Monday, April 16, 2007

Thinking. And Reminding.

So, a few weeks ago, there was a thing floating around the blog world called the Thinking Blogger Awards. Basically, one blogger tagging another, then linking back, and then tagging five more, etc. It’s a way to introduce people to other blogs that you read, and in this particular instance, blogs that make you think. I had three people mention me on their blogs, LollyChester, Amy, and SimplyJenn. I’m supposed to link back to them, and encourage you to check out their sites, then list the five blogs that make *me* think the most. But you know what? I don’t read blogs to think. I read them to be entertained. Pretty much every single blog I read regularly, I do so because I find the writer to be funny, or interesting, or engaging. I guess I’m probably thinking, whether I realize it or not, but for the most part, I just read for fun. You can check them all out in my sidebar.

And while I certainly appreciate the mention on their sites, it also amuses me to imagine that this scrap of blog writing I do could be credited with making anyone else think. About anything more serious than chocolate muffins. Or Kyle Chandler. Or best of all, Kyle Chandler feeding me chocolate muffins. In bed. Which is what *I* think about most of the time. Most days I’m just writing whatever pops in my head, or whatever funny thing has happened; many days I sit in my chair and wonder what the heck I’m going to write; I have the occasional day or two when I can’t think of ANYTHING and wonder why I even bother when I’m so boring and uninspired. But overall, not so much with the deep, profound thinking.

I did have a moment, last week, a really big moment, where I was reminded. And sometimes, being reminded of something you already know is a bigger deal than thinking about something new. Or maybe it *is* thinking, just in a different way. So I’ll share that with you now, and thank the three bloggers who reminded me to look at things in a new light. It’s going to be a long entry, and probably very disjointed, but I promise if you’ll just hang in there until I’m finished, I’ll do my best to tie everything up with a shiny big bow at the end. You might not have done much deep thinking by then, but if you come away with the same reminder that I got, it will be a successful journal entry, at least in my humble opinion.

The background story: Blaine and I, as you might know, are gearing up for retirement from the military. Next spring he will have served his 20 years, and we’ve had just that long to think about what we’re going to do when we retire. A lot of people in the military retire wherever their last duty station is; they just stay there, if it’s someplace they really like. Or they’ll move back to whatever place they liked best, or whatever place they can get the job that will make them happiest. It’s great to think there is a whole wide world of options out there.

Then, there are people like Blaine and me, who have known from day one that we would return to our home state when we retire. Not only our home state, but specifically back to the area where we grew up. We like Georgia and could be perfectly happy staying here … I wouldn’t mind returning to Ohio, or even North Dakota. Those have been some of my favorite places to live. But all along, we have both felt strongly, and agreed, that once his twenty-odd years in the Air Force is up, we want to go back home. {Imagine me, clicking my ruby red slippers together … there’s no place like home; there’s no place like home.} We want to live near our family again; we want our kids to have a close relationship with their cousins; we want them to go to the same school that I attended, and have the same life experiences that we had. When it came to planning, we had the future of our family calculated down to the most minute detail, and it lay somewhere over that Oklahoma rainbow. {See? See how I figured out a way to tie it in to this great song, just for the excuse of playing it??? I'm clever like that.}

About a year ago, Blaine and I were faced with a difficult decision regarding our retirement plans. It’s not a decision I’m happy about, and unfortunately, it’s sort of a lose-lose situation for us. I won’t bore you with details (unless you really, really want them) but the bottom line is that we have been forced to sacrifice part of our retirement dream, in order to keep the part that is most important to us. The whole state of affairs can be summed up with words like “Unfair” and “Bogus” and “Sucks to be Us”. And for almost a year, I’ve been feeling sorry for myself about it.

I remind myself that material things don’t matter, and how can I gripe and complain about something so shallow when people are starving in this world, and the rain forest is being eradicated, and children are dying of cancer? And I remind myself to be grateful for the things I *do* have, and that this circumstance, while unfortunate, is NOT a REAL problem, and to just kwitch-yer-bellyaching-already. And it would work. For about five minutes. Then I would start feeling sorry for myself again.

You know what else? Feeling sorry for yourself, for an extended period of time, is exhausting. And boring for the people around you, who are sick and damn tired of hearing you complain. But if you’re really, truly unhappy about a situation, and you really, truly can’t figure a way out of it, it’s hard to see the bright side. Instead, you feel frustrated and annoyed and exhausted.

So, fast forward to last week.

Some of you remembered I had mentioned Blaine was going to Seattle for his follow-up scans. They do MRI’s and cat scans of his head and neck, checking to make sure the radiation killed off all the cancer cells, that the tumors look unchanged, and that there aren’t any new growths. It’s stressful under the best of times, but add that “unidentified” shoulder mass into the picture, and my stress was ratcheted up to the next level. Although we honestly didn’t think it was cancer, once that doctor said, “Well, the bottom of your shoulder is technically the top of your lungs, so we need to check for a tumor and lung cancer”, your mind can’t help but go there in the dark of the night.

