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Tah-Dah! Results Are In!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I am breathing a very collective sigh of relief. With slight trepidation, I went to my follow-up appointment with my cardiac specialist this afternoon. I honestly didn't know what to expect. I've come to know this man as very honest and to-the-point, yet he possesses a gentle smile that will put the most fearful patient at ease. He is VERY tall, a giant of a man with a piercing brown eyes and a "no-nonsense" style about him. Yet, I strangely felt comforted as he burst into the room and asked me if I had been experiencing any chest pain, shortness of breath or palpitations as of late.

As he slowly gazed over my chart and "scolded" me on my slightly-elevated blood pressure reading, he pulled his stool in front of me and folded his hands in in his lap.

"You have a mitral valve leak. This is what's causing your heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness and fatigue."
"Most people with this problem aren't affected too badly by it. Yours is a little more pronounced. I want to do a follow-up echo in six months to see if it has gotten worse. But we ARE looking at a valve REPLACEMENT; WHEN, I don't know. Let's take it one day at a time."
"Your arteries are clean. Your heart, otherwise, is in good shape. But I need to keep a close eye on it. Let's hold off on the b/p meds while you cut out your sodium...don't look at me that way...and we'll schedule another echo in October."
"Okay....what caused this??"
"Maybe you were born with it, maybe it's just wear and tear. We can't really say for sure, but it's there. Now, take a deep breath..." and he leaned toward me with stethoscope in hand.

As he instructed me to breath deeply, my mind wandered back to the fears I had been entertaining in my mind. The Lord answered prayers that I would not have an enlarged heart as previously thought. The Lord also saw fit that I got such a caring and kind physician that took his job seriously and I was not just another chart number to him. We talked for a little while and he instructed me to continue eating high-potassium foods because my potassium levels were a "pain in the butt" and monitor my palpitations.


One answer tucked safely under my belt. Beginning in May, I am starting a whole new gammut of tests for another problem. More blood, more pee, more poking and prodding. We still don't know why I've lost over 40 pounds in a month and a half. The Reese's Cups and Italian cuisine would beg to differ! But I am confident in my Lord and my doctors!

Thank you all so much for your love, prayers and concern! They have helped very much during this time. And I'm also sure it's what assisted in keeping this old bird pretty tough through it all...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNIAATROME 5/28/2011 1:55PM

    I just only saw this... my prayers are with you...

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    40 pounds is 6 weeks ~ that's a little scary! Hope all the tests come out fine.

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PEGJOHN1997 5/17/2011 2:14PM

    I'm just checking in on everyone after being away awhile. How are you doing now? What do you know now that you didn't know when you wrote this blog?

I'm praying everything goes well with you.

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JACARRENO 4/21/2011 3:52PM

    My goodness! Please promise me you will continue to take care of yourself and follow your doctor's orders. You and your health will continue to be in my prayers.

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DIETSAFARI 4/19/2011 11:44AM

    Are you better now, Honey?
Praying for you

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JILLWILSON2102 4/18/2011 8:46AM

    If you get to the point of surgery I want you to call me. I am sending you my number privately! emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 4/14/2011 6:11PM

    I am very relieved your news wasn't much worse, but still concerned for you, dear friend! I am also relieved that you seem to have a fabulous doctor who knows his stuff and really cares about you. Now, your job is to follow his direction. Cut the salt, baby.Have you tried Mrs.Dash? I hear they really help you not miss the salt.
Be well, my friend. If you need anything, even just someone to talk to, you know I am always here for you.
I thank God for you, dear. When you find out about the 40 pound loss, let me know, k? (No, seriously, just very curious). I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed & just can't wrap my mind around it.
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GRACEFULIFE 4/14/2011 1:25AM

    Holy crap, 40 lbs in 6 weeks! I'm glad you're making progress and I hope you can get EVERYTHING sorted!

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CIVIAV 4/13/2011 11:29PM

    Be well and in God's care...
Keep Sparking and Smiling!

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KAILYNSTAR 4/13/2011 10:33PM

    What good news. No enlarged heart.

I'm am relieved also. You are such a dear to us all.

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KATVHALE 4/13/2011 7:36PM

    As you know my Norm had his Mitral Valve replaced in Sept. 2010 when he had his triple bypass surgery. He has a Titanium valve now and I can hear it clicking in a quiet environment! He is now on Coumadin for life.

I pray that yours is not as bad as they think and you will not need a replacement. On the weight loss, diabetes is not a factor is it?

Girl, there is never a dull moment with you that's for sure! You got a good doc so do what he says and hopefully you will nip all problems in the bud! Keep us posted on the other issues.

I'm praying for you lil sis!


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TRENTDREAMER 4/13/2011 5:53PM

    Glad to hear that you have a diagnosis. May you recover soon and strong.

Miss you.

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 4/13/2011 12:47PM

    I'm glad you got good news. Now we can pray for the valve part.

I've been worried about you and am glad to hear that you are taking care of yourself. I would love the 40 lb weight loss but you don't have it to lose. You're tiny! And that's waaaaay too fast. I'm hoping it's a simple adjustment. Keep us posted on that too.

Sending loads of hugs and hoping you have a great time off!


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REJOHNSON3 4/13/2011 12:24PM

    STEELKICKIN, if you are not a journalist you missed your calling! How does this malady effect your ability to exercise? Forty pounds in one month, wow, not good. I know I did that when I was in my late twenties. I was a bit overweight then in the U.S. Coast Guard and they did not think I should continue and gave me a deadline. I beat the deadline and lost about forty pounds in that many days. Needless to say I continued in the service but continued to have a weight problem. There was no SPARKPEOPLE for me then nor did I get the advice to handle the problem. But here I am Still Kicking!

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ALGALL7 4/13/2011 10:56AM

    hi!!! keep listening to your doc and doing what he tells you!!!! i have high blood pressure, too, although it has gone down since i've been exercising and watching what i eat. glad your heart problem wasn't as bad as it could have been. hope, the next time you visit the dr, he gives you a "clean bill of health"!!!! i sure will be praying for you. god DOES answer prayer!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    That's good news. Whew

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BLAKBIRD 4/13/2011 8:57AM

    emoticon emoticon

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PJSTIME 4/13/2011 7:07AM

    I'm glad it wasn't any thing very serious. Keep doing what they say and taking care of yourself as I want you around here to keep blogging and for your friendship.

