I know it's been a bit quiet around here lately. Words - at least ones that I care to share - have been somewhat elusive this last month. While the blog has been quiet, we definitly have not been. Where to even start... I guess I'll start with the most recent excitement and work my way back... hang on as this may be a bit of a ramble.
Lice are not nice
This last Thursday afternoon, I was helping Julie brush her hair and discovered some critters decided to take up residance in her thick, long hair. Yikes. This was a new experience for our family. We are pretty sure they joined us awhile ago as Julie had what the professionals refered to as a "severe case". Last Friday, I spent a good 90 minutes combing a brushing Julie's hair in her dimly lit room. It was an experiance that actually had me reach out to some female cousins asking for some pro tips on hair care. I mean, it can't really be this tough to care for a head of hair? Right? But really, what do I know about hair care? It's been about 13 years since I've had any. Turns out that the nits that lice leave can cause your hair to get tangles and "sticky". Anyway, fast forward to Thursday and we had a full blown Bugs Life movie playing out in Julie (and Peter's) hair.
Thankfully... I think... my mom had bought us a bunch of lice care products before she went back to Boise. Turns out we did in fact need it... I just didn't know to keep looking for them and what to look for. Well, I have learned a lot now. Thursday night I spent about 4 hours combing bugs out of Julie's hair and about 10 minutes combing them out of Peter's hair. I gave Peter a North Korean dictators hair cut in the process (I've since given him the full buzz job). My mom graciously jumped on a plane and was dropped off by Uncle Jeff and Aunt Laurie later Thursday night. She then also spent a good hour combing nits out of Julie's hair.
Thanks to the recommendations of a few of you, we discovered that there are professional lice pickers out there. The crew at Lice Knowing You on Mercer Island spent another 5 hours combing nits out of Julie's hair. I was at least proud of the fact that they never found any bugs - I did a thourough job removing what had to be hundreds of the little buggers. While the whole situation was a pretty terrible experience, at least Julie got to meet a good portion of the UW woman's soccer team while we were there (lice picking is a lucrative business opportunity). I learned there is no shame in lice, they prefer clean hair. I hope that is the end of our lice adventures. We have a follow up appointment tomorrow to be sure. Thanks again to all of you that offered suggestions, words of support, and prayers. I needed all of it!
Cold and Flu Season
After avoiding sickness for most of the year, we all came down with the cold and flu bug that seems to be making the rounds. The kids came down with it first and I thought I had avoided it, but then fell a few days later. Thankfully it was short lived and I was better just in time to deal with the critters we just discussed.
I've never really delt with sleep issues in the past. Maybe a random night here or there, but never ongoing. I've always been grateful for that, because I know that it is something that many people - and many of you - have to deal with on a regular basis. Grief hits in many waves and in many ways. It hit me in the sleep department this last month. I tried so many things, but nothing was working well. Prayer worked best, but I still wasn't able to actually fall asleep until 2-4am. Thankfully the kids sleep in, so I was still getting 4-6 hours of sleep, but not at the ideal time. I've been doing much better the last week and have been grateful for that.
Cleaning and Organizing
I've been taking my time going through things in the house. Changing up some of the furnature arrangement, organizing different rooms, and slowly going through Steph's stuff. It's a slow process, but something I do enjoy doing. The biggest change was to our "utility rooom". The kids and I made a trip to IKEA and I turned the space we never really knew what to do with into a shared coworking space. My office is now the Art and LEGO room (it still needs some work). It is nice to have a shared space for the kids and I to be together as we work on school stuff. Maybe I'll give a house tour in another post.
I've continued to takle the little house projects on my list as well. I finally fixed a couple downspout issues that I had let bother me for way too long.
Today marks two months since Steph's passing. It has been a long two months. The first month was marked with her celebration of live service (you can watch here or on YouTube here). This last month has been primarily the three of us trying to figure things out. Routine has been elusive as sickness and live inturupts our attempts at consistancy. Through in the holiday season and I'm expecting it to just be a bit crazy the next couple months. I know that's ok.
I've been attending a GriefShare class hosted by New Life Church in Renton. It has been helpful while navigating this new season. The curriculum is good and the community has been great. I would highly recommend it for anyone that is processing a loss.
I've also recently read A Grief Observed by CS Lewis. I've read that book a few times before (even earlier this year), but it is like reading it with new eyes now. A very weird experience. I now understand more vividly Lewis' navigating through grief and loss.
"I think I am beginning to understand why grief feels like suspense. It comes from the frustration of so many impulses that had become habitual. Thought after thought, feeling after feeling, action after action, had H. for their object. Now their target is gone. I keep on through habit fitting an arrow to the string, then I remember and have to lay the bow down. So many roads lead thought to H. I set out on one of them. But now there’s an impassable frontierpost across it. So many roads once; now so many culs de sac."
CS Lewis - A Grief Observed
What has been most eye-opening to me as of late has been the clarity to which I have seen and experienced God's faithfulness. I'll work to unpack that in a Thanksgiving Day post as it's getting late and I need to wrap this up. It feels good to get some words out to you all. I'll try to improve that a bit going forward, but no promises. Be sure to follow me on Facebook where I try to post a little more frequently. Thanks for all the continued love and support. We are continuing to take things one day at a time.
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