Alec Baldwin is a hairy guy, and musings on my kids getting older…

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I am sitting at home, watching tv.

This is not something I normally do. Firstly, in the mornings, I am ALWAYS working out. However, it has been two weeks and 1 day since my surgery and I am not yet allowed to work out. Secondly, although the boobs are doing fine, I have gotten a heat rash from being sick and having a fever while also having to wear a tight and stifling sports bra 24/7. As a result my back is covered in a horrible, itchy, painful blistery rash. And of course, I still have a bit of a cold so I am snotting/sneezing on everyone and everything. So Ken got the kids ready and fed and to school today (hairdos and teeth brushing are probably negligible) and I am laying low.

Watching “It’s Complicated” starring Alec Baldwin and Meryl Streep (and Steve Martin), I am reminded that Alec is a very hairy man. Like, really hairy. That’s not a bad thing….it’s just something I happen to notice. But this movie is making me think about something else too.

A married couple spends 20 years together, then gets a divorce. After ten years apart they sort of rediscover each other and begin a short affair. It is honest, tough, and also a little bit sad. But the movie is really funny and has some great acting. But what I LOVE watching in it is the dynamic between the parents and their adult children. And it keeps making me reflect on my kiddos.

I just gave birth yesterday.

That’s what it feels like, you know??? I remember every moment, every detail (much to Ken’s chagrin…) and I can see Hadley’s little face and smell his sweet scent from his first day on earth like it was yesterday. Literally. I miss those days, desperately. And yet….I relish the now. And I cherish what WILL be.

Watching these actors and their conversations….I think of my kids. I think of how quickly they are growing up. I think of them as individuals. As people. As their own. I adore my kids. And sure, they share some traits with me and Ken and other family….but they are their OWN people. And although i do not want time to speed up and I don’t want to miss a thing….the idea of speaking and living and sharing with my kids as adults gives me a crazy thrill. I want to hear about their lives. Walk next to them, not just ahead of them. See it all unfold and be there, listening. I want to laugh with them over grown up things that are sarcastic and inappropriate. I want to debate with them and be challenged by them and yes, even grow and learn from them. Does this even make sense?? I don’t know if it does make sense or not…but it is how I feel, right now, and so that is what I write.

 

a new crazy kid car conversation…a quick post from this morning

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“So Hadley did you decide who you wanted to invite over for a playdate?”

“Yeah. I asked him but he can’t because he got grounded for hacking his mom’s Facebook status.”

“He got grounded for that?”

“Yup. Mom? You go on Facebook right?”

“I sure do.”

“Well, can I hack your status and if I do would you ground me?”

“Um, I guess. And no, probably not unless it was really bad.”

“I would go on there and tell everyone it was me and that I pooped all over the kitchen floor and poop is EVERYWHERE.”

“Honey, but if you say it is you it won’t really be hacking my status and everyone will know you pooped all over the kitchen.”

“But it would be SO tricky because no one would know you knew I was hacking you and then everyone would know about all the poop everywhere.”

“Baby, you are getting caught up on the idea of poop everywhere. You are missing the point and I….” interrupted by Hadley. “Mom – RIGHT NOW – go on Facebook and let me type in that it is Hadley and I POOPED ALL OVER THE KITCHEN!!!!!!”

Yeah, he is definitely missing the point.

my normal drug-induced moments of hilarity (and hysteria) in surgery

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Yes my friends. As I expected, it happened again. I mean, I kind of knew it would. And this time I tried to be prepared.

You see, since my very first surgery, knee work I had done my junior year in college, I have known something. Leah in real life is silly, loopy, and likes to keep it real. Leah on meds pre-during-and-post surgery?? It’s like Leah times 1000. Although I don’t recall much once the meds kicked in all those years ago, my friends, Holly and Julia, swore that I sang the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” at the top of my lungs as I was wheeled down the hallway. Was this in fact connected to our night club antics from a few nights before?? That I can not divulge. What I can say is that their tales of my behavior were hilarious, and I assumed, greatly exaggerated. Turns out they were not.