Hugs to you my friend.

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FASHIONJUNKIE 4/13/2011 6:49AM

    I'm so glad it's nothing too serious. Take care of your health and keep taking it easy. Enjoy life your time with family and friends, that's the most important thing!

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MOMFAN 4/12/2011 11:51PM

    Hugs and prayers!

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FLEMIDG 4/12/2011 11:51PM

    I am so happy to hear that the problem is not an enlarged heart. Yes, God does answer prayers. I pray that your doctor will find out what caused that huge weight loss. Take care of yourself and listen to the doctor. He sounds like a great doctor who really knows what he is doing.
You have lots and lots of people praying for you and cheering you on.
Take good care of yourself, and yes, lose that salt.
I am sending tons of hugs and prayers your way. Remember how much you are loved. God bless you.

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ELYMWX 4/12/2011 11:22PM

    Glad to hear you've at least got some answers...

And yes, cutting out the sodium is a real pain.

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GEEMAWEST 4/12/2011 11:13PM

    Did Barb just say that she wished you had a tape worm!?!?

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CARTOONB 4/12/2011 11:10PM

    Did I read that you gave your doctor a "What you talkin' about Willis?" look? How does that not surprise me? LOL! I'm glad that you do not have an enlarged heart and that you have a doctor who cares. Now listen to him and cut out the sodium (although I don't know how that is possible!).

Hope the other tests show a tape worm or some other easily fixable issue. emoticon

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    Oh. My. Goodness. I must have missed a BIG BLOG! I had no IDEA you were having heart issues! None whatsoever! Sheesh! Where have I BEEN! No wonder you were down the last blog I read! I am so sorry that I did not know this! Thank goodness for this blog that kind of caught me up to speed! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TEACHDIANN78 4/12/2011 9:56PM

    Wow...thank God for good Doctors. Keep your faith and everything will turn out exactly as is planned. As I'm always told (but rarely follow) there is no reason to stress over things we can't control. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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CBAILEYC 4/12/2011 9:44PM

    Knowing is half the battle. This is a good step, and it sounds like you're in good, capable, wise hands.
You're in my thoughts as well.

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SCMAMAJONES 4/12/2011 9:42PM

    Great news! Hang in there.

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DARLENEK04 4/12/2011 8:40PM

  Love and prayers coming your way babygirl.........
keep us informed.........


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GEEMAWEST 4/12/2011 8:23PM

    Keep following doctors orders. That's an ORDER!!

I am happy but obviously still concerned. Thanks for the update.

Love and Hugs, Cheryl

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STARPESCADO 4/12/2011 8:13PM

    Sending you my prayers and blessings for restored 110% great health! emoticon emoticon

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CALIMAN1 4/12/2011 7:58PM

    I am confident in the Lord, too...that was wonderful news my friend and sister. And the prayers will keep moving upward....and may the blessings be poured over you! Very very happy to hear this news....

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LMB-ESQ 4/12/2011 7:28PM

    40 pounds in a month and a half?? Holy Criminy!

Well, glad you got good news about the heart issue. Now, on to the next! emoticon

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LNWOLF72 4/12/2011 7:22PM

    Maybe the weight loss is from an overactive thyroid? My sister is having the same problem- she even wakes up in the middle of the night to eat but she just keeps losing even on meds. I'm glad you see the valve as "good news" but maybe it will heal itself...the Lord works in mysterious ways :)

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NPA4LOSS 4/12/2011 7:12PM

    I have an enlarged heart but my Primary never sent me to a Cardiologist. Maybe my new Dr. will. emoticon and emoticon being sent your way.

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BIONICBETH 4/12/2011 6:48PM

    Who would have thought that needing a Valve Replacement would be looked upon as GOOD news?

Well, since it is, then I'm happy to hear you need a simple valve replacement! And I hope they figure out the rest of it soon too!


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BKNOCK 4/12/2011 6:44PM

    Prayers are still with you!

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CHERIRIDDELL 4/12/2011 6:43PM

    Good news! I am so pleased it is not an enlarged heart. Now we will keep praying for equally simple answers for the next problems to be dealt with .One thing at a time.Take it easy and know there are many who care! love and hugs,Cheri

Comment edited on: 4/12/2011 6:43:56 PM

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Let It Fade

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

I am convinced that you can't find better friends or confidantes than here on SparkPeople. Yesterday and today I have received goodies with words behind them that brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. There are good people here. No, there are ANGELS here and I will always believe that from the bottom of my very touched heart.

I haven't exactly been the best of a friend back, though. I have allowed myself to exhibit and harbor a very short temperament in the last weeks that have passed, a very short fuse in the way of family and friends whom have only had my back and were looking out for me. Even as I was being grumpy, I realized that I was being that way yet didn't want to put out the energy to change it. I have been laying my head down at night feeling regret and remorse, making a mental note to try to do better tomorrow. Tomorrow would come and it would be no better than the day before. I was just tired of trying to be the "nice" one when everything in MY life seemed to be going wrong for me.

What a ridiculous and shameful attitude. If that isn't the epitome of laziness, then I don't know what is. It's almost like I was punishing everyone else because things weren't going right for me. That is really lousy and, although it felt "good" at the time to just let mean words fly, later I would cry and want to just fade away. That lead to more shame and more anger in the fact that I wasn't exhibiting any self-control for ANY emotion that I was feeling. So, I've been putting my heart and soul underneath a huge microscope. I've been re-examining my intentions and goals and making sure I include God in every aspect of my life. An amazing thing happens when you do that.

You don't feel so quite alone anymore.

Suddenly you feel like you don't have to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. Even though you may be surrounded by the most understanding and caring people in the world, you suddenly have a realization that there is Someone who can help you carry the load, from the smallest of tasks to the giant ones. And you can find rest. In your mind AND in your heart.

I've always been a big believer in the Golden Rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And I have always tried to put myself in other people's shoes. If the person on the other end of phone was grouchy, then I told myself that they might be having a terrible day. If someone cuts me off in traffic, then I told myself they may be going to visit a loved one in the hospital who doesn't have much time. But lately I have been looking at everyone and trying to see past the exterior plane. I have found my heart reawakening and have felt a connection to everyone I meet. I've realized we are all on this unfair and sometimes cruel earth together. I've also realized that, at the end of the day, we all put our heads down at night hoping to see the dawn of a brand new day.

