05 December 2011

My PaPa

There have been many people who had a hand in who I would eventually become... my first grade teacher who taught me my ABCs & 123s, Dept Jeff Davis who told me that I was better than the life I was living and finally got through, and my family. There is one man who no matter what I have done, no matter how angry I made him, no matter how much he just wanted me to calm down and I refused, he has been there rooting me on the entire time. This man is my grandfather...my PaPa... the one who taught me to tie my shoes and the one who took me to the dump every weekend. He is the one who walked me down the aisle and the one whom I have, on more than one occasion, flown halfway around the world to be at his side. He has kissed my boo boos and danced with me at recitals and my own wedding. He is the one I went to on Saturday mornings to cuddle between him and my Grammy;The one who taught me how to count change in the M & M jar. He cuddled with my little girl even though he has no energy left and enjoyed laughing at how silly she was. 
There are very few people in this world who I consider my hero, but my grandfather is certainly on that list. He took care of me when I needed him, he gave me a swift kick in the butt when I got out of line, and embraced me when my heart had been broken. This man has kept our family together and ensured that we all had the things that we needed and wanted. 
Yet somehow tonight, I find myself losing him. I do not know what that world looks like. A world where my "father" is no longer around seems like a very bleak place to be. The doctors don't know exactly how long it will be but to hear him say, "Katie I am on my last leg," just ripped my heart out. To think that I spent so much of my life rebelling against a man who just wanted what was best for me. To think that I didn't ask about his time in the military enough. I don't know a whole lot about his life, passions, mistakes, etc before I was born. 
This man deserves to be respected and he is certainly my very first HERO! I am so grateful for the love, caring, and kindness he has shown me through every day of my life and I am proud to call him PaPa. I look forward to talking about him with my Piper and ensuring that she knows that she comes from a great and noble family who deserves to be honored by doing the right thing. 
PaPa, I don't know how long we have but I need you to know that this world will not be the same without you. Just to think of this shatters my heart. We will all be okay but there will always be something missing where our granparents belong. You and Grammy did so much for us and we are all so grateful! We love you!!!! Please watch over me as I try to live my life without you!!!

Because he loved me FIRST!

18 October 2011

Surgery stay

Surgery Day 1 (18 Oct 2011)
So they told me that my surgery time was 9am, so the girls stayed in the hotel and planned to be here around 8:30, instead they pushed the surgery up to 8. Of course that is not nearly enough time to get a baby dressed, fed and ready to go so they didn’t get to be here before I went in. They hung out around the hospital all day and I am sure that Piper was jumping off the walls. I went to ICU because that is the protocol here in Germany and then they told me that Piper couldn’t come in. I was mortified because I knew that they were going back to Baumholder. The nurse, thank God, let Piper come in, since she was napping, and I got to see her for just a few minutes. I spent the rest of the night pushing the button for more meds, sleeping for 30-45 minutes, waking up being upset, and pushing the button again. I think that was probably the longest night of my life.
Day 2 (19 Oct 2011)
I was awoken this morning in the ICU around 8 am and saw the Dr Weiner. He came in to visit and check on me and said that I could leave the ICU and go back to my room. I spent the whole day relaxing and thinking. You would think that as a full time mom, I would enjoy the chance to sit and do nothing all day long… not so much!! I was in a terrible mood and the meds made me jittery and emotional! I talked to Sarah, Amber, and Piper a few times throughout the day and Piper calling for me made me feel like my heart had been ripped straight out of my chest. I feel like I am about ready to go crazy!   I hope I get good rest tonight!
Day 3 (20 Oct 2011)
Today, Dr Weiner came in at 0700 and informed me that I am not allowed any more pain medicine plus my drain will be taken out, and now I have to start drinking liquids but that I might be able to go home tomorrow! I so badly want to go home!! I miss my baby girl so much it isn’t even funny! I want to go home and give her loving on. I want her to be able to say I love you Mommy to me not to a telephone.
As most of you know, my husband, Justin, is deployed for a year. He came home in September for 15 days for R & R. Tomorrow is our 5 year anniversary and I would really like to be at home and able to talk to him on skype. I am ready to be out of this hospital. I am not in a whole lot of pain, honestly. I am sore, for sure, but not in pain. I have a lot of burps and those don’t feel great and a lot of gas which also doesn’t feel terrific. I am ready for the rest of my life. This part sucks!  10:02 am
Dr Weiner got his days confused and realized that tomorrow is not probable to go home. He wouldn’t give me a reason which really upset me. I spent this evening trying to get someone to tell me that I could sign out AMA. I am so angry right now that he cannot keep his days straight! It’s so frustrating for me! I wish he would figure it out!