Since then I have had several other surgeries. And each time I hear of the crazy things I said and did during said surgeries. Sometimes I remember floating remnants. Other times? Nada. Here is a post from the last time I had something ahem, “done.” This was to help prepare for THIS surgery. But yeah, this all happened.

http://thesweetfamilylife.wordpress.com/2013/05/08/a-few-silly-liposuction-pictures-the-iv-the-bruises-the-fat-and-the-video-proof/

I remember, vaguely,  getting into my cousin’s car and shaking and making horrible jokes. I remember someone pulling my phone out of my hand. The Bieber singing? The perverse texting efforts?? Nope. Nothing.

So this time, since my friend Tracey was bringing me, I told her. I said, “I WANT IT ON VIDEO.” I wanted proof. Why people think I lie about this stuff is beyond me. But whatever. Their problem. But maybe part of me also thinks that people overplay when they tell me the things they do about my antics. But apparently they don’t. So finally, after all those attempts to justify myself, here are the favorite Leah Sweet operating room crazy pants behaviors from surgery two weeks ago….

1.) I was strapped onto the OR table and I said to the anesthesiologist, “please. make sure I don’t die. i have 4 almost 5 kids. (which made no sense as i was topless and obviously not pregnant hence the surely concerned look on his face but…) and that my ni*ples don’t go sideways.” I don’t remember anything else. However, apparently I made it one more sentence before passing out. That sentence, “And make sure (excessive slurring) he doesn’t give me balls instead of boobs.” Then BAM. Unconscious.

2.) Point one is the back drop for point two. Upon the slow awakening from anesthesia, as the nurses prodded and my friend watched, my first word was an extended, slurred, loudly voiced version of the word, “BBBBAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLSSSSSSS.” Sigh.

3.) Having discovered upon our first meeting that my surgeon plays keyboard in a local bands in his spare time, I accosted him verbally as he continued to check on me in recovery. I, apparently, kept referencing, slowly and slurred of course, “Come on man. Where’s your keyboard?? Let’s play a gig. I sing. Bring it!!” and other stupid comments. I mean, I really am an idiot.

4.) Despite being old, white, and freckled, I apparently felt I could rap. At one point I randomly sang out, “I got game. Ain’t no shame!!” Or maybe it was, “Got no game. Ain’t no shame.” I am not really sure which, although the second one would surely be more accurate. I should double check on this with Tracey. Because although she was not allowed to film (seriously disappointed Tracey. you could have figured out a way. disappointed……) she DID take copious notes on my behavior and commentary.

5.) And my favorite…(Back story – I was in surgery for 4 1/2 hours. The planned 3 hours did not happen. So recovery was not a quick hour. It was 3. And I puked. A few times I think.) Between bouts of unconsciousness and moments of lucidity I would speak and do these crazy things. But I was silent for a while. And then all of a sudden, out of the blue, I yelled out, “Bitches!!!!!” and then promptly passed back out.

I don’t remember almost any of this…with the exception of the keyboard comments to the doctor. Sort of. But man. I would pay good money to see myself doing any or all of this. Because frankly, I am one funny mama, especially in the operating room.

A lonely Christmas, Easter truths, and slicing grapes…

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I remember a Christmas, like, MANY years ago. I was in college, and was working full time. I had to work Christmas Eve, and the day after Christmas. And I and no car to get home and was not going to come home. The family was NOT pleased about that so I found a cheap flight last minute that went on the credit card, caught a cab to the airport, and was home for what, like 19 hours?? I was back at school Christmas night.

Lonely. I watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation for the 4th or 5th time in as many days in the house I was borrowing. Technically, I was homeless my senior year. I bounced between a few different dorm rooms – sorority sisters, a boyfriend, a random freshman whose roommate bailed cause she was weird – but the dorms closed over Christmas and I had to work. A new sorority sister had rented a house for the year but went home for break and allowed me to stay there. So I did. And I watched that video, and cried myself to sleep on the couch that night as Clark Griswold and family danced on their lawn and stupidly sang “Star Spangled Banner.” I wondered what life would be like, 20 years from then, and wondered if the loneliness would ever end. And now I know.

