Smile for the Joy of Others

Smile for the Joy of Others

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Au Natural

Several weeks ago I was wondering and searched natural/organic shampoos.  Why, you ask? I was just curious and always looking for something better.  My hair is naturally frizzy with more of a fuzz type texture when it air dries. I've researched the Brazilian Blow Out but deferred when I found out that formaldehyde is used. 

When researching natural shampoo, I read that some of the man made chemicals can actually weigh your hair down and cause build up.  I don't know how much of that is true but I like the idea of natural ingredients. I even thought about buying the ingredients to make my own shampoo but refrained for fear of running a chemistry lab in my parents house.  Instead I bought some natural/organic shampoo at a local whole foods store.  It's pricey but not a single man made ingredient.  But we all know there is a cost to beauty.

I used the shampoo and conditioner for the first time this morning.  My hair was much softer and felt cleaner.  I didn't put any straightening products in my hair but did have to use my straightener.  I'm not gonna say that I love this shampoo just yet. I'm gonna give it more time to see how my hair reacts.

It doesn't lather like commercial shampoos b/c it doesn't contain those lathering ingredients.  It's not thick like commercial shampoo instead very 'runny'.

I also bought some conditioner which is nothing like its commercial counterpart.  It's actually much thicker; more like a paste.

None of this change may not make a difference.  But if it only makes me think I'm better for it...well, that may be worth enough....give the placebo effect the credit it deserves. 

The shampoo and conditioner I am trying can be found here: 

Until next time; this is the way we wash our hair, wash our hair, wash our hair...this is the way we wash our hair early in the morning!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Long Time, No See

As with most of blogging lately, no see.  I really wish I did a better job keeping up with this blog.  Life gets so busy that I just don't feel like sitting down to record my thoughts and events of the day.  But I will try to update what is going on with us with no guarantees that there will be any immediate follow-ups.

After a 2 year stint in the MS Delta, we have transferred back to the Jackson, MS metro area.  It was a bitter sweet move as I had grown to love my life in the Delta...not necessarily loving the Delta but rather my life there.  We made some wonderful friends and the boys, too, made some special friends.  JB is still with Trustmark and has even received a title promotion with this transfer.

We still have some ties to the Delta as we are trying to sell our home.  God has blessed us with some awesome, temporary renters but we still need to get it sold so we can fully move on with our lives.  So if you are interested in or know someone who would like to live in the Delta (Greenville) give us a shout out, we'll be glad to sell you a home ;)

Meanwhile we are camping out with my parents.  Needless to say, we have stuff stored all over MS...the Delta, storage and my parents. If I recover all my stuff when we finally perch in a will be a miracle to recover everything. 

We are looking at houses but with reservations.  Interests rates are at all time low which makes it even more tempting to buy a house before selling our current home.  Not to mention, crammed in here with my parents gives even more motivation.  I love my parents and I am more than grateful for their willingness to help us out at this time but 2 families living under 1 roof can be a bit stressful at times, although, it has been going much more smoothly than I anticipated.  Either my parents are just holding it in or I'm a better house guest than I thought I would be. 

We stayed in an apartment before moving in with my parents.  That stay was 3 months.  While grateful for Trustmark for the temporary housing, it did provide a pool for the boys to enjoy for the summer.

Due to the recent relocation and living situations, I have not been able to monogram/applique.  There just hasn't been any room for it.  My business literally takes up a whole room of which hasn't been available.  So I am temporarily closed until further living situations allow for it.  I have to admit that I have enjoyed the time off.  Running your own business can take over your life and become more work than enjoyment.  When I return to it, it will definitely be different than it was before.  I may not return to appliqueing rather just monogramming with limited inventory. 

Meantime, I am working part time at a local preschool.  Again admitting, I have enjoyed being back in the working world, such as it is.  Getting up and getting out has been good for me.  I've enjoyed the adult conversations and making new friends.  I'm through each day before the boys are out of school so it allows me to pick them up from school and still remain a 'stay home mom'.  The preschool holidays coincide with the boys' school so I will not be working when they are out of school.  Another blessing God provided.

The boys are repeating K5 this year at the local public school.  I was so anxious about them starting in a new, bigger school where they would most likely be put in separate classes.  They have been together since 3 yr old preschool and the 2 schools they attended while in the Delta were small and close knit.  My worries were soon eased when I learned that MS law states that schools have to place twins in the same room if requested by the parents.  The boys have done well and seem to enjoy their new school and classmates. 

