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Monday Update: 07/07/08

I know I’m no expert on a lot of things. I don’t understand things like chemistry, and how things work, most math equations make me throw my hands up in the air and exclaim ‘who CARES who gets to the station first’, and I don’t know much about economics and the ebs and flows of the markets. I don’t claim to, and frankly, I don’t want to. I just know what works for me, and feel pretty content with my little piece of the pie. What I do know is after a long holiday weekend spent with family and friends, celebrating our nation’s beginning; I can’t help but be filled with contentment and gratitude. I skim over articles which mention things like ‘blind patriotism’ and the bad shape of things here in America…everyone pointing fingers and blame and everyone else…and I just shake my head. I wonder how anyone could look around us and not be thankful for all that we, as Americans, really do have.
I celebrate the fact that I am able to pay a few bucks and go with my niece and nephew to a public pool to swim and play the afternoon away. I celebrate the fact that I can run up to any number of nurseries and buy happy plants to my heart’s content. And then turn around and put them wherever I want to in the beautiful land that we are so lucky to own. Maybe its because we so recently saw the vast difference between our life here in Iowa and that of millions of people in China, that I can come home each day and just feel how blessed we are. Could it be better? Sure. Do I grumble at the price of gas? Sure. But really, at the end of the day, I have so, so, SO many more things to be happy about…to be thankful for. And living in this house, in this state, in this country, is a huge blessing!!! I hope I can always appreciate that what we so easily take for granted came at a price. I know that many, many sacrificed tremendously so that we could have the freedoms and futures that we have today. As much as I hate to hear the naysayer complain…the fact that they can is what makes our country great. We can all have our opinions, and we can express them, as annoying as it may be to hear. But…for me…I choose to be happy. I choose to be thankful. I am so very grateful for the opportunities I have been given.
Matt and I watched something on the History channel the other day which chronicled a little bit about each state…and we both caught the section on Iowa. Watching it, we were both filled with such a sense of pride…it was unexpected and really almost choked us up. We realized just what a great place Iowa is, how beautiful it is, and how very lucky we are to have been raised here. We wouldn’t have changed it. I know some people might read this and think I’m sappy, or cheesy…but that’s fine. I really don’t mind. I feel contentment, and I think that’s a hard thing to come by these days.
So, now that I’m off my soap box, on to other things. We did have a really great weekend. Friday morning Matt, Jay, and Chad went down to the fair grounds for the big Good Guys car show. They spent several hours there wandering around, getting sore eyes I’m sure. That afternoon we headed up to Hope and Chad’s. Hope and I took Meghan and Matthew to the pool and we had a blast playing around in the water. Meghan was so happy to have me out in the deeper water with her, throwing her up in the air and spinning her around in the water. She showed me her summersault, and how she jumped in, and all her little tricks. It was just so much fun…for ME too! Matthew splashed around in the baby pool and happily played with his trucks and balls, waving and pointing to us periodically. Afterwards we grilled out and made homemade ice cream, which we all enjoyed out on the deck. Then we headed over to Ames to watch the fireworks. We had brought sparklers with us (which were a HUGE hit with both kids). So the kids were entertained by those, and of course running around after lightening bugs, and each other. We settled down to watch the fireworks, all cozied up in our sweatshirts and blankets. It was a cool evening, just perfect for fireworks.
Saturday I planted some more plants in my front flower bed and started thinking about what I want to do around the side yard as well. That night we went out for pizza with some friends from church…finally having our first Pagliai’s pizza since we moved. Oh, how we miss Pagliai’s pizza!!!!!!!! We had a great time chatting with our friends and savoring our favorite pizza.
Sunday after church we had a quiet, lazy Sunday…which was perfect! It was a nice end to a good, long weekend…but it was hard to get back up for work today. I could really get used to being around here more!
Last week we found out that insurance will pay for more physical therapy, so we are planning to go 2-3 times a week. Initially we thought we might go for 4-6 weeks and then evaluate what to do next, so we’ll see where that takes us. Last week we did get in to see Amy on Thursday for a session, and will go again later this week. In a few weeks we head back to Iowa City for a full day. Matt will have another MRI and follow up appointments with the Neurology doctors and eye doctors. So, now it really feels like we’re getting back in to a routine of appointments here, there, and everywhere! One thing is for sure – everywhere we go they are happy to see us, and pleased to see Matt’s progress, so I guess we can't complain too much.

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