Sunday, January 31, 2010

Shovel, Anyone?

I think that I've deleted this first paragraph...oh say.....8 times. Where to start? It's Sunday. I love Sundays. It is the day of the week that I get really simple and basic. I wake up, turn on my IPOD to Sounds for Sunday (a mix of my fav songs), snuggle up on my couch with the blinds open so I can watch the sunrise over the mountains, read scriptures, meditate and write in my journal. I usually do this with a cup of hazelnut hot cocoa in hand which I sip out of my beloved Pier 1 mug. Sunday morning - it's my favorite part of my favorite day.

I let Mr. Thompson sleep as long as possible so I can enjoy my quiet time. Eventually, I cook our traditional Sunday brunch (grandma's oven eggs, bacon, Belgian waffles with berries/cream, OJ) which wakes him up like a coffee commercial. All smiles and happiness as we get ready for church.

Today is like no other, except that as I experience my morning I have this thought which just keeps rolling around and around and around in my head.

Does God really love me?

Now, I know more than anyone that it is the silliest question I could ask. Of course God loves me. My life is too good to question that. I have so many blessings. There have been too many times I've been wrapped in His love and have felt it. So, I know it is true. But that knowledge and those experiences don't stop my head from asking my heart the question at least once a month.

Does God really love me?

I'd love to say that I don't have any doubt because I am a hopeful creature. I can't help it - I was born that way. There is a reason that as a little girl I just wanted to grow up to be a rainbow. I've always been the type of person who sees the glass as 1/2 full, believes that new beginnings start in the next moment and thinks about not what is but rather what could be. The possibilities.

Which is why it is so hard feeling like something is constantly chipping away at my core. My hope. My possibilities. My testimony of God's love.

That something is called infertility.

This was our going to be our month. I just knew it! On Day 40 there could be no other answer and I let myself get excited. Of course, this happens every month which is why it is so devastating for me.

Poor Mr. Thompson has to keep picking up the pieces. I don't know why I let this happen month - after month - after month. Each time I commit to being a little better and trying a little harder to qualify myself... which unfortunately sets me up for the next month. You would think I'd learn! Yet, it's the same scenario x 36. With (unfortunately) the same outcome. As my sweet Mr. Thompson was wiping away my tears again this week he whispered, "You just can't help it honey. Hope is just who you are. It's one of the many reasons why I love you."

I guess you have to taste the bitter to enjoy the sweet. Colton taught me that. Someday, somehow that sweet will come. It might not be how I imagine it - but it will eventually come.

Until then, I better dig deep and find a way to be okay with it all.

Anyone have a shovel?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Why The Scottish Love Their Scotch!

If I was my neighbor...I would totally be cursing right now.

About music theory.

I paid Robert de Brus today for a bagpipe lesson in which he wouldn't even let me blow my pipe. He just went on...and on....and on....about how bagpipe music is quite simple from a theory standpoint.

Whatever!

He could have been speaking Swahili for all I know.

The shape of a note tells how long it has to be held?

Whatever.

Tell that to Carol White who tried for eight very patient years to teach me to play the piano. With taped fingers and a bad attitude I might add, because I much preferred playing basketball instead. (Those were the days I was aspiring to be a Harlem Globetrotter...)

Music must add up mathematically?

I guess Robert de Brus doesn't realize I went to Nampa High School, where nothing adds up mathematically.

Because in my school district the football coaches taught the math classes WITHOUT a teaching degree.

Obviously, that was before "no child left behind". In Nampa, there were a lot of children left behind.

I was one of them.

Not to mention that I'm probably the only person on the planet who was able to get a college degree WITHOUT taking one math class. Luckily, foreign language filled that requirement.

Except that, unfortunately, it didn't teach me the Swahili that I really need to know right now.

Well....on a positive note (no pun intended) I think I finally cracked the code on why the Scottish drink so much. I'm sure that those old Highlanders couldn't understand music theory either so they took up drinking to the point that it all made perfect sense.

That might be my next step.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Relationship Rejuvenator

We have a couples activity at the church tonight. It's called the "Relationship Rejuvenator". I like to think of it in terms of free therapy with a couples counselor. Confession: I've been looking forward to it for weeks and weeks.

Mr. Thompson....not so much.

On the way home from work he asked (yet again), "do we reeeeeeally have to go to that thing tonight at the church?"

In one word: "Yes."

His whiny reply, "wwwwwwhy?"

In one word: "Because."