Blaine had both the MRI ordered by his oncologist, and the cat scan ordered from the surgeon. He got them both the same day, and had separate consultations with each doctor afterwards. I hated that I couldn’t be there with him, but we had to choose between two big events this month, and elected for me to go with him later, for his next prosthodontic surgery. So, we agreed that when he met with the doctor, he would call me and put me on speaker phone so we could hear the news together, good or bad. It was as close as I could get to being there in person to support him.

I knew what time the consultation was, and so I called him. I was waiting to go into Wal-Mart, but apparently the doctor was running late and Blaine didn’t know how much longer it would be. We decided that I would turn my phone to vibrate and put it in my pocket so there would be no chance of me missing his call, and I went into Wal-Mart (otherwise known as Hell on Earth) to shop for life’s essentials like milk and eggs and fudge grahams. I knew I was nervous, but I didn’t realize how much. I was so distracted while shopping, and couldn’t think of anything else. There was a lot riding on the outcome of these tests, and it’s a sick, sick feeling in the pit of your stomach to wait for the results.

I kept waiting for Blaine to call … and waiting …. And when it was time for me to check out, I flipped my phone open because I couldn’t believe he hadn’t called yet and so I was going to call him. Only, there was a message on my phone. Apparently, I hadn’t felt it vibrate.

The phone number wasn’t Blaine’s …. But it was from the state of Washington.

So while the cashier was ringing me up, I listened to the message:

“Hi, Kristie, this is Dr. F. I’ve got Blaine here in my office and I’d like to discuss the results of the scans with both of you together. Call me at this number as soon as you can.”

And I seriously considered vomiting on the check out girl, so great was my nausea.

I finished paying, and pushed my cart out to the van, and unloaded my crap, with my mind and imagination whirling at a million miles an hour. Then, with shaking fingers, listened to the message again and copied down the number. Knowing all the while, that it would be bad news. Why else would the doctor call me personally, if not to deliver bad news? Why would he ask me to call HIM back, and not Blaine? I steeled myself for terrible news, and had already let the “It’s OK, he will get through this, we can handle this” coping part of my personality begin to take over.

By the time I wrote down his number, my hands were shaking so badly I could barely dial. My voice was quivering when I asked to speak with him, and I was practically in tears, anticipating this awful conversation. I assumed we would immediately begin discussing treatment for lung cancer. Blaine has already had his lifetime maximum dosage of radiation, and they say chemotherapy is ineffective for this type of cancer, so fine, we’ll just operate. He can lose a lobe or two of his lungs, right? So he’ll never get into freediving, that’s ok. But would they send him home, or do it in Seattle? Would they want to start right away? How quickly could my mom get out here to Georgia to watch the kids? Would they try chemo anyway? What are the survival rates for lung cancer? These were the things going through my head as I waited for the doctor to get on the line.

When he did, he simply said, “Hi, Kristie, this is Dr. F. Blaine and I are here, talking about the scans.” And because I was on speaker phone, there was an awkward little pause while he waited to see if I would say anything, so I simply said, “OK” because I didn’t trust myself or my voice to say anything else. Then I heard Blaine say in the background, “My Blackberry crashed, so I had the doctor call you on his phone”. And for the briefest of moments, I thought, “His Blackberry? It died? That’s why we’re using the doctor’s phone?” Then the doctor said, “Like I was just telling Blaine, I can’t give you a definitive answer until the tumor board meets later this week, but from what I’m looking at, things look good. The head and neck scans don’t show any new growth or problems.”

{awkward speaker phone pause}

And I said, “Um, ok. What about the shoulder?” and steeled myself for the blow.

And he replied, “Again, I’ll want to meet with the oncologist to be sure, and review those scans as well, but for now it looks good.”

And I was all sort of confused, like … what? Looks good? What does that mean?

So I said, “You mean it’s not cancer?”

“No,” he said, “I don’t think its cancer.”

And because I am seriously an idiot, I literally asked him, like Forrest Gump, “So, that’s good, right?”

The rest of the conversation was a complete blur, and Blaine said I sounded very, very thick and addled and stupid on their end of the phone. That’s because the rational, thinking part of my brain had completely shut down and simply couldn’t move past “It’s not cancer”. So I just mumbled “OK”, “I see”, and “Thank you” a whole lot.

Then we ended the call, and I hung up my cell phone. And put my hands and my head on the steering wheel, and burst into tears.

With my head bowed, I said a prayer and thanked God that it wasn’t lung cancer, and asked for continued resilience for the challenges he *is* facing. Then I raised my head, wiped my eyes, and took a deep breath. Only instead of looking at the Rhino Games across the strip mall, what flashed before my eyes was a vision of the retirement problem we’ve been facing.

{I know, I say “vision” and you think I’m going all psychic-turban-crystal-ball on you, but I swear that’s not it.}

It was like God suddenly put that problem right in my face, and the thought that went through my mind was, “None of that matters, as long as we are together and healthy.”

To be clearer, the exact thought that went through my head was, “How could you be such a shallow, selfish, greedy bitch? Can’t you see that none of that matters, as long as you are together and healthy? Pull your head out of your ass, you ignoramous, and quit feeling sorry for yourself. You have a family that loves you, three beautiful children, and for today, a husband who has been given a {relatively} clean bill of health. Get. Over. Yourself.”

