Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Check out my fancy new Saturday Morning Post logo, courtesy of Mr. Wonderful.
Happy Saturday, y'all. Go shop at a Small Business today, because it's Small Business Saturday.
As a girl who had food on the table growing up, everything she needed for school and activities like cheerleading, and a college education ALL because of her mom's hard work and successful small business, I urge you to do this.
We're going to. I wish we shopped at more small businesses. But, sadly, it's hard. Especially in a big metro area like DC to even find stuff at small businesses. Not to mention buying American. Another thing I want to do, but find it difficult. And I'm not even saying because of the prices, but because the stuff is so hard to find.
What have we done to our great country?
Okay. Starting to sound political. So, stopping now.
There's a Christmas tree in a box over across the room from me. And two plastic tubs full of ornaments. And four new boxes of lights. I say, just buy new lights every year. They're like $2.50. So worth not having the headache.
Yesterday, we went to Ikea. As I mentioned above, I'm a horrible shopper who doesn't follow her convictions: It's cheap stuff made in China, sold in a huge big box store owned by Europeans. Ahem.
Anyway. I got some cool bottles and jars and I hope to fill them with homemade goodness for our family members this Christmas.
We're so lucky, because we are both going to see our immediate families around Christmas this year. Last year, we mailed like 12 Priority Mail boxes. So, we're majorly looking forward to seeing our people.
We had to miss my family's Thanksgiving, which was a bummer because that's actually my FAVORITE holiday, and my brother-in-law and my sister always make a beautiful, bountiful feast. But, I was still sick, Michael woke up Thursday morning feeling sick, and at that point we knew it was contagious, so we didn't want to spread it. Not the kind of dessert we wanted to bring, you know?
Also, believe it or not - this is the first time Michael has gotten a cold since we got married! He has like the Fort Knox of immune systems. I guess that's what having your hands on dirty, nasty, germy wheelchair wheels will do for you. I hope he continues to get better and better. It hasn't been that bad yet. I definitely had it worse. It got in my chest, and that's what worried me about spreading it to Michael, because, I've been coughing with all I have and he can't really cough all that great, so I may or may not have worried him into the Emergency Room. Phew. Why do I do that?
So, yeah. We had a little Thanksgiving at home. Watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I made a turkey breast and all the fixin's, which we have been eating for the past couple of days. And we'll be eating Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins and Cranberry Scones until March. But, it's all good.
Okay, there you go. Your Saturday Morning Post. M's still sleeping. B's not barking. So, onto my coffee, my devotions, and.... Pinterest.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Days like this are especially frustrating because she still has to do the stuff to get me squared away. Since I don't have to be at a job at a particular time I can sleep in with her and wear sweats all day (jeans and slacks are hard to put on).
Sick days are quiet and lazy. Hopefully a couple of these will be enough to get her well. We are looking forward to Thanksgiving at her sister's.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
|Dana, Royce, Tyler and David|
We were talking about how tough it must be for these couples with a spouse travelling so much. That's the way TV news is. Then we thought about the soldiers who are deployed for 18 months. And Dana's friend, a newlywed who lives here all week and her husband lives hours away.
For the last two years we have settled into some comfortable routines. We find comfort with that day-to-day rhythm. Meals, sleep, work, personal care all flow in that predictable pattern. We joke that we're like an old couple.
The election will keep Dana on the road the next year. She will be home most of the time, but will spend a lot traveling. There will be surprises and unexpected schedule changes. So whether it's Dana in a plane or our routine, things are up in the air the next few months.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
I didn't get a blog post out yesterday. Doh!
I was trying to make sure we had a post up every day for November, for National NaBloPoMo, but, I failed.
Maybe there is grace in the blogging world?
I'm sitting up in a king sized bed just outside of Des Moines, Iowa. I'm watching Paula Deen make a sweet potato cake on the Food Network, and I'm getting hungry! I'm pretty sure I have actually stayed in this very room before. We kind of come here a lot. There's this little thing called the Iowa Caucuses that is very important in the presidential nomination process. Maybe you've heard of it. It's in about 50 days or so.
I don't even know how many times I've been to Iowa over the last year, but it has been many.
