Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Did you really just say that?!

Engaging in conversation is an everyday aspect of my job.  In fact, it's a HUGE part of my job.  Because of that, and the multiple conversations that are had daily, I have many "did she really just say that" moments, from myself, as well as my clients.  Here are a list of some of my most recent favorites...

* "Man, do you know how dirty balls are?" - A school principal talking about sports practices and the risk of spreading the flu via basketballs.  I think she realized what she said at the same moment I did...

* "I can't do anything too crazy with my color today, I just started dating a guy who is ex-Amish."  I'll try not to scare him.  That was a first for me.  Luckily, it was one of my good friends, and after it came out of her mouth, we were both laughing so hard we were almost in tears!

* "Just a hair off", - Sometimes I don't know if people are intentionally making a joke while saying this, or if they are just using the figure of speech, but it makes me "hee hee" inside every time someone says it.

* When a bald mad walks by the salon, stops, and asks for a perm.  Clever.  And stylists NEVER hear that one (insert sarcasm here).  Working in a high traffic mall, I'm surprised if I don't hear it at least once a day.  However, we appreciate you trying to make us laugh.

* "Do you guys do haircuts here?" .... well what do you think she's doing to that girl in that chair over there?  They aren't making dinner!

* When ringing a customer out and you tell them how much their haircut is going to be and they say "Dollars??"... well, yes.  I don't take payments in Hershey Kisses.

* A single guy sitting in my chair "I've sworn off dating hairdressers, they're all crazy".  Yep, we are, and I'm holding very sharp scissors very close to your head... Need I say more?  I have all the control here.

* I did a tight fade on a guy the other day with a hard part shaved in... while leaving he says "I'll be honest, this turned out way better than I thought it would when I walked in here".... I didn't even really have a response.,.. Thanks, I guess...

*And the worst, and probably the most offensive.... When someone of a different ethnicity walks into the salon, looks me up and down, and asks me if I am capable of doing their hair.  A couple of weeks ago, I literally had a guy walk into the salon, while the salon was packed with customers, and ask "Do you guys do dreadlocks in here?"  As soon as I opened my mouth to answer him, he yells "Who am I kidding, ya'll white girls don't know how to do my kinda hair!"  So. Rude.  That is something I would NEVER do to someone, nor would it be even remotely acceptable if the tables were turned.  If I walk in somewhere that I don't feel comfortable getting a service done at, I leave.. without making a scene.  Believe it or not, not all of my clients have the same kind of hair texture as I do.  I have worked with every type of hair texture, and am capable of doing anyone's hair.  However, if you don't trust me to do it, don't make a scene, don't be rude, just don't come to my salon!  If you don't think I can do your hair, that's fine, call around to salons, and find someone who you feel comfortable with.  But don't belittle me just because my hair texture isn't the same as yours.  It doesn't make me incapable.

I could go on and on with some of the moments where I have to hold back laughter or sarcastic comments, but I'll leave it there.  To my other stylists, I'm sure you can relate to some of these scenarios.  And to my clients, keep the material coming!  Love you all!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Update: Mom's Road to Recovery

Since March 2 life has been crazy.  As many of you know, my mom was in a serious car accident involving a semi losing its load of steel beams in front of her.  She was very lucky that her life was spared, and that she didn't have life threatening injuries.  I was so relieved when I got the news that it was "just her leg and foot" that was injured.  No big deal, right?  I couldn't have been more wrong.

The past 9 weeks have basically been a living hell for her.  Several hospital stays later, she spent a combined total of 34 in Wesley Medical Center and Via Christi St. Francis in Wichita, KS.  Eight surgeries later, the bones are fixed in her right heel, foot, and ankle, and the heel on her left foot has healed.  However, lately it feels that if we didn't have bad luck, we wouldn't have any luck at all.  Bigger problems produced themselves in the form of fracture blisters on her right foot.  These blisters showed up immediately, delayed one surgery, and have worsened over time.  After her fourth surgery, they ended up having to remove some of the dead tissue, leaving a hole in the side of her foot down to the bone.  They put a wound vac on it to keep infection down, and sent her home in the care of home health.  With each subsequent surgery, the dead tissue has spread, and the hole has become significantly larger, covering the entire side of her left foot, and stretching to her ankle.  At this point, they called in a plastic surgeon to do a muscle and skin graft.

