21 August 2012

Peace


The view from my desk today. Beautiful blue skies, warm breezes, and just peace. 

A deep peace. Even knowing life has some heartaches to throw my way. I know the coming months will not be easy, but I'm at peace today. 

I have a good, strong love with Joe. I have fantastic friends and phenomenal adventures lined up. And I know whatever comes with Grandma, that my parents and my brothers and I, well, we'll handle it all the best we can while we love each other like crazy (and keep each other laughing best we can). 

So even though today's phone call pulled at the heartstrings a bit, I feel nothing but peace today. And I post this picture as a reminder to myself for the days coming ahead....there'll be blue skies again. And more importantly, there'll peace, so much peace, again. 

20 August 2012

Bookworm


In fifth grade, I was the class bookworm. 

No joke. 

My main memory from fifth grade was looking up to realize I was being scolded once again for reading a "fun" book underneath my desk during lectures. 

That happened almost daily. Sometimes more than once a day too. 

Our desks that year were the little tables with a shelf underneath for us to keep our school supplies in. Perfect for subtly pulling out a chapter book when we were supposed to be reading a textbook or taking notes. 

But in fifth grade, subtle isn't really an option. I'd often get so engrossed in whatever book I was reading at the time that I forgot to look up and around or move around a bit and not make it quite so obvious I was reading underneath my desk. 

But, my teacher, bless her, knew enough to not take away my books when I got scolded. 

I had a lot of problems with my hearing fluctuating that year. I suspect that if I added up the days, I probably spent more time without hearing that year than I did with. And well, school gets boring when you can't hear at all. There's only so long you can lip read before you get tired of trying to figure out the topic of conversation, and if the teacher was calling for answers from the class, there was no way I could read lips of every student, so eventually, I'd give up. 

I'd take a break and seek refuge in the book of the day. Because even when I couldn't hear, books remained my true friends. There were whole worlds out there to discover, and reading was one activity that I could do anytime....whether or not I could hear. 

My teacher would eventually catch on....probably because I was the only one looking down when everyone else was watching her....she'd come by, scare the crap out of me (not intentionally) and when she had my attention, scold me for not paying attention, and walk away. 

But she never took away my book, because she understood. Sometimes, I just needed a break. Sometimes, I just needed a friend. Sometimes, yes, I was just being rebellious (as only a bookworm could be). 

That empathy, well, that made her one of the best teachers I ever had. The fact that she didn't take away my books, well, that guaranteed that books have always been one of the best friends I ever had. 

17 August 2012

A View, Finally



After two years of being eye-level with the sidewalk, my office finally has a view again. I adore seeing the trees and sunlight, and watching the schoolkids on their way to and from school every day. 

16 August 2012

Cherry


Nothing quite like a bowl of cherry color on a grey, rainy day!

15 August 2012

Proof


This box is proof that sometimes you really can buy happiness.

Proof that sometimes you really can revisit childhood. 

I saw this adorable storage container at Target tonight. 

In rare KtMac form, I may have gasped aloud. It made me so ridiculously happy. It still does.

And then I remembered, I had a white comforter as a kid, completely covered in pastel colored hearts exactly like this box. When I texted a giddy picture to Mama Mac, she also commented on how similiar it was to the comforter I loved the stuffing out of as a kid (no joke....I loved it until stuffing was literally falling out of it).

With the box on sale, I was sold!

I haven't discovered just what I'll use it for yet, but who could resist a little box of happiness?

14 August 2012

Blue Skies


Blue skies
Smiling at me
Nothing but blue skies 

13 August 2012

Pro-Tip Re: Hearing Aid Batteries


Hearing aid batteries are expensive. No joke. 

For standard behind the ear hearing aids and my particular model of cochlear implant, I've always had to use the largest hearing aid battery available: 675. When I used a hearing aid, I used one battery at a time and each one lasted roughly a week. In this cochlear implant, it takes three hearing aid batteries at a time (it's heavy on my ear some days) and they last roughly 3-5 days at a time. 

In Target or the drugstore, you get a pack of eight 675 batteries at once. Each package costs between $8-10 depending on sales and sales taxes. I was lucky for a few years and Grandma would go crazy buying me hearing aid batteries when they were on sale with her seniors' discount. But that was before the Alzheimer's set in. 

Luckily, a few years ago, I discovered Costco sells hearing aid batteries. They sell the hearing aid batteries in packs of 40...for $9.39 a pack. 40 hearing aid batteries for the same price as 8 batteries elsewhere. And these batteries last....usually about a week (so, longer than the packages I found elsewhere). 

Suddenly, that $55 annual membership to Costco is absolutely worth it. I share this little find because I'm sure others out there are looking for the best prices on hearing aid batteries....or may someday find themselves needing hearing aid batteries too. 

12 August 2012

Handsome


I adore this handsome man. 

11 August 2012

Again


One step in front of the other. That's all. That's everything. Especially when you get up again no matter how many times you fall. 

10 August 2012

Happy and Light


My friends, it's Friday night. And my heart is happy and light. 

It's been a quietly wonderful day. Joe and I snuggled extra late this morning, which encouraged Joe to work from home for the day. It was a rainy morning that turned into a sunny (but windy) afternoon. There was coffee in the morning with some rainy day musings while I tried my best to ignore the snippets of Joe's teleconference leaking out from behind the closed office door. 

