Thursday, November 27, 2008

I watched the sun rise this morning, from the gradual lessening of the darkness to full daylight. Kids, cats and husband were all asleep. It was me, the sun and God.

As I watched the changing sky, I finally let out some of the grief I've been holding in, let my gratitude overwhelm me and let the tears fall where they may. I talked to God, really talked, and laid it all out - realizing there have been so many things I've kept inside, things I never really had to carry alone.

I told Him the gratitude I feel has in some ways been as hard to carry as my grief, because they are connected and both feel so much bigger than me. Also because acknowledging some of the things I am grateful for has meant acknowledging what we've been through.

Looking back, thinking of my brother's murder, the loss of Eleanor, my pregnancy with Joseph, his birth, his illness and mine, my surgeries, the stresses on my marriage and family life, I took the time to recognize the good things that have come from all of that.

My relationship with my father is finally at the point of comfort and stability. I have two healthy children who stun me with their very presence, I am so lucky to have them, so lucky they are both ok that it takes my breath away. My marriage has been through some of the hardest tests a marriage can go through, and we're still standing together.

In the last year, I've been reminded of the beautiful, precious fragility of life. I have experienced love, true unconditional love, from my husband, children, family and friends. I have learned I am stronger than I ever thought possible and I have learned to ask for help. I have been reminded of the value of true friends, the kind that when it seemed my world was falling down around me showed up with duct tape and chocolate and helped me make it better. I have learned that what doesn't kill you actually can make you stronger, but not in the ways you'd think.

As I sat in our new home, allowing myself to be amazed by how much has happened and grateful for where it has led me, I took time to say thanks for the home itself. For the food in the pantry, the heat running through the pipes, the soft warm beds my family was sleeping in and the protection from the cold air outside.

I remembered those whose loved ones are far away or no longer with them. I thought of our military and their families, prayed for their safety, well-being and reunion. I thought of those who are cold, hungry, scared, abused, lonely or feeling forgotten.

I asked that God look over us all, and enjoyed the warmth of the sunshine and my blessings.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I don't know how I'm doing it.

In the last two weeks, we've sold a home, purchased a home, and completed a large portion of the remodeling on that home. I've had pneumonia, daily confirmation my broken foot has not healed correctly and gotten the wonderful news that I need surgery. Again.

Between the cold he just got over and the breakthrough of two new teeth, Joseph's nighttime sleep hasn't been the greatest though I'm so grateful for good naps during the day. Emily is holding her own, but I'm worried about the change of home and school for her knowing how much she loves her current school. I'm sure she'll do fine, but it's a stress for me.

I've been getting up early, approximately 5 hours after stopping work the previous day and not necessarily getting to sleep all of those hours. The bags under my eyes are almost big enough to save me a moving box and there's still so much for us to do before move in. Today I painted the kitchen (minus the cabinets - there's just not enough time to do that right now).

Tomorrow is shaping up to be insane with the following on the schedule:
-Get Emily off to school
-Buy more ceiling and trim paint, exchange a light fixture for one NOT missing several components
-Meet with the phone installer
-Take Joseph to his 9 month appointment (for those keeping track at home, he's 10 months on Monday. We're a bit behind)
-Go to Sam's for food for the moving crew
-Get electrician and gutter installer started on their projects
-Paint playroom/office (HUGE room)
-Wonder what I'm forgetting, because there is something else....

I've had a few people ask how I'm doing it. I think moving is the only thing keeping me from falling down out of simple exhaustion. I feel like I'm burning the candle at both ends as well as in the middle and running out of candle. I want desperately to sleep but my clock is ticking and I'm running out of time. We've had a lot of help but there's still a lot to do between now and the move. We pick up the moving truck Friday, our official move isn't until Saturday. I know my husband, though - if he has his way almost everything will be IN the truck Friday night. Everything but those things we can't lift together that is - my strength is not what it used to be and it's not going to get better between now and then.

In the midst of all this, focusing on the tasks at hand have been a good diversion in some ways. Physical labor has taken the place of overthinking in some instances. There have been a few cracks though, times when I'm not even thinking about how tired I am or how stressful things have been. Times I'm not thinking about what this year has been like or the fact that surgery looms once again, and yet suddenly I'll find myself with tears falling that I didn't even know had surfaced. I joke that after this is all over, I'm taking a mini vacation to the loony bin.

The thing is, the joke isn't even really that funny. Sometimes, a day or two in the psych ward sounds like a good idea.

With regard to the surgery - I have an appointment mid-December with a urologist. After an appointment with the surgeon who did my hysterectomy, it is thought I have the following going on:
-interstitial cystitis
-need for a bladder suspension
-possible need for reconstruction to my urethra
-"something else as well, perhaps."


I keep moving because I have to. I need to. But I also need to SLEEP.

Monday, November 10, 2008

10 days

Ten days ago we purchased our new home. When I left it this evening, I was stunned by the fact there's a lot left to do but we have made an amazing amount of progress in 10 days. Even though we've been working away that whole time, today was a turning point. Today, the house started to feel like it had turned into our future home.

We have spent many, many hours stripping wallpaper. So many that it is disheartening to think of what we could have accomplished in the same amount of hours and muscle aches. I have one finger that doesn't hurt and the rest of me is wrecked. Neck, head, back, shoulders, stomach (though that hurts from coughing), legs, butt - all of me. I swear to you if I get through this without dropping 20 pounds, I will be amazed. Oh, and the PCOS poster child.

We were supposed to have a family friend over to help with painting starting Saturday- and this person has a sprayer so it would presumably have made things go much faster. He forgot, went hunting instead, and we found ourselves doing everything by hand. We didn't even get to start anything other than taping until Sunday. We made up for lost time though!

As of when I left the house tonight the following had been done:

Paint - finished in the dining and living room areas, entry, hall, three bedrooms (master and children's rooms).

Flooring - walnut floor installed in dining room, living room, hallway. Sanded and will be stained tonight. Old carpet and pad removed and new carpet installed in three upstairs bedrooms (same rooms mentioned above). Old carpet removed and pad installed in remaining two bedrooms, hall and playroom. Old vinyl removed from all three bathrooms and laundry room, new subfloor installed.

Electrical - any switches that needed to be replaced were taken care of today, and we replaced the light fixtures in the dining and living rooms, cleaned up most of the vintage lights we were keeping and purchased materials to strip the paint off the bathroom light fixtures that were painted at some point. The "creative" wiring job for the garage door openers was also redone.

Tomorrow, we're scheduled to have the vinyl floor installed in the three bathrooms and laundry room. We'll also see the rest of the carpet go in. The hardwood floor will get another sanding and be sealed. We should also be able to complete painting of the kitchen, any touch up in the upstairs bedrooms and possibly even see the playroom painting completed.

After tomorrow, we won't be able to walk on the hardwood floor for three days, but we'll still be able to access the downstairs for more stripping of wallpaper adhesive. That needs to happen in one bedroom, the downstairs hall and the laundry room. Then we can paint those rooms.

Have I mentioned lately how much wallpaper SUCKS? The hours we've spent getting the layers of wallpaper down are ridiculous. There were three layers in some rooms, none of them attractive and all of them pasted like life depended upon the paper sticking to the wall.

We have been working our butts off at the house, but today we finally felt we were seeing progress. It's a good thing too - we move in Saturday!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A new beginning

Yesterday, we closed on the sale of our new house.

I'm excited, nervous about the extreme amount of work and hoping I can get over my pneumonia before moving day.

Mostly, though, I'm excited. We need a new start in a lot of ways. More to come!