Yea though I walk through the valley...

This angel of death has been circling my family for too long now.  I'm fed up with him and I wish he would be on his way.  A few months ago he was trying to take me.  Then he did take Betty.  Now he has been trying really hard to take Paul.

The good news is that I believe we're over the worst of it.  At least that's what I'm hoping.  It looks like it.  The other good news is that all things work together for the good of those who love Him.  And hopefully some good things are going to come of this nastiness.  Because it already looks like God is using it to work on Paul's heart.  But we'll get to that in a little bit.

This all started eleven days ago.  I hadn't heard from Paul all day, so I called his store to talk to him & was told that he had called someone in to cover for him so that he could go home sick.  I thought it was really weird that he hadn't even mentioned it to me.  When I finally got him on his phone, he could only speak for a minute and said that he wasn't ignoring me, he was just deathly ill and couldn't talk.  When I got home that evening, was in bed.  The only time he got up was to throw up and this is the way it stayed for the next seven days.  He did get up and go to the Christmas Eve service with us at church, but that was probably a HUGE mistake.  He was as pale as a sheet and he was constantly broken out in a sweat, but you couldn't talk him out of it.  He was so weak he could barely walk and had to be helped.  We had to leave a little early and he came home and went right back to bed.  The next morning, he got up for about twenty minutes to watch the kids open gifts, then went straight back to bed.  Those were the only two times he was up the entire week.  He did nothing but sleep and throw up.

I was so worried about him and I knew he was in serious trouble.  I mean, I can't stress to you how *BAD* he looked.  Just in a week, he began to look emaciated.  And he's a BIG guy.  It's tough for him to look emaciated.  He was pale and pasty.  Broken out in a cold sweat any time he was upright.  Dark circles under his eyes.  HE LOOKED HORRIBLE.

I have seen death many, many times, and he had death all over him.

I was so frustrated with him because he would not go to the doctor.  He kept insisting he would get better.  Every time he would throw up, he would insist that would be the last time.  "Oh yeah, I'm definitely starting to feel better now."  I'd say, "Babe, you don't look good.  You need to go to the doctor.  You need to go to the hospital."  But he wouldn't go.  SO many things could've been wrong and I wasn't sure exactly what, so I slept in the other room and just kept checking on him.  And praying.

Day rolled into day. Night rolled into night.  I just kept praying.

Finally on Christmas, he promised me that if he didn't turn a corner by that night he would go to the doctor the next day.  He wouldn't go to the E.R. (*sigh*), but he would go to the urgent care.  Okay, fine.  Suit yourself.  I just knew he would die if he laid in that bed another day.

The next morning, I got ready for work and began nagging him about going to the doctor.  He promised he would.  I sat at my desk and began calling hourly and leaving voicemails, then texting to remind him.  He was really starting to irritate me with how long he was pushing this off.  Around noon he finally answered and said he was up and getting ready but was having doubts that he could drive himself.  Oh noooo, he is not getting out of this!  I told him I would be home to drive him.  And so I went!  And I'm glad I did.  He was in no condition to drive as he could hardly walk.

The urgent care doctor told him that he needed to go to the E.R. immediately and if he chose to go back home he would die. "And I'm not kidding.  If you go home, you will not survive, you are going to die."  They called an ambulance for him.  The EMT's came in & looked at him & said, "Oh wow!  I bet you don't feel very good.  We need to start an IV on you right now!" & then they whisked him off to the emergency room.

It was very scary at first because we knew he was very, very sick, and we knew some things that were wrong, but we couldn't confirm everything because we couldn't find a CT machine that would fit him.  He's such a big guy that his shoulders are too broad and he's too tall that he literally wouldn't fit in any of the CT machines in the entire Phoenix area (I know he would love me telling everyone that.  Sorry babe, but it's integral to the story!).  The believed he had a small bowel obstruction, and they knew he had a raging infection because his white blood cells were up.  His blood pressure was really low, his pulse was really high and his temperature was dangerously low, which means he was getting ready to go septic (infection in the blood stream). He has never been diabetic before, but suddenly his sugar was 381 (really high).  And his blood was SUPER thin (his INR was 6.8, which mean his blood was more than six times thinner than it should be).  And we do know he had been bleeding into his belly all week.

They thought maybe he had some nasty gut infection from the massive antibiotics he had been on since his pacemaker insertion, among other things.  I mean, they just weren't sure *what* was going on in there.  They just knew that he was losing blood, had an infection, was massively dehydrated and was SICK.  Sick, sick, sick.

Every time he would doze off, the doctors and nurses would quietly ask me in amazement why he waited so long to come in, like I had any control over the situation or like I could have made this stubborn man do ANYTHING that he didn't want to do.  I just shrugged my shoulders and mouthed back to them, "Feel my pain!  I don't know."

As the events rolled on and the reality and gravity of the situation began to sink into Paul's head, I think he began to realize that he really did almost die.  As doctor after doctor consulted with each other and he overheard concerned whispers and he realized he really wasn't going home.  After he caught me crying when I thought he was sleeping.  When he saw the startled look on the nurse's face when she saw his urine that looked like coffee instead of urine, because THAT'S NOT NORMAL PAUL! No matter how much you try to convince yourself that laying in bed with the "flu" is okay and that you're just a little "dehydrated".  He really started to get it.