It is full. Beautiful. Blessed. Amazing. Flawed. Ridiculous. And perfect. Like any human I still have moments of loneliness. Of need. Of heartache. But it is not that encompassing coldness I once had. Before I had a Savior. Before I had a family. Before I met myself.

So that’s what I think of today. Yes, the Savior. Yes the crucifixion. The burial. The resurrection of Christ. But I think, too, of MY resurrection. From something that was all about longing that is now about completeness. That was all about lacking and is now about wholeness.

And as I always do on holidays at home, and prepared to open my home to friends and family old and new, I made some side dishes and heated up the ham. I made my homemade chicken salad (top notch, thank you…). I broke the chicken into pieces and added the mayo, the sour cream, the gorgonzola cheese and the sliced almonds. And then I sliced the grapes into quarters. And as my family played at the beach while I did the prep work, I prayed for each person entering my home today. Each grape was someone different.  I prayed for their wholeness. I did not pray for their health or safety. Why? We are never ever promised these things, and sometimes we forget that. And scary things come as unwelcome shocks to us. And sure, that’s fair. But no, we aren’t promised a non-scary life. BUT…we are promised a true life. A whole life. And that was what I prayed for each man. Woman. Child. Each one got my undivided attention. That they would find the fullness in life. That anything dead in them would be resurrected this Easter Sunday. Dead faith. Dead hope. Dead love. Dead joy. I prayed it over each person. To Ken. John. Jodie. Val. Tracey. Chris. Lucina. Lora. Roger. Andreas. Amy. Derrick. Dawn. Kathy. Lainey. Tatyana. Tracy. And ALL of their children, most by name. Fullness. Awareness. Wholeness. Because in Him we can have these things. I just want to LOVE people. I so desperately want to love them all, make sure they all feel it. And for anyone who may read this, and be alone, or dead in hope or joy or love or life….know I love you. He loves you. There is more. There is fullness. There is wholeness. It is waiting. He is waiting, and I am here.

 

a la Tina Fey in Baby Mama, “This one’s for the LAAAADDIIIIIIEEEESSSSSSS!!!”

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And then she puts on “Lady in Red,” as a slow jam at a night club.

Talk about a mood killer.

That movie, by the way, is freakin hilarious, as is Tina Fey who is sort of my hero. Smart and hilarious and real. I dig it.

So yeah. This one is for the ladies. I have a few male readers, and if you want to stick around because I am going to say the word “boobs” a lot, then okay. But keep in mind you are probably kind of pervy if that is your motivation – unless you are reading because your wife, too, wants or had some cosmetic enhancement/fixing/etc. Then you get a pass.

Have I gotten much flack for being honest and open about my recent breast lift surgery? Technically – no. But yeah, I am not stupid. I feel it. I see the judgment, and I have gotten enough “hints” that I know it makes people uncomfortable. Part of me understands….we live, most of us, in this culture of not talking about very real things. And even then….in Christian circles to talk publicly about breasts is SO wrong and shameful, right? No. It’s not. I don’t think it is wrong to talk about boobs. I don’t think it is wrong to get a lift, a reduction, or an augmentation. In fact, I think it is wrong to NOT talk about it. It polarizes us. Alienates us. Diminishes us….like somehow getting a boob job makes us less spiritual or less Christian or weak in our faith. God’s WORD is filled with vivid imagery and stories about sexuality and the human form. There should be no shame. And the fact we were created in HIS IMAGE….I don’t know what this means as far as sexuality and femininity go. I will leave that to mysteries I will finally understand at heaven’s entry. The world has perverted the beauty of the female creation. And that is sad. But that doesn’t mean we should fear it. Will I be posting topless pics on here? Heck no. That is for my husband. But the discussion, the understanding, the knowledge – that is ok for the world.

