Sunday, February 26, 2012

Senior Tribute

Spent a couple of hours or so this evening writing a senior tribute for Lex for the yearbook ... insert deep sigh.

Our "Little Miss Sunshine" is going to leave a giant hole when she goes off to college.
I am honestly thrilled to watch her write the next chapter in her story and she is beyond prepared for it all, but I'm struggling with writing this yearbook thing.

How do you sum up in one paragraph all that this girl means to our family?
How do you capture all that is Lex?
How do you not sound like a blubbering idiot?
How do you graciously acknowledge her talent and accomplishments?
How do you tell her that the best moments are yet to come?
How do you turn her loose because it is her moment to SHINE?



Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sew Fun

Miss Megan got invited to a girly get-together yesterday ..
Cookie Decorating
Nail Painting
Apron Making
Crafting

Just for fun .. just because!

My friend Mary was helping the girls sew decorative buttons onto the pocket of the apron.
After the second button, here was the conversation:

Megan: Remind me again, why are we sewing these on?  My Mom would have just used the glue gun by now.  She uses the glue gun for EVERYTHING!!

Mary:  Oh, I'm a big fan of the glue gun too, but every now and then, you have to know how to sew.  Like, if you need to sew a button on a shirt.

Megan: (wrinkling up her face) WHAT??!!  We just buy our shirts with the buttons already on them!!

Isn't it just awesome to have painfully honest children??!!

 I would just like to point out that despite this conversation ..
I did take sewing in 4-H and
I did win a blue ribbon at the county fair for the wrap around skirt.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it .. I can totally use a sewing machine and/or a needle and thread!  ;)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Livin on a Prayer

I was blessed this week to get to know a pretty amazing 14 year old girl.
My new friend Isabella has had quite the life ...
Born premature
Open heart surgery at age 1
Severe asthma
Dyslexia
Severe scoliosis

This was her before yesterday:


The picture on the right is her spine after a spinal fusion surgery that lasted almost six hours.  I have never seen anything like this .. cannot even imagine how this girl was walking.

Dozens of people have commented that despite it all, this is one happy, giving child. 
Always concerned with the welfare of others.
Focused and hard working at school.
Kind and loving.

We started Project LOVE to help Miss Isabella get through the next few weeks of painful physical therapy as she relearns how to walk, sit, stand, roll over, etc.  Her family is feeling a bit overwhelmed.  A minimum of six weeks without pay is a scary thing.  Their family includes:
Colleen - Mama Bear with a bit of an uphill battle for the past few years
Tristan - 11 years old - "man of the house"
Isabella - 14 years old - our sweet girl

One of her cousins, who happens to be in 5th grade, considers Isabella to be her best friend.  She has been really concerned for her and decided to take action.  She created this page:

I really dig kids who are moved by the situation of another to take this kind of action .. excellent work for an 11 year old girl!  
So Project LOVE is taking off .. and the best part is we started on Martin Luther King Day and will wrap up right around Valentines Day!
What can you do?

*Donate online.
*Send a card with a note of encouragement or two to Collen, Isabella or Tristan between now and Feb 15th or so.  If you can, throw in a gift card or $5.
*Have a group that you know - your family, girl scouts, boy scouts, church youth group, student council group, sports team, etc. - write Isabella and Tristan notes, host a fundraiser, put together a get well soon package.
*Anything else that you think would be cool!


If you would like to help with Project LOVE .. email me and I'll send you the family's address.

Terror

It has been a bit since I had to do something professionally that is brand new .. something I've never done before .. something that has been know to cause an intense panic attack!

I was asked to present to the Board of Directors for my company on some new initiatives I've been tasked with.  They first asked a few months ago, but it just never came together until last week .. at a 6am Board Meeting!

I have presented before hundreds of people, and I don't really get too nervous anymore.  However, this was a new experience .. and there were a lot of high level people in the room.  Upon walking into the room, the first thing I noticed was that there was no projector in the room. Ummm .. how does one give a presentation without a projector?  More importantly, what idiot doesn't print the presentation so you have an outline of what you wanted to say in the event there is not a projector in the room.

