Goodbye

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” -Winnie the Pooh

We’ve said a lot of tough goodbyes this week.

I trained my clients and taught spin at Next Level for the last time. They had the sweetest reception table set up for me all day.

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My favorite Cassie cupcakes, fruit and too many fabulous gifts.

Angie. My boss and partner. Client and trainer. Friend. Love you, girl.

Angie. My boss and partner. Client and trainer. Friend. Of course we matched on our last day together. Unplanned.

And I savored one last workout with Angie and Sara.

We shared life around the table with six of our favorites.

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These people have become like family to us.

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They’ve spent hours with us at the NICU, brought onion burgers to the ER (that stunk up our hospital room), celebrated every birthday with a toast, laughed until we peed our pants, tried thousands of new recipes together, treated Finn as though he weren’t different at all, held Paisley when we needed to breathe and supported us through this difficult year of transition.

Our FBC congregation showered us with the kindest reception, words of affirmation and gifts on Sunday morning. So many extraordinary people in that church. Joey taught his last Sunday School lesson to the university class.

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They are the brightest, kindest, most fun group of students. Such a tight community. We will miss them terribly.

We enjoyed a meal at Pub W with two of our first and finest Norman friends, Cassie and Chase. They are so special to us. If I had a sister, she would be Cassie. She nannied Finn when he was three months old. The three of us have piles of gym memories. Remember the lady who peed in the tanning bed trash can? Twice? We have high hopes that they will move to Tulsa soon…

Thankfully the kids got in to an extra day of daycare today so we could pack. Of course we had to have one last breakfast at Syrup. Said goodbye to our first and last waiter there, Johnny, and chatted with the rest of the staff.

Finn’s teachers sent him home today with gifts and notes and a few of them cried big tears. Our kids were so well loved at GoKids. We finally found a daycare in Tulsa, but it’s double the cost of GoKids and half as nice. Finn can’t really even get in the building…there are three steps to the front door. I’m hoping they’ll surprise us and be awesome.

As the contents of our home fill empty boxes, I’m reminded of all the work we poured into 504 Winston making it ours.

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So much white paint to cover the trim. New floors and doors and windows and knobs. Light fixtures and a fresh coat (or three) of paint in every room. This was a good house. Cozy and small. Just the right size for us. I lifted our bed skirt to pull out the random things beneath and immediately smelled Jersey.

3 months old

3 months old

She used to take naps under our bed. I wish I could bottle up that smell and take it to our new house and put it back under our bed where it belongs. I miss her.

So thankful to have so many wonderful things to miss. And such wonderful things wait for us in Tulsa in the months and years ahead. Psalm 126:3 is written on my heart. It’s the testimony of my life. “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”

Goodbye, Norman. It’s been real.

Jersey is Three

Happy 3rd Birthday to Jersey, our naughty black Labrador!

Memorable Jersey moments of the past three years:

  • Choosing you out of the litter. They said you had the most personality…and we loved your white toes.IMG_3998
  • Holding you in my lap on the way home from the breeder. At eight weeks, you were so scared.IMG_4048
  • Our first tornado…you, Joey and I in the tub.
  • You listen to my rants and don’t offer any advice.
  • You kiss our ears.
  • Your fetish with hanging your head upside down while you sleep.IMG_4379
  • When you turned into a swollen Quasimodo because we gave you raw nuts. Oops…our dog has a peanut allergy.
  • Your first trip to Annie’s Ruff House. Dirty dogs are happy dogs.IMG_0402
  • When we discovered you’re a fantastic swimmer in our neighborhood pond. Love those big webbed paws!
  • Local dog park adventures…until Skippy pinned you to the fence and we never went back. I cried in the car.
  • When you embarrassed us weekly at Puppy Star school. IMG_0117
  • When you got stuck in our tent.
  • You snore like a congested old man.IMG_4848
  • When you undug our cable line and ripped it from the house. Then the neighbors’ too…whoops.
  • You bark and pace when you think we’re in danger. You’re a protector.
  • You steal our socks and dodge under the bed.photo-153
  • The first time you met baby Finn. A natural momma.
  • Sneaking you on the couch when Joey’s out of town.photo-145
  • You are the best running partner (with a shock collar on).
  • You steal kisses from Finn when we’re not looking and you’re so gentle with him. Thank you. I can’t wait for you two to become best buds.

TGIF

Thank God. It’s Friday!

