Saturday, June 25, 2011

Driven

To say that my husband is determined is like saying Louisa is slightly precocious. Both would be QUITE the understatement.

Here we go, Byron...this one is all about you. Every last word. I think you deserve some face time here. So, this blog post is all about my husband. And as I've said before, ladies...he is taken. :)

From the day I met him, there is one thing that has been consistent throughout the entire time I've known him. He never, ever ceases to amaze me. Ever. He is brilliant, he is driven, he is handy, he puts up with me, he is thoughtful, he loves our children, etc. And did I mention he puts up with me? I could go on and on, but he is probably already blushing.

We met in March of 2003, when friends set us up. I was in the process of getting more science classes under my belt while working in the business world so that I could go back to nursing school. He was in the process of getting into medical school. I had no clue what that meant. None. What I did know is that I had anyone and everyone telling me that I did not want to live the life of a doctor's wife. It didn't matter, my mind was made up already. I knew that I would stand by his side no matter what he was or did.

8 years later here we are. 4 years of medical school down and 4 years of residency, 1 more to go. As we sat at the country club last night for ENT graduation it occurred to me that it was our turn next year. We would sit in the front of the room and the ceremony would be about Byron. Then, a few weeks later...we would be the ones packing up our house and moving back to the beautiful state of Georgia. It all seemed surreal suddenly, so I took a trip down memory lane.

This here, is sort of the beginning of my husband's journey. His white coat ceremony. This is when you are about to start medical school. It is also a picture of a picture...as are all the photos in this post.

Look how young we both look. This is when the hard, hard work started. Or so we thought. Looking back now, med school was a breeze. And Byron probably will giggle at that since it isn't exactly true. He started med school with his nose in a book, and finished med school with his nose in a book. But we were dating, no kids, no worries. I was in nursing school and working a part-time job and we had money. Not tons, but we had money. Then one summer we got married. After that, we worked in the yard on the weekends, we fixed up our house, we spent time together and we laid in bed and drank coffee and ate donuts on Saturdays while watching HGTV. It was great. When it was time for him to start thinking about what sort of physician he wanted to be, his first thought was ENT. I can remember walking the dogs down Boulevard (our street in Macon) and talking about residency. He was loving the idea of ENT, but for those that don't know...it is HIGHLY competitive to get a spot in an ENT residency. Your scores have to be amazing, you have to have research under your belt, your CV (which is like a resume in the medical world) has to shine and shimmer. I never had any doubts. As I said before, he amazes me. So, he worked his tail off in school and studied and studied and studied more and on Match Day of 2007, just weeks before we had Louisa...Byron managed to grab his number one choice for an ENT residency. Pure brilliance. Pure brilliance. I remember sitting in the auditorium when he found out and wanting to cry. I also remember feeling like Louisa was about to pop my ribs out, but pride overcame me and I knew that he was feeling it too. This was what he wanted. This is what he had worked for. And then, he graduated from medical school (excuse the post-partumness)

and we packed our things and headed 8 hours west to Jackson, Mississippi with a 4 week old to start our new lives and his new career. Speaking of that 4 week old...how sweet is she in this picture with her Uncle Brad.

Little did we know the hell that was about to begin. The first year of Byron's residency was hard, to say the least. I never, ever saw him. When he did come home, I would try and shovel some food in his mouth before he crashed. He worked his tail off. And it hasn't stopped.

My husband gets up at 4:30 in the morning and leaves for work around 6 am. In those hours of the morning, he is drinking his coffee and answering emails from work or reading work-related material. He then goes to work and I don't see him again until about 5 or 6 pm at the earliest. Once he gets home, he has to again go back to emails and then work on research projects and reading. Excuse my french...but he works his ass off. I will refrain from telling all the nitty-gritty details that I would love to reveal about half of what goes on in addition to working as a resident, but let's just say it isn't all surgeries and clinics.

I married on over-achiever. And I love that. Sometimes.

