Twenty-Sixth Bliss

This past weekend marked a very large event in my life. My best friend, Philicia, gave birth to her first child- a son named Elijah Edward Parker. As adorable as his name is, he’s even that much more adorable himself.

I’ll never forget walking into her hospital room this last Saturday. It was like time stopped when my eyes fell on him, quickly followed by a wave of joyous emotion. Needless to say, his Aunt Tiffany was a crying pile of goo.

And then I got to hold him.

That precious little boy, only six hours old, stole my heart. I’d prayed for him before he was even a thought in his parents’ minds, and to hold him in my arms, seeing him for the first time, is something I’ll always cherish.

My mother shared with me that his birthday, the twenty-sixth, was my actual due date. Of course, I came one week early, but I’m beyond thrilled to share my birthday month with this new little guy. I’m also beyond honored to have been the first non-family member to have held him {although, Philicia and I consider each other like sisters}.

I am so proud of my best friend, for being brave and persevering through a c-section and all she did to bring him safely into the world. She’s one incredible woman, and now she has one incredible son.

God is so good.

 

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Birthday sdrawkcaB

Yesterday was my birthday, and it got me thinking. Birthdays are a special day, all about you, celebrating when you entered the world. But really, all those years ago, you didn’t really do anything to deserve this special day. It was all your mother’s doing. Think about it- the pain, the agony, the worry, the stress, etc. that she went through to safely bring you into the world. The blood, sweat and tears, and yet you’re the one celebrated?

Is it just me, or does that seem a little backwards?

So, while yes, I will happily take my birthday gifts and well wishes, I would also like to take a moment to thank my own mother for giving birth to me. I celebrate your sacrifices, your strength, your wisdom and the abundance of pure love you shower on me each and every day of my life. Thank you mom, for all that you’ve done and continue to do. This day really should be yours.

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The Five Month & Fifteen-Day Absence

Life.

That is my explanation for why it has now been five months and fifteen days since my last post. Life just got in the way.

Which is a bit ironic since that is the very thing that I write most about- my life. But when life takes an ugly turn, I’m betting you’re not sitting there thinking, “Wow, this will make a great post.” At least, that’s  not what I was thinking. My thoughts were more along the lines of, “Please, Lord. Don’t let me die.”

But hey, that may just be me.

Either way, I consider a nearly six-month absence ridiculous and unprofessional, and it’s not something I plan to allow ever again. So I believe it’s safe to say…

I’m baaack!

And oh, how I’ve missed you all! I look forward to reading all of your many posts I’ve missed and catching up with your beautiful lives.

Yes. It feels so good to be back.

 

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Sick House

Our house was officially sick. Termites do not a friend make, so this past weekend we were forced to tent our house. While this is a process I’ve seen many times driving through neighborhoods, it’s one I’ve never been on the receiving end of. Naturally, there were many things I didn’t know about it.

For one, you have to double bag all your food. I thoughtlessly hadn’t considered the food aspect of fumigation. Of course, it makes sense that if you fill your home with poisonous gasses, your unsealed food is vulnerable. And no one wants to eat poisonous-gassed food.

Not only do you have to double bag your food, but you also have to tape it or twist tie it shut in a double twist.

That also counts for food in your freezer and refrigerator.

But you don’t have to bag up any canned or bottled goods.

And, first and foremost, you have to find a place to stay while your house is tented. Poisonous gasses that kill the bugs do not a friend make either. Luckily, my parents and I found a nice hotel suite in town. 

We even brought along my dog with us for our stay at the pet friendly hotel. So, while our house was sick and being treated, we were spending good quality family time all together.

We arrived back at our house today to find it tent-free, the fumigators already done with their job. Now we’re getting settled back in, and there are still things to get back in order. But, regardless of all the family fun we had at the hotel, I’m really glad my house is feeling better.

After all, there’s no place like home.

 

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The Post I’ve Been Fighting With Myself To Write, Part 1

I have Lyme Disease.

One sentence. Four words. Five syllables. And yet, it has so much power in it because it’s true. I have Lyme Disease.

I don’t consider myself a person who shies away from being open and honest, but when it comes to admitting to others who aren’t my friends and family that I have Lyme, it can be incredibly difficult for me. Because, you see, once you know about it, it’s what you remember about me and most likely label me as that sick girl. It’s not a label you want synonymous with your name. Believe me, I know. So, it’s just easier when first meeting people not to mention that big detail about me.

But the thing is, it is who I am.

So I’ve been fighting with myself over whether to share my story with you all, or at the very least, to publicly admit and claim that large piece of who I am. And now, I’ve decided to do just that- to publicly claim that piece of me. Who knows- maybe through my story, one of you will see the signs and symptoms of it early enough to treat it and not go through what I’ve been through. Or maybe it will simply just be a growing experience for me. Either way, I hope you’re able to get something out of my story. And it’s a long one, so I will be sharing it in several parts.

I suppose I should start at the beginning. I was fourteen years old, just graduated eighth grade, and was at Bible Camp. It was one of those hot summer days, so my friends and I had gone down to the creek. Not knowing anything about Lyme disease or ticks, I naturally sat on the surrounding logs and the leafy dirt ground as we hung out. It wasn’t until later on that I saw a little black something in my leg. So I went to the nurse, and she examined it. She told me it was a splinter, quickly pulled it out with tweezers, and sent me on my way.

Except it wasn’t a splinter. It was a tick. Actually, it was the tick that gave me Lyme disease, to be precise. But we didn’t know that at the time.

