Saturday, July 14, 2007

Catch Up If You Can!

Well, I thought I could "catch up" on blogging after a 2 week leave of absence. It's not looking to be as easy a task as I had thought. So much has happened that I want to share. I will try to briefly fill everyone in on a few of the most important events.

First of all, Jim graduated from his CNA training on July 6. I thought he looked so handsome and professional in his scrubs.

He's now been working for a week and really enjoying it for the most part. He's getting to know all of his patients and developing a rapport with them. In fact, he has a "girlfriend" who is trying a little too hard to get him to make out with her! (In case you didn't know, he works at a nursing home, so this is an 80+ woman with Alzheimer's). I'm actually so proud of him--this woman hasn't responded to anyone for a loooong time, and now she just loves Jim! She actually calls him her boyfriend and is very animated when he is around.

The evening of his graduation, we went camping. It was Jim's first time ever camping, and my first time "tent" camping. I always thought I couldn't handle going in a tent--I like camping in a trailer--but it was so much fun! We really didn't want to leave! Ok, so we forgot a lot of things we needed, like the extension cord, a flashlight, bug spray, fire wood, water, paper plates, etc. Thankfully there was a WalMart about 20 minutes down the road, even if it was a WalMart that looked straight from 1985, down to the signs throughout the store, the music playing, and the outfits of workers and patrons alike. And yes, it was unbearably hot all day and most of the night . . .and there were lots of bugs outside, including about 30 ticks we saw on the bottom of a blanket we'd spread under a tree (yikes!) . . .oh, and yes, I saw about 20 skunks scavenging around the other campsites when I came back from the bathroom at 2:30 a.m. And when we went on a 3 mile hike, I have to admit, by the end, I was cursing at Jim for suggesting such an outrageous venture. I almost started crying because I was so tired and mad. Afterwards, though, I was so glad I went, and I would do it again. It was gorgeous. Finding and eating wild growing blackberries was definitely a big plus. The entire experience was wonderful--just to be outdoors, with the air blowing across your back, feeling the sun shine so hot on your shoulders, walking through the woods . . .there's nothing like it. We really had a great time.

Even our little doggen had a good time.

And finally, I wanted to share some things that my mother-in-law from England sent to me recently.

First, I received completely by surprise a package one day. Inside, there was a beautiful necklace.

It is very difficult to capture the beauty and delicacy of the necklace with a camera, but this was the best I could do. The necklace came with a gorgeous card:

It also came with another card describing what each part of the necklace means. First of all, there are two birthstones--a ruby for Brian (July) and an aquamarine for Sawyer (March). Then there is a tiny butterfly. There are various stories from many cultures regarding butterflies, but all signify the transformation of the spirit and the soul, and the unending cycle of life and death. The Celts believed that butterflies were new souls seeking life. It was told that woman became pregnant by swallowing one of these tiny butterfly souls. The card goes on to say, "The metamorphosis of the butterfly is a powerful symbol in so many ways for us when we are grieving. They are the beautiful tiny spark of life that came to us, lighted in our lives for a too brief moment before fluttering away. They are the hope that the transformation that loss brings into our life can result in something different, something beautiful. We may not be the same at the end of our journey, but we have grown, we are able to see things that we could not before. They are the hope that we may swallow that butterfly soul searching for us, and hold a baby in our bodies and in our arms once more."

Finally, the necklace has 2 stones for their healing properties: Blue Agate and Rose Quartz.

The Blue lace agate is a protective stone, guarding against negativity during the grieving process. Its gift is the endowment of a "bold heart." It helps us to develop and realize our inner peace. It is a stone of hope, cleansing, and harmony. It is also a kind and gentle stone, sheltering us during our time of vulnerability.

The Rose Quartz is the stone of love and emotional healing. Its soothing energies gently help the wearer to heal from their loss, to ease their anger, hurt, pain, and fears. It promotes forgiveness and loving, bringing back an emotional balance. It nurtures us during our time of need.
These two stones were also chosen for their color, the colors of the Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness ribbon . . .baby blue and baby pink. These colors symbolize the loss of all babies.
She also sent me a book:

I would highly recommend this to anyone, both mothers and fathers, who have lost their children. It is a wonderful resource.

Then, yesterday, we received another package from England, this time a card and a framed poem for Brian's birthday.

Absolutely perfect. It is already in the boys' nursery. We are so lucky to have two sets of parents who both care so much. They love their grandchildren with all their hearts, and have supported us through this entire process, and we can't thank them enough.

Well . . .there it is! All the major info I can think of for now. You're all caught up (if you made it to the end, as I doubt many of you did, and I wouldn't blame you)! It's a little long-winded, but just think of it as several smaller blogs.

Peace and love to you all!


Aunt Colleen said...

Congrats Jim !!!
I wouldn't go tent camping the bugs and the ground is toooooo hard. The stuf Jim's parents sent are really neat and thoughtful.
I bet it is really hard so far away.

Anonymous said...

Wow! The pics you guys took are gorgeous! Sounds like you had a great time! Its nice to get away like that every now and again. That necklace is so neat and pretty! That was so sweet of your inlaws! Take care and try to post more often!! ~Joni