10. 24. 2014

Daily reminder: for the month of October, I’m joining with The Nester (and hundreds of others), writing for 31 days. I’m piggy-backing on Meredith Bernard’s theme of living like I’m dying for these 31 days, and linking up with the Five Minute Friday folks, who are writing for “just” five minutes for each of these days. A list of these posts (so far) is here, so go ahead and get caught up!

As I’m busy “dying”, I won’t be visiting many blogs this month, but I hope we’ll still be friends. Follow this journey of mine on Facebook (indebtedmom), Twitter (@indebtedmom), and Instagram (Kirsten_Indebted) because I’m doing more than “just” writing this month. I’m documenting a journey. But if the posts are all you want (really?), sign up to receive them by email (see the sidebar) or follow the blog on Bloglovin’.

life's homestretch

Well, here I am, with just one week left to live – I’m in life’s homestretch. It’s been a crazy, busy month (even though I stepped away from many blogging activities). I wanted to set my husband up to have an easier time after I was gone. I wanted to attempt to make memories with my preschooler. I wanted to leave behind pictures and mementos so that my youngest could feel like she really knew me – even though, at seven months old, there’s no way that she can actually remember me.

To that end, I have spent my spare alone moments cleaning out closets, making menu plans, and researching new positions for my husband. We’ve hired a housekeeper and spent a fair amount of time sorting through items and putting them away. I’m attempting to get bills caught up, passwords noted, and our financial situation generally straight.

We’ve had pancakes and cartoons every Saturday and we’ve done fun outings as a family. I rock the baby to sleep in her room and sometimes attempt to lay her down in her crib. It hasn’t gone well, but maybe after I’m gone, it will be different…

What ends will never be tied up? Almost all of them. But one end has (perhaps irrationally) pulled at me from the start – milk. Not too long before Meredith introduced this challenge, I had lost all my frozen breastmilk. I make just enough at my work pumping sessions to eke by, so my daughter has yet to need any formula, although I have a bit on standby. My goal, had I lived, would have been to breastfeed for a year, and I am just so sorry that I can’t do that. And I’m sorry that there isn’t anything to spare. Once I’m gone, it will be an abrupt transition to formula. And I don’t know why that hurts my heart, but it does.

Maybe it’s just because I feel like the baby gets the rawest end of the deal. Her world is going to be rocked the most – the one who cuddled her to sleep, the one who fed her, the one who rode beside her in the car – she’s gone…

Five minutes is up – but the one thing that I can say about the milk is that I’m happy I can keep going. If I knew I was dying in a month, chances are I’d have cancer or some other very serious illness, and I would have had to stop breastfeeding a long time ago. I’m blessed that I was able to do it, and I’m blessed that it’s gone so well this time. In the end, though, the baby would not be emotionally or physically damaged by formula :-)

Thanks for sticking by me this long into a whole crazy mess of posts! What has been your favorite?

10. 23. 2014

Daily reminder: for the month of October, I’m joining with The Nester (and hundreds of others), writing for 31 days. I’m piggy-backing on Meredith Bernard’s theme of living like I’m dying for these 31 days, and linking up with the Five Minute Friday folks, who are writing for “just” five minutes for each of these days. A list of these posts (so far) is here, so go ahead and get caught up!

As I’m busy “dying”, I won’t be visiting many blogs this month, but I hope we’ll still be friends. Follow this journey of mine on Facebook (indebtedmom), Twitter (@indebtedmom), and Instagram (Kirsten_Indebted) because I’m doing more than “just” writing this month. I’m documenting a journey. But if the posts are all you want (really?), sign up to receive them by email (see the sidebar) or follow the blog on Bloglovin’.

paying bills

I really, really hate paying bills. Who doesn’t? Writing the checks (or at least, the online version of a check) for hundreds of dollars for a loan payment or for my mortgage – man, it’s just not fun. And what is even less fun is that, for one system, you have to use your account number as your user name. For another one, it’s your email address. For this other bill, you had to make up your user name – but it didn’t like the user name you normally pick, so you ended up picking something off the wall and you can never remember it. Until recently, we didn’t have bill pay through our bank. We just got that set up and I haven’t had much chance to breath, much less fuss with figuring out another system that I can’t remember the log in for.