Muscle was removed from her abdominal area, and skin from her thigh to try to cover the hole left by the dead tissue.  The night of the graft, she was rushed back into emergency surgery because there was little to no blood flow to her foot.  They implanted a sensor to alert them to low blood flow in the foot, and after flushing the veins and arteries to make sure there were no blockages, they have not had the same problem since.  However, through all of this we discovered that there are 3 major blood vessels that feed blood to your foot, and mom only has one functioning that was damaged in the wreck.  So needless to say, the muscle graft and skin graft rejecting, resulting in another surgery to remove the work they had done.

After the failed graft, the surgeons in Wichita sent her home, saying they didn't feel there was anything else they could do to help her.  They told her that they want her to have the best possible chance at keeping her leg, so they set her up with a referral to KU Medical Center in Kansas City.  Her consultation is today at 1:30.

So this is where we are.  Eight surgeries and several hospital stays later, the bones are fixed, but other problems have made it unsure as to whether or not she will be able to keep her leg.  The possibility is there that she may not.  However, my mom is a fighter, and she is not emotionally ready to give up.  So she has our full support, and instead of Wichita, we will now be hitting the road to KC.

They didn't know this would be their last goodbye
But that's just the physical part.  For me, the anger has set in.  Her life is altered forever.  The things that this wreck, her immobility, and her time holed up in the hospital have taken from her are some things that can never been replaced.  She missed Easter with her grandkids (which is a very big deal to her).  She has missed all the activities she used to do when babysitting Breckyn.  She has missed weddings, and birthday parties.  But more importantly, she never got to say goodbye to my grandma.  She was coming home from caring for her when the wreck happened.   My sister got her up there once to see her, but when Grandma went downhill fast, Mom couldn't get to Topeka.  And no one can give that back to her.  Someone else's negligence robbed her of that.

We are, however, overwhelmed with the love and support we have received from family and friends.  People stopping by to check in, family members coming to stay to help out, cards, flowers, and prayers.  She has seen how many people care about her and it is very heart warming.  People keep asking if there is anything they can do to help.  My answer is this:  Most importantly right now, she needs the good thoughts and prayers.  We're hoping to get some good answers from KU, that they can help her.  Right now, she refuses to look at any other option.  So keep the prayers coming, for her, for the doctors, and for her spirits.  She is strong, the strongest person I know, but there is only so much a person can take.  Just pray that this time around it is good news she is taking in!!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Our Jouney with Ichthyosis: 12 years later

I started out on this journey just over 12 years ago, a scared, overwhelmed 20 yr old girl. The fork in the road of my life took me down a path that I never envisioned for myself.  I was never supposed to be a single mom to a special needs child with a rare skin disorder.

Ichthyosis... Never heard of it? Neither had I up to January 13, 2003.  But the next day my entire world was turned upside down when my daughter was born with this very rare, very severe skin disorder.

I remember the first few years being filled with countless appointments, blood work, physical therapy, and terms being thrown at me that I had never heard before.  It was a complete flurry of chaos.  And sadly, I look back, and I remember pain.  A lot of pain and a lot of heartache.  This wasn't part of my plan.  This wasn't how I had dreamed of my life to be.  I'm supposed to look back at my life and remember that white picket fence, and rainbows, and Ashlynne chasing butterflies.  But that wasn't how it turned out at all.  I don't remember a lot of the milestones that I should remember with my daughter, because life was so overwhelming for us.

