Monday, October 31, 2005


Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today was a great day. I had the day off of work and I spent every minute of it doing things I enjoy. I woke up before the alarm sounded, which means I must have gotten in a decent amount of sleep. (Hooray for time change this weekend!) I showered, ate breakfast and folded some laundry while watching a couple episodes of "Friends." Then I headed up the freeway to spend a few hours with my little friend Andrew.

Andrew is about 4 months old and is one of the most pleasant babies I've ever been around. His mommy is a member of the prayer group that I attend. I was more than happy to sit for him for a few hours. The cutest part of our time together was when he fell asleep curled up on my shoulder. He had cried every time I tried to put him down, so I just held him like that in the chair until his mom came home. She walked in to find us both resting togther like that--Andrew sound asleep and me just soaking in the sweetness of his soft little body all snuggled up against mine.

Since I had promised my husband a clean place upon his return home, I spent the rest of my day off folding and ironing the rest of the laundry and...ta-da! As a bonus I cleaned the bedroom and the bathroom. I've been trying to rearrange some of our decorative stuff to make the living room look more put together. I'm excited about the changes that are coming up. Painters are coming on Friday to paint an accent wall for us. That should be cool. I'm anxious to see how it will turn out. The color we chose is called "Lit Consent", which sounds a little um, torrid or something, but it's really just a mocha sort of color. I had hoped for something a little more in the terra-cotta family of colors, but we have to live by the apartment's rules for now.

Not much else is going on in my little corner of the world today. Brad just got himself an iPod nano, so he's excited about that. It's actually a spiffy looking little do-dad. He's been playing with that since after dinner, and I've had a chance to get a few more things straightened up around here. I also started reading Dr. Laura's book "The Ten Commandments." So far it's really good--and that's just the foreward, preface and introduction!

All in all it's been a good day. I got in just the right combination of activity and rest to make me feel like the day was well spent. Back to work tomorrow. Yay!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Something Painful this way Comes

NURSE: Lord, how my head aches! What I head have I! It beats as though it would fall in twenty pieces.--Romeo and Juliet, Act II, Scene V

About noon yesterday I got a migraine--a vile, wicked one that didst make my bowels churn and my orbs seek safety from garish light by retreating under their fringed covers. Whereupon, I called out to mine husband and relayed to him my agony.

Lauren: "Praythee, please release me from my obligation this fine night."

Lord Bradley: "Verily, does thou now wish not to see the fine minstrels?"

Lauren: "Nay, give me leave awhile, for I need to rest my weary head. 'tis better that I slumber now."

Lord Bradley: "Fare thee well my wife. I shall return to thy side before the stroke of midnight and greet thee with a tender kiss on your lovely cheek."

Lauren: "Sounds good. Can you throw me that bottle of Advil before you go?"


No, we don't talk like that. Not on a regular basis anyway.

So basically I went to bed around 8:30 and Brad went to see a band at some club in Solana Beach. He told me this morning that it was probably best that I stayed home, and that if I didn't have a headache before, the music would have certainly given me one. Not that it was bad, it just had a LOT of mixed meter and stuff that made it difficult to follow.

Today my headache is lingering, but it's not a blinding, vomitous pain like it was yesterday. Sleep is usually very effective for helping my headaches, and I certainly got plenty of that last night! I wasn't even crabby this morning. I'm still doing quite well and I haven't had a single drop of caffeine--usually I'm halfway through a bottle of Coca Cola by now. Today I'm sipping on caffeine free black cherry soda (generic brand). It's a little sticky and it will probably turn my teeth a bit pink, but that's okay since I've got a toothbrush here in my desk at work.

Speaking of which, my break is over now so I should get back to reviewing documents for our client.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Baby Fever

Having a baby changes the way you view your in-laws. I love it when they come to visit now. They can hold the baby and I can go out. --Matthew Broderick

This morning I got a wonderful and exciting phone call from friends of ours who recently moved to the East coast. For the last several (and no, not just 9) months we have been praying for them as they have been anticipating an addition to their family. On Sunday morning, they welcomed baby Joshua into their lives.

It seems we're standing at the threshold of a new season of life. A few years ago, our weekends were almost completely filled with weddings and bridal shower events. I remember my cousin, who was also engaged at the same time we were, commenting that "there must be something in the water" that was leading to so many couples deciding to tie-the-knot as they say. Now we're watching many of those same couples expand their families with the addition of babies.