And I actually don't hate it.
I mean, it is land locked.
And it's in the Central time zone.
But it's not like I have to live here.
The people are SO nice.
They SPEAK ENGLISH.
And they eat real food.
I love them!
I am so lucky that I have such a cool job. If I could give everyone on this planet something, besides Jesus, I would give them a job that they love. That they are passionate about. That doesn't feel like work. Because it is seriously the best. I love what I do.
This week, I covered a conference. A bunch of meetings and speeches may sound boring to you, but I came away from this experience very inspired on a personal level. I'm not going to go into details, because journalism is tricky like that -- keeping the personal and the professional separate -- but I will tell you...
That Condoleezza Rice is a freaking ROCK STAR.
That as I sat and listened to her speech yesterday, I downloaded her book right there in the ballroom on my Kindle. I have no picture of Condi. Sorry, folks. I was in the back corner where they put the media and all I had was my iPhone.
You can read about her remarks here.
I love that she is a sassy, smart, well rounded girl who is not afraid to like and do what she likes - even if it is super unconventional.
Also, I worked on getting some interviews with the wives of some of the GOP Presidential candidates, along with our White House Correspondent.
We talked to Mary Kaye Huntsman.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Since I broke my neck people have commented on my positive spirit. There are plenty of challenges each day that go unseen. With those come discouragement and disappointment. Sharing those challenges with somebody else makes them more real.
So it is with us. Recently we've faced so many disappointments that are directly related to my disability: bum shower chair, bum old wheelchair, bum new wheelchair, bum bum. Like a flood surge overwhelms a town, these constant frustrations have overwhelmed us.
This weekend I was DONE. It was a bathroom day --the worst part of our routine. My body didn't cooperate and D had to help me. It's so very frustrating for me to sit there as my WIFE coaxes things along. We have a long list of things that have gone so bad lately. This was the last straw.
Dana got me through it and into the bed. Then I lost it. I cried uncontrollably because I felt so helpless.
For several years I was okay with this whole gig. I remember hearing people say, "God doesn't give us more than we can handle." I've heard people talk about his miracles. I've sung hymns and praise songs, prayed, shared, and sobbed. But this weekend I cried out to God because I'm not strong enough.
It's not fair. Ask anybody who has known me any amount of time. I am a good guy. Not that anybody deserves this, but not me. If there were some noble purpose in it I might consider it, but no. I hear the word "miracle" bandied about: our pastor talks about the church receiving a financial miracle (i.e., a million-dollar donation); newspeople talk about a medical miracle (i.e., successful treatment against the odds); sports fans talk about a miracle win (i.e., a lucky break).
It left me asking, "Where's MY miracle?!" People have been praying for me and believing for my miracle for seventeen years. If faith is coming to the end of myself, I'm there. It's not a headache. It's not a tumor. It's not an infection. Short of significant medical breakthrough, there is nothing any man can do to fix it. If God is able to heal my body, or anybody else's, bring it on.
When people comment about us being inspirational we wince. This is our reality: so much of this sucks. Some days are WONDERFUL; others are bareable; a few are downright heart-breaking. Most days we wrestle through the limitations and hardships that come with having or caring for someone with a disability. It affects everything:
- I'm a job seeker with a disability,
- we get up two hours early because I have a disability,
- we cancel our plans because of my disability,
- we can't go some place because it is inaccessible,
- we have to get healthcare because of my disability.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
But, last night, we were up late.
And, I'm so glad we were.
Because we watched the ABC News/Diane Sawyer special about Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly.
And, it was amazing. Watch it.
It will make you laugh.
It will make you cry.
Not in that order.
You will pull for them.
You will see something that you see in yourself, even if you haven't had a tragic brain injury or other major bodily injury or physical challenge.
This is the tough stuff of love.
This is the story of love winning.
This is the love story we all want to have, without the hard part.
God bless Gabby and Mark. I wish them a full recovery, more good days than bad, and children. Really, really cute, healthy little children.
May they never stop laughing.
I need to remember that.
