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New Year

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I’m sorry I’ve been so MIA on here… I thought I’d do some reflections from 2014 and wishes for 2015 to fill in the gap and kick off a new year.

For the past few years I’ve picked a word, or rather, a word has picked me, to describe the year. I don’t usually do anything with the word except notice and smile at how well it fits the people, situations, and feelings I’ve experienced. This year, I thought I’d share 2014’s theme word on the blog- Peace.

At first glance, peace is a strange pick for my 2014 because it was anything but peaceful from the outside. I moved, ended a relationship, and finished final edits on the book while battling a health issue. In the words of my counselor, “It’s too much.”

Yet in the midst of lots of crazy, peace forced it’s way in to my life in more ways than one.

The quickest version I can spit out of what happened is that I was feeling bad for a long time- extreme fatigue, confusion, hair loss and cold… always cold. In June, my blood doctor (that’s what I call her) checked my counts and immediately started me on iron infusions three times a week. These were rough in that they took three- four hours and the medicine knocked me out, sometimes for the rest of the day.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

My general doctor found a tumor and recommended surgery. The first two surgeons I met with didn’t think they could remove it without messing up things in my funhouse. (Meaning I wouldn’t be able to have children in the future). I met with several surgeons and finally found one that I trusted.

Which was good.

Because an MRI he ordered came back and the tumor looked odd and possibly like cancer. He decided to do a more invasive surgery right away. The next day my blood count had fallen all the way back down to my pre-infusion levels and I got a picc line put in that I wore for the next couple of months. I went in for surgery the following week and thankfully it all went well. They were able to remove everything, keep the funhouse in tact, and there is no cancer. I was off from work recovering for a month and continued iron treatments. I got my picc line out in December and have resumed a normalishhh, slower paced life.

2014 was definitely a strange year for me. I’m still discovering and piecing together it’s significance. I learned and grew in several new ways and in no particular order, I’d say the following:

  1. I learned was forced to have patience. I used to go to the doctors once every three years. Once I started going every day, sometimes twice a day, it took over my life. You sit and wait, freezing. Then they call you into another room. To wait. And freeze. In a paper gown. The doctor eventually comes and you are no longer the smartest person in the room, even when the topic is you. You try and remember half of what they say and focus on not crying. You wait again for results and an open appointment slot and move slowly forward on in your journey. I had to learn to trust others and get on their schedule. It felt unnatural…but once I gave in, it was sort of peaceful and I grew to enjoy my new pace.
  2. I learned to do less. My brain wouldn’t work most days, either because of low iron or medication. I had to be ok with simply doing less. It wasn’t easy at first but it was a good opportunity to let go. Since I didn’t really have a choice, this, too, eventually felt peaceful.
  3. I was reminded that my future is not up to me. It was rough thinking about the possibility of never having kids, wondering what surgery would be like, and envisioning battling cancer next year. It was over the top and I discovered there is actually a peace at work when you are in the midst of chaos. It turns out when there is nothing for you to control- no details you can handle, no idea what to even begin worrying over… you just let it all go. For the first time, I truly felt like everything was completely in God’s hands and it was oddly a nice release.
  4. I am extremely grateful and impressed by doctors and nurses. I am a floored by modern medicine and how freaking smart people are. With all its needles and surgery and pills and ways of healing- it’s like magic. I think there’s a time and place for natural remedies and I hate how it’s become an either or conversation…. Im glad we have access to both.
  5. I became thankful for my own health and healing. I made a lot of friends and have extended family members who are fighting far more serious health battles than my own. Their tests don’t come back with good news, their treatments don’t always work, and they haven’t yet recovered. It makes me very sad, and sometimes guilty. I don’t understand how God makes these choices. It’s a heavy, heavy burden and I have a newfound respect for people fighting for their lives. While feeling the effects of the actual illness, it’s exhausting scheduling appointments, filling out forms, paying bills. It’s a full-time job getting well.
  6. I let go of trying to be cool this year. Not that I really was ever under the impression I was succeeding at it before, I just learned there’s an identity shift that takes place when you are sick. You used to see yourself as healthy, active, and young, and then all the sudden you are no longer all those things. It’s humbling and often embarrassing owning your new limits. It was hard to admit to others and to myself that I was broken. You try impressing a first date wearing sterry strips and a picc line. You’ll feel positively geriatric when you have to ask them to walk slower, sit on a bench, and ignore the fact that you’re about to pop a narcotic. … I had to let a lot go.
  7. I learned I am more loved than I imagined. I love my friends and family, but still put the expectation on myself that I need to give back to them. I guess deep down, I viewed it as a conditional love. It’s a two-way street and I have to make an effort to earn and keep them in my life. This was a time in when I clearly had nothing to offer anyone and it was uncomfortable. I remember a moment in the hospital while three friends were visiting and I couldn’t stay awake. I fought hard to keep my eyes open, feeling terrible they’d come all the way to see me. Right before falling asleep, I saw their faces and I could tell- they didn’t care. They truly didn’t. They weren’t visiting me to get something from me. They weren’t expecting anything out of me at all. They came to give to me, plain and simple. That moment, and several like it after, gave me peace. I try to wrap my head around the idea that God loves me know matter what I do for him… but it still feels like I have to do a lot for him most days. My friends and family were a tangible picture of that perfect and unconditional love this year. There’s peace in knowing you are loved NO MATTER WHAT. You don’t always have to earn it. You don’t always have to be in a place where you can reciprocate it. This is wild to me! I don’t think I’ll ever get over the love I received during this time. The meals, visits, carried out trashcans, texts, phone calls, cards, flowers… I still can’t even believe it.

