Monday, December 14, 2009

falling in a winter wonderland

sunday dawned a beautiful day! ice shimmered in the pale pink sunrise, mist lent a fairytale softness to sharp gray buildings, every tree glistened with ephemeral frosty christmas sparkles ... a beautiful day.

and how appropriate that such a day should be a sunday - a celebration day, less than two weeks before christmas!

for once, we actually made time to enjoy the beauty before church, even though joel was preaching and i was on worship team and speaking a transition. we left our warm home early, giggling and skidding on ice, for a hot starbucks breakfast. it was a perfect morning date and we arrived at church anticipating a blessed time of community and worship. and after that - freedom! our first free sunday in months! time with family, each other, and a few good football games filled the agenda out nicely.

excited, i filled my arms with the usual sunday accessories and stepped gingerly onto the sparkling parking lot. "wow, this is slick!" was the last thought that flitted through my mind as i attempted another step.

a terrific crack sounded in both ears as my head bounced off the ground. my body followed rapidly (it usually does) and i found myself lying on my back with the worst headache i've ever had. and that's saying something!

as my demised caramel brulee latte froze in brown trails, joel half led, half carried me into the almost empty church building. i fought the flashes clouding my vision, and felt the giantest ostrich egg on the back of my head. scary? uh, yeah.

i did not play flute on worship or speak my transition. and joel did not preach. (he was mercifully relieved when low numbers+compassion restructured the morning's service.) we did not watch football.

i am not, however, feeling sorry for myself - not a bit! stuff like this is becoming fairly typical. i steeled myself when i thought i married an accident prone man ... and proceeded in the following 5 years to get into numerous car accidents, have 2 surgeries, allergic reactions, weird illnesses, and now, a concussion. (a full list would wear one out!) i don't know why the poor man still wants to go into medicine - he certainly has enough opportunity to use his nursing skills at home! (and is always gracious, patient, and kind.)

so i am now watching christmas movies, having finally convinced my pupils to behave and dilate to the same size. this forced pause has been good for me; they usually are.
i stressed: is my christmas ruined now (since i'll probably have symptoms for at least a month)? what if i can't finish my christmas shopping? what if i can't finish sending cards and decorating and making cookies for the neighbors? what if i can't go to any christmas parties? is christmas ruined?

for the answer i turn to my usual source of wise advice - the grinch. ;)

"and the grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling: "how could it be so?
it came without ribbons! it came without tags!
it came without packages, boxes or bags!"
and he puzzled three hours, `till his puzzler was sore.
then the grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
"maybe christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.
"maybe christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!"

of course it means a little bit more. christmas can't be taken away by a measly little concussion.
christmas is thankfulness, and tiny baby Jesus.
christmas is the glory song of angels, and the wonder of baby Emmanuel in a shed.
christmas is a promise fulfilled and hope made real.

merry christmas from the concussed but thankful one!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

transitions and messes...

thursday, december 10, 2009 was a big day in the roberts household.

it was a big day because i gave a first lesson to a brand new piano student.
it was a bigger day because joel took a nutrition final.
it was even bigger because joel's nutrition final was the last test of his crazy, 16-credit-40hr-work-week-pocahontas schedule.

and it was even bigger than that ... because this nutrition final was the last final of joel's pre-nursing classes.

this journey began over 2 years ago when i suddenly found myself under a truck with no graceful way out. joel spent months caring for my resulting injuries: wound dressing changes ... doctor appointments ... helping me wash my hair for 6 months ... and God used this to redirect his caring, pastor's heart from vocational ministry into medicine. really, just another title of vocational ministry. :)

he started 2 springs ago on pre-med classes, planning to become a doctor. after several terms of doctor pre-reqs, we realized that the schooling to become a doctor would hold back many of our dreams for ministry, family, and community. so he switched paths to nurse practitioner: more flexibility, family-friendly schooling, and staying in our community.

he has spent the last 2 years taking anatomy& physiology, chemistry, biology, advanced maths, microbiology, anthropology ... i'm probably missing some 'ologies ... while working full time and ministering in various capacities. apparently a degree in bible and ancient greek wasn't sufficient to get into nursing school.

now, after working so hard for 2 years, we're in the next phase. it's a big transition - the last 2 years have been long and hard, working toward a goal which, though attainable, seemed far off. this next phase - the "applying-to-nursing-schools-and-waiting-FOREVER-to-hear-back phase" will be challenging, but mercifully short! we hope that he can get into linfield's accelerated rn program - 15 months, starting this june.

the light at the end of this tunnel just got a lot brighter. :)

we spent thursday night organizing our study for the first time in 3 years ... which was almost a bigger deal than the last final! :) i post these "before" pictures to encourage anyone who thinks that you're disorganized ... chances are, we've got you beat!