They finally found ONE CT machine on the other side of town that could fit him and they transferred him to that ER.  The good news is that he didn't have a bowel obstruction.  He had a horribly bad and infected gall bladder.  And one of the stones from that gall bladder had gotten out and made a miracle journey down the duct and across to his pancreas and nicked his pancreas, causing a horrible case of pancreatitis as well.  At this point they aren't sure if he's legitimately newly diabetic, or if his pancreas is just so sick that it has temporarily stopped working and producing insulin.  So, for now it's a waiting game.

They've changed  up his antibiotics and are seeing if that helps bring down his infection.  He can hardly talk without getting short of breath.  Today, I had a come-to-Jesus meeting with the nurse because he asked if I could wash his back.  I asked why, and then asked if they have been taking care of him and bathing him and what-not.  I mean, being a nurse, I know that's their JOB.  He looked confused and shook his head no.  My jaw dropped, and I said, not at all?  Normally, he is very reserved and shy and so I have respected his privacy and not offered to wash him up and all that, figuring he would have the nurses do it or be stubborn enough to insist on doing it himself even when sick.  OH HELL NO.  I was livid.  This man has been literally knocking on death's door and here he is, post-op day three (been in here FOUR days) and NO ONE HAS BATHED THIS MAN OR CHANGED HIS LINENS?  I said, "Reach over there and ring that bell right now.  Unless you don't want me to speak to her, of course."  And I just stared at him.  He just shook his head, okay.  And then said, "Just promise me you'll be professional, okay babe."  I said, "Do you think I'm gonna pull her hair and make them call security? I am a professional."   (But really I'm thinking that he knows me all too well.)

I ended up doing all their damn work for them.  Bathed this man, changed all of his linens, washed his hair, helped his brush his teeth.  And for the first time in his life.... he let me.  That made me cry just typing it.  I think that may be one of the true miracles and lessons of this entire situation.  That might be the true work that God is doing with this... the work that God does on Paul's heart about being still, loving and letting others love him.  He allowed himself to be vulnerable, he allowed me to take care of him and then he had this to say afterwards on his facebook.....

Veronica, I love you. Looking at me being so unkept today prompted a sponge bath... My love gave me a sponge bath, changed the sheets, washed my pad, my hair my back. I know yet again what love is by her unselfish acts . Babe you really love me. That is so rare, to me, and I am truly blessed. Thank you so much. I am confident things in the future will be better for us mainly because of you. I love you.
Now its a long story, but that's kind of a big deal for him.  I just responded, "I love you too. I would do whatever you needed to be done. That's what love does. Xoxo"

lurve you, xoxo v.



There's a copycat trying to create a tragedy like the one that stole the beautiful baby faces up above.
Someone has threatened to shoot up the schools that our kids are in tomorrow.  Particularly the high school.  We've confirmed with the police and were told that the threats are "very, very real" and that they are looking into them and investigating. And there was a huge police presence in and around the school today, which, I suppose, is reassuring.  Tomorrow is supposed to be the big test, however.

This makes me so, so sad.  First of all, I cannot look at, or speak or anything to do with the Sandy Hook tragedy without breaking down in tears.  I mean, look at their little faces.  God love them!  They were so tiny and precious!  TWENTY BABIES!  BABIES!  That is unfathomable to me.  How can ANYONE be left unfazed by this?  Seriously?  Not just unfazed, but how can there now be COPYCATS?  People that want to be just like this evil monster???  People who want to scare others and want to threaten to commit evil or harm? Who want to instill fear???  I don't understand it, I don't understand it, I don't understand it. 

Today Maddie wrote this on her facebook status...

I really have no idea why, how, or what started all these rumors about the alleged shooting that is supposed to happen tomorrow, but if the person or people who are "planning" to shoot up Verrado, Desert Edge and or whatever other schools that are supposed to be involved in this is someone I know or can read this please don't do anything. It is almost Christmas. I'm pretty sure my mother and all other parents out there would MUCH rather have their precious babies opening up presents instead of picking out caskets for them. I am a 15 year old girl. I am a sophomore in high school. I can't even get my permit to drive for another month. I plan to go to college and have a family of my own someday and its a shame that I have to the have the fear in the back of my mind that going to school tomorrow to take my third and fourth hours finals might be a dangerous decision. Especially with everything that just happened in Connecticut! And on the other side of the spectrum where this is all just a bunch of rumors, HOW DARE ANYONE HAVE THE AUDACITY TO START A RUMOR THAT A SCHOOL IS GOING TO HAVE A SHOOTING. There must be something very wrong in the minds of people who would say that. In this day and age, not even a week after 20 first graders were killed, those things are not taken lightly. That is just something so wrong to joke about. So, tomorrow I am going to school, and praying that if anything does happen that God will protect me and all of the fellow students who have been having this threat, and also that the officers on scene do their job, and are safe as well.
THIS BROKE MY HEART!  NO FIFTEEN YEAR OLD CHILD SHOULD HAVE TO THINK ABOUT OR WRITE THESE WORDS!!!  My kids had to ask me what I would want them to do if the shooter was in their school.  Would I want them to run?  And they were serious.  Five sets of wide, innocent eyes, staring at Paul and I for answers, waiting with baited breath.  You could hear a pin drop.  I answered, "You do whatever keeps you safe at that moment.  If safe means running, then you run.  If safe means that you have to lay down and play dead, then you do that.  If there's a closet to hide in or something to hide under... whatever you need to do at that moment that keeps you safe and gets you out alive.  That's what you need to do."  They asked if they should help their friends.  "Yes, of course you can help others.  But only if it is safe for yourself to do so.  Don't help someone else at the expense of your own safety."  Most of all, you do whatever it takes to get yourself out safe and alive and get home.