"But I know exactly what they are going to tell us" he said....and so I finally struck a bargain because this is what he's been saying for weeks and weeks. If he could tell me everything that they were going to teach us, then we wouldn't have to go. But he had to tell me everything and he had to be convincing about it.

"Last night, when Noelle and Jason where here for dinner.....what would you have told them is the most important thing in a marriage?" (Hummmmm......I had to think about that.)

Communicate - communicate - communicate!

That answer wasn't good enough. Too "canned" he said. "Never go to bed mad?" (which was the advice I received at my bridal shower I believe). Nope - he wasn't going to settle for that standard answer either. So on and on and on I tried.

Nothing satisfied the man. So I gave up and asked him what he thought the most important thing in a marriage is.

Then he went off for 10 minutes about how you always have to remember the reasons why you fell in love. How you can't let it ever slip from the front of your mind....to the back of your mind (imagine him going wild with head gestures which totally had me enthralled). How you can't ever forget the reasons why you love that person and if you do - how you need to quickly get back in touch with those reasons. Because those basic reasons should never go away. On and on and on he went.

"So why did you fall in love with me" I innocently asked (or rather not-so-innocently because chicks like to hear these things. Frequently.)

"Well....because I knew that you were going to make me a better person of course. A much-much-much better person. And you have. Which I will never forget. Because I love you."

Which is why I am sitting here on my couch watching Iron Chef for the.... oh say - million time!.....instead of sitting in the chapel listening to the therapist give me a Relationship Rejuvenator.

Ain't love grand?

(Now if I can just get him to take that stress-test infertility questionnaire that I agreed we both would participate in....love would be really grand!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mr. Rodgers....Calling Mr. Rogers....!

Remember that note my brother wrote me when he was five? You know, the one with the frowny face which said..."it's okay to be mad but it is not okay to be mean".

Well I'm going to take a photo copy of that note and put it on my neighbor's door.

Actually, Mr. Thompson corrected me. It isn't our neighbor but rather someone who lives across the street in a townhouse.

But since our property sits on the back street and they are within yelling distance across the road (not to mention that I hear their little rat dog bark all day and night...) I consider the townhouses to be in the neighborhood (as opposed to of the neighborhood).

So here we were outside shoveling up dog "presents" in our 2x2 back yard because we live in "cluster homes" (That's my unofficial definition when your house sits on .10 of an acre). Picking up dog "presents" is a horrible task at best but to make matters worse Mia (chocolate lab #1) was trying to play Houdini to get out of the dog run.

Mr. Thompson corrected her behavior (and if you know Mr. Thompson and his dog you know that he loves her more than life itself).

When out of the blue up pipes the "neighbor" on the other side of the road from the townhouses. She yelled...

"Hey a$$hole...maybe I should come and beat your head in with a rock. (censor. censor. censor.)I'm going to call the humane society!".

We looked at each other and then Mr. Thompson told this person... he couldn't even see... his real thoughts.

It got ugly.

And I couldn't help but wonder when and why did people stopped being nice? When did they stop being neighborly? When did it become okay to not only be mad but outright mean?

I think it happened when Mr. Rodgers left PBS. I vote we bring him back because mean people suck.

Mean neighbors, who aren't really neighbors, suck even more.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

He Ain't Heavy - He's My Brother


You see this kid?

Well....I love him.

I first met him when my dad stood at the window of the hospital and proudly held him up for the seven little faces waiting anxiously below. We couldn't go in because it wasn't visiting hours and we had a lot of kid germs. Especially for a little baby who almost didn't make it.

When he was a toddler he used to bounce around everywhere. So we started calling him Tigger.

It stuck.

We still call him Tigger although he's stopped bouncing.

I know that we are not supposed to have favorites but I have a confession. He's my favorite. He's everyone's favorite.

Except when he is making me follow him out-of-bounds at ski resorts. Because he usually has to wait at the bottom while I give up and take my skis off to walk down.

When I get tired of walking waist-deep in snow I get really mad and put my skis back on. Usually he yells at me from below to hurry up and I yell back that I'm going to kill him. Then he starts laughing and yells that I have to catch him first.

So I try. Oh boy do I try.

One time we went skiing in June (#1 reason to love Utah...) but the skiing was bad so we decided to take "crash" pictures instead. Somehow I convinced him to jump head-first into a snow bank. Which he did, burying himself up to his waist. Then I sat and laughed while his little legs went back and forth - back and forth - with his skis flapping in the wind. I got some great photos and laughed and laughed until I realized that his legs were moving a lot faster in a frantic motion as he was trying to get out of the snow bank. So I pulled him out and saved his life. Unfortunately, he wasn't very grateful. He said that he wanted to kill me.

