Friday, February 10, 2012

Making Lemonade

I'm not gonna lie...

My past week has been a huge pain in the tuchus.

I felt like each new day bore its own new tiny disaster, and it was turning me into a crazy woman. I did all the things that crazy women do: I yelled, I cried, I complained on Facebook, but none of that was helping. So this morning I woke up singing a new tune. Whatever tiny disaster was waiting for me today, I was going to be ready to face it head on. How? I was going to make some lemonade.

Yes, I am referring to the age-old expression, "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade." Lame? Possibly. Effective? Absolutely.

The more I went about my day, the better I got at it. Did everything go perfectly for me today? Heck no! I had a sick toddler at home with me all day, I walked around post-wide with a sticker stuck to my hind-end, I burnt supper while spilling raw egg on the floor (because it takes real talent to do both at the same time!) and I had to send a preschooler to bed early after attempting a few uneffective time-outs. (And that was just a list of things from off the top of my head. I'm sure I could find more if I nit-pick. I am a woman, afterall!)
Today was no better than days past because of any change of events. It was simply better because of my attitude. In life, you have to be able to take the sweet with the sour. And if you are given an extra helping of sour, then you better figure out a way to make it sweet.

And that's exactly what I'm going to do for you here now. :)

SOUR: A little over a week ago, the FedEx delivery guy dropped off a package containing my birthday present from my husband. The package had a huge hole in it (like someone had sliced it open with a knife) and the contents of the package were missing. There was a jewelry box, but there was no jewelry in it. It was very upsetting that my present was stolen, but even moreso, it was upsetting that my husband's grand surprise for me had been spoiled. We hardly ever buy eachother things that extravagant, and I was not expecting anything like that from him. In addition to all the chaos behind the questioning of "will we be reimbursed?" "will the jewelry be replaced?" "can we get another replacement in time?" etc., there was also the huge letdown of now knowing what my present was going to be, and feeling like I wouldn't appear as appreciative as I should of my husband's very deserving efforts when the replacement did arive. So in sum: Stupid thief aka Party Pooper!

SWEET: First off, my husband bought me jewelry for my birthday! How is that not sweet?! Secondly, I was very fortunate to have a very professional delivery guy at FedEx helping me. He stayed to make sure we were taking all the right steps so I wouldn't get the run-around, and even contacted the customer service rep for Zales for me...above and beyond what he needed to do, really. Though we haven't been refunded yet, we know we will be. And my replacement jewelry has arrived (from another vendor, obviously.) The hubby said it wasn't what he had ordered for me originally, which probably worked in my favor, because I LOVE my new necklace so much! (Yes, I did open my present a few days early...I had to make sure it was actually in there this time!)

SOUR: About mid-week, I was at the Office Depot trying to make a very small purchase with my debit card. After two attempts and two declines, I decided to use the credit card. Jack had gotten a hold of my debit card earlier in the week and had bent the card. I thought maybe it wasn't agreeing with the card reader... Anyway, right beside the Office Depot there is a Dollar Tree. Sammi begged me for a balloon, so I figured I would cave to the request. While we were there, I grabbed a couple more seasonal items. Again I went to pay, and again my card was declined. Really?! At the Dollar Tree?! I was flipping out. I knew we had money in the account...why couldn't I pay?! In a snap decision not to induce further drama by telling my four-year-old she needed to put her balloon back, I used the credit card again and raced home to see where all my money had gone. I checked the account, and everything looked normal. Could it be becuase my card was all bent out of shape? Maybe. So I called my bank and requested the new card. As they pulled up my account, they said, "actually ma'm, there has been a freeze put on your account for a suspicious charge. You didn't happen to make an online purchase at the Apple Store for $1300, did you?" Nope, sure didn't. And while I knew that Valentine's Day was just around the corner, I didn't figure that was a present Nathan had picked up for me either. My account had been compromised. I needed a new debit card--minimum of two day waiting period with the possibility of ten. I had the credit card, but who wants to live ten days on credit while there's money in the bank?!

SWEET: Actually, so many things are sweet about this. First of all, my bank caught the fraud. While the $1300 wouldn't have put us in a bind, it CERTAINLY would have been missed. I was so happy to have the credit card. I didn't want to use it at all, but it was nice to know it was there in case of an emergency. Also nice to know was that I had enough food, diapers, and dog food to last several days. The only thing I was lacking was milk. I decided that I would just dig through a change jar and walk with the kids over to the Shoppette to pick some up. But after I brought up my situation with my MOPS group, one of the moms took me to her house and let me take home a gallon of milk. I was so touched by her generosity and willingness to help a friend. I am blessed beyond measure with the wonderful people God has placed in my life. Another blessing: the replacement debit arrived after only two days...I'm back in business, people :)

SOUR: Yesterday afternoon, I tried to send an email and my inbox completely shut down. When I went to re-open it, a message popped up on the screen that I had set off some kind of spam alert in the system. Yahoo says this happens if you send an email to a large number of recipients at once, or send more emails than normal in a certain time-frame. I had done neither. All I could think about was "Why, oh why is this happening to me?! Who is hacking into my stuff? Is someone trying to steal my identity?" Then I cried about it to everyone in my Facebook world.

SWEET: First things first--I can send emails again. I don't know what caused it, or how they fixed it, but at this point I am not asking anymore questions. But probably the sweetest moment for me here is that after I "cried" on Facebook, I had a large amount of loving responses from my friends. It made me realize that I truly do have an arsenal of wonderful people who have my back through all things, big and small. A girl can't ask for too much more than that.

SOUR: Yesterday morning, Jack was looking a little sluggish. I took his temperature, but he didn't have a fever. I decided to take him to my MOPS meeting and see if he would perk up, which he did. After the meeting, though, he got really fussy again. He had started running a temp of 102 and he was breathing very rapidly. I freaked out, called all of my "Dr. Moms" and then called Urgent Care and got him an appointment where he was diagnosed with the beginnings of Strep.

SWEET: I freely admit, I am a bit of a hypochondriac when it comes to my kiddos. I will walk around with a barking cough for weeks and not think to see a doctor, but the second I see my childrens' snot is any other color than clear I call the Tele-nurse. This time it worked to my benefit. Because I brought him in so early, the doctor said he should be fully recovered in only two days. In fact, he is already looking so much better. This scenario is also sweet because I have a precious neighbor who not only served as a stand-in "dr. mom" for me when I couldn't contact my usual line-up, but she also watched my daughter for a few hours while I took my son to urgent care. Also, I saw sweetness in this because I am insured through Tricare...gasp! I know, I know! Who knew Tricare could be such a blessing?! But since I didn't have my debit card, it was an ENORMOUS blessing that Tricare covered the cost of both the urgent care appointment and the prescriptions. (So there you go Tricare; you get some points in the 'pro' column.)

MAKING LEMONADE: Before all of this chaos ensued, I had scheduled an appointment to get my haircut. I haven't even had a trim since before my husband deployed, so I was about due. But with Jack getting sick and me not having any access to my checking account, I decided it was in my best interest to cancel. This morning, I was getting ready to walk out the door to drop Sammi off at childcare with the church so Jack and I could come back to the house to hang out and lay low. Five minutes before I left, I heard the doorbell ring. It was the same helpful FedEx delivery guy from the jewelry mishap standing with my replacement debit card. I took this as a cue from God to treat myself. I grabbed a portable DVD player, a Wiggles movie, the stroller, and lots of distractive snacks and I got a new haircut to go along with my new perspective ...

Now that's sweet :)

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