I'm sad that I'm having to have that conversation with these kids.  I'm even sadder that twenty babies are having to be buried this week.  Lord, please go before our children tomorrow and every other day.  Please keep us all safe and healthy and bring us all back home together  Watch over us and protect us.  In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.  Thank you Lord.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Fight like a girl!

I came across this link on Pinterest and so Emma and I sat down to watch it.  It's AWESOME! This is something that I think everyone, but especially every woman should know.  What if you're walking to your car in a parking lot and someone grabs you and shoves you in their trunk or in the back of a van?  What do you do?  Do you know how to escape?  This link has several short video of different techniques on how to bust out of zip ties that might be used to restrain your hands and feet.  I'm surprised and very comforted by how simple it is to bust out of them!  So do yourself a favor and visit this site and watch these videos!

lurve you, xoxo v.


Bye Boop....

I still call her my "Mother-in law", even though I've been divorced for nearly twenty years now.  Like she explained to me shortly after Randy and I separated, whether the man was in the picture or not, I would be her "daughter" forever. She always called me her "Ruth" and quoted Ruth 1:16 to me...
for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.
I can't say we have never had a moment where we didn't butt heads, because we were family and in more than twenty years, of course we did.  And there were times that we were closer than at other times.  That's human nature too.  But one thing is for sure... she is one of the few people on the face of the Earth that I could always say I knew loved me.  She loved me unconditionally.  She never stopped  She loved me just because I was.  Not because of what I could give her or do for her.  And her love for me wasn't going to go away.  Those kind of people in my life are on a short list.

And now she's gone.

Turns out Mama B. hadn't been all the way truthful with most people about just how bad her cancer was.  I guess she didn't want most of us to worry too much.  When she went into the hospital nearly two weeks ago, no one had any idea how it would turn out, but it all just slowly went on a steady decline.

During the final 48 hours or so, I couldn't keep my eyes dry and my head constantly ached.  It was positively brutal.  It was a very visceral mourning period where I could feel someone I love being ripped out of this physical realm like pieces of velcro being separated.

And my poor kids.  Courtney tried so hard to be the rock and would break down when she thought no one was looking or on the phone with me.  Darren was a mess all the time, bless his heart.  Rita called it when she said, "Least thugiest thug ever!" (Yep, he has the heart of a marshmallow. You totally can't judge a book by it's cover with that kid.  A few days after she died, he got a big Betty Boop tattoo to memorialize her).  Maddie cried intermittently and internalized a lot of it as usual and Emma was sad but confused by it I think.  I was wrecked by it and a complete mess.  However, once she actually passed, I was much more peaceful.  I have no explanation other than God's grace, I suppose.  And that maybe the velcro had then finally been separated.  Now the grief just comes in tiny waves here and there.

On her death bed, she refused to have a funeral.  She said she refused to have everyone sitting around being all sad about her and said, "You should all just have a big fucking party." So that's what they're doing.  She wanted everyone to party and tell happy memories of her.

On her final night, one of my best friends Maribel and her daughter Jessica (Courtney's bff that I have blogged about many times) drove up to be with Courtney.  When Jessica was so sick, Betty had traveled to Indi to be with Jessica and help out Maribel and so Maribel and Jessica and wanted to come be with Betty during her final moments and also to support Courtney.  Betty had a very giving and loving heart and everyone Betty met she made an impression on.

I've always said that I believe what makes this world go 'round is women helping women.  It takes a village to help raise children, to help support each other through sickness, through divorces, financial hardships, etc etc.  And it makes me so heartsick, soulsick, sad, heartbroken... you name it... to have to say goodbye to one of my favorite women and to one of the people who have loved me for most of my life.  I love you Betty.  You've meant the world to me.  Thank you for all you've done for me, for all you've done for my children.  God bless you.  Rest in peace Boop.

Elizabeth Ann Torres
2/23/53 - 11/30/12

Betty & her namesake Courtney Elizabeth Torres

Veronica, Courtney & Betty

lurve you, xoxo v.



Day 10: I'm grateful for the weekend. 
 Days of rest after days of hard work.

lurve you, xoxo v.


A worthy cause!

I was asked to share about this and I think it's a very worthy cause. Thanks for listening!

At a time when life is supposed to be carefree, fun and full of joy, some kids across the country are stricken by cancer. Nationally, more than 10,000 children under the age of 15 are diagnosed with the disease each year and nearly 1,600 of them do not reach adulthood.

In our community, Grand Canyon University and the Children's Cancer Network are teaming up to help families touched by cancer through the annual Run to Fight Children's Cancer. Click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1gS6QMblv4 to see how GCU is helping kids in metropolitan Phoenix and to learn more about the upcoming race.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Day 9: I'm glad that all of my friends & family are safe from hurricane Sandy. There are a few that are still inconvenienced... without power, or living in a hotel because a tree destroyed their home, etc... but they are all SAFE. They are all still alive. That hedge of protection is still in place & I'm very, very grateful for that.

lurve you, xoxo v.



