Friday, April 28, 2017

"Do These {Cranky} Pants 
Make My Butt Look Big?"

     I came home wearing my cranky pants last night. It was a long, frustrating day and just took me a minute (plus vodka and a giant cookie all the way from the Milk Bar in NYC!!) to shake it off, but I did and I woke up feeling great this morning, ready to tackle my day. But then I did a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing to one of THE SWEETEST PEOPLE ON EARTH (that's you Tanya M., if you're reading this!!!!!!)... I kinda gave her some attitude JUST for asking how I was doing. She didn't deserve that, and I apologized... but still feel rotten about it. 
     I need to find a polite way to handle this situation going forward. The thing is y'all, I'm just already SO OVER talking about "it." I just wanna talk about all the stuff we used to talk about BEFORE and I want people to look at me and treat me like they did BEFORE... not let this be the first & foremost thing they think of when I walk in the room. I super duper appreciate everyone's well wishes and checking in on me... don't get me wrong, but I guess I just want to simply be able to say "I have no updates" and have that be the end of it if I'm just not in the mood to talk about it at the moment. Right now it's just a LOT of waiting and testing and then more waiting for results. I was literally just on two different phones with two different hospitals at once, nurses telling me about a whole new round of tests they wanted to run (full body scans etc) and that oh by the way, they didn't collect quite enough blood yesterday for testing (How is 3 fat vials not enough??!!) so I needed to "pop back in" to give more. NOPE. That's the office I hated... the one that made me cranky... and now this new revelation has REALLY sealed that deal. Never going back! 
     So, please be patient with me and please NEVER EVER EVER take it personally if I act a little cold or grouchy when all you want to do is ask me how I'm doing because you love me. :) LAST thing I want to do is scare anyone away or hurt any feelings!!!!! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!! 

Thursday, April 27, 2017

"You Can't Polish a Turd" 

I was a newspaper reporter for many years, "back in the day," and had this awesome publisher named Dan, who was wonderful and jolly and funny and lazy and brutally honest. He had a favorite saying he'd often remind us of during our morning staff meetings, urging us to try harder to make a good product and write better stories each & every week. He'd say, "Remember guys, you can't polish a turd." 
I was thinking of Dan today, in light of my current situation and thought, you are so right, you really can't polish a turd. No matter how I try to gloss it over, cancer sucks. It's a HUGE TURD. 
Reality is slowly starting to set in as I continue to drink from this fire hydrant, drowning in an ocean of new information and scenarios and possibilities and "what ifs." I didn't realize the amount of QUESTIONS (ARGH!) and PAPERWORK (GAH!) and TESTING (OUCH!) and APPOINTMENTS (BLAH!) and BLOOD DRAWS (DOH!) and excruciating hours of sitting in freezing cold waiting rooms with yet another damned episode of Tiny House Hunters blaring on the TV there would be!! (I swear y'all, if this cancer doesn't kill me, five more episodes of Tiny House Hunters or Flip or Flop just might do me in!!!!!)
And I've already become a human pin cushion. So many blood draws and IVs! Fun! Cause those of you who know me well know I JUST LOVE NEEDLES!!!!! 
So now I look forward to an upcoming CT scan (another IV for dye) to see if it's traveled elsewhere and a bone density scan (another IV for more dye) cause apparently bone is first place to which breast cancer will usually spread, and hormone testing (got stuck for that today) to find out if I'm in menopause or not because that will determine which fun hormone-squashing drug I'll get to take for the next 10 years. 
Oh and a search for Oncologist #2 will start in the morning because #1 is MOST DEFINITELY getting a big fat Trump style "You're Fired!" because I loathed EVERYTHING about the hospital/office/staff/doctor/experience this afternoon. Bleh. 
Sorry today's update isn't as funny... it was just a rough day... but I'm better already because I'm home and you've never seen little bartender John whip up a vodka drink for me faster in his life and now he's being a good husband, making dinner. :) 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"IF"