Side note: My husband and I prefer to say "expanding their families" rather than "start a family." Family begins between two people at the altar on their wedding day.

As you may have guessed, my husband and I are not parents. The fact that I have Cystic fibrosis does indeed weigh heavily in that reality right now, however there's more to it than that. I realize that many women with CF are quite capable of conceiving and hanging in there with a full term pregnancy. I'm in such good health right now that a pregnancy likely wouldn't be a problem. It's not a matter of health. It's a matter of balance. We're not at a point in our lives where we would be well equipped emotionally, spiritually, financially, etc. to be good parents.

So many young couples don't really approach the subject of parenthood with much thought. Some decide to have a baby just because all their friends are having babies, and heck, "let's all do the same thing at the same time just like we used to in high school." They don't bathe the matter in prayer, and they think that having a baby is pretty much along the same lines as having a puppy. After all, , they're both little and cute and all you really have to do is feed them, right?

I'm excited for our friends who are new parents. I'm even more glad that they did not walk blindly into the parenthood thing. That's what makes them so much better equipped to be parents than some of my idiot high-school classmates. I've watched them and prayed with them as they have asked for God's blessing in this manner and God has seen fit to grant them the desires of their hearts.

As for myself and any spikes of baby fever, if and when that is something that God desires for us, we'll work on it then. In the meantime, I'm just doing my best to keep myself balanced enough to be a good wife and a supportive friend. That's all that needs doing today.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

God and Science

Science is organized common sense where many a beautiful theory was killed by an ugly fact.--Thomas H. Huxley (aka "Darwin's Bulldog")

I couldn't resist posting again so soon after my first one, but I had to get this bit of information out there. I realize I'm opening myself up to the possibility of heated opposition on this subject, but that's something I'm willing to do.

Intelligent design in a hot topic right now. So many people are arguing back and forth about whether it should be taught in the schools, and whether there can be a happy medium of science and religion. Blah-dee-blah-dee-blah and so it goes. Let me make two things clear about how I'm formulating my opinion on this matter. 1) I have no reason to disbelieve certain scientific truths 2) I have no reason to doubt God's supremacy.

As a Christian who happens to be a scientist, I am to be honest, quite mentally and spiritually exhausted by trying to sort all of this out. Some day soon I hope to be able to set forth a well-informed bit of writing that may help bridge the wide gap between the scientific and the Christian communities.

In the meantime, chew on this: Darwin was very careful as to not include human evolution in his work "Origin of the Species". I know it's been about 6 or 7 years since I read it, and seeing as how it was written in the mid 1800's, the language was not very easy for me to absorb, so I don't pretend to be particularly well versed on the piece itself. However, I do know that Darwin wrote that "light will be thrown on the origin of Man."

Speaking from my Christian worldview, I have to say that I agree with Darwin on that point. Light has been thrown on the origin of man. I urge you to consider Darwin's remark, especially up against the backdrop of the opening chapter of the gospel of John.

Care to Share a Glass of Whine?

I rant. Therefore I am. --Dennis Miller

In the spirit of George Orwell's 1984, I hereby designate the next 5 minutes as the "5-minute whine." Ladies, start your engines.


Whiney topic #1: hormones
As if cramps weren't bad enough, certain hormonal fluctuations can cause my asthma symtoms to be off the charts. It starts with a tight, whistling cough, followed by some lengthy sneezing fits. Top it all off with a lower back ache and general fatigue, and the next couple of days are pretty much a wash.

Whiney topic #2: hand washing
There are more than a few someones who regularly do not wash their hands after using the restroom at work. I can understand not using a toilet seat cover, (okay, maybe I can't) but to not wash your hands is unforgiveable. I think from now on I'm going to stop covering my mouth when I cough during my trips to the rest room this winter and see if I can pass along one of my tasty lung infections.

Whiney topic #3: get a dictionary
I definately (definitely) think that I'll prolly (probably) scream if I see that your (you're) incorrectly spelling these common words.

Whiney topic #4: it's a good hair day, go figure
Surprisingly, it's a good hair day. Unfortunately for me, there's no possible way I can style my hair so as to distract anyone from the bright red blemish on the very tip of my nose. Makeup isn't doing the trick. I think that I'm just going to have to start telling people that this little red dot means that my coffee is ready.