Ichthyosis used to completely run my life.  Get togethers with friends, family vacations, even trips to the store, EVERYTHING was based around whether or not it would be bath or lotion time, or whether or not the weather would allow for Ashlynne to go.  I even used to stay away from certain social gatherings if there were a lot of people I didn't know, just to save us all from the stares.  And trips to Walmart? Forget it! It was miserable with all of the comments and finger pointing.  If you ever want to truly test humanity, step foot into Walmart with a child who is visually different.  It's a real treat, let me tell you.  Whether or not my day was good or bad was based on if Ashlynne was having a good or bad skin day.  It was exhausting, isolating, infuriating, lonely, and just plain unfair... To both of us.

The tipping point for me was on one of those fateful trips to Walmart.  I was standing in the checkout line, Ashlynne sitting in the cart, when out of the corner of my eye I see two women pointing at her.  I had had it for the day.  I spun around on my heels, with a glare that could have cut those women in half, and I see them smiling from ear to ear.  SMILING... Then I looked at Ashlynne, and she was smiling back at them.  One of the women looks at me and said "Your daughter has the most beautiful blue eyes and blonde curly hair!"  "Thanks" was all I could muster.  I seriously almost launched on that lady that just so happened to see the true beauty in my daughter.  If she was able to look past Ashlynne's skin, then maybe there are others like her.

Why should I keep all of this joy to myself?

So I decided to drop my guard a bit.  I started getting more involved with the amazing people at FIRST and met other people associated with Ichthyosis, and my confidence slowly grew.  I knew my daughter was beautiful, if others couldn't see it, that was their problem.  I stopped letting her hide behind me, and started showing her off to the world.  Why should I get to be the only one to enjoy this amazing little person?

Now I find myself at peace with all of it.  The anger and the inner struggle of trying too hard to make her life "normal" has dissipated.   Twelve years ago I wanted so badly for everything to be perfect.  Now, I realize that isn't a reasonable dream for a parent with a typical child.  They're going to have dirt and grass stains to accessorize their outfits, and dirty Doritos fingers.  We just happen to have aquaphor stains on our clothes and a few extra skin flakes hanging out. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What every hairdresser wishes you knew

So many times I hear people say "My hair will never look like this again" or "I can never get my hair to look like it does when you do it" when I am done doing their hair.  A big part of  styling your hair is the products we use.  We don't make a killing off of these products.  And if you use the right products, you really don't have to do as much to make it work for you.  I want to sell you the right products, because I want you to be able to trust me.  I want you to come back, and I want you to come to me with any problems you might have.  Each product serves a different purpose. Some products are for volume,some are for smoothing, some are for hold, and depending on what look you are going for determines the product I use.  If you want to try to duplicate that work, using the right products correctly are a big first step.  And also, professional products really do make a difference.  They might have a higher sticker price, but they are more concentrated, they have less alcohol (which is drying) and a majority of them tend to be color safe.  They contain less of the harsh chemicals that can be damaging to your hair.

Branching off of that, learning how to use a round brush can change your life!  It can reduce the amount of time that you are curling and flat ironing.  It can be tricky, but as long as you keep pulling the brush from the scalp out to the ends, you won't get it caught in your hair.  NEVER spin without moving the brush outward.  Larger barrel brushes produce volume, smaller barrel brushes produce more curl.

You know that little button on the front of your blow dryer?  That is a cool shot.  Heat opens up the cuticle of your hair, which helps shape it during the styling process.  However, cool seals it back up and locks your style in.  So, when using that round brush, after you have that volume or curl in your hair, push that cool shot and lock that style in.  It also gives some more shine to your style.

Conditioner is soooo important.  Just like that cool shot seals your hair back up, so does conditioner.  It protects it from heat, UV rays, and harsh elements.  I have heard people say that conditioner makes their hair too heavy, or they are already greasy, so they don't need conditioner, but you do.  It's just like with skin care, if you don't moisturize, your skin will over produce oil, so will your hair.  Its also vital to take care of your scalp to maintain healthy hair and conditioner is a big part of this as well.  Your hair and scalp will be healthier in the long run, and will thank you.