That seems to be the Word of the Day. "IF." 
It's funny how, if you think about it, it's really the BIGGEST of the smallest words. (Take a minute with that... pretty profound eh?)
So the appointment today was good. LOVE LOVE LOVE the doctor (yay!) and heard pretty much everything I was hoping to hear (yay!) with only a few minor "surprises" (boo!). The surgeon agrees with the radiologist when she says the cancer was caught early (Stage One), is very small, is slow-growing and is NOT the really icky kind (remember y'all, I have the good cancer). I go in tomorrow for an MRI that will help them see the rest of the breast (both) to make sure there isn't anything else lurking in there that they couldn't see from the mammogram or ultrasounds. 
So... here's what I know so far... 
IF there is no more cancer found in one (or the other) boob or in any nearby lymph nodes and IF the BRCA genetic testing comes back negative (they sent in the test today and should know within 2 weeks)... then she said they can just do a lumpectomy followed by radiation. (NO CHEMO!) The amazing thing too is that IF I only have to do the lumpectomy and partial radiation, they can knock out that radiation in FIVE DAYS!!! They would just put a catheter (ew) in the tiddy and I'd have to go TWICE a day, but for only five days. Then zip zap zoom... done! So IF that's the case (and it's obviously the one we're hoping for... best case scenario...) then we could be in and out and done with everything within a two-week span of time!!!! WOW!!! AWESOME! Ponytail stays put. No biggie at all and it almost seems like it never even happened!
Now, IF they happen to find cancer elsewhere then things will become a little more tricky... like perhaps a full mastectomy (or even double...), but we'll wait and see on that. For now I'm going to hold out hope that it's gonna be super quick to knock it out of the park!! :) 
Oh but the "surprise" was they will also treat me (to prevent a recurrence) with hormone squashing therapy... a pill I'll have to take for 10 years with side effects similar to menopausal symptoms. Joy. But hey, as long as I don't gain back 20 pounds or get a thick ass mustache I'll be okay with that! 

So to review... MRI tomorrow (John's coming with me... he's gotta drive the getaway car since mama's gonna be popping a Xanax) and then waiting for genetic test results and then we'll make surgical/treatment decisions from there. 
Let's hope for the best and that I don't "light up like a Christmas tree" (for all you Fault in Our Stars fans) tomorrow. Ha. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

"PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE"

Raise your hand if you ever got sent to the principal's office in school. I did. Just once. And it was for a minor incident. I'd skipped school (NO, NOT STACY! NEVER!) and then wrote my own excuse note (WHAAAAT? NO! SHOCKER!) and forged my mother's signature (OMG! HORROR!), which wasn't easy, considering she has BEAUTIFUL classic Catholic School Girl handwriting, taught to her by the mean nuns that would whack your hand with a stick if you didn't cross your Ts just right. Anyway, they called me and my mom in because they wanted her to verify that it WAS indeed her signature. I was sweating like crazy, my knees were shaking and I thought I might barf. But then my mom did something miraculous. She picked up the letter, looked at it for a few seconds then gently laid it back on the desk and said, "Yes, that's my signature." And she got up and left. 
I asked her later WHY she let me off the hook and she told me that I'd done such a good job forging her signature that she was impressed and thought it should pass.............. but added, "IF YOU EVER TRY TO FORGE MY SIGNATURE AGAIN YOU ARE GONNA BE IN BIG TROUBLE!" 
So I have that feeling again... like I've been summoned to the Principal's office and I'm about to walk in, not knowing HOW BAD IT'S GONNA BE or if I'm going to be let off easy like I was last time. However this time it's not the Principal's Office, but the Breast Surgeon's Office. Stakes are a little bit higher (although I realize this one is still gonna seem like a cake walk compared to how I'm going to feel walking in to the oncologist's office later... but one step at a time). 
Will post about it when I get home tomorrow and have more information. Hope you're all okay coming here to read my daily dose of drivel because please understand I can't possibly update everyone individually! Except you Mom... I promise to always call you right away cause I feel like I still owe ya one for covering my ass that day. ;) Thanks.

Monday, April 24, 2017

"EENIE MEENIE MINEY MO"

     How does one even go about choosing a breast surgeon and oncologist? Really? Everyone you ask has a different opinion and reading reviews about them online is a little like reading Trip Advisor reviews... it can be a huge time suck and also seems like the only people who take the time to review are the cranky ones who had a bad experience and wanna bitch about it. It's like being in the cereal or tampon aisle at the grocery store... too many choices and it starts to get overwhelming. So let's start with this one... who seems to be the #1 choice of my radiologist...
     Y'all... is this gorgeous child REALLY a highly-qualified life-saving breast surgeon or a contestant on Master Chef Junior??? I don't mean that to sound disrespectful in the slightest... I'm sure she's smart as a whip and I'm sure scored WAY higher than I did on her SATs... but I look at her fresh face and wonder, do I want a crusty old codger who's been doing this gig for 32 years or do I pick a young whipper snapper who is still paying off student loans but is probably more up to date on the latest & greatest treatments and technology? It's a real toss up! But... I like her face. And her smile. She looks sweet. Maybe it'll be nice for me to help her start paying off her student loans. So I'm starting right here with her, Wednesday at 11. I'm going to be craning my neck to look behind her to make sure she's got a fancy diploma framed on the wall... that is if it's back from Michael's yet... cause my Mom pointed out that they can't frame it until the ink dries. LOL. And if I don't like her, I'll pull a Trump and say, "YOU'RE FIRED!" 