Some of us don't get that chance. Some of us may even be on borrowed time and we have to make the most of what we have at this very moment. Which means that what we do today has to COUNT. It has to mean something to US and to OTHERS. And if that means watching what comes out of our mouths in the heat of the moment, isn't it worth it to take the few extra seconds to think before we speak?? I'm speaking from a personal standpoint here. I've mouthed off everybody from my old man to my managers at work. I'm surprised I still have a job!

"Have you been walking on a surface that's uncertain?
Have you helped yourself to everything that's empty?
You can't live this way too long.
There's more than this, so much more than this.
Have you been holding on to what this world has offered?
Have you been giving in to all these masquerades?
It will be gone, forever gone.


Let this old life crumble, let it fade.
Let this new life offered be your saving grace."

Each day can be a new beginning, a new life to be explored, to be taken as a gift from God. A new day, a new beginning, the opportunity to see the sun rise in the morning is not a thing to be taken lightly. We can squander our minutes or we can make them count for something. We can waste precious seconds by being the ultimate grouch, to make someone feel like crap over something minuscule in the grand scheme of things, or we can move ourselves to be there for them in the true heart of understanding. Believe me, everything we say or do has a backlash. It can either come back to "haunt" you or it can lighten the load of the heaviness in your heart.

Let your old life crumble. Let it fade. Are you carrying the weight too much? Are you running from the true call in your life? Are you squashing down the light within you that could be touching the heart of another? Let it shine. Let it out. There are those out there who need to see what only YOU can give. Trust me, in the end, you'll be the one with the greatest gift when you realize what you are truly capable of doing...

and giving.

By the way, I know for a fact that you can really touch someone's life who really needs it. How?? Because you've all touched mine.

More than you will EVER know.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JACARRENO 4/21/2011 3:44PM

    Life is about give and take. Sometimes you give yourself to others and sometimes you need to take from others to get through something. I'm glad to have found you as a friend and look forward to being there for one another. emoticon

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TRENTDREAMER 4/10/2011 10:00PM

    We all love you very much and want what's best for you.

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LMB-ESQ 4/9/2011 7:56PM


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DARLENEK04 4/9/2011 5:04PM

  Loveya Michelle,


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MELAPHANTN 4/7/2011 9:15PM

    Such a lovely blog!


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AZCUPCAKE 4/7/2011 4:12PM

    What a beautiful blog! You are truly a gem, Michelle. You are very hard on yourself, though; you couldn't be anything BUT a great friend! Thank you for letting us know you are doing all right. Feel the love you deserve and know you inspire us and make us smile every time you log on here! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KAILYNSTAR 4/7/2011 12:13PM

    You have touched us too. There are so many good qualities in you that make us very eager to read your blogs.

You're funny, loving, sentimental, thoughtful, forgiving, contemplater of yourself, a beautiful person and an angel as well.

I am here for you. I will listen. I am proud to be your friend.

God Bless. emoticon

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ALGALL7 4/7/2011 9:47AM

    welcome back. i've missed you. think of you so often. you have a great attitude!!!!! the bad times happen to make us stronger people. a positive attitude gets us through life. i hate negativity. i have a dau and her boyfriend who i'mntrying to get through to. it's so hard to deal with stubborn people. my dau was brought up with a strong faith in god, but her boyfriend.....all i can do is pray for him and look for that silver lining that is there after the storm clouds pass away!!!!!!! love you, michelle. what we we do without spark people!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Yes, it is good to see you back. You are so good at articulating your feelings, and so many of us feel the same way. We just can't put it in writing the way you do.

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MEMARE 4/7/2011 6:53AM

    I came to your blog today through a link in my friend feed. And just want to say thank you for expressing so eloquently the glory of a new day.
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I don’t know what you’ve been facing lately but I hope things improve for you. emoticon

“Let this old life crumble, let it fade.
Let this new life offered be your saving grace.”

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EBEAMS 4/7/2011 5:46AM

    That is excellent advice - Let it go, let your old life crumble. It is amazing how just a tiny, just a teeny tiny change in our attitude can affect those around us so much. You did some hard work getting from there to here ... Good job! Thanks for sharing some of your journey with the rest of us!

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JUNEBUG150 4/7/2011 1:04AM

    I'm so sorry you've been having such a hard time but I'm glad you are back. Yes I agree that our Spark Friends are family!
Hope you keep feeling better and better! Praying for you.
emoticon, Melody

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FLEMIDG 4/7/2011 12:16AM

    Michelle, it's great to see you back. I have missed you and been so worried about you. So glad that things are slowly getting better for you.
I am continuing to pray for you. May God bless you and help you. I'm sending you lots of love and hugs. You are so special to me.
Love always.


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KATVHALE 4/7/2011 12:09AM

    You better start being nice and practicing what you preach! You have been through a lot of pain of late and that will make a person grumpy and grouchy but don't take it out on my darling Brian!!! (just kidding)

Just knowing that God is with you and will lead you out of the valley and back up to the mountain top is something worth smiling about! Listen, we are all sinners and we all make mistakes and we all have "attitude" when we shouldn't but God loves us anyway and His Grace is Sufficient For Us! Let go and let God...... Just sayin'

Love ya like a sis!


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DUTCHIEKIWI 4/6/2011 11:33PM

    Glad you're back!! We missed you, snarky and all ;0)


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CARTOONB 4/6/2011 11:08PM

    I get to add a comment?!?! Woo hoo!! Sounds like you've been snarky lately. Sorry to hear that. Hope you continue feeling better.

BTW...would it be snarky to print this out and leave it for my DH to find? emoticon

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BKNOCK 4/6/2011 7:14PM

    There is that spirit I love! You go girl!

