Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hello World! I'm BAAAACCKKKK!!!....Maybe

I couldn't have written it better myself. Mid-thirties mom, thinks she knows exactly how her life is going to go. Has a great husband, steady work and two growing girls. Then something unexpected happens and things change. And they did.

Five years ago the hubby and I decided that we'd try for another kid when he turned 30....if we felt like it. Well, we didn't feel like it. We realized that our youngest was like having two kids in one body (boy and girl), sleep was finally getting back to normal and we liked having some "freedom" back. Not to mention the money we saved without having to pay for daycare anymore!

Fast forward to March of 2016 and SURPRISE WE'RE PREGNANT! We pretty much had a moment that resembled two teenagers who had A LOT of explaining to do when we saw the positive sign on the EPT. I was terrified to tell my then 15 year old that her mama got knocked up. When I sat her down and said I had something important to tell her she started panicking, assuming that I had cancer. Perhaps I was a little dramatic leading up to what I had to say...way to go mom!

Regardless, it all worked out. My oldest embraced it and the youngest was excited to be a big sister. Last fall we welcomed a beautiful eight pound, brown eyed boy to break up the estrogen wafting through the house and carry on the family name.

Sometimes my husband and I adoringly look at "T" and ask, "where did you come from?" Sparing you the personal details....he truly was meant to be and determined on becoming a part of our family-- I'll leave it at that. In all honesty, it's like he was always in the plans, but still miraculous. He was not on our radar AT ALL, yet I couldn't imagine life without him and don't even want to think about it.

But here we are almost a year later. Life moves faster and faster and I can't find the handbrake to slow it down. Our oldest is in her junior year of high school, the youngest daughter just started second grade and the hubby is preparing for his third year in the MBA program. And I'm still "mom-ing" it while working part time and aspiring to be an aspiring writer.

I'm grateful for everything I've been handed in life. I even wrote a book about it. And then I wrote another to celebrate some other things I appreciate--but unfortunately that's still sitting on my computer...on hold....pending a few edits....waiting to get out and breathe on the screen of a Kindle. And I feel like a big, fat procrastinator.

I know I'm not. I'm just busy. Busy with a lot, but then nothing at all (apparently, not too busy to write this post.) I LOVE to write. Even when I'm not good at it, it feels so good! Something about the escape of it. The story I see in my head, the characters and situations that manifest from nothing but a spark or idea. It's awesome! But unfortunately for me, it requires a quiet place, a block of uninterrupted time and most importantly, the urge to do it. Is it this way for all writers?

I've been talking to my husband about how much I miss it. He's wonderful and willing to do whatever to make writing time possible, but I put it off for various reasons. So far, all I've done is submitted a few queries to literary agents because it's "Manuscript Wish List Day" on Twitter, which I didn't even know was a thing until this afternoon. But I did and I tried and was quickly reminded about the part of writing that I hate--taking a chance. Putting yourself out there and hoping for good feedback. I don't write with the hope of making money, though it would be nice! I write for my soul and put out what I write to share a little of that soul, and maybe it connects with another persons soul. Nothing I create is particularly profound, but it comes from a real place within me.

But today I cannot write because what I thought was only a fictitious scenario in Made in Sweden (not yet released) has actually happened to me and it's awesome. The point of this long, rambling blog is this--life isn't always what you planned. It's often the complete opposite. Sometimes you get exactly what want, but in the most round-about way. And sometimes wonderfully unexpected events delay something else you wanted to accomplish, but that's okay!

I know I'll eventually release my book. And maybe one day I'll get published. If not, oh well! I've got a whopping twenty-two Amazon reviews that make me pretty happy and I've entertained some people. Coincidentally, I received three new reviews of The Nostalgia Effect this month, almost as if it's a sign to finish what I've started or do what I love. But for now, I need to go wipe banana off my son, get the kids from school and make dinner for the people I love.

Thanks for letting me ramble...now go do something YOU love! Or don't, I won't judge.....

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Say Hello To My "Little" Friend

THIS IS KATIE! Say "hello" to her. She's my little friend. Seriously, my very little friend. I'm 5'2 and the top of her head only reaches right below my shoulder. No, she's not a "little" person. She is perfectly proportionate. She's just....compact. 