YAY... I have "good" cancer! 

     So on the Good/Bad scale, I guess I have good cancer! YEAHAW! I'll take that as a small victory!!!! My friend Polly wants to throw me a "Good Cancer Party." I think I'll take her up on that and maybe finally open this bottle of Cake Bread I've been hoarding! Initial diagnosis is Invasive Mammary Carcinoma, whatever the hell that means. HA. To me it's still all total mumbo jumbo and I've got a lot to learn... but so far, I'm VERY proud of myself because I STILL haven't Googled anything!! NADA! Zilch! John doesn't believe me but I told him he can check my Safari Browser History. ;) 
     I just need to hear everything from a real person. A flesh and blood-filled doctor, not a Wikipedia page. Hopefully a doctor with a soothing voice and great bedside manner. Like McDreamy. Or McSteamy (actually no cause I always hated his ridiculous mustache, so he's fired). OHHHHH or gosh my new fave, Dr. Riggs (Those DIMPLES OMG! That accent OMG!). Oh OR Dave Matthews could come sing the details to me! That would be soothing. Oh wait no, I know... ALICIA KEYS! YES! Bingo! I am so in love with her right now!! Super duper crushing on her and her whole vibe and demeanor and voice and seriously have you EVER seen anyone MORE GORGEOUS or natural?! I love her. She is perfection. But seriously... it's all good. I'll just have John hold my hand while mostly likely a lady doctor (I'm super duper good with that... we all know women are the smarter species!) informs me cause John reminds me a lot of McDreamy. Maybe even better cause he's actually real. I'm lucky. I live with that every day ladies!!! 
     Feels nice to have that phone call out of the way because it was one I was dreading... but now I can breathe easier! I went to boot camp this morning and had an amazing workout then all my friends circled around and put their sweaty hands on me while my wonderful friend Tanya said a long heart-felt prayer and there was hardly a dry eye in the house afterwards. HA HA. I feel very loved and grateful! Nothing like a little run in with cancer to remind you how many kick ass friends you have!!!! I'm one of the lucky ones! GOOD CANCER! YAY! 
"I WORRY"

     Those of you who know me know I'm a worrier by nature. Always have been. Here's proof in the form of a short creative writing piece I did when I was 9 years old. 
     I am pleased to say my father never had to go to war, my house hasn't caught on fire, I didn't flunk school (although that's a bit of a shocker considering my apparent spelling skillz), the sun hasn't  snuffed out and I haven't lost a limb or been bit in the face by a snake... so I think I'm doin pretty good!
     So while I wait for a phone call today to get more pathology results, you might be wondering, am I worried now? About this whole cancer thing? Sure. But probably NOT about this things you'd THINK I might be worried about... like dying (nope, no part of me feels like I've been handed a death sentence. In fact, the radiologist said that the way things are these days, breast cancer is more of "just a 3 - 6 month inconvenience than anything." Okay cool. I'm down with that.) Nah, I'm worried about this "inconvenience" getting in the way of my gym time and losing the first six pack I've ever had in my life. I'm worried about them telling me to lay off the sauce (ha!). I'm worried about this interfering with our plans to go to Amsterdam in June. I'm worried about who will sweep the dog hair out of the house twice a day if I feel too shitty to do it. But in all seriousness... yeah, I'll admit, at this point, I'm just mostly worried about wondering what all they're about to do to my body and what I'm going to have to endure. I know every story is different. Who knows if there will be surgery or radiation or chemo or reconstruction. I don't know. And I HATE not knowing. I've already received messages (all well-meaning, I know!!) from people saying they'd come hold my hair back while I puked or saying how cute I'd look with a really short hair do or asking how big of boobs I'll get if I get new ones... WOW... nope... haven't gone there yet people! HA HA. Right now, while I wait, I'm just going to continue to run and go to boot camp and enjoy every day I feel great (I went for a run yesterday and felt amazing and the whole time kept thinking, "I don't FEEL sick and I sure as hell don't LOOK like a sick person") and am going to hope that MY story gets to be one of the "easy" ones, like my friend whose sister found her breast cancer so early that it was Stage 0 and required no surgery or chemo or new boobs.
     The good news is, despite me being a worrier, I'm also definitely a Glass Half Full kind of girl and those of you who know my life story know that I don't stay down long. I'm like one of those inflatable toy punching bags you had as a kid that sometimes had a creepy clown painted on it and you'd punch it but it would pop right back up, still smiling. That's me. We got this.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

