To my valued readers, family and friends who’ve made their way into my world and allowed me to find this love of blogging, I want to thank you.  Over the last year, I’ve found a great outlet in this writing thing and am so excited to move forward.  As my style and niche have changed, I’ve decided to give One Plus One Equals an entire makeover which will include a redesign and name change.  Please bare with me as this happens.  I promise it will be well worth the wait.  

Taking things to the next level.  See you soon!!


WARNING: Emotionally Distressed


It’s safe to say that I’m ready for 2014 to be over and it’s only the second week of March.  While our year started with both of our grandparents in the hospital, it has increasingly gotten worse on the home front.  After Ben’s grandpa passed, other sicknesses arose and there’s the never ending winter it seems that there was really no end in sight for not so good news.  That was until last Friday when my mom sent a text saying that dad had a fall at work, his boss was picking her up and they were on their way to Froedtert.

Seeing news like this as you’re about to walk into a meeting it heart stopping.  How was I to sit and concentrate when I have my dad to worry about?  Without explaining myself, I kept my phone out and in touch with my mom the entire time.  All while trying to pay attention to what I’m sure was a very important insightful meeting.  Finally, when mom told me dad had broken his leg and needed surgery, I about lost it right there in the middle of a Google session.  I politely, while holding myself together, asked if I could leave and headed to pick up Henry.  While I wasn’t rushing to my dads side, I couldn’t sit there any longer.  It was giving me serve anxiety.

Most of the next few hours was a lot of uncertainty.  Found out that dad broke his femur, needed surgery and was in a ton of pain.  I kept in communication with both my mom and brother, whom were by my dad’s side.

Saturday afternoon, Henry and I made the trek to visit dad.  It was mostly an unplanned visit, so stopping to get lunch for my mom and brother with a hungry one year old, juggling food, stroller and a diaper bag, in an unfamiliar location made me frazzled.  My dad was still in surgery when we arrived.  This was partially alarming to me as it had been well over six hours.  We sat and waited for what seemed like forever.  Luckily, Henry is quite the kid to put a smile on your face when it has a frown.  Not to mention, my brother can make the kid laugh like no one else.

My brother has an awesome beard, be jealous

My brother has an awesome beard, be jealous

When my dad came back, it was really hard to look at him.  He’s the strong, hardworking, outdoorsman of our family.  In my 26 years, I can’t remember one time when I saw his strong guy physique shattered, until this weekend.  A rod in your leg and gaping wound will do that to a guy though.  Due to extreme swelling they weren’t able to close the incision, so he was hooked up to the vacuum to get the excess fluid and blood out before another surgery to close him up.

Though he was out of it, I know he was happy that we were there, even had a few jokes to crack. You could tell that Henry wanted to climb up in bed with GRANDPA.  Dad had a sore throat from the tube being in it, but he still managed to try and get a few of Henry’s favorite squeals out.  Even helpless, the man still knows how to make Henry smile.

We went back to visit yesterday.  Dad was in better spirits.  Henry was all over the hospital, wanting to visit every last patient.  Luckily, he’s cute so the nurses were easily won over by his smile.  Due to the severity of the break and wounds, he ended up having to get blood transfusions. It wasn’t something he was happy about, but knew it was the best of the two options.

Ready to take care of GRANDPA

Ready to take care of GRANDPA

There was another surgery today to help close the wound.  It was mostly unsuccessful as they could only get the 46 centerimeter opening down to 14 centimeters.  This now means that yet again, dad will go under on Wednesday to see what more they can do.  If unsuccessful again, they will do skin grafting and he’ll be in the hospital even longer.

I’ll admit that I’m scared.  It makes me beyond sad to see my dad so helpless.  I get scared knowing that he’s going under again.  Three surgeries in less than a week is no walk in the park for anyone. The tole that it will take on his body will only add to the expected six month recovery.  My heart aches for him.  I fear he’ll never be the same.  I pray that he’ll be back building some new project, cutting endless piles of wood and shooting something big, in no time.

While my dad may have ‘just’ broken his leg, it’s so much more than that. The femur is one of the worst bones to break.  My dad is not a young buck, so the healing process will be a bit longer.  To put into prospective, my grandma broke her femur in December and just got out of the hospital. Granted, she’s 93, but it just goes to show that breaking your femur is no walk in the park.

If you know my dad, he’s a hands on always on the go type of guy.  A lot is about to change for our family.  It’ll be months before he’s crawling on the floor in his underwear coercing Henry to do lord knows what.  The family vacation that my parents surprised us with for Christmas, may now be postponed.  There will be lots of family dinners to help out and give my mom a break from her new duties as a wife (ones that she never imagined when she said her vows 30 years ago), helping out with things my dad used to do (David joked we’d learn to find joy in yard work) and keeping my dad’s spirits up in the process.

At the end of all of this, I know it will have brought us all closer together.  As David said, it’s time to unite as a family.  Not that we aren’t, but it has a whole new meaning now.  Times like these remind you to put the selfishness aside and do what you have to for others.

I wish I could be at my dad’s side all day long.  To help him when he needs it, read him stories, keep him company and hold his hand when he gets scared.  For years my parents took care of me and did those exact things.  Now my inner Soetenga (or Aunt Claudia as I like to say) wants to come out and do all that I can. While it may not be humanly possible to help as much as I need, I know my emotionally unstable self can always pray, a lot.  There’s a reason for everything.  Having a hard time seeing what that is right now, but someday it will all make sense.

Even though I’d love to wish 2014 away, there are some great things happening (babies being born (not mine)) that I have to look forward too!!  We have a long road ahead of us, but I don’t doubt for a single minute that the thickness of our skin and blood won’t be able to get us through it all.

#ZOOCREW2014 Days 54-67


I missed my Wednesday deadline (I also misnumbered pictures this week too) to get my pic-a-day post up so yet again, you’re getting two weeks worth.  Why not see what my life has been like for two weeks all at once?!?  Mundane reality has hit, but Spring Break is not TOO far away.

IMG_8732Day 54: Seriously, this kid.  Love him!

IMG_8749Day 55: Conferences were Tuesday-Thursday, which meant a Spring Book Fair.  I love them, but too stressful to run one and still have the library functioning too.

IMG_8779Day 56: In true fashion, I started packing for our weekend away days before we were leaving.  Nothing but sweat pants and relaxation were in sight.

IMG_8794Day 57: And we’re off! Car is packed and we’re ready to head off to the north woods.

IMG_8832Day 58: Seriously this kid, love him, but he refused to nap ALL weekend.  It made me CRAZY!

IMG_8851Day 59: Last day in the north woods.  I could stare out this window all day long.

IMG_8915Day 60: Home again and in idiot mode watching the Oscars.

IMG_8926Day 61: While I love the Olympics, I was happy my shows were back on.  Thank you Apple TV for keeping all my shows in one place.

IMG_8960Day 62: National Pancake Day! Henry loves them

IMG_8968Day 63: Carol does the best art projects with the kids.  Each time they melt my heart.  This one is getting framed.

IMG_8973Day 64: Started reading this book earlier this week and cannot put it down.  Sadly, I have to when I start nodding off, but it’s definitely good so far

IMG_8995Day 65: For the first time since our year hiatus, we had family dinner again with the Cates.  Looking forward to starting this back up.

Day 66: Never fail, emotional distress gets me a speeding ticket.

IMG_9056Day 67: Henry’s working on nursing GRANDPA back to health

While the next few weeks and months will prove to be difficult for our family, I look forward to a bit of normalcy