But, as you can tell, I am pretty much the one who pays the bills each month. We recently got our house professionally cleaned, but before the people came through, we were furiously picking up toys and messes, and we also had the ubiquitous stack of bills on our kitchen counter. Mr. Indebted dutifully opened each of them and laid them in piles – things he could tell were on auto-deduct, things he knew we needed to pay (one-off things like a doctor bill), and things he had no idea about. The “no idea about” pile was pretty large.

I hate the thought of him having to spend much time at all paying bills – though I’ve discovered it really isn’t bad if I bring them to work and do them on my lunch break. I don’t have to worry about interruptions from the kiddos and I can just power through paying bills. The task at home would take me an hour, but at work, I can knock it out in 20 minutes. Yet, I still have to scramble for user ids and passwords. A few bills still take time – instead of just happening “magically”.

So this month, I’m working on setting everything up on auto-pay that can be. Then, I’ve committed to figuring out the bank’s online bill pay system. Finally, I’m going to make notes of all our passwords and logins, as well as notes on using the bank bill pay. Paying bills is never fun, and I can only imagine how stressful it will be to lose me and my income, without having to also worry about what bills are already paid and what bills still need to be done. But hopefully I can at least make it easier.

And that’s my five minutes for today! Getting close to just one week left!

Do you have any bills thaat are not paid automatically? Which ones?

10. 22. 2014

Daily reminder: for the month of October, I’m joining with The Nester (and hundreds of others), writing for 31 days. I’m piggy-backing on Meredith Bernard’s theme of living like I’m dying for these 31 days, and linking up with the Five Minute Friday folks, who are writing for “just” five minutes for each of these days. A list of these posts (so far) is here, so go ahead and get caught up!

As I’m busy “dying”, I won’t be visiting many blogs this month, but I hope we’ll still be friends. Follow this journey of mine on Facebook (indebtedmom), Twitter (@indebtedmom), and Instagram (Kirsten_Indebted) because I’m doing more than “just” writing this month. I’m documenting a journey. But if the posts are all you want (really?), sign up to receive them by email (see the sidebar) or follow the blog on Bloglovin’.

Although I don’t consider myself a minimalist, I also don’t have many things that are of value. I have a wedding wing and an engagement ring. I have a set of pearls. I have some expensive kitchen items, including a set of china.

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I got to wondering what I would leave behind for the girls. They are mostly too young to have shown an interest in anything of mine – especially things like china, which they’ve never even seen me crack out. No memories associated with it – just something I do treasure.

But when I got to really thinking, I realized my oldest is a budding runner and she’s shown some interest in my race medals – especially the tiara one (Disney Princess half marathon). She’d probably like those. It’s things that have value because I earned them and they tell a story about my life. She can remember that her mom was a runner and that she loved all things Disney.

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Hanging on the same doorknob are the shell lei’s we got in Kauai for our honeymoon. Perhaps those are an equivalent gift for my youngest, although she seems enthralled with my iPhone. I just figure she won’t care about it when iphone 25 comes out. But the lei’s were part of the love story between her parents. Maybe that would be special to her when she’s older.

Of course, easily accessible in my freshly cleaned-out closet is my wedding dress and veil. I doubt either of them will ever wear it, but it’s there. They can pull it out and see if and touch it, if it tickles their fancy. While I am not emotionally attached to it, I’ve held on to it, just for them.

I’ve stopped short of giving the anything to the girls. It might be that they want to pick out something of their own. It might be that having something of mine right now lessens the value for when I’m gone. It’s just something I wanted to think about – beyond the memory making Saturday’s and the photos. I wanted to leave something behind something they can hold…

What’s your most valued possessions?

10. 21. 2014

Daily reminder: for the month of October, I’m joining with The Nester (and hundreds of others), writing for 31 days. I’m piggy-backing on Meredith Bernard’s theme of living like I’m dying for these 31 days, and linking up with the Five Minute Friday folks, who are writing for “just” five minutes for each of these days. A list of these posts (so far) is here, so go ahead and get caught up!