There was a long lazy afternoon for two working out on the balcony. But it was so windy and chilly, we found ourselves all bundled up...pants and sweatshirts and socks and a wool blanket carefully carried home from Scotland. 

There was a leisurely post-work soak in the tub for me. And lots of laughter and stolen kisses. But more than that, there was a happy heart. Full of love and grace and gratitude. For you. For all of you. For all the support and encouragement and love you've sent my way these last few days. 

It makes my heart happy and light. And for that I thank you. From the bottom of my happy and light heart. 

09 August 2012

At the Top


That's me up there. Way up at the top. I was eight years old. 

Shortly after this picture was taken, my dad had it blown up to poster size and framed in my bedroom. And there it hung until I moved out for college. 

My dad had this picture blown up to remind me, no matter how difficult the challenge, no matter how big the mountain, no matter how much my tears may blur my vision, I can and I will reach the top. 

This picture was taken on my fourth grade spring campout. It was the first time I'd ever seen a climbing wall, nevermind climbed one. I didn't have any hearing that day

After the guides gave a brief introduction to the wall, I noticed most of my classmates were queuing up on one side of the wall. I thought they were crazy to wait, so I went to the other side of the wall, where there was a much shorter line. 

Because I couldn't hear instructions, my dad (in the grey hoodie) stood at the base of the wall and banged hard on the left side if I should move to the left for the next handhold and banged the right side of the wall if I should move to the right side.

We developed that plan after I was already halfway up the wall and had fallen off once. I was so stubborn, that even though I was crying, I didn't want the guide to lower me down until I'd reached the top. 

And with my Dad's help, I reached the top. 

After I was back on the ground and had stopped crying (falling off was scary) and I could read lips again, my dad finally told me that I'd chosen the harder wall to climb. There were far less handholds and so many of my classmates had chosen the easier side of the wall to try their climbs. 

Ever since that day, whenever I've struggled or wanted to give up, my dad has quietly reminded me of this picture, of this day. I can and I will reach the top. And he'll always be there to help me if I need him. 

08 August 2012

Part of Who I Am: An Introduction to Growing Up Hearing Impaired

This story is only part of my story. It is only a part of who I am. I do not define myself by this story. But I do know that understanding this story goes a long way towards understanding me on a personal level. And I gladly share this story, but never have I shared it all at once before.

It's hard to write down your story. Even just a part of it. So it's taken me quite a while to find the words to share without it becoming an overwhelmingly long story. Even edited down, even when I know I'll share more snapshot stories later on, it's still quite long. Just the same, this is just an introduction. There will be more stories, some that share more details, others that share a little more insight, to come.

Because it's such a long introduction, you can read more following the jump.

Every Single Day


I'm a lucky girl. I know it. 

Joe doesn't just tell me he loves me. He shows me. Each and every single day. 

And he constantly finds new ways to show me. He's in a conference this week for work, and yesterday they were passing out Starbucks' gift cards as a reward or motivator. Joe came home and gave me the gift card. So I can go work out of Starbucks for a change on a day when I get restless. 

Such a thoughtful, selfless gesture. And moments like these make me so thankful we're together and so in love. 

07 August 2012

Classic KtMac


Yep...that's me, in preschool. I know I was in preschool because I was wearing the phonic ear (beige box on my chest), which connected to a microphone my teachers wore, amplifying their voices directly into my ear. I wore the phonic ear in school and hearing aids at home. 

More details on growing up hearing impaired are coming soon. I'm still polishing the introductory post, but I love this picture too much not to share it. It's classic KtMac. 

06 August 2012

Inaugural BBQ


Tonight was the inaugural BBQ on the balcony. Cheeseburgers and french fries with s'mores for dessert. 

Many thanks need to go out to Mama Mac and Daddy Mac for the rocking chairs and patio table, and to Mom V and Dad V for the BBQ and BBQ tools. We've got a fully outfitted patio thanks to our awesome parents!

05 August 2012

Looking Out the Back Window


I love having two back windows and a summer rose garden to look down onto. Such a difference from having random shoes walking by as our view. 

04 August 2012

Summer Roses


03 August 2012

Bluer than Blue


Even though we have the most unreal sunlight around these parts lately, today I found myself daydreaming of the bluest blue sky I saw over Edinburgh. It was a typical Scottish day...mostly dreary, on the damp side of cool, with intermittent drizzles, but suddenly, blue. Bluer than blue. Just for a moment. I think the fact that the blue sky was so unexpected made it even more of a treasure. 

Just a little over three months until I'm reunited with my Scottish road trip partners in crime again! And I can't wait!

02 August 2012

More Than


This. This is how I've realized I need to drop the "amateur" whenever I mentally call myself a photographer. 

Am I great? Naw. There's always room for improvement. Am I professional, who is paid for her services? Naw. Not sure that's an ambition of mine either. 

But. My fascination with light and capturing it. My fascination with elevating the ordinary and the every day into extraordinary. 

Well, those two things alone mean mentally and vocally, I need to be confident enough to say "Yes, I am a photographer," without any disqualifiers accompanying that phrase. 

I am more than an amateur. And when I have the courage to believe it and to say it, well, there's no stopping me now. 


01 August 2012

Oh August....



I'd love to say you're the start of my lazy, hazy days....full of nothing more important than a glass of wine and a good book on our new balcony. 

But you're not even a day old, and yet every single weekend has now been fully booked. 

I love it. 

But, rest assured, I'll be enjoying this beautiful (non) view from the balcony every chance I get.