And, so. I’m trying really, really hard to get over myself. I just needed that reminder, about what is important, and what is not. And how sometimes what we think is important? Really isn’t.

We didn’t get the “official” results from the tumor board until late Friday afternoon, but the oncologist felt the same; no lung cancer. They think it’s a benign hematoma, nothing more, from the surgery in November, and are prescribing physical therapy to help with the range of motion issues. We are moving forward with the next surgery on his mouth, which will take place at the end of this month. We are still working hard to get his sleep and pain issues under control, but hopefully will be seeing progress soon.

Most of all, it was a serious kick in the pants, that reminded me about what is important, and what is not.

All of the time, you should not sweat the small stuff. Sometimes, you should not even sweat the big stuff. And sometimes, the stuff you think is big, is really small.

Ever since Kendrie was diagnosed with cancer, I have had very little patience or empathy for people who whine about their problems, which aren’t really problems, but instead are nuisances or annoyances. And without realizing it, I had turned into one of those people. To be fair, this retirement issue is more than a petty annoyance. It’s the re-routing of a plan, twenty years in the making. It’s letting go of a dream that we’ve held dear for a very long time. But you know what? That’s all it is. It’s not my husband, or my child, being diagnosed with cancer. It’s not someone I love dying in a car accident, or being injured in Iraq, or contracting a fatal illness, or being shot and killed by a disgruntled co-worker. THOSE things are problems.

So if I could make you think, or remind you of just one thing today, it’s to hold dear the people that you love, and say a prayer of thankfulness for their good health, and your good fortune. It’s amazing how much better you will feel, if you can let go of any unnecessary baggage you might be carrying around. I’m still not sure how we’re going to resolve our retirement issue, at least not to our total happiness, but as long as Blaine and the kids are with me, and we can do it together, I’ll quit feeling sorry for myself about the small stuff. Our happily ever after still exists over the rainbow, and we’ll get there, just maybe in a different way. What matters is we get there together.

{Yes, I know, totally schmaltzy, but sometimes it takes a little schmaltz to get it through my thick head that I’ve been a jackass for far too long.}

PS. I pick Clyde.


Anonymous said...

Kristie, yes thank you for reminding us to not sweat the small stuff. I just moved to a whole new place and don't have any friends. But I need to remember that my husband and children are here and healthy and isn't that what is important?

But also, are you not moving back to OK when Blaine retires? I really am curious..(sounds better than nosy!) Do tell...

Claire in TX

Amy said...

Well. The tears are rolling here. I've said that over and over and over and over and over and over (get the point?) since my Ger died. Nothing matters if you don't appreciate what you do have, because you CAN lose it in the bling of an eye, I did. Thankfully, for the most part, I DID appreciate what I had, but since I'm only human I DID have my moments and I DO feel guilty as hell about being a jackass now and then.

Yep, sometimes you just have to be slapped up alongside the head to get it. I'm glad you do Kristie! And CONGRATULATIONS, I am so so happy that the news was good!


Anonymous said...

It is ironic that this post happened on the same day as the worst school shooting in U.S. history. I am thinking and thanking God that my problems are NOTHING compared to the parents and the families of those killed today or of any parent who has to bury a child. Yes, today your blog did not make me laugh (and that is okay) it made me think and that is a good thing. Thank you!!!

Amy said...

That was supposed to read *blink* of an eye!

Amy said...

Oh, one more. I think Clyde too!

Anonymous said...

Great news about Blaine's results! I'm so happy that y'all are able to continue moving forward with his reconstruction and that life will be back to "normal" soon.

Anonymous said...

So happy to hear the good news. Sad that it takes something like this, or the tragedy in Virginia, to give us a new, healthy perspective. All the best with the next surgery and other recovery plans.

Would love to hear about the retirement plans and re-plans. It sounds like another interesting tale of the Escoes.

And what happened AFTER you finalized Brayden's adoption? You left us hanging!

Pat in CA said...

I'm so glad that the news was good!! Congratulations! Now, ARE you moving back to OK or not?? :-)

Pat in CA

Anonymous said...

Kristie, what AWESOME news about Blaine's cancer!! Wooohoooo!
And even wonderful news about his shoulder! Yeah! I had thought it happened too soon after the surgery to be cancer, but I was holding my breath for you!
I do understand about retirement plans---it's a moving target now-a-days!
Lots of hugs and love!......regina

Anonymous said...

We have been wondering and waiting and are so happy about Blaine. I'm running off to tell Eamonn right now. Really, words cannot express how happy I am for you!

Ditto on Clyde. How 'bout Apolo!?

Anonymous said...

Heaving a big sigh of relief tonight! What great news, somethingi I have been praying to hear. Tell us more about the retirement problems, we like to know all the facts!

Postcard Cindy

Anonymous said...

How is it that someone you don't know and will probably never meet (even though you'd just love to) can reduce you to tears and make you wish so much good for their family? This was the perfect day to post your happy news. We needed it!