As I’m busy “dying”, I won’t be visiting many blogs this month, but I hope we’ll still be friends. Follow this journey of mine on Facebook (indebtedmom), Twitter (@indebtedmom), and Instagram (Kirsten_Indebted) because I’m doing more than “just” writing this month. I’m documenting a journey. But if the posts are all you want (really?), sign up to receive them by email (see the sidebar) or follow the blog on Bloglovin’.

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My time is ticking away – just ten days left (if I’m lucky), and I want to take a break from the memory making and financial planning and address the elephant in the room. Do I know where I’m going after this?

Yes. I say that with confidence. I’m going to Heaven, and not because I’m a perfect person. I’m an imperfect person with a soul that’s been blessed by grace. I’ve accepted Christ as my Savior and I’ve been baptized for the remission of sins. I’m saved.

My daily walk with Christ is not easy. I sin daily. Probably hourly. I repent only to fall back into the same traps that ensnared me before. But I pick myself up and I keep trying. I keep praying. I keep believing with an eternal hope.

Knowing where I’ll be for eternity makes my death – at the young age of 35 – a bit easier. I’m not at all sorry for me. No, no. I get to go somewhere beautiful and peaceful and carefree. I’m just sorry for the ones I leave behind because I know all to well how grief works and how those girls are going to want to have memories of their mom. How my girls will wish for the chance to call their mom in the middle of the night and ask what in the world are they doing so wrong that their seven month old baby will not sleep longer than 90 minutes. Ah, maybe that doesn’t matter because I have no answers ;-)

I catch myself being excited – almost like it’s the last day of school before summer vacation. I’ll miss my friends, but I’m just waiting for that bell to ring, because what comes next is going to be great…

It’s a tough question, and it doesn’t even have to be a “religious” answer: if you died today, would you be OK with that?

10. 20. 2014

Daily reminder: for the month of October, I’m joining with The Nester (and hundreds of others), writing for 31 days. I’m piggy-backing on Meredith Bernard’s theme of living like I’m dying for these 31 days, and linking up with the Five Minute Friday folks, who are writing for “just” five minutes for each of these days. A list of these posts (so far) is here, so go ahead and get caught up!

As I’m busy “dying”, I won’t be visiting many blogs this month, but I hope we’ll still be friends. Follow this journey of mine on Facebook (indebtedmom), Twitter (@indebtedmom), and Instagram (Kirsten_Indebted) because I’m doing more than “just” writing this month. I’m documenting a journey. But if the posts are all you want (really?), sign up to receive them by email (see the sidebar) or follow the blog on Bloglovin’.
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I’ve heard it said that if you don’t want to do a job at home, just do it poorly. I sometimes think that’s how my husband must feel about cooking because he does a terrible job so I try to avoid employing him in the kitchen at all. It’s not that his dishes always tastes bad, but he never ever follows directions or recipes well.

Case in point: during our early months together, he made a grilled cheese. He buttered both sides of two pieces of bread, browning both sides before assembling the grilled cheese. Anyone else think that’s kinda weird?

When he follows a recipe I give him, he’s never quite sure if “tsp” means teaspoon or tablespoon, which can lead to some interestingly seasoned dishes if I’m not around to consult. He’s also notorious for poor kitchen management. He might, say, mix up a casserole and then turn on the oven – either foregoing the entire preheating time (for an undercooked dish) or having to wait an additional 10 minutes for dinner to be ready.

I’m scared that my girls wll be doomed to late, poorly cooked dinners – or worse yet: fast food. I’m vegan and I’d love for my girls to be raised vegan, but I’d love even more for them to not be raised on a diet of chicken nuggets and French fries. I want them to know the joys of fruits and vegetables and home-cooked meals. I want them to be healthy and to have a healthy relationship with food and their bodies.

