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Showing posts from 2009

Nearing the End of 2009

Well, Christmas has come and gone and we’re staring down the end of another year. I have mixed emotions about the New Year, for some reason. I think I’ve been sort of in a reflective mood lately – they come and go from time to time. It’s just so very hard to believe that it has been over 4 years…FOUR YEARS since our lives took this unexpected turn. Incredible. Impossible. Just so hard to believe. Matt had just turned 30…I was still in my 20’s…now we’re both approaching our MID thirties. Incredible. Impossible. And yet, here we are. Sometimes, like Christmas morning when we woke up to ice on top of snow and I was forced to dig us out on my own, I find myself completely consumed with self pity, sadness, and the overwhelming feeling of unimaginable loss. I hate to admit how pitiful I can be, especially to Matt. He had no idea how I struggled with the snow and ice as he showered and readied himself for the day. I pouted, whined, and fumed in the driveway…the snow blower no help against th…

Monday Update: 12/14/09

So, Amy and I completed our first 5K without incident last Saturday. It was a cold, cold morning…but we pulled through! I woke up early Saturday morning and felt a little bit excited about the run…wondering what it would be like, how we would do, how many people would be there…so many questions. Amy and I got our packets of info and readied ourselves for the race inside West Des Moines City Hall. Looking around at the variety of runners, I felt much more at ease. There were clearly some serious runners…one guy was even wearing SHORTS, but there were also groups of walkers, and friends dressed up in their holiday gear…it was very laid back and the atmosphere was upbeat and relaxed.

The parks and rec guy made a few announcements…’Runners….blah, blah, blah’ Runners. I giggled…he said runners. Me…in a group of …runners. Where am I? Who am I? Finally we lined up and started the race…one of the local TV stations captured it on camera and we have video evidence of the running captured on ou…

Wednesday Update: 12/09/09

Holy Blizzard, Batman!!!

So, we’re in the midst of what could go down as one of the storms of the century! It’s hardly December, we’ve hardly begun to think about winter being upon us and then WHAMO…here it is! I can’t believe the forecasters were actually right this time…whenever they predict big snow, we rarely see it come to fruition. But this time…yep…a foot of snow, easy. I can’t help but think back to this past Saturday when Amy and I met to run on the path around the lake near her house…it was cold, but sunny and it felt good to run outside. Um, I think my days of running outside may be over for the winter! To top it all, we are running in our first 5K this Saturday! I have no doubt that the route will be clear and we’ll be able to run it without incident…the snow will sure make it festive!! And I’m sure Blake and Matt will thoroughly enjoy sitting at the finish line waiting for us in the cold and snow! Ahh…true love and support.

This past Saturday Matt and I had Matthew and Meg…

Tuesday Update: 12/1/09

Well the holiday season is upon us once again and we’re starting to feel ready for it. Last week was a bit of an up and down…and REALLY down week for us. On Saturday, the 21st I spent the day at the Iowa/Minnesota football game with a group of friends. It was a cool, fall day – just perfect for football and I had a blast. We headed out early in the morning on my friend Jami’s bus. She and her husband have a small school bus that they’ve used to tailgate at Iowa games for years. I was excited to be able to ride over with them and immerse myself in complete football mania unlike any I’ve experienced before. We bumped into a couple celebrities while tailgating – Zach Johnson (the famous golfer) and Michelle Monaghan (an actress)…and of course Gina and I had our picture taken with Herky…the biggest celebrity at the game, I’m sure!
It was a good, good day…which swiftly came to a screeching halt when I arrived home to a very sore Matt. While I was off gallivanting at the game and having a w…

Wednesday Update: 11/11/09

I found out recently that an old friend of mine has breast cancer. It’s pretty shocking to know someone in my age group going through something this, well, scary. I think sometimes I somehow separate myself and Matt from groups of people who’ve gone through major life changing experiences…I don’t always acknowledge how profoundly different our own life is from what it once was…or how most everyone we know lives today. It must be because I strive to always see the good in our situation…to project to the world, and to myself, how normal we really are…even though how not ‘normal’ our life really is. I think about all the things that my friend will be going through in the coming weeks and months and it really just kind of shakes your core. Amy and I have both been impacted by the news of our mutual friend’s cancer journey…and as a friend you just feel so helpless. One way Amy thought we could show our love and support, and possibly achieve some personal goals, was to train for and run th…

Monday Update: 11/09/09

So we’re sitting on the couch last night getting ready to settle in and watch some TV. I hand Matt a bowl of homemade chex mix and a glass of eggnog (yes, I succumbed to the pressure and bought him some at the store on Saturday), and he turns to me and says ‘You know, I’ve been thinking. Even with everything that’s happened to me, I’ve got it pretty good.’ I smiled and asked him what made him think that (besides the obvious answer…eggnog!). He said while yes, the eggnog was nice…it was more of a feeling of contentment with things…the fact that I make him yummy snacks, and buy him his beloved eggnog are just part of it…but I think they all sort of sum up to just being grateful…for all the good things in the life we’ve made together. I can’t tell you how good it makes me feel to hear him say things like that…and how much I really love doing what I can to foster that feeling of contentment. It makes me feel like I am somehow fulfilling my purpose…by working with Matt to make the most of…

