Sunday, May 30, 2010

memorial day weekend

It is memorial day weekend so forgive me for getting a bit sappy with this post but I am truly missing my Papal. My Papal was, and always will be my Hero. It has almost been three years now since he passed. I still feel the sting, the heart ache, that I felt when my mom called me in the early morning hours to inform me that he had passed away from an aortic aneurysm. It is something I will never just get over. I deal with everyday. Sometimes I even go out in the field, pretend he is walking beside me and carry on a little conversation.

I'm going to write some memories that I have of Papal. The memories that always pop up when I think about him.

He would pick me up at mamal's right before he went to feed the cows. I would climb in the old truck that was covered in the smell of pipe smoke, chewing tobacco, cow poo and fresh hay. I miss all those smells. When I was younger I would sit in the cab and watch the men throw hay to the cows that were following behind the truck. The cows would see that old truck and take off running towards it because they knew he had food. As I got older I was allowed to stand in the bed of the truck and throw out the hay with the men.

At any random time papal would drive on up to the house with the tractor and pick us grand kids up and take us for a ride. there was one specific time that he hooked a wagon to the back and drove us all up in the wooded part of the property. Mamal packed a picnic and we ate on the tractor before playing cowboys and Indians in the trees.

He bought a buggy from the Amish, hooked the horse up to it and would take all us grand kids down to the convenient store to get ice cream. We thought we were the coolest kids ever to have an Amish buggy.

I wanted a doll house one year so Papal had a small house built for all us grand kids and hooked electric up to it.

I don't know many people who are given the permission to play in the hay barn after the hay has been stacked but our Papal let us! We would spend hours upon hours in the barn loft building massive forts and houses out of the hay bails. It was so much fun. Papal even made us a little club house in the barn by cleaning out the tool shed, putting an on school bus window in the wall and placing an old mail box by the door.

one year after watching us try our best to build a fort using the skid pile our papal had a cool tree house built for us on the farm. It has two windows, a front porch and a screen door.

On the top of one of the hills he put up a massive long tire swing for us. He would take us up there, push us and then sit back in his chair that he always kept in his truck and smoke his pipe while he watched us swing.

What I mainly miss is his smell, his voice, his laugh, hearing him blow his was always so loud. It is so weird to walk into mamal's house and not have the pipe/chewing tobacco smell.

I miss sitting with him for hours talking about nothing.

I miss driving around the farm with him to check on the cows or to feed the fish in the pond.

I miss eating candy bars with him. I miss being pushed in the tire swing by him.

I miss the random funny things he would say. He was notorious for sticking his foot in his mouth.

I miss watching him wash up and shave after a long day on the farm.

I miss the smell of Old Spice.

I miss going fishing with him with the cane pole fishing pole he made for us.

I miss being drug behind a truck, across the field on a inner tube, in the snow.

I miss being taught how to shoot the bee bee gun then told, after I had killed a bucket full of birds "ummm, let's give those birds a're too good of a shot."

I miss watching him make us sling shots out of tree limbs and old shoes.

I miss sitting on the front porch eating the walnuts from the walnut tree that he was cracking.

I miss him teaching me how to drive a stick shift when I was in middle school and finally giving up and letting me loose on the farm "just don't go over the 2nd gear and remember the clutch. I'll be sitting on the front porch to keep an eye on you."

I miss watching him help a mama cow give birth to her calf.

I even miss the life and death conversations we had to have when the mama goat died while giving birth to her baby.

I just miss him and the fun little everyday adventures I would have with him on the farm. I wish Paul and Anna could have gotten to know him but I try my best to show them my Papal through me. I just hope I am as good a parent as he was a Papal. That my children grow up and have all these fantastic memories of their childhood with me.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The house is FOR SALE

Today was rough. I had a great day, I'm happy, blessed, excited, but it was still rough. So rough in fact that as soon as I could find a quite moment I sat at the bottom of the steps and broke down into a puddle of tears and snot.

There is a possibility that Roger will be getting a call from another church. If he does we will be moving. We don't find out until june 6, 2010 and his start date is July4, 2010. The problem is that we just bought our first little home. Yes, we've made it a home.

If this happens then the question is where are we going to live? If he gets the call will he move there and I stay here, at the house, with the two kids until it sells? Will we buy a second house and pray that this one sells? Or will he commute until the house sells? We've even thought about renting it but I just can't stand the thought of some horrid renter messing the house up.