Day 8: I am thankful for fall weather, even if it is even for only a few days. When its still 95 degrees every day, even in November, I get pretty homesick. So, I am very grateful for the temps in the 60's & maybe even in the 50's tomorrow. Those are wonderful!

lurve you, xoxo v.



Day 7: I am thankful that even when I wake up feeling as miserable as I feel this .morning, I know that I have a faithful God that will help get me through this day.

lurve you, xoxo v.




Day 5: I am grateful for my job and my nursing license. 
I don't ever want to take either one of those for granted.

lurve you, xoxo v.



Day 4: I'm grateful for Paul. Its a blessing to have a man who loves you. Who comes home every night instead of hanging out with the boys. He works hard to help provide, and he is faithfully there for each one of our children. He puts his arm around me every week when he takes our family to church, AND he cooks! Every night when I turn over and feel his big, strong hand reach through the darkness to hold mine, even when he's sleeping, I feel blessed that he's mine. He often has trouble understanding my heart, but it its as simple as that. I'm grateful for you and all of the kind, loving things you do.
lurve you, xoxo v.



Day 3: My children. I have the best kids! They each are so full of personality and are so spirited! You have to meet them to know what I mean, but seriously, they are SO MUCH FUN. All of that personality and will power made it very difficult to raise a few of them as well, but it was well worth it. The older they (read: I) get, the faster I realize that they will soon be all gone. :( Two of th
em already are, and they are so far away that I never get to see them. It breaks my heart every day and make me feel like only half of my family is here. I wish they were close enough to have over for dinner, go to church with, watch movies with, hug touch, shop, smile at, hear their voices in person, touch their heads, etc etc etc. A mother never stops feeling like her babies are her babies...even when they think they are grown. My heart still says they are squishy little toddlers with fat thighs that I want to tickle and hear my little boy tell me I'm the prettiest mommy in the world, and have my Corki standing there in her princess costume watching Barney. At least today I still have my Maddie B and Emma Boo here that I can love on and look at their pretty faces. I am SO grateful for all four of these beautiful souls. They are who God chose to make me a mama and my cup runneth over.

lurve you, xoxo v.

Okay Carters, you got me! *sniff*

Maddie & I were lounging around watching TV on a lazy Saturday morning,
when this Carters commercial came on.

By the end, we were both tearing up,
and at the same time we both yelled,

Just about that time,
she lunged at me from across the couch
and bear-hugged me. <3 p="p">

I love my girls.
lurve you, xoxo v.



Day 2: I am thankful that I got to sleep in this morning knowing that I am beginning to feel better & can return to work on Monday to provide for my family. God is good.

lurve you, xoxo v.



Day 1: I am thankful for the flowers Paul brought me tonight to say he was "sorry". He's never done that before & may sound small to the world but is actually HUGE & I my heart is blessed. I love him.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Donate to the Red Cross!

Please donate to the Red Cross
to aid victims of Hurricane Sandy!
There are so many still in need out there right now!
It's as easy as sending a text!
lurve you, xoxo v.


Let's have a Kiki...

Tired of being sick.
Three weeks and counting.
Now the financial stress is starting to set in.

All this just has me wanting to feel normal and carefree again damnit!
Has me missing me friends!
Has me longing for the good ol' days when I could head out for a girls night,
or a not-so-girls "girls" night at the gay bar with my boys.
Just carefree and relaxed!
I need to have a kiki!
lurve you, xoxo v.


Insomnia volume 1,439,987,324,322......

Sitting here at 1:30 in the morning because I can't sleep.  Not working for the past few weeks has helped me develop a bad habit of staying up too late and then sleeping in. Not sleeping late and sleeping well.  Mostly just not sleeping much at all.

So, I just bought Taylor Swift's new album ("RED") and I'm sitting here listening to it and, AS USUAL, I love it.  She nailed it.  HOW DOES SHE DO THIS EVERY TIME? It's like she has a cable link to my gut and she just channels all of the stuff I want to write.  So really, I should probably just send her a Thank You card for doing all of the hard work.  But then again, she gets the big check for writing all of of my shit, so maybe she should send me the card?  Hmm.

lurve you, xoxo v.


I'm an {ever so little, tiny} Extreme Couponer!

So sitting on the couch for nearly two weeks can do a few things for you.
It can make you bored out of your mind.
And it can make you watch a lot of realityTV.
 And after watching about a million hours of Extreme Couponers,
you are convinced that you can do that too,
and that you should have a stockpile
that rivals the size of Texas.

Well, I learned quickly, that 
Holy crap!
Props to those men and women who pull that off!

Today, I slaved all afternoon (LOL... seriously, I know that sounds laughable, 
but after having pneumonia, and not moving in what seems like 
forever, this little excursion kicked my bootie!),
made it to the store,
figured out that the toothbrushes I wanted were out and
I had to get a raincheck,
got my few selected items,
argued with the manager,
paid and returned home....
and the picture above is what I had.

I paid a whopping $2.50 for my haul!
Oh yes I did!
 Now when you consider all of the hours of work I put into that 
shopping trip, I don't know that it's exactly worth it just yet,
BUT.... it'll get there.
lurve you, xoxo v.


Knock, knock, knocking on Heaven's door....

Being immunocompromised is no fun (thank you Benlysta and Prednisone!).  Paul and the kids catch a cold?  They're down for 3 or 4 days.  I catch what they have?  I develop pneumonia (and normally more) and am down for a minimum of two weeks every time.