Sometimes it isn't easy. For me, it isn't easy...but it isn't always about the 'me.' When I start to get upset because my husband stays late to check on a patient or wants to go in and operate when he is not the one assigned to be on call because it is a patient that he has been working with, I have to redirect those thoughts and think that for a physician and a surgeon, I can think of nothing better. Although sometimes I wish he was here with us, my heart is so filled with pride that he is so dedicated to his work and his profession and his patients. Maybe this is the part that all those people warned me about regarding being a doctor's wife. It is hard. Very hard.

It is hard to sit back and watch my husband walk in the door, beat to a pulp only to sit down for a quick dinner, read a story to Louisa and get her in bed and then go directly 'back' to work. By this, I mean he picks up a journal (we get like 10 a week) to read an article that I cannot even begin to pronounce the first word in the title. And then, he takes a break to grab one of his humongo surgery books with pictures that make me want to varmit and studies the surgery he will do the next day. He turns the light off around 10 or 11, and then gets up a few hours later to do it all again.

Driven. There is no other way to describe it. He is a damn good resident. I have personally never worked with him, but all he does at home can only lead me to believe he couldn't be anything else. He is a damn good husband. A damn good father. And a damn good best friend. He amazes me. And I don't know how he keeps going.

But last night at graduation, I almost cried twice when his hard work paid off. Something that as a resident, never happens. You can work yourself ragged, and your work is never noticed.

But last night, it was. He won awards for resident teaching and research. My husband loves research and projects and manuscripts. He loves to teach. And he was finally recognized for both. Tears swelled in my eyes and I could think of no better recognition than that. It felt silly to tell him I was proud, because it is so much more than that. Amazement, that is more like it.

So next year, he will graduate and we will pack our things and move to Athens, Ga. and he will begin working in private practice. I know the hours will be a little better, but I also know better than to think that my driven, over-achiever of a husband will change his ways. And you know, that is fine with me. I will continue to stand by his side, shovel food in his mouth when I can and thank the good Lord for friends that set me up with this brilliant man.

In your own words Byron, strong work. :)


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

All Quiet on the Western Front

Yesterday was one of those days. And that would have just been fine and dandy if the day before hadn't been as well...and the day before that. Ugh.

My little sweetness has not been living up to his name. Something must be going on for him to act such a fool. He has not wanted to sleep or be pleasant. Maybe teeth? Who knows. I think today was better. Slowly getting back to the sweetness that is this.

Back to yesterday. Towards the beginning of suicide hour I had the idea that we needed to get out of the house. Since I had already gone for my run and had the kids in the stroller for about an hour, we couldn't repeat that part. So, I thought we would go to the library (where else should you take a fragile baby and toddler?) and get some books for our upcoming trip. So, I grab my book list and start getting ready to load everyone up in the car when all of a sudden a gust of wind hit that literally almost took Louisa with it. NOT kidding. It had such force and the trees were swaying and it was so loud that I had a panic moment that we were about to have a tornado and I wasn't prepared. So, I ran back inside with all kids and checked the weather real quick and by the time I had done all that...it was gone. But still, we were under a severe thunderstorm warning...so I thought it best to stay home. So, I resorted to the rocking chair with a fragile baby.

What happened next still gives me chills just thinking about it. I was rocking Nash and could feel someone pushing me as I knew that the little bit of rocking my feet were doing wasn't giving me all the momentum that I had. I just figured it was Lou. I could almost see her little shadow behind me on the wall next to me so I wasn't worried. Then, I got real cold. Like...chill bumps from my head to toes and the hair on my neck stood up. About that time, Lou walks into the living room (where I was rocking) from the hallway on the OPPOSITE side of the room that I was on.

Now, let's talk about ghosts, spirits, ghouls...whatever you want to call them. I was born and raised in one of the most haunted cities in the South. Ghosts and their stories are nothing new to me. In Savannah, you are raised to respect the ghosts. I am not saying there was a ghost rocking me in the chair...but I have NO clue what it was. Creepy. Still getting creeped out and it's been over 24 hours. I mean, what in the world?