"TIDDIES"

 I'm back!!!! HA HA HA. This is weird! I haven't blogged on here since, what, 2009!! Look how little Jasper was!! CRAZY! Anyway, I decided to go ahead and bring back the blog as a way to keep everyone who may give a rat's ass up to date as I start this new journey. Mostly though, I decided to do it here versus Facebook because every time I try to type "titties" in Facebook it autocorrects it to "kitties" and well, who has time for that!? Plus this way I won't be bombarding you with messages while you're trying to shop at Target, enjoy a pedicure, do some actual work or be tempted to check your phone in the school zone or whatever. You can decide when to read them... or not. :) 
Speaking of "titties"... this is a text conversation I had with Kathryn Wednesday when I was in the waiting room, about to go in for my biopsy. I keep going back to it because it still makes me laugh and makes me so damned happy to have this crazy, precious, hilarious girl for a daughter. Sorry guys... she's all mine and yeah, when it comes to Kathryn, you know I get super greedy... cause I just can't get enough of her! I'm so glad she got the perfect mix of her Dad's good sense of humor, my inappropriate sense of humor (so yeah, about that, if you're easily offended, please kindly exit to your left...) and of course, my astonishing good looks. 
(Kathryn's in gray, I'm blue...)



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

First Harvest




Jasper got to pick his first ripe tomatoes today. We've been waiting for this day for a long time. But we did it! We actually GREW FOOD! 
How exciting is that?!
It's so exciting, that I completely forgot to take pictures of the ripe tomatoes ON the vine before he picked them. Darnit. Oh well... there are about 50 more green ones on the plant, so I'll have my chance. 
Jasper was excited that there were four tomatoes... "one for each person in the family" he said. Um, I guess that means I'll be eating one later today in our "First Harvest Family Tomato Eating Ceremony." 
Uh oh. 
I do not like tomatoes. In fact, tomatoes make me want to vomit. 
I think I know why. When I was a kid, we'd go visit my grandparents at their lake house in Oklahoma. We'd swim. We'd burn. And then, we'd get the dreaded Tomato Treatment. The tomato treatment is just what it sounds like... Nanny or Papa would cut up a tomato and rub it ALL OVER YOUR pathetic burned little body. 
I am not sure if this home remedy really worked or not. I suppose it did, because let me tell you, once you were covered in sticky stinky tomato juice, you completely forgot all about your sunburn... but that's only because now you just felt so miserable to be covered in tomatoes. And have you ever seen mosquitoes in Oklahoma? They're big. And guess what? They apparently like tomatoes, very much, if you get my drift. 
So perhaps whenever I smell a fresh tomato, it takes me right back to that whiny, sunburned child who did NOT want to be slathered up in the vile juices... ugh. 
Today, however, I will try to turn a new leaf, for my son's sake. I will smile and I will eat the tomato, and I will NOT hurl... 
I would sure LIKE to be able to like tomatoes. I will try. And I'll let you know how it goes. :) 

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Air-Conditioning, Fever and a Transport Ferry



That pretty much wraps up our day yesterday. It was mellow. It was hot and the air-conditioners ran all day. Summer is already feeling long... ha ha ha. 
Jasper and I were diligently working on his Lego transport ferry when he first spiked his fever. He got up to 103 at one point and so just felt kinda punk all day. But the highlight of the day, for both of us, was finally completing his ferry. 
I tell you what, Santa obviously thought pretty highly of this kid, to get him this item (#1 on his Christmas wish list). He must've felt confident that Jasper would have the patience and gumption to actually make it happen. We're talking 1,279 pieces of a totally complicated piece of machinery, complete with gears and chains and dozens of working parts. You're really supposed to be at least 12 years old to be able to do this... but my brilliant 8-year-old son made it look like a piece of cake. He did not disappoint. I'm sure Santa would be proud. 
I was his assistant. I would hunt down pieces to each phase and lay them out while he followed the ridiculously detailed instructions and made magic happen. What we started over my morning coffee, we ended over my evening glass of wine. 
It's not easy for me anymore to sit cross-legged on the floor for hours upon hours. In fact, it hurts. A lot. I had to take a union break every half hour or so to stretch my old muscles... but I truly enjoyed the quiet time, with my focused, determined son, while he worked and created. We'd chat some, but not a lot. He's not afraid of comfortable silences. We get along nicely. And he agreed that we make a great team.
He's feeling better today. I'm glad. He's my hero. 

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Why?

