Thursday, March 25, 2010

Grieving is an Odd Thing...

I'm a little weird in a lot of ways. There's no denying it.

I'm especially strange when it comes to death and grieving. Funerals seem weird to me. Visitations/viewings even weirder. The luncheons afterwards make no sense to me at all.

I never know what to say...or where to stand. I never get in line to view the body in the casket, because for those funerals that I have actually gotten in line, that's the first vision that pops into my head whenever the persons name is mentioned.

I've heard people say, how "good" the person looks, as in kudos to the funeral home. I always think to myself, really?!? We make dead people try to look "good" so that we can view them and say goodbye? I don't get it. Needless to say, there will not be an open viewing at my funeral someday...I've put it in legal writing ;) Although, I told my mom she could peek, because she's on the side that finds comfort in the funeral process.

And, as you can see from the above statement, I don't find it hard to think about my own death, or to even joke about it. Several years ago when we sat down with our lawyer to make out a will, I remember him saying how he knew it was uncomfortable to think about such things...and I thought to myself how I didn't find it uncomfortable at all. Weird-o.

I know, to the vast majority of people, all the things I find strange...they in fact, find very, very comforting. I'm not trying to dismiss the importance, or be insensitive...I'm just sharing my weirdness.

Up until yesterday, I'd really never experienced any close family members dying. I've watched people I love, lose loved ones...but never anyone in close relation to me. I've reasoned over the years that maybe that was why I didn't get it. That maybe someday, when I was on the other side, I would understand the process better.

I received a call from my dad yesterday afternoon letting me know that my grandma had passed away. I had no emotional reaction. No visible one anyway. Her death hit my dad and other normal people as unexpected. Yet, in my head, death is always expected for older people. There was no shock, just logic.

Ben called later on to see how I was doing. I said fine, and then asked him how his day was going, just like I do every time I talk to him. Afterwards, I said to him, "I'm weird, aren't I." And he lovingly said, "Yes, yes you are..."

I spent the rest of the evening pondering my lack of reaction, and I learned something about myself. Four years ago, my grandma suffered a major stroke. When my dad called with that phone call, I think it sent me to my knees. That I found unexpected. There were times during that hospital stay, that I was certain she would not survive. It was gut wrenching. I prepared myself to let go.

My grandma and I had always had a good relationship. She was smart and witty, and I always enjoyed chatting with her about current events and politics. I knew she was proud of who I was. She miraculously survived that massive stroke, physically. I remember everyone being so thankful that she had survived. And I was too...yet the woman that remained was now different. Stuck in a body that would not cooperate with speech. And I grieved because I missed who she was.
I grieved more then, than I do today. I guess in a way, I'd already let go. And really, isn't that what grief really is, the process of dealing with letting go. I know everyone grieves differently...yet I see flaws in the way I dealt with my grief since the stroke...I let go too soon...because it hurt less that way.

I'm a work in progress...until the day God has destined for me to meet Him, I just have to continue seeking after Him. And today, my grieving takes the form of a smile, as I think of my grandma in Heaven, with a perfect body and mind...no more frustrations, no more pain...and most certainly drinking a warm Coke (which I always pretended to like, for her sake, but in Heaven...my Coke is gonna be ice cold ;)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lately...

Life in the parsonage...lately:

  • Last Thursday night, Julie's friend Audhild flew in from Norway. She is here visiting for 2 weeks. The school here will only allow her to visit classes with Julie for one day, so she gets to hang out with me and the kiddos during the day. God bless her. She's quite nice to have around. The boys adore her (she'll draw a picture of anything they ask) and she's finishing up my knitting project for me. :) Oh, and she knitted the most adorable Norwegian sweater for the baby. I need to take a picture of it...I need to take a picture of anything...I've gotten lazy. But...
  • I found out today at my Dr. appointment that they are going to induce me 4 weeks from TODAY! YAY! Call me crazy, but I'm all in favor of being induced. I've done it both ways...and induction works best for me. That being said, now watch I'll go into labor on my own...I tend to end up eating my words often.
  • I think April is going to be a beautiful time of the year to have a baby. Something about Spring...
  • We are starting a new ladies Bible study on the book of Ruth. I've loved the first week. I've also been using my hubby's commentaries to read up on the book of Ruth. This short little book of the Bible has piqued my interest. Ben printed off a sermon series that John Piper did on Ruth, and I loved what he said,
"One of the main messages of this little book is that God is at work in the worst of times. Even through the sins of His people He can lead and He does plot for their glory. It was true at the national level. And we will see that it is true at the personal, family level, too. God is at work in the worst of times. When you think He is farthest from you, or has even turned against you, the truth is that He is laying foundation stones of greater happiness in your life."

  • Which was also a good reminder for me, and my politically conservative self, after hearing of the health care bill (that I loathe) passing. God is still at work. And He is far greater than big government...and socialism.
  • A sweet little girl in Jake's preschool class looked at me today and innocently asked, "How'd your belly get so big?" I told her there was a baby in there. She looked skeptical.
  • Ben and I are working our way through season 6 of 24. We're also watching the current season on TV. You should hear our conversations, trying to keep the seasons separated in our heads. Tricky stuff.
  • You know what else is tricky? Two teenage girls, 3 boys, one husband, and a 9 month pregnant lady all in the the same house with only one bathroom.
  • Well, I'm off to eat. Audhild is making Norwegian pancakes for lunch. I KNOW! I'll take pictures...I swear.

Friday, March 19, 2010

In Need of Adjusting...

We're on spring break here...which pretty much means life as normal, except we get to stay up later and sleep in a bit later too.

Exciting stuff.

