Thoughts from me - a preacher's wife, farmer's daughter, mom, and nurse. Posts are mainly intended to help me journal the events of my life - topics will include kids, church, work, marriage, life in general,
and of course my dogs . . . and whatever else I feel compelled to write about.

Friday, January 28, 2011

How I See Him

Joel has been sick for one week now.
First influenza and now a wicked sinus infection.
Fevers are miserable.

He has felt absolutely rotten, but he has still gone to school
- sorry to everyone he has exposed -
and he has still played basketball.

He went to the doctor yesterday -
hopefully the antibiotic will help.
I am ready to have my happy Joel back.
Even if he is bigger now.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Do I Feel Warm? Wedding Story #2

Brian and one day old Megan.
November 15, 1989

There is no question that Megan is a Daddy's girl. . . And there is no question about the fact that Brian is pretty smitten with her as well.

He always has been.

When Megan was a newborn, Brian would walk in the door, hold his arms out and say, "Where's my girl?" It only took a couple times of jumping into his arms to realize that he didn't mean me - he meant Megan.

But that didn't bother me, I would snuggle on the couch beside him and enjoy him holding his girl.

Knowing how special their relationship is, I knew once Brian relinquished to the idea of Megan getting married . . . which did take a while . . . there would be no end to the lengths he would go to in order to give her the wedding of her dreams.

Once a theme was established for the reception and details were drawn up, Brian set to work making the necessary items. His work order: Fourteen 8-foot wooden trees on which to string lights. Surely there would be plenty of time to devote to these trees in between work, church, Joel's basketball games and tournaments, Christmas . . .

But considering Brian rarely works under favorable conditions (i.e. septic lift pump repair in -30 degree weather, major engine work in the CVS parking lot . . .) this didn't deter him one bit. Thanks to a 1000 candle power flood light bulb perched atop the house, the driveway was transformed into a woodworking center the likes of which Santa could have been proud.

Every night after supper Brian would don Levi's FedEx coveralls, flip on his flood light, and head off to the driveway for an evening of wood working. Most often Megan would come in around 11:00 pm after being out with Adam.

Megan: Those look great Dad!
Brian: Thanks.
Megan: It's really cold out here.
Brian: Yes, it is.
Megan: Have you been out here long?
Brian: Came out after supper.
Megan: Well, I'd stay and talk but it's really cold.
Brian: Yes it is. Good night, Megan.
Megan: Good night, Dad. Hey, are those Levi's FedEx coveralls?
Brian: Yep.
Megan: They are really short on you.
Brian: Good night, Megan.

This went on the entire month of December and, faithful Dad that he is, the trees were done in time for the wedding. But there was a pay-off.

Brian was now sick.

Oh, I have given him grief over the years about always being sick on big, important days. A claim that does not go unsubstantiated -

March, 1997 - Our move from M-town to the Hills. Brian is on the couch for 3 days straight with a sinus infection and high fever. The boys, aged 3 and 6, single-handedly cleaned out the basement. You think I am kidding? Sadly, I am not. It is quite shocking how much a 3 year old can carry in a push-comes-to-shove situation.

May, 2008 - Megan's graduation party. Brian comes down with a case of Giardia - he blames it on the ice from McDonalds. All I know is half-way through the evening and WAY before the clean-up, his stomach bloats to the size of a beach ball and he starts making noises I still have nightmares about.

Now, the day before what is possibly the biggest day yet in our lives, Brian is sick.

Brian: Do I feel warm?
Elaine: I don't care if you are warm. We need to get the reception set up.
Brian: I am achy all over. And my chest hurts.
Elaine: Really? You had better take a couple Ibuprofen and pray for healing because we have A LOT of work to do.

I guess I was just doing my impersonation of a Halls Cough Drop - you know, a pep talk in every drop. But still, probably not some of my kinder moments.

But it worked. Brian worked non-stop. From early Thursday morning into Thursday evening - stopping only to attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Then he resumed his work on Friday morning.

Lights were hung, tables and chairs were moved, decorations were set . . . There was no stopping him. He was running on pure adrenalin and love for Megan.

Friday evening came and went. His little girl was given away . . . and his adrenalin with her.

We sat exhausted in chairs while friends and family whisked away table cloths, dirty plates and cups, and organized table decorations into neat piles.

Saturday morning we returned to the church with the daunting task of un-transforming the fairytale hall back into a gym. I laughed and called Brian an old man as he walked hunchbacked and slow across the gym - that would definitely come back to bite me later.

Flash forward 10 days and now I am the one with the fever, cough, and body aches. Lying in bed and feeling horrible, I thought of Brian and how miserable he was during the wedding. I thought I had better apologize.

Elaine (texting): I am sorry you felt so bad during the wedding and still had to do all of that work. I don't know how you did it.
Brian: You made me. That helped.

Friday, January 14, 2011

What's that smell? Wedding Story #1

As it turned out, the week of the wedding I worked more hours in the clinic than I normally work. Murphy's Law I guess. With all the busyness of last minute preparations and Joel on Christmas break, our vehicle situation was strained to say the least.

Wednesday found me at work vehicle-less, penny-less and lunch-less . . . which, unfortunately, is an all too common occurrence for me. But after hearing Megan had returned from the city and was in town, I quickly requested a double cheeseburger (one of many weaknesses I have) be smuggled into work for me.

When she brought it in, I was with a patient but I could hear her sweet Minnie Mouse voice in the nurse's station. I was glad the other nurses at work got to see her and talk with her before her big day because they think she is the cat's meow!