So I started laughing and said that he had to catch me first.

He did.

When he was little he sent me a note with a frowny face which said....."It is okay to be mad but it is not okay to be mean."

I think he was five.

I still have that note which I hope to give to his wife and kids someday. Except that he is 25 now and and has only been on one date. Yes, one lousy date. No proms. No homecomings. No nada. Because his four sisters made him deathly afraid of girls. Know anyone who isn't afraid of boys? I'm taking applications.

A little over 2 1/2 years ago he lost his boss and mentor. Joe was a great guy who worked very hard with Tigger to try and convince me to infiltrate the polygamist society as a sister-wife so they could collect the reward on Warren Jeffs. Tragically, Joe and his three sons died in a car accident before I could become that sister-wife. I worried a lot about my little brother during the days following the accident because he didn't cry.

Except when he went to the mountains.

But I wasn't supposed to know that.

When he came home again he helped carry the casket of his dear friend and I watched him with pride while my heart expanded.

Nine months later he carried another tiny little casket in his arms and I watched him with love while my heart expanded even more.

Because he's the J in Colton J. Like he's the J in Cody J.

Yes, I love this kid.

For everything that he is....and everything that he will become.

Except when it comes to out-of-bounds skiing...

And laughing at his sister when he really shouldn't...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Caring for Carleigh

Today's Memorial Monday story got me.

It will probably get to you too.

My Memory of D-Day by Caring for Carleigh walks you through the day she learned that her baby was missing most of her brain and skull (known as Anencephaly) found during a routine ultrasound. As she states, "it wasn't supposed to be like this, and yet, it was".

Pretty profound words when you think about them.

I don't know why the unexpected in life happens. Yet, it happens to us all. It's happened to me - it's happened to you. In her own words, you will certainly learn that it's happened for Caring for Carleigh too.

And yet, the unexpected teaches us that life is precious. Truly precious. So we must enjoy it and recognize the beauty - even when it lasts mere moments.

Especially when it lasts mere moments.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Make Peace Not War

I told my mom tonight that I want to be a Peacemaker.

She giggled at that. Out loud.

Hard.

Mr. Thompson heard the conversation and thought we were playing a game so he piped in with...

"B.S."

Which made my mom giggle harder.

She told him that wasn't how I came to earth... and he agreed telling her I still had that pot stirring stick in hand that I was born with...which made them both giggle more.

Sounds like I have my work cut out for me.

As a first step, I was going to start by conceding on this whole "100 peeps" bet, which (as you know) I have been taking very seriously...

It appears, however, that I didn't have to. Today when it came up in conversation, Mr. Thompson had no idea what I was talking about.

He's 40 now and has started making claims on becoming elderly so things like that are bound to start happening I guess.

Which will go a long way in helping me become a Peacemaker.

Friday, January 22, 2010

A Drop In The Ocean

Today, in the middle of my day I took a moment to pause and look around me.

I was amazed at what I saw.

I saw dedicated people who are working very hard for a common goal. The common goal of helping to save a life. The common goal of making someone in need's load a little lighter...a little better...a little easier to bear.

Sometimes on disaster assignments I have been mistakenly been called an angel. "An Angel of Mercy". If you know me, you know that I'm no angel.

But what I am is a Red Crosser.

A Red Crosser with open arms, a willing heart, and eager hands. Like so many of the good people working around me.

I usually don't watch major disaster unfold on TV. This is a first for me. Rather, I have the privilege...yes the privilege....of watching them unfold in front of me. As I witness this one in small glimpses from the sidelines, I am so ashamed to think that I have ever felt so tired, so discouraged, so helpless. Like what I was doing at times was just an insignificant drop in the ocean.

From this different vantage point, I think finally understand why I was called that angel. Why hugs healed and kindness strengthened. It wasn't me - never me - rather what I stood for.

Love.

Mother Teresa said it best, "We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop."

Just a drop. A very very important drop.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Post it Note Thursday (Rescheduled)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

In The News

I made Mr. Thompson laugh out loud today.

It wasn't a funny moment.

It was when I approached him (again) about adopting a child from Haiti.

I'm serious.

Dead serious.

To show him how serious - I am opening up comments as a petition of sorts.

Go ahead, sign your name and show your support.

***********************

While I was at it, I successfully ruined every chance of ever going to Haiti on disaster assignment.

I made the mistake of telling Mr. Thompson about the International Response Team member who got raped in a riot three days ago.

Stupid move on my part.

