Look What I Did! #4 or 5

I got this table for $5 at our neighborhood garage sale.

I thought it was a nice shape and for $5 if it didn’t end up looking nice it was not big deal. 

THEN I got a brainstorm.  That circle was just begging for a monogram!  I’m a little bit monogram crazy right now.

Here it is now!

It’s actually still in progress.  I plan to add another coat of orange paint, sharpen up the edges with a sharpie or a furniture marker, and apply a few coats of polyurethane. 

But I just had to post my brainstorm now.  I have no self control.

Update!  Here is the finished project!


I Found My Sleep Number!

My number is 75, which explains why Charlie and I were having so much trouble with 25!  At 25 he can snuggle in like a tick, which is uncomfortable whether it is an analogy or the real thing.  At 75, he can snuggle up but the bed doesn’t allow him to change the entire contour of the sleeper when he does. 

Ahhh.  Sleep is a good thing. 🙂

Help! I Can’t Find My Sleep Number!


My husband and I have a sleep number bed. 

Don’t worry I’m not about to go t.m.i. on you. 


Here’s the thing though – I am decision-making challenged and EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT.  right before I go to sleep I have to make one of the most important decisions of my life!  Am I a 25? or a 45? or a 100? or a 30?  Thank the Lord they only offer you 5 point increments because I think I would never get to sleep if I actually had the choice of any number between 1 and 100. 

I know what those of you who told us we would love this bed are thinking.  ‘You’ll figure it out and you’ll love it.’  Um.  We’ve had this bed for at least 3 years now.  During that time I have gone through periods that this has not presented a challenge for me but I think I could’ve slept on a rock during those times and the reason you buy an expensive bed is for the times you have more trouble sleeping, right?

Lately I have decided that I am a 25.  And maybe I am.  Maybe it’s the 12 pound puppy that insists on curling up right in the small of my back every night that is hurting me.  Just in case you think that is ridiculous, let me remind you of how cute he is: 

See?  And not only that but he is hopelessly spoiled and if we put him in his crate he will cry all night which doesn’t help the problem.  And not only that but he warms my feet up for me before I go to sleep.  He doesn’t move into stealthy back deformer position until I am asleep.  And not only that but he snuggles with me in the morning and licks my face.  And not only that but . . . it’s just too many decisions at bed time.   Big decisions.

Wade, ever the decisive one, has solved the problem on his side by being a 100.  This makes no sense to me.  Isn’t that just a firm mattress with a pillow top?  That also brings up another issue.  If I am a 25 and he is a 100, which totally makes sense if you know us, then there is no sleeping on each other’s side of this huge king size bed.  It’s like having two twin beds, which may sound good to those of you who haven’t broken down and purchased one of these things but comes with its own set of issues.

Anyway.  Pray for me.  I have a big decision to make in just a few hours.  And my back hurts just thinking about it.

The Power of “We”

The other day something my sister said made me think about why we have spent so much time up at the hospital.  As I’ve posted before, most nights when Mom is there one of us sleeps in her room.  When Mom is just coming out of surgery she needs someone there to give her ice chips, help her get comfortable in bed, and to keep track of all the information the nurses and doctors are giving her while she is semiconscious.  Also, since she has had four abdominal surgeries, she needs help doing things like lifting her legs back into bed for the first few days. 

I’ve written before about how sweet this time has been and I am so glad we have been there but I have just been thinking about how we decided that this would be our routine during this time.  While pondering that I remembered the feeling I had when I heard that Mom had ovarian cancer and would be having surgery the week that school started and one week after we moved into a new house.  I felt so utterly overwhelmed and afraid that ‘I DO NOT HAVE WHAT IT TAKES’ to do this well.  For a couple of hours panic took turns with denial thoughts like ‘it won’t be that bad’ and ‘I can do this’ but I was really scared.

Then my sister called. 

That sentence deserves its own paragraph.  She called and said “how are WE going to do this?”  My sisters live fourteen hours away.  It hadn’t really crossed my mind that I would be able to truly share this load with them in any way other than occasional weekend visits and lots of phone calls and emotional support.  But one of my sisters is a ‘stay at home minnie’ and she has left her life for weeks at a time to come help Mom and Dad – and therefore to help me.   The other sister has taken time off  from work to come give us a break when she could.  Together we have made it through a very difficult year. 

