Friday, July 20, 2012

What Dreams May Come

Confession:  Sometimes I have dreams of Colton and when I wake up...I just want to go back to sleep. 

Last night we were playing on a beach.  With buckets, shovels, sandcastles and pails of laughter.

It was glorious...oh so utterly, glorious....and as I was sitting in a four- hour disaster briefing later this afternoon, my mind kept wandering back to the beach where I wanted to return.

Good thoughts to move me forward.

Speaking of moving foward, I finally called for reinforcements on my IVF preparation plan.  My sister saw my S.O.S. so we went to sushi to formulate a plan..  A plan in which I am going to kick PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) in the butt. 

PCOS, if you haven't sort of hard to kick in the butt. 

Really hard actually.

But I'm going to do it and in doing so, will lose at least 20 pounds.

For a little help, I turned to my sis who was a nutritionist by trade in her prior-to-five-kids sort of life.   Since she is back down to a size 4, a mere two seconds after having a baby...I figure that she knows what she is talking about.  So I finally asked her for help.

As a result, and spinning class are my new best friends.  She is also making me kiss up to my treadmill and make aquaintance with callanetics and circuit training.


But the most exciting part is a project that she assigned.  My "Trigger Board".

Ever heard of that?  Yeah, I hadn't heard of it either...but I'm having a blast doing it!  Basically, she handed me a poster board, markers and a pile of magazines with the firm instruction that I needed to go back to 2nd grade art class and create a visual board (aka: collage) to keep me on track with my goals.

Something to put near my treadmill, on my refrigerator or near my non-existent candy remind me why I am doing, what I'm doing.

I'm liking this project so much that one board has actually became two.  One depicts all the reasons that I DON'T want to be fat.  The other depicts all of the reasons that I DO want to be healthy!

Let me tell you people - I've been working on these boards for a week now and they are going to be masterpieces.  I think that she thought I would just shlap a few pictures on a poster board and call it good...but I'm going way beyond that.

Works of art, I say.

And every time Mr. Thompson sees me working on it he scratches his head.  For the life of him he can't understand why I am putting pictures of needles, cemeteries and stroke victims on a big piece of paper...with a 95 year old woman water skiing on the other.

Keeps him guessing.  Just the way I like it...

(I did a similar thing when I was pregnant and oh-so sick with morning sickness. I would barf my entire guts out to the point of death...and then look up only to see a cute pair of baby booties which I put on the back of the toilet to remind me why laying over a toilet for the better part of the afternoon was worth it  To this day, Mr. Thompson still wonders why we had baby booties "decorations" in all of our bathrooms at one point in our marriage....)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What Love Is

I have the best family. Ever.

Case in point:

Last Saturday, my little sister asked me to baby-sit my four nephews and newest baby niece, Lilie, while she and my brother-in-law went to the hospital to see his sister who just gave birth to Lilie's cousin. I happily obliged because I couldn't think of a better way to spend the afternoon than holding little Lilie.

Four hours with five kids under the age of eight (including a newborn) and my sister officially became my #1 hero.

But what really tipped the scales was when she got home and sat me down for a serious chat. Four years, three months, 15 days, two hours and 39 seconds ago...she finally made it back to the same hospital where she met Colton.  When they were loading me up into the ambulance on that night so long ago, I think my final words to Mr. Thompson were, "call my sister - she'll know what to do."

He did. 

And I was right - she knew exactly what to do.

To this day, if you ask her what happened when she walked into the labor/delivery room where they were keeping us, she will start to cry.  And in the four years, three months, 15 days, two hours and 39 seconds that I have needed reassurance...she has always testified to me with a strong assurity that what she felt when she walked in that room was real. 


Anyway, Saturday took her back to the same hospital.  And as she was leaving she saw a woman waiting at the door in a wheelchair whose arms were empty.  As other mothers milled about with balloons, flowers, and babies...that woman sitting sad and alone in her grief reminded my sister...

of me.

She watched the woman's husband help her into their car and drive away and it broke her heart all over again. What followed was a pretty serious discussion between her and my brother-in-law on the way home.

They weren't in the door 10 seconds before they sat me down and told me that my sister would be a gestational carrier for us if we ever wanted to go that route. I laughed her off before I realized how serious she was...

But Mr. Thompson didn't. He cried.