Good thing I've never gone so far as to tell him about what went down in New Orleans in the days which followed Katrina. Granted - it wasn't on that level (thankfully) but I learned that desperate people are capable of very desperate things.

Even for a drink of water.

*************************

Don't for a minute think that I have forgotten that "my lurkers" are still lurking without showing me some love.

FYI....Mr. Thompson hasn't forgotten about that bet which challenged my ability to get 100 people in "My Peeps" box. I can't break 38 followers but will not go down without a fight. Come on people - show me some love.

(Noelle, remember when your stuffed bears tried to hang themselves from the bunk bed in NYC? Well....they might do it again if you don't put out an appeal to your 75 peeps to help me out. I'm just sayin'......)

***********************

Mr Thompson surprised me for dinner the other night and took me to Tiburon Fine Dining. The blessed man spent $50 a plate on the best meal I have ever had and started a wonderful tradition of us not eating out anymore, except once every pay period, when we will try a new restaurant neither of us have been to before.

As we left he reminded me that he wasn't exactly setting the bar on how much I was supposed to spend on my pick next week.

Speaking of my picks - anyone have a recommendation? I want to rock his socks off.

***********************

Tomorrow I will successfully graduate from my two-year Red Cross leadership program. There are five of us graduating.

In theory I'm supposed to be a better leader.

In theory, I say.

************************

I posted a sign on my office door today which reads...."emotional baggage is limited to two checked and one carry-on".

That was after I posted a "paper voodoo" doll on one of my employee's walls which was a replica of a very mean man that we called today. I was wondering how this sponsor made this very professional woman cry....until we called him together and got jointly cursed out (from a church man none-the-less). My solution: a paper voodoo doll with little black pins sticking out of all the places I would like to hurt on his body.

I'm thinking that I better take down my door sign and her paper voodoo doll before the VIP tour of the National VPs who are in town for my graduation.

Leadership program indeed.

*************************

Don't forget to enter a comment as your signature to my Haitian adoption petition.

I'm serious.

Dead serious.

Become one of "My Peeps" while your at it and Noelle's bears won't get hurt.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chapter 4: A Whole Lot Of Love

Do you believe that the miracles of life are really miracles....or simply mere coincidences? Fate? The right alignment of the stars?

As for me, I believe in Divine intervention.

Which was exactly what I needed as they wheeled me out of the hospital two days after we lost Colton. I woke up that morning from a drug induced sleep thinking I had experienced a really bad dream... until my eyes adjusted and I realized it was all true as I saw my husband laying on that hospital cot. I cried harder waking up from that sleep than I have ever cried in my life.

Leaving the Maternity Ward later that day was a really hard experience. There I was with all of those mothers who were being wheeled down the elevator and out the doors with their precious little bundles cradled in their arms.

While my arms were empty.

So was my heart which is why I continued to cry the whole way home. Driving away from that hospital was painfully heartbreaking for Mr. Thompson and me.

Thank goodness we had a lot of tremendous support and love to lift us up. My father and my sister took care of everything. They met with the mortuary, worked with the funeral home, paid for the cemetery plot, picked out the casket and made all the necessary arrangements. My mom worked to finish crocheting Colton's blessing blanket and sewed his little white gown and cap for burial.

Burial.

I never in a million years thought that I would be preparing for that. But I was. And although we had the greatest support system that two people could ask for - my family couldn't do everything.

My sister sweetly gave me the information from the funeral home. Dressing him was a reverent and sacred experience that we both put a lot of thought, fasting and prayer into.

I decided that one thing we needed to do was find a little horse to put in his casket. It was something that I could center on and I became like a woman possessed the harder and harder it became. I needed to find a small stuffed horse. Not just any horse - the perfect horse. Not too big - not too small. Colors had to be just right. I swear I made Aaron take me to every ToysRUs, BabiesRUs, IHOP...and any other store I could think of that sold stuffed animals within a 50 mile radius. Nothing. After looking at our very last IHOP (crazy - I know).... I remember driving away and feeling like the last flickering flame in my soul had been extinguished.

I put my forehead on the cold window glass, closed my eyes and let my spirit just give up.

I don't know why it was so important to me but it was. In looking back, it doesn't make sense but at the time it felt vital. When I couldn't find what I needed, I felt defeated.

As a last, and I mean very last, resort I remembered seeing stuffed animals at the Deseret Book store by our work a few months prior. I said something to Aaron and with a little pat on my knee he silently turned the car around.

We found a small tower of stuffed animals in the children's section and started sorting. I knew exactly what I wanted so it didn't take long. I thought it was hopeless...

