So I Went to Wyoming

2 07 2014

…and I kept a brief journal of my trip. I know. You’re such lucky readers.

6/27/14 – Wyoming, Day 1

I tried communing with nature, but it was muddy so I gave up.

My cousin, on the other hand, tried to drive across a stream and his truck is now stuck.

Did I mention he's a doctor?

Did I mention he’s a doctor?

So most of the men-folk and several women are working on that mess, while I sit here and avoid venturing forth into the mud.

Did I mention I hate mud?

It’s evening now. The kids are outside running around and a small group of adults is playing Carcassone. I’m not playing because I hate strategy games even more than I hate mud.

Still, I feel a little bit left out.

There are a lot of people here. I love them all, but the sheer proximity—it’s a lot to deal with for someone who really enjoys solitude.

The decor here is Western American rustic. Or something. Basically, there are a lot of dead animals staring at me and it’s creeping me out.

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6/28/14 – Wyoming, Day 2

Today I went shooting and I drove an ATV. I feel so bad-ass.

You can't tell, but I'm totally behind the wheel of an ATV here. I promise.

You can’t tell, but I’m totally behind the wheel of an ATV here. I promise.

I just sang in the family talent show. I feel less bad-ass now, but still pretty awesome.

6/29/14 – Wyoming, Day 3

We went to church at a local congregation this morning. The talks were on faith, which is personally relevant to me right now.

Last week my therapist brought up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, and we talked for a bit about faith. About how faith is more than believing in something—it’s knowing that if your hopes, your dreams, everything that if good in your life comes crashing down around you, you’ll still believe.

Faith, as one of the speakers said today, is more than just a feeling. It’s a choice.

So today I choose to have faith. I choose to believe my life will not always revolve around my depression. I choose to have faith that one day I’ll look up and realize my life is so much more than I ever expected it to become.

I choose. I believe.

6/30/14 – Wyoming, Day 4

Headed home today. We’ve had a great time here, but I’m still kind of glad we’re done.

We did run into some traffic on the way home.

We did run into some traffic on the way home.

So there you have it. I know, pretty exciting stuff. I bet you can hardly wait until my next post!

 





Good Enough

8 04 2014

You’re so much more than good enough.
~ Sarah McLachlan

Thursday night we had the first rehearsal for this year’s Listen to Your Mother show. Did I mention I’m doing that again? Because I totally am. I know.  I honestly can’t believe I was chosen for a second year in a row, but apparently the casting director is suffering from some sort of brain-wasting disease, because there I am on the cast list.

Anyway. It was my first time meeting this group of women—over a dozen smart, talented writers—and even though I listened to my favorite nerve-soothing Pandora folk music station on the ride over, my heart couldn’t quite decide if it wanted to reside in my throat or my belly as I knocked on the door.

I was the third woman to arrive, and the other two seemed perfectly nice. We made small talk and waited for the others.

And then the fourth woman arrived.

“Hi, I’m Jenny-” I started, and she cut me off.

“Oh, you don’t have to introduce yourself. You’re like a celebrity to me. I know who you are,” she very nearly gushed.

Wait, what? A celebrity?

Apparently this woman, who appeared perfectly sane, is some kind of…fan of my writing? I was flabbergasted. Actually, I still am. I mean, I enjoyed the Listen to Your Mother experience last year, but I certainly never expected this sort of reaction.

Which brings me to the point of my post. I know—logically—so very many things about myself. I know that I’m smart. I’m fairly certain that I’m funny. I have a gift for writing. I’m musically quite talented. I could keep going, but you get the idea.

But I believe I am fundamentally flawed.

Now, if you were to ask me if good old Bob down the street has something fundamentally wrong with him, I’d be the first one to tell you that we’re all children of God and God doesn’t make mistakes.

I cannot apply this logic to myself.

I faced this room full of women who are smart, gifted, funny, and talented on so many levels, and I felt…less than. I felt like no matter what I said, no matter what I did, it would never be good enough, because I will never be good enough.

I will never be a good enough mother.

