Sunday, June 16, 2013

Forever my Hero

Yesterday marked one week of marriage for Ben and me. We spent today and yesterday lugging our wedding gifts into our apartment and finding homes for all the wonderful things we received. The wedding and honeymoon are over, we’ve gone back to work, and all the gifts are put away. We’ve spent so long planning a wedding and preparing for marriage, and now that all the craziness is over we can finally get to living; to figuring out how to make our marriage a godly one—a projection of the love Christ has for his church. And thanks to one very special man I can say with confidence that Ben and I are going to make it. Through the trials, hardships, and heartbreaks. Through the smiles, laughter, and joy. We’re going to make this work because we’ve had stellar role models in our life—role models like my dad.

In the weeks leading up to the wedding I would tear up at the thought of my dad walking me down the aisle. We’ve got a special relationship built on years of running together—we’ve had quite a few adventures during the miles we’ve logged together. My heart smiles when I think back to all the cross country and track meets that my dad came to. Regardless of the weather, he was there. Rain, wind, snow, heat—he was there for 99.99% of my meets. His voice would ring out from across the stadium and courses, and I could always hear the sheer joy in his voice as he coached me through countless races. What a privilege to have such an amazing support system in my life—and not just in running. Though neither of my parents were exactly thrilled at my decision to major in social work instead of English, they supported me. And when I finished my manuscript and looked to my dad for advice, his was to simply go for it. The cost was considered, of course, but in the end even though the cost was high he still urged me to go for it. As my book project has taken off he’s given sound advice and pushed my book harder than anyone else. So not only is he a coach, role model, and support system, he is my marketing partner (along with Ben of course J ) and promoter.

When I think back on all my dad has done for me, it is overwhelming. Most little girls will say that their daddy is their hero, but I still hold on to that. My dad is my hero. He is one of my best friends. I feel so beyond blessed that eight days ago he was there to walk me down the aisle. One of my most fond memories of my wedding day is the moment my dad saw me for the first time in my dress with my hair and makeup all done—it was a very emotional moment for us, but its sweet tenderness will never leave me. It took a lot for him to let go, but I thank him for doing so, because four and a half years ago I found someone I wanted to spend forever with—someone who reminds me so much of my dad its kinda scary. When he let gave me up to Ben, his role of provider may have changed. But his role as hero, friend, and supporter will never leave. And for that I am eternally grateful.

I love you, dad. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lessons in Less than Ideal Circumstances

Last week I had so many great plans for the weekend. Right now Ben and his groomsmen are spending the weekend camping for his bachelor party, and I planned on staying up in Sioux Falls to get some things done. I was going to finish up some shopping. I was going to sit and assemble the rest of the ceremony programs. I was going to clean the whole apartment. But, here I sit in Yankton. Getting absolutely nothing done. For the past two days all I’ve done is sleep, drink water and Gatorade, and lay around. Here’s why:

I work at an after-school and summer program. Right now my hours are 6:30-3:30 Monday through Friday. On Thursday morning I got up and right away felt a little sick. Not sick enough to call in…actually I wished I felt sicker so that I could call in sick! Those hours start to wear on me and being with 40 kids all day is slightly overwhelming. Breaks are nice. I went to work despite feeling not quite like myself, and by 9:30 I knew I was done for. I have my lunch break from 10-11 and I called my boss when I made it back to the apartment to let her know that I wouldn’t be coming back. I then collapsed into bed…not even realizing that for the entire week I had not been hydrating properly. The day before (Wednesday) I had spent two and a half hours outside with the kids, and I hadn’t drank much at all that day. Even when I got home on Thursday I didn’t drink anything. I just didn’t think about it.

Ben stopped by the apartment for his lunch break at 12:00, and by that time I was pretty bad. I was so nauseous, and just generally felt awful. And that’s when my hands started locking up on me—the start of my panic attack. I didn’t even realize what was happening…all of a sudden I couldn’t move my fingers, and I freaked. On the advice of Ben’s mom we headed to the E.R. and the doctor knew right away that I was having a panic attack. While we worked on calming me down and loosening my fingers, I got hooked up to fluids and was given potassium (which I was extremely low on). Ben and I got to chill in the E.R. for a couple hours while the fluids dripped in and while we waited for the blood and urine test to come back. When they did I had to go in for a CT scan because the doctor suspected a bladder infection, and he was worried about my appendix. Perfect timing right? We’ve been engaged for 18 months and my body decides to get super sick 9 days before the wedding???

Luckily I had neither of those things. I was just extremely dehydrated and overwhelmed. The doctor and nurses explained what to do should I start to have another panic attack, and they gave me a prescription for antibiotics and sent us on our way. We then decided that I shouldn’t go to work the next day, even though I was feeling better. Ben had taken Friday off to head down to Yankton for the camping trip, and he didn’t want to leave me alone. So I called my boss and told her I hoped to be back on Monday and we headed down to Yankton, where my family has been taking good care of me while Ben and his groomsmen enjoy the lovely rain and wind on their camping trip J

I’m not in the clear though…my fever has been up and down for the last 48 hours. At its highest it was 103. Yuck. I’ve been taking Tylenol like a fool and it helps, but once it wears off it climbs back up. So frustrating. I haven’t taken one for quite a while and as of now my temperature is normal, so I’m cautiously optimistic. I took a trip to the clinic earlier today because at 5:00 this morning it was back up at 101, and the doctor told me I had tonsillitis…which I’ve had before and know to be one of the worse things to have. Swallowing water is painful with tonsillitis. It’s not fun, people. Not fun at all. But because I’m on antibiotics they really couldn’t do anything, and just told me to come back if the high fevers hadn’t gone away by Monday. So we shall see! I have another two days of lying flat on my back ahead of me—which oddly enough is so not appealing to me! I find it funny that so much of the time all we want is to be able to lay around all day and do nothing. But when we get sick and can’t do anything but lay around we get frustrated. I’m definitely frustrated.

But…perhaps this is a lesson I just needed to learn. I had all these plans laid out for my weekend. All these things that I just wanted to get done and check off my list. That’s how I live my life. Everything is on a list—I just want to check things off and move on. Make everything perfect. The wedding is definitely one of those things. I have a HUGE list, and I love checking things off and making everything perfect. But just like this weekend, not everything is going to go as planned. I won’t get everything done. It won’t all be perfect. Something will go wrong! But it’s okay. With this sickness, I simply have to deal with it first and move on from there. The things on my list will eventually get done, and everything will be fine. With the wedding, when those little crises break out, we’re just going to have to remember what the whole day is about. It’s not about making everything perfect and putting on a good show. It’s about marrying the one my soul has been waiting my entire life for. So even though this darn flu is inconvenient, it’s taught me a good lesson. I’m thankful that in the midst of chaos there is always something to learn!