PANIC .. SHEER, HEART-POUNDING PANIC!
I'm starting to thinking about running for the door and claiming food poisoning.
I found a long term VP that I've known for a long time and asked about the projector.
Come to find out .. they never use one.
These are things that might be nice to share with a first-timer.
I'm sure he could sense the sheer panic, as he proceeded to talk me off the ledge.
"Just do your thing .. talk to them .. where have we been .. what are we doing right now .. where are we going."


It is fair to say that the next 15 minutes occurred WAY OUTSIDE my comfort zone.  I haven't been that rattled for a long time.
On our way out, I joked to my friend,
"Dorothy is NOT in Kansas any more!"
Then I ran to my hotel room to call my husband so he could appreciate my looking like a complete idiot!!

After my heart rate returned to normal and I could think through the moment ..
I realized how good this was for me. 
It is good to be challenged!
It is good to be stretched and pushed!
I need to do that more often ..
I need to intentionally find things that make me a little uncomfortable and force myself to engage it!


I got a note later from one of the board members ..
complimenting me and pointing out how calm and collected I was for a first time presenter.
HA! HA!  Who says I'm a terrible actor when it comes to hiding my emotions behind this expressive face??!!
TAKE THAT!!






Sunday, January 15, 2012

Doctor's Office Tears

You know those people who just have thousands of friends ..
Most people love to be around them.
Most people find them hilarious.
This is my daughter
Miss Rachel Ann!

We had an appointment on Friday with a team of specialists
(remember the leg issue).
We walked in and found four different doctors in the room.
She was rattled for about ten seconds, and then moved to full Rachel mode.
Within two minutes .. here were the doctors:



One kept taking his glasses off to wipe the tears!
How great is that!

Rach had gone out into the hall to work with the physical therapist.
The main doctor just looked at me and started shaking her head ..
"That girl is something else!"
"Is she always like this?"
"She is going to accomplish great things, that one!"

Yes, yes she is.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Courage

Miss Ashley at the Shine Project has a unique way of picking topics to write about that are not only interesting .. but also encourage a fair amount of introspection with just a hint of the uncomfortableness that comes from opening up beyond your normal comfort level.

Courage can manifest itself in so many ways ..
It can be the young woman who stands up for the girl being made fun of at school.
It can be the grandmother who steps in and raises a grandchild.
It can be the young man who chooses to speak up in the locker room when the comments about girls are getting inappropriate.

I had the unique opportunity to be in the hospital room when the doctors first used the words "Lou Gehrig's Disease" with my dad.  I never was very good at following directions .. especially not the directions to "wait out here" after watching fifteen doctors and students file into his hospital room.  This hospital was a teaching hospital, so everything was always observed by 12 or so students.

My dad was 39 years old.
We learned what amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was going to do to his body, and that there was not a cure for this disease.
We learned what the life expectancy was for patients with this disease.
We learned that after all the disease would do .. his mind would always remain intact and he would be all too aware of what was happening.

The last thing Dr. P said was, "We're going to let you have some time to digest all of this.  I'll come back in awhile and we can go through your questions."
After everyone filed out ..
my Dad and I locked eyes across the room.

See, my Dad was one of my best friends.
We're a lot alike, and I knew what this was going to do to him.
His fiercely independent spirit was NOT going to do well with this.
Frankly, I wasn't so sure I was going to do well with this.

As I went and laid next to him in his hospital bed, he made an incredibly courageous statement .. "This doesn't change anything."
I told him he was right .. it didn't change anything .. it changed EVERYTHING!

There is no doubt in my mind, there were moments and days when my Dad must have been terrified.
Terrified of the path this disease would carve through his body.
Afraid that he would not be humble enough to accept the Lord's will and lose the anger.
Terrified of who would care for his family after he was gone.
Afraid to do the things that the Lord would ask of him for the next couple of years.

Courage is doing that which you are afraid to do.
We all learned a lot about courage during those 18 months .. as we did things that we were terrified to do.
We learned to trust in the Lord's time lines.
We learned to rely on each other.
We learned that there are amazingly kind and generous people in the world .. and we vowed to pay that kindness forward .. even if it took an entire lifetime.
We learned to intentionally create moments and traditions.
We learned to focus on things that matter, and let go of things that don't.
We learned to say I love you .. a lot.
 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Obsession

Latest obsession .. eyebrows!

Maybe it is because we are both over 40
and weird junk starts to happen after that age.