Alright, I know most of you have told me you come here to read my blog because you love how positive I am and how happy I am with my life and because it makes you feel good to read my ramblings... and yes, I *am* still happy and all of that, but this morning I just feel I have to get something off my chest. I apologize for it, but sometimes I just get consumed by the sadness and if I just try to purge it, perhaps I can shake off the funk and continue on today as my happy self, living out my incredibly blessed, damned-near-perfect life in selfish blissful oblivion. (Gee, can you tell I'm being eaten away at the core by guilt??)
I have a heavy heart this morning. I feel like I've been hit in the face with a brick. 
Yesterday, at one point, I remember mentally lamenting that I wish I looked better in a bathing suit, cause my new friends all seem to have the cutest little bodies, and I was also bummed that my hydrangeas haven't produced more mopheads because I really want to cut some and bring them inside, but then there won't be any left in the garden, and I am annoyed because my dog is shedding like crazy and so I have to sweep several times a day... Hmmm. Okay, that's it. THAT is how AMAZINGLY GREAT my life is. Those were the ONLY things I could think of to even remotely complain about for the day. 
But while I'm over here living this damned-near-perfect life, I just found out that one of my friend's mothers died after suffering many years with Alzheimer's. My friend has now lost both parents in the past few months. And my other friend is currently on a humanitarian trip in the Dominican Republic, taking photographs of naked babies sleeping in the streets and little children playing in the village dump. Another friend just told us that he's leaving his wife because she's an alcoholic who refuses to change her ways. And yet another, an old family friend, is battling breast cancer. 
Friends all around us are suffering. They're losing jobs and losing homes and their marriages are crumbling. It is so incredibly sad. 
My cousin's husband played "Blackbird" on his guitar Sunday at a funeral for an 8-month-old boy who could not win his battle against disease. 
I follow blogs of several women who bare their souls and their stories of infertility and of losing children. I know many mothers coping with children with special needs.
And in the news, just today, more details about the horrific fire at a daycare in Mexico that killed at least 38 children and about how the parents tried to ram their cars into the side of the building to free the children. 
And then, of course, there's the Air France crash that is still being investigated. That's another 228 victims... and that means thousands of people mourning for them, wondering if the bodies will ever be found. 
There are people shooting each other at schools and resorts and in the on-going war. People are committing suicide and beating their children. 
I recently watched "Slumdog Millionaire" and saw the hideous things done to children in other countries... the abuse and slavery and prostitution and torture of these innocent souls. 
It's really just too much to handle. 
It makes me incredibly sad and sick to my stomach. It makes me want to get up off this couch and DO something about it. But it also makes me feel helpless, like the problems are so much bigger than I am, and so the magnitude of it all just paralyzes me and I have no earthly idea where I'd even start. 
And all the while, while all this heartache and trauma and tragedy is swirling around me, I sit here in my office and daydream of Ireland and castles and pubs and a cold Guinness with my adorable husband. I daydream about my son winning his first baseball championship trophy tonight and I gaze at my daughter and think about how gorgeous she looks with her fresh tan and glistening golden hair. I think about how nice the air-conditioning feels on this hot summer day and wonder what I should fix myself for lunch.
Is it fair? No. It is not fair. 
Is it okay for me to still bask in the glow of my own personal life? And how do I do that without feeling guilty? 
What can I do to help? Where do I even start? 
I am completely open to any and all suggestions. 
If you've made it this far in this post, thank you for listening.

It's Here!

Okay, and I'm here too! HA HA HA. I even got fussed at by my VERY OWN ANTI-BLOG HUSBAND last night for not posting enough. I keep meaning to, I really really do, honest... but it's a little overwhelming because there's just TOO much to talk about, so I don't even know where to start. 
We have recently gone to visit my parents and niece (Oh My Gosh I never even blogged about that AMAZING trip!), celebrated Jasper's 8th birthday, wrapped up another school year and are now in the throes of a very exciting baseball tournament. 
And our phones have been out for 3 days (??) and the washing machine is broken and Ireland is finally planned and it's all just been VERY CHAOTIC and wonderful around here. 
So this isn't really a blog... this is just me saying I *will* be back later today with a REAL blog. Honest! :) 
But for right now I'm going to enjoy this cup of coffee on what feels like the first REAL DAY OF SUMMER... did I mention both the kids are still asleep? Ahhhhhhhh. Gotta love it! 
Going to download a ton of pics for you... 
Oh, and yeah, more... well, I can never decide what I want my blog to look like. It's tough when you use this free program cause there's only so much customizing you can do. I would like to upgrade my blog so I can really make it MINE... but just haven't had time! Maybe that will be a good summer project. 
Back soon my friends!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I see the light...