In just a few days, I won’t be able to cook for them any more, but I’m making a list of simple dishes that they love. They can be made in short amounts of time and don’t require too many ingredients. Or chopping. Hubby’s a really slow (but excellent chopper). Even if they grab fast food once or twice a week, I’m hoping they also cook some and eat together done, especially if he’s closer to family who can help…

Once again, time is up. The list contains several non-vegan dishes, as well, and I’m also hitting breakfast (like including my pumpkin pancakes you’ve been seeing on Instagram). The goal is to have recipes at his (and hopefully my) fingertips so that pulling together dinner and grocery lists are a breeze. I’ll also be noting “teaspoon” instead of “tsp” ;-)

10. 19. 2014

Daily reminder: for the month of October, I’m joining with The Nester (and hundreds of others), writing for 31 days. I’m piggy-backing on Meredith Bernard’s theme of living like I’m dying for these 31 days, and linking up with the Five Minute Friday folks, who are writing for “just” five minutes for each of these days. A list of these posts (so far) is here, so go ahead and get caught up!

As I’m busy “dying”, I won’t be visiting many blogs this month, but I hope we’ll still be friends. Follow this journey of mine on Facebook (indebtedmom), Twitter (@indebtedmom), and Instagram (Kirsten_Indebted) because I’m doing more than “just” writing this month. I’m documenting a journey. But if the posts are all you want (really?), sign up to receive them by email (see the sidebar) or follow the blog on Bloglovin’.

I’ve discovered through this process of dying that I haven’t really been living. I go to work, come home exhausted, and zone out in one way or another. I’ve literally rocked the baby to sleep for hours because that was more appealing than cleaning house or spending time with a rambunctious preschooler. Yeah. I’ve been hiding from responsibilities and duties and life in general.

And I want to be clear that it’s not really like me to shirk repsonsibilibitles. I’m just overwhelmed. Being a full-time worker and a mom are just at odds in my book. I can’t do them both well, and I seem to have a just backed away from doing one of them at all.

I don’t do much teaching of my oldest. She’s a tender-hearted girl. She shares like you wouldn’t believe – never had any problem with it at all. She’s sweet and empathetic. She’s a great big sister – you should see her wanting to feed her sister or change her diaper. I mean, I hit the jackpot with her. She’s awesome.

But you know where she learned about manners? From daycare. Well, what about how to pray? From Bible class. How about covering her mouth with she coughs. Back to daycare.

I know folks will tell me to cut myself some slack, but that’s part of the problem. I cut myself slack and then I found that I hadn’t really been doing the best job I possibly could do as a mom.

So, in my twilight here, I’ve been trying to teach my girl to serve because no one else is covering this yet. We’ve made little quiet bags for visitors at our church. She packed them full of her stickers and her snacks – even though I bought things specifically for the bags. Told you she’s sweet. Then, yesterday we baked cookies for her Sunday school teacher because her husband is in China (and was possibly detained). We are also sending some things to two sick girls who are in the hospital. My girl is loving the service, but not nearly as much as she loves having a project where mom is helping her.

Before, it was always “well, I need to clean house” or “gotta pay these bills” or “I need a nap” and I thought about these activities, but just pushed them off. Something was always more important. But now time is running out and suddenly I feel the need to actually be a mom. Being a mom is most important.

If you have kids, how do you teach them to serve others? How did you learn as a child?

10. 18. 2014

I’m doing this five minute post on my phone… Yup. It’s been that kind of day. I’m rocking a baby to sleep and praying that it works this time because it basically didn’t work all day long. But at least I’m rocking her in her freshly cleaned and organized room.

Both girls have been on the cusp of a new size for several weeks now. They wear a few items in their old size and a few in the next size up. And God forbid Mr. Indebted is tasked with putting together a matching outfit from the chaos of the laundry (clean, but in piles on the table)and the weirdness of the sizes. The big girl is likely to walk out in a pair of overalls with a shirt dress underneath (because it’s clearly a shirt, not a dress).

Which got me to thinking about my impending absence – those poor children in their mismatched clothes that aren’t right for the weather or the occasion. My heart hurts for them – not that they notice at the tender ages of not-quite-four and only seven months. And not that it’s really a big deal in the grand scheme of life. But it’s evidence of a missing momma.

I’ve cleaned out my clothes to make things easier in everyone, so why not clean out theirs? Today I cleaned out both dressers and both closets. I got my baby in the next size up, even though it mostly doesn’t fit quite right. It will when I’m gone…

I’ve put coordinating outfits on hangars and all I can do is hope and pray that they stay that way. I’ve set out snowsuits and bought snow boots…

Just like that, time is up again today. Which is just fine – this momma needs sleep ;-)

Who gets the kids dressed in your household? If you have older kids, how old were they before they could pick out coordinated outfits?