This time, I was seriously scared.  I mean, praying for God to not take me home just yet scared.  It started off with a raging fever (it maintained at about 104.6 for a few days), so I thought it was just the flu or something.  I was diagnosed with full left and right-sided pneumonia, CHF and severe asthma exacerbation.  And to say I couldn't breathe is the understatement of the YEAR!  For the past week-and-a-half, I have not been able to walk more than ten feet without becoming severely short of breath.  Until yesterday, I couldn't hold even the shortest of conversations because I was unable to breath.

I know I had bargained for the doctor to let me come home and not go to the hospital.  I thought I would be more comfortable here and with the slew of meds she had given me, I thought I would be getting better quickly.  Boy did I underestimate that!  By that night, I knew I had made a mistake, but by then, I didn't have it in me to go sit in a cold, uncomfortable emergency room, so I decided to stick it out at home.  

The first few nights, my pulse ox (oxygen in my blood) was hanging out between 89 and 92% (I should've been in the hospital & on oxygen.... me & my stubbornness, I totally regret it.)  Now it's up to between 94 & 96%  most of the time, which seems like a miracle.

By the time it's all said and done I'll have been out of work for at least a full two weeks and have had to file for short-term disability.  That's scary.  My doctor has placed my Benlysta infusions on indefinite hold as since I keep coming down with pneumonia and other horrible infections.  That's scary to me too since this was pretty much my last resort for treatment for my lupus.  I don't tolerate any of the other meds and I tolerate this one so well and it's seemed to keep things relatively well-controlled.  It makes me sad and a little scared.  I know I can't keep getting sick like this, but I also can't live in a world where I ingest huge amounts of Prednisone or worse... a world where I live in lupus-misery.


Thank you Lord for being faithful to heal me.  Please continue to lift me up to health and strength.  Please continue to give my doctors knowledge as to how to take care of me.  In Jesus' name, Amen.

lurve you, xoxo v.



My heart is going out to this 14-year-old that is being charged as an adult for killing her baby. 

YES, I know what she did and how heinous it was. I AGREE. But she is a CHILD.

I have children her age.  Do you? Have you experienced the ridiculously stupid things these kids can do? The life-altering mistakes they can make in one fell swoop without thinking for even one second? Yes, even things like stealing a car, drinking, drugs and in this case, murder.

Don't you think that in about ten or twenty years, when she has some wisdom behind her, that she would rethink?  That she would probably not make the same stupid, stupid, stupid decision? That she wouldn't grab up her fourteen-year-old baby-faced self by the shoulders and scream "STOP! WAIT! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? DON'T!" I have to believe that she would. I have to believe in the good in people. Why? Because that's what keeps me going day after day in this miserable world.  And because we are all created in His image so eventually that's usually how it works out.  Eventually, if we're all doing it right, we all usually grow up and come 'round to some kind of wisdom and better behavior.  Also, because when I look into her face, I see the face of my daughters. And I've already watched one of them screw it up royally and then come out of the fog on the other side successfully.  She made it to the other shore in one piece.  Now, I know she didn't go murdering no baby and shoving it in a shoebox, but tomatoes, to-mah-toes, you know?  The point is, she did some pretty messed up stuff.  And now girl number two has done some pretty messed up stuff this summer too.  Probably even more messed up than girl #1 ever did.  She stressed me out pretty bad and had the cops involved on a regular basis for a while. How old was she?  FOURTEEN. 

My point is that fourteen year-olds are stupid.  Yes, stupid.  And unfortunately, this girl committed murder, which is inexcusable.  But she is not an adult. Not even close to an adult. I don't agree with this and my heart goes out to her.  I can't imagine this baby girl being sent to an adult prison.  So sad.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Just finished....

"The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald

This was okay.  I thought that being built up as a classic, and having been as built up as much as it had been that it would be UH-MAZING or something.  It wasn't bad, but it wasn't it was just okay.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Push and Shove

"Push and Shove"
No Doubt

 Is it just mine?  Or does your man do this too?  It's like he has this sixth sense for when he's gone too far.  You know, like given me a really bad week and pushed me right to the relationship cliff where I'm ready to jump off and he senses this  and he instinctively  knows when to reign it back in.  It's that push and shove that drives me crazy.  He always does it and is so good at it.  Always manages to swoop it right in the nick of time to save things and give me a hug right at the crucial moment.  But it makes me wonder, is he really oblivious to it all and just has lucky timing?  Or is he a hustler?  And this new No Doubt song came along right at the exact time I was wondering this too!  It took the words right out of my mouth!  Anyways, this song pretty much sums up what inside of my brain right now.  I can't wait till the real video comes out.  Any day now!
lurve you, xoxo v.



Okay, so I was SO mad at these girls,
because they were behind me laughing so loud
while I was on a business call.

I got off the phone and prepared to launch into them,
and before I started yelling too loud,
Maddie says, "Mom!  Before you say ANYTHING, 
Then, she shoves the computer in my face.

First, I look at Maddie, in a typical pose, tryin' to be cute, 
then I realize she's oblivious to the crazy that's happening behind her.
My eyes move to Emma who's being a dork,
then they land on the CAT!
I burst in laughter and almost spit out my drink.
Okay, I get it.
They weren't in trouble anymore.