That concludes the 5-minute-whine. I now return you to your regularly scheduled happiness.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

From Toothpick to Coffee Stirrer

She's so skinny, she has to run around in the shower to get wet. --Anonymous

I've been making an effort to soak up some additional calories here and there. I finally found a salad dressing that I like and have eaten salad with my dinners several days in a row now. My absorption seems to be back on track. Usually I avoid weighing myself because it's depressing that so much effort to eat rarely avails much. There are already plenty of things that mess with my head and can throw me off into an OCD pattern, and I don't want my weight to be one of them.

This morning, I felt brave. I stepped on the scale and watched the dial go from 110...112...115...118...119! WOO HOOO!!! So now I'm not so much a toothpick as I am a coffee stirrer. Still slim, but not in a starving model sort of way.

Normally, a gal in her mid-twenties wouldn't be so thrilled to gain a couple of pounds, but for me this is wonderful. The best part is, I think I'm getting a handle on which foods I can eat and absorb well. Brad and I really enjoy eating out, but quite often I can prepare the same type of food at home and get a lot more out of it nutrient-wise because it's not too greasy or covered in MSG. For example, last night I was really tempted to ask Brad if we could go to Black Angus or Red Lobster for dinner. The more I thought about it, the more I realized with a little effort on my part, I could make surf&turf food at home.

We had strip steak, popcorn shrimp, baked potatoes, and salad. The total amount of preparation was only about 20 minutes. Not bad! The bonus was that I was able to vacuum the living room and dinette while dinner baked in the oven.

Next on my list of things to conquer...sorting out my craft supplies.

Monday, October 24, 2005


Guys? Chad fell down. --That Thing You Do

To put it bluntly, I'm accident prone. I trip over my own feet quite often. This weekend was no exception. I was up at my parents' house helping my mom celebrate her birthday. My sister and I were cleaning up the dishes after lunch. On my way to the laundry room to put something away, my feet flew out from under me and I landed HARD on my left side. I hit my chin on the dryer on the way down and landed with a thud with my arm crumpled beneath me. Needless to say, I'm quite sore today.

I wouldn't have been surprised if I had broken a bone. I was recently diagnosed with osteopenia, so I have to be careful about getting enough calcium and vitamin D so that my bone density doesn't deteriorate. As some of you may know, osteoporosis is a growing concern for adults with CF. The fact that we don't absorb vitamins and minerals very well can result in bad things for our bone health. The basic difference between osteopenia and osteoporosis is the severity of lack of bone density. People with osteopenia are at risk for developing osteoporosis.

My doctor explained that osteopenia is not something to lose sleep over. Although it's important that I take calcium supplements (Os-Cal), the goal is to just slow down the rate of loss. Chances are, this won't become a hugely critical issue for me for years to come. Like a lot of things with CF, where losses cannot be completely eliminated, medications and proper treatment as well as exercise are useful in curbing the effects of co-occuring diseases like osteopenia.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Calm Before the Storm

You must have been warned against letting the golden hours slip by; but some of them are golden only because they slip by. --J.M. Barrie

As much as I thrive on activity, I know that I need to pace myself so that I don't burn out. Of course, knowing this is not nearly as effective as actually doing it; but I digress...

This weekend is one of those rare occasions where we have practically nothing that needs to be done. The fridge and cupboard are stocked with groceries, the kitchen counters are clean and the floor is swept (courtesy of my gracious, loving, wonderful husband!) and the apartment is noticeably less cluttered than it has been all week. Tonight after work we can come home and just plotz.

I have a feeling that this may be the calm before the storm. Over the next several weeks our social calendar is likely to fill up at a rapid pace, especially as we begin to approach the holiday season. But today, I'm not concerned about that. Right now I'm just thinking in the short-term. I'm looking forward to sitting down with Brad at dinner tonight and spending time with him. Tomorrow I'll more than likely sleep in, enjoying being in a warm cozy bed on a grey Saturday morning. Brad will undoubtedly tinker with his laptop for most of the day.