You do have to laugh, don't you? Or, you'll never make it.
|This is what is set up on our bedside table right now. :(|
I would really appreciate it if this little problem understands that I have to travel to Iowa on Friday, and I have to leave my husband in someone else's care for a couple of nights, so it needs to get better, STAT, mmkay?
Too bad it doesn't work like that. If I could patch this whole thing up and put some Neosporin on it and make it go away, I obviously would have done that a million years ago. But, I can't. I hate having to realize this over and over.
And, yet, I still try to control it. I still try to heal the little things in 48 hours so I can leave and not feel guilty. So I don't have to trust anyone else. Because I suck at that. I admit it. Totally suck.
But you know what I learned a long time ago? When I was a kid? Quitters never win. Winners never quit. And, just because I technically have no control over this little issue, doesn't mean I'm not going down without a fight.
It will be okay. Don't think this is a big huge deal (this is mainly a disclaimer for our families, namely, my mom who is the biggest worrier on the planet). It's not. It's a tiny deal. But, it's a deal.
If Gabby Giffords can get shot in the head and learn how to speak and talk again, we can handle this little situation. And maybe not laugh about it, directly, but laugh, none the less.
Monday, November 14, 2011
1. I went to the White House today, it never stops being cool.
2. I wish I could get the time back that commuting costs me. I wish I could fix dinner while I was on the metro.
3. I have heard from two people in the last two days who found our blog and have similar situations (one able bodied spouse or partner and one disabled). You are a big part of why we lay our junk out there. Thanks for contacting us!
4. My nephew's birthday is Friday. Why are all nephew cards super lame?
5. I had writer's block today. My usual cures, Matchbox 20 and a latte' helped. Phew!
6. I am eager to see our families for the Holidays, can't wait to get some solid plans set!
7. I wish my eyebrows would wax themselves. I don't have time to deal with them!
8. I am headed back to Iowa on Friday. I am looking forward to a few days on the campaign trail, but I will miss my Michael. I may or may not have been having political withdrawals.
9. I love people (especially in the customer service profession) who speak English. I love you.
10. I wish I was a better blogger and that I wasn't literally phoning this post in.
Maybe I will do better tomorrow.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
|Birthday basket from Dana|
- Assorted beer
- Bailey's chocolates
- Ginger chews
- Danish cookies
- Assorted teas, and
- Carr's crackers
Saturday, November 12, 2011
It feels like it's been a while since I've been here on a Saturday morning, with my coffee and my recipe magazines and my thoughts and my computer screen.
How sweet it is!
A few thoughts about yesterday.
That is just crazy. My sister loves the number 11, so I thought of her all day long.
It was Veterans Day. I am so proud to say that both of my grandfathers, my dad and now my brother are Veterans. I am proud of their service and sacrifice and honored to be a part of a family with such a history of military service.
I am also so proud and thankful for our Wounded Warriors that we are getting to know now, as they recover from their life changing injuries. They are truly amazing guys! I am speaking of Derek McConnell and Chaz Allen, specifically.
Quickly, on that - we are still making meals and delivering them to Walter Reed Bethesda pretty much every weekend. I want to say a huge THANK YOU to those of you that have supported us with grocery store gift cards! I am hoping to connect with more Wounded Warrior families soon, and see if I can provide them or their families with meals, too. Jessica Allen, wife of Chaz who is one of our courageous Wounded Warrior Vets, also has some ways you can help on her blog (see links below). Jessica is a firecracker, and a get-it-done kind of girl. She's also a great writer, so check out their story!
You can help with household items or care packages.
Here is a little tease. Don't say I didn't warn you on getting some tissues.
I *love* this song! You may remember me posting about it last year.
When I first met Jessica, she said something that really stuck with me. Anyone who has been reading this blog knows that I have a history of battling with my pride, and accepting help from others. I don't want anyone to feel sorry for us, or for Michael. I don't want to be anyone's hero and Michael doesn't want to be anyone's inspiration. But, it happens.
Jessica was telling me about someone offering something to them after Chaz's injury - I don't remember what it is - but she said she was like, "Don't do this because you feel sorry for us. Don't do this because my husband stepped on an IED and lost his legs. Do this because you think we are awesome, and we are rocking this thing out."