So what am I taking in to 2015? So far this:

It’s a wonderful thing to let go. It’s peaceful when you throw up your hands and realize you can’t do it all, and you don’t have to. Crap is going to happen, and when it does, you’ll get through it. God prepares you and gets you through. He uses loved ones, strangers, and experts. You learn, you grow, and you’ll be glad it happened at some point. I think I’m actually getting better at knowing this truth in the moment. I am excited for what’s coming in 2015, and I know there’s a lot of work ahead for me…but I want to somehow hold on to my newfound peaceful pace.

What about you? Any reflections or hopes? I’d love to hear.



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Dec 8-The last night I had to coordinate my outfit with an IV…. I don’t miss the challenge.

Photo by Etsy.com




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Looking to Date?

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140104238379569743_GnBf0umg_bFrom time to time, friends will send me articles that relate to my blog. I love when this happens! Makes my job a whole lot easier:) My friend Bree sent me this one she found through her friend Lesley. (Lesley has a wonderful blog called barefooton45th.com that you should check out!)

The article is from the NY Times and is called “The End of Courtship?” Click Here to read the whole thing. The basic message is that times have changed and dating as we know it is a thing of the past. Hanging out, hooking up, and ambiguous texts have replaced phone calls, dinners, and grown-up conversations about being exclusive.

In one interview, the article quotes a 30 something woman who says, “The word ‘date’ should almost be stricken from the dictionary. Dating culture has evolved to a cycle of text messages, each one requiring the code-breaking skills of a cold war spy to interpret. It’s one step below a date, and one step above a high-five,” she added. “Dinner at a romantic new bistro? Forget it.”

The article goes on to interview The Gaggle, a dating advice business founded by two women living in New York. I recommend reading this article on them. Thy advise women to start looking at little things like texts, Facebook messages, and group hangouts as real romance gestures and opportunities, not blow offs. Every era has its rules and culture, and ours has changed. Adjust your standards and then you won’t be disappointed.


I’d love to hear what you think about this idea. I have my opinions, as usual, but I thought it would be interesting to discuss. Is it time to change what we expect in dating? Is a male initiated dinner date a thing of the past?

My initial response while reading was “This is absolutely ridiculous! I go on real dates!” But, wanting to keep an open mind, I sat on it for a few days. I could be wrong. Times have changed, especially when it comes to how we communicate with each other. Here is where I’m at with it:

We Get What We Expect

Women will get what they put up with. If we expect tons of confusing texts, endless group hangouts, and the run around, that’s what we’ll get. I don’t think it’s too much to expect a guy to initiate a proper first date in a reasonable window of time if he’s interested. If he doesn’t, I assume he’s not in to me, or I lose interest in him in the meantime. Post college, I’ve never found myself in the middle of some lengthy ambiguous mess of hang outs. I can’t remember ever audibly communicating my expectations, I only know my experience has been that they were met. I say hold out for the real deal…or die alone…which may still be preferable.