A synopsis of our day thus far:

Rushed out the door…with real clothes on (like riding boots, jeans and a sweater…not athletic clothes) to get Finn to his orthotic fitting appointment. Our Sooner Start therapist is a rock star and advocated for Finn to get fitted for a standing frame before the end of the year. This device helps Finn stand upright. He can’t feel his feet, so although he has some leg strength, if you put his feet down, he won’t bear weight because he doesn’t know his feet are touching anything. The standing frame and AFOs (ankle foot orthotics) will help strengthen Finn’s joints and bones and keep him upright. It is good for humans to be upright.

Therapist and orthotics doctor (orthopod?) measuring Finn for frame

Therapist and orthotics doctor (orthopod?) measuring Finn for frame

Then we came home quickly to turn off the outdoor Christmas lights, pick up Jersey and the flat jogging stroller wheel. Joey dropped me off at Starbucks where I met my dear friend, Joanna. We hadn’t seen each other since about 10th grade…almost fourteen years ago! We picked up right where we left off and she’s still the incredible person she was as a middle schooler. We were best buds when I lived in Omaha, NE. She now lives in Cambodia working for World Relief. I have the coolest friends.

Bad picture, good friend.

Bad picture, good friend.

While I was reconnecting, Joey got our stroller wheel fixed at a bike shop, went to Target and dropped Jersey off at the vet to get her anal glands expressed. If you don’t have a dog and don’t know about anal glands, I won’t educate you.

Joey picked me up after a big hug and a couple quick pics with Joanna. Came home to eat some yummy leftovers from our “friend Christmas” last night. Again, I have the coolest friends.

Big kids and Finn

Big kids and Finn

Coerced Finn to take a nap after feeding him pears and oatmeal.

Watched a recording of The White House Christmas, a documentary on the history of Christmases spent at the White House. Apparently Amy Carter liked to eat candy off the annual gingerbread house.

Excited to go on a date tonight! Seeing The Hobbit with my husband in the balcony of the Warren Theater. Sitting in the balcony is the only way I’ll see a movie…we pay too much and go too seldom to be annoyed by the popcorn chomper or the text messager behind us throughout the movie. I’m not as big of a Lord of the Rings fan as Joey, so if I find it boring, at least I’ll get a three hour nap…which sounds great right about now.

Thankful for Fridays and the random happenings that comprise them.

Play

We know Jersey needs a run when she prances into our bedroom and steals a stray sock from Joey’s messy closet. Then she saunters past us until we notice her thievery and dodges underneath our bed, taunting us to come get it from her. Even when we’re tired, we’ll climb on the floor and play along. Jersey is good at making us laugh. She reminds us not to take life too seriously.photo-153

Finn loves to play too. His favorite games of late are peekaboo, crunches on our lap (he’s his momma’s boy), dropping toys off the edge of his high chair, and smacking his lips. I can’t wait for us to play puzzles and trains and Hungry Hungry Hippos!

I think playtime isn’t just for puppies or babies. Somewhere I’ve heard “marriages that play together (oh, and pray together), stay together.” Every now and then it’s healthy for Joey and I to go do something fun together…and staring at a movie screen without really interacting doesn’t count. We try to do something different; spontaneous. Like rock climbing or mountain biking or trying a new restaurant. And we’re already dreaming about our anniversary trip (in June) to Mexico. Today we went for a jog at Lake Hefner before Finn’s orthopedic appointment.photo-155

Finn's the only one I know who can have fun in a waiting room...after an hour and a half of waiting...

Finn’s the only one I know who can have fun in a waiting room…after an hour and a half of waiting…

In Slovenia (summer of 2008) we often found ourselves sitting in a tent in the pouring rain. We had exhausted every sudoku, crossword puzzle, played Slovene Uno and read the entire Narnia series. We were so bored that we spent hours making up a card game. Most nights before we fall asleep, we play Othello, bluetooth Nerts, scribble out a crossword puzzle, or most recently, we play Welder on the iPad.

Take it from a black lab named Jersey and go do something fun with the people you love.photo-152

When Daddy Is Gone

…I give in and let Jersey snuggle with me on the couch. Only once. Then I lint roll the warm cushion once it’s time to go to bed.

I get the luxury of parking in the garage.

Finn cried throughout the night(s). Oh, every 30-45 minutes or so. Thought the ER visit was the end of this, but I took him back to the doctor and his ears, temperature, chest, and lungs all looked great. Just a very sore throat from lots of mucus. I think he’d say he’s got a headache too. We’ve ruled out the big stuff (shunt malfunction, flu, viruses, etc), so it’s a little maddening that my child seems like he’s in terrible pain with no explanation. Probably teething too? Praying he gets better very very soon. We need sleep. Please, God, we need sleep. This is one of those many times I regret that family is not near.

