Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Bounceable Bunch

Resilient people identify those who are available, trustworthy, and helpful. Then they go towards that light.

~ Dr. Dina Carbonell in "The Bounce Back Book" by Karen Salmansohn

One of my assignments from this book was to identify ten people in my life I consider friends. And then ask the questions: who is 100% rooting for me to live my happiest life and not competing or jealous and who do I always feel happier visiting - not more depressed? Those who make the cut would be considered my support system. The peeps I'd like to call my "Bounceable Bunch of Besties".

There are more than ten people I can count on in my life. But I was intrigued by the eleven names that sprang to mind...and by the ones that didn't. Despite my 200+ Facebook "friends", I know who has my back. And what an eclectic bunch they are: relatives, Army wife buddies from various duty stations through the years, moms from parenting groups I've belonged to (in fact, #12 is a parenting group) - old friends and a brand new one. A few of the BBB's I've never even met in real life. But they all share the same real qualities. It's clear who I can call, text, or post to in full crisis mode. I know who is going to listen with an open heart and allow me to find my way - even if she doesn't agree. I know who resists the temptation to judge.

I'm blessed and don't take my Bunch for granted. I've always believed that having good friends requires being a good friend. So it doesn't matter to me if I'm #1 or #10 on a friend's BBB list. Just as long as my name is there.

Bounceable Bunch - bounce on.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Little Angels

As I tucked in Isaiah last night, one family I have come to know through my Special Needs Support Group had said their final goodbyes to a precious child - and another family was preparing to. Two amazing girls who both fought unique medical battles - battles that ended both their young lives entirely too soon.

I cannot imagine losing a child. I take that back. I can imagine it, but not for too long. Not before I begin to lose it. But my faith reminds me that children aren't ours to keep. When God calls them back up to Heaven for whatever reason, we have faith that their lives have served a purpose. And that's where we should find comfort.

But I'm selfish. I'm human. I love my babies. I want them here with me.

Just like Ellie Mae's mama and Emilie's mama wanted to keep them close to them. I'd like to believe Ellie Mae welcomed Emilie into Heaven early this morning. Took her by the hand and said she would show her around. I'd like to think they skipped off together - something their earthly bodies had not allowed. And then Ellie Mae showed Emilie her wings. And then showed her how to fly.

I'd like to think that.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Table for 1

A friend of mine from high school organized a Ladies Night Out for her girlfriends last night. Knowing that adult conversation, laughs, and good food & drink were on the horizon kept an armed me out of bell towers all week.

Unfortunately, at the very last minute - she had to back out. The other ladies didn't feel comfortable celebrating a night out when the "tie that binds us" had taken ill, so it was postponed. At the very last minute. J had already arranged to leave work early to spend a "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" evening with the kids. So I was still going out. But who on Earth would be available to hang out on such short notice?

Turns out, I'm pretty good company.

I decided to take the opportunity to scope out restaurants for my upcoming birthday celebration. I've asked all my local friends to save the date - we're going to party like it's 1999. Just have to find the perfect venue.

It was an unusually mild winter's night, so National Harbor was abuzz. After stepping out of the parking garage into the breezy hustle and bustle, I felt on top of the world. Riding solo and enjoying it. Able to browse the exclusive boutiques without little hands grabbing at the racks. I could squeeze into tight aisles and spaces. And I could linger over dangly, sparkly items as long as I wanted.

On the enthusiastic recommendation of a very helpful salesman, I settled on the first restaurant to review. Good choice, as the line was long as I approached the hostess stand. I walked up and proudly proclaimed I needed a table for ONE - confident I'd be seated and finished eating before these couples' and groups' buzzers had even gone off. All my hopes were dashed when I was informed the wait time would be close to an hour. Undeterred and not willing to go back into the brisk ever-increasingly windy night - I stayed. Sat down and took in my surroundings. Women seemed to hold their men closer. I wonder if I ever did that with J. No worries, ladies. The last thing I need right now is your man.

When my buzzer went off signaling my table was ready, I was led through a maze of diners until arriving at a table - being set for four. The hostess whispered to the waiter,



"Si, UNO."

I didn't know whether to be flattered or embarrassed by his inability to process I'd be dining alone. After he cleared away the three extra settings he had just placed and I sat down, I grew less self-conscious. It actually felt good being there alone. Maybe it was my fruity drink, but the whole situation became empowering to me. Sexy and strong me. Charming and relaxed. Flirty and fun. I even asked the couple at the table next to me if they wanted me to take their picture. It was obvious they were trying to document their date before their baby is born.

