Sunday, June 30, 2013

Two Little Ladies



We have two little munchkins staying in the apartment with us right now. Pure cousin love. I miss these two chicklets. 

Here's the thing: last night, I'm pretty sure I had an adult conversation with them, not feeling the need to censor myself or childproof the conversation. 

Like, a conversation about our nurses. They q&a'd me and everything. They are human almost adults. They listened with compatible hearts. They are nine and 11. 

I envision having cocktails and/or coffee with the girls down the road, and oh, the things we'll talk about. 

The family babies are still huggable but now are showing signs of soaking up life all around them. 

It's amazing to note the differences in the crossover: little girls to little ladies. 

Time can be both cruel and wonderful. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Glennon Pt. 2

Forgive me. Apparently my Glennon love fest isn't over. 

I slept all the way until 9:20 this morning. Without waking up. My mamma friends are jeally-belly right now. 

Remember the end of A Christmas Story when the kids are so tired and snugly in their bed from all the excitement of Christmas and the toys and the shooting of the eye out? And the boys fell asleep with their favorite gifts tucked in with them? 

I think I tired myself out with excitement last night. I may or may not have fallen asleep with my signed copy of Carry On, Warrior tucked in with me, though. 

I woke up with what Jimmy calls Lion King Hair. My hair was teased and sticking up in all directions around my face, like a mane. Maybe that's his reasoning? 

There was probably drool. When I woke up I had no idea where I was. It was that kind of sleep. 

As I started to remember real life... I found my phone buried in my white quilt. It was not charged overnight. Another sign of exhaustion: iPhone neglect. 

I sleepily glanced down at my phone running on 20% battery to see A TWEET FROM GLENNON. 
                             
I have to go get a cup of coffee so I can enjoy my first sip while soaking in this tweet. I did. It was bliss. She read my blog and referenced it TO ME. 

I can't imagine how exhausting it must be to do what she does all the time and still have time for correspondence. It's just rad. 

And also, this means were BFFs now, right? Just making sure.           
    
                   

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Glennon.

The organizers were trying to rush her along
and she wasn't having it.
She'd take her time with each person: listening,
commiserating and posing.
Can adrenaline burn calories? Cause if so, I'm good on my workout for the day.

Tonight, I sat in a room with a couple hundred women who all had these things in common: they wanted to be reassured that love wins. They want to be reassured they have the strength to do hard things. They wanted to be reassured that they are not alone.

They all have hard lives. They all have battles.

I MET GLENNON! I MET GLENNON! I MET GLENNON!  (She's the author of Carry, On Warrior and her blog is Momastery)

I got to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library about an hour and half before the signing. This was my first signing. I had no clue what to expect but also know that G has become wildly popular.

Just two other girls were there who I met and mingled with: Kristin and Megan. I think Kristin, Megan and myself expected a long line, tents and pushing and stuff. Ya know, what I imagine goes on at a Justin Bieber concert or something.

Right before Glennon came out some folks filed into the row in front of us.  Eeeeeek! It was Glennon's family. We know them!

We don't know them....but we so knooooow them. I secretly tried to take a picture of Glennon's husband to send to a friend who also knows them until I realized my flash was on. Damn it. I'm less than 3 feet away from him. He totally saw.

Glennon came out and spoke for about an hour! We thought it was a signing like in a book store. Just a line, sign and leave. She spoke and inspired! It was an experience -- not just an event.

Some of my favorite quotes from tonight:

"If it wasn't scary, it wouldn't be brave."

"Life is fantastic moments. The rest is not always fantastic. Not sure why it's not okay to say that. Life is hard."

We finally got to Glennon for the signing and I'm not even sure what I said. I told her a little about a friend, a little about myself and then we took a photo.

I told her I wanted to hug her like a sister thinking we could chum it up. She went all in. It was great.

Glennon. Me. Up in each other's space.

I was suddenly aware of my nervous sweating and possible nervous breath (is that a thing?). She signed my book and spelled my name right. I have love and excitement in my heart. 

