Courtney S. Barr

Welcome to My Kingdom!
Join me, the Princess, on my Royal Adventures in the Land of Writing!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Preparation isn't always easy & guidance can be hard to follow....

Preparing for something is what we all do whether we are procrastinators or proactives. Procrastinators prepare to put things off, proactives prepare for everything normally way in advance. Marcus & I have never found that line between the two perfectly straight or clear. Sometimes we lapse into both categories others we seem to fit right into one for a moment then the other...

We all have our different tricks of physical preparation. the mother who ALWAYS has snacks & juice boxes in the car, the guy NEVER without Armor All or washer fluid for the flashy car, the girl who listened to that old sage to keep clean underwear in the glove box for any occasion.

But along with the physical there is a mental preparation for every moment of life. We all know many inevitables: we are ALL going to age, too much sun can create some serious later in life skin issues, children will grow up, parents are sometimes overbearing, love is going to hurt, pain is a feeling associated with more than bumps and bruises.

Teaching a person that those lessons of inevitables & that there will be mistakes made is one thing, dealing with all of these when they actually have to happen is another. Death is something we all know is an inevitable, it is taught that life can be prolonged with certain healthy diets & exercise, and true as that may be, any breath can be taken when God deems it; so no matter how healthy a person is death is inevitable.

Now we as humans tend to try to play that role of God at times (i.e. Doctors, Vets, parents, siblings) or not really play the role but use the divine wisdom as guidance. Marcus & I are at that stage with Bear. We learned this morning that he has cancer. Lymphoma to be correct. We can use chemotherapy to prolong his life for about 18 months but as it is the same with humans it is a terrible treatment to the body. There is prednizone pills that will help him gain a little weight, relieve the pain and prolong his life for about 3-4 months possibly. No matter what he will not be with us much longer. Here is where you pray for that divine wisdom, where you beg for that guidance, that compassion & understanding of the inevitables and all of a sudden you actually wish for things that we all seem to ignore: that sweet sleeping surrender of old age. How we all wish to pass from this life painlessly & comfortably. Those two qualities define so many things. No one wants to see suffering, no one ever wants to acknowledge that he or she allowed someone else to be in pain. Selfish develops new definitions. Marcus & I face those options, those opportunities for divine wisdom to bless upon us, the guidance to help our youngest "child" leave this world happy and comfortable; and for us to not be selfish, but oh how the preparation is not there. Even as I type I know the answer, but there is timing, there is a decision that just should not be in our lowly hands. We are not the divine, we are mere mortals who no more can explain the reasons for why these things happen nor can we understand why time seems so short and against us.

What we do understand is the need for comfort and for that feeling of being whole before leaving this world. So we know we will hurt when he is gone, we will grieve for the loss of a best friend, a protector and "child", but we will know that he loves us unconditionally. We will work to make his last days/week/moments filled with his favorite treats, no fussing, just love. Please pray for us that we will be strong enough when the moment comes and that we will be able to be strong for him. There is nothing in the world that truly prepares someone for this decision all we can hope for is that he lived a wonderful life, that we were good parents, and that we made his time here a good memory to keep him comfort wherever in heaven God needs a watchdog, because he will have the best...

I am so sorry for the sad post, for the ramblings, but I needed to type this today.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Tired & Worried

Well, it is Monday again. Another weekend has flown by. Marcus's father Robert came in to town on Friday. It was great to see him, he brought me prizes!! (Marcus claims he likes me more than him, I just say that I am the cute one and keep on going :) )Glasses, a pitcher, some appetizer plates, cute & funky for me. He did bring Marcus some shoes though, so plhbbbb!!

Anyway, we went to dinner at Mug Shots (GREAT burgers!!) and then just had some pleasant conversation.

Saturday was great, we slept a little late. Robert went on up to Calera to see Rob, Regina & the girls, so Marcus & I went to the store for some items to cook out on Sunday. We rode up Saturday night and met up for dinner, the girls are so cute. Regan was in a great mood and really was a pleasure to be around. Riley can stare a hole through you!! It is freaky. She is so quiet and reserved. Regan was a wild hair from the beginning so it is a different site. Rob did inform us that he has now taught Regan to play World of Warcraft on the computer. Yes, a 3 year old is now playing the internet's/gamer's most addictive game.... and she is good at it to boot. Now the whole video young kid thing is very funny - she told a little girl at a party the other day (because the girl was made at her over something) that she would battle her if she needed to. Yes, BATTLE. hilarious and scary in one breath.

Sunday was so beautiful outside that we grilled and ate out on the deck. It was so much fun and a wonderful welcome into spring. The food was great too. We ended up back in Birmingham at Rob & Regina's last night. Their air conditioner had gone out, but the company was very nice. After returning home we were so tired!! I am ready for this coming up weekend because we have no plans. (so sad to say that) the next few are already mapped out so, here we go into the week.

Sorry for the rambling...

