Monday, October 26, 2009

Seasons - A Fall Breeze

I know I missed blogging last week's 1000 gifts, but I couldn't get to a computer to do it. I thought about it though. I love this time of year. After being in Iraq for six months and seeing more brown than I'll ever care to see again in my life, I have noticed this fall especially, how I have been amazed at the beauty God displays throughout his creation. There are days like this weekend that a group of trees will literally take my breath away for a second. Fall seems to be a season, for me, that I can not escape God's presence no matter where I go. It's like He's showing off all over the place! Everywhere I turn I see His handiwork and I can't help but thank Him for being present in this broken world we live in.

0009 - God's revealing His presence through nature....

"Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there." - Psalm 139:7-8

0010 - A call from my sister saying she's coming home from China for the holidays! :D

0011 - Witnessing a blind double amputee competing in the Marine Corps Marathon with the help of four friends (self sacrifice and service).... "uncommon valor is a common virtue" stood to be the resounding theme that day.

0012 - A day off to catch up on "house stuff," relax, workout, and see some loved ones before I leave on a work trip!

0013 - Pumpkin Seeds... Yummo!

0014 - A stroll through the city on the perfect day to enjoy the history and crisp fall weather

0015 - An unexpected reunion with friends made in Iraq.... in my old neighborhood!

0016 - Baby's first night out with little to no crying! Success!!! :D

0017 - Dad healing well and getting back to his old self slowly but surely.

0018 - The comfort of knowing Mom is willing and able to give Dad the TLC he needs and be his outstanding nurse!

0019 - Friends who are willing to come rescue me when my car breaks down (or I run out of hem)!!

0020 - A chance to take the said friends out to dinner to thank them for their superhero-ness!!!

"Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say REJOICE!" -- Phil 4:4

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Did you see her?

....Did you see the girl that ran out of gas and got stuck in the MIDDLE of the road because there were cement barricades on both sides of the road and no shoulder to pull over to safety?... at rush hour no less. What an idiot. Who pushes their car to the limit, thinking they can make it home when the gas light is CLEARLY on BEFORE they start their drive home for work because judging on how far the last tank of gas, they should have another 50 miles before needing to fill up?

Oops. That idiot was me. I was on my way home last night and I as pulled out of my work parking lot I thought to myself... "My gas light is on. But on my last tank of gas I got at least 50 more miles so I should make it home easy... hope I don't run into traffic." And so the story begins. Traffic was actually great until I hit 495 after the exit for 66. It was backed up all the way from the toll road. I did what every normal person would do and since I knew somebody flying into Dulles (one of my marathoners for the weekend), I decided I had a completely justifiable reason to get on the access road, right? right. I'm feeling good about this decision because I am flying (obeying the laws of the road, mom) past all the cars sitting on 267 because of an accident up about 4 miles towards my house. As I'm talking through my blutooth stereo to Melissa I all of the sudden feel my car do this weird kind of gentle jolt. I thought it was kind of strange but kept talking... my other line rings. It was my marathoner saying he had arrived. My car jolts again. I click back over to Melissa.

"Melissa, I think I just ran out of gas."
In an octave higher than my previous statement..."OMGosh, Melissa, I can't make it to the shoulder... I'm gonna get hit I'm in the middle of the road!!! I gotta call you ba....." click.

I hang up the phone and think about who can I call to bring me gas so I'm not stuck in the middle of the road. Did I mention it was rush hour?! Wait, forget the gas... I realize I need to call 911 to get a cop car behind me and keep me from getting rear ended... do I get out and THEN call the police or do I call them from in the car?!! Oh Lord Help me!!!!

911.... "Hi... um, I ran out of gas and I'm on the toll road where there's no shoulder to pull over to. If I stay here much longer I'm sure I will get hit."
Apparently my voice reaches extreme octaves when I get a little (or a lot) nervous because the dispatcher was having a little trouble understanding me "Ma'am....Ma'am!! I cannot hear you... Do NOT get out of your car and please tell me again, where you are and what's going on."

I took a breath and repeated what I had just said. As I was doing this a cop with his lights on pulled up behind me. Never have I ever felt relieved when looking those flashing blue and red lights in my rear view mirror. Oh but I was. He got out of his car, came up to my window as I was telling the dispatcher that there was a cop there now. I told him I ran out of gas and that I was such an idiot and how sorry I was. The dispatcher heard me and tried to comfort me "You're not an idiot. That just happened to me yesterday."
"You ran out of gas and your a cop?"
"I'm not a cop, Ma'am."
"oh. right." Ok, yes I realize that dispatchers are NOT cops but all of the adrenalin must had gone to my brain and for a second I forgot.

The DISPATCHER got off the phone with me as the, now 4 cops were pushing my little blue car up the hill to get past the barricades and onto the shoulder. Ok, so I know at this moment as these older, a little overweight (being gracious in that statement) cops is not most appropriate time to find humor in a situation but again all of the adrenalin in my body had to go somewhere now that I wasn't scared for my life. I looked again in my rear view mirror only to see these sweet cops giving everything they had to push my car to safety. and. it. was. funny. I put my hand over my mouth to cover my massively uncalled for smile. But I could not control the giggles. They finally got me to the shoulder after about 50 meters of pushing up hill and I put the car in park (but didn't turn it off) and got out to thank them... I must say they looked like they had just gotten done with a preseason work out. Bent over, hands on knees or over their head, breathing heavy, face red, and foreheads sweating.... and of course they couldn't even mutter the words your welcome as they gasped for air intermittently......