My two new Warrior friends invited me to be in a picture with them and Glennon. 
Glennon, Me, Kristin and Megan
All glowing from Warriorism
After a therapy session earlier today and then this tonight, I am ready. I am filled up.

Hey everyone, come and see how good I look!

Never mind. Don't look at me. I look like a cheerleader with that hand-on-hip-side-head-tilt. What is that? Why do those two go hand-in-hand?

I digress.

BUT. I am very happy with how Jimmy looks. He looks happy. He looks healthy. He looks ALIVE! I also decided after this group photo that I like when others sit around him, compared to everyone standing.

It works well with the chair.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Beach Twenty Thirteen

We're back and recovering from a full week at the beach. It was easy... er. Yes, easier than last year -- our first time there post-injury.
 
We had a big time although came home with an unwanted addition: Jimmy's pressure sore! Bluahhh. It's our first annnd can go back where it came from anytime now.
 
Jimmy's tan line is pretty funny. Was coffee with cream. Now just coffee. Mine? Was milk. Now almond milk. Hashtag white girl problems.   
 
Here are some of my favorite Instagrammed photos from the week:
 
 





Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom: The Moment

I like this one.  Just be. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day


Luckily I had two Dads to hold me steady on my wedding day (and throughout life). I'm grateful for them both. 

Also thinking of my Father-In-Law today who we know is sending a wink down. We think about you all the time, James Walter, Senior. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Beach Eve

It's the eve of our annual beach trip to Edisto Island, SC. The closer we get to the trip the more stressful, emotional and exciting it becomes.

This morning, Jimmy and I shared some tough moments.

I started packing, planning and making lists probably four weeks ago. It's hard to put my mind to rest at night.

Visions of post-its dance through my head.

Yesterday, Jimmy and I finally went through his closet to get rid of his old crap. It's a task that was two years overdue and took hours but I feel less anxious now when I go to pack for him. Like, we probably won't be wearing the corduroy blazer any time soon.

Medical supplies. Trying to fit a manual wheelchair into a sedan. Trying to come up with a friggin' side item for the steak were cooking on our night (why is that so hard?). Have to get ice the morning of our travels. Clean out the fridge. Have the garbage ready to go. Put gas in the van. I have to remember to pack towels. Lots of pillows to properly pad Jimmy. What will I forget? There's always something.

The driving of  the six hours will seem like the easy part.

But this morning, Jimmy confessed to me why it may seem like he's not looking forward to the beach. Pretty obvious reasons that maybe I've been oblivious to.  Things he feels he can't do anymore, things that used to symbolize this trip for us: swimming, drinking, playing with kids, staying up late night.

It's super tough to hear him talk like this but I'm so glad he told me. I take this as a personal challenge to help him have a big time. 

Maybe this is just like pre-wedding jitters: once you get to the actual wedding and reception, all is good.

Pre-beach jitters.

There is a smile on that face.
Worth it.
(Edisto Beach, 2012) 

Monday, June 10, 2013

L-O-V-E

"The goal in marriage is not to think alike, but to think together."
-Robert C Dodds

June 11, 2011
Pawleys Island, SC
Our first dance: L-O-V-E, Joss Stone
Dear, JWM, Jr.

Here we are. Two years later.

We made it to the start of our third year as a married couple. I'm still here and so are you.  Do we get our gold medal yet? I'll settle for cake.

I'm proud to be a part of this union.

I love you to itsy-bitsy-Reese's-pieces. Still. Nothing about the accident has changed that. I look at your cute little tan face when you're resting on the ventilator at night and sometimes I hate it. It's not fair what happened to you.

It's not fair: I never speak those words out loud, I only write them here when I want to be honest with myself. We just can't dwell in what's fair and what isn't and I'm proud we don't live our lives that way.

The good news is that I don't really feel sorry for us that much anymore. "Woe is me" isn't really turning out to be our style.

In fact, we get excited about the really good parking. Sometimes we get special accommodations that are reallllly nice and we freakin' eat it up. The special entrances. The shorter lines. When there's enough sucky stuff you start find these little nuggets of relief.  