All I know is that I notice eyebrows EVERYWHERE!
I work with mostly men .. quite a few over the age of 40.
I find myself wanting to grab a pair of tweezers when they sit next to me in meetings or on airplanes .. because the baby squirrels growing off their faces have got to go.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Change the World


As a young girl .. I regularly prayed to be the mom of boys.
Boys would be less dramatic and emotional.
I could be surrounded by baseball bats and footballs.
We could get dirty and have fun.
I had a plan .. four boys and life would be sweet!
I am a mom to three girls .. so much for letting God in on my perfect plan.
I have learned many a lesson from being surrounded by this much estrogen on a daily basis.
See, boys are strong and focused.
They can do great things - professionally and personally.
But girls .. there is something about a girl who has captured the vision and knows what she wants to do with her life.
A confident and intelligent girl can change the world .. she has the power to project love and positive energy to all she meets.
She understands the importance of keeping your eyes open and your heart in tune to the needs of others.
All of these can serve as a force for good that cannot be stopped.

There are times when these girls need a reminder of the potential that resides inside each of them.  Too often, they focus on the negative comments and all of the ways in which they perceive they fall short.
I am incredibly passionate about reaching these young girls and making sure they KNOW .. and I mean really KNOW .. that they have the power to be and do anything.

Forget what you think you should be!
Forget what the world defines as beautiful!
Forget what talents you do or don't have!
Forget where your clothes come from!
Forget the haters!
Life will be full of people who think you should dress, talk, act and do things a certain way .. some of these people may even be members of your own family.
There are a million different ways to be and do .. and plan parties .. and raise children .. and spend your time .. you get the idea.
As a mom, I have always worked to instill this in my own girls.
I want them to go forward in life believing that they can RULE THE WORLD!
There is not a thing .. or a person .. who can hold them back from achieving their goals and dreams.
It doesn't matter if you love to get dressed up .. or if you prefer basketball shorts and tshirts .. you can change the world with the right focus and drive!
Ashley posed the question .. what would you change in the world?
I would change the way too many girls are raised.
They are not meant to be coddled and sheltered.
They are not meant to fit some mold of what is the "right" way to be and do.
They are meant to be empowered and pushed.
They are meant to be educated and strong.

How great it would be if when she walks by .. people stop and say,
"Watch out for that girl!  She will change the world!"






Saturday, January 7, 2012

I Like To Look For Rainbows


One of the cutest 8 year olds I know got baptized this weekend!
We went looking for something fun and rainbow themes ..
And found the perfect jello cups!

GRAPE
BERRY BLUE
LIME
LEMON
ORANGE
STRAWBERRY

One tablespoon for each layer of the 4 oz jars.
Two tablespoons for each layer of the 8 oz jars.




My youngest daughter took charge of the cool whip topping and sprinkles.
It was not only fun to do, but it was a cute surprise for the birthday girl!

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Christmas Story


There are so many ways to enjoy the Christmas story ...
This happens to be my personal favorite!



Cute kids
Fun costumes
Joseph riding in on the donkey .. with an older Mary walking behind laughing
Baby Jesus .. with a pacifier to calm his nerves
And the littlest wiseman who just happens to play the drums as well!


Saturday, December 31, 2011

Words

Normally, we have a family meeting this time of year and talk about what we want to accomplish in the upcoming year ... the dreaded resolutions.  I've been thinking about it and trying to come up with something new.  This is going to be a big year for us - a high school graduation, oldest child moving away to college - how to capture all of it and make it a meaningful activity.

I think I have an idea ..
Not a list of resolutions
Just one word

One word that reflects what you want for yourself in 2012.
YOUR WORD
YOUR FOCUS
YOUR HOPE


Words can hold great meaning.  
They can be powerful and serve as a catalyst for change.


So we are each going to pick a word.
I'm going to laminate each word and place it on the fridge.
We'll do some activities during the year to keep the focus and visibility high.
What words will we choose?












Friday, December 16, 2011

Really?


Just when you think you have heard it all ... along comes Mr. Rominger, attorney for Jerry Sandusky.  Rominger gave a interview that contained this little nugget of wisdom.

"Teaching a person to shower at the age of 12 or 14 would sound strange to some people, but actually people who work with troubled youth would tell you that there are a lot of juvenile delinquents or people who are dependent who have to be taught basic life skills, like how to put soap on your body."

