A Season of Beauty, Growth and Meaning

Simple things delight. An example would be drinking a steaming cup of coffee mixed with just the right amount of half-and-half and sugar. When combined with some quiet minutes to write a blog post or journal entry that simple joy is made even grander. Add the bonus of watching the brilliant sun dazzle against a clear, blue morning sky; and grander morphs into a forward-thinking mindset about what the rest of the day will bring. Possibilities are infinite; nothing is untouchable.

One week ago, I struggled to overcome my first sinus infection. Today, I am nearly recovered and am able to keep pace with my spirited family, which includes my daughter, Issa (9) and my son, Riff (5). Until this illness, I was able to perform daily tasks independently — without outside aid. The sinus infection taught me it’s okay to ask for — or even demand — help when it’s physically impossible. My body was telling me what it needed to function at its best. I listened. The result: acknowledgement that help is available. One just needs to ask for it; and one needs to be clear about what is needed.

Spring arrived early near the “D”. My daffodils bloomed nearly one month ago and treated me to a brilliant display of cheery yellow until last week. Along with the arrival of so many natural wonders this season, my daughter, Issa, is making her First Communion in three weeks. Since January, we have been studying and preparing for this significant milestone. This opportunity to watch and guide Issa in her spiritual development was a journey rich with reflection, self-exploration and discovery. I am proud of her willingness to learn more about God, Jesus and living as a disciple.

On Thursday I will have my blogroll updated to give you easier access to all the wonderful writers and thinkers I have the pleasure of reading. Their wisdom and willingness to share their perspective with myself and others is a true gift.

Have a great Tuesday wherever you are.

Nine Years Ago

Nine years ago, I waited. The medicine the doctor gave to induce labor had started to work. I was told, it could take hours or even days before I would meet my baby. I was about to become a mom for the first time.

Up until the previous day, my pregnancy had been a breeze. I felt good, could eat anything and still maintained a fairly active lifestyle. But, at 38 weeks and at my weekly OB check, my blood pressure was way up and there was protein in my urine. My doctor directed me to the hospital. While I felt a slight twinge of fear, I was optimistic. Surely, the hospital staff would check me out and send me home.

Upon my arrival at the mom/baby unit at the hospital, a nurse promptly informed me of my situation. I had developed pregnancy-induced hypertension (i.e. pre-eclampsia or toxemia). Symptoms included high blood pressure, protein in urine and swelling due to water/fluid retention. I would not be leaving the hospital until after I delivered my baby.

While my ordeal with toxemia was scary, my husband who also served as my delivery coach, kept worry out of my mind. He helped me focus on breathing through labor pains, staying still while receiving the epidural, and enjoying the first few moments of my daughter’s life.

When I delivered my beautiful, baby girl, Issa, she was incredibly sweet, just like she is today. I was thrilled to be mom to this little angel who continues to  grow into a smart young lady who loves her family, friends, planet, snakes, roller coasters and the solar system.

Recovery from toxemia took longer than I expected. I suppose I really didn’t appreciate how sick I was. Prior to this experience, the only illnesses I ever experienced were brushes with common ailments such as the flu. This experience taught me to count my blessings: family, health, faith, and a positive outlook.

Isn’t it interesting how the birth of a child can teach us so much about ourselves and about the world?

Happy Birthday to my Issa!

365: Weekends and Sick Days

Fever-Ravaged Weekend

It all started on Friday with Riff. He took the day off from school to battle a bad cough, runny nose and his newly-organized closet. Riff is not the easiest patient because he refuses to nap when he feels yucky. This translates into cranky, wrecking-ball-like behavior. Hence, the closet I spent cleaning last week, now looks like the Tasmanian Devil ripped a good one in there.

After running all over the place with me, Saturday, Issa started showing signs of illness. I pulled out the thermometer. 102.7 degrees. Go figure. I had just made reservations for she and Riff to hunt Easter eggs at our local nature center on Sunday afternoon. Admittedly, Issa’s quick turn for the couch and her favorite movies blindsided me. Earlier, she performed her gymnastics routines with zeal and enjoyed reading about the solar system during a visit to the library.

In addition to the egg hunt, our fun-packed Sunday plans had included dinner with my parents. It was sad to postpone this date because Grandma and Grandpa have been in Florida since the end of February.

Sick Monday Giggles

Hot temperatures were not exactly raging outside our home. In fact, we received about two inches of wet snow. But, inside, Issa’s fever spiked along with her interest in procuring a metal detector.

While eating lunch, Issa was watching Journey to the Edge of the Universe. A metal detector advertisement comes on and prompts Issa to ask if I want one. I tell her no. Issa then says she’ll need to figure out how to get one. In other words, a plan is in the works for attempted parental manipulation. I can see it now. The rush is on to unearth the riches of beer cans and bottle caps at Stoney Creek Metro Park this summer.

Defiance Test Review

The “professor” evaluated my solution for problem #3 on that Defiance Test I am taking. So far, it looks like a viable solution. Issa came home with two days of “good” behavior reports from her teacher. I know my husband and I have more problems to solve on this test. But, at least, we earned a break and can move forward to the next problem.

Thoughts About People and Connections

Impress upon me your image, your words, your intelligence, your sense of humor, your touch, your lips, your love.

I believe people come into our lives for a purpose. Sometimes that purpose is for a lifetime, a single-serving encounter, or a mere flash to our senses.

On Saturday, after completing a Zumba workout at my local dance studio, a classmate and I decided to cool off with a two-mile walk on the Clinton-Macomb trail. Access to the trail, was just across the street from the dance studio.

As we walked, the two of us conversed about children, parents, death, illness, coping with adversity, prayer, pets and cleaning out household clutter. Anyone listening would have thought we had known each other for decades. Despite our brief acquaintance, all conversations touched on such a deep level. I made myself stop and really listen to the significance of the words being exchanged.

With some people, it takes a lifetime to truly understand their connection with us. With others, it takes an addiction to Zumba and a two-mile cool-off.