More to come....

Friday, October 16, 2009

You asked for it....

So you will get it... In all my non-MJ-dancing glory... Here is the much awaited Michael Jackson dance off in Mosul, Iraq. But just so you know. I DID NOT VOLUNTEER TO GET UP THERE... I was drug up there like a child being carried into a doctors office who know she's about to get shots. Unbelievably, it only took two of the band members to wrestle me up there...

Monday, October 12, 2009

1000 Gifts

Gratitude. It's something I don't verbalize enough. One of my blogging friends starts every Monday off with a post of things she's thankful for and I love following it. I've wanted to start doing the same thing because I think it's a great way to start my week off.... Expressing things that I'm thankful for and starting my week off with a heart full of gratitude. So here goes.

Things I'm thankful for this week:

0001- Reds, oranges, yellows, greens and browns all around letting me know that a new season is HERE!!

0002- The mystery of how God can make something dying more beautiful each and every day.

0003- The cool crisp air of fall while on a morning job during my day off.


0005- Having two parents that love and support each other through the ups and downs that life brings their way... coming out stronger and closer when those tough times come.

0006- A humble Dad who's picture and team is in the Navy Lax Hall of Fame... and getting to enjoy that moment with him and Mom.

0007- Football games, fresh air, found memories and more....

0008- New parents starting a new season in their life... and all the adventures he will bring!

Thank you Lord, for all these gifts.

holy experience

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Lesson learned - #2 from the delivery room...again.

I must say, I never thought I would stay in the delivery room when Amy was giving birth. There is just too much "extra" going on that I never thought I wanted to be a part of until I was the actual person giving birth. I'm not sure, maybe I assumed it would scare me to death and my poor husband (figuratively speaking right now) would never be able to convince me to have one of my own.

I decided to use some of my comp time (or call in sick, whichever makes you feel better) to be with Amy and David on Matthew's grand debut. It was my FULL intention to snap pictures of this special day so they would remember every moment. every. single. moment. Well that is except the actual "pushing time." I would simply give the camera to David and he could snap away until his little heart was content. As the time got closer, my heart picked up pace as I heard the dr say now david you're going to stand here and hold her leg to help her push... "hold her leg??? how will he do that AND take pictures?" I thought for no longer than a split second.... Answer - he won't.

But guess who wasn't holding anything and more than able to take pictures?? Yep, you got it... yours truly. I asked Amy if she wanted me to leave and she gave me about as definitive answer as a woman in labor could give.... "sure, if you want to. I don't care." right. If I want to? Is this a trick question? Of course I don't want to, but then who would capture the moment? ugh. no one. Poor little Matthew's arrival would be undocumented.....

So guess what, I strapped up, hid behind my camera, the IV's and Amy's round belly and started recording the moment. Matthew's moment. The day that the Campbell's life changed and will never be quite the same.

We cheered, encouraged, shouted and waited for a couple hours. At one point (I'm not sure what I was saying), the doctor looked up at me and said "you guys must come from an athletic family. I can tell by the way you're cheering." LOL. Then one of the nurses says, "who do you think will cry first??" I answered quite confidently almost in unison with Amy, "I'm not really a crier." Well, another hour went by and that little guy finally decided to make his grand entrance into this world.

While I was busy making sure to get this all on film (wait, what is it called now, digital, digits?), a bunch of thoughts whipped through my mind about Amy before David... and then her meeting David, and then marrying David and then when they told us they were pregnant... and now this beautiful, perfect boy is here waiting to be cleaned so he can be put in his mother's arms. My eyes felt hot. WHAT IS THAT?!?! Wait, am I... I turned to look at Amy and she had a tear running down her cheek. So I did what all normal (I mean what is normal anyway) sisters would do... I pointed at Amy and shouted "She's crying first!!"

eh-hem. I'm sorry, was that inappropriate? I'm gonna have to plead ignorance. I've never been in a delivery room while a mother is delivering a child. Plus, they wouldn't have known that I won if I hadn't pointed it out, right? :) Ok at this point, Mom's eyes should be about to pop out of their sockets because she can't believe how insensitive I'm being. Obviously, I realized that my comment was completely unsuitable for that moment, hence the whole point of this bl0g. I really didn't mean to say it, it was a knee-JERK reaction as I felt myself starting to cry (see, I do have a heart). So my lesson learned #2: Witnessing the birth of a child is almost an indescribeable thing that words really can not do justice. 2b: don't point at the new mom just after the child is born and shout that she's crying... it's just not nice. :) Sorry Ames! Love you!!! Congratulations Campbell fam, is what I meant to shout!!

(isn't he beautiful??)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lesson learned - #1 from the delivery room

There are certain questions that one might not want to ask the delivery nurse if you or the parents-to-be aren't expecting blunt honesty.

Example numero uno:

Me: wow, I just can't believe all these contraptions you guys have for delivering babies.
Said nurse: Yeah, they really are great.
Me: So what did people do back in the pioneer days when they didn't have all this stuff?
Said nurse: A lot of women died (with a sympathetic shake of her head). Giving birth was very dangerous, that's why if you go to a cemetery and look at the head stones, you'll see a lot of men had 3 or 4 wives.
Me: Awkward silence... (thinking) not quite the answer I was looking for but for some reason I feel like I should've known that she was going to say that, doh!