Sunday, September 18, 2011


"The Blanket"  - The AMAZING group of women around me that COVER each other when we hit a patch of our life that needs a little warmth, love and comfort.
I am blessed with an amazingly perfect BLANKET - carefully designed with love, intention, selflessness, and even perfect in it's flaws and frays......

I am recovering from surgery & in an instant these women surrounded me, COVERED ME - showed up at the hospital, sent e-mails and calls of encouragement, facebook messages,have prayed for me, have taken time and money to feed my family for over a week, washed dishes, given me hugs, taken my kids to and from school...........have loved me well and kept me warm!

A blog entry that my best friend Julie shared this e-mail with me as she was arranging meals for me:

When I sent out the initial email I talked about a blog I recently read that talked about her close network of friends that she refers  to as 'the net'...there to catch each other when they need it.  

This woman's blog is too cool. You have to read the birth story of her daughter who has downs.  AMAZING.  

But first, here is the post I was talking about...  "The Net"   

You are an amazing friend, Ashley and the amount of women who are a part of your 'net' is a testament to the kind of friend you are.  

I know it is hard for you to receive but know that we want to help you because of the kind of friend you are to everyone else.  

love you!!

Thank you Julie for sharing this and provoking reflection, gratefulness and a new perspective for my recovery.  Instead of being frustrated with I cannot do - I can focus on what I am gaining right now.

When I read the blog entry - it sent me into a grateful reflection of the women (& their beautiful families) that God has strategically placed in my life and me into theirs.  I decided to name our group of women. Each hold their own pain, loss, joys, triumph, gifts -  being used for purpose.  With love behind it all - we are all sewn together. "THE BLANKET"
They have covered me in love - not just these last few weeks, but almost 3 years ago (oh my, can't believe it has been that long) when we said goodbye to my sweet mom.  Oh how I needed them then......and they showed up in ways that I will be thankful for and carry with me forever.

Sometimes they show up in small times of need - encouragement for a race I have or just sharing perspective for a rough day .......... and then there's the big ones, that take us all covering each other until we are warm enough.......rested enough.....repaired enough.......loved on enough...........
to take our place in "the blanket" and are ready & able to cover someone else.
It is amazing how we are all connected.

Each unique and planned for their place.  Some are family and friends who are a part of my every day, and some are just as important to my life - they reach out and respond in a time of need.  All of our lives go through ups and downs - times when we give to each other and times when parts of "the blanket" are frayed and need to take time for repair -  and they receive covering.  We share in each other's joys and tragedies, we celebrate and we cry together and I am left in "awe" of God's obvious construction of this beautiful piece of His art work.  A perfect pattern........

A little piece of the LOVE sent my way his week- a breakfast basket
 from my beautiful friends Eryn & Audrey!!

The Blanket - MY BLANKET..........
I am simply blessed and deeply grateful.  
Thank you for COVERING me ladies.  I am staying warm, recovering well and feeling VERY loved  and will be ready and honored to re-claim my piece of the blanket and cover you soon!!

Who covers or catches you in your life???
Maybe think of letting them know how grateful you are for them.......

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Post-surgery tailgating and my underwear in a Bio Hazard bag = interesting weekend

The infamous Warrior Dash - where mud, fun, & challenge collide.  That's what I had marked on my calendar for Sunday...............Not so much!

This is what I wore proud this weekend

Last week I posted about going into the emergency room and being diagnosed with kidney stones.  I was sent home with pain meds and told to wait for it to pass.  Well, things changed.  I ended up with a high fever and feeling significantly worse - and a lot of the severe pain was in my abdomen.  Back to the hospital I went. After 9 hours of exams, tests, scans and 3 different doctors - I had an answer.  Ruptured Ovarian cyst that was still bleeding.  I needed surgery.......

Surgery went well.
Home recovering (slower than I want to be - but indeed on the mend).
Still trying to digest how this will effect my running.  My doctor said it will take a month to get my blood supply fully back and though the incisions are small, that they did do a lot internally and I need to give everything time to heal.  She said I need to start off with walking when I am in the clear.....WALKING??  Starting over??? Like I said - Still digesting that piece of this.