While we missed our home church when living in the Delta, we have decided to visit another local church.  JB was encouraged to visit by 2 colleagues from work of whom we also share a Mississippi College alumni with.  To our pleasant surprise, we have enjoyed our visit to this church.  This past Sunday we visited a Sunday School and found it to be as pleasant as the worship service.  We continue to pray for God's guidance to lead us to church home that we can worship and serve him to the capacity he has given us.  The smaller school was apart of the life I enjoyed while in the Delta.

I had my final Dr. visit regarding my post op MRSA from this past winter.  My Dr. had considered doing a surgery to revise some scarring that was formed from but he and I both agreed to forgo this surgery.  2 months ago, I contracted MRSA again except this time it was on my chin/neck.  Via IV therapy and weeks of oral meds, it finally went away.  With the account of the 2nd MRSA ordeal, my Dr. and I both feel it's too risky to perform a procedure that it not necessary.  I obviously have issues with MRSA and seem to contract it easily.  The last thing I want during this time of transition is to deal with it again. 

This about wraps it up for me.  One thing that never changes, is that change is in evadable.  I've learned to accept it the best I can...the less I try to fight it, the better I can handle it.  Within the past 3 years our family has experienced much change but I can only pray that it's God working us into the servants he wants us to be. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Another One Bites the Dust

CB: "BB, cut this"

BB: {snip with scissors}

CB: "Why did you do that????!!!!" (shocked that BB actually did what he told him to do)

BB: "You told me to!!"

CB: "But, I was just playing!!!"

Another toy has bitten the dust around here. Seems to be the norm when rearing boys. They are now 1 less a Wii nun chuck. Why? Because CB told BB to cut the cord. So he did it...No thinking about impulse control. CB said "cut it"; BB said "snip" and then CB freaked.

Why won't he obey me like that?

Back into the Swing of Things

We are getting back into the swing of things...literally. We started T-Ball practice last week and with a few more practices to go, games are soon to follow.

This year JB is a head coach so of course we are the Trustmark Braves. We have 11 players ranging from the ages 4 to 6. I just love watching the little 4 year olds play. They are sweet and innocent not worrying about the rules or wins...just playing and having fun. Makes me wish mine were younger and not growing up so fast.

As typical, BB shows minimal interest even though it was his choice to play again this year. And CB can't get enough of it. He thinks there should be practice every day and the season should be year round. CB doesn't want practice evenings to end and BB is constantly asking "when is it over?" He understands that he has to finish the season since he agreed to join the team. He enjoys batting and running but standing in the field makes him grow old and bored.

This past weekend we all ventured to DSU to watch their double header in baseball. On the way there, CB couldn't wait to get there...BB was asking if we were gonna be there long. JB's mom was visiting so she was able to help entertain while JB and I relaxed and watched the game. I actually enjoyed going to the game better than I thought. They have covered seats so the heat was bearable. In fact, JB and I went back Sunday afternoon to watch them finish out the series.

We hope to make it back up there this coming weekend. Makes for a fun family outing here in the Delta.

As for my recovery, I have had another surgery since my last post. It was my 4th. He had to reopen the wound b/c the outside healed before the inside. But I think I am finally in the final days of recovery. I have since been able to do wound care 2 times a week instead of 3 allowing me to come back home with my family. I now drive 2 to 2 1/2 hours one way twice a week but being with my family is worth it. My wound has about 1/2" left to heal. The past few weeks, my doctor has packed it instead of my wound care nurse b/c he has had to watch it so closely to keep the outside from healing before the inside again. I keep hoping the next trip will be the last. Despite my situation, I've enjoyed visiting with my doctor, his nurse and my wound care nurse. They have all become a blessing in their own way!

Until next time...batter up!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Beyond Physical Healing

Wow, it's been awhile since I blogged. And looking back, my last blog was about a blessing not knowing how many I had coming in the months ahead.