I did, although, get to talk to my gorgeous husband finally today. He had a very long day yesterday and was not able to call. It reminds me how difficult it must be to be him. I cannot even imagine an entire year’s worth of growth! I get to stay home with piper and see the first time she learns something new or how long her hair is getting or whatever, and he winds up only getting to see her on the webcam occasionally! I feel so bad for being so whiny today with him. I pray this deployment is over SOON! I pray that the December date is correct. I can’t wait for our family to be together again! Okay now to try to get some rest!
Day 4 (21 Oct 2011)
NO rest for me! These beds are so uncomfy! Dr Weiner came in today and talked to me a little about my options for leaving and why he feels like staying one more day is best. Apparently the difference is that I could start to run a high fever or have a lot of pain and since I live 2 hours away, it would not be a good thing if I got really sick and had to drive 2 hours to the hospital! I am grateful that he was willing to explain it to me today and feel better about staying one more night. The Lord has given me some peace. I do still feel guilty. I said in the beginning, that I wanted to do this surgery so that I can be a better mother, wife, friend, etc. I want to be skinnier but not because I am uncomfortable with my body (self-esteem wise) but because I am uncomfortable with the ability to run, jump, skip, and get on the ground, etc. with my family. I cannot teach Piper all the things that I want to teach her standing up! I want to homeschool and in order to do that, I need to be able to have all of the energy and flexibility that a normal teacher would have and then some! This surgery will allow me that ability! Okay now to drink my tea (That by the way tastes DISGUSTING) and see if maybe I can sleep some of this day away! I am READY to go be out of this hospital! I miss my baby girl! I called this morning to talk to the girls and Piper was talking about everything. We have been learning Diaper and she hasn’t exactly said it yet. She always says Diader and today, she said Diaper, plain as day! It is the cutest thing ever! I am so in love with this kid and so grateful for her! I cannot wait to get home! 0834 AM
So this entire day has been sitting in this hospital bed being bored again. It is only 3pm and I feel like it should be 10-11pm. I finally figured out that the little tablets they have been bringing me with my food (which I though was a supplement) is splenda! NOBODY told me that! Thanks! I have been drinking straight tea this whole time!
Physically, I am not in any pain. I feel a little like I overdid it in a workout. The hiccups are kicking my butt right now, though. I assume it is normal since they cannot get down into my stomach since I don’t really have a normal one.  I am taking it easy so that I can have fun with Piper tomorrow! I am trying not to work up the “reunion” in my mind. I kind of want it to be a dramatic “MOOOOOOMMMMMYYYYYY!!!!!!” moment but I expect that it will be like “oh yea! You are home! Okay now to play with my toys!” We are at 16 ½ hours until my Sarah gets here and 18 ½ until my baby girl is in my arms again!
Now I need to make a large shout out to my Sarah! This woman has taken everything on and has done it with more grace and dignity and less whining than I EVER could have! I am a whiner by nature but Sarah, I am sure she is exhausted. She got home from the states on the 15th and took over someone else’s family for a week on the 17th! I cannot ask for a better friend who loves me more than she does! I pray that I can, at some point in our life, make it up to her! Amber is of course helpful as much as she can be but she is at school and all and the majority of the work falls on Sarah’s shoulders!
Now, I also need to make a large shout out to that gorgeous husband of mine! Today marks the first 5 years of our marriage being DONE! Five years is a long time in this day and age to make it. These last five years have been some of the most amazing, beautiful, terrific times in my life! They have also, bee the most trying, difficult, heart wrenching times of my life! In these five years, we have started a life for ourselves over all of the objections, moved to Germany, found out how to be a couple, taken custody of a mouthy bratty teenager, dealt with infertility, made it through countless days apart between field problems and two deployments including a bit of PTSD and my depression, and had the most beautiful baby girl ever! This man has been the rock of my world and has seemed at times to be the one to tear us apart! We have spent out entire relationship in a state of transition. I have had the ability to be the stay at home mom that I always aspired to be and will continue to have the ability to be a home schooling mother. This man has given up countless family events, birthdays, Valentine’s days, and other special times to do his duty for our family and our country. I could not be more grateful and proud of him if I tried. And I am SOOOOO blessed to get to be his wife! 5 years ago today, I pledged to love a man who pledged to love me. We had no idea what life would bring, we just knew that we HAD to do it together! We took sacred vows and have, even though the hard times have been around, we have remained a team! Justin Morgan Jones, you are the love of my life and I could not ask for a better man to walk through this journey of life with! You have been supportive and understanding and loving throughout this whole surgery and have never told me that I wasn’t beautiful or perfect for you! I pledge to love you for the next 5, 10, 50, 100 years unconditionally! And to strive every day to be THE wife that you need in this world! The one who supports you and loves you and knows you inside and out! And who you can ALWAYS come to when there is an issue.