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CHERIRIDDELL 4/6/2011 6:39PM

    That's the spirit.You are strong ,you are able to face things .You have all your Spark Family behind you as well as your beloved children and husband.We admire you.You can fall down a hundred times as long as you get up one hundred and one times (believe me this is the girl who was supposed to be paralyzed I know from whence I speak! I may walk funny I may need a cane but I walk I get up and I never give up,I also see myself in you!) Your blog was wonderful I am so glad to have you back with us.It brought to mind an old song by Sister Sledge( bear in mind I have no biological sisters , my Sparkfriends and friends I have made along the way are the only family my age I have,I was an after thought ,my Mum died in 2001 and my father before that and I never had a sister) So I truely care that things go right for you! Cause you are like my family and this song always reminds me of my lovely Sparkfriends!
"We are family
I got all my sisters with me
We are family
Get up ev'rybody and sing
Ev'ryone can see we're together
As we walk on by
(FLY!) and we fly just like birds of a feather
I won't tell no lie
(ALL!) all of the people around us they say
Can they be that close
Just let me state for the record
We're giving love in a family dose
Living life is fun and we've just begun
To get our share of the world's delights
(HIGH!) high hopes we have for the future
And our goal's in sight
(WE!) no we don't get depressed
Here's what we call our golden rule
Have faith in you and the things you do
You won't go wrong
This is our family Jewel" The only line wrong is we don't get depressed cause we all sometimes do as long as your madcap friends can bring a smile to you , so you have hope days will get better ,then all is well.Sending love and prayers ,just grateful there is you!

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DARLENEK04 4/6/2011 5:56PM

  Life is not always easy, but God has our back(as well as a few
hundred of our closest buds on spark)....

I am sorry you have been having such a bad time the past few
months....I know exactly where you are.....

Lots of love,

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 4/6/2011 5:01PM

    I loved reading your blog. How can someone you've never met be family? Does that make you my eSister? LOL

Hang in there. Things are tough right now but I'm hopeful that they will get better and better. I'm cheering for you!


Comment edited on: 4/6/2011 5:02:45 PM

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    Sure glad you decided to have things turn around and go your way!

You put your problems in the right hands, too.

Keep the faith and a stiff upper lip
you might look like this: -|
but this is better : )

Have a SPlendid Day


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OLDERDANDRT 4/6/2011 4:20PM

    Now that's the SP friend I know and love!!! You are so special. So........SParkly!!! I'm really sorry you've had these trials, and they are probably not over, but never forget your SParkies are here for you, always! At least, I like to think I am!!! Let's get back to it, dear! You want to be in super dooper shape in time for fooball season, right!?!? lol! What was the line in "Lion King"? You gotta put your behind in the past! Oh no, he corrected that.......You gotta put your past behind you!! that's it! And in the immortal words of "The Zohan", let's go!


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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Somewhere along the line we tend to lose the child-like wonder of the world around us. We become so burdened with LIFE. We become "programmed" to keep up those around us, to have the have-nots, to stay in the clique, to be in the "in" crowd. Or maybe we just don't care anymore and find ourselves "dropping out," or maybe even pulling ourselves into the proverbial fetal position, closing our ears and hearts to the caring and outpouring of love around us. Meanwhile, in the back of our minds, there is a steady knocking, a whisper that says, "But are you REALLY happy? Is this what you REALLY want?"

I had been doing both. Physically and mentally I've been playing a spiritual tug-of-war with myself. But through this mini-battle, which isn't quite over yet, I've come to realize things about myself and my views of life in general. It's been a journey of self-realization, a re-awakening that, I believe, God has placed upon me to get my feet firmly planted back on the path that leads to Him. He never gave up on me. Even when I gave up on myself. Even though there are still times I want to throw in the towel of self-defeat and sigh, "Whatever, ya know? It's all just too much for me to handle." I've managed to raise my head during those times and see the outstretched arms of my Father, a smile on His face that says to me, "Here I am. Don't give up because I haven't. Just rest here. Let me take care of the minutes, hours and days before you."

There is a song by Jeremy Camp that goes something like this...

"I take a look at my life and I wonder why I go through the things I do.
Then I see everything in a different light and understand Your promise isn't through."

"I see that it's best for me to go through the struggles that I have.
To help me to clearly see and to shape me and mold me as I am.
The purpose sometimes we may not know and the hope may not be clearly seen. There are many things He wants to show and He wants EVERYTHING at his feet."

The chorus explains why:

"To make me a (wo)man, wholly devoted to You...and keep a childlike faith."

So maybe this is why we have struggles, whether it be financially, mentally, spiritually, or whatever. These struggles are what makes us into the people we are today. We can either allow them to harden us, overtake us or make us better people. Perhaps it will help us to better understand those around us so that we may be there for THEM in THEIR time of need. I don't really know. But my personal journey through my little health crisis has had me riding the roller coaster of uncertainty. It dawned on me this morning while I had the massive chest x-ray machine rolling circles around my upper body that this life doesn't have to be lived just has to be LIVED. And LIVED in such a way that we can lay our heads down at night with a clear heart and clear mind. If that means reaching out to others whom we might not have otherwise reached out to before, then so be it. Even when our own mind screams, "But I'm going through a personal crisis here!!! I don't have time for anyone else's drama...."

Coming home, I passed a girl walking the side of the road. She was roughly the same age as my Beanie, with tattered clothes, a thin jacket that was trying desperately to warm her body against the bracing cold. My heart broke into a thousand pieces and I thanked God that my daughter was warm in her college classroom at that time. But my heart still anguished because this was SOMEONE'S daughter, someone who didn't appear to have had the same opportunities my baby did. Her frail body struggled to climb the hill, her face turned down as it looked at the concrete underneath her ragged shoes. I slowed the truck and asked her if I could give her a ride home. She pointed to a house just beyond the trees and said "thank you" but she was already there. But something struck me with a lightening reality...there was suddenly a LIGHT in the shadows of her face. Just enough to remind me that within this person was a soul who needed kindness just as much I much as you do....

I wish for us all to do one thing EVERY DAY that might give a spark to someone's soul. It just might surprise you how many will take a kind word or action and make a mountain out of it. For all we know, they might fabricate a tapestry of wonderful things in their lives from those few seconds or minutes we offer to share with them. How many of them will we eventually see entering the gates of heaven because we showed them a little bit of Jesus in that moment?? Who may otherwise have not been show Him before?

Give a little bit of yourself even when you don't feel you have anything left to give. You'll be surprised at how much lighter your own burdens feel after that....

God bless and happy giving.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GREGGWEISBROD 11/30/2013 10:36AM

    Love this.

