Friday, December 14, 2012

My First Thoughts: 12/14/12

My first thoughts this morning: There are no words…

….yet a million flooded my mind at the same time.


Questions seeped in, demanding answers:

Why them and not us?
What could have possibly been going through his mind?
Why is he dead—free from having to face the devastation he caused, free from having to face the families he destroyed?
Why those precious babies?
Why those families?

I know many people are asking the question that has been asked for centuries—every time a tragedy strikes: How could God let this happen?

It’s a sick, sick thing.
It’s not God’s fault.
We can’t blame God for letting this happen.
If anything, we must blame man for his sin.

Romans 3:23—for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

In times like this, we should run to our God and cling to Him, not dwell on questioning Him.

Romans 6:23—for the wages of sin is death, BUT the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Although we are stunned, shocked, wracked with tears, angry, and devastated, we can cling to the hope we have in Jesus Christ. And, we can pray—for the families affected (including the gunman’s family--whatever is left of it), for the school, for the community, and for the sweet babies who have seen far more than their little eyes ever should. We can pray that beauty will come from these ashes. We can pray that God will work even this out for the good of those who love Him. We can pray that His name will be glorified somehow in this tragedy.


As I looked out at my kids earlier today—my kids who, at that moment, had no idea what had transpired this morning— my heart absolutely broke.

What if it was us?
What if I had lost one of them?

As crazy as some of them make me, I would be crushed if anything happened to one of them. In times like this, I find that I become quite protective, and the fierce love I hold for my kids is recognized once again. I guess it’s a good reminder to always be grateful for what I have… a reminder to love those in my life... while they are still in my life.

We never know when someone might be taken from us.

I don’t know what I would do if it happened at our school, in our town. I just pray to God that I’ll never have to know.

I am saddened that my kids have to grow up in a society with so much violence. I hate that their lives are filled with such graphic video games, horrible movies, and disgusting television…..and, I suppose I should add school shootings to the list….

Their innocence is lost all too soon these days.

So, I’ll try to preserve what innocence I can. I’ll try to love them and teach them as well as I can while they are in my care. I’ll pray that they never have to face tragedy like that which befell Connecticut today.


In the midst of this tragedy, I find myself thankful...

...for a staff that can come together after school and pray for the people affected today.

...for the flag that was lowered to half mast at Wal-Mart.

...for the little ones that are in my life (I'm wishing I could hold them and hug them right now).

...that I am entrusted to care for and teach other people's children every day.

...that I have a God that is so much bigger than this.

...that I have hope in Christ amidst devastation.

...that Jesus KNOWS: "Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows." -Isaiah 53:4

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Maybe I've been living under a rock, but I just heard this amazing group today on the Katie Couric show. I just had to share them with you all. 

If you haven't already, meet the Pentatonix! They are simply INCREDIBLE. I don't need to say anything else but ENJOY!

Their Christmas album is unbelievable. Get it. Now. Seriously. What are you waiting for?

This is also amazing, but hilarious as well. Hope you love it!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Quite Like, Rather Dislike: Health Edition

Quite Like:

THE NEW PAIN DOC--Many of you remember this post about the last pain doc that I had to kick to the curb. Well, I moved on and found another guy in town who was actually willing to listen to me. I saw him about a week and a half ago, and, although I had to wait forever to see him, I was quite pleased with the amount of time he spent with me. I told him I didn't want a nerve block, and he didn't push it. He said he'd only insist on one if the CRPS moved up my leg. Ok, deal. He did, however, up my dose of Lyrica (since I wouldn't do a nerve block). No big deal--except the side effects are sleepiness, dizziness, and weight gain. A girl's favorite things, right? Fortunately, the sleepiness and dizziness haven't seemed to effect me too much. But, if I suddenly blimp up, let's blame it on the meds and not the holidays. Deal?

LYRICA--So far, I must place it in the like category. However, if the side effects flare up, it'll be moved down below. My right foot still turns red if I walk too much, but the purple has lessened some and the burning seems to be getting a bit better. AND (this is perhaps the best news of all) I can now pop my big toe without excruciating pain! If you know me, you know I love to crack all of my fingers and toes. After my surgery, I could hardly bend my toes. Eventually, I could move the toes on my right foot enough to get a good crack, but if I so much as moved my big toe in a funny way, I'd start to sweat. But, just this last weekend, I was able to successfully crack it for the first time. Sweet relief! 

