Tuesday, February 28, 2012


It is said that 'Hindsight is 20/20'...

Rewind back to January 2012:
Groupon had a paintball promotion.  Live-In #2 had a birthday.  In a moment of what I thought was pure brilliance, I decided to buy admission for the whole family to go paint balling as part of live-in #2's birthday gifts. Live-In #2 opened the gift and was tentatively excited.  Live-In #1 looked at me like I had snakes for hair and asked me if I knew what paint balling was.  It was at this point that I began to wonder if this was really such a good idea...

Fast Forward to February 2012:
We have had cabin fever lately.  This is that odd time of year where the holiday hustle and bustle is over, baseball has not yet started and summer is sadly too far off to think about.  The other day when we needed something to do (other than things that needed to be done...like clean the house, clean the yard, etc) Lover remembered we had the paint ball vouchers....

I called the paint ball company where we were to go play to ask them about attire and began to become greatly concerned when the nice man who answered the phone told me to 'wear layers'.  Huh?   So I dutifully told my live-ins to layer it up and they did so in a very efficient manner.  I, on the other hand, did not heed my warning seriously enough.  Trying to wear older clothes in case they got ruined, I put on a long sleeve (way to thin) shirt and a fleece sweatshirt. Before leaving the house I considered the v-neck in my fleece sweatshirt, but foolishly decided it would be ok.

That would be my mistake...

My family and I carefully watched the tutorial video on 'what not to do' in the arena.  I took great care in making sure my live-ins understood the rules so they wouldn't get hurt.  We recieved our masks, paint and paintball guns and were ready to play.

First, I must say while the masks were itchy and annoying, they were my new best friend in round one.  Within  a minute into the first round I was shot in the mask and could only see out of one eye.  This did not hurt.

In round two I learned from the mistakes I made in round one and kept better cover.  Live-in #1 made it about 1/2 way through the round and then got shot.  She was out.  That left me to protect Live-In #3 who was hiding behind me.  My team was dropping like flies and the round was almost over when I got my first real piece of the action.  I caught an unsuspecting opponent off guard and sent him on his way (I think) and I had my sights set on another opponent.  The problem was he had his eye set on me AND was a better aim than I was.  As I was firing off several paint rounds, feeling ever so empowered...I suddenly feel it...

I'd been shot...only everything was happening in slow motion.  I felt myself jerking as one would in a Hollywood movie when they are shot.  I tasted paint spatter... I felt pain...I had to remind myself to breathe...  When I finally got my wits I heard myself yell 'I'm Out' and desperately try to remember what I told my live-ins they had to remember about exiting the arena.  Luckily I made it out...with live-in #3 hot on my heels.

When Lover saw me he said whoever shot me was a good shot...one to the head and one to the heart.  This may be a good time to remind you that I was wearing a v-neck fleece.

So it is true...Hindsight is 20/20...and next time I will definitely wear more layers!

Saturday, February 4, 2012


If you have read my blog from the beginning or even last spring/summer then you would know that my posts have become far and fewer between over the past few months.  At first life got really busy, then life got complicated with new experiences that I wasn't sure how to share and then life got very sad...too sad to talk about.

I have only mentioned my sister (by law, however in spirit every bit My Sister) and her fight against cancer a couple times on my blog.  This is for a couple reasons; first I didn't want to invade her privacy and second I felt completely inadequate in my writing to give any justice to the experience.

But, Stephanie was a huge part of my life in 2011.  I got to know her better in 2011 then I knew her in all the seven years prior.  I helped care for her, tried to help lift her spirits with laughter and went to most all her chemo appointments with her.  During those drives to chemo and during the appointments we would talk and play games and developed a closeness that I will cherish for the rest of my life.

In December, Stephanie passed away.  The loss I feel sometimes feels like a heavy weight on my chest.  Sometimes I still can't believe she is gone, sometimes I am angry that she was taken from our family, from my brother and from her sweet children, and sometimes I feel guilty...that I could have done more to make her time with us even better.  But most often I feel so very sad as I realize again and again that she is never coming back, I cannot call her up to see how she's doing, I can't have her over for dinner, I can't hug her anymore and I will forever miss her.  

I am a person of action.  I have a hard time sitting still and waiting for things to happen, so naturally I start to think about what I can do to get through this difficult time.  My mind keeps going back to 'How can I honor Stephanie?'  The answer is clear, Stephanie was a woman who was a walking example of God's love, compassion, grace and kindness.  She did not hide her love for her Savior, she was not afraid to speak about her faith...so I will follow suit.

I hope I will make her proud.  I hope that one day, when we see each other again in heaven, she will look upon me and smile her beautiful smile and tell me I made her proud.

I love you Stephanie.