a long week

October 4, 2007 at 2:24 am (Uncategorized)

I’ve been in GA for the past week.  My mom had surgery last Friday.  Cancer has returned to ravage her body.  It has left all of us feeling pretty helpless.  The goal of this operation was to remove the cancer that had began to grow on her lymph nodes.  That’s a scary thought, considering that anytime you hear of cancer making it to the lymph nodes, it’s usually not good.  However, according to the surgeon who performed the operation, he does 4 or 5 of these sorts of operations a week.  I guess it’s a lot more common than we realize.

So, since last Friday, my mom has been in the hospital.  My dad has been staying with her, refusing to leave her side.  I’ve been driving back and forth every day (except for yesterday… I desperately needed to rest).  The 2 hr drive, one way, really takes its toll.  Usually I’m in the car just as much as I am visiting my mom.

Anyway, the good news is that she can come home tomorrow.  The recovery wasn’t as quick as any of us had hoped.  The docs originally said that she would probably come home Monday.

It’s been a long, draining week.  It’s taken more out of me than I expected.  I’ve noticed that the more each of us have gotten worn down, the more we snip at each other.  I know there is sort of an underlying fear of the unknown for all of us.  There are plenty of “what ifs” that are going through my mind.  All I can do is try to stay positive and push forward.  I have to lean on my faith, and my support network of friends and family to pull me through.

I’m off to bed.  Tomorrow holds the last drive to the hospital.  That will make life a lot easier for all of us.


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September 17, 2007 at 1:24 am (Uncategorized)

It’s been a while! I’ve been down and out for a while. Almost two weeks, actually. But now I’m feeling so much better, and ready to jump back on the bandwagon of life. I have no idea what that means.

Yesterday was my orientation out at the International Academy of Design and Technology where I will be taking my photo classes. I’m looking forward to it! My class only has about 5 people in it, and my instructor seems cool. It should be fun.

Tomorrow I plan on getting back into some sort of diet routine, as well as focus on building up my exercise habits. I’m gonna do my best to make it to the gym, but if not, I at least will do some sort of work out here at home. I have to take it slowly. I have a horrible habit of trying to do way too much once I start feeling good again. My breathing starts to improve, and I overdo it and get right back into the shape I was in. I’ll have to watch that.

Today is my roomate, TJ’s, birthday. Happy birthday to Cheejay!

We had a nice dinner out at a floating marina restaurant that made me seasick every time someone walked because the whole thing would rock just a little bit.

Then Michelle’s dinner made me even more sick because she ordered shrimp, but little did any of us know that it was the “peel it and rip the legs off yourself” kind of shrimp.

I saw a hot air balloon for the first time today, and got some cool shots:

So that is what my weekend was like. Not much else going on other than that. I’ll post a more substantial post another time.

Until then…

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I almost forgot!!

September 6, 2007 at 2:54 am (apple, blog, iphone, journal, Uncategorized)

Apple made some big announcements today. They are releasing some new ipods, and dropping the 4GB iPhone. Which means that as of today, through January, the 4GB iPhones are on clearance for $200 off original price…

…i bought one! I’m so excited!

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not again

September 6, 2007 at 2:52 am (Uncategorized)

Still not feeling too great. I came home from work early yesterday. Thankfully I had already scheduled a Dr appointment for this morning. I was really in need of some good drugs by then. He gave me a couple of prescriptions…the usual. I can feel it already starting to help. That’s always quite a relief. He told me I should probably take it easy and stay out of work again today. I’m getting really tired of this. It’s so frustrating, because as long as I stay still, I feel pretty good. I still have to take a breathing treatment every hour or so, even in my good moments. If I try to move around the least little bit, my lungs protest violently. Anybody have an extra set I could buy?

So, I’m still sort of failing at the “photo a day” idea. I guess I didn’t feel like it today. I’ll pick it back up tomorrow. Here’s a few from yesterday and some of the yummy snacks we had:

And here are some photos of the little fuzzballs. They are growing everyday… lately getting more and more round:)

I guess I’m still feeling sort of down. Still definitely hormonal. The prednisone that I’m on now will not help matters any. I’m hoping it will pass soon. I think I’m worried about my mom. She was going to the doctor today to talk about the options and what sort of game plan they wanted to make. I haven’t heard from them. I guess I will get all of the details tomorrow.