Until my hand made contact on the lowest shelf at the same time as my eyes. There it was. The perfect little horse. I whispered Aaron's name and he looked. Our eyes locked.

It was perfect.

For as long as I live I will never never never forget what it felt like looking looking for a tag and not finding anything. So we looked at the horse's label. Russ. Then we turned it over thinking there might be a price tag on the back....and there it was. The horse's name clearly written.

Colton.

You might think that was a great coincidence. One of the funny little ironies of life. So what that this store searched their records for 10 minutes and couldn't find evidence of it. Logical explanation determined that it was "accidentally" included into a shipment from Russ. No rhyme, no reason.

I however, know that it was something else entirely. It was heaven, it was love and it was hope.

It was Divine intervention.

and I felt it.

After we dressed and saw our little angel for the last time the funeral director told my sister with tears in his eyes that there was a whole lot of love in that tiny casket. He was right.

I felt that too.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Little More Romance, Please

If I wanted to make this a very funny blog I would tell you about all of our trips to the Fertility Clinic. Trust me when I say that it is every man's nightmare.

Including my own.

After our last visit Mr. Thompson swore that he was never never never going back. Well, it has taken me over six months... but I think that I have finally worn him down. So when I lose 10 more pounds we will have have one final shot at IVF (my goal - not my doctors. Already lost 7 pounds - yay me!).

But have I need to find a new clinic.

We don't feel very bonded to ours. Dare I say, I want to find a doctor/clinic which is a little less..."cold and sterile".....and a little more...."user-friendly and romantic"? Good luck to me! "Romance" isn't something that any fertility clinic promises. At least not any that I have found.

They are nothing like you envision from television. There are no magazines. There are no movies. There is no mood music, candles or low lighting. All you get is an ugly vinyl chair. A sink. Bright florescent lights. A knitting magazine left over from the Waiting Room... and a little door in the wall which leads to a lab tech who is anxiously waiting on the other side for your sample.

No wonder all women in the Waiting Room look nervous and hopeful while the men all look like they are lambs being led to slaughter.

Oh the things we do for love! Yes, this could be a really really funny blog if I let it.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Two Is Always Better Than One!

A shout out to Jaime who gave me my second blog award. Glad you thought of me. This one is a good one....


What makes me HaPpY!

  1. Mr. Thompson
  2. Giving hope to the hopeless
  3. A child's laughter
  4. Learning to play the bagpipe
  5. Nice people (cuz mean people suck!)
  6. A good word and more important - a good deed
  7. Four little ladies who have dark hair, dark eyes, and the last name Wilson
  8. Peter Cetera (after all...it IS still PC Appreciation Week!)
  9. Blogging....I love reading, posting, commenting, be-friending...and so on
  10. A really good book
  11. A clean and organized house
  12. Great friends - old and new
  13. Knowing that the surest way to have heaven in my home... is to have someone from my home in heaven

So sue me - I went over...but a lot of things make me happy. Happy is good.

And my nominees are....

  1. Rika (Does This Count As A Journal?)
  2. Holly (Pilgrim Villiage)
  3. C~ (My Life As I See It)
  4. Hermanita (T & C Muxy)
  5. Janae (Love Like There's No Tomorrow)
  6. Katie Jo (Just Me and The Cat)
  7. Brek (Life Our Way)
  8. Becky (The LeDuc Litter)
  9. Tom (That's Life)
  10. Razy (KrazyRazy)

What makes you HaPpY?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Baby Steps

I did it. Today I made baby steps back in the right direction.

Called up my friend the Emergency Services Director and told him that I'd teach disaster response classes again. Red Cross by day. Red Cross by night.

And I guess I better help the church with that CERT training the Bishop asked me about....

While I was at it, I went ahead and made myself available for the Haitian Relief Fund telethon which will run on Channel 2 tomorrow from 6am until 11pm. Make a pledge and you might get to talk to me. Red Cross by day. Red Cross by night.

Oh yeah - I also mentioned to Logan (my Emergency Services Director friend) that he can go ahead and dust off my paperwork with National. If they want me - they can have me. I'll let Disaster Services and Biomedical Services duke it out.

With Mr. Thompson's blessing.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Road Not Taken

I saw two bumper stickers on my way to work this morning that made me laugh.

The first one said,
Blame Canada! I thought that was funny. Really-really funny. Why? I'm not sure but it made me laugh out loud (which is always a good thing in my book).

The other said, I took the road less traveled by...and can't figure out where the HELL I'm at!

