On a Learning Curve

Life may not be easy, but it's always an adventure.

Leave a comment

Tying up Loose Ends

I have not written anything in more than a week. That doesn’t mean I haven’t tried to write. It’s just that I am emotionally spent. Life has been very difficult these past two or so weeks: Sofie’s diagnosis is heartbreaking, a dear friend’s brother succumbed to a two-year battle with leukemia, a friend texted last night that she was hospitalized for heart irregularities, and my own heart is a little raw. Writing about anything trivial just seems so…well, trivial.

I do need to tie up some loose ends though. Sofia came home from the hospital last Friday to an impromptu neighborhood welcome-home party. She is a strong little girl whose perseverance and determination to live her life normally are a testament to the parents who love her fiercely. Below is a picture I snapped of Sofie with her father Ed.


Sofie has a long, expensive medical road ahead of her. If you want to read more of her story and help her family with medical and traveling expenses, follow this link.

On the deployment front, Ryan will be back on U.S. soil in 8 days! The countdown is on in our house! Look for pictures of his homecoming towards the end of next week. It’s been a long three months, and we are all looking forward to having an intact family again.

S and H have some happy news to share: Both won trophies in the speed division of our church’s Awana Grand Prix last Saturday. I was as shocked as they were, and the girls owe their speedy little pine cars to the skill of our neighbor Jim. He insisted that wheel alignment was the crucial step for winning cars, and it turns out he was right.


H’s rabbit car set a new track record for speed!

H took 1st place in the K-2nd division, and S took 3rd place in the 3rd-6th group; she narrowly lost to a pair of brothers.


S’s “car” is the blue Olympic bobsled second from the left.

Before I sign off, I wanted to share a sweet little photo of H. This is how I found her this morning while her sisters were eating their breakfasts. The furry little black head belongs to Oreo. I love this little girl, and her toothless smile is the perfect start to a new week. I’m praying that it is a week with less drama and emotion than last week. But whatever comes our way, I’m standing firm in the knowledge that God is with me all the time and that His grace is sufficient for whatever trials and sorrows lie ahead.



Leave a comment

Update for Yesterday’s Readers

Believe it or not, today is the first day of spring. Around southern Maryland, this week’s earlier snow has almost finished melting and we have almost a week before the next predicted snowfall. The sun has arrived this morning in more glory than I’ve seen in many days, and I have good news to share with you.

Sofie is resting in her hospital room this morning. I’m hoping that her parents managed to get some sleep last night, too. Instead of six hours, Sofie spent more than 12 hours in surgery yesterday. Her surgeon was cautious and meticulous and was able to remove most of the tumor. Sofie is such a fighter that she kept trying to wake up last night when she was supposed to be  resting.

Thank you for praying for this little girl and her family. They will continue to need your prayers over the next days, weeks, and months. There may be other surgeries, and there will be therapy and rehabilitation. The tumor is cancerous, but pathology will take another day. Sofie’s mom is pregnant with their third child–another girls to add to the 6 girls who already live on our little street–and I know that both of them could use your prayers, too.

Today I plan to spend some time outside in the sunshine with my girls. It will be hard to find a spot that isn’t muddy or soggy, but the brilliance of this morning’s sky is a reminder that God hears our prayers and can bring good things out of difficult, dark days.

1 Comment

A Request for My Readers

I started to write a different post. I had a bad week last week. Bad by anyone’s definition. S’s diabetes wasn’t cooperating, and we narrowly avoided a trip to the ER. I needed help with childcare and was frustrated not to find any. I was attacked by an aggressive German shepherd during my long run on Saturday with two other friends. And all of this happened with Ryan on deployment.

But we pulled through last week. S is healthy again, and life with Type 1 diabetes continues to be a roller coaster of surprises! I filed reports with the sheriff and animal control, and my friends rallied around me last weekend. An RN named Amy drove up after the attack and acted as our Good Samaritan, too.

Instead, I’m going to write about our next-door neighbors. They had a much worse week than I did. Their sweet 7-year-old daughter was rushed into emergency brain surgery last Thursday. It turns out that she didn’t have a virus; she has a brain tumor. That surgery saved her life. And this morning, she is back in the operating room. This could be the most important day of her life–for her and for her parents.

Please join me in praying that the Great Physician would guide the skillful hands of Sofie’s surgeon this morning. Please don’t debate the existence of God or comment about the unfairness of this situation. Yes, life is unfair. No, I don’t know why bad things happen to good people. I just know that God answers prayers and that He heals. We have witnessed His healing in our own family; we also have a daughter who lives with an incurable disease. We know that He can and does do wonderful things with horrible circumstances.

So pray. Sofie is almost halfway through a 6-hour surgery. She needs healing, and her parents need peace.

Leave a comment

Signs of the Times

Yes, I am bad at regularly updating my blog. I wrote half of a post last week, and you can guess that I never finished that one. Instead of knocking myself out to write something meaningful, I thought I’d share a few pictures with you. As my title suggests, I am surrounded by signs.

Want to take a guess who created this thought-provoking beauty?


This one is courtesy of H, my 6-year-old budding philosopher. I have no idea what inspired this deep thought today, and I love that the meaning changes depending on where you decide to place punctuation.

I am surrounded by H’s signs these days. To the back of the front door, she taped a birthday card for the brothers she has yet to meet. On the refrigerator is a Valentine’s sign that she made me; she gets big Brownie points for that since her big sisters told me that they “forgot.” Next to the downstairs bathroom is a giant thermometer. She used two full pieces of paper and colored most of the thermometer blue on Monday morning when S was having a sick day.

Speaking of sick days, that is another reason that I haven’t been writing. S woke up on Monday with a blood glucose of 407. That’s an all-time high for a pre-breakfast number. (Usually she has to sneak a handful of dried raisins and “forget” to tell me or to bolus for them.) She also was spilling large ketones and told me she was going to vomit. I thought we were going to have a repeat of her trip to the ER three months ago. Instead, we loaded her up with insulin, gave her half a Zofran, and filled her up with fluids once her nausea subsided. We said a lot of prayers, too. Miraculously–I’m really not overusing the word–we flushed out those ketones in three hours. I believe in prayer. And now I believe in Zofran, too.

Soccer season started this week, too, so that’s another distraction to add to the list. I made it through the first clinic of the season, ordered uniforms for new players, scheduled a last-minute scrimmage, and wrote out a few practice plans. So what if tomorrow’s high is 40° colder than today, right?

That’s why I think this next sign is a perfect reminder for how to approach hectic, harried days.


Again, I cannot explain the origin of this sign. I’m going to assume that this is not a comment on my driving skills.

Ryan called last week, too. I love that I still am thrilled to hear my husband’s voice after 15 years of doing his laundry. I’m thankful, too, that’s he was safely out of country last week during a violent incident. I’m really looking forward to his return. We’ve made it past the halfway mark of this deployment, and we’re almost ready to start the countdown to his return. When we figure out the exact date, we’ll let H make a few more signs to help us pass the days.