Today we decided to go ahead and put the house on the market.We can always pull it off if the call doesn't come through but we really needed to get the process rolling. It all went way too fast. I think even if it went super slow it would have gone way too fast. It was blur of paper work, picture taking and the last little project of placing a FOR SALE sign in the front yard. As soon as the sign was placed in the yard I had had enough. I couldn't do it anymore. My happy go lucky, fine with anything attitude went flying into the sky and I felt so sick that I thought I was going to vomit. That's when I walked inside and sat on the steps to cry.

Things I love about the house:
1. I can see the top of the church from the front porch and hear the church bells
2. I can walk to the park, the library, the store, to Paul's school and to the church
3. I have a beautiful MASSIVE front porch with a lovely white porch swing
4. The house was built in the 1940's and has been completely remodeled
5. I have two bay windows
6. The massive old tree in the back that the squirrels and birds get fed from!
7. My maiden name in carved into the chimney in the attic.
- when we were looking for a house to buy I prayed to God to give me a sign. A real, see with your eyes sign. While we were looking at this house Roger climbed up in the attic and yelled down "Jess, you are not going to believe this! Come up here and look at this." Carved into the chimney is the name Edgar Singleton. I started to cry. We took it as a sign and bought the house!
8. The door bell is chimes
9. I can ride my bike through the living room and make my mom scream "don't you ride that bike in the house" and respond "HA HA mom it is MY house and MY rules!!"
10. The fire place
11. The old door knobs. Even if they don't have locks and the kids can run in on you at any time (adds some adventure!!)
12.The front steps
13. The chandelier in our bedroom over our bed
14. The beautifully all female mail box
15. It is our first home!

Here are some random pictures in no real order at all:

The day we moved in I decided to slide down the stairs to break the house in.

The door bell chimes. They are music to my ears

Riding my bike through the house always gets giggles out of the kids
Snuggling by the fireplace
The old door knobs

The house

The FOR SALE sign in the front :(

The mail box that Roger thinks is way too female

Edgar Singleton carved into the chimney in the attic

The chandelier in our room

Front porch sittin' on a saturday mornin'

But alas, it is just a house. I get to feeling better when I know that all the people and things within the shell of this old 1940's dream land get to come with me! I;m blessed to at least have these memories of our first home. And if the whole church call thing doesn't work out then well, I guess there will be plenty more summers of front porch sittin', ice te makin', library/park walkin' for me!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Jasper Family Vacation

Roger took off work this week! It was suppose to be our Family Vacation. After talking it over we decided it would be a week long chill out session with the kids. So, we kicked off the chill out session with a whole day full of legos. Paul called it his "Lego Day With Dad." Roger LOVED to play with legos as a child and saved every single little piece he ever had. He has since given them to his son.
Paul always has so much fun playing with his Dad. A WHOLE day playing with Daddy was a little more than he could handle. He was smiling like this all day long!
On Tuesday we packed up with two small children and bravely attempted to go to a baseball game. Once again, Paul was so excited he couldn't contain himself and Anna wanted to eat any and everything she could get her hands on. We got to the ball park an hour early to eat hot dogs and watch them warm up. Then we left after 3 innings because Anna kept kicking the little old man in front of his right in the head.

On Wednesday we took a family trip to the zoo. We ended up buying a year pass so if any one wants to go to the zoo I am all for tagging along! They had a special dinosaur exhibit set up with life size robotic dinos. Anna was terribly frightened by the thing, I had to keep soothing her the whole time but Paul thought it was the BEST thing in the whole wide world. We had to keep telling him that they weren't real but I don't think he believed us.

WE took a brake walking around the park to let them climb on the play ground. They both played that they were monkeys. Anna kept screaming out "This is my climb. Do you see my climb?"

After the zoo trip we headed back home to celebrate with Jesse on his medical school graduation. In true Pack style he made us a fabulous dinner of salmon, peppers, couscous and a one of a kind chocolate desert! I told him we were suppose to be making the dinner but he insisted that he loves to cook for friends. It was a nice evening catching up with Kyle and Jesse before he moves away to do his residence. I can't believe he is already done with medical school. We are all growing up WAY too fast. Makes me sad and happy at the same time.

Today, Thursday, was Paul's last day of preschool. We couldn't miss that! So we stayed in town and watched him graduate. I can't begin to understand what I am feeling right now. I feel like I am about to send him off to college or that he is getting ready to get married and never talk to me again. But I know in my head that he is just going to kindergarten. That this is just one of those normal transitions. I can't help but miss that small little chubby baby that I had to drag to class with me when I was in college. My little college mascot! What in the world has happened? I am not old enough to be experiencing such emotions. I should be a single girl worried about some career move or whether or not I will find mr. right. It just feels strange to have a child that is so grown up.