As I referenced a while back and as any mother knows, having a baby takes a toll on the body. (By the way – moms of kids who don’t share your biology?? It is no different. Maybe they did not LITERALLY suck the life out of you but that does not change a thing here.) Sometimes I wish I was born into a culture where curves were more appreciated. That way I may not have spent 15 plus years with an awful body image and an eating disorder. But sadly I didn’t. I have learned that I have what I have. I have also learned that we can always give and do our best with what we have been given. And if we want to change something? Then make it happen.

I am not a size 2. Never will be. But I work daggone hard for the awesome body I have. And yeah, it is awesome because it is healthy and strong and I look good and my husband loves it. I can embrace that now. I can run many miles. (well, not right now.) I can box rounds. I can keep up with my kids. I feed it and fuel it with good God created things and I care for it as best as I can without idolizing physical perfection. And with all that work, I realized I wanted a little more work. And I don’t feel bad about it. Nor should you. Or anyone else. Should you go into debt for boobs? Huge risk for boobs? A divorce for boobs? No. Obviously. But if you can afford it, and you know that general anesthesia is not gonna kill you (hello….lots of surgeries prior thank you knees and c-sections and crappy tonsils and….), and you can fix something without it being an obsession then why not?

I wanted to feel beautiful again. I am approaching 40. And I want my outside to match my inside as much as possible….finally proud to be who I am. And who I was created to be. But preferably without all the excess sagging. So I did it. And it’s not a mystery. It is science and medicine and you will know when you see me at the beach or give me a hug. It is funny…most people don’t know that my boobs are pretty big because I wear loose flowy things. Unless you see me in a bikini, then you don’t see the fact that yeah, they are big and really really saggy. Even the doctor when I went to see him….he asked me my size and when I said 38D he was like, “Ok. Uh huh” while looking at my chest in what I was wearing which did minimize them. But upon exam he looked at me, in the eyes this time, and said, “Most women are wrong on their size. I assumed you were. But you were correct. Now. Let’s get you looking how you should look.” And I loved him.

That was that. I am pretty much the same size, although swollen, so maybe not. But unless you saw me in a bikini 11 years ago, pre-kid, you would not know that. And if you want more information, specifics, or to share your thoughts or concerns, I am here. Gladly. Willing to email or chat or even pray with you about it. Cause like I said before – yeah, I prayed over my boobs. And no. It did not feel weird. He created me. Where is the shame in that???

a tough itchy day, some newly lost “friendship” and some newly lost FRIENDship

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The finish line.

That is something I think about a lot in life actually. The funny thing is that growing up I was taught that it was about reaching it first. Excelling. Being the best. Winning. (And thank Charlie Sheen for ruining the word “winning” for the rest of civilization for all time.)

But as I raise my kids, and referenced yesterday, it is about the process, not the perfection. The effort. And the love we show along the way.

To be incredibly blunt, I am trying to keep this deep perspective in mind as I look at my boobs. End result. End result. End result. Hahaha. I am still blistered and covered in rash because I had a reaction to the surgical tape (or the solution beneath – we are not sure…), I can’t work out, and even walking makes me sore. One side is swollen more than the other, and my exhaustion level is high because I have real life going on. So end result is my focus. The long term finish line. The feeling good again about my body, my womanhood, my sexuality. Because those can all be tied in together you know. (And yes, I will address this whole topic soon don’t worry…)

But as I went to sleep last night, my awesome hubs rubbing my feet to take away from my mind’s focus on itch itch itch….I was sad.

