Thursday, October 30, 2008

Christmas- another reason I am not totally frugal

I know, it's still technically October, why the heck am I talking about Christmas!

Well, because I just read something that disturbed me. I read about a family who, in the name of frugality is planning to do a "gently used" Christmas theme this year.

Ok. When I was a kid we were dirt poor. Shit, most months we couldn't even afford dirt. We lived on the amount of cash most people spend on starbucks in a month. A lot of my frugality has come from this upbringing. And I think I learned some wonderful lessons only poverty can teach a person.

As a kid there were a lot of things I simply could not have because there was no feasible way to buy them and still keep food on the table. But the one thing I could look forward to every single year was Christmas. I started fantasizing about Christmas around about July every year, and when the Sears Wishbook would come out my sister and I would spend hours carefully marking our initials next to every wonderful toy we hoped we would get.

The one thing my mother always made sure of was that although she couldn't buy us designer jeans for our first day of school or take us to Disney land in the summer she always did everything in her power to make sure that when we woke on Christmas morning there were a plethora of carefully wrapped gifts under the tree, lik a picture straight out of a magazine. Hours were spent carefully opening each gift and finding toys that we had been wishing for all year. We would wait patiently while my mom carefully removed barbie accesories from the packages. One for me, one for my sister. We called our friends and cousins and exchanged excited lists of what "santa" had brought us.

There is something to be said about getting things that were carefully purchased for you. I can't imagine the same thrill coming from a gift that was bought simply because it was a good deal at a garage sale, something someone had their fill of and tossed in the quarter bin.

I myself find a great sense of enjoyment in carefully listening to my kids' subtle hints and making my shopping lists. My husband and I have a wonderful time in the stores purchasing the perfect gifts for each child. Watching them open their own brand new toys they have waited for on Christmas morning brings us such immense joy it's indescribable.

I do think this country is far too commercialized. Products are overpriced and over advertised. I think making statements in your actions by being frugal are important. And I definitely think that children need to learn the value of a dollar. But there is something to be said for watching a child open that gift they wished for all year long but never dared to hope they'd get.

I choose to protect the magic of Christmas that only comes once a year. Let kids be kids and enjoy that one day, without worry. Knowing they meant enough to sacrifice your hard earned money on. Looking back I don't know how my mom did it, but the fact that she did, the sacrifice she must have faced to give us that special day....... brings tears to my eyes.

Because I like pictures

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

And to think 20 years ago...

How far medicine has come. 20 years ago, heck probably 10 years ago we'd be having a funeral now.

Last Friday one of my mom and her "significant other" for lack of a better term lost one of their new, $500 + Angus calves. The thing went psycho and busted through both the electric and the barbed wire fences and off it went. They spent hours that night looking for it, to no avail. The next day George noticed he was tired but didn't think much of it.

Wednesday night as I was working in urgent care my friend called me and told me that my mom had been trying to get ahold of me. My cell phone was in the car so I asked her to call my mom back and tell her to call me at the hospital. It turns out George had been not feeling well at work and went home and was now sweating and having chest pain. I told my mom to call 911 and a bit later the ambulance arrived at our hospital.

I finished up my paperwork and went up to ED where I overheard the doctor talking about a helicopter. OMG........ I was right, he was having a heart attack

They flew him to an acute care hospital and about 40 minutes from the time he was in the ambulance he was in the cardia cath lab having his main coronary artery, which was 100% occluded, cleared.

He went home Saturday....

How amazing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What is faith

My faith is being tested in a huge way lately. It isn't due to an incident in particular, I just find myself once again questioning my faith. With the heartache that we have endured it has become increasingly difficult lately for me to beleive that a fair, just god exists. I am struggling to understand why such a God allows the things to happen that have happened to us, to those around us, and to the many people we don't even know who walk the same path of torturous grief we have and do. I struggle to understand how the God the bible tells us about can sit back and allow the things that go on in the world to occur, day after day.

I grew up in church learning about God as a peaceful protector who accepts us and our faults and guides us as we travel through this life. But to be honest, I don't feel I've seen a whole lot of that God. Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for my family, for my home, and the things we DON'T struggle for, but so many others do... and that I can't comprehend. I guess I'm just finding it increasingly difficult to put blind faith into a God who it seems has abandoned me when I've needed him the most.

I don't expect that life will always grant me what I ask for. I know it doesn't work that way. I understand that life's lessons are just that, and without struggle a person can't fully learn and accept.

I use to consider myself Pagan. Not Wiccan, Pagan. No voodoo or spells or any of that but a wonderful appreciation for the world around us and what it provides us. I have always beleived in reincarnation and evolution, beliefs that have left me confused with what I was taught about God and Christianity.

I just don't know if I'm cut out to blindly beleive that there is a man in the sky making all the decisions for my life and the lives around us. I know, free will and all that jazz but in the end, really if Christianity is correct, at least the way I've been taught it.... we don't have much free will at all.

I also have trouble with the ideal that the mistakes we make in life's lessons ultimately dictate whether we spend eternity in a place of wonderful enlightenment, or in a place of dispair. I have trouble with the notion that there's some terrifying ex-angel who lives on misery in a place of fire and terror. I have trouble with not being able to truly learn from my experience for fear of whether or not the guy aloft will deem me unfit for heaven and cast me into the depths of hell.

You know what I have trouble with the most? I have trouble understanding why this all powerful wonderful being would take my child and the children of others and keep them in heaven away from us by choice. Face it, God can do anything God wants. The other day the kids and I were watching Pet Sematary (I know, bad mother of the year award!) and the part came on where the little girl asks "Daddy? God could bring Gage back if he WANTED to, can I have faith in THAT"? And it made me think. Yes, by all accounts God could do that. This just and fair and loving God that we devote our lives to COULD, for all accounts end much of the suffering here on earth should he choose to. But he doesn't. He doesn't EVER do that. Even when we do everything we can to follow him and have faith in him and love him. He doesn't take what would be such simple steps for him and stop our misery.

He doesn't. And I'm not sure he can, because I'm not sure he exists. Maybe we beleive because we are afraid that if we have nothing to beleive in we will have to face that death might really be the end. We have to face the thought that there may not be a heaven with streets paved in gold waiting for us at the end of all of this. We might have to face the fact that WE are the only people who decide where our lives go and what turns we will take.

And maybe that's just too much responsibility for us to take.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Walk to remember

Saturday we kicked off the OB bereavement group at our hospital with the first annual Walk to remember. There was a really good turn out! We walked the beautiful path behind the college and let leaves go in the river as a symbolic gesture to letting go of some of our pain. The kids had a great time rolling down the hill before it started. Sadly I forgot my camera (I know!) so didn't get any pictures of the day. Our first OB bereavement support meeting for anyone who has lost a baby in pregnancy or infancy is November 12th at 7pm if anyone is in the area and would like to attend let me know!

I was feeling kind of sad because the bereavement groups will be on the same nights as my prenatal class so I talked to Tracy about it and, the angel that she is, had already been thinking about a solution to that! So it looks like I'll still be able to do both! Woohoo!

A friend of mine is in the process of building a house with Habitat for Humanity, and is blogging the experience in pictures, if you'd like to show your support (and see some pics of some really cute kids helping) check her out!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

vacation pics ----- number somethin

Be sure to look at the 10 or so posts before this for ALL our vacation pics (I'm a little camera happy, sorry!) Click on any picture for a larger version!

Vacation pics part --umm i lost count

vacation pics part 8

vacation pics part 7

Vacation pics part 6