Wednesday, November 24, 2010

happy birthday to the hubs


I wish I would have known you when you wore this outfit. I would have kissed those little cheeks and straightened your little tie.

I wish I would have known you when you were collecting pewter figurines for no apparent reason. Or when you flipped through your thousands of baseball cards. Or fought with your X-Men. Or danced your way to stardom.

I wish I would have known you when you played baseball, stuffed your face with big league chew and dominated center field.

I wish I would have known you when you attended your proms, chose your college and took out all those loans.

I wish I would have known you when you lived in a house with 12 guys... well, not really.

I wish I would have known you when you graduated from college, bought your condo, suffered through your first jobs. When you adopted Mac and ate spaghetti every night for dinner.

But I'm really glad I get to know you (and be married to you!) for the rest of our lives.

Happy 27th birthday!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

petty thankfulness

Let it be known, I am in fact most thankful for my faith, husband, family, roof over my head, healthy body, food in my pantry (like I have one of those..) and money in my bank account.

But I'm also thankful for these other really unimportant things.

How else would I know who is mad at whom and deleted them as a friend in an immature rage, when my 10-year high school reunion is or who is connecting with a random song lyric today. I mean, thank goodness for that last nugget of information.

The floor of Shea's car
In the case that I should wonder what Shea's been up to the last year, my curiosity is quickly curbed by a look-sey into his car. Receipts, smashed paper cups, church bulletins, Gatorade bottles, junk mail and hats.

Fine point, retractable Sharpies
I love them. Love. Love. Love.

Right turns on red
There is one intersection near my work where you cannot turn on red. This makes me realize how much I appreciate the turning-on-red rule. Also, U-turns. I like those, too.

My mattress
When we got married, we had the option of a $600 mattress that would eventually sag in the middle and push our bodies on top of each other during sleep or a $1,500 mattress that made me want to live in my bed. Best $1,500 we've ever spent.

Brussels sprouts
I had them at a restaurant this past weekend, in butter and roasted. Shockingly, this was my first experience with this vegetable and even more shockingly, I am in love with them.

K-State basketball
It makes things way more fun to be cheering for a top five team. For example, tonight I get to go to a No. 1 vs. No. 3 game at Sprint Center. It will be loud, nerve wracking, blood pumping fun.

Kansas City weather
I know I beat this dead horse a lot, but I am super thankful that there is no ice, no snow, no freezing cold. Just a nice cool Thanksgiving with sun and fall jackets.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

praying for anapra

Tomorrow, my mom heads to Mexico. Not the part where there is turquoise water, white sand beaches and overflowing fruit platters. But the part you read about in the news.

We first went to Anapra in 2000 with my youth group. Back then it was just sand, cinder block houses with no electricity or running water. We came to help build a new school in a Juarez neighborhood where parents locked their kids at home so they wouldn't get into trouble while they rode a bus to a factory and worked for $1/hour. Along came a pastor, Antonio, who saw a need and moved his family to Juraez so he could teach adults to read and write in this room made of palettes and cardboard.

And then we arrived and helped pour the concrete for a new building. It took a week to build just the floor - mixing concrete by hand, twisting metal into rebar. At the end of the week, a bunch of teenagers stood in a circle around our concrete slab. We listened to prayers in Spanish and a man talk tearfully about how he'd found God that week.
"Asi alumbre vuestra luz delante de los hombres, para que vean vuestros buenos trabajos y glorifiquen a vuestro Padre que esta en los cielos." Mateo 5:16

And then other churches came. Buildings were built. Tile laid. Chalkboards hung. The Colegio Susana Wesley was born.

Four years ago, my family went back for Thanksgiving. And that little slab of concrete is now many buildings. It's a beautiful, vibrant school. 

And the kids are amazing. 

But as the situation in Juarez has deteriorated so has Anapra.The volunteers don't come as often. Antonio and his wife, Dina, are at risk for extortion or kidnapping because of their local status. The funding sources, who are also struggling to maintain their own budgets, aren't giving as much away.

So my mom and a team of people will go back this week to help out with repairs around the school. They will deliver supplies and a lot of love. It's the least they can do for the two people and their staff who give their lives in service in the face of violence because they believe in education and in God's love.

This week I'm praying. For my mom and the team's safety. For the kids of Anapra who grow up with the odds stacked against them. For the families who can look outside their cardboard houses and see the lights of the El Paso gated communities where there is enough food, enough education, enough jobs and enough safety. For our hearts to be moved - whether it's risking our comfort and safety to serve, collecting school supplies and clothing to give away because we have more than enough or simply signing up for the school's newsletter and praying.

And as we eat ourselves into a food coma next Thursday, make a list of all the stuff we want for Christmas, attend holiday parties and complain about the burden of our jobs, car repairs, the cost of decorations or the stress of family get-togethers, I hope we pause.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

i'm a citizen, really.

I love my passport. It's evidence of all the places I've experienced, expect for the one time I went to Paraguay in the back of the van - no passport stamps there!