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    Do unto the least of these my brethren...That was the Lord's light in her face

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JACARRENO 4/21/2011 3:36PM

    You have such a gift for words to beautifully share such emotion with us and cause us to feel as if we are right there with you in that moment. I was able to imagine myself in the truck with you, ready to jump out and put that girl in the middle, take her home even though already basically there and go inside to see what help I could give her and her family. Thank you for the great reminders you shared in this blog. emoticon

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MEMARE 4/7/2011 6:59AM

    Great blog. Thank you for sharing it with us. emoticon

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KATVHALE 4/7/2011 12:00AM

    Jesus never said it would be perfect for us here on earth but He did say, "I will be with you." He wants us to walk with Him every day and live every day the way He would if He were human again. WWJD is really a great question to ask ourselves everytime we have a decision to make or before we say something to another person. He is our best example and just think none of us will ever suffer as much as He did when He hung on that cross for our sins!

So glad that you are back with us!


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Russell Stover Vs. My Old Man

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Nope. He doesn't possess the ability to wait until the ACTUAL day to give gifts. The day before Christmas he will give me a present or two, the day before Thanksgiving he will steal a piece of pumpkin pie from the fridge and my birthday is usually celebrated the day before. He is like a little kid who can't wait and, amidst the "No! No! No!s" will shove the impending present before me with wide-eyes and an elfish smile. Today was no different. This evening, before me on the kitchen island, was a pretty red cellophane heart-shaped box adorned with the name "Russell Stover." I told him that TOMORROW was St. Valentine's Day and he nodded impatiently and pushed the box a little closer...

The hand-written words on the card jumped out at me:

"Just a reminder that I love you...
not just during the good times but during the hard times as well. Maybe even more now than when we first met. I need you and want you by my side all the days of my life.

I will love you always,

When the tears welled-up in my eyes, he seemed satisfied that he had touched the part of my heart that always spills over with such sentiments. Then he stuck his hands in his pockets and said he was going to go change the oil in the truck.

I don't want to change that about him. Well, let's put it this way, I wouldn't be able to if I tried. When he and I first met, this little idiosyncrasy used to get on my last nerve and we even fought about it a few times. Not only does he do this with me, but he used to do it with the kids, too. They obviously didn't see a problem with it, but I always wanted to stay close to tradition. I was raised to wait for the day and I didn't like navigating from those routines. He was raised the same way, too, so I could never understand why it was so difficult for him to wait for the appropriate day for gift-giving.

He knows that I'm a stickler with dates and will give him his gifts tomorrow, a small box of candy (he's not a huge chocolate-lover) and a Harley-tee. In fact, when I tried to give him his gifts tonight, he backed away and said, "No, I can wait until tomorrow." as if it were ME who couldn't wait in the first place.

I asked him this past Christmas why he does it. His answer?

"We're not guaranteed tomorrow. So don't put off doing tomorrow what you can do today."

I guess that can apply to just about anything, right?? Like smiling at your neighbor, a surprise touch or hug to the ones you are closest to in your lives. Maybe we should all just CHILL OUT and REACH out to our loved ones a little sooner than expected. I'm not saying we should all go nuts and give our Christmas presents on Thanksgiving or celebrate Thanksgiving on the Fourth of July, but maybe we can give of ourselves a little more "freely" as if we ARE celebrating a "holiday" that very day.

So, I'm sure that Russell Stover was pretty popular with the ladies back in his day and he's still invoking lust in us chocolate lovers today, but I think my Old Man is a little more fly than he is.

Maybe a little wiser, too!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JILLWILSON2102 2/17/2011 7:45AM

    And super sweet!

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JIMBOEHNER 2/15/2011 11:28PM

    Really cool of the guy to treat you right like that.

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BKNOCK 2/15/2011 8:08PM

    Such a great writer! You are very lucky!

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KELLIGIRL523 2/15/2011 1:06PM

    Okay.... more tears. Guess I'd better quit reading your blogs at work.

Sounds like you're a lucky couple. emoticon

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 2/15/2011 12:50PM

    Ok, I love your Brian again, tweezers and all. That was so sweet!

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GEEMAWEST 2/15/2011 9:39AM

    My DH does the same thing. He just can't stand to wait until the day. There are a couple of reason's he does this. One, he is so proud of the fact that he even remembered that there was an important date and two, because he's so darned proud of himself that he got me "the perfect" present and he can't wait to see my reaction. He's like Brian, just a kid at heart. Men, they never grow up. Gotta love it!

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LMB-ESQ 2/15/2011 7:33AM

    Your Brian stories are always so touching. I hope you know that 99% of the women out there can't come anywhere close to your stories. I mean, we all love our SOs (well, maybe some of us don't, but that's another issue altogether), but your overriding appreciation of each other is just amazing. I've said it before, you two are lucky to have each other, but you already know that! emoticon Happy Valentine's Day!

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MOMFAN 2/15/2011 2:02AM


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DARLENEK04 2/14/2011 9:18PM

  How thought provoking...........David gave me my card and candy today,
but he was so sweet about it, so knowing we would be spending all day
getting my tire repaired, he got me when I first got the way,
Russell Stover must have been a romantic at heart, I have seen his home
and gardens and the pool with rose trellis's around it........absolutely beautiful.

Back to are a blessed woman..............enjoy.


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    You are lucky to have each other!

I find it difficult to wait till the "real date" too, I rather give whenever BEFORE the actual holiday.

I'll agree with Brian too on better today, just in case there is no tomorrow

Happy Valentine's Day to you both!

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OLDERDANDRT 2/14/2011 3:00PM

    He' s such a sweetie! I think you should keep him. hehe So when he gets home today, greet him at the door with a emoticon or 2!!!
Happy "Russell Stover day!! Oops....I mean Valentine's day!!!


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KAILYNSTAR 2/14/2011 2:05PM

    So Sweet!

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HANSRICO 2/14/2011 1:56PM

    Wonderful Blog Post! Thanks, brought smiles to my face. We are just anxious to see our brides smile and be happy. Happy Valentines Day!

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PJSTIME 2/14/2011 10:44AM

    You are so lucky to have a guy that is romantic at all be glad he gives those little heart felt gifts even if they are a day early:)

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LINDAKAY228 2/14/2011 10:04AM

    What a sweet guy! And he's right, there are no guarantees about tomorrow. Celebrate each day. You're lucky to have him!

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JUSTLYLE 2/14/2011 9:41AM

    I loved you blog, can tell from all the response many did. We will be celebrating 53 years the 16th. I'm kinda running out of ideas.