10. 17. 2014

Daily reminder: for the month of October, I’m joining with The Nester (and hundreds of others), writing for 31 days. I’m piggy-backing on Meredith Bernard’s theme of living like I’m dying for these 31 days, and linking up with the Five Minute Friday folks, who are writing for “just” five minutes for each of these days. A list of these posts (so far) is here, so go ahead and get caught up!

As I’m busy “dying”, I won’t be visiting many blogs this month, but I hope we’ll still be friends. Follow this journey of mine on Facebook (indebtedmom), Twitter (@indebtedmom), and Instagram (Kirsten_Indebted) because I’m doing more than “just” writing this month. I’m documenting a journey. But if the posts are all you want (really?), sign up to receive them by email (see the sidebar) or follow the blog on Bloglovin’.

I realized this afternoon that officially I’ve passed the halfway mark. Not much time left to set things right or to tell people how much I love them or make memories. Less time to teach my girls to love the Lord and to know that mommy has gone to be with Him. Time is officially running out.

As I entered into my last month, I set about making changes and trying to do better in so many areas. I’ve written about how I am culling through my clothes, so my loved ones have less ratty T-shirts and clothes that I haven’t worn in years to go through. I’ve written about how I am trying to get my desk in better shape (slow process) so my coworkers don’t have to clean out my 800 packets of salt and my barely-working pens. I’m attempting to be considerate and to make my passing easier on everyone.

As part of recognizing that I didn’t have enough life insurance – I realized my husband would have a hard time keeping the house clean. Because I recognized he would need help and, without family in the area, that help would have to be hired. He cannot afford it. Ultimately, I hope that he is able to sell the house and move closer to family (perhaps even move in with family for awhile), so one he gets to that point, it won’t matter. But it takes time to sell a house and houses on the market are generally pristinely clean.

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But for now, our house is just a mess. It’s simply a function of having a baby and a preschooler, a full-time job, and a long commute. I imagined leaving him with a sink full of dirty dishes, loads of laundry that are clean, but not put away, and floors full of crumbs and dog hair. And I realized selling a house like that is impossible. I also realized how much more depressed the mess would make me feel, if I lost him.

So I have hired a housekeeper to come in to do a “spring” clean. Get the house ready for all those folks who will drop by to check on my family. To help me be able to do things like put away laundry so that hubs can find matching outfits for the girls (at least for the first week or so). To just help us get things back in order so I don’t spend my last moments trying to dust the dining room. I’ll no longer be keeper of the home…

Check my Facebook page for a few more “real life” thoughts on this matter :-)

Have you ever considered hiring house cleaning help? Why or why not?

 

10. 16. 2014

Daily reminder: for the month of October, I’m joining with The Nester (and hundreds of others), writing for 31 days. I’m piggy-backing on Meredith Bernard’s theme of living like I’m dying for these 31 days, and linking up with the Five Minute Friday folks, who are writing for “just” five minutes for each of these days. A list of these posts (so far) is here, so go ahead and get caught up!

As I’m busy “dying”, I won’t be visiting many blogs this month, but I hope we’ll still be friends. Follow this journey of mine on Facebook (indebtedmom), Twitter (@indebtedmom), and Instagram (Kirsten_Indebted) because I’m doing more than “just” writing this month. I’m documenting a journey. But if the posts are all you want (really?), sign up to receive them by email (see the sidebar) or follow the blog on Bloglovin’.

I just had a meeting with my boss, in which he laid out my tasks for 2015. He has got me totally overallocated and basically wanted to ask if it was OK. He needs me to work on some project management standards – he doesn’t have other resources with any great experience to tap. He needs me to work on a huge project that requires tons of sensitivity, coordination, troubleshooting, and forward thinking. He doesn’t have another good option for that, either. He needs me to work on yet another project that is also better suited to my talents than to other PMs in our organization. Yeah, I’m a rock star, I guess. I guess that’s why I got my big raise ;-)

Amidst this discussion of the next 14+months, all I could think about when I walked out was “yeah, but I’m dying”.