The thought of letting a day or two simply slip by is an attractive one, especially since I know that taking time to rest now will help keep me in good shape for all the activity yet to come.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I Scream, You Scream

We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.--Buddy the Elf

I tend to vacillate between craving salty snacks and sweet snacks. Pretzels are by far my favorite salty snack, and ice cream (especially if there are brownies with it) works well to satisfy my sweet tooth. Even if the weather outside is below freezing, I'll still want ice cream. It doesn't even have to be fancy ice cream. As boring as it sounds, vanilla is my preference. My dad and I are probably the only people I know who would go to Baskin-Robbins and order vanilla ice cream.

For several years my mom never bought ice cream for me as a snack because it was on the list of "forbidden fatty things" that CF doctors had advised us to steer clear from. Ice cream, fast food, anything that was buttery or greasy--even milk that wasn't treated with acidophilus-- was a no-no. Oreos were basically my only allowable junk food item. Then one day, the tables turned. The cystic fibrosis specialists (doctors and nutritionists) had discovered that in order to gain weight, it was advisable to take in as much fat as I could handle!

This revelation came when I was in 5th grade and had just begun participating in the CF Team Clinics. The news was so astounding! All the foods that we previously had labeled as my enemies were now my allies in my fight to gain weight. I remember the first time I ever had a hot fudge sundae. On the way home from the doctor's office that glorious Monday, we stopped at Denny's. I ordered a two-scoop hot fudge sundae. How beautiful it was in that tall soda-shoppe glass! The cherry on the top was swathed in whipped cream, and seemed to glisten as it waved its triumphant little stem. I gripped the long handled spoon with a sense of awe and dug into my dessert.

I've been hooked ever since.

In the last year or so I've developed my own personal formula for "the perfect sundae." **WARNING** those of you who have CFRD (Cystic fibrosis related diabetes) may want to make sure you've got a good handle on your blood glucose levels before you attempt to try this dessert.

2 c. vanilla ice cream
3 Tbls. chocolate syrup
3 marachino cherries
1 Tbls. cherry juice from the jar
1/4 c. heavy whipped cream (don't you dare use coolwhip!)
1/4 c. crushed Frosted Flakes (more if desired)

Assemble all the above ingredients in your favorite bowl. I like to wash it all down with a glass of whole milk or Instant Breakfast.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Tales from the Office (as of my lunch break)

PC load letter? What the [heck] is that?!--Office Space

Part of my job involves finalizing the reports of the projects we have done for our clients. Usually that includes burning a PDF document or Word document to a CD, creating a snazzy label using our company's and the client's logos, and putting it all together in a neat little package. This finalization process is typically a mad dash for the finish line as we try to get it all done before the project's closing deadline. Needless to say, it can be a pressure cooker, and Murphy's Law rules the day.

But not today!! God must have known that I didn't need to be stressed out today. I burned all the copies of the CDs without making a single coaster. The labels all printed without coming apart halfway through the printer or causing a nasty paper jam--that alone was enough of a blessing to prompt me to thank God in a little prayer. I was so happy about the labels working properly that I didn't really mind that I was forced to use bright neon green CDs when I ran out of the sleek silver ones.

All in all, I enjoy my job. I'm not always crazy about it when I can't catch a break from the beast of a printer we've got in the workroom, but even so, I could be in a far worse situation. My supervisor is great, my coworkers are amicable, and the proximity to home is virtually ideal.

If only the vending machine weren't so far away...

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

So-So Kind of Day

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, "What! You too? I thought I was the only one!"--C.S. Lewis

Every other week I get together with a group of young women to pray together. We all have different backgrounds, different situations, etc. but all of us need the support that comes from gathering together in prayer before our God. No matter what kind of week I'm having, I always leave our prayer meetings feeling tremendously uplifted.

I can't say enough how wonderful it is for me to have found some others out there who know what it is like to live day to day with CF. I like knowing that I'm not the only one who has trouble with enzymes and who thinks that some treatments are a total pain in the butt no matter how necessary or helpful they are.

Health-wise today is a good day. I was able to get up and get moving a little faster than usual which means I slept better. Motivationally speaking, I could be better. I've hit a plateau with my weight, so it's hard for me not to feel like eating is a chore. I know it's important to keep stuffing my face, but I just don't have much of an appetite today--not even for junk food! I've found that my appetite goes awry when I don't make a consistent effort to eat a big breakfast. I haven't had any Instant Breakfast at all yet this week. (Brad, if you read this, get on my case at dinner, okay?)