I’m hoping I will go to work tomorrow. I’m tired of being home all day. I can’t afford to miss any more work. Once all of the meds get into my system maybe it will help long term. They put me on the preventive meds that worked well last time. We’ll see how that goes.

I’m lonely.

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fall cleaning

September 4, 2007 at 4:52 am (Uncategorized)

My roomate and I decided to do fall cleaning today.  Ok, so it’s still like 95 degrees outside, with no relief in sight.  Technically fall will not grace us with its presence for quite some time, but let me be dillusional for a minute.

Just like each season brings about a cleansing, so does my house deserve the same treatment.  I always forget how much better I feel with things are kept up (ie. not completely trashed).  I’ve never been much of a neat freak.  I have my idiosyncrasies, but that isn’t one of them.  I do have some things I have to keep in some sort of order so I don’t go crazy, but I wish I was an obsessive cleaner.  We have this joke in my house that I’m the best ‘deep cleaner’ when it comes to our roomate duties, if that gives you any idea what our house is usually like.  The Charlie Brown character, Pigpen, comes to mind.

I haven’t left my house today, except for some quick errands this morning.  I bought a really pretty wall hanging candle holder from someone on craigslist (which is my current obsession).  We made the exchange, then I went to look for a new lens.  After having absolutely no luck, I came back home feeling somewhat defeated.

Really, I got a lot done today, but it just doesn’t feel like I was very productive.  I mean, come on, it’s not called Labor Day for nothing.  Or maybe since I’ve never actually gone into labor I’m unable to fully appreciate the meaning of the holiday.  Regardless, I had a day off, and that counts for something.

So, apart from cleaning and doing laundry, I was a bum today.  I’m still in my pjs, and I have no intention of changing them before I get into bed.  I’m going to soak up this Labor Day (or lack of labor) for all it’s worth.

I have to do the lesson plans next week, but I’ve already got most of it done.  I love our technological age.  It allows for so much time to be saved that would otherwise have to be done while actually sitting at a desk.

I’ve sort of been in a funk today.  I blame it on hormones, but I’m not sure what the true culprit is.  I’m hoping it passes…it usually does.

I think, overall, I’m just lonely.  Lonely for what, I’m not sure.  I have great friends.  I have a close family that wishes I would stay in Blue Ridge so we could see each other all the time.  My fuzzy little friends keep me great company, even though I’m still dying to get a dog I can cuddle with who will actually cuddle back.

I’m not really sure what I’m looking for, I just know it’s not there.  I’m sure someday I’ll say “wow, this is it!”, but right now I’m clueless as to what “it” is.  Maybe it’s better that way.

Can I even tell you how exciting I am that this will be a short work week.  Since I have Friday’s off anyway, I will only be working 3 days.  Woo hoo!   That’s my kind of work week.

I’m not doing so good on the photo-a-day thing.  Unless you could baby hamster photos, I haven’t really been taking much.  I miss my camera.  This Sony really eats up the batteries, so I don’t pull it out as much as I would if I didn’t have to charge them after taking 5 photos.

That’s really about all that’s going on with me.  I mainly just wanted to write just to keep in the habit.  It’s way too easy to put things off until one day you don’t even realize you put it off.  It just becomes something you used to do.  I have a lot of those things.

Alright, it’s getting late, and I’m still hormonally rambling (hmm I’m not sure about that phrase).  It’s almost bedtime.

Do yourself a favor and do your own kind of fall cleaning…just because it’s good for you.

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happy september

September 2, 2007 at 4:42 am (blog, journal, photo, photoblog, photography, pictures, Uncategorized)

Wow, even though the temps are still scorching, the first of September always feels like the summer is finally coming to a close. This year is no different. Temps actually made it down to about 69 degrees overnight. I think it is supposed to be the same tonight. How exciting!

