Saturday, September 21, 2013

Strange September

A few years ago Greg and I created alliterations for the fall months...not in order to become a self-fulfilling prophecy but because we thought we noticed a trend. After summer was over, it sometimes just felt like things got harder (usually the back-to-school schedule in graduate school added some challenges).

Anyway, there was "Sucky September" (offensive, sorry!), "Odd October," and thankfully a reprieve, "Nice November."  Since I have young ones now I try not to use the word "suck," so I'm swapping it out for Strange September.  And this September has been slightly strange only in that it's been a very different September than any other!

stitches + a sunburn around his eyes = hot mess
Mainly because we are homeschooling two days a week and Mia goes to school two days a week and our weeks feel busy and full and...different.   And I have a little man who likes to throw wrenches into our homeschool days by falling off a chair the very first day of homeschool, cutting his chin, and requiring 6 stitches (hello, trauma!)  I won't lie, that was a really hard day for this mom as well.  Like, immediate crying in the doctor's office when he told me he would require stitches.  I think it's the mama-bear protection instinct when you just ache inside for your little one.

The other wrench a little man threw into our advent into homeschooling/schooling was when he came down with a stomach bug the day before we were to have our family pictures taken with my girl Laura Hinely before she MOVED indefinitely to NYC 2 days later (speaking of, anyone needing some photos in the Big Apple should check her out!). That meant scheduling was priority and we wouldn't have many options or really ANY option to reschedule.  As a mom, of course I wanted my little man to feel better just for his own sake, but I also was hopeful he'd feel better for the pictures' sake as I didn't want this opportunity to pass by!

Well, as I was simultaneously trying to get things ready for our photo shoot and take care of Gabe, I came across the brilliance that is activated charcoal.  I read about activated charcoal on Wellness Mama's blog and how she used it for teeth whitening, and I'll be honest, my pearly whites were more like pearly off-whites.  They needed some love.  Yet I wasn't keen on the Crest White Strips as I tried them before we got married and they made my gums sensitive and felt really chemical-ly.  So I was excited to see that for less than $8, you could buy some 90 capsules to try activated charcoal in order to whiten your teeth! It looks like you have oreos on your teeth at first but it really works.  It's gradual, but it works.
I assumed activated charcoal had other uses and lo and behold, it can be used for stomach bugs (Gabe's very issue)!  So fascinated about it, I wrote this guest post for Modern Alternative Mama about activated charcoal.  You can read it here:

And oh yeah, Gabe recovered in 24 hours and we were thankfully able to get those family pictures made.  Can't wait to see the actual files soon! (These are just screenshots from Laura's computer from her iPhone.)

PS: School has been great for the chiquita!  She's a champ.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A tough time

There is a lot of sadness going around my greater community.
Just recently I learned of an acquaintance who lost her younger brother-in-law to heat stroke. He was only 19.
Friends from our congregation are dealing with stage IV stomach cancer & chemo treatments.
A good family friend's aunt is in her final days battling breast cancer & liver failure.  She is a very special woman, and I've only interacted with her a few times, but those interactions gave me pause, thinking, what did I do to deserve such special treatment from her?  I think that's just the way she is.
And a young newlywed couple just found out that the husband has an inoperable malignant brain tumor.  They've been married just shy of two months.
When does it stop? And that's not even touching on local or national news.

I guess the hard part of being a grown-up is realizing that it doesn't stop.  The world, somehow, keeps turning, and each day we breathe in and out as these lives just slip through our hands.  I still cannot fathom how one minute a person can be here, and the next minute, that person is gone.  As a 30 year old I still grapple with the finality of it.  As a christian, I know there are eternal purposes.  I know their soul still exists, and I know somehow somewhere a piece of them is still operating, manifesting.  But it doesn't mean that for the rest of us here on earth, that the hard news, is any easier to swallow.  It still hurts.

I wish I had some enlightened thought here, but I really don't.  All I know is:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. James 1:17

gifts from above
God does not change (thank you, God!!) The days we have with our loved ones are gifts.  The loved ones are gifts.  The hugs we get from our friends.  The teachings we receive from the older, wiser. The food we eat.  The "American dreams" we live...if any of it is good, it's from the Father above.
So I'm leaving this part of the day a little depressed, a little thankful, and a lot contemplative.  My heart goes out to all those hurting and I pray there is comfort for these families soon.