When I wear OWENGE I have always felt like I was wearing a coat of armor. And this weekend was no different, but I learned that even suited up in armor isn’t enough to protect you from life’s woes. I am reading the newest book by Lysa TerKeurst called Unglued and participating in an online bible study with about 14,000 other people who have also had unglued days in their life. Talk about reassurance. This book which I know God brought into my life to give some perspective to the chaos that I feel like I’m having is going to be great for me, I just know it!
So onto this past Saturday. Tucker and I were awoken by our barking dog, for the umpteenth time lately before 6. Bogey has been acting very anxiously lately and was pretty sick with the runs last week, I jumped out of bed trying to hush him before he woke up Tucker…fat chance that 14 lb dog barks like a 200 lb dog – the beast was awoken from his slumber to add to the MILLION things that I had to get done that morning to get ready for Brigg’s & Al’s Run/Walk for Children’s Hospital of WI in a few hours. In a perfect world I’d get up get things gathered and packed, car ready, and myself ready all before Tucker woke up – he’d awake smiling and eat a hearty breakfast and we’d have left our house with my sister and cousins by 8:30 meet my other cousin at the parking lot, get to the registration booth hand in my pledges with the printed sheet I needed to hand in with them, get in the team picture, and march with our other Warriors down the streets of Milwaukee. I’d cry a little bit and not have to make a pit stop, it would be 65 degrees, and it would be a magical day. Here is where life becomes unglued and then I’ll tell how God put perspective in my life.
As I said Thank You Bogey for waking Tucker up at the same time I woke up, and not stop barking all morning. Thank you Bogey for taking 25 minutes out of my morning to walk around the yard to NOT poop when I know you had to, and to incessively do naughty things, like knock Tucker over to get food out of his hands, bite at my shoes that are on my feet, and bark and bark and bark and cause me to completely flip out yelling at you more times in one morning that your entire life – I know it was a lot because Tucker shook his little finger on Bogey’s nose and said “No No Bobo” I immediately felt awful, knowing that I have only control over me. I offered to sell Bogey 4 times in the 2 hours that we were at home before leaving. I wonder if there were any FB takers would I really have done it – naw he’s the best snuggler in the house.
So on the story goes – btw I am exactly ONE month from my due date, hormones may have played a role in the morning (: The crew starting showing up and Tucker was eating breakfast watching Elmo and the YouTube Elk video simultaneously, in his diaper making a mess. I was running around like a crazy girl, trying to get the seats in the minivan down, emptying the week’s worth of stuff I’ve collected out of it to make room for everyone. I on a hunch, (a bit of silver lining here) decided to check the wheels of Tucker’s stroller only to find that they were all flat. Thank you Tricia for helping me out, but the fancy air compressor that we got had no nozzle to fill bike tires, we tried a number of different ones and then grabbed the air compressor that we were going to return and just haven’t gotten around to doing it yet and thankfully it had one. Crisis averted and the wheels were filled – eating into the negative amount of time I had though. I threw things in Tucker’s diaper bag making sure that I had some fruit snacks, an extra outfit, diapers, sippy cup, water, parents you know the kid stuff. I was trying to get myself ready and fed, and make sure everyone had what they needed to fuel up. Tucker has been battling a runny nose for about a week, and in the midst of my rage at the dog I asked my sister to get a Ziploc baggie and put some puffs in it, mind you I meant the melt in your mouth salty snack kind, not the Puffs Kleenex box on our kitchen table. Our 8:30 departure quickly turned into 9′ish’ and I realized that I forgot to print out my pledge form and we have no working printer at our house, no computer at Jim & Bunny’s and no time to stop at work to print it. Fudge. (Not what I actually said, many many many times that morning). We were on our way, my cousin offered to drive the minivan and just past the first exit on the highway she noticed we have no gas, Thank You Eric who used it the day before, so even though we’re late running out of gas would inevitably make us later. We pulled off filled up and were on our way. We flew down the highway making really good time and pulled off on our exit to get to the Summerfest grounds to find standstill traffic and everyone wearing shirts for the walk/run too. We were many blocks from the parking lots. We didn’t want to deal with the shuttle, so my cousin was going