Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Have you noticed the entire right side bar on my blog has been missing for over a week? Ok, maybe that's a bit indulgent to think you noticed - I'll stop flattering myself. But I didn't even want to try tackling the tech problem -- now I'm proud of myself because I got it all back!
(I had to repost my last post to accomplish this)...
(that's how I like to start my posts - enthralling i'n't it?)

... It's been a busy last month ...
**One weekend visiting Paul's parents in Southern California = beach visit & good beach stand Mexican food! ...Taya wasn't so fond of the beach - crazy girl!
**One weekend visiting family in Las Vegas for my wonderful niece's baptism = non-stop cousin entertainment for Taya

**And then 3 different sets of company in town to top it all off = washing lots of sheets! (but I'm not complaining - we love you Company!)

The occasion for one of those sets of company was Paul's birthday last week! I got Paul's sister, Alissa, & her family (with 2 cute kiddos that we love!) to visit as a birthday surprise for Paul. We cooked and ate like crazy to celebrate Paul's birthday & Easter ... birthday menu? -- barbecue ribs I had from a great sale, baked beans, sweet potato fries, dinner rolls, a bacon wrapped grilled cored onion with butter in the center, and a fluffy cheese cake that Alissa made - it was a wonderful dinner if I do say so myself! (definitely not void of hours of cooking) ... I love cooking special meals for Paul's birthdays; any special occasion is made better by great & memorable food!

Paul deserved a good birthday; I hope it was a happy weekend for him. He has been really fortitudinous (do I sound smart?), humble (which apparently I am not), courageous, hard-working and eager to improve his skills, networking, and business approaches during these past months without a full-time job.  I'm grateful that I get to spend so many birthdays with my Loaf! (Loaf?  ...Guess you had to be there)
Easter was wonderful too; all the traditions, a quick stop in the park for pictures in our Easter Sunday garb, a nice Easter dinner at my parents' house, and most of all, a true chance to think about Christ's resurrection - especially during our musical program that was put on at church.  I really do believe that Jesus Christ came here to Earth to suffer for each our sins and sorrow for each of our tribulations; and not only that, but die for us and return in resurrected glory.  It is nice to know that through His life's example, we can have more happiness and peace in the present during our lives if we tune into that same love and peace that he shared, and then by his acts of sacrifice & Resurrection, that we can also go on to live again after this earthly life and be with Him and our families.  I am grateful for a day like Easter that reminds me of these blessings.  These are the things that I personally and truly believe and they help me greatly in my life.

Last week was not the easiest week for us ... the somewhat temporary drafting job that Paul has had recently got cut short and all employees were laid off that Monday.  Later that week, we found out that Taya may very well have Juvenile Arthritis (which type & level of severity, we don't know yet)...(for the last 6+ weeks she's had a slightly swollen left knee, bad limping - particularly in the mornings after sleeping, and hasn't 100% straightened it). However, that same day that we found out about Taya, we attended the funeral of a man from our church, Dave Carlson, who has been a notably kind, warm, down-to-earth man to have as an acquaintance - and will truly be missed. You could tell the kind of impact he had on people because the building was completely packed. Because he had cancer & had gotten to a point of knowing he would die, he was able to share learned reflective perspectives with his family that they shared with us in the congregation. One out of the many wonderful perspectives that helped me that day was telling us to be grateful for the blessings we have and not dwell on the blessings we don't have. This helped me to think about Taya's health and be grateful that she is here and has the opportunity to learn and grow in this life and to not dwell too much in disappointment on the abilities she might possibly not have down the road (we really don't know how severe yet; she may have plenty of abilities).  
Also, watching a Hallmark movie documenting the life of a Polish woman who was a social worker during WWII and helped save and cherish the lives of 2,000+ Jewish children helped me to put things in simple perspective right away - uh, that's humbling. At the end, the woman herself was filmed before she died asking people to ponder the sacrifices of these Jewish mothers this Mother's Day who knew they were headed to concentration camps and had to give their children up, not knowing what would happen. CAN YOU IMAGINE?? Wow. Like I said,

There are so many lives and stories to learn from. I think that's partly why hearing each others' stories via blog is so refreshing.

This week has started out much better; the possibility of one 4 month contract job is on our horizon as of today and we had the weekend to breath and enjoy each other and friends; so we are starting out fresh (I wrote this earlier in the week). Sometimes I think Mondays are overwhelming, but this is a week that proves they are nice cleaned slates!
(Sometimes my verbal positiveness is more than anything for myself - to help myself stay positive and to reaffirm it - it's not all roses and cheer all the time.  I generally think there is a natural disappointment or shock reaction to bad news that is understandable to have; and then after that I think we can mostly choose how we want to handle that struggle - positive/constructive or negative/destructive ... though sometimes I find the little tiny struggles in life can be hardest to be positive about as they happen in the moment ... what do you think?)
I know I'm long winded - I just figure you all know you don't need to read any or all of it.  So I just ignore disclaimers, but here is one for ya :)


Ann said...

What a beautiful family!

Morgan said...

i didn't know that taya might have arthritis. i have a friend whose little girl was just diagnosed with the same thing last year. even started in her knees just like taya. if you want i can give you are blog address if you have any questions. just let me know.

glad you are having a better week this week. i can't even imagine how it feels to not have steady work. you're awesome, and thanks for all the great posts!

Kim said...

Thanks so much for putting up with Joe for a few days. He is completley enamored (spelled right?) with Taya. He keeps saying over and over that she is so cute...and she IS! Keep up with the positive-ness. It helps me feel better too!

Janalee said...

That's so true about Per-spec-tive. I have a little game I play with myself when things are tough and it always helps perspectiv-ify things. I say , "well at least..." and think of so many ways it could be worse. Which isn't to say we're not allowed to get good and angry/upset/disenchanted for while.

Janalee said...

oh and btw, your blog has been fine on my computer, the sidebar still intact. I think one day it was down on the bottom, but it ceretainly wasn't blank for a week.

Denise said...

Long winded is good sometimes, gets slacker friends like me all caught up on your life and what's going on. Keep us updated on Taya's arthritis. And I'll end this the way I end every comment on your blog.... we need to get together soon. (Especially since we totally missed Paul's birhtday)

Jessica said...

I always love hearing your details and thoughts about life:)