I've been battling my attitude lately, thus the absence of blog posts. Every time I sat down to do a post, it ended up being kinda crabby...and really, does the internet need more crabby? I think not.

Last night I woke up with a song in my head...the kind that just won't leave. It's a song we used to sing at the church where I first met Jesus in a real way. It's pretty much this Bible verse:

This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
(Psalm 118:24)

I generally like to apply this verse to days that are grand. Days that involve things I like. People I like. Activities I like.

And the other days...eh, not so much. They're just days. Days I survive, but definitely don't rejoice in. This verse last night, reminded me that no matter what my day holds. No matter how boring the activity or annoying the people *smile* God has ordained that day for me. His plan is not for me to merely get through it, but to be glad in it. Whatever it holds, He has planned and prepared for me to encounter it.

If only my attitude would stay permanently adjusted...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I Am That Dude...

A blogger friend, Mama Belle posted this video the other day. I'll admit, I almost never watch a video on blogs because, well, that would take time. But she mentioned this one was only 1 minute, so I took the plunge.



I watched it. And I had an epiphany...of sorts..

I am that cartoon dude. His logic makes complete sense to me. You don't have to watch the video...but if you do, THAT is what I look like during the day.

I thought I was only a "rare-only-on-certain-occasions" procrastinator. Not true.

I viewed procrastinators as not getting anything done or completely done until the last minute. And I get all kinds of stuff done. All kinds of stuff that I don't really need to do in order to avoid that which I do need to do. It can even be something that I ENJOY doing, I'll still likely put it off with other busyness.

For example, I really need to paint the trim-thingy in the bathroom TODAY. Yet I think it will be easier to paint the trim if I first clean up the kitchen and throw a load of laundry in. But I should finish making the scotcharoo bars because then I can do the dishes all at once. And then I'm distracted by the bars...which go great with coffee...which go great with writing a blog post. And here I sit. No laundry going. Pans in the sink. No paint in sight.

I did, however, consume the coffee and chocolatey/peanutbuttery bar of goodness.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's Magic

I'm a smells person. Good or bad, I'll be able to smell it.

Starbucks = good
My hair after I've colored it = bad
New paint = good
Odie = bad. Very bad.
Rain and mud = good
Fresh cut grass = close to heavenly.
Babies = Best

The list could go on forever.

One of my all time favorites I've recently stockpiled:

I just can't get enough of it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Because I'm Human...

I have to tell you, your comments yesterday completely brought a smile to my face.

After I read my own list, and before hitting publish, I thought to myself...wow, pretty pathetic. And smiled. And then after reading your comments I smiled some more, because the truth of it is, most of the stuff that annoys us is also stuff we love dearly.

Because being annoyed occasionally, is not being ungrateful. It's being human. So a big thanks to all of you for sharing in my humaness.

Ok, couple of things:
  1. I had mentioned the other day that I would share with you the story of a girl calling our house. But, upon further thought, I decided that my son would rather me not share it. I will say, that the next day at school the teacher ended up telling (some) of the girls in the class that they needed to stop telling the boys they "loved" them...that the boys didn't want to be loved by them till Junior High or so. She said all of the boys looked relieved. :) In the mean time, I will be working much harder to perfect my scariness so that any and all girls decide my cute son is just not worth dealing with his mom.
  2. Cute, cheap shoes from Target:


Happiness.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Annoyed

I can't seem to shake that annoyed feeling. Little things, big things, frankly it doesn't matter, it's likely to annoy me right about now.

I'd like to blame it on my hormones. Or the weather. But likely it's just my attitude...my outlook...my perspective. It's skewed, I know that. Yet, for today, it's not stopping me from basking in my annoyedness.

Aren't you glad you stopped by?

Things That Annoy Me for Today:
  • Feeling huge. Uncomfortable. The fact that I had to take my wedding ring off because it was just uncomfortable on my sausage-looking hands.
  • Doing routine house-work is now a daunting task with this figure.
  • And speaking of "figure"...I went to Target the other day and I am not even kidding when I tell you that everyone stared at my belly as I walked by. I wanted to say to each. and. every. one. HAVEN'T YOU SEEN A PREGNANT LADY BEFORE?!?!? SHEEESH.
  • The feeling that I'm trapped in someones else's body.
  • People in my household not picking up after themselves...and certainly not lifting a finger to pick up anything left by someone else. Heaven forbid.
  • Commercials.
  • Filing taxes. Mainly, paying in more money to the state of Iowa. Very annoying.
  • Whining. Crying. Ironic, no?
Oh, I have plenty of stuff that is not annoying me. An abundance of stuff I'm thankful for...and love desperately.

But some stuff....grrrrrr.

And one more thing...don't go leaving me a comment telling me how sorry you are that I am so annoyed. Then I will be forced to be annoyed with your comment. *wink* Instead, let's share things that are currently annoying you. Because isn't there a Bible verse about being annoyed with those who are annoyed? Or something like that... *cough*

Post written while inserting-tongue-into-cheek

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

She's Pretty Cute...


I have a sweet new niece! Born on Monday, March 1st. Meet Maiah Alexandra. She joins big sister Maddy...they are just precious. I have more pictures to come...


In the mean time, I still look like this: 32 weeks and some odd days.

Again with the stripes...seriously, I have a problem.

When I went to the hospital to visit my sister and new niece, the man at the reception desk asked me if I was there for a tour of the maternity ward.

I have some more stories for you (like how my 2nd grader received a call from a girl yesterday, and how happy *insert gagging* that made me. He was equally disgusted. I'll share tomorrow...) but Jake and I are heading to Target and Starbucks. Target and Starbucks trump blogging. Obviously.