Later that afternoon when Megan picked me up from work, I noticed a very distinct smell in the Jeep. Assuming that it was left-over McDonald's causing the smell, I asked if she had eaten in the car. She replied that she had. Although this smell wasn't typical for McDonald's, I let the matter go.

When the two of us walked in the house, I noticed that Megan had a nice glow about her. Knowing that she had gone to the tanning bed a couple of times recently, I mentioned that she was really starting to look tan. She smiled politely and thanked me for the compliment.

When she took her coat off and hung it up, I again caught a whiff of the smell I had noticed in the Jeep. No, definitely not McDonalds. This was a pungent, earthy smell.

I walked over and grabbed her coat and put it to my nose . . . I then walked over to her and put her to my nose. "It is you!" I said. "What is wrong with you and why do you smell like compost!"

"I got a spray tan today. Doesn't it look good?" she replied. "Don't worry, Mom, I know you don't like chemicals. I went to a place that's all natural. The spray is made from a mixture of beet juice and walnuts!"

All I could think of was that in less than 48 hours my daughter who had just been sprayed with two of the most stain-producing items on the planet was going to squeeze herself into an ALL WHITE dress, have hundreds of pictures taken of her, and stand before over 200 of our closest friends and family . . .

and she smelled like the bottom of the potato bin!

Why should I worry?!?

I know the wedding is all about the bride and not about the mother-of-the-bride, but at this point in the game my nerves are about shot. We had weathered bridesmaid dresses not fitting, hairstyles not working . . .

"Are you just trying to add stress to our lives, Megan!" was my response. But considering she had already been sprayed, there was not much else to say.

We went about our evening getting ready for church. I noticed, however, that each time we passed in the house, she looked a little different.

She smelled the same, unfortunately, but looked different. She was darker . . . with each passing minute she was getting darker!

After trying to explain that the spray tan consists of a color coat followed by a clear coat that wears off over a few hours revealing the color coat that darkens over time . . . It became clear to me -

We have no idea what color Megan will be for the wedding!

My immediate suggestion was that she shower repeatedly - with her Dad's Lava soap. Megan reassured me that by picking a spray made of beets and walnuts rather than carrots and pumpkin she would have a more bronze look and would NOT end up looking orange.

I guess the trade-off was she could have smelled like pie instead of compost.

All in all, the spray tan worked well. It did not rub off on her dress. She did not end up looking orange, and the smell went away the next day.

Maybe I will get one.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

New Friends

Scooby and Misty
Misty missing her girl.
Scooby being a good friend.
*Note: This picture WAS NOT staged.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Me and My Boys

Levi - Me - Joel

A candid shot of the boys and me at the reception.

The boys were a HUGE help getting ready for the wedding and reception. Having gone to school at TCM and having helped with numerous school programs, plays, events . . . they know the school/church like the back of their hand.

The boys did everything from setting up the scaffolding, hanging the ornaments from the gym ceiling, setting up the tables and chairs (after first finding all of the chairs), hanging lights, finding all of the plug-ins . . .

Their help was essential.

While Joel did the bigger more visible things, Levi was meticulously working behind the scenes with all of the unseen things - like taping all of the extension cords to the floor and being sure all of Megan's things got put in Adam's car. The jobs they chose to do were so typical of their personalities.

Both worked tirelessly and without complaint - all out of love for their sister.

I love my handsome boys, the love they have for Megan, and their servant's heart.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Wedding Day!!!

Megan and Adam
January 7, 2011

So many stories to tell . . .
so many blessings to count . . .
so many answered prayers to share . . .

I look forward to telling them all!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Still Mom

My emotions are raw right now . . . tears are never far away.

It is actually silly to be sad, however, because this is what we set out to accomplish.

Megan has grown from a small 6 lb. 12 oz. infant girl who was dependent on us for everything into a beautiful, mature, fine Christian lady who is ready and capable to care for herself and her husband.

But as a mom, it is hard to let go. It is hard to be done with a job you have worked so hard at doing.

I heard that Da Vinci loved the Mona Lisa so much that he tarried in finishing painting it for 15 years. And that after it was finally finished, he carried it with him wherever he went and never sold it.

The selfish side of me would like to do that with Megan - to keep her at home with me longer.

But truth is - I love her too much to do that.

I love - love. I love being a wife and a mother - and I am looking forward Megan experiencing this and to experiencing the newness of it again through her.

There are so many firsts ahead of her . . . so many exciting days ahead.

In reality I know that even though she is now grown, I will always be her mother - and she will always need me.

I still need my mother - so I know this is true.

I am looking forward to the phone calls asking me:

How long do you bake your meatloaf?
What medicine should I give Adam for his cold?
How do you get cat puke out of the carpet?

It is nice to always be needed.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Joel: This is weird.

Megan: What is weird?

Joel: This is your last Saturday at home.

Megan: I know, it is weird.

Looking at Joel, she notices the expression on his face.

Megan: Are you sad?

Joel: Of course I am sad.

Megan: Why?

Joel: Because you are my sister and I love you.


I love Target!

Even better - I love Target when things are 75% off!!!

Megan and I were out today shopping for the final items for the reception. Kind of on a whim, we stopped at Target where we found ALL of their Christmas items 75% off!!!

Lights . . .
Ornaments . . .
Ribbon . . .

It was awesome!

We hauled out TWO carts of stuff!!

The look on Brian's face was priceless as he saw our MANY bags filling the backseat of the Jeep. He was VERY pleased and MUCH relieved to find out what good bargain shoppers we had been!