I ended a very superficial “friendship” from online. This person, a hard core conservative Christian, wrote a post mocking Bloomberg’s comments about his assurance of heaven. And it literally, physically made me ill. Yes, I am a Christ Follower. Yes, I believe there is only ONE way to heaven. But I respect that others don’t believe as I do. And moreso, the thought of anyone I care about, or the whole world for that matter, not reaching an eternity of beauty with our Creator is heartbreaking to me. The thought of mocking someone, whether evil or simply lost, is awful. Child molesters, Hitler, serial killers….sure, we all think they earn a special place in hell. And for their acts? They sure do. In our humanity we HATE them. And yet…we have an amazing, loving, caring God who “wants NONE to perish.” None. That includes the worst of the worst. And while Bloomberg is not my favorite guy, he hardly ranks up there with Hitler. And regardless…it makes me really wonder. When God looks and sees a broken, tortured soul making disgusting choices, and purposely breaking others, God sees the heart – that this soul was probably broken and tortured. And He aches over that soul. Will there be an eternal just reckoning? I believe that yes there will be but that there is always a choice, always a chance, and no one is too far gone to make it. When God looks and sees a “christian” mocking the lost, or focusing solely on their “evil” and on judging them….I wonder what He thinks?? I imagine He hurts for that too, but that He is also pretty angry.

So I unfriended. I can’t see any more of those posts. Not. One. More. (Her response, of course, was to message me some crazy and then block me. Haha. Oh well. My loss obviously…) But that ending was not what made me really sad.

It got me to thinking more about a friendship I have had for a while now. Hmm….I think 7 years. And frankly, it is pretty much over. Last summer, when I went through a very tough time, the realization started to dawn. The person completely disappeared, and cited a bunch of crap for it. Things supposedly were healed up…but it started me thinking. Friendship is two ways, right?? And I realized…never an invitation unless from me. Never a kid playdate or party. Unless from me. Never time together. Unless from me, and always paid for by me (which is the part that never bothered me, because we show love in the ways we can, right??). And now, after about 9 months I finally get it. The friendship is pretty much over. And then it hit me that, well, maybe there was not that much there to begin with. And that’s what hurt the most.

I have lost a few friends in the course of life. When I was young I lost a lot because I was blinded by pride, insecurity, dishonesty – mostly because that finish line always loomed and I had to be FIRST. And then I finally understood what it means for the first to be last and the last to be first. And since then I have not really lost friendships as much as things have moved with time or distance or changes…So that happens but the love is always there, for me at least. And now I want to serve. And love. And pour into the relationships that mean something beautiful. But I also have to accept when someone is just not there. And that’s just the way it is. But yeah it hurts. Not gonna lie. And this itching does NOT help.

“wanna go do karate in the garage?” “yup.” “are we best friends?” “yup.”

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This to me is such a funny quote. It is from the movie “Step Brothers” starring Will Ferrell who I love and it is hilarious. Should you be sensitive to language I suggest you watch it on TBS. Should you be sensitive to stupidity, I suggest you not watch it at all. Hahahaha.

My kids all got up early this morning. As I laid in bed, getting ready to start my day, (and trying not to scratch my boobs off), I listened to their banter. I literally laughed out loud when I heard, “Hey guys. Wanna go do boxing in the garage???” a chorus of “yups” responded and I just laughed and laughed. Facebook told me it was recently National Sibling Day (something no one ever heard of before Facebook haha) and I could not be happier with the siblings I am raising. Imperfect kids. Mediocre students. Messy little slobs. But MAN my kids love each other. They share food, privileges, toys. Openly and willingly. When our neighbor was taken away in an ambulance they made him cards and really wrote. You know, not just a flower and a stick figure but WROTE to him about how he is the nicest neighbor and they love to see him on his bike or with his dogs….I mean, right?? They are in a battle for a new iPad air, and have to earn points every day by doing chores, etc. Chase just gave away ALL her points – and she was in the LEAD. She felt bad that her brothers didn’t have as many so now she has none. I mean, what kid DOES that??? My sisters and I sure did not.

This world is merely a short visit my internet friends. What matters? I mean, really…think about that. Our money? Our jobs? Our degrees? Our elementary school grades? Yes, I want my kids to be the best THEY can be, as individuals. But think about WHY you want to achieve…for yourself and for your kids. To what end? For what purpose?? Think about life and the why’s of it all and consider the end game. I don’t see a valedictorian in my family’s future. But who knows. What I do see?? Loving, compassionate, hilarious people that will bring joy and love and kindness to those around them. And nothing in this temporal world could make me prouder.