Now to get some rest for tomorrow! It is only 4PM but maybe I can get a nap in to help the time go by faster!
Okay so today has gone by RIDICULOUSLY slowly even though I have talked to the most people today. I got to chat with Jacque for a few minutes and I got to talk to that gorgeous man of mine and I talked to Sarah 3-5 times and they were all nice long talks! It has still been the LONGEST day! I laid in bed hiccupping and burping for over an hour trying to go to bed and finally decided that I would get up and write so that hopefully I can go to sleep soon! It is 1118 and I need my rest to be able to play with the baby girl tomorrow! Sarah will be on her way in 4 hours and I can’t sleep! GRRRR! I mean I haven’t been able to sleep the whole time I have been here but I am getting through that. I just haven’t been able to stay asleep until tonight!
Oh well, on a completely unrelated note, we are getting a new car! My hubby decided while he was home on R & R that we needed to get THE car that I want so we have now put in the application and been approved and all and Justin and I are trying to figure out what to do with our van. I want to get as much as possible out of it but it is up to where we can get the most money from!
Also, I am having some friend trouble. I have this friend who we got really close really quickly and I was so excited because she seemed to be a lot like me. She has a kiddo that is Piper’s age and she seemed to have a lot of the same background as me. While Sarah was gone, I had said that IF Sarah couldn’t get home from the states quickly enough to take care of Piper, then Jen could come with me and take care of Piper during the day. She then decided that we should all go and make a day of it on Monday until I had to be dropped off and then everyone could go to the hotel and I could stay at the hospital. Well, a few days before my operation I called to figure out what time I had to be in Frankfurt and they said 0900. Well naturally that means that our whole trips plan had to change. So then she decided that the kids, Sarah, and Amber and she would go do something all day on Monday (Without me) and then come to visit before bedtime! UMMMM NOOOOOOOO! So I thought that I was avoiding conflict by telling her that it was a decision that Justin and I had made that he doesn’t want me to be alone all that time so that it would be easier with just Piper, Amber, and Sarah, right? WRONG! Instead of continuing to be a good friend, she hasn’t called or checked on me or talked to me at all this entire week! She has no idea whether or not I am okay or if I need anything. Some friend, huh? And all of this after I have taken care of her child MANY MANY times with very little reciprocation. But have I ever complained about it? NO I thought that we were building a 2 way friendship. I thought that she was going to repay me as often as I repay her and that at the moment, that was just time when she needed me and my help more than I needed hers. No problem! You really find out who your true friends are when you really NEED someone to be there for you and only a few people show up to truly support you. I am done trying to be there for everyone! I am tired of being the good friend who is always there and willing to do whatever I can do and 90% of those people who I have been there for unconditionally, turning their backs on me and expecting me to just bend over and take it! I AM DONE! People are terrible! We are by nature uncaring and selfish but I am finding that the younger the people are in life and in their walk of faith with Christ, the more immature and selfish they are. So I am deciding that I will put a cap on the amount of things that I can do for others. Sarah and my close friends over for supper, ABSOLUTELY! Outsiders once in a while but only if they offer the next time! I am done being the ONE who pays for EVERYTHING and never gets anything in return. Not even a decent friend who will be there when they say they will, do I get out of all the hard work that I put out in the name of the Lord. I get that they need love and an example to follow, but it DOESN’T always have to be me! I am putting a cap on it! One time per week I will have new people over and the people who I actually already have a working relationship can come over and hang out throughout the day! THAT’S IT!!!!
Okay now that my rant is over, I think I can try for some sleep! I need rest, otherwise I will be exhausted tomorrow and I can’t have that when my little one is home and has missed me, right? 