Clean fingers make cheap teethers.

I forget to eat dinner.

Friends take such good care of me. I am blessed.

The mailbox overflows with heating and air ads, medical bills and pizza coupons.

I intend to be so productive–clean, craft, wrap Christmas-at-Thanksgiving gifts, create new spin mixes on itunes, make baby food–but somehow I accomplish none of these.

I get to take and pick up Finn from daycare. The second he recognizes me is the best moment of my day.

I realize how much my November-bearded husband completes my day. Thankful he’s home…and he’s officially on night shift starting NOW. 🙂

Superday

It’s incredible what you can accomplish when you have the day off and wake up at the crack of dawn. Humor me while I bore you with the details of my day. My superday.

Heard Finn’s whistling, snorting, stuffed nose through the monitor around 5:30am. Up at 6:00, I fed Jersey while Joey fed Finn. Breastfeeding has officially ended. I had zero time at work to pump and eventually Finn preferred the ease of the bottle. Sad about this, but we made it almost four months!

Joey, Finn, Jersey (shock collar on) and I embarked on our 3 mile walk to Starbucks. I went with a grande passion tea instead of iced coffee. Decided to meet the nice older couple we always pass along the way. They have an eleven year old yellow lab and a son in Manhattan.

Sooner Start came for their first visit today. This is a state funded program that provides free therapy for babies with disabilities until age 3. Lots of paperwork today…not much therapy, but they didn’t leave without noticing Finn is a flirt just like his daddy. We’re thankful for this program and excited to learn new ways to help Finn be smart and strong.

Since our gifted Pampers ran out, we switched from disposable diapers to cloth today. Love this choice! Saving money and the earth one poopy prefold at a time.

Finn and I met our sweet friend, Stacy, for lunch at Fancy That, one of my top fav restaurants in Norman. Brunch pick: Mediterranean scramble. And their coffee is the best.

Put Finn down for his nap.

Here’s where I accomplished more in two hours than I normally do in one day…

Inspired by my mom’s work ethic, I cleaned the house. Like really cleaned. Scrubbed the tile, dry and wet swiffered, polished the stainless steel appliances, shook rugs, etc.

Reorganized Finn’s closet. If I could choose a chore, this would be it. So much fun. No sarcasm.

Quietly created a cloth diaper station at the changing table and folded the inserts. Ordered a cloth diaper sprayer online.

Finn woke up. Yes! I missed him.

Tummy time on the frog mat. Proud of my strong boy!

Off to Kohls to use a gift card on a diaper pail and some beach towels. Jersey shredded ours into tiny terry cloth bits when she was a puppy. Finn kept smiling up at me from the Ergo carrier and snotted all over my shirt. Super sweet.

Then over to Target for more green smoothie ingredients, a Johnny Jumper to help strengthen Finn’s legs and some other boring stuff.

Made an egg sandwich with gouda on Ezekiel bread for myself while Finn cat-napped in his car seat. Not the best dinner, I know, but when Joey’s not home I don’t cook and I eat less.

Scooped rice cereal into Finn’s mouth. Messy! Snuggled a little while “burping.”

Double folded two prefolds into Finn’s diaper to prepare for the night’s urine. His little butt was HUGE. Humidifier on. Light off. Sang our song and prayed for Jesus to heal and protect him.

Enjoyed a Horizon Organic chocolate milk with Jersey while watching Seinfeld.

Joey’s home.

Shocker

All I wanted for Mother’s Day was a shock collar. Yes, a shock collar.

Make no mistake, I absolutely adore my 98 lb., 2 year old black lab, Jersey. However, since Finn’s arrival, she has often been driving me to the brink of insanity. On our walks, she is so protective of Finn that she forbids anyone to pass us without jumping at them. While I’m feeding him, she is in the backyard barking at our poor neighbors for simply existing. Jersey’s also developed this miserable habit of yelping from her kennel in the garage in the middle of the night. She assumes we’re in the living room feeding Finn (like we were the first month and 1/2), but lately, we’re all asleep.

Jersey is a joy. I just don’t have time or energy these days to enforce her obedience, so I need a little assistance, i.e., a shock collar that emits “8 levels of harmless correction.” We’ll see how this goes.

Joey pampers me. He didn’t stop at the shock collar; he bought my favorite treat from Sweets and Spurs (love that place!): a dark chocolate almond dipped apple. Yum.

And I was wondering why the changing table had black ink on it…Joey imprinted Finn’s feet as a “signature” for my Mother’s Day card.

What a special day I had with this little guy and his daddy. I am so blessed.