We are not promised tomorrow. This is a Biblical truth  (James 4:13-15), but even if you aren’t a Christian – you have no idea what tomorrow holds for you. It’s so easy to sign up for projects and events and social commitments – but we just never know if we will be here to complete them.

Maybe it sounds silly, but I’m a bit more motivated now to be clean and neat. To keep organized notes and documents at work. To essentially have a hand over – even if it’s not something I ever plan (or can plan) to deliver. I know once I’m gone I won’t care if people can run those projects successfully. I won’t are how messy my drawers are. But there’s soemthing in my responsible nature that says – just do it and make other people’s lives easier. Be a professional, even in death.

death of a project manager

So, today I’m planning for the end of my career – the death of a project manager begins with planning. I’m starting to tidy up my desk. I’ll be taking home unnecessary personal effects – like my aerospace engineering textbooks that I display just so folks know I actually am an engineer, not a secretary (true story). I’ll be taking home my ancient TI-2000 calculator that I don’t need because I don’t solve differential equations any more. And I’m wiping down my desk…

So, time’s up again today. With some of my posts, I’ve questioned if that’s how I’d really do things if I knew I were dying, and today’s issue is no different. However, if I were diagnosed with a life-ending disease, I do think I’d clean up my desk so no one else has to. I do think I would do my best to designate back-ups on my projects (just as I did for maternity leave) and keep them constantly in the loop, so they are ready to step in for me at any time. Now that I think about it, the same should apply for an unforeseen death, so I’m going to be a bit more professional at my job. Keep my desk a little neater. Keep better notes. Keep people better informed. And just pray that none of that is needed.

How often do you tidy your workspace?

With some of my

10. 15. 2014

Daily reminder: for the month of October, I’m joining with The Nester (and hundreds of others), writing for 31 days. I’m piggy-backing on Meredith Bernard’s theme of living like I’m dying for these 31 days, and linking up with the Five Minute Friday folks, who are writing for “just” five minutes for each of these days. A list of these posts (so far) is here, so go ahead and get caught up!

As I’m busy “dying”, I won’t be visiting many blogs this month, but I hope we’ll still be friends. Follow this journey of mine on Facebook (indebtedmom), Twitter (@indebtedmom), and Instagram (Kirsten_Indebted) because I’m doing more than “just” writing this month. I’m documenting a journey. But if the posts are all you want (really?), sign up to receive them by email (see the sidebar) or follow the blog on Bloglovin’.

I had just started high school when I experienced the first death of someone that impacted me.. I’ve written about it before, but I’m a huge NASCAR fan and during the early 90’s I rooted for a driver named Davey Allison. Davey died as the result of injuries sustained in a helicopter accident. He was an organ donor and I remember reading news articles about someone, somewhere having his heart. That stuck with me.

organ donor

When I got my driver’s license and was informed about the option of noting on my license that I wished to be an organ donor, I signed without hesitation. It was an easy choice – I don’t need my heart or kidneys or anything anymore. My organs might as well help someone else have a few more precious memories with their family.

Then I started to see articles about how signing your license isn’t legally binding. I’m not sure if anything has changed on that issue. I wish it would. But I remember telling my mom that I wished to be an organ donor, that I had signed my license, and that I hoped she would honor my wishes if anything ever happened. I still remember that her reaction was less than enthusiastic.  Sure, she was uncomfortable discussing the death of her “baby”, but she almost seemed disgusted. I didn’t understand it then and I still don’t understand it, but I know not everyone is on board with organ donation. That’s fine, but they are my organs and they aren’t doing me any good after I’m gone…

So when I got married,  I had the same conversation with Mr. Indebted. I told him that I signed the spot on my license but that he would have the right to overrule that and I told him I didn’t want him to. He was very supportive and feels the same way.

Now as I face my “death”, I stop to think about whether or not organ donation is really the right thing. It’s not much of a question, really. I think if my last act can be to help someone else live – to be with their babies longer – then I want that. I hope that it also reassures my girls (and hubby) that I live on, even if they will never meet the person who carries part of me inside.

I was reminded to check my license, just to make sure I’d signed the available spot to remind my family of my decision…

And just like that, time is up again today!

Have you known someone who benefited from a donated organ? 

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