I. loved. that. idea.
Don't step in and help or think we are an inspiration because you feel sorry for us. Or because when you see us, you automatically think, "I could never do that." Because you probably could. Love is a very powerful thing! Step in and help or think we are cool because we are doing this. We are rocking it out. Offer to help or give us props because you want to join in on that energy that is simply rocking something out.
Thank you, Jessica, for opening my eyes to experiencing a challenge in that way.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
I am so glad this guy was born.
I am so glad he married me.
I am so glad that he will always be older than me. :)
And that on his birthday, I also get to enjoy birthday buns and cake.
Michael, I love you even more than icing.
I hope you enjoy every moment of your day.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
I love Fall, I really do. It is so beautiful. I love the leaves, and all things pumpkin, and all of the fall candle scents. And I like boots.
But, I just don't like what Fall leads to... you know... it's a slippery slope to... WINTER.
Ack! I don't usually curse on this blog, it's a family blog, you know.
My denial of cooler temperatures was able to continue today because it was almost 70 degrees.
I have not packed away my flip flops yet.
But soon. Soon socks will be a daily must. Soon, I will be wearing black pants every day for 4 months. Soon the Metro will be more packed because of commuters in heavy coats.
But that's okay. At least there are Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Gingerbread Lattes. And I do love Thanksgiving and Christmas is okay.
There you have it. There's my little Fall pep talk.
Does anyone else want to enjoy it until Christmas, then take a nap, and wake up to Cherry Blossom time in April?
Let's do it.
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
It's before 5:00am and I'm sitting in my blue chair in the living room, watching the morning weather, wincing through the "news" about Michael Jackson's doctor, and absorbing heat from a heating pad on my neck. I woke up with a crick (sp?) in my neck yesterday and it still hurts! Ouch.
I've been reading "Crazy Love," by Francis Chan. If you ever want to feel like you are a horrible Christian, get this book! I say that in a good way. He really challenges us to step up and live our faith, not just talk about it and not just phone it in.
Yesterday, I read where Mr. Chan suggested you take 1 Corinthians 13, you know, the one famously quoted in weddings.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not
delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perserveres."
Mr. Chan suggests looking at this a different way, replacing the word "Love," with your name. So for me it would be "Dana is patient, Dana is kind... She does not envy..."
So, I read it like that.
And I almost fell on my knees reading my Kindle, right there on the metro.
I am NOT patient. I am only SOMETIMES kind. I DO envy, all the time! I do boast. I am so proud, I do not even like to accept help from anyone. Okay, I don't think I really dishonor others, but I can be totally self seeking, I have recently been more easily angered (especially at my poor husband!) I can keep a record of wrongs (don't even ask me about my birthday) I doubt trust, give up hope and want to give up sometimes.
Wow. What an awesome wife, huh? I was feeling really convicted when I realized all of this. But, I'm thankful for that conviction. So, this is my repentance. The truth is, I know I cannot love like this (pardon me, that was not on purpose!) on my own. I need Jesus to pull this off!
Monday, November 7, 2011
Sunday, November 6, 2011
A ponied of Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend sure would put a smile on my face! I love that stuff! Christmas Blend is my ultimate favorite though, can't wait until they stock that soon! I saw a bunch of boxes being delivered to one of my Starbucks the other day, so hopefully very soon!
Saturday, November 5, 2011
I spent something like 8 hours in my blue chair watching Hulu today.
Thankful for a husband who takes good care of me, though!
Michael has been making me peppermint tea, rubbing my head and neck with his wrist and his shoulder, bringing me hot rags, and taking care of the dogs.
You might think by looking at us, that I do a lot of caregiving. Yes, I do. But the giving of care works both ways around here, and I bet you he puts a lot of husbands, paralyzed or not, to shame.
Friday, November 4, 2011
After so much travel lately, I missed renewing my subscription to the Sunday Washington Post, and I just don't feel like I have it in myself to clip, organize, and shop according to double coupon sales.
So. I did it. I shopped without coupons And I even did all of my shopping for the week in one place. I bought a lot of generics. I got through it, but I felt extreme coupon guilt!