Katie and I met when we were almost two. I don't remember when or how we came to be best friends, but we just did. Katie was always very petite. But so was her mom and sister, and she was also premature, so it was no surprise that she was on the small side.

I remember once, when we were seven, walking through the playground during recess. I noticed that she wasn't growing as tall as I was. She was then, too, right below my shoulder, and I wasn't a particularly tall child. Regardless, it didn't seem to be much of a big deal to anyone at that time. 

Katie and Me On My 7th Birthday
When we hit middle school, things started to change. Due to her size, she became somewhat of a novelty item, and though she handled it well, I think deep down it bothered her. People thought she was "so cute," and that was fine and all, but I do remember a time that someone tried to make fun of her and I yelled, "Well, dynamite comes in small packages!" Katie just looked at me like I was a dork (which I was), but I wanted to protect my friend. 

There were a lot of things Katie went through that I wasn't made aware of. I remember occasional trips she would make with her mom, who was a nurse, to the Bay Area or UC Davis to do special testing on Katie to determine why she wasn't growing. She was pretty private about it, and I never pressed her, but somewhere in that time period, I remember her telling me that she had Turner Syndrome. That was just it, nothing major, and she and her family didn't seemed concerned about it, because now they knew what she had. 

However, Turner Syndrome can cause heart defects, infertility, kidney problems, skeletal deformities and lymphedema. Luckily, Katie wasn't on the extreme end of the spectrum with this condition, but she hasn't gone completely unscathed either. She's had some effects that aren't mine to share, but they have made an impact on her life. The point of this blog isn't to go on and on about Turner Syndrome, or to drum up any sympathy. Besides, if Katie knew I was writing this, she'd tell me to stop, because she doesn't like to be the center of attention. But, being who I am (pushy and enthusiastic), I want to celebrate her because she deserves it. 

Despite whatever circumstances Katie has been given, she's always powered through them. She's what I like to call, "a natural born survivor." And my God, is she independent! I took her to Sweden last year and she had no problem maneuvering her way around, paying for things like train tickets, or retail items. She LOVED just being there and was happy to get in on the action. I just stood there like a dumbass (mind you, I've been there several times) watching her do things that I'm too much of a coward to do! And this is how it's always been. 

Katie would never say that she's "brave." But she is even more than that. She's fearless adventurous. She's intelligent and funny as hell (seriously, she’s so funny, I’ve begged her to write a blog). She's compassionate and fiercely loyal. And lastly, she's one of the best friend's anyone could ever hope for. This could be why I no longer consider her just my best friend, but instead a "sister from another mister." She's family. And in my home, my children call her "Auntie Katie.” 

Last night my "sister," put out a post on Facebook sharing some news about a charity walk called "Chasing Butterflies," which takes place in Portland, Oregon on June 20th. This walk is in support of Turner Syndrome, and intended to bring awareness and research to a condition that affects up to 1 in 2,500 girls. Unfortunately, mainstream doctors aren't always familiar with this condition. Often times they don't treat patients with Turner Syndrome proactively to make sure they start checking their vitals and organs often enough. 

Within the last year Katie has become more active in the Turner Syndrome community. Thanks to social media, she's reached out and met new friends with this same condition from all over the world. This summer she will be attending a conference so she can become more involved in this effort to promote awareness. I've honestly never seen her so happy and comfortable in her own skin. She's found a place where people really understand her, because they are her. 

Because I love my "little" friend, I want to support her however I can. I've shared her exciting news, I've donated to her cause, and I've tried to recruit others to support her endeavor. But sometimes, people just don't. Maybe because they don't understand the importance of it...or they don't understand the importance of the person it's affecting. So, this is my attempt. I wanted you to know about this person named Katie. My best friend and "sister," who deserves so much more than what she's asking for. I wanted to put a face behind the cause. 

I hope you'll consider supporting her. I've enclosed some links on Turner Syndrome and the Fundraising page. Any little bit helps.


Thank you, friends!

EJ