to meet us at the lot and hop in the van drop us off at the start line and park the van where her car was parked. We finally got to the first intersection before the river and were told to take a left, now mind you I knew that we shouldn’t take a left going away from the third ward into downtown, but this advice came from someone who lived down there so we took a left and headed through the streets of downtown towards the walk only for my cousin to realize that we were heading in the wrong direction, we turned to go back to where we were and as we turned down every street it was getting blocked off for BLOCKS and BLOCKS! At this point Tucker started to get antsy, I told them no big deal, LeAnne just give him some puffs, he just needs a snack. Her face turned white and she busted out laughing, (refer back to the Puffs packaging before) and told me that she wondered why I wanted the puffs in a Ziploc and since I was so hormonal and yelling all morning she didn’t want to rock my boat anymore. BAHAHAHA, it was so funny we all had to laugh, thank goodness we had an emergency bag of fruit snacks it held him over. After the 9th street in a row being blocked off, and Tucker passing smelly gas that we were sure was a giant poop, a very full pregnant bladder, and the realization that the race started in 9 minutes, I had had enough, and I said, “okay guys, I’m done, we’re not walking, we’re not going, we’re just done…we’re going home it wasn’t meant to be. I’ll give you guys your entry fee back and buy breakfast.” LeAnne tapped my shoulder and said that my cuz really wanted to run, so we decided that we’d drop her off and pick her up at the end. We got to the Marquette Campus right by the Al Meguire Center and God revealed to us a street parking spot a block from the walk! We parked the car and cuz said that we should all go, she’s running and will be done way before us walkers and she’d cab it back get the car and pick us up at the end. We all agreed that would work. We packed all our stuff in the bottom of the stroller put the camera around someone’s neck and headed to the walk hoping to catch up with our team. Pit stop first, Thank God the Al Meguire Center was open – we got to go in a FLUSH bathroom with running water, soap AND a changing station! We got everyone drained and walked into the sunshine, and we got to the street we saw our OWENGE banner coming down the road …Really God??? You are AWESOME – I stopped for a moment gave my thanks to God and joined our team. Our team captain said that I appeared out of the bushes or something, and to be quite honest, Mandy was kinda right! We planned on meeting a few friends where our team was meeting before the race started. They all stopped by and didn’t see us, so they left to join their respective teams. We started the walk and all of a sudden I heard my name, I look to the right and there were my two girlfriends walking we waved over the fenced median and smiled. Another one of my college friends walks for her son, a Children’s Champion, with her family…WAS walking RIGHT in front of us! We hugged and exchanged hellos and I said hello to her mom who worked with my Godmother for years and years at the bank. What a nice surprise. Then we looked over to the right again and my cousins best friend was there! Come on God, seriously another blessing for us?
I looked around and found my perspective, here I was one of 14,000 people marching down the streets of Milwaukee, pushing my healthy toddler and carrying my almost full term healthy baby in my belly. I live the ideal life right now. My family and I were marching on a team that celebrated the short life of one little boy, who’s legacy has far outlived the 6 months he spent on earth. I immediately began to cry, looking at all the green shirts, those shirts represented a kid who was treated at Children’s Hospital and survived, they are Children’s Champions. I glanced around again and saw other teams like ours, who are walking in memory of a child who wasn’t able to be cured in the walls of Children’s, my heart broke for each of those families, and for my friend Mel – I prayed then that they may find a similar comfort that she has found in the midst her tragedy. Owen was a warrior of God, and through his last gift of organ donation he saved 2 or more families the heartache Mel and Doug endured May 26th, 2011. I remember the feeling of overwhelming gratitude last year for what God has blessed me with, and it was compounded with all my screaming and yelling I did before the walk. It was hot, it was supposed to be 69-72 degrees and ended up being 85, and when we stopped to get our annual team picture in front of the orange sculpture, I had to make a pit stop, again Thank You God that the Betty Brinn was open and had FLUSH toilets!!! The team waited for me while I waddled to the bathroom and waddled back – but it was worth it, don’t we look goooooood??