However, I have a beef with the State Department. My current passport was issued in 2004, meaning it still has a good four years left. But, my name has changed. If my passport would have been issued within the last year, it'd be a FREE passport update. But since it's been six years, I have to pay $110 for a new one. $110 to prove I am a U.S. citizen!

Not only that, but I have to give up my cute, smiling picture for a no makeup, no jewelry, no smile, white background, crappy camera photo that makes me look like I've single-handedly raised 10 kids and not slept for three months. Joy.

And my quest to fill all the pages of my passport will fail despite the fact Argentina seems to give a stamp every time you cross the street. Let's hope Belize and Guatemala are also liberal with their stamping.

On the plus side, I do appreciate the fact I can drop off my application and horrifying photos at the post office instead of mailing them to Philly - that saves me five bucks at least. Bargain shopping! You can find a passport acceptance facility near you here

Monday, November 15, 2010

a burger, a tap dancer and a fetus

Last week, I looked like this everyday.

Then Friday,  I felt much much better. We do this dance at least once every six months. I get super sick, do blood work that shows I am in fact, super sick and my lower region organs are not functioning properly. The blood tests they do are silly (hepatitis, really?) and show nothing. Occasionally they will stick a tube down my throat or in other unmentionable regions and also, find nothing. Then I will feel better and feel like I'd rather just assume this will never happen again and forgo more invasive tubes. One day we will have an answer. Or not.

Since I was feeling better and the most I had eaten in one sitting the entire week was half a cup of rice, I celebrated by eating a half pound hamburger. And my friends, it was FABULOUS. We met some very dear friends of mine from a previous job at The Phoenix jazz club and saw Lonnie McFadden, local singing and tap dancing legend.

Happy days! The rest of my weekend included watching Layne play volleyball where I was forced to cheer for KU, eating chili and playing Scrabble with the fam. The big finale was my favorite friend Edie's baby shower!

She thinks she looks like a big house mostly because the little guy is poking his butt into her ribs and generating a lot of acid. Kind of rude for such an innocent little fetus. I, however, think she has the cutest baby bump ever. Little Herbie is a lucky man.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

saying nothing

I went to the doctor yesterday for my week-long saga of nausea, dizziness and generally feeling awful. As is the trend, my doctor assumed I was pregnant. Even though I explained the timing is not logical.

We did determine my blood pressure is too low when I am standing. More on par with numbers for small children or professional athletes. No cure, just "hang onto something when you stand up."

I am then escorted back to the lab where I ask to lay down for my barrage of blood work since needles and staying conscious seem to be a problem lately.Then I had to ask for water so that I could eventually pee in a cup (high maintenance patient here).

When I am done, I walk to another room and put my pee cup in a sink. I have to sit in a chair while the lab tech does the pregnancy and UTI test in front of me. She's joking about the machines doing two tests at once and casually rustling her papers around. I'm reading a letter from God to his children typed in comic sans pasted to the wall. I am positive that my God would never send letters in such a disturbing font.

When it's done, she says nothing.

I have to walk with her to a copy room where she tapes the test results to another sheet and makes copies. She says nothing. We walk back over to the doctors office together, and she hands my results to the nurse saying, "here are your answers." The nurse walks with me to the exam room and says, "I'll show him these results, and he'll be back in to talk to you about them." She says nothing about the actual results.

Now I have to wait 10 minutes before the doctor returns to tell me I am not pregnant, which I already knew but was starting to feel borderline-crazy about.

So now I am waiting for blood work results. I'm hoping for a nice infection that requires just a few pills to make me feel brand new but assures Shea that dressing me in my pajamas when I fall asleep at 8:30 with a computer on my lap wasn't just a ploy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

irrelevant nausea

My tummy hurts, I'm nauseated and dizzy. Dizzyness is just part of my personality lately.

This has caused my work to be a buzz of how I am either really scared of needles or pregnant - neither topic actually discussed in my presence and both false.

So the fact that today I'm focused on: 1) Remaining upright and not sleeping underneath my desk and, 2) Not vomiting didn't help.

On Mondays, I have to sit at the front desk to give the receptionist time for lunch. This usually requires rejecting cries for free legal advice, calling of campus police when the crazies show up and looking generally knowledgeable, friendly and helpful.

Today I hunched over the keyboard transferring calls while sipping Sprite and nibbling on table crackers.

Co-worker: "Sarah, are you feeling OK?"
Me: "Oh yeah, I'm fine. Just tired."
Co-worker: "Oh I see you are eating crackers and drinking Sprite. How long have you been married?"
Me: "Irrelevant and unrelated."

Excuse me, I have to go vomit up my Sprite.

Friday, November 5, 2010

simply spoiled

I love birthdays. Usually other people's but I can't turn down a day of being spoiled.

First, my boss gave me a $100 gift card to the Plaza. Holy moly generous! My coworkers also took me out to lunch at Rudy's, my new favorite Mexican restaurant. While I was gone stuffing myself with tostadas, flautas and fried ice cream, Shea came by my work and delivered purple roses.