Every stylist has a different way of doing things.  Your last stylist may have cut your hair before the color, or may have waxed you before the cut.  And I may do it the opposite way.  She may have cut the layers first, then done the ends.  She may have done the base color first, then the hilites, where as I do them in one step.  I can assure you that there is no right or wrong way to do hair.  And you reminding me the whole time that I am doing it differently that the last lady is not going to accomplish anything.  I will still do it my way because it is the system I have worked out over time.  Questioning your stylist the entire time they are doing your hair does nothing other than make it obvious that there isn't a trust built, which is very important.  It can make for a very long couple of hours for the both of you.  Asking questions is fine, but repeatedly comparing me to your last stylist is borderline insulting, considering I don't go to your job and question you.

If you're not happy with your color or cut, we WANT you to let us know so we can fix it for you.  You are walking advertisement for us.  A referral is the best compliment you can give us.  Therefore, we want you to be happy, and spread our name all over the place.  The last thing we want is for you to be UNHAPPY and spread our name that way.  I never get offended by a client calling back and asking me to fix something.  Sometimes things lay differently when styled at home, and sometimes there is just a flat miscommunication.  Let me fix it for you, it's my job.  Remeber, anything is fixable, and you're never married to it.

It really is easier to book your appointment ahead of time.  Sometimes, we can stay late, or squeeze you in.  But other times I might have a family function that I can't be late for. Sometimes, you get lucky and you can get in with us for a cut and color on Saturday.  But other times, I might be booked out for two to four weeks, and by then your color and style will be long overdue.  It is easier for us to keep up on your style if it doesn't get way grown out.  Blending is easier for color, and growing length is easier because we can ensure that the hair is staying healthy.  Don't know your schedule that far out?  We can always call and confirm with you ahead of time and change some things around.

No show appointments, and late appointments really do mess up our entire day.  Every appointment is booked based on the appointment before or after it.  Most of us have ourselves booked down to the 15 minute increment.  And being 15 minutes late can cause a snowball effect for the rest of my day,  and potentially cost me clients and a lot of money.  And not showing up without a phone call is just rude.  That can equally mess up our entire day, because who is to say I wasn't counting on that money?  A phone call is only courteous.  We realize things come up, and sometimes you have to cancel.  I have never been upset with a client for cancelling, but no show make me furious.  And I am far less likely to attempt to squeeze a client in or stay late for one that frequently no shows me or is late without any sort of call.  That's just bad manners.

These are just a few tips to help understand the world of a hairstylist.  As a stylist, we trust our guests as much as they trust us.  I have known some of my clients longer than I have known my husband.  And I am truly convinced that I have the best clients in the world.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Reba Pearl Lane

My hero, and best friend is with her Heavenly Father now.
You don't have to hurt anymore, Grandma
I cried myself to sleep last night for the first time in years.  There is something physically painful about heart break.  I haven't hurt like this in a long time.  In fact, I don't know if I ever have.  As I sit here writing this, my grandma is fighting for her life.  She has been fighting for years, and has amazed all of us with how long she has held on and the strength she has shown.

Reba Pearl Lane was born on January 15, 1936 to Delbert Oliver Adair and Tulane Idella (Sharp) Adair.  She passed away peacefully, in her home, April 9, 2015.  She grew up in Colorado and western Kansas, and was joined by a younger brother, Lloyd, and a younger sister, Lois.
In 1953 she married Ivan Mark Selleck.  They had two daughters, Constance Marie, and Carol Ann.  The couple later divorced.  In the 1960s she was working as a waitress in Hill City, KS, where she met Larry Lee Lane, and they later married.  The couple had two children, Christie Lea Lane, and Larry Lee Lane, Jr.  They raised their children in Meriden, KS, where they spent most of their married life until they moved to Topeka, KS in 1983.
She worked for Alco Stores, and Century United in Topeka.  She was an avid bowler, a great friend, and a loving mother, grandmother, and great grandmother, and an epic farmer on Farmville.
Survivors include her husband, Larry, of the home, a brother, Lloyd Adair of Grand Island NE, sister Lois Barnes of Lincoln, NE, daughters Connie and husband George Welborn, of Abilene, KS, Carol Selleck, of Peoria, AZ, and Christie Lane, of Fountain Hills, AZ, and son Larry and wife Janella Lane of Carbondale, KS.  Grandchildren, Misty Collins, Cora Cossel, Trevor Lane, and Lanae Lane, and 9 great grandchildren, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, and many friends. She was preceeded in death by her parents.