Too funny.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Wake me when September ends....

I guess  this is easier said than done.
Long story.
Maybe some day I'll be able to share it with you.

I hate September. :(

lurve you, xoxo v.


I got the job!....

Oh yes girl!  Oh yes I did!  I am super excited! So excited that I feel like booty poppin' all over the place over here!  I'm sure Paul Anderson would love that!  The kids might have some questions, but he would love it! lmao

You know, I was just fed up with those long-ass days.  I was over it.  And seeing that I'm on salary, I was really just working myself to the bone for nothing.  So, this new job really does sound pretty great.  No weekends, evenings, holidays or on-call hours.  I can't remember the last time I had a holiday off!  No more horrible wear and tear on my vehicle! No more charting until the wee hours of the morning.  Oh it sounds glorious.  I will have to case manage around 65 patients over the phone and once in a while go see them in their home to assess their home environment, but I don't do any hands-on nursing care.  AND?  I got another raise!  I just had my yearly eval a few weeks ago and got one, so I figured I would stay the same.  But when the human resources recruiter got to calculating my years of experience as a nurse, she said that according to her tables, with the experience I am bringing to this position, I should be making more, so I will be getting another three percent raise.  Yay God!  I'll take it!  This sounds like a win-win situation.  The only thing is that I will have to start wearing actual clothes now vs. scrubs.  And after being on that blasted Prednisone for so long, what actually fits me anymore is limited. So, I may have to invest in a wardrobe. (Poor me.... *diabolically rubbing my hands together)  Wish I had girlfriends out here to go shopping with!  Some of y'all need to move out here or something!  And shoes!  I have nothing cute since I broke my ankle and can't really wear heels anymore.  I have a few flats that are starting to look busted and then I have flip flops that I live in.  I have no good looking shoes whatsoever.  Nothing presentable.  I want to wear heels again so bad.  Pretty heels.  Oh well, we'll start with the small stuff. 
I have a great job starting soon! :)  I'm so happy and excited!  Now I just have to survive the last few weeks of this one.

lurve you, xoxo v.



It's only half-over people!
Come on!
There's still potential.
Let's regroup,
let's go back to our breathing.
Let's recenter.
Did you make a resolution that went by the wayside?
Dat's okay.
Go pick it up and resume that shit. 
program's in progress.  
No harm, no foul girl.
Just jump back in line
It's all good.
Let's do this.
2012 PEOPLE!

lurve you, xoxo v.

Attempting to journal....

Okay, so I have this obsession with journals.  Seriously, like I love them and always buy them.  All kinds of them, doesn't matter.  Cheap, expensive, tiny, big, thick, thin.  Doesn't matter.  And I always have the best intentions for these journals.  I always swear that THIS will be the journal that will snap me out of my phobia of writing in them and make me all better.  But no.  Never does.  In the pile they go.  And they sit and collect dust like the others.  Above is a pile of six of them that I picked from just one shelf in my bedroom.  I probably have oh, at least 30 to 50 all together if I looked through all of my drawers, boxes, shelves, etc. Over the years, I've given some up to the kids  and whatnot, but mainly, I just hang on to them.  Knowing eventually that I want to start writing in them.

What's the problem, you ask?  Well, that all stems back to the evil one.  Many years ago, in a marriage far-far away, I used to write some things down.  Problems that we were having.  Truth of what was happening in our lives.  My dreams for getting out and away.  True things of what he would say to me and do to me.  Real dreams for my future.  No matter where I would hide them, he would inevitably find them and I would inevitably beat me bloody for all of the "lies (truth)" that was written and beat me because I had the nerve to dream about a life without him... that must mean I'm a no good whore, which deserved another beating.  And what if someone ELSE would have found these things instead of HIM?  That would have gotten him in so much trouble because they would have read my nonsense so that would be a betrayal of loyalty which deserved another beating.  I quickly learned that in this life it is simply not safe to write things down.  You do not write things down.  Not if you want to remain safe.  Never write them down.   And even though I've come so far since then, I'm still a bit haunted by that part.  I can type until my fingers fall off.  And I can buy journal after journal,.... but they all stay completely empty inside because I can't bring myself to write a word inside of any of them. I pick them up and run my hands of them and hold them.  But I'm at a loss as to what to write in them.  So they just sit empty.

So recently at the bookstore (while looking at more journals, ironically enough!),
 I came  across this blue journal pictured below and found it kind of interesting.
You only have to write a sentence or two every day and that's it.
Well, I could probably do that.
That takes a lot of pressure off!
And it has a spot for the same date for five years in a row.
That's kind of neat.
Maybe if I can work on just writing a line or two for a while,
this may go a while to cure me a bit.
I may actually get some use out of these journals!
So, I'm quite excited about this endeavor and we'll see how it goes.
Wish me luck!

lurve you, xoxo v.


She knows me so well....

lurve you, xoxo v.

Isn't it pretty?

My phone didn't catch the best photo,
but these were the prettiest colors
when I was cooking dinner,
I just had to take a picture! lol
I know, silly.
But I had to share!

lurve you, xoxo v.


My "Mommy Song"....

Phil Phillips

The other day while driving in the car, this song started playing on my ipod.  After a few seconds, I heard a sniffling sound coming from the passenger's seat and I looked over to see my Maddie B.'s face squinted up into a tearful pucker.  I giggled and asked her what was wrong and she said, "This is my "Mommy Song" and it always makes me cry!