When I got home from camp, my mom noticed a large target-shaped rash on my leg where the “splinter” had been. Not knowing a target-shaped rash is the first sign of Lyme disease (though a lot of Lyme patients never get a target rash), we shrugged it off as a weird spider bite or something. If we had only known.

I began my freshman year of high school soon after, joining the tennis team and making friends. Everything seemed normal, until I began to feel sick, slowly becoming sicker and sicker. I constantly had an upset stomach, felt nauseated and nearly always had a fever. I developed a constant headache and had painful attacks in my head that stopped me cold and had me crippled on the floor in pain.  I was extremely tired and fatigued all the time, losing much of my control over my body. It got to the point where I couldn’t even hold my tennis racket anymore.

Then my grades began to slip. I’d always been an A/B student (with an occasional C), all my life. So it was a shock when I began making Fs, and not for a lack of trying my hardest. I couldn’t remember any new information my teachers were giving me, no matter how hard I tried or how much I studied. It was like it went in one ear and out the other. I found myself foggy headed and unable to really think and understand things. I even got lost in the school once. That was when we knew something was seriously wrong.

So the testing began…

 

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Writing/Book Pet Peeves: Instant Love

I love reading about love in books. I’m not sure there are many girls that don’t. But I feel there’s something disappointing about having your two main characters share an instant love. Sure, I think instant attraction is great, but that’s completely different than instant love. I enjoy reading about the characters falling in love- to watch and see it develop before you is where I think the magic is. As a reader, I tend to feel a bit cheated when the love storyline is instant- when we’re told they’re in love rather than seeing it unfold for myself.

I also think it’s a disadvantage to the story, as I personally feel you get to know the characters and root for the love story if you live it with them. So not only do I prefer to read books that build on the love story instead of already having it established, but I also find myself gravitating toward writing that way as well.

Do you feel this way, too, or do you prefer to already have the love storyline in place? And do you feel differently about it as a reader than you do as a writer? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions!

 

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The Female Process of Dealing With a Spider

I figured today, I’d go with a funny post. I know not all women go through this process, but I do know there are many of us out there. So, here’s my inside view into the female process of dealing with a spider.

 

So, we’re in the bathroom, minding our own business, when a movement catches our eye. And there, on the floor in the corner, is a spider.

 

It freaks us out and we feel as if the room has betrayed us, hiding the spider like that. The bathroom starts to feel smaller, and the whole situation begins to feel more like this:

 

But we’re stuck since we’re in the middle of doing our business. So we quickly and neatly (since we’re ladies) finish, all the while never taking our eyes off the spider.

 

The first instinct we feel is to run. But then we realize that gives the little sucker a chance to hide somewhere else where we won’t be able to find it- therefore legitimately locking us out of our own bathroom by using our fear of it creeping up on us.
So we decide to stay.

 

But we sneak over to the doorway of the bathroom, positioning ourselves to where we’re just one jump away from being a safe distance from the spider- while still keeping it within our view at all times.

 

At this point, we smartly yell for someone else that’s home to come kill it.

 

Unfortunately, most of the time there’s just us and we’re forced to make the decision- fight or flight? That first instinct rushes over us once more and we want to run. Out of sight, out of mind, right? But then we quickly remember the fear it would instill in us should the spider hide.
So fight it is.

 

We take a deep breath and put on our butt-kicking armor, getting into the mindset of the independent spider killer we dream to be.

 

We take off our shoe, choosing the one we feel has the biggest potential spider-killing circumference, all while our eyes are still locked on the spider.

 

We tense up, knowing what we’re about to do, and slowly and cautiously move closer to the spider.

 

Hovering over the spider, shoe at the ready, our heart is pounding. We really don’t want to do this. What if it goes right for us?

 

What if it falls on us?

 

What if it attacks us?

 

What if it pulls us back to its lair?

 

While we were prepared for the inevitable smackdown of the spider with our shoe, our thoughts distracted us for just enough time for the spider to go into ninja mode and run up the wall into the ceiling corner. We instinctively jump back and scream a little.

 

Or a lot.

 

Which is when we realize the stupid thing is now completely out of reach due to our girly height restrictions and small dainty shoes that aren’t big enough to throw at the spider and get the job done. (Because this is what happens when we try):

 

Instinctively, our minds go to the backup plan. We allow our gaze to wander from the spider just long enough to spot it- the bathroom air freshener.
Now, we’re fully armed.

 

Not wanting to give the spider any more time to flee, we hastily spray the daylights outta the spider (not even caring that we’re getting it all over the wall/ceiling).

 

The spider falls (seemingly in slow motion to us) from the ceiling and lands on the floor, all the while we continue to spray it to death.

 

Not convinced it’s dead, we apply our original method of attack and smash the spider with our shoe.
Repeatedly.

 

We remove our shoe from the spider, and slowly, we wait, watching for any slight movement of its little legs to tell us it’s still alive. When it doesn’t move after several seconds of intense observation, we smack it a few last times with our shoe for good measure.

 

Wetting the bottom of an obscene amount of toilet paper (there’s no way any part of the spider is going to touch us!), we swiftly swipe up the spider in the toilet paper and throw it in the toilet. Stepping back, we watch as our formidable opponent gets flushed down to Dallas. The battle is WON.

 

We walk out of the bathroom like this:

 

And then we go and eat a big piece of chocolate as a reward. After all, it’s tough being the independent spider killers we are.

 

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