It’s All In How You Look At It :)

I turned 46 years old yesterday.  If you ask my kids, I’m old.  If you ask my mom or older brothers, I’m young (…forever the baby in the family).  In fact, if my dad were alive, he would have called me yesterday to say “No matter how old you get, you’ll always be my little girl” as he did every year on my birthday.  Ha Ha  Like alot of things, age is relative and it’s all in how you look at it, I guess.  It does feel strange, however, to be in my “late 40s” officially and making a life-transition where it seems I’m “doing” less and “reflecting” more.  I’m experiencing a bit of a mid-life crisis, I think, as I confront the realities of the aging process in a life half-lived (I hope!)…i.e. the need for reading glasses (my arm is no longer long enough to get by without them), unexplained stiffness in the morning (Wait! Did I go rock climbing yesterday?), perimenopausal symptoms, age spots, gray hair, wrinkles beyond the limits of “laugh lines”, etc, etc, etc.  🙂  Ha Ha Ha  Stupid stuff really.  Well, the physical changes are annoying but I’m actually grappling more with the non-physical realities like certain dreams and opportunities that won’t be realized…in part because of limited time in general, and in part because of the lifestyle changes we’ve made to care for Rudy.  Regrets?  No, not really because at certain crossroads in my life, I chose to pursue other dreams & goals and I consider caring for Rudy and his special needs a very specific calling from God that I gladly take on each day.  I’m happy with my life…it’s just hard to admit that there comes a time when all the world ISN’T at your fingertips and there are certain things that just can’t happen in one’s remaining lifetime.  I’m not feeling overly pessimistic…just realistic and challenged to keep it all in proper perspective.

The lesson I feel God is reiterating over and over again in this journey with Rudy is “perspective”…to not get caught up in the heavy details of life whether it’s concern for Rudy or the big kids, financial burden, hormone surges coming from the perimenopausal mama AND the teenager in the house(!), kitchen remodel fatigue or the “would haves, could haves, should haves” of middle-age but  instead to keep an eye on the bigger, blessed picture.

Last month, Rudy was God’s object lesson in this on-going dialogue about “perspective” and Olivia provided this month’s reminder when she came home from her surf lesson last week.  She explained how she caught and rode 5 waves but got caught up and tousled by the surf in several other attempts.  When I asked her if she’s scared when she gets battered by the waves like that, she responded “No, I just pretend the waves want to play with me”!!!  I love that!  What a great outlook!  Okay, so maybe it will be a bit of a stretch to pretend life wants to “play with me” when things are tough but I can choose to keep my head about me and not get caught up in fear.  It’s all in how you look at it, right?  Thanks Livy!

Medical Update:  So, we’re down to just a few weeks before Rudy’s scheduled heart cath at UCLA on the 21st.  Rudy sees Dr. Harake (SB cardiologist) on Friday and so far so good in keeping Rudy healthy before the cath.  Please continue to pray that nothing will prevent the cath from happening on the 21st…lots of details are in place.  We also have a date for Rudy’s next sleep study at CHLA…we’re scheduled for Monday April 16th.  We have scheduled appts at UCLA that morning so we’ll make the most of a day in LA while we wait for the sleep study admit at 9pm later that night.  I’m praying a successful sleep study will lead to quick decannulation so we can get that boy in the pool this summer!!!  How fabulous it will be when Rudy is free to swim…if the way he kicks in the bathtub is any indication, I think he’ll be a great swimmer!  🙂

Here are some February highlights…

Rudy at the Rincon Classic Surf Competition earlier this month!
Rudy and Wilson watching the Oscars.
Gotta love the new bifocals!
Rudy in the barrel at therapy today...
...there's lots of fun to be had in the barrel...
whoooaa! Rollin' around in the barrel!
Happy barrel boy!
Goofy Rudy at school in the stander!



Happy Valentine’s Day

Well, it’s that special day again.  The day we share love and a goofy tradition or two.  Lots of activity today as we’re participating in the K-LITE radiothon again for the Rescue Mission’s Bethel House.  Really fun and for a good cause.  (If you’re in SB tune it at 101.7 FM and call (805) 879-5483 to pledge and dedicate a song to your Valentine!)  Trish started the day on the radio and I’m headed there myself in a bit.  A great day filled with inspiring stories of women in recovery.  More info, click here:

But there’s are some special memories this day will always hold for me.  Valentine’s Day in 2009 was one of those quiet Sundays during the seven-month stretch we sat with Rudy in the CTICU at UCLA.  The months were marked by small developments (foot wiggles, brow furrows, etc.) that only parents holding a vigil would notice.  That day, I remember making eye contact with Rudy for awhile, when suddenly I noticed just the slightest twinkle.  I managed to snap a picture and Nurse Amy verified that we had captured Rudy’s first smile–despite all the wires, tubes and the monster bruise on his arm from an IV gone wrong.  One of my all-time favorite pictures and easily my most memorable Valentine present!

The best Valentine ever--RUDY'S FIRST SMILE!!!!!!

From here, there’s probably no appropriate segue to this year’s Valentine greeting from our kids.  One favorite family tradition (remember this and this).  Submitted for your enjoyment:

Happy, Happy Heart Day from ALL the Geylings to you!

Dance Party!

While the big boys were gone to band practice at church last night, Rolf, Rudy and I were treated to an impromptu concert from Olivia.  Rudy started to bust some impressive moves and seeings how Olivia was dancing to a Jackson 5 classic, we thought it was only fitting to post it in memory of Don Cornelius who died this week.   The “Soul Train” definitely made a stop at the Geyling’s last night until Rudy lost his steam toward the end of the video!  🙂

Gotta love a good dance party!