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    Oh, I love your blogs, and this one was so special! Thank you for sharing this wonderful intimate sliver of your love life! Happy Valentine's Day! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Thanks for sharing this with us. Great things to ponder.:)

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JOHNTJ1 2/14/2011 7:44AM

    You are married to a very wise man. That is something I never looked at the way he puts it.

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LIZZYP609 2/14/2011 6:42AM

    Yea! Brian!

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HICKOK-HALEY 2/14/2011 3:10AM

    Awww, that is soooo sweet! emoticon

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WALKOFFWIN 2/14/2011 1:09AM

    Great Blog as usual, Michelle. Brian's note was very romantic, filled with love, and even better than anything Hallmark would come up with. Most of all, because he put his true love for you into his own words.

And I for one, am all for jumping the gun when Valentines Day falls on a MONDAY. For so many of the working stiffs out there, my wife and I included, Monday is usually about as fun as a cold shower! And as far as I'm concerned, having to take a cold shower on Valentines Day is just WRONG!!!

So my wife and I have made this Valentines Weekend. For us, it's much better this way, and nothing like a cold shower.

Thanks as always, for sharing your gifted talent for written expression of your thoughts and feelings with us. Very moving...


Comment edited on: 2/14/2011 1:13:27 AM

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BEACHGIRL76 2/14/2011 12:33AM

    Great blog! He's funny! I always give gifts early too. I just love to GIVE and can't wait to see the expression on my man's/kid's faces. I don't ALL the time but usually I give them a gift before the day of the event and the rest on the real day of celebration. My hubby doesn't care either way. He's really laid back so it works for us. But yesterday we looked for cards together at the store and it was really odd. lol He actually saw mine (just the outside) but I was kinda bummed because we aren't exchanging gifts this year so the card is all I had! Well I got him and the kids candy but of course I gave that to them Saturday. lol We are making a really good dinner (T-bone steak and lobster) and just spending time alone tomorrow:) I guess some of us just have no patience uh? lol Enjoy your day tomorrow! emoticon

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CHERIRIDDELL 2/14/2011 12:20AM

    The fact that after he successfully elicited the response he wanted he went out to change the oil so reminded me of my husband !!!!!
This year I am still crossing my fingers that my husband gets to take a break from IED's and radar tracking to phone from his spot in the desert.Your blog brightened my night !Thanks!

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FLEMIDG 2/14/2011 12:03AM

    What a lovely blog. After all the tough-guy image, Brian really is an old softie, isn't he. You two are so lucky to have each other. Have a beautiful Valentine's Day.

Love and God Bless You.


emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLAKBIRD 2/13/2011 11:30PM

    Way to go DH emoticon

Happy Valentines Day Sis

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CARTOONB 2/13/2011 11:25PM

    Awww! He likes you! That is awesome. And yeah, he's better than Russell any day!

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KATVHALE 2/13/2011 11:13PM

    Brian is just an old softy! Funny, but my late husband was that way too; he couldn't wait to have me open presents and was early too! Now Norm waits for the day but eggs me on about something's coming and it's good.... things like that.

Don't you feel a little guilty now about your previous post? He has his faults but boy can he make up for all of them with those beautiful words!



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MONTANA_ED 2/13/2011 11:06PM

    Wow - he is so right with that quote! Sounds like you have one good fella there. That's awesome!


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DUTCHIEKIWI 2/13/2011 11:00PM

    Thanks for sharing :0)

Go Brian!! :0)

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USFBULL 2/13/2011 10:54PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Underwear? Under THERE??

Friday, February 11, 2011

I'm beginning to think I've given my kids a bad rap over the years when they lived here. From damp towels laying in the bathroom floor to the overflowing laundry basket to crumbs on the floor, I would, for the thousandth time, lecture them over their sloppiness and demand that they take the initiative to pick up after themselves. Usually Brian would stand by my side and tell them to listen to their mother, because, after all, I "WASN'T THEIR MAID." When Bre left for college, I was sort of looking forward to only having to clean my house once every other day or so. Surely the load would be lightened. Right???

But weird things have been happening. For example, just this week, I've found these things occurring in my house:

1) A pair of mens' crusty socks in the love seat. A pair of men's crusty socks under the couch. And a pair of men's underwear under the kitchen table. (??!)
2) Five used razors on the bathtub in the bathroom by our bedroom.
3) In the middle of the night while reaching for the toilet paper, I've found an empty cardboard roll on the t.p. holder.
4) A milk carton with two teaspoons of milk left in it in the refrigerator.
5) Dried hard salt around the buttons of the remote control.
6) Cashew dust on the t.v. stand.
7) Dried toothpaste in the bathroom sink...and toothpaste spatter on the bathroom mirror. Along with dried Scope dribbled down the side of the magazine rack.
8) Two of my new plush washclothes stiff-as-a-board underneath Brian's shiny clean motorcycle.
9) A damp pair of Dr. Scholl's sticking out of the slats of the heating vents in the living room floor.
10) Floss tied around the doorknob. I'm STILL trying to figure that one out.
11) A screwdriver stuck in the dirt of my aloe vera plant. SERIOUSLY???? Plus, a wrench in the fork drawer.
12) Toenail clippings on my jewelry box.

Don't ever let your Old Man put the laundry away either. I found my potholders in his underwear drawer and my bras in the filing cabinet.

Plus, I couldn't understand why my eyebrow tweezers were always "weird" on the ends until I walked in and found him sticking them up his nose. I still have nightmares about that...and have promptly removed all of my grooming utensils from his reach. And when Breanna was home last weekend, I heard her scream, "Dad, that is SOOO GROSS! Get that away from ME!" I didn't ask. I was to the point where I just didn't wanna know anymore.

Tonight, though, while he was getting ready for bed, I followed him to the bedroom and turned the covers down for him. I fluffed his pillow, like I have done every night for the last 20+ years and laid out his clothes for the next day. I watched him slowly change into his pajamas, tired from a long day at work, and abandon his socks, pants and shirt on the floor. Raising one eyebrow, he wearily looked at me and said, "Don't worry about those. I will get them tomorrow." and fall heavily into bed. Suddenly, I didn't care. I sat down beside him on the bed and pulled the covers around his shoulders, watching his eyes slowly close. I stroked the hair back from his forehead and touched his cheek; he smiled and grasped my hand and pulled it to his chest.