Thursday, November 3, 2011
I was going to have the privilege of sitting at the Head Table for the National Press Club luncheon today.
Oh, let me mention, the speaker was going to be TOM BROKAW.
Yeah. Like that Brokaw.
After that, I hopped in a cab, and headed over to the Press Club! I tried to do something with my hair in the cab, but it was a flat mess. Oh well.
When I got there, I was so thrilled to see my old friend, Charlitta, at the pre-luncheon reception! We were camera/stalking buddies as Mr. Brokaw entered the room. I took a picture for Charlitta, but I was told since I was at the head table, to wait. I was nervous I wasn't going to get a picture with Tom Brokaw, but I did! Yay. Check!
When the President of the Press Club was introducing the Head Table, he introduced me as the White House Producer for CBN News and the owner of a dog named Brokaw, no disrespect. The crowed laughed, and clapped and I tried to explain to everybody that naming my dog after Mr. Brokaw was a good thing! I thought for sure, when he stepped up to the microphone, that he would say something about my Brokaw.
But, unfortunately, you know who was seated two seats down from me? Freaking Walter Cronkite IV! Yeah, as in THE Walter Cronkite's grandson! So, when Tom stepped up to the mic, he shared a couple of funny stories about Walter Cronkite II. Oh well.
I really, really enjoyed Mr. Brokaw's speech. He spoke about the theme of his new book, and talked a little bit about education, and how journalism has changed, and the nerd that I am, yes, I took notes right there on my iPhone.
And, I took a picture of my cupcake.
Charlitta gave me a ride back to work, where I pinched myself for the rest of the day, as I performed inbox maintenance, thought about the next couple of Presidential debates, and imported the discs from the show we shot today.
Then, my friend Sarah sent me the picture of me with Tom Brokaw, and I had flashbacks of being a little girl, and watching his live report on the Berlin Wall coming down. Flashbacks of being a 6:00pm producer in a small market, who would always stay in the control room for an extra minute after my show was over to watch the headlines for Nightly News. My dream job (I thought at the time) was to be the producer who put those headlines together! Tom Brokaw is one of my major professional inspirations. When I got my dog, I got a boy dog so that I could name him BROKAW.
This afternoon, I drove home, anticipating a yummy dinner because, as Michael wrote yesterday, tonight was National Men Make Dinner Day or something like that. All I knew this morning was that I was asked to get some angel hair pasta out of the pantry, and take some shrimp down from the freezer to thaw.
He had me at shrimp.
House smelled amazing when I got home.
With good reason.
Almost as good as dinner, was the really, really cute proud smile Michael had on his face. So sweet.
What a great day!
And it's ALMOST Friday!!!!
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Last night Dana came home late from work. She's catching up on things after traveling so much. When she called me on the way home I knew she was exhausted. She asked if I was okay having left over beans and biscuits for dinner because nothing was thawed. I knew two things: she didn't want beans and she didn't want to cook.
So, Mr. Wonderful put two and two together and offered to order pizza. Hey, I'm not perfect, but every now and then I get a hit. Sometimes it really surprises me how the smallest gestures make a big deal. It's listening for the clues that helps know when to swing and when to bunt.
Thursday is Men Make Dinner Day, so it looks like I'll go for a hit.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
First, I drove to the metro.
Then, I took the metro to the airport to cover a story.
Then, I took a cab back to work, where I wrote a story about the new statue unveiled today at Reagan National Airport of President Reagan, and his contributions to transportation.
Bob and Elizabeth Dole were there, too.
It was nice to see them.
Wow, a lot of history in that couple!
Seriously, though. How fun is my job? Yesterday, I wrote a story about Herman Cain, today I stood outside in the sunshine at the airport, then enjoyed a bagel inside at one of my favorite bagel places that I can't usually enjoy because I am usually at the airport at 5:00am on a Saturday, and Einstein Bros. is BEFORE security! Tomorrow, I'll cover the President's speech at a local bridge, Thursday, we'll tape our show, I'm going to a luncheon at the National Press Club with TOM BROKAW!!!! And then I'll work on a story about religion and the 2012 race.
I get paid for this! Life is so good. Dreams do come true. Sorry to be cliche' but it's true!