I assumed you were headed to OK soon. I'm also curious to know what derailed those plans. I noticed CA wasn't on your list of preferred places to live. You'd love Northern CA!

Bless you!

Dixie (in Northern CA)

P.S. Adios Clyde and You Go, Apolo!!!

Anonymous said...

So glad to read about Blaine, not a day goes by that I don't say a prayer for him. Your blog also made me think today. I am so grateful for my family. I am also mourning the loss of lives at VT. We spent Sat. and Sun. there with our daughter, (her dream to attend VT). I can't imagine what it is like there now.
As always you have a gift for putting your emotions out there for all, thanks for sharing. As you were telling about the phone call I felt like I was there also.

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear the scan results were good. You know, ever since the day Marielle was diagnosed and the doctor called us herself to tell us the news, I also have a fear of the doctor himself or herself calling...just the thought gives me chills. Glad it wasn't what you thought it was.

As for retirement, as long as it's not L.A., it can't be that bad, can it?


Anonymous said...

So glad to hear the good news about Blaine!!! I'm also curious about the retirement plan change. I also have the little happy vision in my head of what things will be like when the time for retirement comes! It's also good for me to get the reminder (with all of this annoying move crap goin on) to keep in mind what's really important.
Lisa H.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the credit but I truly enjoy reading your blog and it DOES make me think. I was really into your other online journal but I am so glad you moved here!!!!!

Leece said...

Oh Kristie - I need to read this again, I've had to skim because I'm flying out of the door to work. But you ARE SO RIGHT. The small stuff is just that, small stuff. I would give my world, my everything to have Ronnie back, and I'm actually in tears to know that for today, for you, the sun is shining and you have a retirement with your husband to plan. Enjoy the day. Hug Blaine. Eat Cake. Its the law.

cakeburnette said...

Great news about Blaine! Oh, and a related not to the K-I-S-S-I-N-G post: Blaine's good news means maybe some of the Cowboys games next year will involve some beer! :) (BTW, the schedule is out...we need to schedule our viewing parties.)

Thanks for the great, thought-provoking post. Know that we'll be praying for happy outcomes no matter what.

Anonymous said...

Kristie, I have been following your family's story ever since a little Banana pointed us towards Kendrie's battle. This is my first time posting and I must say I think you are being far too hard on yourself, I mean sure compared to some of the bigger stuff you have faced a kink in your retirement plans might seem small, but when all you have ever wanted is something sure to count on it kind of blows to have it taken from you. Really one of these little bumps on the road has got to be the one that blows the tire out, right? Then again even if it is "not quite what you had planned" I am ever so happy for your family that you are able to breathe and enjoy the here and now together. Congrats on the good news......

Bridget in Canada

Anonymous said...

A very wise person told me one time that a REAL PROBLEM is one that no amount of money can fix...Everything else is just stuff..
I come here almost every day to be entertained and you hit a home run...Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure I don't speak just for myself when I say that we're interested in the retirement "issue". I hope you're still moving back to OK because I think this state will be a better place with your family in it. Also, it amazes me that you don't think you inspire thinking. Kristie, I have never met anyone who has SO much thrown at them and handles it all with the grace you do. You probably don't see it, but you are always talking about "the important stuff" and you put a lot of things into perspective daily. (But I have to agree, I mostly avoid "thinking" blogs other than yours, of course, because my brain hurts if I think too much.)

Anonymous said...

Oh Kristie - what wonderful news about Blaine! I know he still has challenges to face with the coming surgery - but what a relief to know that the shoulder situation is benign.

So - what does retirement look like for you guys? It's out our minds right now, too. Love to hear your plans.

Unknown said...

Kristie, once again you move me to tears, make me laugh, and make me smile...and make me feel like an idiot for stressing over some truly small stuff in my life. I'm so happy and thrilled and relieved for you and Blaine!!! It's about time you guys got some truly good news. Now about that retirement thing...I understand the whole thing about wanting to be around family (hence the reason I ended up in Georgia, of all places!)...but I certainly wouldn't mind if your plans changed and you stayed here! Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Amen sister Kristie! What a touching post today. I'm so happy to hear that Blaine got good news and things are moving along. A touch of good news on a day like yesterday, makes things look a little better. Those families from VT are in my prayers.... What a crappy, crappy day!

Like others though, I'm nosy as hell. What is going on with Blaine's retirement?

Kristin in NC

Anonymous said...

So what *IS* the retirement problem?! I waited until the very end of the blog thinking you were going to tell us and you didn't.....of course we want to know!

Anonymous said...


I'm so glad to hear the good news about Blaine!

Sue (ALL-Kids)

Anonymous said...

The Escoes, my family and I are ecstatic about your news. I have been waiting for this update. I was praying so hard for you to receive this news. I have to say you made my heart skip a few beats when you were telling the story; I was afraid to read the bottom. I am truly thankful for your great news.

I too am waiting for your next update on the arrival of Kellen and the rest of the story .

Stacey, Missouri

And dang it I didn't get to watch DWTS last night, so I can't vote.

Anonymous said...