Tuesday Update: 11/3/09

Wow – November already. It’s hard to believe! October came and went without much fanfare and now we find ourselves making plans for the upcoming holiday season. It’s crazy to be thinking about holiday get togethers, lists, shopping etc...but here it is, just around the corner. Matt had his first call from his dad that their beloved AE eggnog was in the stores and of course he whined and gave me his best pitiful pretty-please face each time I went to get groceries until I finally caved in and came home with some. As ridiculous as I think it is that anyone would want to drink eggnog (on a regular basis) from October through January…how could I refuse him ONE half gallon? I made sure he understood that I would not be buying him eggnog each time I went for groceries…that he’d have to savor the eggnog and once it was closer to Christmas and more acceptable to be drinking it, then I’d pick it up here and there. A week or so later his folks came down for dinner while I was out shopping with…

Tuesday Update: 10/06/09

This past weekend was the annual Cruise to the Woods cruise and car show up near Fort Dodge. I’ve written about the cruise in years past…it is something that Matt and I always looked forward to and enjoyed for many years. Trying to think on it, I’m pretty sure we’ve never missed it since the first year we were dating…aside from the year Matt was in the hospital. I remember sitting beside him in the hospital that year and gazing at the fall colors out the window…wishing we were able to take the TA on the cruise. I know Matt has no memory of that day, and I’m glad. It was difficult for me…knowing the plans he’d had for the car that year and how much he was looking forward to it. It has been a somewhat bittersweet event each year since then. We find ourselves somewhere in the middle between wanting to go and check out the cars as usual and then just missing the TA…and driving it…and all that it represented to us.
It may seem weird to be emotional about a car…but undoubtedly we will alway…

Friday Update: 10/2/09

Wow has fall officially arrived. Today it barely hit 50 and is drizzly and windy. It feels more like late November than the 2nd of October. It’s an unusual cold snap and has us all in the mood for soups and spaghetti and things simmering on the stove all day. In fact I already have plans to make homemade spaghetti tomorrow with tomatoes I froze from my garden this summer! Matt and I have been talking about it this week and how nice it will be to have spaghetti on ‘Football Saturday’. Oh how we love our ‘Football Saturdays’! I’ve come down with a nasty cold and after a couple of busy weeks, we’re really looking forward to a very low key tomorrow!! I can’t wait!

Last weekend we traveled out to the Chicago area for a Karwoski family reunion. All of Matt’s aunts, uncles, and cousins were making the trek from here there and everyone to congregate in their old neighborhood. Matt and I thought long and hard about whether or not we’d go, but ultimately couldn’t miss out on the opportunity fo…

Thursday Update: 09/17/09

Well September 14th came and went without much fanfare. We both had a few moments of ‘oh yeah, it’s the 14th’…but that’s about it. Pretty much the same as last year. I think as the years move on and we get farther and farther away from 2005, the date holds less meaning to us. I also think it’s easier now that we live in our new house…not driving by the old landmarks and living in the old house, it’s easier to not be reminded so much. This past week we did take a drive by our old house, which we do from time to time when we’re in the neighborhood. Matt commented that sometimes he really misses living there…and I do too. It’s hard to put a finger on it, but I think it has less to do with how it was living there after Matt’s hemorrhage and more to do with the memories of our life before. We never knew how good we had it. Sure, we enjoyed our life and tried to live as filled with gratitude as possible…but I think I will always see it a little differently through my new eyes. We had a lot …

Thursday Update: 09/10/09

So we had a Minnesota vacation. It has been four years…almost to the day that all of us Karwoski’s drove up to the lake for vacation. The thought crossed my mind that it was very near to the anniversary of Matt’s hemorrhage. That the last time I looked out over that water it was with Matt standing happily by my side. I wondered if the rush of memories would overwhelm me and stifle my usual giddy vacation mind-set. But, we went, we spent the long Labor Day weekend up there, and not once did I feel the pangs of sadness or loss that I thought I might. Matt said he definitely missed certain things; going over to the lodge for ice cream, fishing alone with his Dad, driving the boat, going down to the harbor at night. But none of these things affected his mood during the trip. I think they were more just small sighs...just a few more reminders that things are different…but acceptance quickly follows.
We were talking about it just now after supper…about how this year as we approach Septemb…

Monday Update: 08/24/09

It’s hard to believe we’re coming up on September already – the summer is winding down, kids are heading back to school…crazy. We’ve had a busy couple of weeks, but full of lots of good times with family and friends.

We celebrated Lissa’s birthday back on the 15th with grilled steaks and all the fixin’s including homemade ice cream. It was a beautiful evening (in between showers) and the weather held off perfectly for us to get our grilling going and enjoy some time out on the deck.

This past week was the Iowa State Fair – an institution around these parts. I decided to take a day off of work and take Matt through the fair just the 2 of us. Normally we go during the afternoon/evening, so it was fun to go during the day and experience it in a different way. We wandered around checking out all the usual stopping points…the horse barn, the big bull, the freebies in the Varied Industries Building. We, of course, managed to sample some of our favorite yummy fair treats…and also tried some…