Yes, I see the light!! The end of the tunnel is near! 
I see the end of school nearing... just 13 more days for the kiddos! FUN. I love summer!!! No alarm clocks, drippy popsicles, wrinkled swimming fingers, long lazy days, flowers and fireflies... and VACATIONS!
Yes, only 35 days until the kids go to camp and John and I jet set off to Ireland! 
And only two more weeks of baseball and then we have a nice break. Wow... what will I *do* with myself without 8 baseball events per week, carpooling, volunteering at school, Wednesday folders, packing school lunches... ahhhhhhh. Bliss. 
And only six days until we skeedaddle on down to San Antonio to visit my parents and niece and meet their new puppy!! Ohhhhh the fun times abound!!! 
But what is most fabulous about my life is that it's not just these big events that please me most, but rather the day to day blessings that surround me... be it my sweet, adoring husband, my awesome kiddos, my soft, loyal pup, my lovely new friends, my mom on the telephone, baby tomatoes in my garden or baby birds in the nest in the rose bush... I feel like I'm just completely surrounded by goodness and light every day. 
And this man, right here, is one of the brightest lights in my life. I adore him beyond words. He brings laughter and joy into my life every single day. He makes me feel loved and beautiful and safe and secure and doesn't even get the slightest bit angry when I back my car into his truck, causing damage to both vehicles in one very expensive, very careless moment. John, thank you for being my light and my rock... and of course, my BFF. Oh, and thank you for putting up with me and my camera. :) I love this new picture of you!!!

Here's the damage from my big whoopsie daisy on Thursday... EEK. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Great Big Fun and Pint-Sized Perfection









We're home... always a fabulous feeling, no matter how fantastic our travels are. 
We had some BIG fun in Disneyland. It was a total BONUS DAY for us... we just squeezed it in to our SoCal adventures and we're so glad we did. Jasper was finally tall enough to go on every single ride in the park, so that's exactly what we did! Light crowds, perfect weather and happy kids. Gotta love it. After the fireworks show, Kathryn let us know we'd been awake and movin' for 21 hours... and we were all starting to feel it, so we decided to call it quits earlier than expected and left the park an hour before closing. 
But no rest for the weary. 
Up and at 'em again the next day for Sophie's 3rd birthday party in the park!! So cute to watch her run around with all her little knee-high friends. Everyone had a great time. 
I finally got to meet our newest family member, baby Finn, who is a mere 3 weeks old and every bit as perfect as I expected him to be!! I drank up as many baby snuggles as I could get, knowing next time I see him he'll be a completely different kiddo. He's a doll and I can tell we're going to get along juuuuuuuuust fine. 
The older cousins had a blast together, chasing and screeching and swimming and singing. 
Spent Mother's Day with John's family. My brother-in-law prepared a fantastic feast and we mothers were pampered morning 'til night. 
Came home to a ridiculously lush (and mowed! Thanks neighbor!!) lawn and a new Mayor (yay!) and now we're enjoying the growing excitement as school and baseball wind down and summer approaches. 
Good times. :) 

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Few Thoughts on Mothering



Mother's Day is coming! I love this day. I love that it's now a holiday I can share with my own mother... not only celebrating her, but also my own role as a mom. :) I'll blog about my Mom very soon, but today I want to talk about myself. Ha ha ha.
Being a mother has been the most fantastic ride for me so far... from the first moment I held my deliciously beautiful, sticky little newborns until now, when I send my big independent kids out the door to school.
It's going by fast. WAY WAY WAY too fast. But I'm trying to enjoy every bit of it. Most days I succeed. 

There are some silly things I love about being a mother:
First of all, I absolutely loved the possessiveness I felt as I scooped up my warm sleeping burrito-wrapped bundles in the early days. And I loved nursing them, feeling so incredibly connected, just sitting there quietly, rocking, feeling like I could happily stay there all day long.
I loved when my toddlers called me "Mommy." I think that's one of the sweetest sing-song words in the English language. I admit I was sad when they graduated to just plain ol' "Mom," but I've grown to love it as well. 
"Mom," to me, means the privilege of getting to stare at your sleeping beauties for a few sacred, peaceful moments before waking them in the mornings. 
"Mom" means being able to slather them with as many kisses as you want, even if they're yelling "Stop!" because you know they're secretly loving it... the smirk on their faces gives them away. 
"Mom" means knowing your children inside and out, almost better than they know themselves. 
"Mom" means being ON IT all the time, 24/7 with no breaks and no paycheck and no sick days, but with endless benefits!! :) 
"Mom" means having to learn to love the smell of peanut butter and Miracle Whip first thing in the morning. 
"Mom" means being able to have a whole conversation with your child with just one look. 
"Mom" means always knowing where EVERYTHING is, from a favorite Pokemon pencil to a beloved stuffed animal to baseball cleats and hair bands or iPods and DS chargers. Always, all the time. Just ask.
"Mom" means loving your children so fiercely that it sometimes literally hurts. 
"Mom" means you're absolutely, without a doubt, ready at any moment to throw yourself in front of a bullet for your kids, no hesitation, no regrets. 
"Mom" means the joy of getting to giggle with your kids, watch them grow and learn and master new things, being so full of pride you just might possibly burst at the seams. 
"Mom" means having a new love and respect for your own mother because now you REALLY TRULY understand how she feels about you, even though she's been telling you for the past 38 years.
"Mom" means going to bed exhausted every night of the week. 
"Mom" means something special will happen to you every single day of the week...  you never know what's coming, but I promise you, be it a big thing or a tiny gesture, it *will* happen.
I thank God every day for letting me be a mother and for my own mother, who showed me how to be great at it. 