I will never be a good enough wife.

I will never be a good enough person.

The next day, my newly-discovered fan sent a friend request on Facebook. Her profile picture showed a smiling face with a hand held up next to it, and on that hand was written, “I’m Imperfect & I’m Enough.”

Enough.

The thought struck me in the shower (because let’s admit it, all the best inspiration occurs in the bathroom)—maybe, just maybe, it’s not about being good enough.

Maybe I just need to accept that I’m enough.

I’m definitely imperfect. I’m far from good enough. But I am enough.

And you, out there reading this? This applies to you as well. You are enough. Whatever is going on in your life, wherever you are…you are enough.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. It means more than I’ll ever be able to adequately express.

xoxo





Remember Me?

5 12 2013

Hi. My name is Jenny, and I used to blog a lot.

I’m not entirely sure what happened, to be honest. Obviously there was the depression, but that didn’t stop me from blogging, so I can’t use that as an excuse. I certainly didn’t run out of things to say. You can ask any of my friends and they’ll confirm that. If there’s one thing I never stop doing, it’s telling people what I think.

Maybe I just got lazy.

But look! Here I am! Admittedly, I’m here mostly because I’m bored. Some of you might ask why I’m so bored. Here’s a pictoral explanation:

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If you’ll take a gander at the top of my humerus, you’ll notice it’s not quite right. “Good heavens, Jenny! You’ve broken your humerus!” I hear you saying (okay, you’re probably saying arm instead of humerus, because you’re not all into medical stuff like I am). “How on earth did you do that?”

Umm. Well. See, here’s the thing…apparently I’m a 90-year-old woman, because I slipped and fell in the shower. Just call me Grace.

So I’ve spent the past 2.5 weeks bored out of my mind, because yes, that’s my dominant arm. I can’t work. I can’t drive, because both of our cars are stick shifts. I can’t shower by myself.

But I can (finally) type. Lucky you!

Wow, this post is boring. I’m so terribly sorry. But they can’t all be Nobel-worthy. Really, what do you people expect from me? I’M ONLY HUMAN YOU KNOW.

That’s it. I’m done with this post. I can’t handle the pressure.

P.S. I’m thinking about trying my hand at fiction. I’m not sure the world is ready for this.

Oh, screw you, WordPress proofreader. Pictoral and humerus are totally valid words. WHY IS EVERYONE SO CRITICAL?

 





Happy Halloween, Sinners!

31 10 2012

Tonight I clicked a link to a Halloween Chick tract. Chick tracts are, as best I can tell, cartoon gospel tracts meant to be used by evangelical Christians. Approximately 2 hours later, I knew I had to share with you guys. Seriously, it’s like going down the rabbit hole. When you start reading these things, you may never come back. You think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. They’re like crack. Hilarious, overzealous crack.

Here’s a little summary for you:

Sure, Halloween seems all fun and crap, but really, it’s a pagan holiday masterminded by Satan, who’s trying to snatch away your eternal soul. And yes, you may be frickin’ Mother Teresa, but unless you actually say “I accept you into my life, Jesus,” it sucks to be you, because you’re headed straight for Hell. THE END.

Anyway. You really need to check these things out. Just don’t start drinking that Kool-Aid, because then we can’t be friends anymore.

FYI: Here we have a perfect example of how not to comfort your child when his best friend is hit by a car:

And yes, this does all remind me of the “Hilloween” episode of King of the Hill. If you’ve seen it, you know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you can Google it, or go on with your merry life blissfully unaware.

I realize this post is a little bit…manic. Life is a little off-kilter right now, but this made me giggle enough that I had to share.

Just remember, kids – the truly frightening people are the ones who give out religious tracts instead of candy.

THE END.





We’ll Have a Good Time Then

13 06 2012

On Saturday I was running late as usual. (Say it with me: I KNOW! Who would’ve thought?) As I put on my makeup and tracked how much time I had to get ready for the baby shower that started at 10 am, Big G asked me to play Uno with him.