But - what I am SO grateful for is that what I am going through is mild compared to other health issues those around me have and are facing.  I can only claim gratefulness for that.

And a few things to laugh about..........
Some of you know that I am extremely blessed with a lot of family near me.  So- I had quite the support team there between family and friends.  My dad and stepmom were at the beach when I went into the hospital and when my sister called them, they packed up and headed to the hospital with their camper trailer in tow.  
They all waited around to hear that "All was good" after surgery and then...................WENT SURGERY TAIL-GATING!!  Haven't you heard of it?? It's the latest craze.
Yes, they all the gathered around the back of the camper, pulled out camping chairs, chips and salsa & BEER - and had a little tailgate party in the hospital parking lot.  Keeping it Classy............

Gotta love my family & friends!!  This isn't everyone, but SO glad my sister
got a picture.  Makes me smile!!

 And if the weekends events were not memorable enough.....
When my husband was getting things together in the hospital to head home - we found this:
My underwear - SERIOUSLY???? In a Biohazard bag!!  Is that necessary???  Cracks me up!!!

Who needs the Warrior Dash when you have tailgating and underwear in a Biohazard bag.....
Back to recovering :)  .

Friday, September 9, 2011

Do you listen to your body??

Something is just off...........
That is what I kept thinking last week.  I felt really run down - which as mom's isn't THAT unusual.
I kept getting achy - especially in my back.  But I wasn't sick.  So I just kept going.  I even went to bed at 8:00 (which s REALLY early for me) one night to hopefully - sleep it off. It was the week before school started and I had a lot to do.  Who wouldn't be worn down - right?  Still - something just wasn't right.
Some girlfriends & I had a girl's weekend planned for the Eugene Women's Half Marathon this last weekend.  It was so fun (more on that later) & I decided since I hadn't felt so good that week and wanted to challenge myself to just "enjoy" a race that I would help my sweet friend Meredith pace herself for a PR.  I have always been intrigued by pacers and wondered if I had it in me to help keep someone at a consistent pace.  I have also been blessed with having friends of mine PUSH me during training runs and REALLY appreciated it - so, I wanted to do it for my friend.  The race went well, Meredith PR'd :) and I felt ok.

The Ladies that ran-  Smiling after the 13.1 was complete!!
More to come about our fun weekend!!

Back at home - I still felt a little off, tired (but who isn't after a race).  Tuesday morning - the kids first day of school!!  My baby's girl's 1st Day of Kindergarten.  My Little Buddy's 1st Day of 2nd Grade. Even amongst all the excitement and tears (mine not theirs) - I was feeling nauseous,  run down -  and was trying to think how you go to your doctor and say, "I know myself -  and something is off."................

First, some pictures of our special morning:

I found this necklace for my sweet girl  that I saved for Kindergarten -
Says "Find your Sparkle"

I think she liked it!!
YES- my little buddy got a school treat too!!

By Babies!!

Her first school desk!!  Brother showed her the ropes!

Can't believe you are already in 2nd Grade - we love you buddy!!!
My handsome boys!!

So - we had a great day!!  But that night - in the middle of the night.  I got sharp pains in my lower abdominal and my lower back ............the WORST pain I have ever felt in my life.  As things got worse - not better - we headed to the ER.  After some tests and scans the Doctor finally gave resolve to the "off" feeling I had all week that had finally come to fruition - I had (& still have) kidney stones.
And yes - I can fully claim that the pain is worse than childbirth!  
So - I am left with an answer.  
Left praying that it passes SOON! 
Thankful for good pain meds
Thankful for my amazing husband, family & friends that have taken care of us
Thankful it hit after our "girl's weekend" & after the 1st day of school
Confused as what this means for this runner with dehydration issues.  Since they said that I will be prone to them now and that dehydration is one of the main causes.........

It has left me a little more confident in the ability to know when something is "off".  Not sure what I would have done different - but certainly motivates me to stay aware of what my body is telling me and trust my instincts.
Do you listen to your body???