*Photos by the extremely fabulous and talented Gillian of www.gigiphotography.com. THANK YOU LOVE for capturing me with my children... I love how these photos show exactly how I feel about them!! :) I will treasure them always! 

Monday, May 4, 2009

Yertle the Turtle

Meet Yertle. 
He was a good pet, for a day. See, we have a rule around here and that is that any "pet" we find, we only keep for one day and then we set them free again. 
I really enjoyed Yertle. John and Kathryn saw him trying to cross the street on Saturday during the huge crazy storm, so they snatched him up. Yertle was a BIG hit at the birthday party!! Quite entertaining. All the kids loved him. 
Yertle braved the stormy night with us and then posed for a few photos before we bid him farewell. 
The kids did not shed any tears. I guess he just wasn't fluffy enough for their tastes. 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mmmm, Romance...

Question: What do you get when you have no kids at home, no power, a massive thunderstorm, dozens of flickering candles, delicious red wine, the Best of Journey playing on the laptop, Chinese food delivered and a Backgammon board? 
Answer: A PERFECT Saturday night!! :) 

John and I enjoyed a rare treat last night... being home alone with no kids! It was a crazy stormy night but we totally made the best of it and we agree it's the most fun we've had in a long time. We think we might make a new tradition out of this... farm out the kids to friends and then pretend there's no power. You should try it! It's good for a marriage. :) 

Friday, May 1, 2009

Appreciating the Appreciation

I felt compelled to blog today. I've obviously been pretty lazy about it lately. I'll tell you, it's harder than I anticipated, keeping it up on a daily basis. I did okay for a couple of months, then it started being more of a weekly blog and now, well, I get messages from frustrated followers, asking when they can expect the next entry! Whoops. Sorry. 
But yesterday I got the most beautiful message from a dear friend of mine. I wanted to share it. She really touched me and has given me encouragement and motivation to continue my blogging journey!!! I'll try to do a better job of keeping up with it! 
So today, if you know someone who has been doing a good job of something, be it a teacher or a coach or a housekeeper or whatever... LET THEM KNOW! Shoot them a quick email and tell them how much you appreciate them. I promise, it'll make their day! I should know:

Hola Stacy!
Wow...I just read a lot of your blog....you made me laugh, cry and happy to be alive all in one hour! But seriously, i really, really want you to know that since we got back in touch I've been following your pictures and little comments on Facebook... and you're a HUGE inspiration! Who loves life more than you?? Seriously, I can't name one person in my life who does besides you and it's made me re-examine my life! I've been in such a funk lately and you're making me realize that little things like planting flowers, watching my nephews and neice and appreciating my fiance, my family and friends are the things that are important!! We get so caught up in work and politics and such that the little things get pushed to the side. 
Anyways...you have the most amazing aura around you Stacy, it comes through in your writing and pictures...you're beautiful in every way and nice and caring and an amazing photographer! John and your children are blessed to have you! 
Okay, I am getting mushy so I'll stop here, I just wanted you to know that you've been on my mind a lot lately :)

Isn't that the sweetest? Aw, thank you my friend! Okay, and since now I know that my silly ramblings about how much I love my day-to-day life aren't boring everyone half to death, I'll tell you about another thing that made me quite happy the other day... 
Jasper bought me this squirrel picnic table. It's hysterical. The squirrels look like they're sitting on a little chair, eating from a little table. We love it. And I love it more because my sweet 7-year-old son was willing to use his OWN money to buy it for me for no reason other than he thought I'd love it. 
I wanted to get a few photos of the squirrels for him, so the other day, I stood outside for a good half hour, inching closer and closer to the feeder, until I was only about two feet away! The squirrel ALMOST took the strawberry from my hand! Too funny.