So, once I had chills run straight up my spine and out my ears - can I just tell you how I was not excited when the power went out about 15 minutes later. Thankfully, Byron was home and the storm wasn't bad (seriously all we had was that one gust of wind) and I eventually got over the rocking-chair-pusher. But, power outages at dinner/bath time/bedtime are not so cool in a house that is dark anyways. So, this is how we improvised.

We pulled the red out of our necks and we fed and bathed Nash in the doorway of the front of the house. I think he actually enjoyed it.

Then, Byron and Lou went to the corner grocery (hehe) to pick up some white bread and chips for a fancy dinner of tomato sandwiches and Lays with french onion dip. Fab-a-lous. I had the house (haunted or not) all to myself with sweet little Nash who was slowly fading off while drinking his bottle.

Now, have you ever realized how quiet a house is when the electricity has stopped? I never had until last night. I sat there and I smiled. After the few days that I had had...the quiet was nice. There was no hum from the air conditioner, no pollution from the TV, my blackberry was dead and couldn't charge...so therefore no noise from that. It was nice. It was still and I just sat. Once I put Nash in his bed I went outside to sit more. It was gorgeous. The wind was blowing and the temperature was perfect and it was just still. I breathed a sigh of relief as I slowly let go of the tension of the last couple of days.

Then, I dined by candlelight with my sweet husband and my fireball. It was almost 9 by this time, and the power company said it would be 3 am before power was restored. So, once we got Lou down, I smiled. A big, silly, sneaky smile. I had tons of emails to respond to, some sewing to work on and a pattern to finish writing. But, you know what I did instead? I walked back to my room, light on my feet and put on my pj's. I crawled up in the bed and grinned. Not a care in the world. It isn't often I get to turn in early without feeling guilty of what I need to do. Then, I giggled as Byron walked into the bathroom and flipped the switch. :) You never realize how accustomed you are to the electricity until it is gone.

So, for the first time in a while...at the Norris house, all was quiet. It was nice. It was needed.

On a side note, my little firecracker took her first tumble/gymnastics class today. She was so 'nerbous' all day long. I was so excited for her. I mean, we are short...we are limited to the sports we can do. Her short, stocky build is perfect for some gymnastics. Her 'nerbousness' faded away almost instantly, and methinks she enjoyed herself.

Don't you think? Oh, and just a little blog-face-time for my sweet Lucille.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tailor in Training

Louisa spends a lot of her time in the sewing room. A lot like her Momma. And her Momma's Momma, and her Momma's Momma's Momma AND her Momma's Momma's Momma's Momma. Or, I could just make it easy and say just like her Mom, Grandmother, Great-Grandmother and Great-Great-Grandmother. Wow. Legacy of tailors here.

Anyways, she always complains that I don't make her cute clothes. In fact, one day when an order from Matilda Jane came in she said, "Oh, is dis Matilda Jane lady sending me clothes because you neber make me anys?" Ouch.

She is right. She gets to be my sizing model and my photo-shoot model for clothes that she always loves, dresses she gets to twirl in and so on. And then, I take them away and sell them. Poor girl. So deprived.

Well, this time I gave in. She was looking over my shoulder one day when I was ordering fabric (HB Fabrics) and fell head over heels for this one right here.

Bet you never would have guessed that would be up her alley now would you? Hehe. And I caved, just because I had a moment and I also tend to be the slight fabri-holic.

Anyways, the day it came in the mail you should have heard the squeal that came out of her mouth. My ears were ringing for hours. She would walk by it and just touch it and stare at it and that just melted my heart as I, too can spend hours in my sewing room just touching and looking at fabrics. It makes me so happy, so I totally got it.

Well, yesterday I asked her if she wanted to help me make her a dress and she was for sure on board. The excitement in her was out of control. I asked her what kind of a dress she wanted and she said, "a twirly dress wif some blue buttons." So, I told her that she could pick out the fabric and that I would plan out a dress. I figured she would come up with something completely off the wall and we would have to re-figure. I was really nervous considering I couldn't come up with anything off the top of my head that would go with hot pink and red. Well, when she came to me with a yard that I had literally forgotten about my jaw almost fell straight off my face. She matched it PERFECTLY. Like, I don't know if I could have done better.

