Showing posts from July, 2012


I received many gifts today.

First, a hug and a kiss from a four year old.

Then, a do not disturb sign. That will definitely come in handy!

Next arrived a gluten-free veggie pizza.

Then a Christmas tree, fully decorated. 

And to top it all off, a hot tub full of purple bubbly water.

It's amazing the gifts you get from a four year old with a big imagination a little empty box!

Bad Attitude

Sporadic Artie has had quite a bad attitude lately. Intense foot pain will land me in the doctor's office tomorrow afternoon. An aching back and sore ribs drain my resources. Some days I just want to lay in bed and cry out of sheer exhaustion.

If I take a snapshot of how I felt, physically, a year ago and how I feel today, the pictures might be identical. Back then, I may have panicked because of this. At that time I was still really figuring out that it's a Matter of Perspective

Today I have a choice.

I can worry that I'm still feeling horrible, or I can feel thankful that I've tried a couple of medications and am on one that shows amazing promise. 

I can stress about what my current health situation means, or I can find peace in the knowledge that I will have flares, even on medication, and when I do, I need to listen to my body telling me to slow down and enjoy life. 

I can feel betrayed by my body or I can take better care of my body and rejoice in what I can do.

I can…

Secret Treasure

Cleaning out a bookcase, I came across an old notebook, cover gone, pages stained, falling apart. Rummaging through it, I discovered quotes and poetry by famous and not so famous people written there years ago. My heart skipped a beat or two when my eyes rested on words written by a teenager during one of the most difficult times of her life. My life. From the time in my life I was Broken. 

Words as simple as:
A moment of silence        amidst the confusion                          is all I ask.

And words capable of transporting me to the dark place I resided much of the time:
There was a time when living meant fearing,     every second     every touch     every one
There was a time when safety was a myth       to be known        only in       death
That time was then, is now, and will always be     until death's      comforting embrace     welcomes me So this i choose -      death in life     untouched by fear     safe for all eternity
The Broken Child was living in fear and despair. The Broken Child…

Losing It

You know that moment when you're at the end of your rope - when your rational brain switches off and words are flowing forth from your mouth that are completely insane and unreasonable? That was me tonight. 

Exhaustion, a migraine, and kids who couldn't seem to actually follow the directions that they could repeat back to me conspired to drive me absolutely out of my mind. I'm not sure exactly what I said, but I think it had something to do with getting rid of all of our possessions and living only foods that didn't require cooking. There may have also been something about me running away from home and the kids having to deal with their father for two days while cleaning the house from top to bottom. 

A Very Intelligent Child instead suggested to his siblings that they clean up the living room and dining room, the mess made by not listening, and open windows to let in some fresh air. 

I am happy to report that peace was restored, apologies made, and we did eat cooked food…

Where is God in All of This?

When tragedies happen, people stare. We watch news report after news report, inundating ourselves with images and information we won't soon forget. We make judgments about those involved. Some use the situation to promote their own points of view. Most concentrate on the horror of the situation, the negativity, what should or should not have happened. We ask how this could happen. We question the whereabouts of God when this tragic situation was occurring. We wonder how God could have let it happen. 

When life's stresses get to us, we worry. We dwell on what's wrong in our lives. We moan and complain. We wonder why God has piled all of this on us and how we're supposed to get through this. We ask "why me?" We wonder how God could have let this happen to us.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we allow the negativity to consume us? Why use someone else's tragedy to push our own agenda? Why not let it be what it is - a tragic or stressful situation? Why do…

Privacy Settings

Frivolity, joys, blessings, gripes, rants, brags – we share all of these on facebook, twitter, in texts, and perhaps even in person. What these say about us pales in comparison to what the things we don’t share say.

In this world of sharing our lives publicly through social media updates, we often leave out the deepest parts of our lives. Nothing that may damage our image or suggest our weaknesses or needs is divulged. Even amongst friends, we are very private people.

This hit home as I sat in church while visiting my husband’s family in Pennsylvania. We were attending worship at Snake Spring Valley Church of the Brethren where we were greeted as we entered the church and then greeted by nearly everyone we passed on the way to our seats.

 Worship opened with the invitation to make announcements. Activities from Vacation Bible School to the Ice Cream Social, to a trip to a ball game were promoted. Updates were given on sick and dying members of the congregation. Thanks were given for…


Twelve. Zachary is twelve. 12! That's nearly thirteen, which is a scary thought, and of which he reminds me daily. So, in honor of Zachary's birthday, I shall post twelve awesome things about Zachary.

1. Zachary chooses completely insane friends. This may have something to do with his own state of mind, and a lot to do with his upbringing. His friends, like him, have a great sense of humor, are kind and considerate, and love to play video games.