We turned the corner and headed down the hill to the end of the walk, this pregnant mama was one tired pup. We got our family walkers picture and I spotted another mom in our group had Puffs, it was lunch time and we were out of snacks – I asked if we could have a few puffs, and she gave us some and a cookie – it was a flourless oatmeal monster cookie and honestly it was the VERY BEST cookie I’ve ever had in my life! Tricia, LeAnne and I all took a little bite and gave the rest to Tucker who devoured it. We got a hold of Cuz and the roads were JUST starting to open again the traffic was nuts, she’d never get all the way down to the summerfest grounds, we said we’d meet her a few blocks up closer to downtown. So we walked and walked a bit more, decided to meet at the Starbucks and Tucker and I bought everyone a nice cold drink, got our stuff in the car some shorts on Tucker and headed home. Tucker zonked out 3 minutes before we hit the driveway, we wanted a full family shot and no one was there to take it, so we improvised and had Tricia take one, and LeAnne take the other and I’d photoshop one of them in the other picture…turned out pretty good if I do say so myself!
I love our shirts this year, we dyed them orange and a picture of Owen’s actual hand print is on each of our backs. It’s so special to me. After family picture I put Tucker down in his bed. We have moved him to a big boy mattress that is on the floor and everyday it’s getting harder and harder for me to get up and down from it, I kept my shoes on and walked into his room and stepped on the bed set him down and left the room, grabbed the monitor from our room and walked out the doorway to notice a GIANT pile of dog poop on my carpet. (remember when I said I took Bogey outside 3 times with no success full well knowing he actually had to go – I was right) On the bright side it was solid and the runs had passed through his system. Leanne brought me the carpet spray, a bag, and paper towel, I picked up and cleaned the big terd to notice a smaller ‘piece’ of a terd in front of Tucker’s door. Oh poo, I checked my shoe and sure enough poop in my shoe treads. I open Tucker’s door and see poop foot prints on the wood floor, on the pad around his mattress and I was sure on his bedsheet. He was snoring away, so I took off my shoes and scrubbed the poop out of the floor, took the pad into the laundry room and waited for him to wake up to change the sheet. I called my SIL who has a steam vac and had her bring it over. Tucker slept for 3.5 hours, after he woke up we went on the front porch and when Eric got home I had him steam the back hallway, wash the pad and change Tucker’s sheets. I didn’t have the heart to be mad at the dog, he hadn’t pooped for 2 days since the runs stopped, I hollered at him more in one morning that I had ever yelled at him before, (and he knew I wasn’t happy which I think heightened his anxiety) and my cousins dog spent the day at our house too. It was just one big recipe for dog poop disaster. I sat with ice on my lower back for a while that day and was literally beat for a couple days after, actually today is the first day I’m feeling up to par again, as par as I can be 3.5 weeks from my due date.
Saturday was a great day, I came unglued many many times, but God helped me to find ways to patch it up and show me that even though everything seems like it’s unraveling, in the end, it works out. We had a nice family night on Saturday, there are only a few of those left before we add our baby girl to the mix and begin a whole new chapter in our life.
Here some other pictures from the walk…it was a great day to honor the cutest little chunky monkey whose smile has been imprinted on my heart forever!
Dear Tucker, Wowsers, what a day Saturday was. I realized again how smart and observant you are when you scolded bogey like I was. Your dad and I really need to watch everything that we say and do around you…how can we be at that point already? You were such a good boy for our second Brigg’s & Al’s Run/Walk. You walked well, you rode in the stroller well and you even got a Starbucks non-caffeinated treat when we were all done. I am so grateful that all your aliments so far have been minor enough to keep you at St. Joes when you were born, and just colds and bumps and bruises through 21 months. You got to wear a white shirt that we dyed orange, and have such a great smiley disposition on life. It’s been a busy week since the walk and you’ve really handled everything so well, this mom loves that God gave us the privilege to raise you. You make me smile, scream, and laugh on a regular basis with the new things you learn everyday. I can’t wait to see what our future has in store for us! Oh Tuckey-roo, I love you so much I can barely handle it, I just want to kiss and squeeze those cheeks a million jillion times! Thanks for being just the very best boy ever!