Men Don’t Like to Fail

Logically, the idea that men want to disappoint and frustrate a girl they are interested in, as a way to woo her, makes no sense. If he truly likes her, why would he want to go about it the wrong way? Unless it’s a long distance thing, he must a) not like the girl enough b) not want to date someone at the moment, or c) not have the courage to make it happen. Either way, as the girl, don’t you kind of know all you need to know at this point? If he’s dragging you around, …he’s dragging you around.


Men Haven’t Changed

I think the article sold men short. The underlying assumption is that guys can’t or wont initiate dating, mentioning book “The End of Men.” I’ll admit, I had my unpleasant phase of thinking there were no real men on the planet. I’d worry guys were growing up babies and doing anything and everything they could to avoid responsibility and all that. Yes, some are this way, but I don’t think they represent the majority. I’m happy to admit I was wrong. My blog has led to honest conversations with males I wouldn’t otherwise have had, and what I’m learning is that good guys do want to be men, they just don’t always know how to go about it.

When it comes to dating specifically, I can see how it would be hard to know what we want from them. One male friend recently admitted he worries about coming on too strong, seeming creepy, or sending the wrong message. He and his friends worry a girl will think a real date = marriage. Which is when I kindly encouraged him to get over himself, that’s not how we think. (at least those of us who are moderately sane.)

My impression is men want to play by the rules, they just don’t know what they are anymore. As women, we set the rules based on what we’ll entertain.

This is the point where I get to tell you how Steve Harvey confirmed my opinions on the matter.


Yes, Steve Harvey. His talk show to be more embarrassingly exact.

To be fair, I was in a waiting room and that’s the ONLY reason I was watching it. Promise.

Anywhooo… a woman from the audience asked how to become exclusive with a guy given our culture of friends with benefits, hook ups, etc. Tyler Perry looked at her with a dumbfounded face, put his hands on his head and shouted, “Why do you women not get this? Why do you still not understand that you have all the power? Men can only hook up with you, hang out with you, text you IF YOU LET THEM. Men are the same everywhere all over the world…we all want the cookie jar…and you hold the cookie jar!”

What do you think? Ladies, do you think texts and facebook is enough? Guys, do you still ask girls out? You can tell me I’m wrong…happens all the time;)


Online Dating: Date #3

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Well, I’ve more than dropped the ball on this one.  Harmony has been kind enough to send me her stories throughout the summer and I’ve neglected to get them up here.  If you remember, her goal was to go on one date a week.  The one below is a good one;)  Enjoy!

“Scott is 37.  Works in pharmaceutical sales.  Lives in Sherman Oaks.  This guy has the most amazing story of how he accepted Christ maybe 8 years ago.  Complete with details of the raunchy Vegas bachelor party hotel room scene that somehow led him to begin his journey with the Gideon Bible.   After we retold our testimonies, discussed family and tragedy we got into the really vulnerable part of the conversation:
Me: “So tell me about your job.  Is it like Love and Other Drugs?  (Proud of myself for the cute joke, not really remembering how that movie played out.)
Steve: “You know I haven’t seen it, but I definitely don’t drive as nice a car as Jake Gyllenhal.”  (Ok, he’s funny.)
Me: “What kind of drugs do you sell?”
Steve: “I’m in the men’s health business.”
Me: “So like vitamins? ”
Steve: “No.” (awkward pause) “I sell ED medication.” (Oh, gotcha!  No need to elaborate.)
Steve then leans in because we are in the middle of Yogurtland, 3:30PM on a Saturday afternoon, surrounded by tables of families and young children.  “Erectile dysfunction medication,” Steve whispers. 
Super nice guy but we both know it’s not going to go anywhere. We didn’t have a whole lot in common in the end.
I am learning a few things along the way that I’d like to share.  Ladies, we all have our two or three absolutely perfect outfits.  You know the ones that accentuate all the right parts, smartly hiding all the multiple wrong ones.  Early on I spent a little money on the perfect first date outfit and it has been a good use of money because  I can keep wearing it over and over again since I’m consistently meeting up with new fellows. ”

This one needs very little commentary:)  I am noticing that it sounds like a lot of her dates go deep pretty early on.  I’m not used to this and wonder if it is me or a part of online dating.  Is it because the profiles already display a lot of the surface stuff that one might discuss on a first date?  Or are people typically looking for a serious relationship and feel it’s a better use of time to get to the serious stuff?  Anyone care to weigh in that has tried it?