Of best laid plans

I had grand plans to take pictures of our spring snow yesterday morning before church, so that I could post those pictures here.

What is it that has been said about the plans of mice and men? Ah yes, they "Go oft awry." And if the best intentions of men often stray from their original plans, how foolish would it be of me to expect better of my own plans.

So, instead of taking pictures, I got one of the most epic nosebleeds known to human history. (I may be exaggerating a bit, but how else would you describe a dual nostril drainage of hemoglobin of two plus hours duration?) Instead of sitting at church with sermon notes in my lap, I sat on a bed in the ER with a bucket on my lap.

Remember me mentioning my prejudicial distaste for needles? Don't ask me why I hate needles. I had a bad experience. Yesterday's phebotomist did nothing to alleviate my morbid mistrust of all needles. She was a little rough while removing my IV, and I now have a golf ball sized bruise on my forearm. Good thing she only handles IVs and not catheters.

Diagnosis: nothing a little antibiotics and steriod nasal spray can't handle.


Separated @ Birth ?

Clinton & Evil. Are they long lost twins?
You decide.


In passing

David was an outcast. Actually, Outcast is the wrong word; I was an outcast. David was forgotten – neither teased nor purposefully ignored, yet not quite accepted as a part of the group. Regardless of how it happened, we both found ourselves outside of the social pecking order of our church’s youth group. Our youth group had a caste system; that was the downside of growing up in a small conservative suburban church.

There were the cool kids: athletic, good looking, socially adept, dressed in trendy clothes, and listened to country music. Others, like me, were outcasts. We wore second hand clothes and listened to punk rock. We were the last ones picked. The few remaining were not cool enough for the inner circle, but they were not pushed aside like the outcasts. They were forgotten. Like David.

We managed to survive our teenage years on our own terms. David was a couple of years behind me, so I tried my best to help him not become an outcast. I showed David the ropes at Warm Beach kids camp (literally, they had a rope swing – which is so much more exciting to a fifth grader), and then again a few years later as a junior higher at Cascades Camp. His first year as a junior high student was my last, and his first year in high school was my senior year. Our unique places with in the youth group’s social hierarchy allowed me to play mentor, to some degree. And we both turned out to be decent, well adjusted human beings.

Through that role of sensei, I got to know a lot about David. We became friends. Eventually, David’s parents drove him from their home in Seattle, to college in Boise. And I was on campus the day they dropped him off to help him settle into his dorm and welcome him to his new life. In the absence of all that was familiar, he spent a lot of time at my apartment. Sometimes he studied, sometimes he did laundry, and sometimes he just came over to hang out… and eat.

I babysat his goldfish when he went home for Christmas. I told him I wasn’t good with fish, but he trusted me. And they died while he was away. I felt bad but he was quick to forgive. And life went on.

It was no longer me helping him. And it was more than a simple mutual respect. It was, in my mind, the model of what friendship should be about. And eventually, it was him giving me advice. While I was dating Naomi, he was the sole voice of reason that kept me from falling head over heels for the wrong girl.

After a couple of years David went home, but I stayed in Boise. He married his sweetheart, and I married mine. We grew up, got real jobs, and became fathers. I haven’t seen him in years.

About a month ago, I got a phone call from my dad. David was in the hospital. It was leukemia, and his diagnosis was bad. In his mid twenties, young, vibrant, and healthy – cancer was a surprise. I immediately felt the impact of loss. He was working the last couple of times that Bekah and I were in Seattle so we never got the chance to catch up with each other. Now, I didn’t know whether or not I’d get a chance to see him again.

We kept his family in our prayers. It’s the only thing I knew how to do. A week ago, he was out of ICU and doing better. Easter Sunday, he was hit with a pneumonia and placed into a medically induced coma. Yesterday he was gone.

Today, I’m mourning the loss of a friend and brother. I am mourning for his wife and family, and for his parents, who are some of the kindest people I have ever known. And I’m in shock. To some degree, I don’t even know how to react. I could say that life is not fair, but it would be silly for us to expect fairness in a broken world.

So, I wait for news of funeral arrangements. I feel like I need to go, but I don’t know if I can afford the plane tickets. And if I had tickets, I don’t know if I could afford the time off. Yet, I feel like part of me will be missing if I don’t go. My heart, as always, is in Seattle.

Now, more than anything, I want to say farewell to a friend. We’ll miss you.


Even worse than baby food

We've always known that the Squishy was developmentally behind - so we're excited for whatever therapies are available. Like the feeding specialist - someone from the medial arena who is helping us figure out how to get the Squishy to eat something more than formula.

The feeding specialist has given us some great ideas: letting her chew on a clean spoon before eating so she can get used to the feel of a spoon in her mouth, not letting her have a bottle until she's tried to eat, etc. We even got a new blender so that we can follow the good doctor's advice to liquefy our own foods because some babies will not eat store bought baby food. Some of the foods the feeding specialist recommended blending (individually - not together) peas, peaches, pears, and Chef Boyardee Ravioli.

I can not even begin to describe how revolting pureed pasta with tomato based artificial meat sauce appears when poured from a blender. Even the smell was nauseating. Come dinner time, I was utterly horrified to be feeding my daughter what looked like a disastrous bowel movement.

She seems to like the vanilla yogurt better. I can't blame her. It does have a more appealing scent.


Mi familia magnífica

Well, I've been promising some important people some pictures, so I'll start with the whole family (minus the photographer).

Squishy, Bekah Boo, and Christian by the Lower Salmon River.

And from the wedding...

Christian was not in the mood for pictures, but he managed to coax a dance out of his mommy.

And of course, the Squishy was one of the cutest flower girls ever. Ridiculous, really.

We had fun in Boise, but it made part of me want to move back down there. It was good to see some old friends, like Nikki - who spent quite a bit of time holding and playing with Squishy. Nikki marveled at how calm and happy of a baby she is. Nikki told me that we were so blessed to have a beautiful baby. What? Would we be cursed if she was ugly? But, I can't argue. The Squishy is beautiful. And she is a blessing.