Tuesday, April 3, 2012

RIP SSGT Jamie Jarboe

It's never easy saying goodbye to friends, but especially when they are lost in the line of duty of serving this great country. SSgt Jamie Jarboe was shot by a sniper April 10, 2011 in the Zhari district of Afghanistan leaving him paralyzed from his chest down. On March 21, 2012 his body finally succumbed to the damages, the countless surgeries to repair the damages, and he passed away.

I have had many friends involved in the military throughout the years and have been fortunate that the war never hit too close to home. Jamie was an old friend from school. He was a bit mischievous, but one of the best guys you could ever meet. Anybody who knew him couldn't help but like him. He was that kind of guy. He moved away and we lost touch for several years until the wonderful world wide web brought us together again. We had the chance to reconnect on old times and share new memories together skyping, talking on the phone, and enjoying catching up. It wasn't until a friend shared the news on Facebook 11 months into his recovery that I even knew anything had happened to him. I knew he had deployed and there was that gut feeling in the very pit of my stomach that said something might have gone wrong, but then he had met his wife, gotten married, and we lost touch so that gut feeling was ignored. Everything happens for a reason I believe. There was a reason I hadn't learned of his journey until the very end though I'm not sure I'll ever know or understand that reason. There is nothing I could have done, but that supportive part of me says had I known I could have offered my support and love to the family in any way that I possibly could have.

I stumbled across this page today, pictures from Jamie's memorial. I can't think of anyone who could deserve the honor of the beautiful ceremony he had more than Jamie. He was one of a kind. A hero to his family, his friends, and all who knew him. He loved the Army and everything our military stands for past, present, and the hope for the future. I heard him say on more than one occasion that if you weren't Cav you weren't shit and he believed that with everything in him. He was so proud of that silly Cav hat (and I can say that because I said it to him more than once). He would walk around his room wearing it because he was that proud of it. If I know Jamie he's probably up in Heaven wearing that hat right now and walking around like he owns the place. And God lets him get away with it because how could he not with the kind of guy Jamie is?

Please take a moment of silence for Jamie, for his family, for his friends, and for our troops stationed here and across the sea. They risk life and limb for us, their fellow Americans. The least we can do is respect them and honor their willingness to put their lives, their families, and their future at risk for you, for me, and for everyone else in the world. RIP Jamie. You'll be missed every day from now until forever.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Long vacation away

I apologize, fans and friends, for my long vacation away. I could say that I've been too busy. I could give you a million and two excuses such as internship, work, babysitting, health issues, family troubles, etc but I won't do that. The explanation is simple: I've been too lazy to come on here and write my thoughts down. Sad. I know. I love blogging. It's a great way for me to get my thoughts and feelings out. I could write on pen and paper, and I love doing that as long as it's addressed to someone else. However, a journal and I have never been very good at keeping up with each other. I love typing. I love hearing the click of the keys as I write my thoughts down. It's therapeutic in and of itself. And so hear I sit, at 12:30 on a rainy Saturday afternoon jotting my thoughts down as I wait for the freshly mopped floors to dry.
I have been busy that is no lie. I am working at my internship site 4-5 days a week. I've been trying to take at least one day off a week from my internship site so that I can get things done around the house that otherwise seem to not get down after school or before work, with the exception of today. My down day (and literally it's been only a morning and afternoon because the evenings are full) are me days. I'll catch up on laundry, take a nap, watch a TV show I missed during the week, or read. What am I reading these days? Currently I'm in the middle of We need to talk about Kevin. A fictional novel about a 15-year-old boy who shoots ten of his classmates and his mother chronicles their son's life through letters to her husband. It is heartbreaking and yet gripping at the same time. One would think that given the amount of time it has taken me to read it that I am not interested in it but that is simply not true. It is my way of settling in for the night and telling my body "OK time to get ready for bed and sleep". I usually take 30-45 minutes before bedtime to learn about Kevin. Although soon it should be finished and I will be on to The Hunger games to see what the fascination is about. Stay tuned for that update.

In between everything I am trying to find time to study for the National Counseling Exam (NCE) that is to take place on April 21st. I studied slightly before the School Counseling Praxis, but I have a feeling this one is going to be more about theories, theorists, and research terms than the Praxis. And that means I MUST be prepared, or at least as prepared as I can be. It's a $300 test so cross your fingers that I do not have to pay that fee again. Shew.