Note: Uno is one of Big G’s current obsessions. Let’s just say If I woke up tomorrow morning and someone told me Uno had been outlawed, I wouldn’t cry.

After I told him I was (as per usual) late for my intended destination, he found a new target.

“Dad, will you play Uno with me?”

“Not right now, Big G,” Car replied, walking to the next room.

As he walked past me, I couldn’t help myself. I burst into song.

“And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon, Little boy blue and the man in the moon…”

Car turned to glare at me. “I HAVE TO USE THE BATHROOM AND I HAVEN’T HAD BREAKFAST.”

He continued on to the bathroom and I collapsed in giggles.

*Fun fact: before I left for the baby shower, I spotted Car playing Uno. Score one for Harry Chapin!
**If you don’t know the song “Cat’s in the Cradle” you’re the luckiest person ever.
***Seriously. That song plays in my head every damn time I tell my kids I don’t have time for something. I despise Harry Chapin for that.




So Tell Me

16 04 2012

Little G turns four in 15 days. I know. Don’t ask me where the time went—I’m as stumped as you. Today I got an email from Fisher-Price, because of course they want me to buy his birthday gifts from them.

Question: Do all children now magically turn into girls when they turn four? Because that’s kind of the vibe I’m getting here:

*Still no final diagnosis for Big G. Just waiting, waiting. All the time waiting. Losing my mind waiting…

**Also, I’m sick again, because the universe hates me.

***It’s possible I’m slightly depressed.

****But that’s okay. I’m going to plant a garden.

*****I realize that’s not at all related. I just felt like saying it.

******Plus I have to plan a party for a four-year-old, so I don’t really get to sit around moping. Dammit.

*******Is it really spelled “dammit” and not “damnit”? That doesn’t make any sense, but that’s what the WordPress proofreader claims.

********Why do I suddenly trust the WordPress proofreader? The sickness must be eating my brain! I must immediately take to my sickbed!





Emptying the Baby Trousseau

3 03 2012

This started out as a hand-written note (yes, people still write those), but then for some reason I felt compelled to turn it into a blog post. Maybe someone out there needs to read it, or maybe I’m just a raging narcissist. You be the judge!

Before I ever got pregnant, I expected to have girls. I had good reason—Car’s brothers had only managed to spawn two sons at that point. (Even now, we contribute 1/3 of the Smith clan’s naturally-born grandson population.) Then I got pregnant which, as you know, didn’t go very well the first three times. However, in two of the three pregnancies I lost, we knew the gender: girl.

With girls on the brain, I did the natural thing many a baby-hungry woman has done: I bought baby clothes. If I saw something ridiculously cute on sale, I snatched it up. I filled a Rubbermaid tub with clothes fit for a princess and dubbed it my “baby trousseau.”

After my third loss, the baby trousseau was discreetly tucked away along with other baby-related items. Friends would have babies and I’d buy them gifts, but obviously I wasn’t going to take anything from my bin—that was stuff for my baby.

Four years passed, and I was finally blessed with my miracle baby, who just happened to be a boy.

My brother’s wife had a baby—the first girl on our side of the family. “Oh, she would look so cute in this outfit I have!” I said, and with a little pull at my heart, I opened up the big blue bin and found something perfect for my new niece.

Three more years, and another miracle—again, a boy. This time, a strong (very welcome) feeling that my childbearing years were over.

Little by little, my baby trousseau has dwindled as my acceptance has grown. Last week I opened it up to find a gift for a friend and discovered I’d reached the last of the items from my blue bin of princess clothes.

Emotions are funny things.

I have no desire to keep girl clothes at my house. I’m thrilled I’ll never have another baby. Yet here I sit, weeping because my baby trousseau is now empty.

Still, that bin can now be filled with rocks and cars and Legos (and skinny contortionist boys). I doubt it’ll stay empty very long.

I won’t be the mother of girls in this life, and that’s okay.

I’m the mother of boys. It’s not at all what I expected, but it’s glorious.





I’m Totally Okay! Well, Mostly.