Mom has one more surgery, Lord willing, and this one will be small compared to the other four.  I wouldn’t trade the time I have had with her for all of the gold in the world.  And the reason I have had that time is that my sister called.  She wouldn’t let me do this by myself and I wouldn’t let her sacrifice so much to help me without giving my all in return.  Because of that we can finish this year of hospital visits with a sense of having done well and having been pleasing in God’s sight.  Without her, I couldn’t have dared to give this much.  Together we have climbed a difficult mountain and as I look out over the view, I feel peace and gratitude for the sister who said “we”.

We’re Ba-ack!

We are back at the hospital for the (gulp) 4th surgery in 9 months.  This one is reconstructive and there will be one more and then we should be finished.  My sister took this picture while we were waiting for Mom to be called back to Pre-Op.   It’s strange to be there.  It’s kind of like you are just sitting and waiting for a doctor’s appointment or even a hair cut appointment (in a very large hair salon, ha!), then you move in stages from there to a room where your Mom changes into a hospital gown and gets an iv.  At this point you no longer feel like it’s just a normal day but you just sit and chat like you would if you were at her house. 

Then a man comes in and says, ‘Mrs. Hackett?!’

And you say ‘No.  Mrs. Skaggs!’

And he walks out and walks back in and says ‘Oh yeah!  Mrs. Skaggs!’ and throws a chart on your mom’s bed and starts wheeling her out of that little closet room to an elevator. 

Actually, that only happened this time, but it sure woke us up!  I think my sister and I were both wanting a good look at that chart to make sure it was my mom’s and that they weren’t about to do Mrs. Hackett’s brain surgery on her or something! 

Then you go into pre-op and the parade of physicians and students and interns and fellows begins, all asking your mom the same questions.  It’s always wierd to leave that room and know that the next time you see your mom, she will be barely conscious, probably in pain, and will be beginning a long road to recovery from what is about to happen to her.  It’s sobering.  It feels a little bit like saying goodbye to someone who is leaving for an out of the country trip.  You don’t want to be morbid and say things like ‘if I never get a chance to say this’, but you also want to be sure that you say ‘I love you’.  I always breathe better after I get the phone call from my parents, who are jet setters (haha!), telling me they are back in the good ol’ USA after an overseas trip, even if they still have 2 more flights to actually reach home.  And it’s always strange because I have this feeling that I didn’t even know I was stressed about their safety until I breathe that sigh of relief that they are ‘safe’. 

That’s how I always feel when Mom is wheeled back into her hospital room.  We may have a few more flights to actually reach home, but she is back with me, and that feels good.

“They have taken my Lord and I do not know where they have laid him!”

This phrase was on my heart this morning when I woke up.  I can literally feel the panic and despair in Mary’s heart as she said this to the disciples.  This feeling has been heavy on me today.  Mary had no idea that the greatest miracle in eternity past, present, or future had occurred and she was the first one to see it.  She only felt grief and then panic as she looked for Him. 

One of my favorite parts of my job is being with people as God does amazing things in their hearts.  I tell my friends that frequently I have a front row seat to what God is doing.  But so much of the time, right in the middle of their miracle, my clients feel their greatest despair.  And it’s true for me as well. 

As I walk through difficult times in my own life or sit with my client’s through their ‘dark night of the soul’ or love my family or friends through a difficult time may I remember this.  While Mary was saying ‘they have taken my Lord’, He was RISEN!  He had triumphed over sin, death, and the grave for all humanity.

Another Look What I Made!

I found a really pretty grapevine cross at Hobby Lobby a couple of months ago and coveted it but didn’t want to pay the high price, even at 40% off.  Today I got a brainstorm and made one out of branches that I pruned last weekend.  Yay!  It’s not as pretty as the Hobby Lobby one but I think I like it more because I made it for FREE!

Here’s a close up of it.  I used some twine I already had in my tool box and some flowers that have been on my Christmas tree for years.

Yeah, I’m cheap and I’m proud.