Sunday, August 31, 2008

Pedicure & Probe

So Cara dragged me to get my first ever pedicure yesterday and it was a pleasant and traumatizing experience at the same time. I enjoyed having the little woman clip, pick, and buff away any and all things unsightly on my feet. I even enjoyed it when she was massaging my feet and legs, though I did squirm a little bit when she touched my toes (Hey, can't a man be ticklish??). I know, this all sounds like a good time. So what was so traumatizing???

The massage chair they sat me in..... It violated me. :-(

Here's the play-by-play.

We both sit down in our chairs and turn on the massage.

Hmm... I've never been in a chair that works the bottom.
Will: (Inside head) What is she talking about working the bottom??

I begin to feel something move around my butt.

(Inside head) What is moving underneath me??
Will: (Inside head) That's not normal... AHHHHHHHH!!!!
Will: Cara, I think my chair is violating me.

I shed a single tear knowing my life will never be the same...

Yes, this massage chair had some feature that would massage the buttocks. The only thing, is that my chair didn't like me for some reason and tried to massage the center of my buttocks in a probe-like fashion. So as I sit here now traumatized I would like to thank Cara for taking me to get a pedicure. I now know how the people who have been abducted by aliens feel. :-)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Giving Thanks

For those of you that don't know, I had to go to the dentist yesterday and get an infected tooth extracted. Since I made it home from the procedure I have been in a lot of pain. My gum around the missing tooth is now swollen. I have to keep gauze in my mouth to help stop the bleeding. It's a lot to deal with right now and it is not fun at all. Cara and a lot of other people have checked on me and made sure I was doing okay and it has been helpful. I just wanted to take a second and thank you all.

To all of my friends, I am very grateful to know that I have friends like you who I can call on for pretty much anything.

To Cara, thank you for taking care of me and not making fun of me for eating my homemade "baby food" right now. :-)

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Great Moment in Wallace History

On Saturday morning a great moment in Wallace history occurred. What happened? Mrs. Wallace mowed a lawn for the first time in her life!!!

I found out about a year ago that she had never mowed a lawn and I could'nt believe it. I just assumed everyone had mowed a lawn at some point when they were a kid. Well this lady somehow got to skip out on that duty, but she made up for it this weekend. She asked me to show her how to mow so we got up early on Saturday morning. She went around the house trying to put together the perfect mowing outfit while I ran to Home Depot to get her some gloves, protective eye wear, and a nice ventilation mask to keep her from breathing in the grass and dust (she is a bit of a bubble baby, bless her heart). When I got home I saw she had assembled her nice all-white outfit and was ready to go. I gave her a quick overview of how to start and run the lawn mower and then I sent her on her way. I must say I was impressed at what a good job she did. She did such a good job on the front that she decided to mow the backyard (aka The Jungle) as well. So now I have a mowing sidekick to help me get the yard done faster. So watch out because Wallace Mowing Co. may be coming to a city near you...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My Husband, the Engineer

As an extrovert I've never understood sitting in front of a computer all day long as a satisfying, or even stimulating way to spend a work day. Being married to a software engineer I get an inside look at a man who actually chose to pursue such a thing. :) Even with the inside look, I'm not any closer to actually understanding it. There have been many nights I've seen my hubby hunched over his keyboard with his face lit by the screen of the computer. I've seen his focused look, the one that shuts out all distraction. Then, I've even been privy to that look of brilliant satisfaction when he's figured IT out...whatever IT is I'm sure I'll never know.

Several weeks ago, Will sent me a link to this blog (click here), written by a computer programmer to all of us "non-programming spouses." It definitely provides some insight to the allure of programming (or of computer/software engineering)...kind of. ;) There was so much that stuck out to me that I could share here, but if you have any interest in gaining further insight to those engineering/programming minds you should check it out. But if you choose not to, I'll leave you with the summary:

As you can see, a true programmer should have cool brains, creative mind and a strong heart. He should understand people needs, solve tough problems and clearly express in the program what these brainless, but logical computers should do.

So, next time when you see a thoughtful programmer behind his desk, you should know he creates worlds of logic and reason for computers from vague world of people ideas. And he has good reasons to enjoy it.

On another blog (click here) I found a list of the Top 10 qualities of The Perfect Programmer. I'm posting them here because Will exhibits each and every one of them...not only as the software engineer he is, but also as a person. :)