Kristie, I have been reading your writings for a long time and have only posted in your guestbook a few times. Today you touched me like never before. I wanted to hold your hand while you waited to speak to the doctor. Thanks for reminding us all what is really important.


Anonymous said...

Not only do you entertain me (always! I come here for smiles and laughs and I always leave fulfilled!)but you also make me think, and make me feel. That was a great reminder, and I love you for it! I have grown to love GA, but I was born and raised in VA (my mother is from Roanoke) and I am an AF brat, so it's been too many years since I have spent time in the state I was blessed to grow up in. Today is such a day of sadness - thank you for reminding me what matters. We all need to remember it more often.

Anne B. in Roswell, GA

Anonymous said...

PS - I know your 'retirement' will be gloriously happy if not quite what you had planned!!


Unknown said...

Thank you for the priceless reminder Kristie.

I'm sorry it took such a scare to realize where things lie but I've found us humans unfortunately take a smack upside the head sometimes to see things straight. I don't know what the changes to your retirement vision are and know they probably suck big time (this is your cue to tell us...) because you wouldn't have made them an issue if they weren't, but you're right on the bottom line. If you've got love, health and happiness, everything else will sort itself out.

For the record, I think you've deserved yourself some quality whining time.


Anonymous said...

What a great post to remind us of what is truly important. I'm so glad to hear that no one thinks Blaine has lung cancer. I hope the surgery at the end of the month goes well and he can get to feeling better.

p.s. I pick Clyde, too.

Anonymous said...

It is not fun when the dr himself calls. That just happened with my husband's CT scan. We have to wait 3 months to see if the spot on his lung grows. He didn't even go for the CT for the place they found. He went in for another problem.I am terrified but trusting that it is nothing. I am glad that Blaine's test came back good. I really enjoy your blog. I used to keep up with you and your family on the caringbridge site.


Anonymous said...

Kristie, I left the house this morning all pissed off because my fiance' wants to go to a strip club for his bachelor party, and your post just sucked all the joy right out of that pissy mood! LOL! You're right - I'm sweating small stuff when there are parents of more than 30 kids in VA who are devastated today by an unspeakable loss. Thanks for the reminder.


kim-d said...

Kristie--I agree with anybody and everybody else who said your blog DOES TOO make me think--nana nana boo boo! Seriously, it makes me think, it makes me laugh, and today it made me cry. I am so relieved about Blaine...SO RELIEVED. It is almost seven years since I got the call, at work, from the doctor himself. I felt it again for you. I am so, so happy yours and Blaine's has a "happy ending." YEAH, BABY!!!! (she does that lame fist-pump thing). And I really need to know what changed with your retirement plans. Cause needless to say, my retirement plans changed, too, since I will no longer have anyone to spend it with. But, ya know what? It'll be okay; for your family and for me and my family and anybody else who wants it to be so, it'll be okay. Sometimes I just really heart you, in that friendship-type of way :)! Have a wonderful day!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristie: So glad that Blaine's test results were good. Know how upset you had to be when the doctor himself called you. All kinds of crazy things go through one's mind. Now, are you moving to OK or are you staying in Ga. when Blaine retires?

Anonymous said...

I have read your entries for a long time but never commented. I did try and sign in once but the whole "google sign in" threw me.

I just had to respond to this entry. I live in Virginia and the sadness that has surrounded our community with the VA Tech killings has left me so very sad. Your entry really hit home for me (and left me in tears). I will continue to keep you, Blaine and Kendrie in my prayers. Maureen

Anonymous said...

You are very right. Your family, and many others who deal with major issues with such grace and humor, make us realize how lucky we are to heave our health. Something that we all take for granted. However, we all have a right to put on our pissy pants (mine are pink) and get upset about the small stuff. Then 15 minutes later we have to take them off and GET OVER IT!!! Depending on the issue, it could take more or less time. 15 minutes being the average. For example, not being able to sleep in past 6:01am because your son learned to climb out of the crib- 3 minutes every single morning. Weekends, 1/2 hour while you try to convince him that it is not morning yet and he needs to go back to sleep. Another example, needing a new car exahause system costing more money than you have in your checking account- about 20 minutes until you figure out how to pay for it and realize how lucky you are to be safe and actually have funds somewhere (thank you Visa) to pay for the repair. I don't know the details of your relocation/retirement plan (maybe I missed a post) but, You get at least 15 minutes a day to be pissy-that is a huge decision to make. You will probably talk yourself out of being pissy after 15 minutes, get pissy again the next day and have to start all over again. These things happen. It is part of being a woman! We get pissy! Enjoy you pissy pants and be sure to put them on when you need them! Not for too long though- they are kind of tight and uncomfortable! LOVE YOUR POSTS!!! Kathy from Pa.

Anonymous said...

Oh Thank God Kristie!!!!! I've been praying for Blaine and your family, and am so, so relieved to read your good news. Thanks so much for reminding us to be happy where we are in life.

By the way, you're blog ALWAYS makes me think. Granted, most of the time when I'm reading it I think "this chick is friggin hilarious!" But hey, that is most certainly thinking!!!!

Beth said...