This took me by surprise and made me giggle again.

She continued, "This summer, every time I heard this song, all I could think of was you and how this song is so you.  Especially everything we went through, and when we moved all the way out here and you were trying to give us a new life.  It could be so scary, and we didn't know where we were going or anything, but you always took care of us and tried to make everything good for us.  You always made sure that no matter where we were, that it looked like our home and felt like our home, and that we always knew where we were going and that we were always taken care of and comfortable.  This is just my "Mommy Song" and it makes me cry."

With that, I started crying too.  I had no idea she felt that way.  That blessed my heart.  She gets it.  Those are the things I was always going for.  Those were the things that I killed myself to do for my kids.  That's why I tried to get my house unpacked in a few days instead of a few months, to keep up the traditions, etc. All those unspoken things, all those moments I tortured myself about wondering if I did the right thing moving them out here on my own and then trying my best to make them as comfortable as possible so that it would be as easy on them as possible.... it wasn't lost on them.  Kids are usually oblivious... but she got it.  She got  it.  And she gave me a whole song (AND  it has a marching band/drum line in it!).  My cup runneth over.

lurve you, xoxo v.


I was here....

"I Was Here"

I really loved this performance by Beyonce and the way
she incorporated the "I was here" pins
over the heads of the workers in the videos.
So powerful.
Hopefully we are all doing something to help others on a daily basis.
Whether it's what we do for a living,
or a random act of kindness
to show that we were here.

lurve you, xoxo v.


Stuck in my head....

"National Anthem"
Lana Del Rey

Still love this hot-ass song & video.
It's very sexy in it's own love song kind of way.
Even one of my kids came home from school today
& asked if I had heard it.
I thin this one has staying power.

lurve you, xoxo v.



Okay, I know this picture may gross some people out (because it would normally gross me out too.  Hair. Ick.), but I don't care, I'm sharing anyways.  I just walked into the bathroom and saw that I forgot to put my hairbrush away this morning.  Then it occurred to me that I haven't cleaned it out in a while.  A long while.  Like a few months long while.  Then a wave of gratitude swelled over my heart and I had to say thank you to God.  You see, there was a time not so long ago when I had to empty this hairbrush at least twice per week because it was so overflowing with hair that I couldn't use it.  Hair by the gobs in the shower, hair on the floor, hair on my pillow, hair on my shirt, hair hair everywhere.  Now, I'm not losing my hair anymore because I don't have to be on that dreaded medication that makes my hair fall out and makes me feel so miserable.  Thank you Lord.

And it was one year ago last Friday that I was in surgery because I was nearly hemorrhaging.  I can't have babies anymore, but I'm grateful for the four that I have and that I'm now healthy and feeling better.  And in 23 days it will be one year since I broke my ankle.  It was a long, hard recovery but I'm so grateful that there was a way that I could heal without surgery even though it took several months.  And even though my ankle will never be the same (especially when the weather is bad), and I will probably never get to wear cute high heels again, I'm glad that I am just about back to normal and can walk again every day. 

I start my Benlysta again tomorrow.  I have to admit that I have been afraid of it and kind of dreading it.  But God used something as simple as seeing this hairbrush to bring a ton of gratitude to my heart about my basic health and well-being.  I know that I have faced bigger, badder devils than this IV infusion that I have tomorrow.  Hopefully, this will be a piece of cake!

lurve you, xoxo v.


Oh the times, they have changed....

So a few months ago my neurologist started me on Topomax for my migraines, right?  With promises of no headaches and lots of weight loss to boot!  What's not to love about that?  Just a few pills a day and no changes in my routine?  Uh, pshhhhyyyyaaaaa. Duh.  Bring it on. 

Unfortunately, it hasn't quite worked out that simple.  I still have headaches every day.  Not mind-blowing migraines (sometimes, but not always), but still headaches. And I've only really lost about five pounds.  I think the prednisone is battling this med.  Yesterday the doctor doubled my dose, so we'll see what happens.  But you know what HAS happened??? 

You won't believe it when I tell you.

My two favorite things in the entire world.... Diet Coke and Flaming Hot Cheetos with Limon?  Can't eat or drink them.  I know right?  GAH!

Diet Coke?  Hate the stuff.  And not just that, ANY carbonated drink for the most part.  It's like this med has done something to my taste buds and now carbonation kind of tastes like death to me.  I just don't like it.  And the Cheetos?  I eat them, I just don't feel good.  It's that simple.  I know if I eat them I kind of go into a lupus flare of some sort for days, so I have to avoid them.  They're not good for me.  And I used to keep this company in stock, I mean seriously, we need to get this into perspective.  For me to come to this realization and just go cold turkey on this is not just major, but maaaaaajoooorrr.   (I feel like the lady on the commercial who's like "I don't want purple, I want puuurrrrrplleeee, know what I mean?").  So even if this med doesn't end up getting rid of my headaches, it did end up curing two major addictions in my life and probably lowered cholesterol.  So there's that.

But I'm still kind of mourning.  And now I have no idea what to drink.  Because I hate sugary drinks.  And I hate water.  And anything that tastes too much like saccharin.  I'm sunk.  I'm going to die dehydrated.  Help!  Any suggestions?  Right now I'm existing on Gold Peak Diet Tea.  I like it.  It's sweet but not sugary and not too artifically.

lurve you, xoxo v.


lurve you, xoxo v.



Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
 ― William Gibson
lurve you, xoxo v.

Stuck in my head....

Tim McMorris

I was in love with this song from the first moment 
I heard a snippet on the Samuel Adams commercial!
I knew I had to find it and I did.
Now I can't get it out of my head.

It makes me happy.

This song is a snapshot of what my insides look like.
This is what my happily ever after looks like.
lurve you, xoxo v.


The age of worry....

Therapist says she worries about me when I get quiet.  When all she sees 'round these parts are book reviews, she knows I've gone underground and am only posting safe things.  You know, I just get so frustrated with myself and with life and sometimes feel like I'm doing nothing but spinning my wheels.  I'm told this is a totally normal and human thing, but I'm also my worst enemy and like to think that I should be somehow superhuman or something, and I guess beyond all of this already.  I mean, how many years of introspection and analyzation and therapy and book reading and praying does one have to go through before they start to get some of this stuff right.  See, the problem is that I thought stuff was taking root and I was doing stuff right, but then I found myself in a few situations where, as usual, my behavior was bad.  Not just bad, but stank.   Beyond stank.  Like Bad Girls Club level behavior.  I was beside myself, and unfortunately that was merely the kick-off of what seemed to be like a week-long trial.

The day after the first incident, I was quite upset with myself and the whole situation.  I was in a shame-spiral that hasn't been matched for quite some time.  I could not believe that I acted that way.  Oh I understood why I did what I did.  A few years of frustration of not feeling like I could properly protect my child came bubbling to the surface when face-to-face with the person causing it and out it came.  I went OFF in a most heinous way.  I was screaming, yelling, throwing rocks, acting completely G-H-E-T-T-O.  When it comes to protecting someone I love, I protect FIERCELY.  And it was to that level.  When you think of how ugly, heated and belligerent you think it may have gotten, take it another few notches higher.  Yeah, it was there.

So, anyways, the next day I was praying about it and apologizing to God.  Most of all, I was disappointed and shocked that I could still be made vulnerable to this kind of stuff.  I thought I was so past all of that.  So I asked (with honesty) that if I still had this tendency in me (obviously I do), then let's please just get it done and over with and get it worked out.  Okay, probably wise and what I need, but ouch.  Big mistake.  Not really.  But really.  The next week was MISERABLE!  Be careful what you ask the Lord for because He doesn't mess around.  Seriously!  If it could bring out a reaction in me?  It showed up!  I won't name names or give specifics in all situations, but we dealt with drugs, drinking, car issues, rained-on vacations, not feeling well, tempers, money issues, disowning a child, and even a CAT showing up in our back yard and adopting us and now LIVES IN OUR HOUSE (*sigh* and y'all know how I feel about pets).

Yes, that's how surrendered I was by the end of the week.  At the beginning of the week I was like a bucking wild stallion, mid-week picture me in the backyard at 6:30 in the morning throwing handfuls of gravel and torn-off bits of green pool-noodle over the wall at the neighbors too-loud landscapers (true story.  don't judge me, I'm admitting I was off the hook), and by the end of the week I have a cat living in my house. 

You know what's weird though?  It's like the whole week was an out of body experience.  I mean, trust me, I was definitely in my body.  I was stressed to the gills and felt every rage-filled moment of it.  But that's not me.  That person is not me. I'm normally much more peace, love, kumbayah, lets pray about it, tomorrow will be better.   It's definitely like God was working something out in me and like it was a divinely rage-filled week, if you know what I mean, because it's like as fast as it came and then I asked Him to work it out, then He did, then as soon as I had my fill and learned to control it and submit, the switch flipped and it turned off and things have been fine since.  Like invasion of the body snatchers.  Hopefully I've learned more of a lesson this time.  I know that this is something I will always deal with though.  I will go to my grave being on guard to protect my (and all) children & loved ones.  I will always feel a need to right wrongs and fight injustice.  There will always be a bit of vigilante in me.  I cannot see or hear of someone being bullied or harmed and not have an instinct to rescue.  I have a 6th sense for other people in danger (why do I not have the same sense of putting myself in danger?  I know, I stink at that).  Hopefully I can get better at managing my reaction to those situations.  I'm not the best at that yet.  But every time I think about acting stank, I can hear a permanent reminder of this week's trials meowing at me.

One of the things that has helped me chill out this past week has been John Mayer's new album, Born and Raised.  I LOVE THIS ALBUM.  Okay, lets be clear, I've never met an album of his that I didn't love.  But this album, absolutely fits the bill at this moment.  Bravo John, bravo.  It's not his bluesy norm, it's a very chilled out folksy sound, which is exactly what I need right now.  It's very laid back and has just the right vibe to bring me back to my normal, healthy frame of mind that I need to be in.  It's my mental funk detox music of the moment.  There's only one song on it that I don't really dig and it's that submarine song.  But the rest of them I love and play it on a loop.  The song below didn't start out as one of my favorites, but has become one.  I appreciate the lyrics and they speak to me on a number of levels right now.  Especially these.....

"Don't be scared to walk alone
Don't be scared to like it"
"Give your heart then change your mind
You're allowed to do it
'Cause God knows it's been done to you
And somehow you got through it"

"The Age of Worry"
John Mayer

lurve you, xoxo v.
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