Rather Dislike:

PNEUMONIA--It's not a good time. Last Tuesday, in the time it took to drive from physical therapy to home, I felt like a train had hit me. I powered through Wednesday, stayed home Thursday, but powered through Friday (not a good choice). Not sleeping at night because of a crazy cough and ridiculous headache is a bit wearing. So, yesterday after church, Mom convinced me to go to Urgent Care to get some cough medicine so that I could at least sleep. The result? A breathing treatment, chest and sinus x-rays, a diagnosis of pneumonia, antibiotics, an inhaler, and cough syrup. Joy to the world. The positives? I have the best sub ever, I slept for 12 hours last night (and some more during the day today), and I'm hopefully kicking this thing in the butt (with the help of all the drugs).

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Burfday Extravaganza!

I must say, I had a pretty special and exciting birthday this year. We really had no "birthday" plans, until this happened...

...I won Disneyland tickets from Eyewitness News. I was shocked! I was ecstatic! I knew my birthday weekend would be a fabulous time to go.

Who doesn't love Disneyland on their birthday?

You get one of these bad boys...

...and people say "Happy Birthday" to you all day long. Joy. Being in a wheelchair and getting to the front of lines didn't hurt either.

Our moms certainly were troopers--pushing our bums around all day.

Highlights of the day: Suzy, Erin, Tiffany, and Logan coming to visit, Big Thunder Mountain, Dole Whip, Space Mountain, the NEW Star Tours (oooooo!), running into Aaron Perlman, and fireworks. Delightful!

The following day held another HUGE highlight--Georgetown Cupcake!!!! Remember when Mom and I went to Georgetown Cupcake THREE days in a row last summer when we were in D.C.? No? Well, read about that here.  It is AMAZING. And, one just opened up in LA, so we just HAD to go!

Each day they have a secret not-on-the-menu flavor that they post on FB. If you are one of the first 100 people to order it by name, you get it for free! Guess what????

I'd like a strawberry lava fudge cupcake, please! What's that? It's free? You just made my day thankyouverymuch. 

And, of course, we couldn't stop there, so we have a lovely collection of cupcakes occupying our freezer, just ready to be devoured. :()

And the fun and surprises did not stop there! On my actual birthday, I got wished "happy birthday" from FOUR different countries (including a phone call from Nicole---eeek!), I got a Panda gift card from a student, flowers sent to my room by some awesome coworkers, a cake made just for me by my amazing physical therapist, and this wonderful surprise.....

Dinner with the Gruebers! I knew I was going to meet my mom and the Jensens at Tahoe Joes for dinner, but my mom surprised me and invited the Gruebers. I seriously almost cried when I saw them. It was so much fun and so so special. I love them so much!

Oh! And we also got TWO free desserts, thankyouverymuch.

So, besides all of that goodness, what did I actually get for my birthday, you ask? Some incredibly unique gifts! Read on...

 A beautiful keychain that holds a fortune (Sauni knows me well!) ... an elephant ornament from Lauren, and a wicker elephant from Brother and Polly

 A gorgeous ring from my mom that says "Be Still" and has the Ps. 46:10 verse inscribed on it, an adorable elephant print with Zeph. 3:17 on it, some deliciously awesome Lush products from Lauren, and an Eeyore pillow pet from Disneyland (don't judge)

Tickets to Holiday Lights at CALM from the Gruebers, an adorable picture from one of my students, the neatest chair from The Container Store from my dad, and the awesome flowers

A chevron passport holder from Mom, a scratch-off map for the places I've been from Mom, and an abundant bag of goodness from Trader Joes from one of my students

Pure AWESOMENESS. I also got some giftcards and other goodies--I just chose to highlight a few fun things for you here. 

It has truly been a fun and special few days. Thanks to everyone who made it so wonderful! Thanks for all of the birthday wishes whether in person, over the phone, or on FB. I appreciate you all! I am blessed.