Well, thank you Mr. Rominger for clearing that up.  Makes perfect sense now!  Sandusky wasn't doing anything inappropriate ... he was simply teaching these young boys how to soap up in the shower. 

Mr. Rominger will be clarifying that genius statement for the next few days ... Personally, I am counting on Seth Myers to properly handle this during SNL this weekend.  Come on Seth ... this is SCREAMING for coverage as a "REALLY with Seth"!


Bricks From Heaven



My oldest got this recipe from her teacher at church ... and the teenage girls quickly renamed them "Bricks From Heaven."  She took them to school this week and the teenage crowd is still asking for the recipe.  We didn't get a photo, but feel free to give them a try!


1 roll (16.5 oz) chocolate chip cookie dough
1 C. old fashioned quick oats
Dash salt

2/3 C. caramel Ice Cream Topping
5 T. flour
1 t. vanilla
3/4 C. chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1 C. semi-sweet baking chips (6 oz)

Heat oven to 350.  In large bowl, break up cookie dough.  Stir on knead in oats and salt.  Reserve 1/2 cup of the dough for topping.

In greased 9-inch square pan, press remaining dough mixture evenly in bottom to form crust.  Bake 10-12 minutes or until dough puffs and appears dry.

In small bowl, mix caramel topping, flour and vanilla until well  blended.  Sprinkle pecans and chocolate chips over crust.  Drizzle evenly with caramel mixture.  Crumble reserved 1/2 cup dough mixture over caramel.

Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool 10 minutes.  Run knife around sides of pan to loosen bars.  Cool completely.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Friends

I met a great young family this past week.  You may have seen us on Facebook asking for costume donations.  The momma in this family is the founder of the Princess Alexa Foundation. 

It is my general personal belief that the word "trial" is widely overused ... there are daily challenges or aspects of life that just don't rise to the level of a trial.  For me, I will be ready to use that word if a day comes that we have to spend 2-4 years fighting leukemia with one of my girls.  I think I came pretty close the day my Dad died, and I was in Argentina ... you could say that the world came crashing down on that day and it took a few more days to get it back together.  However, that would be nothing in comparison to losing one of my girls.

I was so moved by this sweet young family.  They took the pain of losing a child and have translated it into a working non-profit.  They use the fun of playing dress-up to bring a little sunshine into the lives of some really sick kiddos ... and I'm sure the parents of these kiddos enjoy those few hours every bit as much.  What an amazing example of using your super powers for good!

It was so fun to get to know them just a little bit and we look forward to doing more with their foundation.



Monday, December 5, 2011

Mini-Mean Girls


Miss M came home from school a little upset ...
Apparently, a group of girls were making fun of her for not having boobs.

WAIT ... WHAT?????!!!!!
This is fourth grade!
I mean REALLY!!

Really ladies ... What? You think you have gigantic boobs!
Really!

Really ... you do recognize that a push up bra doesn't actually mean you have boobs!
Really!

  How dare one of you not maintain her social status by rocking a push up "C" cup!  The nerve of some girls!
I mean really!

Your mothers ought to be smacked for ...
Buying you a push up bra in the fourth grade!
Encouraging such an emphasis on your body at ten years old!
Not smacking you every time a snotty comment came out of your mouth so we could eliminate this charming behavior before you really start to hurt the feelings of others!


1000 Words


What's that saying ... A picture is worth a thousand words.
This is what is left of my beater after an unfortunate encounter with a glass bottle of corn syrup.

This so perfectly sums up the past two weeks of fun!
Eight airplanes in two weeks while trying to coordinate Christmas and school activities and general life has been a kick in the pants.

So last night when I pulled the beater off and set it on the counter, my entire house just roared with laughter!  Good news is ... they finally have something to add to this Christmas list they have been hounding me about.  :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thoughtful Giving

It can be so difficult to identify the "perfect" gift.  I'm a big fan of finding something meaningful that can really be used for years to come.  This week, I heard such an amazing story of meaningful giving ... that I had to share.

One of my co-workers was turning 60 this week.  He arrived home on Tuesday to find a random truck parked in this driveway, blocking his way into the garage.  Like most 60 year olds, he is a little crankier than the average person.  He got out of his car and "lit into his wife" who happened to be standing on the sidewalk.
"Who owns the truck?"
"Where did it come from?"
"You better not have bought this thing!"