Have a great weekend everybody and don't forget to tell someone how much you appreciate them! 

Friday, April 24, 2009

What a Wonderful Week!!

Oh I've just had the best week... hanging out with Gillian and Lucia... taking hundreds of photos, drinking too much coffee and staying up late. 
I have so many new fabulous photos I couldn't possibly post them all, but here is a little showcase I hope you'll enjoy... a mish mash of some of our favorites, in no particular order. This is TRULY the BEST Mother's Day gift I've ever received!! THANK YOU AGAIN GILLIAN!!

Take a TALENTED photographer, handsome boy, funky old beat up truck and golden light... and this is what you get!!

We were so happy to find a little patch of bluebonnets... 

Of course you can't come to Texas and not ride a horse!!!


Gillian has a new lens... and she has already mastered it. They make a GREAT team... combining her ability and the delicious creamy bokeh of the lens... the results are breath-taking. She let me take her new toy on a test run (because I was drooling all over it!) and sadly, I just cannot for the life of me make it SING the way she does. She is so gifted!!! She is a huge inspiration to me. If you'd like to check out more of her work, visit her website at www.gigiphotography.com or her blog, at www.gigiphotography.com/blog. You won't regret it! 
Ohhhhhhhh one of my FAAAAAAAAAAVES. :)

And of course I adore all the ones of me and Jasper snuggling. 


And this one has got to be my ALL-TIME FAVORITE EVER photo taken of me and the kiddos together. I'm going to print this on a huge canvas. I can't wait! 
Jasper decided to get in on the action... he picked up my camera and starting taking Lucia's picture while I took some of Gillian... I turned around and saw this and my heart just sang! He's a natural!
Here are a few of his results. 

Ohhhhhh and Lucia is such a sweet pea. I got to meet her for the first time when she was just a few weeks old. She is a joy to have in the house... she is silly and sweet and mild-mannered and quiet and loving. Melts my heart every time she comes to give me a hug or kiss. I am still trying to convince Gillian to leave her with me, but for some reason I'm having trouble convincing her. Hmmm. Couldn't possibly understand why! ;) 
Unfortunately, Gillian is upstairs packing her suitcase and I'm feeling sad she's leaving today (So soon??!! But didn't you just get here??!!) but I know she's anxious to get home to her two other sweet girls. 
I'll post more pictures soon... I have a CRAZY busy weekend ahead... volunteering and two baseball games tonight, then two more games tomorrow AND my father-in-law is coming for a visit... so I have to do a quick turnaround on the house and guest room sheets... fun times!! I can certainly never complain of being bored!
Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Purty as a Picture...

Meet Gillian. :) One of my very dearest friends EVER. I'm sure you've heard me talk about her... if not, well, you obviously haven't been paying attention. Ha ha ha. ;) 
We met online five years ago via a photography forum and people thought we were CRAZY the first time we decided to meet in person... but we hit it off just as well in real life as we did online, so it's been a fabulous relationship ever since. 
Gillian is beautiful. And frilly. And girly. And super duper sweet. Did I mention she's beautiful? I love her in so many ways. She inspires me. She is a FANTASTIC photographer and is always cheering me on and boosting my confidence. She also listens to me whine and well, we email each other back and forth literally dozens of times a day. 
And she's HERE, right now, sitting next to me on my sofa while we both update our blogs and facebook pages. Ha ha ha. Yes, we're BOTH total computer dorks. :) 
We've been trying out some photo shoots together, scouting new fields and locations, braving Texas-sized mosquitos, fire ants and a sometimes grumpy toddler... and just laughing at the chaos!! But I *am* loving some of the results!! 
Tonight it's my turn to be the subject... eek. Gillian is a wizard though, and I know she'll make us look FABULOUS. I can't wait. 
So here's my GORGEOUS, wonderful, sweet blue-eyed Canadian sweetie... Gillian. :) 
(Oh, and yes, she LOVES to tease us about our accents! HA HA HA. She says Jasper's is especially thick.)
This is sweet little Lucia, Gillian's youngest of THREE girls (yes, she manages to take care of THREE girls under the age of 5, run a VERY successful photography business AND have AWESOME hairdos every day! I don't know HOW she does it... but she does!!) I think Lucia's been enjoying having Mommy all to herself for a few days. Doesn't she look happy? 







SPEAKING of Lucia... whoops, darn, the doorbell just woke her up... ohhhhh noooo. :( Hopefully I'll be back tomorrow to blog some photos of me and my kiddos... FUN stuff! 

If you want to check out Gillian's INCREDIBLE work... go to www.gigiphotography.com or have a peek at her cool blog at www.gigiphotography.com/blog. 

Have a GREAT day!