Currently, I am taking a break away from social media with the exception of blogging and Pinterest so really only Facebook. There is a lot going on in my personal life and the social media seems to be making what I'm going through a little worse. I just need time away from everyone else and focus on me, my relationship with God, and my health. It has been a struggle the last several months due to my crazy busy schedule and the little downtime I do have has been filled with browsing Facebook or piddling around on the internet, when in reality I do not have time for it. I need to fill my time with studying, working out, and finding a job before August rolls around. Those closest to me know how to reach me and keep in touch. Please do so. I will be back. I just need to get to a semi-stress free place again, which may not happen until June. God help us all if it's not until then haha.

Peace, love, and sunshine my friends.

Monday, January 9, 2012

I gotta wear shades...

I've officially been accepted into the Play Therapy Certification program at my school. Play therapy (click me to read more) is a lot more than just "playing". It entails reading into what kids are doing and saying while they're at play. It's a theoretical interpretation of play to forge a bond with a child to help them cope with the struggles in their life.

I was going to start this quarter but with surgery coming up in the next few weeks I decided to wait until next. It will definitely make me more marketable as a counselor and open up different jobs for me in the field instead of limiting me to work within the school system (in case I cannot find a job in the school system). It is funny how much a person can change with just a few experiences. I used to be terrified of working with younger students. It's not because I'm not good with them, but because I am entirely too fond of them and was worried I could not discipline them. It turns out that I can and I will if need be. I've also found that I absolutely adore working with the younger students. I love listening to them and seeing how they view the world. It's beautiful how idealistic kids are about the world. It reminds me of me and how, at 28 years old, I still view the world but they do it without any jaded judgment. I also love how real they are. They're not afraid to ask how old you are (I don't mind telling), tell you exactly what is going on at home (much to their parent's dismay), or inform you of their opinions.

However, there are those kids who are not as vocal. They are, despite their age, very hurt and jaded by the harsh realities of their world. It's those kids that I look forward to helping with play therapy. It's those kids that I cannot wait to play puppets with and find out exactly what is going on just by getting on their level and being with them in the moment. This new certification is going to be a great journey into an exciting, ever developing field and I cannot wait to jump in and learn everything that I can!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Magic of Love

The magic of love is not found in an instant. The magic is found in the years that are spent cultivating a love that withstands the toughest that life throws it's way -- JLM

I thought of this after watching a Hallmark channel movie called The Magic of Ordinary Days. The basic gist of the movie is that Keri Russell gets pregnant out of wedlock by a Navy guy on his furlough. Her father, a minister, arranges a marriage for her to Skeet Ulrich. He is a farmer living a very simple life. Keri, still in love with the Sailor, agrees to the marriage but finds herself painstakingly happy. I am not one to ruin movies, but I'm going to this once. They fall in love. It's not in any one moment. It's over the entire length of her pregnancy. It's in the little things that they fall in love. She is a terrible cook, but she tries so hard. He is a very simple, not interested in discovering the world kind of man and yet begins reading about the Lost City of Troy because she wants to be an archaeologist. Both step out of their comfort zone to try and make the relationship work the best way that the can. And somewhere between nurturing their relationship they fall in love, which is the point behind the title.

Most days in healthy, loving relationships are what people consider "ordinary". The guy takes out the garbage. The girl makes the extra effort to put on some make-up. The guy learns how to dance. The girl learns about cars. They both take care of the kids, cook and clean up, and get ready for bed. There is nothing extraordinary about most days in our often very busy lives and yet there is something to be said for the effort one takes to make their relationship work. One person could leave the other to do everything. They could go about their day not caring that there is one (or more) people to consider other than themselves, and there are plenty of those relationships out there which is why we have a 50% divorce rate in this country.

However ordinary your day seems love makes it extraordinary. You've committed yourself to loving another human being as much as you love yourself. You've committed your life to caring about someone as much as you do about yourself. Vows are extraordinary. Love is extraordinary. Love can be found in the big moments such as proposals, the birth of your child(ren), death of a loved one, etc. But love can also be found when that black trash bag goes out the door over your SO's shoulder. It can be found in those moments spent getting ready for a date. It is found in those every day, ordinary moments. We need to always remember and always cherish and always cultivate that love, because every extraordinary day started just the same as every other day.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Upcoming surgery

For anyone that is friends with me on FB you know that I've had a rough couple of months with my gall bladder. I spent a few hours Thanksgiving night in the ER and have multiple issues and attacks since then with the most recent being NYE (what is with me and holidays?). After going to the ER I started the round of tests that would help to determine what was going on with me. At the ER they ran a few tests and determined it was not my liver and I did not have gall stones stuck in the ducts. From there, I was sent to have an ultrasound on my gall bladder to see if I had gall stones in my gall bladder. The results from that came back and no gall stones. The last test I had done was a HYDA scan. A HYDA scan monitors your gall bladder activity prior to an ejection fracture test, which is done to send your gall bladder into a fake attack. They then monitor your gall bladder during the ejection fracture to see how well it is functioning.