Congrats on the good news. Praise God. He DOES have a way of kicking us in the pants when needed.

Continuing to pray.

Unknown said...

I am so happy that Blaine had a good appointment and that the shoulder ISNT cancer. Im sorry that your plans have to be shifted but you are right. As long as your family is whole, that is what is most important. It is hard to give up a dream though especially when that dream was a big part of your life for so long. Please dont feel bad for feeling bad. You have earned your right to complain. (in my opinion) Whine away!!! That is what always amazed me about you. Life has obviously dealt you a shitty hand and no matter what the situation is (was) you have brought out the best in it!! That is what makes you so inspiring. I know that one day all your dreams will come true no matter how minute you think they may be.. you deserve it..

and for all the people who feel the need to come here and make negative comments.. get a life.. ha!!

TV Comment.. My favorite show is Roseanne.. I still watch it.. (10pm on nick at night) That is about the only show I watch on tv)

Take care Kristie
Congratulations Blaine!!

Anonymous said...

Great news about Blaine! I am "curious" about the retirement issue. I grew up in Warner Robins with my parents working civilian jobs on the base. Georgia is a nice place, but I was sure you were going back to OK. Have you committed a crime that probits you from returning? :-) Please do tell.....

Anonymous said...

Hi, Kristie.
I am a long time lurker but
don't think I have ever posted.
Today I just wanted to say
PRAISE GOD for the good news.
And thank you for the post, I am the world's biggest worrier but I always try to tell myself not to sweat the small things. Sometimes I forget that and need a reminder. So now I am going to sign off and get down on the floor with my 2 healthy, beautiful, sweet babies and play with them a little longer today.

Love and Prayers
Kristy in WV

Stacie from MN said...

Great news about Blaine!!! Your family deseves more good news like that! Of Course, I am just as nosey as everybody else, so I am anxiously awaiting hearing about the change to your retirement plans. It felt kind of like a "to be continued" TV show.

Anonymous said...

I am a lurker in the wings of your blog. I absolutly love reading your thoughts. You are so great of a writer. I am so thankful that Blaine's test results are all ok and "dealable". That is a good reminder for all of us to love our families and be thankful for each day no matter what the circumstances, especially when so many families are hurting from the virginia shooting. Wendy from Minnesota

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristie,
The best thing about the crap my family has gone through this year is that we really really really appreciate what we have and what we lost. We in one fell swoop lost our retirement, savings and health. However, my DH is thankful that I'm his wife (really!) and we do treasure our kids even more...and we didn't lose our car or house (gasp!) Glad to hear the good news about Blaine,
Debbie E.
Peachtree City, GA

Anonymous said...

{{{SIGH}}} of relief and big prayer of thanks for Blaine's test results. And since I'm just as concerned (i.e. NOSY!!!) as everyone else - I'll jump on the "so just where WILL you retire" bandwagon with the others and say my curiosity is piqued as well. Also, what the heck IS a hematoma?? It sounds like something I should remember from college, but alas, don't. Hema = something about blood, right??

Anonymous said...

Thank you Lord! The words we've been waiting to read!! Best of luck to you Blaine on your upcoming surgeries, we will be praying for the best outcome and a fast recovery. Now Kristi, for the retirement problems, of course we want to know your delima's, come on, we're waiting! Thanks for the graphic phone conversation, I felt like I was right there sitting next to you, holding your hand of course, we love ya'll! P.S. I'm not really anonymous, just can't remember my password, this is Tammy in Texas, been following Kendrie for over 2 years now!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I just googled hematoma - migration of blood, can limit range of mobility and mimic the symptoms of a fracture, yadayadayada.....but, how the heck did the blood get all the way down to past his shoulder??!! Poor Blaine! Tell him to hang in there!

Mixed Up Me said...

HI Kristie,
I am very happy to hear your phone call turned out well . . . I almost didn't want to continue reading when you said the doctor called from his phone, but I knew you had to call back and face your fears, so I did too!

I too read blogs for entertainment mostly, but often while I am being entertained I am also receiving subliminal messages that I later think about (like, why do lazy children just decide they don't want money instead of getting up to help the family find Mom's notebook! My child would do the exact same thing!!) . . . Thank you for reminding me to hold my loved ones a little closer and a little tighter today!

Have a great day!

Ryan in Ca

Anonymous said...

Oh, one more thing - I just saw on MSN that Apollo Ohno got 3 "10's" from the judges on the last DWTS's....he's from Seattle, you know!! Yeah! It's all the coffee, for sure!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Kristie -
every once in a while, you need to step back and take that big deep breath and realize somewhere, people have bigger problems then your own. Right now that place is Virginia Tech. Thanks for slowing me down a bit.
On a side note...I HOPE that somewhere in your black & white floral notebook under "things to do" there are the following entries:
Finish Kellen's birth day
Start Kendrie's
Retirement - change of plans

If those entries weren't there regarding the next things to blog about...I hope you are smiling as your write them down!! Curious (nosy) minds are still wanting to know the nitty gritty details..remember we have no lives so must live through yours!!