So, with my pride at an all-time high we both sat down with scissors and I explained to her step by step why I was doing what I was doing and what certain things meant and I was amazed at how well she was paying attention. She was soaking it all in and we were having the most fun. When it came time for the ruffle material I started to sweat though. You see, this material is spandex. That is like a cuss word to me in the sewing room. Add in a toddler apprentice and well, go ahead and label it as the worst of the 4-letters. I was nervous. But you know what, it went without a handle and she LOVED hand-gathering it. She's a natural.

Nash woke up before we could finish it and then life happened and I had to cook dinner, get kids bathed and in the bed, etc. I stayed up to finish it since I knew she would be so excited to see it this morning. Little did I know that she would tear off her pj's in the middle of the den and put it on immediately. She was so proud. I kept catching herself looking in the mirror. It made me smile. I was so, so proud. Then, she told me, "You know Mommy, I could be your helper in da sewing room all da times. I am kinda the best."

And then, while staring into the mirror she said, "Thank you Jesus for making me the most bootiful." Wow. That's my girl.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Begging Darlin' Please

So, now that all of you are singing one of Eric Clapton's best, let me just say why I am begging. Total blog slacker. But, instead of apologizing every time since methinks this isn't the only time it will happen, I am going to do a blanket-umbrella-type apology for the rest of my blog life. Ummmkay?

Life gets crazy with two. Throw in a small home-run business and a husband who's job requires him to spend almost every waking moment at the hospital, and then it just gets nutso. But, we survive, wouldn't know it any other way!

Just a run-down on the crew.

Nash is still my little sweetness. Child is SO sweet. Oh dear. Had we had him first, I might have had like 20 other kids. I mean, edible. He is so quiet too, in fact...I straight up FORGOT him the other day. Went out for a stroll on the street with Louisa on her tricycle and Byron and realized a few minutes into it that my other child was inside all by self. Geeze. No worries - no babies were harmed. As soon as I flew in the door panicked he was still just a talking away at the monkey on his little bouncer seat. Phew. Sweet thing. With that said...he is a talker. So, I have another on my hands. Lawdy.

Louisa is still my hooligan. I think she always will be. But, she makes it so fun. She just took swimming lessons and while not Olympics material,

she is doing better than last summer. She will actually put her head UNDER the water now. Amazing. Also, amazing what some pink 'wobble-gobbles' will do for a hot mess. I mean, check out the form. Ha.

She is still busy telling everyone their business like it is her job, watch one day she will be like a CEO or something then it really will be her job and she will get paid for it. :) I can just hear it now, "SEE mommy, tolds you." With hands on hips, of course.

Instead of catching you up on weeks of sweetness and hooligan-ness...I will just let the pictures do the talking.

First of all, you know it is summertime when...

Your bathroom floor is littered with 'babe-ing soup' pieces and parts.

Nothing brings pure joy like a water-slide when it is 100 degrees outside.

You enjoy a cantaloupe picnic on Daddy's lap. By the way, melting of the heart is about to happen. Love this photo.

The stoooooooooopid fruit flies take over your kitchen and multiply no matter how many attempts to kill the crackers. If you are wondering, the bowl they are all perched on is their bait, uncooperative little jokers let me tell you.

You jerry-rig it so that little sweetness himself can enjoy the kiddie pool. By the way, I will go ahead and post this disclaimer that needs to follow from now on for the blog. When I have both chirrens in a photo, they will NOT always be looking at the camera, looking happy or having a good time. I give up. :)

Speaking of sweetness....love this face he makes.

And still, by far, my fave...

So, for the rest of it all...just a few of what the Norris family has had their hands in.



More organized post next time? Maybe...no guarantees. :)

And just to keep in theme with the randomness. Hehe.