I got those test results a few days ago and my gall bladder is functioning at 23%. I'm lucky that it's not worse, but that means that only 23% of the time my gall bladder is functioning like it's supposed to which explains why I'm all over the place with attacks from week to week. My body is trying to do what it's supposed to do, but it's not always successful. I received the paperwork from the surgeon and I have a surgical consultation on January 17th.

I have had surgery before, but never laproscopic surgery. I also do not have a great track record with surgery and recovery. When I was nine I had my tonsils out. I ended up spending four days and three nights in the hospital due to complications. I went to have surgery on my wrist in September 2000 and the anesthesia went to my brain and killed me for close to two minutes (axillary block anesthesia, completely the anestheseologist's fault). However, with the bad I should note the good. I went back to have my cyst removed on my wrist two months later and it was successful. I was in, out, and the only issue was my hysterically crying coming out of anesthesia haha. I had all four wisdom teeth removed in June 2009 and I had zero complications from that. It was actually so successful that by the next day I was not taking any pain medication and had zero swelling.

I know that my few issues with surgery were a long time ago and what is meant to happen will happen. There is no preparation that I can do, with the exception of praying, that will guarantee a great, successful outcome. I pray that the surgeons are well rested, have confidence in their skills, and that I will come out feeling better than I have in a few months. I know that all will be OK and fear has no place in my mind or heart. Easy peasy, right?! :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Who is "they"?

Do you ever notice that people quote "they" a lot? They say breastfeeding is best. They say you shouldn't buy any clothes that are going to be motivation. They say you should jump off a bridge. I don't know who they is, but they certainly seem to know a great deal of information about a lot of things. And how did they get to know so much? Research? Or simply living life? I prefer living over researching any day. Why? Because what works for one person does not work for someone else. I prefer this answer "Whatever helps to boost your happiness, keep you sane, and achieve your goals then go with that". There is no one size fits all "they" answer that works for everyone. I've seen that firsthand more times than I can count.

With that said, I went against "they" (insert shock, awe, gasp reaction) and bought a sexy little black dress as motivation. What's that? You want to see it?
It needs some ironing because this is literally JUST out of the package it was shipped in but you get the idea: Low cut, cinched at the waist, a little peep window in the back, and knee length. Once I pair it with a sexy little heel I'll feel on top of the world in this dress. I ordered it not quite two sizes smaller, which is absolutely against what "they" say. You should NEVER order clothes that are too small, just in case you never lose the weight. But you know what I say? Do what works for you. This is how I am going to motivate myself. I want to fit into this dress. I want to feel sexy. I want to feel sexy in THIS dress. The weight will come off and it will come off soon. And when it does my girls and I are going to go out and I'll turn heads in this. "They" can kiss my slimmer booty when I do.

Monday, January 2, 2012


So I have this nasty cold, cough, running a fever kind of thing going on to ring in the new year...super exciting! In the middle of a coughing fit last night I started thinking "I wonder where the congestion, that I'm currently coughing up, comes from"? And because Google and I are best friends (most days) I decided to start searching the answer to that question and many others. Unfortunately, the one they do not have an answer to is "How did I get to be 28 and just NOW learn this". Oh well.

So what is it exactly that you're coughing up? You're coughing up phlegm. It's a combination of bacteria, white blood cells, and and mucus (tasty, right?). It comes from your lungs, not your nasal passages. You also should not shallow it and should spit it out when you get a chance. Why? Because it does contain bacteria and swallowing it means you are just continuing to harbor the bacteria in your body. Bad idea. But if you're anything like me you're busy and not always near a trash can or box of tissues to spit into every time some phlegm decides to work it's way out of your lungs. So what should you do? Drink lots of water. It will help to break up the phlegm in your lungs and help to flush out your system. Also, take an expectorant. It will help you to have a more productive cough, which helps you to cough it up more easily. Lastly, get some rest! Plenty of rest will help you to feel better because at least you'll be recharged and ready for the coughing and snot fest that the expectorant will bring about. I hope you feel better soon!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome 2012!

2012 holds some very exciting changes in my life! It brings a graduation, another move (most likely), certification, licensure, and maybe love if Mr. "I'd rather fight with you than make love with anyone else" walks into my life. Here is to hoping that it's better than 2011, and 2011 was a pretty great year. I learned a lot about myself, did things I never thought I'd do, took an incredible adventure out west with my mama, moved home, and spend time with some amazing friends and family. It wasn't perfect. Not by a long shot. I still have big goals to achieve and mountains to climb, but I know that I can and I will. Bring it on 2012! Let's see what you got :)