17 October 2011


Okay so my daughter, best friend, and sister just left and I am feeling VERY alone! I am having the surgery in a German hospital so the procedure was a little different than I expected. I was told to be here on the 17th for pre-op and then that I would stay overnight and have surgery on the 18th, then to stay for 4 more nights and go home. Well first of all, we got lost on our way here so we wound up here an hour late! (Great start right?) Then we get here and instead of being put into a room where Piper, Amber and Sarah could hang out while Piper had plenty of room to play, we wound up getting told to go to the doctor’s office and sit waiting for the tests to get done all with 20-30 other people. So we sat until 2pm while they were doing their testing. I had some blood work done, an EKG, an endoscopy and then I finally got to go to my room. The girls were gone when I got here so I got to take a nap. We watched movies and hung out tonight and I got to talk to that gorgeous husband of mine! I am so grateful that he is such an awesome husband even when he is so far away!!! I am also really grateful for my friends who are willing to take great care of my beautiful little girl while Justin and I are unable to take care of her!!

I am although starving, right now; they barely let me eat anything so I have been starving all day!! I did lose 12 pounds during this liquid diet week so that’s exciting! I am so ready for the rest of my life! I love my husband and he loves me so much just as I am so I am glad that this decision has gotten to be all about me and not about wanting some to love me more! He loves me and we have a good marriage and that is enough for me. This decision gets to be about being healthier and having the ability to run around after my Piper! About being able to have a decent pregnancy and a cute pregnancy belly maybe? I love this! I am ready for this life!
Okay, now it is time to get some rest! I will be IN surgery in less than 12 hours! This is crazy exciting! And crazy scary!! Surgery is worrisome and my mommy and my love are not here and I feel like I am just taking the next step.
This is exciting and I, for one, CAN NOT wait!! 

11 October 2011

Day 1 of liquid diet and 6 more days left to surgery

So today was the first day of the liquid diet that I have to do for an entire week. I feel like I am about to loose my mind. I don't actually know that I am hungry but I surely feel hungry. My head has been killing me all day and I am even more nervous than ever. Normally, if I am nervous, I eat; this has been very nerve racking for me!! I have 6 more days until my surgery. I am still having some minuscule reservations about it that keep creeping up on me. Justin isn't here and neither is my mommy. I am not worried about Piper being well taken care of since Amber, Jen, and Sarah will be here to cater to her every whim but they aren't me. They can be amazing but it isn't the same as her mom taking care of her. I am also worried about the fact that Justin just left and she is barely adjusted to that, and she has been sick all weekend and now there goes Mommy away to the hospital for 5+ days. I feel so bad for her. I am sure she will adjust. I am sure she will be fine. I am sure of that but a little speck in my thinks, "you know you should be there for her."
Oh well, I will get through it! Justin is completely supportive and I have amazingly supportive friends. I have enough people around me who love me and would be willing to put their lives on hold to be able to make this a possibility. My Sarah had an extra week of work that she could have spent doing anything else, and she is going to spend it playing with and loving on Piper so that I can do this for me. Plus, Jen who has her own kiddo to take care of is going to take her whole week and help with Piper and Amber and make sure the house runs smoothly! These women are a blessing to my life and I am grateful to you both!
Okay, now that I have gotten all of this off of my chest, I think I can go to sleep!