I just wrote my grandma's obituary.  And that doesn't even begin to sum up her life.  1936-2015.  But what is most important is that dash in there.  That "-" represents so much more than just the years in between.  It represents memories, and love, and the legacy of the family she left behind.  She struggled, and she made mistakes, and she was human.  She faltered, and righted herself, and she showed all of us how to survive.  She showed us how to really live life.  She showed us how to love.  She left me with memories that can never be replaced.  She showed me the importance of loving with my whole heart, and living life to the fullest, for we never know when God will call us home.  I never hurt without knowing that she was hurting for me, and I never had a triumph without knowing that she was behind me cheering me on the whole way.

When I publish this blog, it will mean that she has passed.  I won't publish it before.  I won't let her see me talk about her like she is already gone.  Because I want her to keep fighting.  I don't want her to think we have all given up on her.  Until she is gone, I will make as many memories with her as I can.  I will chose to remember the classy, beautiful working woman, in her suits, and her perfectly coiffed, colored hair, and her Mary Kay makeup.  I will remember the woman that sat with me in front of her mirror and helped me do my makeup, and play with my hair.  I will remember the woman that never told me that any of her high heels or dress clothes were off limits when I wanted to play dress up.  I will remember the woman that covered for me with my parents when I spilled nail polish on her brand new kitchen carpet.  I will remember the woman that cried like a baby when she had to spank me only one time in my life because I took a running jump onto her bathroom scale.  I will remember the woman that always kept raw hot dogs in the fridge for me, and cinnamon pop tarts for when I visited.  I will remember the safety I always felt in her arms, and the comfort I always found in her voice.  I will do my best to keep up her traditions, of thanksgiving, and never forgetting a birthday, or to send that $1 for every holiday.   I will do my best to carry on her legacy of love, but I don't know if I'm woman enough, those are very big high heels to fill.

I spoke with her last night, and had my grandpa hold the phone up to her ear.  I told her how very much I love her. And I promised her that I would take care of my mom and grandpa, and that it was ok to let go if she was tired.  That I would be ok, I made her that promise, so I can't break it.  I think she needed to hear those words, and I hope they brought her peace, but they were the hardest words I've ever spoken.

I think the poem that was read at my great grandma Adair's funeral is the most fitting verse to sum up how Grandma wanted her loved ones to receive the news of her passing, so I'm going to share it all with you, and hope that I can look back and find some sort of comfort while I grieve the loss of my very best friend.

"Miss Me But Let Me Go"

When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room
Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little-but not too long
And not with your head bowed low
Remember the love that we once shared
Miss me-but let me go

For this is a journey that we all must take
And each must go alone.
It's all part of the Master's plan
A step on the road to home

When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds
Miss me but let me go.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Why I'm glad I fought with my parents

I was my parents' challenge child.  I always tested my limits, whether it was with my curfew, my sharp tongue, or defiant mannerisms, my parents always knew when I was or wasn't happy with something.  To say that my relationship with my parents has been a bit of a volatile one over the years would be a bit of an understatement.  Some would say it is because I am too much like my dad, a statement that both he and I deny fully. 