I've never been a fan of bumper stickers beyond morning commute entertainment but I gotta find that one.

I. Must. Have. It.


Because in some ways, it sums up my life right now.

If you know me, you know that five+ years ago I made a decision. A really big decision. Life altering. Go west young (wo)man...go west.

Some day I'll give you deep thoughts on all the reasons why, but for now suffice it to say that the root of the issue was that I was tired. Lonely and tired.

I had spent seven years running from disaster to disaster with the Red Cross. Three years committed to of 9/11 alone. Although I felt passionately about a job that I was really good at...I woke up one day and realized that I was alone.

And then I looked around me and realized that everyone else around me was alone too.

Not to mention dysfunctional.

I guess that when you live out of a suitcase in a very stressful job environment - relationships are bound to suffer. Mine certainly did. (Trust me - there is a reason why people in Emergency Services have high divorce rates!)

I didn't want that. So with this "wake up call" I decided to change my path. I committed "career suicide" and took the road less traveled, thinking that it would make all the difference.

In a way, it has. I have my Mr. Thompson who I wouldn't have had if I didn't make that decision. No regrets there. Nada. I also have nieces and nephews who know me and a family who adores me beyond one annual visit. No regrets there either.

Lately however, I've been thinking about this road I'm on. In a way, I'm like that bumper sticker. I took the road less traveled by....and I'm wondering where the hell I'm at. My friends and old co-workers are all on roads in Haiti right now. I'm more than a little envious. I haven't been on a disaster assignment since my two months of hell in New Orleans (Katrina). I'm ready to be taken out of "retirement" again.

Don't get me wrong, above all else I want to be a mom. If that was the trade-off there would be no decision. But at this point, there is no trade-off. So as long as that is my reality....I might as well make myself useful again.

This is hard for my Mr. Thompson because he worries. Perhaps I'll start inching in quietly and slowly. Think he'll notice?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In Honor Of All Things Great


I am the Queen of Sappy Love Songs.

So in honor of all things great (including my friend Rika), I hereby declare the remainder of this week as Peter Cetera Appreciation Week.

Because all things great usually involve a little Peter.

Who can forget dancing cheek-to-cheek with Danny Leavitt at Stake Dances when I was 14? I certainly can't. Peter was there.

Who can forget stealing my sister's Solitude Solitaire album and smuggling it into Girl's Camp where I would fall asleep with my headphones on under the stars thinking about my first celebrity crush? I certainly can't. Peter was there.

Who can forget countless dreams of being at concerts with Peter picking me out of a crowd and turning me into a rock star at the crook of his finger? I certainly can't. Peter was there.

Who can forget posters of Ralph Macchio dressed up as the Karate Kid hanging from my bedroom wall? I certainly can't. It was the Glory Of Love and Peter was there.

Who can forget candle light dinners to the Chicago's Greatest Hits? I certainly can't. Peter was there.

So on this night of Delilah Dedications I'm going to "Love Someone Tonight" and make a few dedications....


Dear Peter,

You're the meaning in my life
You're the inspiration
You bring feeling to my life
You're the inspiration
Wanna have you near me
I wanna have you hear me sayin'
No one needs you more than I need you
And I know, yes I know that it's plain to see
We're so in love when we're together
And I know that I need you here with me
Tonight until the end of time
You should know, everywhere I go
Always on my mind, in my heart
In my soul
You're the meaning in my life
You're the inspiration.

Love, Me



Dear Danny Leavitt,

Next Time I Fall In Love.... I won't wear so much hairspray. Just so you know, I now know that cheap hairspray doesn't smell very good. Especially in large quantities when you are dancing check to check.

Love, Me



Dear Rika,

After All.....that we've been through. I'll be Peter and you can be Cher. Cheers and I hope that you enjoy the playlist. From one fan to another - I have PC surprise coming your way! Stay tuned...

Love, Me


In honor of all things great - all things Peter - dedication lines are now open. Who is your Delilah Dedication going to? Go ahead - reach out and love someone...

Monday, January 11, 2010

We Are Not Alone - Memorial Monday

This week's Memorial Monday goes to Aunt Retty. I'm still trying to figure out how we are related but as I was reading this great book yesterday that my grandmother gave me on our family and ancestors...I stumbled upon Aunt Retty's story and it took my breath away. This experience had to happen sometime around 1915.

In her own words....