(Because my family is just that great!)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Starry, Starry Night

I have a piece of art in my bedroom that reads, "When life gets to hard to stand...kneel".

I agree with that but I would like to add, "and when your knees get tired from all of the kneeling, go and lay in a hammock".

Which is where you will find me tonight enjoying a beautiful moon. Blessed relief.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers for my mom. It was a tough week but she is doing amazingly well. Unbeknownst to us, it started with some mini-strokes last Saturday which didn't stop the determined (dare I say stubborn) woman from getting in a car and traveling 7 hours to see her 27th grandchild's baby blessing last Sunday.

After working 40-hours straight I seriously contemplated not attending church with my family, but I'm so glad that I did. The baby blessing was beautiful and it was after that, when my mom got up to leave in the middle of the church service, when I realized something wasn't quite right. She was having a hard time walking so I helped her out and I'm so glad I did!

It was a very scary experience. Luckily there was a doctor present and although she wasn't at home, we were able to get her transported to one of the top ten stroke centers in the nation very quickly. (right place - right time - right doctors. Kudos for being stubborn in the end!)

She has partial paralysis and will have to learn a lot all over again but I'm so grateful that surgery went well and she is still alive.

We are blessed.

This experience has made Mr. Thompson and I really think a lot about the thing that matters most to us - our family. As we laid in bed last night snuggling and talking about it until 4:00am this morning, I realized in a different way how sacred motherhood really is.

I've always considered myself a daddy's girl but when I really think about it, it is my other who has taught me everything I know. When I look at Mr. Thompson's experience, which is quite opposite from my own, my heart weeps for all that he's lost in a mother that never was. I don't think that I realized the magnitude of that impact until we discussed the blessings and significance of my own mother last night.

How thankful I am that God gave us more time to be with her.

More time for me to appreciate and continue to grow into the kind of mother she has always tried to teach me to be. More time to model her good qualities and what I cherish the most.

We met with Dr. H two weeks ago and in 5 1/2 months we will go through another round of IVF. We discussed treatment and our preparation has begun. If that doesn't work then we will pursue adoption. I've been quietly letting these decisions rest in the back of my mind since we met with Dr. H... and this last week with my mom has helped me know that it is the right decision for us.

Once again, it's a motherhood thing.

(And may mine continue to be as determined to see the 28th grandchild as she was to see the 27th. Yay mom!)

Partly Cloudy With A Chance of Rain

First things, first. I have the best friends. Ever.

Thank you for the sweet comments on the last post and for a great friendship behind them. Noelle over at Because Nice Matters is not only a dear friend, but my personal hero. She is very special to me and if you read her story, you will understand why.

She also warned me that she may hijack Viva la Vida again in the future. I can't wait!

Second things, second. Thank you for your kind words and prayers. (I write this as "Breaking News" just came over the tele. Another wildfire which makes 9 actively burning in my state. We go up - we go down. This makes 439 year-to-date with 394 human-caused)... More evacuations. More damage. More work.

It is going to be a long summer. And yes, I still love my job (Emergency Services Director for those who wonder). If you would have asked me that question on Saturday night after working 40 hours straight on a fireline in my own part of town, I would have paused to fall asleep. But when I woke up I would have still said yes, I love my job.

Highest compliment ever paid to me came last week on a fire which evacuated a lot of people and burned a lot of homes (56). It came from a trusted partner who said that I was "a round peg in a round hole", and "genetically wired" to do this work. He almost brought me to tears as he told me that I was good at my job.

For me, it's about love.

Which in the end is why I'm not at work right now. Or even thinking about work right now.

Instead I am sitting in a hospital room with my mom. Who had a stroke. On Sunday. As I was sitting next to her in church. After I took a few hours off to attend my sister's baby-blessing.

**deep sigh**

I didn't thnk I could get anymore tired but I was wrong. But it's going to be okay because although she isn't at home, she happened to have it near a hospital which is one of the top ten stroke centers in the nation. She has some of the best doctors and in an hour they will perform the same surgery which debilitated my grandmother after her stroke. I am nervous and I am scared - but I am hopeful.

All of my siblings are with me. The Marine came home - New Hampshire arrived - Idaho traveled south. And in the words of my dad, "all will be well".

"After all," he said with a wink "there is a 20% chance of rain on Thursday".