When I was a senior in high school, I actually ended up moving out when I turned 18.  I'm sure my parents and I remember this situation two completely different ways, so I will save everyone the gory details, but after a few months on my own, I did return home for summer.  Also, several years later, when I was going through some major changes in life, there was another rather large falling out.  This one was a doozy.  While I didn't have much to do with my parents during this time frame, there was still some what of a relationship because they were still involved with the kids.  I never kept them from my kids.  I may not have said a single word to them when they came over to see them, or if I took the kids over there, but I never stood in the way of a relationship with them. 

But it has been through these ups and downs that I have truly learned an appreciation for my parents.  See, I know that I can do things on my own.  I have proven that to myself.  Things were hard without them when there was distance, but I made it through each day.  I provided food for my kids, I met theirs and my basic needs, and I had friends for emotional support. And while I got through it, at the end of the day, I still really missed my parents.  I feel like maybe those years of conflict were put in place to prepare me for some times in my life that were yet to come.  Conflict sometimes helps us get things off of our chest that we might not in another situation.  It allows us to let out our true feelings.  Conflict shows us that it's ok to disagree, and even flat out fight, but at the end of the day we can still come together, and realize that even if we don't always see eye to eye, we still always love each other.  And it is through all of this conflict that:

I realized that I don't NEED my parents.

But I also realized I really WANT them.

My mom was recently in a pretty horrific car accident.  She has months, if not years of rehab and surgeries ahead of her.  And when she is recovering, and physically rehabbing, she will need someone to push her.  This might be where I come into play.  See, I'm not scared to make her mad.  I have always pushed her.  I have never been one to tell her what she wants to hear.  I have always been the one to tell it like it is.  She may have to get mad, plain furious, to get through some of these times.  Some times, anger can be a great motivator, a very strong driving force.  We may have to scream at each other, push each other, remind each other that this isn't going to be a walk in the park.  But then, I can follow it up with the comfort and grace that she has always shown me.  I can be harsh and blunt, but 9 times out of 10 it comes from a good place within my heart.  Sometimes my delivery can be a bit abrasive, and I may not even realize how I sound until after it has left my mouth, but I'm always honest.  I won't lie, or sugar coat things to the people I love.  So I will be honest with her.  And I will push her to push her limits.  I will challenge her physically when she is ready to start building her strength back up.  And I will do it all out of love.

So maybe in a sense I am like my dad.  He was always the one to tell me how it is.  To push me when I didn't want to be pushed.  And we all know he isn't in the business of sugar coating things.  But I also believe that he was coming from a place of very deep love.  Since mom's accident I have seen a side of my dad that I haven't seen in years.  He was scared.  And some times he lashes out when he's scared.  And at first, he seemed almost mad when he got to the hospital.  But it didn't take me long to realize it was because he was worried about my mom.  He has been fighting for her, and protective of her.  He has been soft and caring, more affectionate, and yet cracking jokes to ease the tension when we are all on edge.  He has been the dad I remember from my childhood.  I guess if I am a little like him, I'm perfectly ok with that.

So I will never regret these fights.  In the long run, as funny as it sounds, they gave me a deeper appreciation for my parents.  I'm sure that I acted in some ways that I wouldn't be proud of, and I'm sure if I could do it again there are some things I might change.  But I feel like in a sense, these trying times deepened my relationship with my mom and dad.  Like I said, I don't need them, but I have officially realized how much I really, really want them.
My mom and I with our rock

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mom's road to recovery

Oh I don't even know where to start.  This last week has been a blur.  So much  information and medical terminology has been thrown my way that my mind is overloaded.

Mom's midevil torture device that was removed sunday
Mom is still in Wichita at Wesley Medical Center.  Thus far she has undergone two surgeries, the first on Tuesday morning, which ended up being not nearly as repairative as they were hoping, they were only able to put in external pins because of the swelling on her leg.  This apparatus looked like some sort of torture device.  However it stabilized some of the bones in her leg until they could do go in and repair some things.  The 2nd surgery ended up happening unexpectedly at 7:30 this last Sunday morning.  Dad and I were both getting ready to head up there, and weren't able to be there for the actual surgery as they took her in before either of us could make it to the hospital.  But at least that eliminated the pacing of the halls on our part.  This time, they were only able to repair the tibia, and the took off the external stabilizer that was attached on Tuesday.  At the end of this surgery, she ended up with a couple of plates, and 11 screws on her tibia alone.  They weren't able to repair her fibula as the tissue and bone are still way too bruised.  There are plenty more surgeries to come.