But I am so proud of the little man he has become! I love every second that I am blessed to be a part of his life!

Tomorrow we are taking the kids to the grandparents house and heading to stay the night with friends, Jarrod and Alexandria. We've all been way busy with school, work and kids so it is going to be nice to have a chance to catch up over turkey burgers and crash on their couch. Laughter, friends and food always makes me feel better! I wish we could all live in a big house together and eat dinner at the same table every night!

What a great way to end the chill out session that is our week Vacation! I feel so blessed to have so many special people in my life!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dr. Keller!

I'm so excited! I went to the doctor today and my FAVORITE cardiologist of all time was there!!!!!! Dr. Bradley Keller was my cardiologist when I was little. I adored him. But he ended up moving away when I was in high school. We kept in touch for a while and he is the one that recommend I go to Dr Johnsrude (he deals with the electrical side of me...the pacemaker).

Well, Dr. Keller has moved back to do research!!!!!!! I'm so excited!

So, today I got to see him and he is going to be my cardiologist again! I guess it is hard to explain but I trust him a whole lot. When I say that I don't feel good he works his bum off until we figure out what it is. He makes me feel like I am the only patient he has.

When I was in high school, before I had the pacemaker, I had some issues with my pulse dropping from 60 to 40. I went to the local hospital and he had a special "heart" ambulance sent from UK to pick me up and take me to the ICU. He would even come into my room in the ICU and sit forever with me to make sure that I knew exactly what was going on. His bedside manner is THAT GOOD and he is THAT good of a doctor. There is a picture of the two of us from high school that he still has. It is of me pretending to be the doctor and checking his heart!! :) He uses it during his presentations.

When he walked in to the room I wanted to cry. I have felt so bad the past week. I was so nervous about trying to explain my symptoms but when I saw him I knew everything would be ok. He has never once looked at me like I was stupid for thinking such things. He takes everything I say into consideration. I got to introduce Roger to him and it was almost like introducing him to my Dad.

I'm just so excited.

To the appointment:

I had the normal EKG and Echo. Now I am wearing a halter monitor for 24 hours and writing down my symptoms. He said that it sounds more GI but that we need to rule out the major issues first then he will refer me to a GI specialist. However, there might be a possibility that I have an infection that hasn't been dealt with and has gotten into my heart. He also said that my BP seems pretty low and that the dizzy spells might be my BP dropping even lower and that several of those drops in a day could be causing me to be exhausted. He also told me to drink more drinks with electrolytes. That water was great but my body needs a little more than that.

Either way he promised that he would get me to filling better and I trust that he will. He did so in the past!!

In true Dr. Keller style he drew me a picture of a normal heart and my heart. Then he told this funny story about the Transposition of the Great Artery and the Baffle and the small stint that was put in place and the pacemaker leads. He always makes me laugh! I love how he can tell me all the information I need to know about my heart in a crazy little fictional story with funny little characters. It cracks me up! No wonder why he is a great pediatric cardiologist. I love it because I just so happen to be a child at heart. Pun intended!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

cardiologist appointment tomorrow

As most of you know, I have been feeling pretty bad. They bumped my cardiologist appointment up from June to tomorrow.

I am scared. I always am when I don't feel good and have no clue what is going on.

I am a positive person about many things in life but when it comes to my heart I am super negative. I dwell on the what if's. I get scared that my time is up and I will not be able to see my children grow into adulthood. I get scared that I will live but that I'll be too sick and tired that I'll have to spend every second of the day in a bed. Will I go slowly or will I go unexpectedly. Who will take care of my little family?

That thinking is just CRAP. I just have to keep telling myself that thinking like that just causes more harm than good. It gets me stressed out and puts extra strain on my heart. I am pretty darn healthy. I have blessed!!!

But, when I just don't feel right, when I am tired and out of breath, when my arms and lips start to tingle when I walk up the stairs, I get really scared.

I want my energy back. I want to be able to run and play and not feel like I am going to fall over. I want to stand up and not feel dizzy. I want to go to the cardiologist tomorrow and immediately know what's wrong.

That's the hard part. Last time I was feeling horrible it took 3 different cardiologist and several years to figure out that I needed a certain type of medicine and a pacemaker. It is so aggravating to feel like crap and the doctor look at you and say "well, I don't know." I want to scream "WELL, FIGURE IT OUT" but instead I politely say thank you as I go to the bathroom in tears.