You Rock


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder that no one cares that I'm fat, no one cares that my bathrooms are dirty, and that I'm not the center of the universal. Well said, Kristie. Thanks.

Yeah, Blaine!

Anonymous said...

So happy to hear the good news about Blaine and will definitely keep him in my prayers as he undergoes more surgery and all that entails!

Mary in Illinois

p.s. Many thanks to you for this truly came at a time I needed it!!

p.p.s. I agree with all your other curious readers that we want to know the details of how your family continued to well as where said family will end up next year!
p.p.p.s. I pick Clyde, too! :)

Anonymous said...

So glad to hear the good news about Blaine.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! I'm so glad to hear that you got good results from Blaine's scans! And as far as learning not to sweat the small stuff, we just re-learned that lesson last month when the tornado ripped apart my son's high school and he was sitting literally a few feet from the kids who were killed! It's an important lesson to re-learn, but usually it takes a not-so-nice experience to knock it back into your head. I'm so happy for your happy news! Good luck with the retirement plans. As a retired military spouse, I can tell you that things don't usually work out exactly as you plan, but they do usually work out for the best.

Enterprise, AL

Anonymous said...

GREAT NEWS!!! I'm sorry to hear of the glitch in your retirement plans, but I am so thankful that you are looking at retirement together!

Anonymous said...! I'm crying. I'm so thankful. Woo hoo! Praise God! I don't even know you and I could hug you and pick you up and spin you around!!! You should know that I'm a SERIOUS panic person when it comes to medical issues. Seriously, I think I'm shell-shocked. I guess having a child's life on the line for a long time (and praising God that he survived and is doing well) and going through medical scares of my own will do that to ya.... including losing the top lobe of my left lung to histoplasmosis (yes, Bird Poop Disease....thanks to our friendly Midwest birds and their crappy fungal spores in the air and soil...and no, I don't play with bird poop)....but anyway, I'm rambling. Sorry. When I was reading your journal and you started talking about the results I felt myself start to panic. I'm just freaky like that. I had to QUICKLY scroll down and read some reassuring words before I could go back and read the whole entry. I'm so very thankful for Blaine's good report. And I agree with you about people who complain a lot about what we consider to be unnecessary. Don't you just want to tell them, "Get a REAL problem!"? Bless you. Well, actually, you've ALREADY been blessed. May you CONTINUE to be blessed! Thanks for sharing.

Claire in Indiana

Anonymous said...

Hi Kristie~~
I agree--Clyde has GOT to go! Thanks for your inspiring post--we all need that kind of reminder once in a while. Oh, and I read blogs for entertainment also--yours is at the top of my list. I do relate to your writing style. My prayers are still with Blaine--especially with his next procedure coming up.
Kim in Seattle

Anonymous said...

Kristie, thank you so much for the REMINDER! We all need it from time to time.

I am so glad Blaine received good news from his scans. I pray that all goes well with the upcoming surgery.

And, please tell us where you have to go when you retire and why. That is, if you want to!

Hazel in Texas

Anonymous said...

Kristie, so glad about Blaine's news, and I hope things continue to go well for him in that department. And as someone who often, well actually, ALWAYS cries in the car, I could picture your scene in the Wal-Mart parking lot so well.

Hang in, and keep your wonderful perspective.

Karen, Clare's mom from ALL-Kids

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the good news.
It is funny that you should write the "thinking" post today...
I picked up Anna Quindlan's book,"A Short Guide to a Happy Life" last night...And like your post, it puts life in perspective. I highly recommend it to anyone whenever you need a life check!

Anonymous said...

Just beautiful. thank you for the wake up call. unfortunatley, we all need them on a regular basis...
mary cron schulman
san diego, ca

Anonymous said...

Such good news! Thank goodness.

Now you have two topics that you MUST follow up on: finish the fertility story through Kendrie and the surrogate pregnancies, and your changed retirement plans.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the crap sandwich has finally been sent back to the damn kitchen! Great news on Blaine, and a good reminder for all of us.

The city of Bend today did give me some hope for the future. Dare I even dream it: Sonic is coming to town!!!! Rabbit pellet ice is but a few months away

Bend, OR

Anonymous said...

Dear Kristie,
How wonderful that the doctor's think that Blaine's results are good!! I would have been the same as you, shaky and unable to speak/think clearly, the stress you have been under for so long must be pretty wearing and waiting for the results of 'those tests' must really have made your blood pressure rise a lot I'm sure!

Sorry to hear you have problems regarding the retirement plan, I hope you can make it work out to your satisfaction. My husband has worked for the same company (American) for 40 years, they recently sold out to another American company and things are not going well now. He'd like to retire but we are still supporting our son, our daughter has just finished university and is writing her thesis so she can soon find a job but our son has a year to go and now we are expected to make our 7th move for the company, to Alsace, (we've lived in 3 countries and learned 2 new languages, which hasn't been good for my career, and now I end up with virtually no pension!) On the other hand we speak 3 languages and our kids are perfectly tri lingual, so what if we don't have much a pension and my husband has to work until he's 65 or more!