I’m getting my introspective itch that I get with each season, but for now I will hold off on the rambling.

Today was a slow day. After being sick all week, I needed a slow day to sort of regather myself. This was the first day I actually felt like being productive. I ran errands this morning, but the rest of the day was spent at home.

I did something really stupid last night. I thought maybe it was time to introduce Sandy to a new smell. Since the babies are getting bigger, they will soon be weaned and ready to find new homes. I had Casey out and brought Sandy out to try and slowly get them both used to different smells. At first they were both hesitant and passive. All of a sudden Sandy jumped on Casey, biting her in the neck. I had a hard time getting them apart. There was blood, and Casey was obviously in pain. I wasn’t sure what to do except put her in her cage and hope she recovered. I wasn’t sure if she had bled too much. I mean, how much blood is really too much for a hamster to lose? They are such small creatures.

I noticed this morning that Casey is not feeling good. She seems to have a hard time with her regular food. I started spoon feeding her oatmeal every hour throughout the day, just so she wasn’t starving. I got some vitamin stuff to add to her water, so hopefully that will start helping her heal.

Here’s the poor girl with her swollen face:

I looked and looked, but I can’t seem to find her wound. The left side of her face/chin is really swollen. Maybe it was actually her cheek pouch that was affected. I wonder if the inside of her mouth is actually what was bleeding since I can’t find a cut anywhere on her.

I feel so horrible. I know I’m not completely responsible, but I still shouldn’t have put them together knowing how territorial they are.

Here’s some exciting news…

All of the babies opened their eyes today! Now, all of a sudden they look like real miniature hamsters.

They are sure growing fast

Here’s the gang enjoying some leftover oatmeal. Notice how large the spoon is compared to them

Anyway, that’s really about all I have to report. I’ll try to write more tomorrow.

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August 31, 2007 at 7:02 pm (Uncategorized)

So, I’ve been thinking a lot about the purpose of life.  I’ve been trying to figure out just what my calling may be, and how I can put it into action.  I guess I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.  Chances are that won’t happen anytime soon, so I’ve got still got some time to come to some sort of conclusion.

Once upon a time, I thought I knew what I wanted in life.  I’ve gone through a whole list of potential careers, none of them being what I am doing today.  It started out as a kid.  I wanted to be a teacher.  Then somewhere along the lines I realized I could do that without actually having a teaching degree.  Looking back, I wonder if I should’ve taken myself down that road and pursued it from the get go.

A little further along in life, I became consumed by music.  The words and lyrics of a song spoke to me as nothing else ever has.  I was drawn to it, and found myself expressing myself in my own ways.  I taught myself how to fumble around on a guitar and began to write songs.  By the time high school was ending (a mere 10 years ago…yikes!) I had decided to pursue music as a career and move to Nashville.  Little did I know that it would be the first of many steps that led me to where I am now.

My first college experience was nothing to be proud of.  I rarely showed up for class, and didn’t really even try to do much of the work, if any at all.  But still, I was free.  I was on my own, and I quickly had to learn how to survive on my own.  It was lonely, and scary, and breathtaking.   Somewhere along the way I made two great friends with a common goal.  We all wanted to be a part of the music industry, in pretty much any way we could be.  We fell into a relationship with a management and were hired to handle their online media marketing and fan club.  Slowly, we gained more credibility and more clients came to us wanting our services.

I don’t really know when it happened exactly, but we all burnt out.  What used to be fun and exciting was now simply a job.  We all drifted in separate directions, again left with the question of what we all wanted from life.

As a result of all of that, we wrapped up our business and went different ways.  I took the first job opportunity I could (other than retail or restaurant…I refuse to ever do that).  I’ve alwas said that no matter what, I have to enjoy my work.  I will never settle for a job I don’t like just so I can pay the bills.  I’m not sure if that’s a blessing or a curse.  Anyway, I began working at a program that deals with children that have behavior issues.  I did two Americorps terms there, and then managed to get a staff position when my terms ended.  That’s where I am today.