21 02 2012

As some of you know, my doctor diagnosed me with croup almost two weeks ago. What sort of adult gets croup? Hey, I think we all know if any grown person can get croup, it’s going to be me.

I took some steroids. I didn’t get better. I went back to the doctor, who said…pneumonia. Oh, and you’re wheezing too, so here, take this antibiotic, this steroid, and use this albuterol nebulizer solution. Bah, I thought. Stupid pneumonia.

I took antibiotics, steroids, and used the nebulizer (and somehow didn’t crawl up the walls). I drank plenty of fluids. I rested.

I got worse. Now I couldn’t breathe and I had chest pain. Still, my oxygen levels were good, so it couldn’t possibly be that bad, right?

Back to the doctor. Wheezing gone, but now he heard something in the lower lobes of my lungs that wasn’t there before. Crap. Off to the hospital for a chest x-ray, which came back…negative for pneumonia.

Whaaaaaaa?

At this point we were all confused and rather concerned. Because of my clotting disorder—complete with history of blood clots—chest pain and shortness of breath (SOB! Hee!) that can’t be accounted for by another diagnosis is a bit worrisome. My doctor decided to treat with steroids through the weekend (this was Friday), and if I wasn’t better by Monday, it was time for a CT pulmonary angiogram to rule out a pulmonary embolism.

And that’s when I started to worry I might die.

It sounds stupid, right? I’m 35 years old. Sudden death from a blood clot in my lungs seems rather unlikely, especially since I take blood thinners to make sure it doesn’t happen.

And that’s when I started to worry I was a hypochondriac.

I’ve spent the last five days swinging between the poles of “Holy crap, I’m going to die” and “Why do I blow these things out of proportion? Everything is fine.

It’s been a little stressful, especially since I felt like talking about it too much might make it more real. Obviously the last thing I wanted to do is make anything in this situation more real.Plus if I talked to the people close to me, they might worry. (News flash: they worried anyway!)

I had my CT scan today. It was a good news/weird news/not great news kind of thing.

Good news: Immediately post-scan they told me I was all clear and could go home. Yay! No blood clots!

Weird news: My doctor called me and told me the radiologist saw a tiny spot that could be a small embolism, but he felt “deep down in his soul” that it’s not because something that small wouldn’t cause these symptoms.

Not great news: The radiologist saw signs of developing pneumonia. Once I finish this round of antibiotics (the apparently not-so-magical Levaquin), I’ll start a new course of antibiotics (the hopefully more magical Omnicef).

Overall, I’m starting to feel a little bit better, but I’m exhausted. Physically, emotionally, mentally—I’m just done. I’m ready to be healthy again, but it looks like it’ll be a while before I’m back to 100%.

I admit, I wish the radiologist had said to my doctor, “Yeah, I see some pneumonia, but that’s it.” I’m glad he feels comfortable deep down in his soul, but I also know malpractice insurance exists for times when his soul perhaps should’ve been doing a few leg lifts instead of lounging in the beanbag chair. (I’m not saying I’d sue—I’m just saying doctors aren’t God. You got that, right? I’m not at all litigious.)

My paranoia is calmed, but still lurking under the surface. I’m finally at a point in my life where I’m comfortable saying I’m not a hypochondriac. I have real symptoms and real cause for concern. I have no desire to be ill, and no need to be the center of attention (beyond the confines of this blog, of course).

I’m not sure I’ll ever be free of that faint hum of disquietude. Frankly, I’m not sure I should be free of it. My body has failed me spectacularly in the past. If it were a person, I would’ve shunned it long ago. But it’s my body, not a person, and I have to be okay with an uneasy truce.

For now, it works.

*Ideal truce: “If you promise not to drop dead on me, I will keep you supplied with brownies.”

**Sorry this isn’t very funny. I haven’t been feeling well. I know. If you didn’t pick up on that, you might want to reread the above post.

***If you do need a laugh after reading this, I highly recommend reading this woman’s tale of her first visit to a French gynecologist. You’re welcome.





