Please forgive the title. It is a TERRIBLE pun. (My dad would be so proud.)
This morning, I thought it would be fun to go back through this week/weekend in the last five years. (This is one of the joys of having kept this blog since 2008. When my aged mind can't remember something clearly, all I have to do is go back through ye olde blog and BAM! There it is. ... Assuming the thing I'm looking for is a piece of ridiculousness that would have been chronicled here.)
Anyhoo... Like I said, I thought it would be fun to go back through this week and see what I was doing, when.
And I was right. It WAS fun.
So, I'm going to make it easy for you to do it, too.
March 2009: In which I write about how grateful I was for the "opportunity" to make significantly less money than I had in previous years. ... No, but really. I really was so grateful. I still am, actually.
I am SO grateful for the way my professional life took a turn in 2008. When the bank closed, I needed a job. Any job. Soon. And I found one. (Who's unemployed for less than two weeks? ... Only me. ... I'm still amazed at how quickly and effortlessly that job landed in my lap.) It was my original intention to go back into banking as soon as I could get something permanent. I thought about working for the FDIC, and even interviewed to work on a team that would have been traveling around the country. )How awesome would that have been?!) But something kept me at a call center.
Hello, that "something" would be the Lord. That company had the best corporate benefit package I've ever seen. Their insurance was FABULOUS. I paid $500 out of pocket the year I had my first surgery. That was my surgery, the week in the hospital, 6 weeks of radiation, and countless surgical followups. Seriously. $500. ... I may have been bringing home less, but what I saved in spending on medical costs made up for it.
And my work schedule was such a blessing, too. The first two years I was there, I worked a 3x12 schedule. That's right. I worked 12 hour shifts, 3 days a week. As in, I had a 4 day weekend. Every week. Which gave me time with friends and family that I wouldn't have had otherwise. I was able to spend time with the people that I love the most, and I treasure memories made during those years.
That job was such a blessing. I mean, really.
March 2010: In which I write about having spent the night before at Myra's, watching TV and eating cupcakes.
Ahhhh... Those TV-watching nights at My's house were good times. As I recall, that was the spring that Ken was traveling internationally, so Myra and I would gather for snacks and television with our (okay, my) TV boyfriends (Castle, Dr. Jack and Sayid). Riley was a baby, and she'd stay up late with us, laughing and being silly.
Those were the days of the book club that is no more, the Halloween parties in the Johnsons' backyard, late night conversations about oh... everything we could think of, and weekly recipe shares.
March 2011: In which I write about having gone wig shopping with Cousin Julie, and post pics of myself as a platinum blond.
It was the weekend before #2 came out, and Julie had made her (sometimes) annual pilgrimage to Arizona to enjoy the warm winter weather and some quality cousin bonding time with her cousin who had cancer.
We laughed and we cried, ate too much and slept too little, partied with friends and spent down time by the pool that weekend. And we went wig shopping, because Dr. W had told me there was a real chance I'd have to do chemo after the second surgery and I wanted to make DANG SURE I knew what I wanted, so I could send someone else to the store to pick me up some hair if that was the case.
The Genova Girl is still my favorite, btw. Just in case anyone ever needs to know...
March 2012: In which I write about March of 2011, suppository and all.
(The post right before this was Jo's birthday surprise of going to see Straight No Chaser - who I love. But this post made me feel more, so this is the link I'm sharing. If you'd rather read about good times than hard times, please feel free to pull up March 22, 2012.)
It's funny to me, how well I still remember that day in the hospital. Out of all the surgeries and hospital stays I've had, that day was probably my hardest day. (That I remember, anyway. Rumor has it that the first day after my last surgery was a DOOZY. Hallucinations and all manner of crazy. ... Poor Judy.) Having just read that post, I'm struck that I didn't think to mention that pretty much every vein in my right arm had been blown, so one of the techs had to bring in an ultrasound machine to find a vein for my IV.
That's right. They had to do an ultrasound to find a good vein. ... No wonder I get a lot of grief from phlebotomists - even now - over the scar tissue in my right arm.
Anyway, that day was hard. So hard, that a year later I was writing a blog post about it. (And three years later, am again referencing it.) But what I learned in that hard day is that the people in my life matter more than the stuff in my life. Even when the stuff is really hard stuff.
That day was hard. It was hard from the get go. That shower was brutal - for so many reasons. The suppository experience was NOT AWESOME. Popping yet another IV wasn't super fun. (I had so many IV's pop in that hospital stay, though, that it wasn't surprising. I swear to you, I looked like I had track marks when I was released.) ... But the thing that made me cry - nay, sob - was knowing that I had a friend in a different hospital, for a very different reason. And the thing that brought me comfort was that Jo and Roomie came - and didn't leave, even though it was ugly.
People matter. A lot. More than anything else. ... And I'm so grateful for the people in my life.
March 2013: In which I write about singing/crying through a hymn in church.
We sang The Lord is My Shepherd last Sunday, and I actually made it through the entire song without dissolving into a puddle of tears. ... I was pretty proud of me. (There's a first for everything, right?)
Which brings us to this week in March, 2014: I had some sleepovers with Jo's kids so she and Dean could go to Denver for her nephew's wedding.
Here are the takeaways from having spent two nights and two days with five children and one puppy:
Watch where you step. Puppy poop is much harder to clean up if you step in it (barefoot) and then track it through the entire family room.
Make sure the six year old is wearing shoes before you let her get in the car to go to the park, esp if you know you're going to have to park across the street and walk half a block before you get to said park.
While you're making sure the six year old is wearing shoes, maybe check the three year old for pants. Otherwise, you're going to have both a shoe-less wonder and a kid wearing nothing but a t-shirt and panties out in public.
Don't buy the little kids Jr. Bacon Cheeseburgers at Wendy's. Kids are gross and actually like the cheapie burgers at McD's. Save money. And, more importantly, save the bacon for people who'll actually appreciate it.
When having a Frozen party with multiple females under the age of 10, make sure you bring your own stash of bobby pins. Doing "princess hair" is a must, and sock buns and ponies need a little bit of help to stay fancy while girls are jumping around, singing "Let it Go" at the top of their lungs, waving their arms about like THEY have actual powers and can command the winds and sky.
No, but really... it was a great weekend. I am exhausted, and my body and my spirit are at war (walking around a park, pushing kids on swings and pulling a crying three year old off a stack of rocks - all sans binder - did me in), but it was a great weekend. The older kids are getting to be so much fun. (We stayed up late, watching PG 13 movies after the little girls went to bed.) And the little girls are adorable, even if they are exhausting.
Five years. (Actually, the blog has been going for almost six years. So, please allow me to rephrase.)
Five months of March.
All awesome. ... For different reasons. But awesome, nonetheless.
There have been hard times, fun times and silly times. But they've all be good times.
What was amazing to me, as I walked through the posts in the last five Marches, is that the overriding theme is that of gratitude. Gratitude for the people in my life, for the time I have had with them, for the memories I have been able to make with them.
Life is good. I am blessed.