Twenty year-old Sharon would have been mortified eating alone at an upscale restaurant on a Friday date night. But Close-to-40 Sharon had pity for the people who have never had the experience. You have to know who are to be comfortable in that scenario. You have to be okay with you. And you have to have a sister-in-law who entertains your "super-lightweight" texts. (Love ya, Tiana!)

One is definitely not the loneliest number. As far as I am concerned, it's the strongest.

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Look of Love

And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

~ 1 Corinthians 13:13

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Forget the Klondike Bar: What I Did for a Cherry Limeade

That's me. At Sonic. Yesterday. I drove over 100 miles round trip for one of these babies:

Yep - the infamous Cherry Limeade. Because we don't happen to live near a Sonic, it's been almost a year since I've had one (we stopped at a Sonic in Hampton Roads last Spring during a family visit). When we lived in Washington state, they eventually built a Sonic not far from where we were stationed. A Sonic we enjoyed until we moved...less than a year later. Surely Sonic would be plentiful back East.

Uh, no.

So no spontaneous trips to Sonic for us. Nope - driving that far takes planning. And a full tank of gas. Mariah said I packed the van like we were going camping. I'd like to think I was just being prepared.

The kids and I had a blast. Not only did we find and enjoy Sonic goodies, but to my absolute delight this was anchored at the nearby shopping center:




Saturday, February 12, 2011

Superbowled Over

The Washington Redskins were out of the running early on. Which left Savannah's Philadelphia Eagles. (I still have 0 idea how I gave birth to an Eagles fan). Rooting for them was painful enough - dealing with their getting knocked out of Superbowl contention was almost unbearable. Fond ties to Washington state and our time there gave me mad love for the Seattle Seahawks. And clearly that didn't work out for me either.

But by the time Superbowl XLV rolled around, I was delighted to finally have a team I could get sincerely, genuinely excited about. One that had a real chance of winning it all. Enter the Pittsburgh Steelers. I have no ties to Pittsburgh. But I have known their head coach since high school.

Mike Tomlin and I were classmates and Denbigh High School Class of 1990 graduates. Not only athletic, Mike was smart. An all-around nice guy. A natural to be voted our class' "Most Likely to Succeed". Although his team didn't win another Ring this year, he has already proven that superlative beyond our wildest dreams.

Which brings me to my vote for the Superbowl XLV ad "Most Likely to Succeed in Making You Smile". It goes to Volkswagen. The Star Wars Geek Mom in me could barely be contained:

The Force is strong with this one.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Matters of the Heart

And *spoiler alert*: it's not Isaiah's heart this time. Right on cue for Valentine's Day - it's mine.

I have been on a beta blocker since 2009 when a routine appointment revealed tachycardia - my resting heart rate above 100 bpm. As I have mentioned before, Isaiah has supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) that was discovered in utero late in my second trimester. He has been on medication for it since before he was even born. I was born with a benign murmur that was resolved during my childhood. A fast heart rate in my adulthood was news to me. Even though I had been experiencing palpitations that I associated with caffeine, anxiety, or stress - being put on medication for my heart wasn't anything I had expected.

Earlier this week was my annual Torturefest disguised as a "Well Woman Exam". I had allowed myself to run out of Atenolol which is apparently not a good thing (long story involving a transferred/expired prescription). At the end of my blood pressure check, the BP machine automatically restarted. The nurse informed me that occurs whenever it records an abnormal finding.

Ru' roh.

Turns out my heart rate was up an additional 20 beats per minute from that day in 2009 when my tachycardia was first detected. Basically double what it should have been. And as anyone who knows me can attest - it wasn't that high because I had been doing anything physically exhausting. So in came the EKG machine. In that moment, the impending Pap smear was sounding better and better. The EKG confirmed the tachycardia. After a stern lecture from the doctor, she upped the ante - put me on a more potent drug and wants to see me again in two weeks. Next step, a specialist. She also ordered a thyroid sonogram.

I'm having a hard time accepting the fact that I might have to take medicine for the rest of my life. Plenty of people do, but I never thought it would be me. Not now. I'm truly grateful for modern medicine and miracles. I'm humbled by the gifts God has bestowed on doctors.

And perhaps most importantly of all, I'm thankful Starbucks makes decaf.