who want kids and who will soon have kids.

When we're all together, I've learned that we must now collectively eat earlier when we do group dinners.

I've learned that our friends will now go to bed before 10pm in preparation of the early awakening of the children-types.

I've learned our friends will constantly talk of day cares, potty training, "poo-splosions," visiting museums, aquariums, libraries and massive temper tantrums in the produce aisle.

They spend a lot of their time sewing dresses, jumpers, and things that look like trivets that are actually teething mechanisms.

Do they look alike? Do they look like their parents? Do they look like their grandparents?

Watching cartoons and sing-a-longs. Having your radio taken over (sacrilege!). Cloth diapers this, organic that, BPA free this, breathable fabrics that, chemical-free this...

Their life is about the walking, talking, eating, teething, crawling, jumping, climbing. Did I mention the peeing and pooping?

Kids have a shit load of energy. Where the hell does that come from without coffee at 6am?  Laps around the living room at 7am? Is this real life?

At what age do you start becoming grumpy in the mornings?

I never recall ever liking mornings.

Oh, heck yeah life has changed.

But I will say, seeing my friends in their children is truly something very amazing. Seeing these babies turn into little, smart, mannerly people.  Hearing them say your name. I die.

Seeing tempers passed down is also amusing.

Seeing them bug the crap out of my friends... "Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. MOMMY!"

Bahahaha! Ahaha. Ha.

I can laugh now because I don't have kids. I have nurses.

I know my time will come. But until it does, I will continue to feed their children chocolate before dinner.  And I will laugh about it.

I will tickle, laugh, and play with them. I will love them as any Fun Auntie would. I will bribe them for my attention.

But I will pass the babies over the minute I smell the poopies. 

Meanwhile, I will cherish the moments where I get thrown a non-Mother nugget from my friends who used to stand where I am: childless and selfish -- and okay with it.

For example:

I'm meeting a friend at some outlets in a few days.  She asked me what time I was getting there.

My answer is usually Noon for most things. Before that, things get sketch.

She told me she was going to go early so she could go shopping at the kid stores so I wouldn't have to do that.

God bless her. GOD BLESS HER.

It could be worse. I could hate children and be horribly alienated from my friends with kids.

Or I could be that person who "hates kids," is mean to them, and swears I will never have them. And then does. (Annoying.)

I'm sure my kids will remind me of this blog post when I pop out some offspring.

I expect nothing less.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Big Deal


“We believe today’s announcement is just as important to our field as man’s first step on the moon was to the space program.”
-Neurosurgeon Barth Green, M.D., Co-Founder and Chairman of The Miami Project.
August, 2012

I'm ashamed to admit I hadn't heard of The Miami Project before today. A dear news friend alerted us to a major announcement by the organization.

The Miami Project was founded in 1985, and is said to be the world's most comprehensive spinal cord injury research center.

On their website, in bold lettering and all caps is the following headline: "FDA GIVES MIAMI PROJECT TO CURE PARALYSIS GREEN LIGHT TO BEGIN HUMAN CLINICAL TRIAL."

The article goes on to read:

"The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, a Center of Excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has received permission from the Food and Drug Administration to begin a revolutionary Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate the safety of transplanting human Schwann cells to treat patients with recent spinal cord injuries."

Who knows what this could mean for the future of regulated cell-based therapy in the US.

Great, great potential. Exciting news. Gives us a reason to be even more hopeful for this ongoing research.

How Does That Make You Feel?

How did I ever live life without therapy?

I mean... how do people who have so much frustration, anger and deep-rooted issues not know that life could be easier by talking about yourself for an hour a week.

I'm a believer, baby. 

I'd get a license plate that would read THRPYRULZ. And people would be confused, oh so confused.

I started going to therapy around the time Jimmy got discharged from The Shepherd Center as an inpatient. It was during that scary, transition into the home setting which sucked ass.

I have my own counselor and Jimmy has his. She's a cutie. She looks like Taylor Swift and is real perky. Maybe that's why he's not-so-hesitant to see her.

Mine is more along the lines of a psychologist you'd see in a movie. I mean, she doesn't say, "How does that make you feel?"

But she could and I would not be surprised.
We also have a couple's counselor we meet with together once a month.

This guy can pull crap out of Jimmy's brain... and I sit in amazement and watch as it floats into the mutual air.  I guess that's why they get paid the big bucks.

I need footnotes on the language to be able to extract these words from Jimmy's mouth.

Therapy has been my lifeboat on the freaking Titanic.

Little did I know... life goes on throughout a catastrophe. Other tragedies will happen (and did happen). Even as we lived in a hospital for months. Even as we were trying to catch our breath and adjust to a new city.

And as I continue to heal -- there's still tragedy and hardships all around me.

But I'd like to think I'm able to handle it all a little better now. Maybe therapy has even given me some tools (probably like Playschool ones -- but still) to help others.

I'm less sad. I cry less. I'm more constructive. I talk to Jimmy in a less sarcastic manner when I know it's important to do so. 

My doctor has totally called me out on my sarcastic overtones. Damn her.

I'm sure the fact that it's been a gosh-dern year since the accident has helped me regain some of my strength back.

Or maybe it's my awesome Doc. She's bad ass.

Highly recommended. Go get some help, people.