05 October 2011

R &R

So in the Army, there is this thing called deployment; it means that my husband leaves us for 9-18 months to go fight a war that we aren't even sure how we feel about and he is willing during that time to do whatever he has to for our family, our country, and the freedom, that normal Americans, take for granted. I love a lot of this Army life. We have security that you rarely find. The Army helped us to figure out how to be adults and brought us to this amazing country to live for 3+ years and has given us a freedom that i never thought possible. I have friends that I believe have been put in my path for a reason. These women are amazing and supportive and loving and I am grateful for them.
Now, all of that said, there is also this thing called R & R. It is supposed to be a break from the loneliness and a break for the guys to come home and rest so that they can continue to do what they do. The problem with this concept is that when he came home everything went back together. Everything was amazing. He was my knight in shining armor and for 16 days I got to feel like I wasn't a single parent. I got to have someone else help with Piper because he loves her as much as I do and wants to spend time with her just as much as I do. He did everything that I asked, he listened to me when I talked and was truly interested in what I had to say. We traveled around Europe. We had our very first successful, enjoyable, resting vacation of our six year relationship! At the end of this 16 days of heaven on earth, I wound up at the airport saying goodbye to him again, watching him walk away to do his duty, and being left here to pick up these pieces and trying to pick up the pieces that left to get on that plane as well. I love this life, most of the time! But this week, I am really lucky that I am still breathing and moving through the motions without major breakdowns. 

I did not write this to have a pity party for me. I just want people to know what it is like to have a spouse that you spend every minute of every day worrying about. A man who loves his family and his country enough to put his life, his family time, his entire world on hold and give everything for us to be comfortable and free. This man is amazing! He is gorgeous and has the most beautiful heart, he is a big teddy bear who makes all of my worries go away. I love this Army life, but more than that, I love this Army soldier! I love that he loves us as much as he does! I can not believe that I am this lucky! 
We will get through this! We will overcome this end of R & R. Piper will get back on a schedule. She will adjust. I will adjust to him being gone again. I will pick up the pieces of my husband's heart and put them back together... we will be okay. He will be home soon enough. 
Lord, please protect my soldier! 

01 October 2011

Gastric Bypass - first posting

Okay so I know that not everyone has gotten the whole story so I wanted to explain so that everyone is on the same page. Some of this will be hard for some people to read and for that I am sorry but this is the WHOLE story.

At a young age, I was sexually abused. From the moment that started, I began to talk myself into that it was my fault. After everything came out, a family member said that it was my fault because I showed off my body when I was a child; I was in a bathing suit often, I wore lots of shorts, etc. Once that little seed was placed in my mind, I started to look for ways to be less pretty. I found solace in food. If I had a bad day, I ate; I didn't feel good, I ate; I was bored, I ate. It was the one thing that I turned to that could never forsake me. It couldn't talk back. It couldn't walk away. It was constant. I have spent my life hiding behind the things that have happened to me that I had no control over. I have always been the fat kid. I have never been the one that got hit on in the middle of the mall. I wanted so badly to feel like I was loved but also to go through life unnoticed.

Fast forward to age 19, I met the most amazing man in the world and he taught me that I can be loved and look beautiful and not have to worry about disgusting people harming me. I still had the same habits though. People think that giving up smoking is difficult, try giving up something that EVERYONE has to do. It is like giving up breathing!!! I have been working to teach myself to realize when my body is actually hungry for months. I have begun to work out regularly.

I have had the same doctor for a while and I really like her. She sent me to the nutritionist last year and I worked with them for a LONG while with very little change. A few months ago, I decided to look into surgical options. Dr Ash and I decided to put in the referral to see the doctor in Frankfurt.

As I am still who I am, I began the moment that we put in the referral to look for people around here who had dealt with my doctor or had the surgery previously. I met up with some awesome ladies and they answered all of my questions and put my mind at ease. Plus, I spent HOURS searching for information about the surgery, about my recovery, the left over skin, etc.

While Justin was home on R & R, we went up to Frankfurt and met with the doctor and got set up for the surgery.We decided to set the surgery up for the 18th so I go to the hospital on the 17th and have a whole lot of tests done and things and then the morning of the 18th, I go into surgery. They will go in and completely revamp the way that my digestive system works. Essentially, I will start all over as if I was a baby. I will be in the hospital for 4(ishdays and once I am out, I will be able to resume regular life with one small change.... I will only be able to eat a few ounces per sitting and I will be loosing weight like crazy!