I write all of this to remember where I’ve been, and to remind myself how the small choices ultimately lead us to where we are.  I’ve constantly amazed at how such mundane, insignificant things make up the big picture of life.  That’s something I lose track of way too often.

Even more important than my “jobs” is my own personal growth.  I truly believe that, partially through genetics and partially because of circumstance, my early adolescent years shaped me into a sullen, cinical  18 year old when I ventured out on my own.  I didn’t really have anything in mind to “pursue” that would make my life feel complete.  I fumbled my way through the days, hoping it would all work out in the end.  Somehow it did.

After much soul seeking, and persistent coercion from well-meaning friends, I began the lifelong process of unraveling the parts of me that are so hidden.  With guidance and support of some amazing people, I slowly felt like the true me began to surface.

As I began to see just how crucial it is to have loving support, I began wanting to reach out to people.  If I was going to make any difference at all in the world, the least I could do was to turn around and give just as I had been given to.  Still to this day I am trying to figure out just how to accomplish these lofty goals.  It is something I refuse to take lightly.  It’s potentially the most important thing I could ever do.  Whether it is simply being a friend to someone that’s hurting, or trying to convey what I’m learning about who God truly is, the opportunities carry the risk of being completely life changing for the good, or causing more harm than was already present.  It’s such a delicate task.

So, this brings me back to my original question at the beginning of this rambling blog.  What is my purpose in life?  What is anyone’s purpose?

Years ago I attended a writer’s night at a small coffeeshop in Franklin.  A CCM artist was playing, but before they sang, there were a few no name singer/songwriters that played.  Even with all of the years that have passed since that evening, I can vividly remember the guy when he mockingly said “People are always wanting to know ‘what’s my purpose?’ and I want to tell them, your purpose is to serve God”.  I don’t know why it stuck with me so much, but the flippant tone in which he expressed such a huge idea just rubbed me the wrong way.  It felt, to me, like such a cheap, canned answer.  Of course our purpose is to serve God.  That’s the entire reason why we were created in the first place, but hearing it like that doesn’t help.  It’s like telling a drug addict that all they need to do to get better is to stop taking drugs.  The answer is obvious, but it’s the process that people have the most difficulty figuring out.

There are a million and one ways to “serve God”.  In the past, that simple phrase may have stirred up some resentment in me.  It brings to mind the Christian lifestyle that is overly portrayed in today’s culture.  After looking up the definition of “serve”, I can wholeheartedly say that is where I want to be.

According to dictionary.com, to serve means:

to render assistance, be of use, or help; to contribute to; promote; to have a definite use; to answer the purpose

Wow, why can’t we use some of those words to better explain our relationship with God.  Why does it always have to be so “christianese”.

I plan on continuing this journey for as long as I live.  I hope to never lose the desire to seek more.

No matter where I am in life, I hope my purpose stays the same.  Any career choice can have purpose.  If it doesn’t, then it isn’t worth it.

If I should choose to teach or guide people, I could  help them endure the process of life and make sense of it along the way.  I could show them that there really is a deeper meaning to everything, and that a small step in the right direction can make all the difference.

If I should choose music as a career, I could put words to the thoughts and feelings of so many people who don’t know how to express the inner workings of their hearts.  I would have the potential for making people feel not quite as alone.

If I should choose to work with behaviorally challenged children (and quite often their behaviorally challenged parents), I could assist families in working together as a unit in more positive way, allowing each family member to grow and relate in healthier ways.

If I should choose photography as my job, I would be allowing people to notice the importance of the mundane things in life, as well as helping to capture memories that will live on forever.

Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, I hope and pray that you find purpose in it.

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oh the confusion

August 30, 2007 at 2:37 pm (Uncategorized)

So, I have yet another blog I guess.  I don’t really understand it, since I already have a wordpress blog, but this is apparently the one that shows up on the wordpress network.  I didn’t realize there was a difference.

I’m still trying to decide if I want to keep this and ditch the other one, or just stick with what I have going on over at http://www.fallawakegirls.com/wordpress

Only time will tell

Man, that was cheap

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