2. Zachary enjoys confusing people. For example, his name is spelled Zachary. When he shortens it, he spells it Zack. Not Zach. Zack. This has caused many a family member and most friends and acquaintances to misspell Zachary. One family member in particular writes it a different way every time, perhaps on the off chance that one time out of five he'll get it right. 

3. Zachary loves potato chips. Now, there was a period of time we didn't have potato chips in the house. Not a one. Then along came Zachary with his puppy dog eyes th…

Dear Sir

Dear Sporadic Artie, 

I have treated you unkindly and for that I am truly sorry. I should remember and respect your constant presence in my life even on days when energy is high and movement is relatively easy. 

I am very sorry for overdoing it today. You see, I will have a newly minted 12-year-old tomorrow and was trying to get the house ready for a sleepover and other birthday festivities while unpacking from nine days of camping and wrangling seven children. I realize now that was a bad idea, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. 

Not that that's an excuse - it's just a reality that some days I need to push the limits and pray for the best. I apologize if this tries your patience. 

Please have mercy on me and allow me sleep tonight and the ability to function tomorrow. I'll include Tramadol in tonight's festivities if that would help you feel better.

Good night, Artie! (Please!?!?!)


P.S. If you're going to need Ziggy to come along for the ride tomorrow, please…

So Tired...

...she fell asleep standing up

during a performance by 35 6-10 year olds

who were being VERY loud.

Ah, to be four again...

The Would-be Life

Deep sleep and inspirational dreams give way to chirping birds and children’s whispers. Opening my eyes, I’m greeted by shadows of trees dancing on the tent around me. The crackling of a fire means that coffee is brewing and breakfast will soon be on its way.
Emerging from the tent, I’m welcomed by blue skies, a gentle breeze, and my husband who awoke early to the alarm of a whippoorwill call.
Sitting by the fire, I think about the day ahead of me – Bible study, devotions, lunch, the beach, kid craft or music time, dinner, and more fun. All within walking distance – and I can actually walk!
By the end of the day, I’m tired, but not exhausted. After getting the kids to bed, I sit by the fire with my husband and we talk – about the day, the people, about life. As the fire dies down, I crawl into bed, reading a bit by flashlight before drifting easily off to sleep.
This is the life!

Fractured sleep and crazy dreams give way to pain and a nagging alarm. Opening my eyes, I’m greeted by baskets…

Happy Infusion Day!

The time has come.
The time is now.
Hurry up 11AM! I want my infusion NOW!!!

After two wonderful vacations that proved that Remicade must be doing something for me - and a day of unpacking that totally killed my body - I'm really looking forward to my infusion this afternoon, in hopes that I continue to improve. 

Then why am I having a bit of an anxiety attack over the infusion? 

It must be because I know the risks of taking this medicine and they're scary. Increased risks of getting things that could kill me - or just plain old death. When reading the drug information, I couldn't imagine voluntarily having this stuff injected into my body, yet I find myself doing it. 

It wasn't an easy decision. And yet is was. 

It was a decision for quality of life, perhaps instead of quantity of life.
A choice of mobility and less pain rather than limited mobility and at times unimaginable amounts of pain. 
The best option for slowing down the course of my psoriatic arthritis and the damage …

Boom Chicka Ra Ra Boom Boom Boom

Dear Mom and Dad,

I'm having a wonderful time here at camp. After all, we know that Camp Calumet is all sunshine and rainbows and happy thoughts.

Things were going well upon our arrival at camp, but soon odd things began to happen. First Alia turned into a mermaid.

Then Zachary fell asleep on the beach and woke up to find he'd misplaced his body. 
 After we restored the kids original physical parameters, the laws of physics started working against us.

How would one go about scoring this?

Alia then got infected with some sort of cootie virus by her eldest brother (not pictured, as we seem unable to capture him on film...err... digital whoseymawhatsits) and turned into a monster that was only soothed by blueberries balanced on her face.

Once the older kids were safely dropped off at Resident Camp and the younger kids tucked into bed in our tent, we figured we could relax by the fire and sip some wine. Thank goodness we remembered the good wine glasses!

Hopefully the rest of our time her…

Assume Nothing

In line at the grocery store, a mother was putting cans of formula on the conveyor belt. A chubby newborn grinned at me from her carseat. Admiring the baby, I felt a twinge of annoyance toward the mother of this adorable little one. You see, I'm a breastfeeding advocate and at the time had a very narrow view of "acceptable" reasons to formula feed. I also tended to jump to conclusions and perhaps wrongly judge formula-feeding mothers.  I was in for one huge lesson. 

Noticing tears falling down the mother's cheeks, I asked if there was anything I could do to help. She thanked me and asked me to get the last few things out of the bottom of her cart. It was painful for her. You see, she'd had a double mastectomy almost immediately after giving birth, as tumors were found in both breasts during her pregnancy. Her lifelong visions of nursing and nurturing her babies at the breast had vanished at the word cancer. Not only physically painful just weeks after surgery, it …