"I was home alone and the children were all in bed. I knew I was "coming sick" (labor) and wasn't sure if my husband Will would be home or not. So I prepared the kitchen table for the birth." She said, "I became anxious and uneasy, because I felt like something was not quite right, so I decided to go out and hitch up the horse and buggy in case I needed a doctor. It was very windy outside but I had never had any trouble hitching the horse before. But because of the wind and my condition, the horse could tell I was different, and I just could not get him to cooperate with me." She went into the house but the pain was getting greater. "I went back out to try again, and I was so mad at myself and the horse, that before I thought, I jumped on the horse bareback and hoped to make it to the doctor. I knew there was something wrong." It was a very difficult time for Retty. The horse ran away with her on his back when it began raining, but eventually the rain slowed and the horse returned to the house. She said, "I could barely make it in the house, the pain was so great. Somehow I did and as I lay on the table I delivered the baby by myself. I wasn't afraid to deliver alone because I had already delivered two of my children by myself. I just knew something was not right." Her granddaughter to whom she recited this story stated that "For as long as I live, I will never forget the look on my grandmother's face as she relived that experience". Retty said, "It was the hardest birth I had ever had." The baby girl was stillborn. She said, "I tied the cord just like I had done so many times before, and then I took that baby in my arms and I lay there and cried my heart out." But soon the morning light came and she knew she needed to prepared her baby for burial and help her children accept the loss of their new sister. A little girl after six boys must have been so hard for her to accept.

Wow.

Not long after our loss of Colton my sister reminded me of our many of sweet ancestors who had similar struggles to my own. She reminded me that I could endure this - because they could endure this - and that I will never be alone.

I think she was talking about Retty and my Grandma's sister, Fawn, who somehow endured nine misscarriages which ended with no adult children by birth.   As a child I remember my Aunt Fawn always looking so sad and now I understand why.  Oh how I wish that I would have been that little girl to run and throw my arms around her. 

Their stories strengthen and comfort me...and in a significant way, they remind me that I'm not the first woman on the planet to lay there and cry my heart out.

Neither are you.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

In the News

Last night I was reminded of an important lesson.

After leaving the office at almost 9:00pm I realized that I was hungry after 13 hours with only a piece of toast for breakfast. So despite all my weight loss efforts on
Three Friends...One Goal (click to check it out) I decided to stop at Apollo Burger for a bite. Mr. Thompson loves Apollo Burger because it's family run by a bunch of Greeks. So I pulled in, made my order and was welcomed at the window by a very nice young man.

Have you ever been startled because someone is so nice?

Well this kid was and it made me pause to notice.

It wasn't in a "what can I get you" ask-a-lot-of-questions kind of way. Rather, it was in a quiet dignity, pleasant and authentically nice kind of way. His eyes were kind. His smile was kind. His customer service was soft and kind. And it struck me.

So I did something that I usually don't do (unfortunately). When he came to the window to replace the coke that was really supposed to be a Dr. Pepper (kill me now - I know. It's the first soda I've had in months!)...I paid him a compliment.

"What is your name?", I asked.

"Allen", he softly replied.

"Allen, I want you to know that you have great customer service. You're very nice and I appreciate that", I said.

With a shy smile and a "thank you" he shut the window to help cook my order (it was a really slow night at Apollo Burger).

The older relative who was making my burger overheard me and turned with a smile. In a non-rushed way he cooked my burger with care and when it was done he took out the paper and wrapped it with more care than I do a Christmas package (if you know me I take gift wrapping very seriously!). He threw in an extra order of yummy homemade fries "just because".

When Allen returned to the window he opened it said in the most sincere kind of way, "That was really nice what you said to me. It made me feel really good. Thank you".

And off I drove with a reminder on a valuable life lesson.

It is important to be nice.

Because nice matters.

********************

Also in the news...

In honor of my chum Rika and all things great....next Tuesday is hereby designated as Peter Cetera Tuesday. So get ready with your Delilah Dedications because I'm going to make a post and a playlist that will rock your socks off.

Because that is how Peter would want it.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Life's Little Reminders

This is what my office looked like today:







Tuesday, January 5, 2010

You Scratch My Back...I'll Scratch Yours

Here's the deal.

I know you're reading this damn blog (pardon my French grandma. I didn't mean to curse since I know you are reading this thing too).

How do I know? My little Where My Peeps At map tells me. It tells me everything. According to it, I have lurkers in Bermuda (Mann?), London (Helen & Co.?), Connecticut, New Hampshire (what up Craig!), New York (miss everyone. I'll be back soon!), Florida (Jane - I haven't forgotten that you saved my life in high school and "Miss Miami" I'll be back on the next hurricane assignment, I swear!), Virginia (Hey Synderguaard!), Wisconsin (Jess - you owe me for the cemetery deal in college!) and a bunch of other places westward ho.