My goodness. With tears stinging my eyes, I reached down and picked up his clothes which were still warm from his body and cradled them to me as I made my way to the laundry room. Suddenly I didn't care about the muddy bootprints on the rug at the front door entrance. It is material evidence that this man is HERE WITH ME as he has been for the last 20+ years. I felt myself being pulled back to the bedroom to his side of the bed; I laid down beside him as he drifted off to sleep, his arm tightly wound around my waist. The sound of his heart echoed in my ear as I snuggled my face into his chest; that same heart that almost stopped beating on him and me almost five years ago after his heart attack.

I think I like ice cream smudges on the freezer door....and freshly-laundered gum wrappers in the dryer.

It's kind of a "small price to pay" for the love he has given ME for so long.

But he's still not getting my brand new set of tweezers.

I'm just sayin'.....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    emoticon!! When Harold apologizes to me for his snoring, I tell him "I don't least I know you are still breathing"! emoticon

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JIMBOEHNER 2/15/2011 11:23PM


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GOT2BMEMOMMYOF3 2/15/2011 4:51PM

    This is so wonderful...*tears* congrats on being together so long!!

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MANDABEAR11 2/15/2011 3:47PM

    Oh I almost flipped when I came out to hubby painting his truck in the backyard and he decided to use the handwoven teatowel we got for our wedding as a paint rag....*face palm* LUCKILY it all washed out, maybe because the fibres and handwoven...I have no idea? Men :P But we still love em!

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KELLIGIRL523 2/15/2011 1:03PM

    Awwww.... totally made me cry.

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MISSYRH3 2/15/2011 1:00PM

  love this, reminds ya to slow down and enjoy life, since you really never know.

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 2/15/2011 12:46PM

    I'm glad you helped me end on a smile. I was definitely tearing up there. I used to love your Brian but the tweezer thing makes me wonder... LOL


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LORES777 2/15/2011 12:40PM

    This is overwhelmingly beautiful! I hope this makes it to the popular blog list!! #8 made me gasp, and all others after that made me laugh out loud, then the warm clothes part almost made me cry! I do the same thing. I will smell my boyfriend's shirts when he's right there next to me because I adore him so much!

And I hate listening to his heart beat because it scares me to think this is the only thing keeping him here with me, it really terrifies me; and then when you said you almost lost him... Wow now I'm tearing up again.

That was really beautiful, thanks for sharing.

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GOLFCHICK2-0 2/15/2011 12:38PM

    Wow... That was beautiful. It's nice to be reminded that the big picture should always be more important than the little details. Thank you. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MINENA1 2/15/2011 12:28PM

    Awww what a beatiful blog, Michelle! emoticon

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SWEETNEENI 2/15/2011 11:57AM

    Beautiful blog! emoticon
I keep my tweezers in my purse. emoticon

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KJDOESLIFE 2/14/2011 9:51AM

    I cried, too. There are so many times I get frustrated with my BF, but I wouldn't change a thing or erase the last five wonderful years. Here's to many more years with the men that drive us crazy but also fill our lives with joy.

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ALGALL7 2/14/2011 7:20AM

    hi, michelle. wonderful blog, made me cry!!!!!! i have been a widow twice. the 1st time, i was only married 6 yrs, just turned 30 and had 4 small children under school age. so i have learned to accept the things i don't like about my man 'coz you never know when they won't be there anymore!!!!!

have a great valentine's day. me and my hunny are going to the 99 for supper. i even bought me a new outfit. smaller size, i might add. woohoo!!!! i'll post pics later on tonight. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MUSIC66 2/13/2011 5:18PM


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JUDIL62 2/13/2011 2:38PM

    Very sweet!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 2/13/2011 2:18PM

    Awwww....... emoticon

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JOHNTJ1 2/13/2011 2:08PM

    That was touching and very beautiful and quite appropriate

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RACINGSLUG 2/13/2011 9:49AM

    Oh, what a beautiful tribute to your husband. My spouse and I consider ourselves lucky that we are so madly in love. I am the messy one; I suppose next time my beloved complains I should remind him to be grateful for the ''evidence'' that I'm here!

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TRENTDREAMER 2/12/2011 9:18PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DARLENEK04 2/12/2011 8:15PM

  Oh sweetie,
Brian is so sweet...........

When the shoe is on the other foot here, I am thankful David
accepts me as I am...weird quirks and all. I told him I had
worked all my life and we needed to be honest from the getgo
and I don't go crazy if my house is a mess, and he wants to
go motorcycling , fishing or whatever, then I am right there
and ready to go. The house can wait.

I did the same thing when my kids were little. If they wanted
me to go lay in the dirt and watch ants build their antihill,
I did...I was always available to play ball, ride horses, etc.

So I listed all my faults before we got married. And while I
know you believe I don't have told me his
quirks also, and we work very well together.

Knowing how downright crappy we had it before, we appreciate
each other. Ok, he spills ice cream on the counter every single
night, and when I go fix his jug of water for his bedside table
every night, I wipe it up.

On the other hand, he guards me like I am a jewel of the rarest
and most expensive kind, and whatever I want, he will turn the
world on its end to get that item.

I spoil him every chance I get, because I realize how short life
is, and yes, he had open heart just a year after we got married.

You write such interesting blogs, and sometimes so funny I
cant quit laughing. Take care of your baby......

Oh, by the way, I hide my tweezers also....but David hides his
mustache scissors...Just saying..............


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PURPLESPEDCOW 2/12/2011 8:03PM

    wonderful blog. I am waiting for the day when DS moves out and DH has no one to blame for things the he himself misplaced! That I may have to sell tickets for! Gotta love 'em.

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BLUEEYESXOXO 2/12/2011 8:00PM

    This was so touching, and funny as well. I think they all have quirks we don't like, but what would we do with out them? I loved this blog. :)

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BMRBUDDY 2/12/2011 7:38PM

    Love, love, love it! So many things you said reminded me to someone so close to my heart. You had me giggling outloud!