We've grown fond of so many people in our new life that we never would have known if we would have continued in our old life. Many of them were there at the start of our marriage when all of this happened and I didn't want them to be there.  But now I think: where would we be without them?

Could you ever imagine our family/friends who have stepped up as they have? And then, sadly, some who have vanished from our lives. That's the reality. Tragedy has a strange effect on some.      

I feel as if I'm a better person because of the crash. I feel stronger and more compassionate. I'm better equipped when tragedies happen around me.

Same goes for you.  I admire how you've dealt with the challenges of this big, huge thing on top of handling the trials and tribulations that come along with marriage, much less the first few years of marriage.  

I feel like the accident and the tools we've gotten following the accident have helped us to be able to communicate and deal with our hard minutes together.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that all marriages have flaming arrows. Ours came flying right out of the gate. Like, whoa! Calm down, universe.

But if you peel back the "accident" layer you'll simply see a guy and a girl who happen to get along.

Happy anniversary, James Walter. Thanks for always helping me.

PS) This is the anniversary blog from last year, "8,772 Hours Later." I was reading it before I wrote this one to see how far we've come in just 365 lil ole days.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

June, July, August

This time of year is a very odd. Weird things happening inside.

In a few days, Jimmy and I will celebrate our second wedding anniversary.  Then, I will turn 32 years old in July. August 8th will mark the second anniversary of Jimmy's accident.

Wedding Anniversary:

Jimmy and I kinda have already started celebrating our anni, talking about how the last two years have been amazingly brutal.   

We did have nearly two months of "normal living" after the wedding -- before the accident.

Honestly, those months didn't feel any different compared to the five years we had spent together as a couple prior to our wedding day.  I am grateful for the rock solid foundation all those years gave us. I'm grateful we got a lot of the kinks worked out of.  We cleared a lot of the cob webs and got comfortable.

We will always have those years. No one can take them from us. 

We'll be going back to the Italian restaurant in which we celebrated our first wedding anniversary. We'll eat, drink and talk about the last two years and maybe the wedding.  I'll lean over as to force him to kiss me in public.  We'll get something with cream, something with cheese and something with chocolate. We'll be happy.

I made seafood tonight for Jimmy. It felt kind of a like an anniversary celebration.

So you know, I dislike the way seafood tastes and smells while being cooked. So this was a rare, smelly treat for Jimmy.  He came into the kitchen with me to help me make everything.  I sauteed flounder and shrimp, according to his instruction. I also bought a crab-cake from Fresh Market that someone in front of me ordered three of.  I thought: it must be good. I'll get one for him.

He loved it all. Or, he is a really good liar, liar pants on fire. I have no way of knowing if that food was any good at all.

Birthday:

My birthday is kind of randomly cushioned in between the two major dates. I celebrated my 30th birthday just a few weeks before the crash.

We were still living in Greenville. I wanted to go to my favorite Mexican eatery. I sent out my own evite and everything. No shame! Okay, maybe just a little.

I'll never forget it. It was such a messy and unorganized dinner. The memory makes me smile.  Married friends on one side of the table. Us in the middle. And married friends with kids on the other. Oh, lawd.

Interesting scenarios to say the least. But, they showed up... for me. 

Crash Anniversary:

From August 2011 through August 2012, Jimmy and I survived. We were in pure survivor mode simply learning how to stay alive. Emotions ran high, tears flowed and there was no shortage of frustration.  From August 2012 through August 2013, the healing finally started.

I feel we have turned a corner. Life isn't so devastating. We're adjusting. We're not only surviving, but we're managing to even be happy and relax a little. We're taking a load off, after such a hard year. 

Last year, I started a tradition of having a Life Day on the day of Jimmy's crash anniversary. It was my way of trying to find the good in something that can become so incredibly somber. Even though I had lots of sad feelings, I still sat and was comforted by friends who showed up. I also ate cake and mashed potatoes which was way fun.

June, July and August. Three months. Three very different occasions.

Marriage.
Birth.
A new life.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom: Enjoy It



Monday, June 3, 2013

Twirling

What did you do today?




I put on my wedding dress and twirled in my living room.  

Apparently me and my dress made up