Some of the plates and screws in mom's right tibia
They are hoping to get her moved to Salina Regional Health Center possibly as soon as today so she can hang out a little closer to home until her next surgery.  From what I understand, they are taking it on a week by week basis.  They will see her back next week at Wesley and see if the swelling and bruising has lessened enough to be able to repair any of the other breaks and fractures.  By the time this is all said and done, it sounds like Mom will have enough metal in her right leg to set off TSA alarms at the airport.  They are also saying that when they get to repairing the ankle, she will have to have so many screws, pins etc, that she will have very limited mobility of her ankle, and will not have any side to side mobility.  But she is very insistent that she WILL walk again.

I spent the last two days with her in Wichita, and I think it did her good to see the kiddos.  Spending two days straight in the hospital was a lot for them, but they were very good, and they needed to see her as much as she needed to see them.  We got to go have dinner with my good friend Becky and her family Sunday night, and that was something I had been meaning to do for months now, so thanks for the excuse to get down there to see them, Momma!!

Mom's feet wrapped up post-surgery No. 2
Ok, so there's the physical updates I have so far.  On the emotional side of things, I must say that I am so proud of my mom.  She is such a go-getter, that I have been so worried about her being down for as long as she potentially may be.  But she has actually been the one keeping me going.  She keeps assuring me that she's ok, that her spirits are good, and that she's not in very much pain.  She's getting on facebook to pass the time, and taking phone calls, and "micro-momaging" me (a loving little term I coined for her) from her hospital bed as well as she always did from home.  We are trying to keep things in order like she always did, and although we probably aren't doing as good of a job as she always does, at least we had a good teacher.  I have been checking the mail and the cards are flooding in.  I think through all of this mom is going to realize just how many lives she has touched over the years, and how many people love and care about her.  She is lucky to be surrounded by friends and family that love her, and are willing to do whatever needs done to help at this point.  You know, when something like this happens, so many people say "let me know if there's anything I can do to help", and honestly, sometimes you know that it's just a courtesy.  It's the right thing to say.  But I honestly believe that the help we have been offered this past week has all been very genuine, and for that, I want to thank everyone who has reached out from the bottom of my heart.  At one point last Tuesday, I had over 70 unanswered text messages and over 30 facebook private messages on my phone.  The support has been overwhelming, and very heart warming.  But keep it coming.  This is going to be a very long process.  And while we may not need a ton of help right now, I get the feeling that when she does finally get to come home is when we may start calling in some of those favors.

But for now, all I am focusing on is counting my blessings.  My kids weren't in that car.  My mom is still on this earth, and eventually will be walking it again.  And she was also in a car that withstood that impact.  Some of those other cars that were scattering the shoulder of the road that night wouldn't have survived hitting that beam.  And while I hate to see my mom in pain, the alternative of her, or someone else losing their lives that night is unthinkable.  This will be a very long road, but she WILL be ok eventually.  And for that, I am so grateful.

I also want to say thank you to all of the Dickinson County EMS, Fire and other First Responders that were there that night.  You did your job very well.  You kept everyone else safe, and all things considered, the scene was not nearly as chaotic as it could have been.  You did your best to keep my mom calm, and me calm, and seeing some familiar faces was comforting.  I have had several of them contact me and check on my mom, and it's nice to know that these people out there protecting us and rescuing us truly do care.  They are out there for the right reasons.  Keep up the good work, you're awesome!

I will update when I know more, but right now it's an awful lot of "hurry up and wait".  But I'm ok with waiting on mom at this point, I've been doing it my whole life :).