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OLDERDANDRT 2/12/2011 6:45PM

    Maybe he stood by you telling the kids to listen to you as you told them the facts of how they shouldn't be cruddy and messy b/c if he stood with you, they wouldn't point the guilty finger at him!?! hehe Anyway, I know what you mean. I have the same sorts of things to deal with with my man, too! Drops trach all over the kitchen when the garbage can is 3 more steps away. It takes me 10 minutes or more in the mornings to re-tidy up the kitchen for the day!!! And other assorted stuff, but he loves me and stays with me through all my goofy crap, so it all works out. Gotta love em!!!
Great blog!

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ELYMWX 2/12/2011 5:17PM

    Trust me. All men suck at sorting laundry...

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KSHAGGY 2/12/2011 4:52PM

    nice blog!

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KAILYNSTAR 2/12/2011 3:55PM

    So amazing how married couples live and give and take from one another. Yet in the end, when push comes to shove, love is always there.

I cannot complain about my man. He is loving and caring and considerate and actually more of a go-getter than I will ever be. He spoils me, not by buying me things, just be doing the little things that would make me more comfortable. A glass of water, a cup of coffee, folding towels, he'll even wash the floors for me knowing that I struggle everyday to stay on my feet.

I love him dearly and he is NOT replaceable.

Your blog tells me that even though he drives you crazy...(like my guy)...There is no way you'd ever want to be without him.

God has blessed you both. He made you both for each other.

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JAMMIE823 2/12/2011 12:23PM


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KATVHALE 2/12/2011 12:20PM

    Was Brian raised in a barn? Just askin'.....

I think you have spoiled him big time honey! I am sure it is way too late to change him now and he does work hard to provide for his family BUT you work equally as hard and he should show you some respect and common courtesy.

Norm does some of those things too but I chalk it up to the 10 years that he lived alone after his divorce and before he met me. We have compromised in a lot of ways and both have changed to some degree but after all, we are all just humans and not perfect.

If you still love Brian and appreciate all his good points and I am sure they out weigh the bad then God Bless You Both! Maybe you can very nicely point out some of these things to him and see how he reacts. He may get the message and change some of them and the ones that he doesn't change, use them against him to get what you want in the future!!! (Just kidding!!)

You two have a solid relationship and as you mature you learn to pick your battles. I gave up on the toilet seat saga long ago!

Your blogs are very entertaining! Tell Brian I love him anyway!


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KYMBERLEIGH_C 2/12/2011 12:14PM

    What a wonderful testament to true love--but, yeah, I hide my tweezers too! They're wonderful to have around but sometimes hard to figure out how their little brains work LOL I've decided that SOMEHOW I have to keep hubby away form any laundry besides his own--he washed my brand new expensive black workout pants with towels!!! Uggggg! The amount of little lint balls I'm trying to remove is unbelievable-but, ya gotta love him for trying! Happy Valentine's Day!!

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QUIKSYLVER 2/12/2011 12:04PM


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KEKEIKO 2/12/2011 12:02PM

    Lock up your toothbrush, QUICK! emoticon

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JUNIAATROME 2/12/2011 11:45AM

    interesting what happens when kids leave - isn't it?

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LIZZYP609 2/12/2011 11:36AM


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CARTOONB 2/12/2011 11:17AM

    Tweezers? What tweezers? LOL! Floss tied on the door knob? Really? Sometimes the price to pay is totally worth it. Glad that yours is. emoticon

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GEEMAWEST 2/12/2011 10:44AM

    Love this blog. I also hide my tweezers from my DH. He asked me about them the other day and I just said that I don't know what happened to them. Must have been the grandkids.

Happy Valentines Day to you and your Valentine.

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HANSRICO 2/12/2011 10:36AM

    Ok the nail clippings and the tweezers grossed me out. Buy him a nose hair trimmer and you won't have to worry about your tweezers. BTW, the thought of plucking my nose hairs with tweezers makes my eyes water just thinking about it.

My wife won't let me near the laundry. I can do it, but I think I end up bugging her more then if she just did it herself. Every time I go to help with laundry she just tells me to get away. I'll stick to mowing the lawn and taking out the trash.

Love your posts! They bring a smile to my face. Brian is lucky to have you.

I better go get a Valentines gift to let my wife know I cherish her. It's 23 years for us this year.

Happy Valentines day!

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PJSTIME 2/12/2011 9:22AM

    Just keep those things under lock an key that you don't want him to use emoticon and dont worry about the rest. Life is too short, but I think you already have that figured out.

Happy Valentines Day to you and Brian

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LMB-ESQ 2/12/2011 7:37AM

    Underwear under the kitchen table? "The dog did it"

Can't tell you about the tweezers emoticon

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BILLTMAN 2/12/2011 4:27AM

    I was going to say “so what’s the problem?” as I read the first half of your blog then I got to the sweet part and felt ashamed. I’m sure my wife identifies with you, having dealt with my idiosyncrasies and me for all these years. Thanks for the funny blog and the lovely sentiment.

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REDSHOES2011 2/12/2011 4:00AM


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SENATOR9 2/12/2011 3:55AM

    But can you honestly prove he is the one who did all these thing emoticon

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MOMFAN 2/12/2011 3:08AM


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    Thank You Thank You Thank You! emoticon

You made me laugh, and then you pulled my heartstrings so tight it made me cry... My Old Man is in the other room, snoring so loudly as he's watching TV, I better go turn him over...

Thanks again! emoticon

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RACHA7 2/12/2011 1:16AM

    This is my new favorite blog of yours. It's very moving, very loving.

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STEVENGO2 2/12/2011 12:47AM

    Happy Valentine's day! You do know how to put feelings into your words! Congrats on the 20+ years of happiness. Hope you have many more!

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CHERIRIDDELL 2/12/2011 12:47AM

    HAppy Valentine's day! What a wonderful blog!

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JUNEBUG150 2/12/2011 12:39AM

    Love the blog! The tweezer story sure made me laugh but only because I understand, lol! Happy Valentine's Day, you Love Birds!

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    Yep...You just have to love them. My husband says he is a paragon of virtue. Since he retired, he cooks and vacuums. He will even do his own laundry. (Not my laundry though..he doesn't understand the concept of separating the whites from the darks or that you really should not wash wool sweaters in hot water THEN put them in the dryer on high). After 37 years of marriage he is sometimes exasperating, but then again so am I.

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SUGARPUNK52 2/12/2011 12:25AM

  Happy Valentine's Day! Isn't it good when you realize what REALLY counts?

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