I got singing phone calls from my grandma and aunt and later my parents who are vacationing/working in Long Beach. Next, Shea made me a delicious dinner of mashed potatoes and peas as requested. He added a side of meatballs to make it a full meal. We had a surprise dessert of four cupcakes from Babycakes. (Hubs had a very busy lunch hour of flower, cupcake and present gathering). 

They all had vanilla frosting since I hate the chocolate kind and had cake flavors of pumpkin, red velvet, chocolate and white. White with vanilla frosting is still my favorite of all time. What can I say, I like the classics.

Shea hit on my two favorite passions with gifts - cooking and running. First, Nike Dri-fit running pants and running gloves (with a sweet key pocket!).

Then these adorable cherry cannisters I've been eyeing for quite some time to replace our not-so-great current cannisters. Turns out the "hey, hey pay attention. I like these" comments worked.

For the rest of the night I got to lay on the couch, talk, watch a movie and go to bed early. Dreamy.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

on turning 28

{Celebrating birthdays since 1982)

I started a list of all the silly things I'd learned in my 27th year for my annual birthday tradition. I realized, though, that it didn't really make sense this year - because this birthday compared to all my others, is the one where it's not about all those little things but this new feeling of contentment.

Like all my other birthdays, there are definitely things I am looking forward to that haven't happened yet. But I don't feel incomplete. So instead, a list of Sarah's journey to contentment. Cue the swell of majestic music.

I have Shea.
He's one of the big life questions answered. It doesn't matter where we live or what we're doing, it's always good. We're no longer in the unknowns of dating, the stress of wedding planning or the chaos of newlywed stage. We live this full, mostly uninterrupted life where the biggest portion is spent hanging out as best friends. That's pretty cool.

I have faith.
I've learned a lot about my relationship with God this year. About how he provides when I'm following His plan. About how to pray with intention and reverence. About how easily temptation eeks into my life. I've learned the importance of a community of believers to support me in my faith. I've learned (and am still learning) that my time isn't my own and complaining about not having enough of it for myself is futile.


I have my family.
I live closer to my family now, and I'm not sure I would have ever felt content if I didn't. I love that I can experience my life with them. I love knowing my mom answers the phone for our daily chats. I love having the option to see them for random weekends but the freedom of knowing they don't have unreasonable expectations.

I have my health.
I feel the healthiest I ever have. I have learned to love healthy cooking. I've learned to follow a training plan and build my muscles and lung capacity enough to run a half marathon. I feel in tune with my body - knowing what it needs for fuel and when it needs to run for 10 miles or take a nap on the couch.

Because of those four things, I am at greater peace with other aspects of life. This year has really taught me that I can't change other people's priorities and values - but I also don't have to choose to be around them. Being on a budget has shown me that once I got used to it, I don't spend as much time thinking about material things like clothes, cable TV or pumpkin spice lattes. Living in a new city has given me the option to start new and explore my surroundings.

I'm 28, and I am happy.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

another reason for pretty underwear

The first sign of trouble was the doctor showing the students how to give a shot. And something about anaphylactic shock.

The students giving shots at our employee health fair did good though, and I got my vaccine with little pain. Picked up my round bandaid and was on my way toward the other screening stations.

The cholesterol screening was only a little finger prick test. The students there were talking to me about my job and making me drink water because my skin was too "tough" and I needed to make my blood flow more. Whatever, I drank away. Keep in mind I still have not been pricked.

Then I start feeling a little dizzy but try to maintain conversation about my awesome Halloween costume. I have to sit back in the chair a little,  and they start making comments on my very pale face. They run to get a doctor and by the time she comes I'm seeing less stars and more black. Doctor woman says "I know you're in a skirt, and this is not going to be fun but we have to get you on the floor."

I was hoisted down and there I lied for the next 20 minutes with the doctor's coat tied around my legs. The doctor made jokes about "this is why your grandma tells you never to forget to wear your underwear." Me: "What?! I'm totally wearing underwear."

They made me then sit on the concrete floor for another 10 minutes and explained that woman, especially of the small variety, are prone to passing out after flu shots and that's why you're supposed to wait 10 minutes before walking around - jabbing her words in the directions of the shot-giving students. They still didn't let me leave until they thought I had proper color in my face.

Cause of the fainting? 1) I hadn't eaten since last night because I was fasting for the cholesterol test. 2) I am prone to low blood pressure swings thanks to my mother who once had to lie under the cake table at a wedding reception. 3) Children are prone to fainting after flu shots - my body slightly resembles a child's.

She said 75 percent of people who pass out after flu shots leave with concussions so I am lucky. Right because lying in front of all your coworkers on a concrete floor with a jacket tied around your knees with a doctor joking about not wearing underwear is SO much better.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


And so should you!

If you're in Kansas or Missouri, you can cram for ballot issues at the Midwest Democracy Project website. And you can find your polling place here.

My polling place had quite the collection of characters including a guy campaigning 26 feet from the polling place door. The law is no campaigning within 25 feet. Nice work, buddy.