My map doesn't lie.

So while your reading, how about you help a girl get a little R.E.S.P.E.C.T. in the process. You know, that little thing that Aretha Franklin sings about.

I'm officially on an appeal. (Red Crossers - you get this so that's your call to action!)

Come one. Come all.

I need more followers in My Peeps box on the blog's right toolbar. By doing so, it will help me win a bet with Mr Thompson. It is a bet I need....I can...I MUST win...because I am very competative in nature.
But you already knew that. Good thing you also know that I'm a team player so rewards will come back to you.

The Bet: that I can't get 100 different people to read this stupid thing.

Oh yeah?

"Piece of cake!" I said.

Not so much a piece of cake I am learning.

So help me restore my faith in humanity and add yourself as a follower. Put your cute little mug in My Peeps box and all will be well.

As a reward, I'll tell you about the secret I was boasting about a few months ago....

It might get me in serious trouble but for you, I'm willing to risk it.

After all, you scratch my back...I'll scratch yours!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hello Again, Hello.

Do I sound ungrateful?

I think I sound ungrateful.

Oh great - when did I become that person?!

I've never been that person.

I've never even liked that person.

...The one who always wants what they don't have...

Not me.

No way.

Nuh uh.

But somewhere.... I think I started sounding like her.

The irony of my dirty little secret. Between the two of us (okay - 18 now thank you My Peeps) is that I was never the one who wanted marriage and children. The professional woman was the life for me, or so I thought. I remember not too many years ago being fresh off the plane from NYC sitting in my sister's kitchen in Idaho getting very...what's the word?....insightful?

Yes, insightful.

We were reflecting on the differences of our lives and my sis (who I adore by the way) told me that she always wanted to be a wife and mother, even from a young age. Me? Not so much. I remember wondering what that feeling felt like and if it was something that I would ever catch.

Like a seasonal cold.

Marriage didn't come until I was 33 because I happily held out as a matter of choice. I would have waited a lifetime and beyond for the right guy. I figured, it if came - it came. If it didn't - it didn't. I wasn't going to wait for someone else to make me happy.

And I didn't.

So when exactly did I start sounding like that person?

The ungrateful girl... who wants what they don't have... and is waiting for someone else to make her happy?

My guess is that it happened sometime after April 3, 2008.

New Years Resolution # 129: Goodbye Debbie Downer - Hello again, JaLae.

With or without a child, I'm not that person.

Never was.

Never will be.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

First Comes Love, Then Comes Marriage...

Congrats to Noelle and Jason on their engagement! All good things come to those who wait.

Trust me, I know.

********

Last night I was feeling a little nostalgic. I remember Mr. Thompson and I driving down the road during our dating years (okay - it wasn't years. months really...) talking about how many children we would like.

Three.

We both wanted three.

Hope is a very fragile thing... but I know that this is going to be our year. I can feel it in my bones.

All good things come to those who wait. Still.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Creme de la Creme 2009 Blog Award


Holy crap. I got a blog award. An honest to goodness blog award!

I feel like Sally Fields when she won her Oscar. "You like me...you really really like me!"

You like me so much that you made me #66 on the 2009 Creme de la Creme Awards. Not even my best ALI (adoption/loss/infertility) post in my humble opinion...but I'll take it. Click here to check it out.

Mr. Thompson is going to love this! He keeps giving me a hard time because I only have 13 friends in My Peeps box which is proof in his opinion that A) nobody is reading this thing and B) it's a waste of my time. (So if you like what you are reading at all...here's your subliminal message to add your cute little picture to My Peeps box and give me some validation. Matter of fact, go ahead and add your cute little face even if you don't like what you are reading... I need all the help I can get).
Thanks for liking me.

Just so you know, I like you too.

This Year...

Mend a quarrel. Seek out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss suspicion, and replace it with trust.
Write a love letter. Share some treasure.
Give a soft answer. Encourage youth.
Manifest your loyalty in word and deed.
Keep a promise. Find the time. Forgo a grudge.
Forgive an enemy. Listen. Examine your demands
on others. Think first of someone else. Appreciate.
Be kind; be gentle. Laugh a little. Laugh a little more.
Deserve confidence. Take up arms against malice.
Decry complacency. Express your gratitude. Have faith.
Welcome a stranger. Gladden the heart of a child.
Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth.
Speak your love. Speak it again.
Speak it still once again.
- Author unknown

Here's to a healthy and happy 2010! This is going to be our year.

Expect greatness.
 
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