Now in the mix of all this visiting, we have worries. Bear, our rottweiler, has taken ill over the past 2 weeks. He has rapidly lost weight (about 12 pounds) and Sunday, he went blind. We are taking Thursday off to get him to our family vet in Camden. The vet already suspects diabetes, but we won't be sure until tests are run. Now for anyone who knows Bear, knows that he is a boisterous, loving, overgrown puppy. He is our youngest child and we love him very much. It pains us both to watch him seem to wither away and not know what we can do to make him more comfortable. My mind has already begun to prepare for the worst & hope for the best. It is so hard to think of not having my big protector around the house that my eyes just fill with tears, I also worry about Bubbles (our little terrier) and how she would adjust if need be. I know to many people dogs are just dogs, but these are our children, members of our family, so I beg you to pray for these two. That Bear finds comfort & that we can do whatever we need to & that Bubbles finds comfort in whatever happens...

Thursday, March 22, 2007

An interesting beginning of the week....

Well, here we are the week of March 19, 2007. It began as the normal Monday, a bit crazy and jumbled as most Mondays are, but as the week is going by it is becoming a bit more crazy & wonderful at the same time.

Let me retrace my steps... Monday was a normal Monday. Work was going basically as it always does, recovering from the weekend. (which we spent at dinner with friends & gambling for St. Patrick's Day - no big wins, but no big losses either) Tuesday on the other hand was like the Monday of all Mondays! Work was insane, people came out of the woodwork on some of my projects and made it a stressful day.. then I get the phone call...

My best friend Stacie who was nine months pregnant and due around April 7, is going into labor. Her parents are rushing to get on the road and to Texas (where she resides) and try to make it before the baby comes. Now her brother David & sister Kristy had just returned from Spring Break in TEXAS!! Boy were they upset that they missed it by one day!!! So as I wait for the call from the fam on when the baby comes & how everyone is, I get a bit sad. I was there for her first child and really hate not being there for the second. She is totally not just a friend but a sister. I tear up a bit and realize that even though my day was stressful and I was so worked up about trivial matters, there is a room in an Army hospital that my new niece is being born in. She is being born to a woman that has always been meant to be a mom. Who has a first daughter that is adorable, loving, and kind so early in life, a testament to her mother & father. For the first time Tuesday, I really smile on the drive home.

Then as the evening developed and I am told that Grace Ellen has entered the world around 7:40 p.m. weighing in at 6 lbs 11 oz, I hurt myself. :) Truly weird evening. I end up crushing my right hand, causing trauma to (as quoted by the DR) my metacarpal II, III, & IV while also putting (get this) STRESS on my hematite (not sure on spelling) and the rest of my knuckles. So I end up wrapped in a soft cast & ace bandage, with broken blood vessels all over my hand and wrist. Yep, clumsy me. Though, my DR did note that it has been about a year since I have seen him for an injury :) Isn't is just humorous when your doctor actually remembers that you are clumsy???

So here I am.. barely able to drive. Typing this is taking me an hour, clothing is definitely in the comfort zone, weird week!

Other than that it is not too bad. Marcus has been at leadership conferences in Birmingham. He is really enjoying them so far. His week has been fairly nice, being able to get home before 7 p.m. is great for him.

We have his father coming into town on Friday from Houston so that will be a lot of fun!

Though due to my current hand circumstances Marcus will be cleaning up a bit by himself and I will tell you he is not thrilled at the prospect. :)

Well, I will leave you all at this point, but I hope you enjoy the photos of the beautiful new niece of mine!

I love you all!

Monday, March 12, 2007

A blog entry for the first time...

Well, this is a first for me. I have been doing the myspace, facebook thing for about 3 months now and I guess a blog site was the next logical-digital-world step. One of my best friends has a blog site "Lemons & Lemonade". I love her anecdotes and updates and well, I really like the idea of being able to just let thoughts flow onto papers (computer screens) and share it with anyone who listens & loves me for me.
Please be forewarned that I am sincerely random on most occasions, we don't have children so the family discussion revolves around immediate family & our two dogs: Bear (the rottweiler) & Bubbles (the cairn terrier - think TOTO with blonde hair).
We reside in a 3 bedroom 2 bath home in Cottondale, Alabama (right outside of Tuscaloosa). (Please see photos)
Marcus is the Manager of the Northport Tuscaloosa VA Credit Union. He just recently got the promotion and we are very excited!! I currently work at Peco Foods, Inc. in downtown Tuscaloosa as the Marketing Manager. It can be very stressful, but also a great deal of fun because I get to be creative.
You may have noticed the Southern Princess on the site. Well that is me. I happen to be the Southern Princess of our beautiful kingdom, though we still don't have grass here. (New house, construction area for the first two years, so grass is a goal!) I was raised by parents who taught me that I could be anything I want to be, go anywhere, and have faith in my abilities.
Well an active imagination has never left me, most kids outgrow that world in their heads, not me. I know I am a princess and thankfully due to patience and love, my family knows it too :) They put up with my fairly spoiled demands at times, but I try very hard to be a loving & understanding ruler. Ask my husband, the Stable Boy Marcus. :) He puts up with me quite well. I know you are thinking a Princess & a Stable Boy, never happen. But really he is a Prince, who merely acted the part of Stable Boy until he made claim to the kingdom that was rightfully his. I warned you: Active Imagination still going strong.
So please , I hope you can put up with the random thoughts, ideas, discussions, updates, and lifestyles of a Southern Princess.