It's frustrating that my life tends to revolve around food. I know I should be counting my blessings that I have more digestive issues than lung problems, but still...I'd like to whine a bit. Don't worry, I'm not having a pity party; it's just a motivational thing.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Rainy Day

Thunder is just the sound of angels bowling. --my mom

Last night during choir practice we witnessed a beautiful electrical storm. Even though it wasn't raining on us at the moment, in the distance there was a fantastic light show going on. Peals of thunder echoed and the lightning crackled across the horizon. Since the moon was nearly full, it cast an incredible glow on the low-lying clouds. As we sang "And the Glory of the Lord" from Handel's Messiah, God was revealing to us a hair's breadth of His glory at that very moment.

I really do enjoy the rain. I much prefer it to the sweltering heat and the dry Santa Ana conditions. I love bundling up at night in the soft pajamas that my husband got for me when we celebrated our first Christmas together. (He has EXCELLENT taste by the way!) Throw in a pair of sluffies and a cozy throw blanket, and I practically go into hibernation.

I slept pretty well last night in spite of the fact that I was pretty exhausted from the women's retreat at our church. The weekend was packed as tightly as possible with all sorts of activity. The retreat started on Friday evening and went all through the day Saturday. By the time we got home on Saturday evening we were very pooped. On Sunday morning we settled right into our usual church activities. It felt weird to be at church so many days in a row.

Health wise I think I did a good job of not wearing myself out too much. I made sure I kept some high energy snacks and bottled water handy while at the retreat. A nap yesterday afternoon did me good as well. Now I need to make sure that with the change in weather that I don't catch a cold or something from the dampness.

If it's really chilly when I first climb out of bed in the morning I have to cough more. I've tried to think about that scientifically and I think the reason might be that since cold air is less dense than warm air, I'm not really able to fill my lungs up as effectively on the cold mornings and that's what makes me out of breath. I also know that oxygen diffuses more easily in cold water as opposed to warm water, so I'm wondering if perhaps the same is true for warm and cold air and that is resulting in a lower oxygen concentration in the colder air. *shrug* Then again, maybe I'm thinking about it too much. I'll go check out some of my chemistry and physics books and see what I can determine on that subject.

In the meantime, I'll just keep enjoying this rainy weather. Maybe it will rain a lot like it did last year!

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Jokes Weren't THAT Bad

In days of old when knights were bold, and toilets weren't invented,
they left their loads beside the roads and then moved on, contented.

The toilet in our master bathroom is quite temperamental. It's one of those "just jiggle the handle" types. Every night after we brush our teeth one of us jiggles the handle to make the water noises calm down enough to the point where it doesn't disrupt our sleep. I guess we've gotten so used to having a little extra noise at night that we didn't even hear the thing that when bump in the night.

We have a little shelf above our toilet that holds the air freshener, extra roll of toilet paper, and of course, a few joke books. (I know, I know, but seriously, is there anyone out there who can honestly say that they have NEVER read while in there?) At some point during the night the books on the shelf toppled forward and landed kerplunk! in the toilet. My sleepy husband found them this morning when he attempted to seat himself on the throne. I'm just glad he woke up enough to notice before anything truly disgusting happened.


In other news, it turns out the gym in our neighborhood is closing down. We're disappointed since we've both been having such a great experience there. The place has only been in operation for about 3 months. It's sad to see it go under so quickly. I would have thought that by putting a gym in the same strip mall with an In-n-Out, Applebees, $tarbuck$, and Subway would have attracted plenty of people who needed a workout. I guess not.

This weekend the hubby and I are leading worship for our church's women's retreat. I'm going to be playing piano and he's going to play saxophone and clarinet. He's so gifted! I really love that we can share music as a hobby together. We sometimes have creative differences, but that's mostly because he actually has a degree in music, and I'm just am amateur. We don't always speak the same language. I can read music just fine, but I wouldn't recognize an augmented fourth if it bit me in the armpit.

With the retreat going on this weekend I probably won't have a chance to post again until Monday. I hope everyone has a wonderful couple of days and that you take advantage of the opportunity to rest.

Oh, and my tummy feels much better now, thanks :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Mild Discomfort

Edgy in the gut.--Thoroughly Modern Millie

My innards must be shocked at the quality of meal they received last night. Lately it seems like we've been running in a hundred directions at once, so instead of actually sitting down to share a meal, Brad and I have been "foraging" as we call it. On my way home from work I stopped by the grocery store. I violated the cardinal rule of grocery shopping--never shop hungry. I bought more convenience foods than I ever had all at once. Thanks to coupons though, I didn't have a shocker of a bill.