Since the beginning of September, we have been doing a bible study about addictions to food called Made to Crave. I have been learning all about how we were, as human beings, made to crave but how God intended it to be us craving Him, not food (or money or whatever you crave.) I have spent my entire life craving foods to fill a void that I didn't even realize was there. I am very excited to move on to this new chapter in my life. The chapter where sexual abuse has no control over me and where food is no longer an addiction! A life where I am comfortable in my own skin. At no point have I ever wished to be a twig. I will never be a size 2 but I would be really happy in a size 12.

I will be posting pictures and updates as we progress through this journey.....

05 July 2011

The fourth of July

Today I got to spend my day hanging out with my friends! Piper was extremely well behaved. Amber and I had breakfast this morning that I didn't even get to start on until 10:30. We decided to go to the festivities with Sarah and Jen on post. Before hand of course we had to have a cute outfit for Piper. The one that she had and I tried on her last week, did not fit! I was not happy about that and decided to go get her a new outfit. So off we went. The fest was alright. Piper got to play in a duck pond and "won" a sticker. She also spent some time in a bubble table that she thought was just amazing!

I then went to Sarah's to talk to my hubby. He has been having a really hard time since moving to Kunduz and was not interested in our day at all. As I left Sarah's to drive home (a little frustrated that I only got to talk to Justin for 10 minutes and that the whole conversation was about him)I got into my minivan (provided by my husband, of course)  turned on the air conditioning, and as I drove, I saw a man on the side of the road. This man lives around here and goes to our church. His name is Franz and he was saved by soldiers many years ago. Since that time, he has devoted his life to thanking the Armed Forces. Now, I have know this man since not long after we moved to Germany four years ago. At first, he was "this weird guy with a lot of signs." This man has some land in a village close to ours and on that land, there are signs. These signs are all dedicated to two things... praising the USA and praising God for his life. This man is getting on in years, I want to say somewhere around 75. He is married and has a daughter. That is about all that I know about him. Now I know I am rambling but I have a point, I swear... He spent his day in three of the local villages on the side of the road with these signs to demonstrate his love for the US soldiers. He took the time to make signs to put up around his car and to have flags above his car so that we could be lifted up today. He took 3 hour blocks at each of these villages to just sit so we knew he was supporting us. I spent my day leisurely walking around and complaining that I wish there was more for Piper's age and how much I missed my husband; Justin spent his day cooking for hundreds of soldiers and finally got to call me, and had to wait for me to get there, (which he did patiently) then finally got to talk to us for just a few minutes before he had to go to bed; and Franz spent his day demonstrating his love for us. I stopped to talk to Franz and asked him if he had eaten anything, he said not much, so I gave him some food, but that isn't why he does this. He is a true witness to what God has done in his life and wants us to know who he is and for what reason he is able to be that person.

The point is, while we are all spending our days BBQing or worrying about whether or not we will get to see the fireworks, there are men working and fighting in foreign lands to save men exactly like Franz. People who will spend the rest of their lives thankful for what these soldiers consider to be "just their job!" THESE MEN ARE BRAVE! They should be thought of and prayed for. Their families should be in your heart all the time! We have lost nine men so far this deployment and we are only 5 months in! They laid down their lives willingly to take care of us! And I had the audacity to make this day about activities and clothes?

Lord, please help for me to be a better witness. Help for me to put your will first in my life! I have been so whiny lately about Justin being gone. He is missing out on so much of Piper's life and I hate it, but you have a plan and this is part of it! You know what you are doing and I am trying so hard to micromanage for you, Lord help for me to realize that you know the plan and that I do not need to know it! You are almighty and amazing and I would not ever want to hinder your will in our lives! Help for me to be more like Franz and grateful for the things that you have blessed me with. Help for me to lift up my husband and pray for him daily even when I am tired and just want to go to sleep! Thank you for having already started a work in my heart, Lord. Amen