His oldest son came out the front door and asked him if he was ready to apologize for being an idiot.  Then he asked his Dad to look really close again at the truck ...


As he looked the truck over, a flash of recognition came over his face ... but it couldn't be!
This truck was purchased by his grandfather in 1962.
He learned how to drive in this truck when he was eleven.
His grandpa let him borrow the truck for his first date at 15.
The family sold the truck in 1980.

His son had spent about six months tracking down the truck, finally locating it in a barn in Texas.  He went to meet with the owners and explained to them the significance of the truck in the life of his family, until they agreed to allow him to purchase it.

His son spent the next six months working with a guy to have it fully restored.  He oversaw every detail .. from tracking down original hubcaps to the original paint color.

This week, his son parked the truck in his dad's driveway ... knowing full well he would be snarky when he came home and saw it ... yet also knowing that it would be one of the most memorable and meaningful gifts he had ever received.

After they took it out for a ride and everyone else had gone inside, my friend sat behind the wheel of that truck and just let the memories flow.  So many of his favorite childhood memories were somehow attached to this truck.

Next summer they are having a family reunion.  What an amazing opportunity to share this truck with another two generations of family members ... I can just see the little ones, lined up on that running board, listening to the stories about this truck and where it has carried their family.

It is not always possible to do something this grand, but this served as a solid reminder of the importance of really putting some thought into the gifts I give and looking for opportunities to do something truly meaningful and thoughtful.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tis the Season


Tis the season!!
The first Christmas crafty moment has occurred ... so we are officially ready for it all to begin!

Few things are as relaxing as a few hours with a glue gun
and a couple of friends
and a little gossip
and some hummus!!

Original idea found via Pinterest ... 


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pink Out Day



Fairly regularly, I am humbled and reminded of yet another reason why I have not yet been nominated for "Mother of the Year" ...  The conversation went a little like this:


M: MOM ... I HAVE to wear red today!!!!!
H:Are you sure?
M:YES!  It is Red Ribbon Week.
H:Nope -- that's next week.
M: MOM, we are watching the video today to kick it off.  We have to wear red.
H: Hon, I already got the note from school and added all of your dress up days to the calendar.  Next week is Red Ribbon Week.
M: I know!  But we are kicking it off today.
H: Okay!  Go get dressed and come back so I can do your hair.

She comes back a couple of minutes later all dressed in pink.

H: Buddy, I thought you had to wear red today?
M: Yeah, I think I got confused.  It is not Dare, it is Pink Out.
H:  Are you sure you know what you are talking about?
M: YES -- they had signs up at school.  We're supposed to wear pink today .. and we can wear pink in our hair.
H:  I doubt that.
M: Seriously -- even Madison and Autumn had color in their hair this week.
H: Are you sure?
M: YES -- we can totally wear pink in our hair.

Despite the red flags going off in my head ... I remembered the new principal.  He is young and hip and has been doing a lot of new things with the kids.  So, maybe he really did say they could add color to their hair for pink Out Day.

As you can tell by the photos, we painted pink stripes in her hair.   She skipped out of the bathroom to put her shoes on.  A minute later, she returns with the look of sheer terror on her face ...

M: I remember where I saw the signs about Pink Out Day.
H: At school?
M: No .. it was at Primrose (her after school care).
H: Hmmmm (holding in the laughter)
M: I CANNOT GO TO SCHOOL LIKE THIS!!
H: You could always just rock it and tell them it is Pink Out Day.
M: MOM ... I looked at the dress code.  It says NO EXTREME HAIR COLOR.  Do you think this qualifies as extreme?

At this point, the rest of the family hits the floor and busts out laughing.  Extreme?  No, giant hot pink stripes are barely noticeable!!

We headed to the kitchen sink to wash out as much as we could, considering it was already 7:45.  First, we had to document this little fiasco!!  My little drama queen starts to sob while I was her hair ... " I'm such an idiot!!  I feel so stupid!!"  Her older sisters start telling stories about dumb things that have happened to them like totally missing the first day of school, falling down the stairs, etc.  Her Dad comes running into the room yelling about how it is Peach day and he has nothing to wear ... until we finally had her calmed back down.

She's sitting real quiet in the back seat while I drive her to school.