Anyway, we had roasted chicken (the kind that is already hot at the store and you can just take home) mixed veggies (fresh, not frozen) and baked potatoes. I drowned my potato in sour cream and canola spread, and poured cheez whiz on my veggies. Mmmmm. Washed it all down with a glass of whole milk and I was good to go. Or so I thought.

All last night my gut has been aching like there's a gas bubble that won't move. It still hurts a bit today. On the plus side, I'm not bloated which is a change for me. I'm not sure what caused the problem though. I'm almost wondering if it was the peanut butter and apples that I had as a bedtime snack. I haven't had peanut butter in several months. *shrug*

Does anyone have any fascinating tidbits they can share about whether taking enzymes before/during a meal works best? Also, do you take them with EVERYTHING (even say, a glass of orange juice) or only when it's a substantial intake of food containing fats?

Even with the uncomfortable tummy I'm still making sure I'm working on my bag of pretzels here. I have a feeling the problem will work itself out (so to speak) later.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

How A Bacterium Helped Me Appreciate God's Love

Q. What kind of mediator and deliverer should we look for then?

A. One who is truly human and truly righteous, yet more powerful than all creatures; that is, one who is also true God.

from the Heidelberg Catechism

I'm sitting here with a lump in my throat and tears threatening to cascade down my cheeks at any moment. I've spent the last week or so getting to know some other gals my age who also have CF. We share so many similarities in personality, interests, goals, lifestyle, etc. I'm nearly positive that if we were to spend time together in person, we would be absolute best friends.

But we can't. Even if we lived in the same city, I would be forced to keep my distance. I have B. cepacia, a particularly nasty bug that is devastatingly harmful to those with CF who don't already culture it. Cepacia keeps me isolated from much of the CF community. But that's not why I'm almost crying.

I'm emotional because in a moment of clarity I have begun to understand the very real distance between God and His beloved creation--mankind. He created us in His image. Although I don't fully understand what that means, I know that it means I have a soul, a spirit--unlike the rest of creation--that enables me to have real communication with Him.

God desires all of us to have a relationship with Him. However, we are isolated by sin. Because God is holy, He cannot look upon us in our sinful state. So long as we are sinners, we are apart from Him--cut off from the joy and beauty of his presence. If the ache God feels due to such a separation is even remotely similar to my ache for companionship with others who understand CF, then it's no wonder that God sent Jesus!

Rather than keep Him in a sterilized clean room, God allowed His Son to take on the deadly infection of sin, all for the purpose of enabling me to come into His presence. Christ came to earth without so much as a pair of latex gloves to fend off sin. He took it on. All of it. Jesus took on the sin of the world--including mine--just to make us whole and restore us to a place of favor in God's company.

Now that's what I call love.

And to think that I appreciate it all the more today because of a stubborn bacterium with a funny name. How weird is that?

Monday, October 10, 2005

A Little Ditty

And now for something completely different. --Monty Python

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to look on something with a positive attitude when you're not stuck in the middle of it? Seeing as how I've been having a good run of health lately, I thought I'd share with you a little song that I have written about just a few of the "pleasantries" that are part of life with CF. Please feel free to sing along--the tune is the same as "My Favorite Things" from "The Sound of Music". For added amusement, sing it while you're doing your vest treatment! Chances are it will make you laugh just hard enough to really cough up some great gunk.

And now, without further ado, I present:

"My CF-y Things"

Asthma inhalers and steroids so bitter;
dodging pneumonia in the dead of winter;
waking up coughing when I'd rather sleep;
These are a few of my CF-y things!

Enzymes to help with my lousy digestion;
lists for my doctors with all kinds of questions;
Antibiotics, ADEKs and TOBI.
These are a few of my CF-y things.

Psuedomonas, B. Cepacia,
when I start to wheeze--
I simply remember my meds and PT,
and then I can fin'lly breathe.

High fats, high protein, the saltier the better,
guzzling down water in hot icky weather,
eating all meals with lots of calories,
these are a few of my CF-needs.

Regular checkups each month at the clinic,
Who says that CF just makes us all cynics?
Coughing out sputum just so I can breathe,
these are a few of my CF-y things!