I’m a Winner

24 01 2012

Today I found out I won a ticket to the Story @ Home conference from Camille, who blogs over at Make it Work Mom. I’m too lazy to go into detail about the conference other than to tell you the following details:

  1. It’s in March in Salt Lake City.
  2. It’s all about telling your personal stories, which is obviously right up my alley.

You should read up on the conference, and then if you’re into that sort of thing you should sign up for it and come hang out with me. Really, even if you aren’t into that sort of thing, you should come hang out with me, because I’m just that awesome.

Anyway, I was pretty excited to win, because I wanted to attend the conference but didn’t want to shell out the money for the ticket because we’re poor. When Car came home for lunch today, I attempted to share my excitement. The (possibly exaggerated) conversation went something like this:

Me: I won a ticket to a blogging conference! (Yes, I know it’s not specifically a blogging conference, but whatever.)

Car: (After whining about how I’ll probably end up spending money on other stuff even though the ticket is free.) You should probably actually get back to blogging then, shouldn’t you?

Now that it’s a full hour after the conversation ended and now he’s back at work, I have this to say, “Go ahead, Car. Show me the last thing you wrote.

Booyah.

*I totally told him I was blogging about this, lest you think I’m a terrible wife who bitches about her husband behind his back.

**If I really wanted to bitch about him behind his back, I’d need to start another blog, since he reads this one.

***NOT THAT I ACTUALLY WRITE ON THIS BLOG, RIGHT, CAR?

****Sniffle.





Search Me

12 01 2012

Every once in a while I glance at my stats—not to see how many people read my blog (that number just depresses me, as based on my sheer awesomeness I should have thousands–nay, millionsof readers), but to find out from whence y’all came. What site referred you? What magical combination of terms did you type into the search engine to be led so very astray?

I really should know better than to ask these questions.

Dude.

A few things here:

  1. Who asks a question like that? 
  2. Who googles it? 
  3. Why the hell did it lead them to my blog?

I know I talk about poop a fair amount on this blog, but to the best of my recollection (though I’m sure I killed a few brain cells with the drugs), I’ve never named—or even contemplated naming—a bowel movement.

I thought the “megatron baby birth certificate” search was hilariously random until I realized someone was probably looking for proof that people actually named their child Megatron based on the number of likes or fans or something received on Facebook. If I cared more I’d look it up but honestly, I’ve lost interest now that it isn’t a cartoon baby Megatron.

I do find it hilarious that I consistently (seriously, every day) get hits from “Billy Blanks,” since the only time I’ve mentioned him on my blog is when I talked about how phenomenally creepy I find his peek-a-boo nipples.

FYI: I’m perfectly aware most of my readers are my friends and family. Bless you for finding me amusing enough that you’re willing to a) maintain contact with me and b) read my nonsensical ramblings. As for the rest of you—those who found me through blogging, mutual friends, Twitter, or (heaven forbid) freakish search engine requests and have, for some bizarre reason, come back for more—please seek professional help.

*I totally just upped my search ranking for “Billy Blanks.” BOOYAH!

**I think we all know if I had to name a bowel movement, I’d name it Bob. Partly because I name everything Bob, and partly because Mr. Hanky is already taken.

***Wait, did I talk about Mr. Hanky in a blog once? That might sort of explain the naming of feces. But not really.

****If you don’t know who Mr. Hanky is, you probably shouldn’t look it up. You might be scarred for life. I’m looking at you, mom and dad.

*****Wait, how would I know it was my last bowel movement? Are we talking about the last one I had (say, this morning), or the last one I would ever have? That might make a difference. If I actually know it’s my last crap on this earth maybe it means I’m on death row and I’ll want to name my poop something more bad-ass than Bob. You know, something like Slash. Or Killer. Or Captain Huggy Face.

******I’m trying to not contemplate the implications of having poop named Slash, but I’m failing miserably.

*******I also might be snort laughing.

********From now on, every time I need to use the bathroom, I’m going to say, “I gotta go make a Captain Huggy Face.”

*********I so win at blogging right now.