Waiting never prospers.

The thing about patience is, I don’t have it.

My brother said they weren’t planning to call anyone until after Lily was born.

(I took that to mean hurry up and get to the waiting room the second Jess is admitted.)

I resisted that urge all night.
I resisted it all morning.
At noon, I packed up a day’s worth of entertainment and headed for the hospital, sort of expecting to see her whole immediate and extended family, and the neighbors and the Target cashier and the old guy down at the bike shop, and, generally, everyone except me.

I parked and stepped up to the elevator with my little “hello sunshine” onesie in hand, and when the door opened, I was face-to-face with some lady holding two giant overflowing gift bags and a blue overstuffed human-sized teddy bear. I sighed and pressed the button. She had probably been invited.

I followed her to Labor and Delivery. The desk attendant said we had to have an access code to get up to the waiting room. What are hospitals coming to these days? The other lady whipped out her code and was on her way. For me, they had to call the room, make sure it was okay, and then Bryan had to meet me at the elevator.

I stepped off the elevator, rounded the corner and there he was. I laughed, dropped my bags, and told him I just couldn’t help myself. Like any good brother, he said it was okay, and then he led me to the waiting room. Which was empty. I mean, not a single other person in the room. Turns out, when he said they weren’t calling anyone, they actually weren’t calling anyone.

He said it would be a while, that it could even be another whole night. I just smiled proudly at my resourcefulness and pulled out my handy computer and stack of magazines. “I’ll be fine,” I told him. “Don’t worry about me.”

We talked for about 20 minutes, which was nice, and then he went back to Jess, who had just received her epidural.

(Let the record show, I was first.)

So… now that we’re all just sitting here in the waiting room, what should we talk about?

Oh! I know, let’s play with the camera.

Here is me normal.

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And, me without my V8

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Without my chin

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With extra chin

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Before my nose job

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After my nose job

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With no teeth

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Cross-eyed

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Before a date…

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…with myself

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Double Wide

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Extra Long

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So, the intake receptionist keeps sneaking peaks over her computer, and I don’t want to be escorted to the psych ward. I think I’ll quit taking pictures of myself and cracking up at what appears to be nothing.

How about the Belizean Cuisizean party? It was a hit! The whole team came (minus, like, 2 people) and we had a great afternoon eating garnaches and telling stories. Although, packing up and walking out of the house felt like closing the door on a very significant and meaningful chapter in my life. Hopefully there is an encore. Like, in November.

Pictures of the day:

Note. It might appear as though my shirt says “hell” but it actually says, “hello” which I thought was appropriate for a welcome home party.

Lisa & Denise: the CFI peeps running the show while I was there

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Denise is also a part time disc-thrower.

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Tortilla station

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David’s obnoxiously large Mickey Mouse tortilla

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Oh, Becky. (I took 3 pictures to catch her taking a bite)

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Me & Kenz

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The crew, plus Denise spinning records, which she also does, part-time

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Ashley E. Roomie of my heart.

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Um, is the baby here yet?

Belizean Cuisizean Saturday

Hey you guys. Thanks for all the kind words in response to my SOS.
It turns out, people love.

(And while I’m at it, thanks for the gentle nudging to put down the Oreos. Thanks to Kenzie for wrestling me to the floor over a second slice of chocolate cream pie. And thanks to Sprinky for holding her back while I ate it off the floor.)

I have a few things to report, including reflections on my new hair color, the status of Samantha and Jon (my parasites) and pictures of our spectacular Belizean Cuisizean Saturday. But first I want to share a couple of insights from encouraging e-mails I received this week. Consider it eavesdropping. It’s much more fun that way.

God is good! He doesn’t leave us where we are to wallow in our pity. He shows us how to find love, joy and peace. He is where you are.

Did you guys know about this? God is right here in my extra twin bed at my dad’s in Indianapolis AND he is next to Inez and Bryon and Antonia and David in their beds in Belize whispering us all to sleep. I just love that about God. It’s enough to make me want to stand on my dad’s balcony and sing “Somewhere Out There” to the moon. But he doesn’t have a balcony, and his porch faces the pool. So that option is out.

Next.

You’re right. We’ve got lots of things really screwy. We’ll probably never get them unscrewed. Our “progress” has come at a cost.