When a tune up is what's needed,
when I'm losing weight.
I simply remember that I'm not alone,
and then I feel almost great!!

Busy, Beautiful Weekend

Marriage wasn't designed to make you happy; it is to make you holy.
--Martin Luther

This weekend was the kind that made me tired in a good way. It was just the right combination of activity and rest, along with some thought provoking experiences.

Friday evening my adoring husband took me downtown for the symphony. Transcendent is a word that hardly does the evening justice. I have never been so enthralled by music as I was that night. I was familiar with all the pieces that were being performed, which was a change for me. I think now I understand why my husband likes to review a song's score before we go to a concert. Familiarity adds to appreciation I think.

We didn't get home until after midnight and I slept like a log. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

On Saturday morning (and by morning I mean practically the afternoon) my pal Liz called and reminded me that I had wanted to walk a couple of laps around Target in search of a wedding present. I got dressed in about 5 minutes flat, and off we went. Liz amazes me. She has such an incredible heart for God. She is one of those people who has the light of Christ just absolutely shining out of them from every pore. Then again, maybe that's just the pregnancy glow she's got going on right now. Either way, it makes her beautiful!

After Target (pronounced Tar-jhay) and a little "green straw therapy" from $tarbuck$, we parted ways. Brad and I hopped into the car and headed up to our friends' wedding.

The wedding was beautiful. Simple, elegant, classy, and best of all, worshipful. I love Christian weddings, mostly because they remind me of how deep God's love for His church is. As I listen to couples speak their vows, I reflect on the promises that God has made to me to provide for me, love me, protect me and give himself up for me.

I also like weddings because they remind me of the awesome marriage that my husband and I have. We always hold hands for much of the ceremony, and I love it when he squeezes my hand when the couple repeats the "in sickness and in health" part. I wonder how many couples actually reflect on that phrase and how many just repeat it because it's standard. Brad and I know full well that "in sickness and in health" doesn't just mean that we promise to bring each other chicken soup when one or the other has the flu. We've already had plenty of experience with health issues that other couples our age have never even thought of yet. I think, no, I know that our marriage is stronger because of it.

God has blessed us a lot. I can't stop smiling because of it. *insert permasmile here*

Friday, October 07, 2005

I love my job

You find the fun and...*snap*! The job's a game! --Mary Poppins

Okay, I seriously couldn't resist sharing this with y'all. I'm a bit photo happy now that I've figured out how to put pictures on the blog. Weeeee!

The highlight of one of the projects I did at work recently was being out in the field at Camp Pendleton. There was a young rabbit stuck in a pipe, and being the fearless farm-girl that I am, I just went ahead and yanked it out of there. Here are the pictures from the ordeal. The first is a shot of the pipe with the rabbit down at the bottom. You may have to zoom in to actually see the rabbit. The second photo is me and one of our client's escorts helping pry the rabbit up using long poles sort of like chopsticks. Once we wiggled the furry fella up to where we could reach him, one of my coworkers said "just grab his ears" so I did. That last picture is me holding the rabbit by the ears.

For a more detailed description of the whole thing and some of my musings on the experience from a spiritual perspective, visit my "Pools of Grace" blog and read the post entitled "For My Next Trick..."

Three Cheers for the Weekend!

Gonna have some fun, show you how it's done, TGIF!

Friday's finally here. This week really seemed to drag on. I think part of it was because my energy level has been somewhat diminished this week. I haven't been sleeping as well as I like, but that seems to be improving now. Last night I had to keep fighting my husband for the sheets, but that's okay. If I get too cold I just make sure I snuggle up nice and close to him. :-D

As tired as I am and ready for a weekend, I'm really looking forward to this evening. My hubby's boss gave us his symphony tickets for tonight's performance. I love when opportunities like this come up--being married to a man in the music business has some great perks, that's for sure. Tonight we'll be hearing "The Pines of Rome" (aka the whales music in Fantasia 2K), a Mendelssohn violin concerto and a Stravinsky piece, although I can't remember which one.

Not even the downtown traffic will be able to diminish my enthusiam about this one!

Tomorrow I'm going to a wedding of a friend from church. I haven't known her for very long, but she's a nice gal, so I'm looking forward to celebrating with her. That reminds me, I still need to buy a gift, yikes!