I fully believe that the following story I give was and still is God's plan for me. Some may question the whole "God thing" and his ultimate plan for our lives. And I would be lying if I said I didn't question it myself and I know I will again when future uncomfortable, unplanned situations occur. But instead of constantly questioning and tormenting myself with no "human" answer, I choose to have faith that His plan is perfect for me. That His plan has a purpose whether I eventually know what it is or not. And while I loathe not having control of my life at certain times, I couldn't live without Him nor could I plan my life like I think I can or like I think I want to. In reality, I can't plan supper some days, what makes me think I can plan my life. If I planned my life, I would never grow, never grow spiritually, never grow to love deeper, never grow to experience the love, peace, and joy Christ has for me through him. And though sometimes that growth comes from heartache, trials and circumstances that,we at the time don't understand, nonetheless, at the end of it, we have grown to experience the love of Christ that we otherwise would not have known. And that love is far beyond physical care. This past circumstance has taught me that more than other times in my life.

Most of the people who read this already know about our recent circumstances and trials via Facebook so I am not going to elaborate too much about it but will do a brief recap for those who don't keep up with me on Facebook.

Dec. 9th, I had a routine breast reduction in effort to eliminate some ongoing shoulder and neck pain. While the surgery itself was no problem, I would learn a week and a half later that I contracted MRSA from the surgery. It's the recovery of the MRSA that has been anything but routine. Dec. 21st, I was admitted to the hospital for what I thought would be a few nights of IV antibiotics and I would be home in time for Christmas with my family. But that wasn't God's plan. Instead I would spend the next 3 weeks (21 days) recovering. During those 21 days there were many set backs that included a blood clot, 3 surgeries, 2 'minor' surgical procedures, a host of antibiotics that would have to be interchanged due to the medical problems each caused and a multitude of IV issues that went from a typical IV in my hand, to a PICC line, to finally a central line in my neck. I would see my boys about every other day for about 30 minutes and spend some nights and days by myself. I was confined to the same room for most of those 21 days meaning I couldn't even walk the halls for a change of scenery or for exercise due to the nature of the illness. I went from 2 doctors to a medical team that would include wound care specialists, infectious disease doctor and my surgeon. With each surgery, an incision had to be reopened and kept open only to be packed with a wound vac. When removing the pockets of infection that were forming, the infected tissue and the tissue surrounding the infection had to be removed, thus leaving 'cavities' that had to be filled with the regrowth of new tissue. So, until those 3 cavities were filled they had to be manually packed to help support the healing. This would allow for me to heal inside out without any surgical procedure to close the incisions back up. So, when I was finally discharged the orders were to continue 'wound care' 3 times a week at the hospital which meant I couldn't go home to Greenville with my family. Well, I guess I could have but that would have put me traveling 6 hours a day 3 days a week. We thought it best that I stay with my parents and have the boys back in Greenville so that they can continue their school and be in their routine. Plus, I was in no physical health to take care of them at the time I was discharged.

To the day of this blog, I am still continuing my wound care 3 times a week, still staying with my parents and visiting with my boys (all 3) on the weekends and I have had to temporarily close my business.

But more impressive than the ordeal I just mentioned above are the blessings that I have received from it. God showed his love in so many ways that I otherwise may not have experienced. I experienced the power of hundreds praying for me. I experienced the real love of friends. I experienced the innocent prayers of children praying for me with the faith of a mustard seed and a faith that moves mountains. I experienced God's healing power working through the hands of 2 amazing people, my surgeon and wound care nurse; care that has gone beyond physical healing. I have experienced the innocent love of my children that isn't necessarily shown in the day to day rut and routine we tend to live in. I experienced the love that encompasses 'in sickness and in health' from my husband. (This story deserves a blog of its own for a later time). And a unique call from someone in Georgia that I had only known via email. In a series of circumstances that only God could have orchestrated, she some how found a way to call me. She will never know what a blessing her call was and the love of Christ she showed meant to me. You see, these blessing are gifts from God that he gives his children for us to more deeply know that he is God and that he loves us more than we can fathom in our human minds.

I have to be honest, I wasn't the most spiritual patient during this whole ordeal. There were times I didn't even know what to pray. I didn't even want to pray and while I knew in my mind that God was in control and that he had not forsaken me, I didn't always feel it. I have been on an emotional roller coaster that I will be glad when the ride is over. But despite my human faults that never changed how God cared, loved and took care of me. He continued to pour out his blessings even though I didn't always recognize them, even though I wasn't always grateful for them and even though I didn't always show the faith the He so deserved because He is a God that loves unconditionally beyond my human, sinful nature and He sent his son to die for me and every other human to prove it.

In all the physical pain and the emotional pain that I experience and still experience, God's love for me goes beyond physical healing and that is the greatest blessing of all.