M: Hmm ... I just remembered something.
H: What's that?
M: Well, Madison and Autumn had a concert at School of Rock.  That's why they had purple and green in their hair.  Now that I think about it, I think they must have tried to wash it out because there was really only a little strand that was still purple and green.
H: Yeah, we probably should have figured that out before adding hot pink stripes to your hair.
M: So, can we put the stripes back in this weekend?  They did look cool.
H: Sure, sis.  Just so we're clear, you are 15 minutes late to school.  You are going to get a tardy and it is going to be okay.  No drama .. we are just late today and the world will continue to rotate on its axis.
M:  I know ... levels of panic!  This started as a 10+, but now I'll keep it at a 2.
H: Love you buddy.  Have a good day with your slightly pink hair!

Chocolate Waffles


We tried one of our Pinterest finds ...
Chocolate Waffles!!

They are super easy.  Just follow the normal directions on the back of a chocolate cake mix.  We went with Milk Chocolate so it wouldn't be too heavy.  Pour the batter into the waffle iron and let them cook.  Top with whipped cream and strawberries.

My girls LOVED them!! 


Friday, September 30, 2011

FDNY


We're going to pretend that I was organized enough to post this closer to September 11th ...

I got a phone call from Delta Airlines in March of 2000.  Apparently, I purchased their 3 millionth online airline ticket and had won a trip for four to the World Series that year.  I suddenly became a massive baseball fan as we watched the playoffs to see where we would be going.  Lucky for us .. it was the year of the Subway Series - Yankees vs. Mets.  It was our first time taking the girls to New York City!!

Statue of Liberty .. Central Park .. Broadway .. they loved everything.  You can tell by the photos, Rachel was in her "SUPERSTAR" phase of photo taking. 

This was pre 9/11 .. back when you could still hike it to the top of the Statue of Liberty and the twin towers appeared in photos. 




One afternoon, we were on our way back to the hotel when we saw a couple of FDNY firefighters outside trying to coax people into their new fire safety facility in Manhattan.  Jeremy and I were going to cross the street to avoid them ... when a really excited four year old took off running down the block and started to chat up the firefighters.  We ended up hanging out with them for over an hour .. playing dress up, learning about fires, coloring, etc.

 

We did not realize it at the time, but this company was one of the first responders after the planes hit the towers eleven months later.  These individuals displayed a level of courageousness that day that few people ever achieve and showed us all the true meaning of putting others welfare before your own. 

We will forever be grateful for a moment that was initiated by a smart little girl who recognized the fun of being a pretend fireman .. and we stopped rushing around long enough to appreciate these incredibly brave individuals.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Pinter WHO???

I have successfully avoided the Pinterest craze until this week!
Spending the past few days at home with Rach caused a moment of intense weakness and I decided to check it out.

This was the first thing I saw ...


... and now I am hooked!!!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lessons Learned in a Hospital Waiting Room

I am a lessons learned kind of girl ... it has become a bit of a joke at my house because the phrase, "What can we learn from this?" follows almost every positive and negative event.

A couple of months ago, my 14-year old took a pretty serious spill on a 4-wheeler while visiting family in Idaho.  She was there with her older sister for a few days before heading to a church camp.  Generally, I'm not much of a "what if" or "crazy worrying" kind of parent.  Stuff happens with kids all the time .. falling and splitting a head open .. breaking an arm .. concussion .. crazy reaction to a bug bite.  All of which have happened at the homes of some of our favorite people.  I would rather have kids who jump in and are not afraid to try new things.

However, this one was a little different.  This one got under my skin a bit.  There were specific decisions made by adults that involved my Annie ... and she got really hurt.  Two months later, she is in surgery and the fun continues.  We have been required to tell the story to multiple medical professionals and each time they start with ...
How did this happen?
Was she wearing a helmet?
How fast was she going? 

Each time we answered the questions .. this little angry bug under my skin would bite a little bit harder.  I even got defensive and felt compelled to explain that we weren't there and would not have allowed her to ride without a helmet.

We had a "lessons learned" chat after this happened .. but it mainly focused on toys like jet skis, 4-wheelers, snowmobiles and how to safely enjoy them.  We talked about helmets, controlling your speed, how to properly take a corner, etc.