Well, my morning break is over. Time for me to take off my blogging hat and put my "scientist girl" cape back on. Off I go to save the world from the evils of perchlorate and volatile organic compounds... *humming the "Captain Planet" theme song to myself*

Thursday, October 06, 2005

*Sigh* Peer Pressure

Well, seeing as how my new friends have their cute mugs available, I thought I'd stick a photo of myself on here too. Enjoy!

Hope - H + C = Cope

'Haven't you ever been in the depths of despair, Marilla?'
'No I have not. To despair is to turn your back on God.'
--L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Wow. Talk about feeling encouraged and uplifted. Within a few short days of starting this blog, I have been blessed to have found some fellow Christians out there in the CF community. It's so great to find people with whom I can relate. Gals, thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to comment on my blog. I look forward to getting to know one another even more in the days to come.

Leah, one of my new "CF sisters" as I'm going to call them, wrote that she doesn't know how people with CF who don't have hope in Christ can cope with life. To be honest, I don't know either. It scares me to even think about living a life like that.

That's not to say I have a "Pollyanna" attitude. The daily rigors of CF can be very frustrating. Sometimes when I'm on IVs or having to adjust to new meds, I have a rebellious spirit. However, I'm constantly reminded that all that junk is just temporary. God gives me a fulfilling life that is infinitely more enjoyable than taking enzymes, nutritional supplements, vitamins, anitbiotics, inhalers, etc.

The reason I'm living well with CF is because managing the disease is merely something I do because I have to. All of that is secondary to who I am as a wife, daughter, sister, friend and child of God.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


...he will see him in his own proper place, and not in another; and he will contemplate him as he is. --Socrates in Plato's "Allegory of the Cave"

There was a time where I felt so emotionally and spiritually overwhelmed that I couldn't be very objective about anything. Viewing the world through "CF colored glasses" at times made me feel somewhat hopeless. It's natural to have up days and down days. I've learned that keeping a positive mental attitude (PMA for you Chris Farley/"Nick Foley" fans) has more to do with my actions and less to do with my mental state.

When I was growing up, we (my family and I) did our best to make sure that having CF didn't get in the way of experiencing regular life. I'm so glad that my parents never let me wallow in self-pity over my health. We went on several family vacations with intravenous meds in tow. One winter in particular we had plans to stay at a beach house. I felt so lousy, but I came to the conclusion that it was going to be much more bearable to feel lousy and be at the beach as opposed to feeling lousy and lying around on my bed at home.

Over the years I've gotten pretty good at muddling through when I haven't felt very well. It's not because I'm in a sense of denial. It's because I know that I'd much rather be in control. Cystic fibrosis may be an annoying resident in my body, but I'm still the landlord!

Bad days come, and bad days go. Good days come and good days go. I'm thankful for all the good days I have, and I don't want to let the bad days ruin them! I know this is easier said than done, but it's certainly worth the effort.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Days Like This

Mama said there'd be days like this, --The Shirelles

You'd think I would have learned by now, but I guess I'm just thick-headed. God bless my husband for putting up with me! I get all excited about something and make plans like crazy and forget to schedule some "down time" for myself and next things I know...WHAM! Burned out. There are some days when I'm able to practically forget that I have CF and that I need to pace myself. There's a paradoxical reality that I contend with on a regular basis. In order to live as normally as possible so that I appear just as healthy as the next gal, I have to be exceptionally aware of my limitations.

Yesterday I took some time off work for what my mom and I call "a mental health day." I hadn't gotten enough sleep over the weekend, and with my body chemicals running completely amok, I was pretty much a mess. I took myself to Target for an Icee (and no, mom, I didn't take 20 minutes to decide which flavor), and some new jammies--the cozy flannel kind with drawstring pants. Last night we just sat around after dinner and watched "Friends" while we folded the laundry together. It was a nice end to a "blah" kind of weekend. I'm really glad that my husband is, as my dad says, a housecat. My hubby doesn't mind one bit if all I'm in the mood for is a movie marathon at home. I'm always amazed at how great our marriage is. I hear other people talking about bickering over chores, or being exasperated about little things. I just don't get it.

Wow, that was incredible. Just thinking about my husband and our wonderful marriage made my mood improve exponentially! God really knew what He was doing when He brought us together. I am so loved and protected. Even when I'm having a totally crappy day (or series of days), my husband brightens my mood just by being my husband. *insert contented sigh here*

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