"after" pictures might come soon. if i can ever find them in all of this dratted new organization. ;)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

scroogecat attacks.

just my luck to get a cat who hates christmas.

i, the christmas lover, acquired a cat whose mission is to eat every garland, break every ornament, prematurely unwrap every package, knock over every nativity character, and short out every christmas light in the house.

methinks we should arrange scroogecat a visit from the ghost of christmas past. muah ha ha ha!!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

the dirty hippie confesses.

ok, ok, ok, i confess: i am a dirty hippie. but please, let me explain.

i've always had a love-hate relationship with my poofy, wavy, curly, unpredictable, frizzy hair. when i was little i wanted beautiful straight princess hair, and at about age 13 i started growing my hair out in hopes of achieving princess-hood, or at least weighing down the frizzies.

i grew it out for 4 years.

on a good day (after 2 hours with the straightener), i'd get this:
but most days i'd sport a convenient 3lb bun or braid, the embodiment of 1890s chic. i chopped it to my shoulders at 18, hoping the cranial weight loss would lesson my headaches. it didn't, but that's another story. i discovered that my hair curled nicely when washed with special curly hair shampoo and conditioner and slathered with brightly colored gels and sprays. for years, i consumed more tigi and frizz-ease than coffee.

then, joel decided to take anatomy and physiology from a crazy, wacked out professer who insisted that hair was healthiest when it wasn't shampooed! joel came home and repeated this nonsense, which i indignantly dismissed. maybe the hair was healthier, but it wouldn't do much for your social life! besides, what about those of us who rely on mountains of sticky stuff? without shampoo my hair would congeal into a gel-cemented helmet!

fast forward through a few months ... i had a change of heart (or is it change of follicle?) and decided to actually research this "shampoo-less" method. my budget confronted my vanity each month, and i was eager for alternatives. i came across this blog post, which explained a fairly reasonable looking shampoo-less routine - aka, it actually involved washing your hair with something other than rain. so i did it.

i switched from using a gob of shampoo, a bigger gob of conditioner, and half a bottle of goop every day, to one tablespoon of baking soda and one tablespoon of vinegar once a week and nothing else but water.

and my crazy, poofy, wavy hair ... loves it!
(so does my budget.)

Friday, December 4, 2009

packages, boxes and bags!

the grinch's observation was totally correct. christmas will come with or without packages, boxes, or bags.
... but that doesn't mean that packages, boxes, and bags can't be awesome!

there were three packages on the doorstep when we got home from our pocahontas daytime show today.
#1 was a pair of jeans i bought steeply discounted. :)
#2 was a photo order from my print company - including my very first photo christmas card order! :) :)
#3 was a laptop. for me! it is itty bitty, and will be perfect for my on-the-go schedule. :) :) :)

i am very happy.

oh, and the best part of this laptop: it has a webcam! there's just something addicting about webcams, i tell ya...

notice i said "addicting," not "flattering".

Thursday, December 3, 2009

you win, universe.

the universe hates me this week.
its arsenal includes entropy, gravity, all the other laws of physics, and of course, murphy's law.
my arsenal consists of whining. the universe is not affected by whining.

i have burned myself three times and pulled muscles in both my calves.
i lost my garden gloves, rake, shoes, half a string of christmas lights, a bowl of oatmeal, and part of the fence. i nearly lost mary and a shepherd.
the cat learned how to jump on the kitchen counters and is currently on mission to attack every nativity scene, string of lights, gift wrapped package, and human in the house.
the universe has also employed photoshop, ups, the garbage man, coffee, my cell phone, traffic, darkness, and wind in its reign of terror.

... maybe this is the price i have to pay for having 3 great hair days in a row!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

one month later...

wow, seriously, did not intend to ignore the blog for this long! i guess it's time for a very random update blog!

this month ...
we studied, music directed, worked, taught, preached, cleaned, fixed our cat, took pictures, fought viruses (both biological and computer), drank eggnog chai, experienced strange car problems, thanksgiving-ed with friends and family, ran a huge sound system, made sweet potato fries, got (and gave) a haircut, halfway set up the christmas decorations, and laughed a lot.

we didn't spend enough time with friends, sleep enough, stay sane ... or blog.
but you already knew that last part. ;)

more bloggage will hopefully ensue after finals and pocahontas shows are over (tickets still available at!), but for now, that's november in a nutshell!