We were very shocked to hear about the shooting incident in Virginia, how dreadful. Shouldn't the laws be changed in America now regarding the right to bear arms? There are too many sick people/nutters about nowadays to allow people to own guns without thorough police checks into people's backgrounds like we have here in Europe.
You are right about making the most of our time with our families, this incident reminds us once again of that.
Take care,
Love Angela

Anonymous said...

Well, Kristie...most of the time you make me laugh, you always make me smile, and this time you did make me think. Your entry made me think of an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition that aired this Sunday. There was a quote from the father of the family (who died of cancer, go figure) that was really great: "There are lots of things to think about, but nothing to worry about".

Anonymous said...

Hey Kristie,

Awesome news!!! Been praying for good news for Blaine! North Dakota would take you back in a heartbeat - well at least I would love to have you here! Your family has been an inspiration to me for a long time and I wish you all only the best!

Steph in ND!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Kristie
I agree with everything you said. AFter realizing my neice was OK at this nightmare of a Virginia TEch accident the drama of locking my keys in the car and getting a flat tire didn't matter at all. When I finally recived word that she was able to get out of the building and to her dorm I balled and balled. All in all your entry said it all. What are the problems with the retirement plans ?

Anonymous said...

its about time you get some good news...
we only have 2 years left before "retirement", its kind of scary to think of not being military anymore!

Cindy said...

This is not a thinking blog? Oh I would like to disagree! Wow. You have just written some really profound stuff.

My husband and I are going through some major (for us) stuff, and have been getting to the same bottom line that you long as we're together, we can do anything.

But to carry the load that you have been handed, and to still come at it with the attitude of "don't sweat the small stuff" is inspiring!

I'm so glad I've found your blog.

Anonymous said...

You know, I enjoy your silliness, but think I love the "real" you better. Hang in there Kristie.

Anonymous said...

That makes me so happy!

BTW - What are the retirement issues?
... Claire, I am not curious - I am just nosy!) LOL

Oak Park, CA

Anonymous said...

Hooray for Blaine, and for all of you! I completely understand the relief that came over you, and the tears that went with it!

Since losing my 6 year old nephew, my 3 year old and 21 year old children and my wonderful father, I have realized that NONE of the little crap is important. It's just not.

Praying for more good results for Blaine, and for his upcoming surgery.

Anonymous said...

I have followed your site/sites for years. I love you and your family and your awesome story telling. I just have to tell you that you rocked my world today with that story. I have been married 15 years, 3 kids, stay at home (never at home) mom, You know the story - and I have to tell you I have kind of been in a funk lately. Mainly just feeling sorry for myself about how hard I work and everything I do blah blah blah. And I really haven't been liking my husband lately b/c of course he is to blame for all of my problems. You know cringing when he walked in the room and rolling my eyes when he talked or I saw his number on the caller ID. Really didn't have any reason for this - it just made me feel like I had somebody to take something out on. So, I read your story about Blaine and I could picture you sitting in your car and crying and it made my cry. What the hell am I mad about? What in the world is my problem? NOTHING!!! I am the luckiest girl in the world. Three healthy, happy children. Great friends. My family is in town with me - I can call anytime I need them. AND as much as I hate to admit it a husband who adores and loves me who lets me act like a total b---- for no reason and loves me anyway. AND I can't imagine if anything ever happened to him. Thank you for waking me up. I think I will call him right now and tell him I love him. Thanks Kristie! You are the best!!! AND Thank God for the great news on Blaine!!

Anonymous said...

Bless your heart. I'm so glad you got good news - so glad. Right now, we're going through these weekly or bi-weekly blood tests to see whether or not my baby's cancer has come back, and I can totally relate to the whole "throwing up on the checker at wal-mart feeling" While I'm waiting on that phone call every Tuesday, I clutch that phone to make sure I don't miss that ring, and alternate between "It's going to be good news" to "It's going to be through the roof, and we'll be in the hospital tomorrow." But the whole time I've got this awful nausea and nervousness so bad I swear I could have a heart attack! Anyway, we got good news yesterday too, so the load is lifted for a while, and I've done the whole crying on the steering wheel thing too. Cancer sucks! Thanks for sharing.

Cook My Book said...

Schmaltz ROCKS. And so do you and yours. :) Hell yeah for Blaine!

(and the loser freak who spammed the hell out of Kendrie's site? WTF??)

Anonymous said...

Ok so I am going to show you what a big ol' dork I am... you posted a wonderful blog that helps remind all of us to look at all the things that we have going right in our lives, and the lives of those we love and hold dear, because you never know when something like a phone call (or even a lack of one) can change all that ... and as I am reading your words all I can think of is ... Who is singing this song?? What a fantastically fun version it is!! (and I didn't think it could get any better than the version by Israel 'Iz' Kamakawiwo'le -- or as my kids call it 'the Hawaiian guy's rainbow song)

So, if it is not too incredibly pathetic of me ... could you please tell me (us) who is singing this song?

Glad to hear Blaine's results were so good!

Anonymous said...

At work I have a framed "inspirational" message that says, "If you really want to be happy, nobody can stop you." It is credited to Sister Mary Tricky. I try to remember that everyday.