Her leg got infected and formed a large hematoma .. hence the surgery this week.  Living in Dallas comes with perks, like having two of the "Top 10 Children's Hospitals" in the country.  As we waited to check in, I started looking around the waiting room, which was full of children a lot younger than mine.  You could tell me looking at them .. this was not their first trip to a hospital.  I don't consider it a good sign when the nurse checking people in recognizes you and calls you by name.

After they took her back to the operating room, we moved to a larger waiting room.  I watched doctors come and take families back to conference rooms because the news they had to deliver was not appropriate in a fishbowl.  We watched families fall apart because something had gone wrong during the surgery.  The longer we sat there ... frankly, the dumber I felt.


We have never had a real health challenge with any of our girls.
I've never heard the words - leukemia or cancer or tumor.
They have never missed a year of school because of visits to specialists or hospitals.
I have never known that sheer panic that comes when a doctor walks into the room with that look.
We have known the pain that comes from losing a child.
We have been incredibly blessed.


Sometimes, the lesson learned comes a little while after the big event.
In a hospital waiting room, I learned perhaps the most valuable lesson of all ..
and I will be grateful.  I will be grateful that all it took was a surgeon and thirty minutes to put her back together.  I will be grateful for the health of my family.  I will be grateful for these little moments that remind me to let go of the things that bring negativity and focus on the beauty in my life.




Friday, August 26, 2011

Break Out the Pumpkins


Despite the fact that it was a balmy 106 in Dallas today ...
I'm ready to move on to Fall.

This crazy weather has until next weekend to get with the program
because the tubs are coming out!!


    


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Denial

We are iPhone junkies at my house! 
All our phones sync daily and we have a master calendar of all important things. 
It is a long standing joke that if it isn't on the calendar, it doesn't happen.

Today, I posted an event to the calendar ...
June 5, 2012

This is the day my Lex graduates from high school.
One could safely assume I had a moment.



I'm starting a petition ...
There are so many AP tests, it is impossible to take all the classes in one year.
We should TOTALLY extend the senior year of high school to two years and allow the kids to get more college credits.

Anyone want to sign?
PLEASE!!!



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Flunking the Modesty Test


My little fashionista came home a little bent from church a couple of weeks ago.  Apparently, she flunked the modesty test and wasn't too happy about it.

What was on this modesty test you ask?  The list went something like this ...

Clothes that are tight fitting.
Her response -- Well, we all know how I feel about my skinny jeans!!

Clothes that are sloppy.
Her response -- The second I walk in the door at home, I change into soccer shorts and a tshirt.  Doesn't get any sloppier than that!!

Skirts and Dresses that hit the bottom of your knee.
Her response -- The whole time they are talking, I'm staring at my skirt that hits the top of my knee.

Nothing strapless or tank tops.
Her response -- I TOTALLY wear tank tops sometimes.

Nothing too flashy.
Her response -- HELLO!!  There is hardly anything in my closet that doesn't have sequins, glitter or sparkles.

She dejectedly stated that the only saving grace during the whole thing was that she doesn't own a bikini.

While we all laughed .. and she got more and more irritated at why we could not comprehend the tragedy of this day .. I actually thought about how far she had come.

When my older girls were little, we did a modesty lesson at home.  I pulled pictures from magazines and had them decide what was appropriate and what was not appropriate.

Like this ...


  

Never focusing on the person .. just the clothing options and choices.  They LOVED it and talked about that lesson for years.  They also used the word "inappropriate" at times when I wished they knew how to whisper!

We attempted to repeat the same lesson years later with the fashionista around age four.
Her continued response to the less desirable choices was ... "THAT'S HOT"!!  No matter how much we tried, none of us could convince her that these clothes were anything but SUPER HOT!!

It would appear that a corner has been turned!!

Girls Day Out


Lucky for me ... Jeremy was present and remembered to grab my camera, or I would have spaced taking pictures of the day!!

Special thanks to:

RACHEL ... the signs were AWESOME!!


 



JANICE AND MARYN ... the food area was FABULOUS!!

  


BETH AND JILL ... EXCELLENT welcomers and entry!!



MEGAN AND KIM ... LOVED the outfits on the walls!!



ALL MY YW FRIENDS ... the zebra stripes and polka dots were GREAT!!



ALEXIS AND NAT ... FANTASTIC shopping helpers!!