At least I have my husband to go with me tomorrow. He wasn't going to be able to go because he has finals tomorrow but after seeing my teary face he thought it best I not go alone. Just sitting in the waiting room alone brings me to tears. I still have to go to a pediatric cardiologist because of my condition and seeing those little babies and little kids with heart conditions just makes me sad. It's hard for me. The little 4 year old that has to be pushed in a wheel chair and has oxygen on, all tiny looking. I don't want to see that. I can't stand to see that. It hurts me. Why do they have to suffer so much? Why is there all this suffering?

it just hits too close to home.

Maybe I should rethink working as a chaplain in hospital. I've already been told to stay away from the pediatric units when I start my CPE. But I don't know. Maybe I should stay away from the hospital in general and work in a clinic. I'm just too emotional.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

funny conversation

Funny little conversation between Roger and I today. We were sitting in the hotel room in a small little country town trying to figure out what we wanted to eat for lunch:

me- "what I really want is a whole grain deli sandwich with avocados"

roger- "are you kidding me?"

me- "what?"

roger- "jess, I understand that you romanticize about small town life. But this is rural Kentucky and there are things you have grown accostume to about living in civilization. Avocados on your whole grain sandwich is one of those things."

me- "well crap. well, lets take a look online to see our options"

roger- "there is a local Amish deli!!!"

me- "great! lets look at their online menu"

roger-"are you joking? are you trying to be funny?"

me-"no. what?"

roger- "jess, they don't have cars. they don't have an online menu."

me-"crap. I'm hungry and in the middle of no where. I just want an avocado on my deli sandwich and some fresh fruit on the side.'

roger- "do you want to piss people off by demanding that the meat be local as well?"

me- "Is there at least a Subway somewhere?"

And off we go in search of food. I am yet again taught that I need to be more humble.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Turns out that working as an orderly at a State Psychiatric hospital has thoroughly prepared me for the job of a stay at home parent. Constantly cleaning up poo, breaking up fights and taking part in some of the strangest conversations is what I did at the psychiatric hospital and is exactly what I do daily here at the house.

Just within the past 45 minutes I bathed two needy people (my children), broke up a small bath tub fight over a car, listened to a strange conversation between Anna and Paul in regards to how bubbles are made and then had to clean up poo when Anna decided to crap in the tub.....AGAIN.

God clearly has a since of humor. He has too. I left the job at the psychiatric hospital to raise my two children. But really, I just left one psych ward for another.

I remember at the psych hospital how it would drive me crazy when the patients would come up to the nurses station while I was trying to shovel my lunch into my mouth and press their faces against the glass asking "what are ya eatin'? Can I have that brownie? Oh please. just a little bite??" Now I have two children that stand at my feet asking the same questions and the problem is that I am not protected from them by a nurses station and a locked door. They end up actually stealing my food. :( And I tend to never get a break. Gosh, those two even follow me into the bathroom "GET OUT!!!"

If you are in need of the mothering or fathering side of you I would suggest you at least volunteer at the state psychiatric hospital. That's how parenthood is and if you can't handle it then I would advise you to not have children because although they bring you GREAT joy and an endless amount of laughter, they are INCREDIBLY hard to raise. Being a parent is exhausting. Those babies grow up. They don't cuddle on your chest forever. They eventually start having little wills that tend to smash right up against yours and your face. And yes, the poo and pee gets exhausting to deal with. I have been changing diapers for 5 years straight, as of now. Can you believe that. Every single day for 5 years I have changed at least 4 diapers a day. That's a LOT of diapers. My hands and arms are EXHAUSTED.

Goodnight!!!! Let's pray the little kiddos don't wake up through out the night. Oh and ps, when you are a parent you are on call ALL THE TIME. And I am learning from my parents that it doesn't matter how old those children get they still continue to smash up against you and demand any and everything, 24/7.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I know we all have "theme" songs for the summer, for the year, for our lives. The past couple of months have been exciting and scary. I have felt nervous, anxious, jolly, numb, peaceful and every other emotion one could feel. But the one thing that remains consistent is this song. I just keep going back to it. I turn it on as loud as my ears can handle and I dance like a crazy person throughout the house. My kids look at me VERY strange but eventually join in. I just pray that my neighbors don't see me.

So, here. Push play, get out of your chair and do a crazy, "flop your arms up and down as you jump from one foot to the other" kinda dance!!! Maybe even close your eyes for extra excitement!