  1. Intellect- can understand the problem, translate and express ideas in clear and readable code, has analytical and logical mind (range: building programs for narrow well defined requests to conquering freaking complex problems in elegant way)
  2. Personality - has right mixture of personal traits (detail-oriented vs. creative, flexible vs. disciplined, sociable vs. independent)
  3. Expertise - knowledge and experience for solving client’s problems in the specific context with chosen technologies (range: a specialist in one technology to a veteran programmer with broad experience in different domains and platforms)
  4. Motivation - cares about work, shows enthusiasm, interest and love for programming (range: from working for money only to implementing interesting ideas in spare time without pay)
  5. Maturity - knows and uses sound software development principles, practices and approaches as agile, design and architecture patterns, domain-driven design, unit testing, refactoring (range: from an enthusiastic amateur to a black belt guru, who can invent new approaches on the go)
  6. Pragmatism - understands what is possible, loves simplicity and avoids over-engineering; understands business goals, keeps touch with reality and focus on what should be done (range: from a spontaneous artist to a self-driven pragmatic achiever)
  7. Cooperation - listens, accepts that other people could have better ideas, supports team goals without hidden agenda, shares ideas and knowledge and coach others (range: from idea challenger to a team coach)
  8. Communication - effectively communicates and exchanges ideas, supports knowledge and decisions about the system with clear explanations, justifications and answers (range: from a quiet introvert to a system evangelist)
  9. Potential - has professional goals, good learning skills, curiosity, adaptability and performs constant self correction (range: from person who reached his limits to the future programming star)
  10. Vision - sees the big picture, understands context, trends and people, aligns actions with team and company implicit goals, contributes into building shared vision for the software system (range: from interested in programming only to entrepreneurial visionary)

Things About My Wife That Make Me Smile

I thought I would just share some of things that Cara does that brings me joy and fills my face with a big smile or makes me laugh.
  • The look she gives me across a crowded room.
  • The way she always rests her head on my shoulder when we are in a warm embrace.
  • The peaceful expression on her face when she sleeps.
  • How she tries to show me that she is smarter than me in so many ways, even though I already know it. (Don't tell her I said that, haha. )
  • When she never pays attention when we watch movies so I have to spend half the time repeating what the characters are saying.
  • How she tries to make sure I am always being healthy as she gobbles up a bag of Twizzlers.
  • When she slowly grabs my hand and gives it an "I Love You" squeeze when we are in church.
  • How she calls me in the middle of the workday for no other reason than to call.
  • When her face lights up when she sees our young niece do something new that we've never seen her do before.
  • When she asks me how to do something and after I've spent 10 minutes explaining it she does it her own way anyway.
And finally....
  • When she smiles and when she laughs.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bride Be Looking Good!! :-)

So after almost 3 years I finally got my hands on Cara's bridal portraits from our wedding. I must admit that I am just as amazed looking at them today as I was when the doors opened and she walked down the aisle to me in the church on our wedding day. I am so lucky to have this woman and just thought I would share my two favorite pictures of the bunch.

See!! That's pretty damn amazing. I only wish they took real groom's portraits so I could have some hot pictures like that! I'm going to organize and start a protest to get groom's portraits added to the wedding tradition. Guys can look good too ya know??

The Significance in Ordinary Moments

Several months ago I found myself preparing for the monthly reflection I do to begin our Monday morning meetings at work. It was a Sunday night (yes, the evening right before my reflection....once a procrastinator, always a procrastinator) and my inspiration for my reflection came from spending the afternoon sorting through boxes with my family. After deciding on my reflection I sent an e-mail to my family to share it with them. Will told me the e-mail was great blog material, so I found it fitting to make it my first. :)

Several of the reflections prior to mine were about the clinical value/significance of encouraging life review with our patients/families, ways to engage in life review, and the importance of truly listening. The reflection I prepared was simply sharing the story of how a simple afternoon sorting through boxes reminded me of the importance of personal life review, and how the work I do in hospice helps me to appreciate the value in these moments with family (and how much I learn about my life in the work I do in hospice).

On this particular Sunday, my family gathered at my sister and brother-in-law's house (Marcie and Kevin) to celebrate Kevin's birthday over lunch. My Mom and Dad arrived, each in their own car, both stuffed FULL of boxes. No matter how much of an adult I have become, both in age and maturity (I suppose...), I'm still very good at the childish groan I make when I'm told I need to do something I don't want to. :)

For those of you who haven't heard the news and who may be wondering the need for sorting through mounds of boxes, my parents are preparing to move to Canada in January (Click here for further info) so are now getting rid of the things collected from over 30 years of marriage, 3 children, and sharing life together.

So, throughout the afternoon that day, both before and after lunch, we spent time digging through boxes of "stuff" from the past: photographs, awards, yearbooks, high school love notes, etc. In that time, stories were retold, memories were recalled, and we shared some of our own 'life review.'

One thing that struck me that day was how when things were in my box that belonged to Marcie or Josh (my sister and brother), I was so ready to just toss it out on their behalf, as the stuff wasn't THAT important, right? Yet, before I'd make it from my hand to the trash bag, my Mom was quick to stop me, saying, "Let them look at it first, then let them throw it away." As even in the drudgery of going through old boxes, there is certainly value in the process.

So, amidst the change we are preparing for in our family, knowing that our birthdays and traditions will likely be celebrated/recognized in a new way over the next several years due to distance, what a nice afternoon it was for reflecting on our story--and what a good one it is at that.

Most people, when they learn of my work in hospice, wonder how it is that I am able to do the work I do. But it is through that work that I recognize the things most valuable to me in my life and the ability to recognize/appreciate the significance of life's most ordinary moments.