Interesting insight. I’d like to counter it with the John Legend song that always makes me cry in the hopes that it’s actually true:

I still believe that-
We’ll get it right again

We’ll come back to life again

We won’t say another goodbye again

You’ll live forever with me

Someday, we’ll be together…

Unfortunately, I don’t think this will be fulfilled until we are all sitting on heaven’s curbs eating calorie-free ice cream and cheesy potatoes together. Steven (my step-boo) wrote something last fall. I hope I am not taking this out of context, but it struck me when I read it and has stayed with me ever since— especially in light of my visit with Hannah yesterday and the time we spent remembering Katie, and in the wake of the Cerak/Van Ryn family tragedy:

This is what heaven will be for us. It is a journey we should look forward to with great anticipation knowing that we will not be disappointed as we round that last bend and see it all unfold in front of us. There will be the laughter of those we love most, the old friends we’ve not seen in years, even those we have known in our hearts but have never seen with our eyes, they will all be there. There will be peace and comfort and every earthly pain we have felt, every bit of sadness and heartache, they will all be gone forever. It will be family and friends and life and love and it will be unlike anything we could ever have imagined but it will be just as we had always hoped. It will be perfect.

And the coffee…

I love the part about the coffee. Thanks for letting me share, Boo.

The thing is, I had ice-cream with my old best friends last night.

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These three saved my life once, literally. Tonight, they just reminded me that we really can reconnect even after 10 years. It gave me a sliver of what heaven might be like, because I couldn’t have pieced together better company, better conversation or better dessert. Unless, maybe, it had been Chocolate Odessey 2001.

Which leads me to my next comment:

No matter how much we want it and how much we miss it and how much we beg, Baskin Robbins is never bringing back Chocolate Odyssey 2001.

Well. I am starting a prayer chain calendar for a 2010 comeback. Who wants April?

Great. Moving on.

This is important, as Bryan would not let me touch the baby unless I had a note from my doctor:

I am parasite free!

I spent an exhaustive 3 days at the Doctor getting tested for things like TB, and making sure all my little parasites and E. Coli were gone, which involved a very intricate stool sampling kit. In Belize, they just handed me a container and told me to eat some burritos, walk around and come back with a full jar at 2. Here, I was totally confused by the take-home kit they gave me, and I’m sure Sprinky was thrilled to find the little container labeled “refrigerate” in the back corner when she reached for her Las Lomas leftovers.

Hil-air.

Anyway, the TB test came back negative and the chest x-rays are clear. Whew!

Tomorrow is the welcome home celebration with CFI & my Belize team from last fall. Lisa, Mackenzie and I spent the day experimenting with all our favorite delicious dishes from Belize. I like to call it Belizean Cuisizean Saturday.

The results were fantastic! (Except for the tortillas, which looked like tiny little weird ovals. Antonia warned me this would happen if I didn’t practice. She also frequently sent me out back to pick cilantro from the grass and said I always came back with the leaves that would kill us.)

So, who wants to try my special cilantro salad?

Here are some pictures of the day. I WILL be recreating this event in Fort Wayne, so friends beware. You’ll be receiving an invite shortly.

The international isle at Wal-mart. Actually, we just think this picture is funny because it looks like I am caught red-handed trying to hide, like, a pack of Oreos under the rice and beans, drunk.

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Tortilla mixing

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Result

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Quote of the day: “Yeah, but I think she would say my balls are just too small.”

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Empanadas (I realize taking pictures of food puts me on the same page as my Great Aunt Gwen, but I am just proud, okay? Cut me some slack.)

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Garnaches

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One out of one Randys found our food deliciously satisfying.

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This was a trial run. Stay tuned for the real thing tomorrow at 2:30/1:30 central.

Thanks again for the support this week. I mean it.

Oh!
I almost forgot the funniest thing. Hannah colored my hair yesterday. We got rid of the highlights and took it back to my natural color, black. You’d think it was a simple procedure, but, actually, there are a million shades of black. This one is dark. I loved it at first. But now (maybe it’s just because I’ve had sun-streaked hair for over a year) I sort of feel like the Wicked Witch. Especially when toddlers look at me and then start crying. I’m just sayin.