Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's!

As I was perusing the aisles of Safeway in search of New Year's Eve staples, I had a thought...why don't we act like everyday is New Year's day? Each day should be a chance to make a change, to invite in the new and put the old in the past where it belongs. Think about it, everyday is a new opportunity to do something different, to make a resolution to become a better person in some way. Focusing on accomplishing something worthwhile for one day a year isn't enough, let's do it everyday! If you consider the fact that everyday Jesus puts our past behind us and gives us a chance to do things right, shouldn't we go through life the same way?

The past is the past. It will always be with us, but we don't have to live in it. Let's live for today, the here and now, and everyday we can wake up with love and hope in our hearts to make it better than our yesterday.

Friday, December 30, 2011


Tony's mom, Allison, and Stefan got down here early on Saturday morning. First we played games, then we got ready and went to the candlelight Christmas Eve service at church. I did not realize that the children came into the regular church with us for this service, but they did really well besides Nola trying to grab our lit candles and the fact that they were dressed for playing, not for church, but whatever. Then we went to Winterhaven to meet up with some friends and show Tony's mom and sis one of the best things about Tucson. It was great!

Then on Christmas morning we opened presents!

Then Tony picked up his dad and brought him back and Doro and Allison went to pick up my niece Oasis and bring her over. Tony deep fried a ham, which was DELICIOUS and my mom and dad brought over a turkey (also great, esp since it's one of my favorite left overs to eat). Our friends, the Gibsons and my sister and kids also came over to join us for lunch. It was a full house and a wonderful time!
Here's Stefan, Vince (their dad), and Tony. They haven't all been together since last Christmas.
Then on Monday we headed out for some after Christmas shopping (leaving the boys at home) and headed up to Mount Lemmon to play in the snow. We tried and failed to find a sled beforehand so we used a campaign sign that someone had left up there for a makeshift sled most of the time. I did not go sledding since my track record of injuries hasn't been so good this year, but Allison and Oasis took Embry down the 'slope' and they had a blast. We also had fun throwing snowballs and eventually getting Nola to warm up to the idea of the cold stuff getting near her.

A good Christmas was had by all! And, I must add, it was way better than last year!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmastime is Upon Us

and I'm oh so happy!

I'm happy to be spending Christmas alive and well this year. I fully intend to take advantage of all the fun things that are around this time of year. Starting with Winterhaven, we went last night. We took my sister and Colter along and it was fantastic. Not freezing cold, but cool enough and not completely packed like it has been when I've gone in the past. Embry had a major melt down for like 20 minutes after we posed her for a picture in an elf cut out. She cried and cried and wouldn't stop for anything. Finally she got over it, but geez, it was dramatic. We walked almost the whole neighborhood except for a few of the side streets. It was magical. The one huge disappointment for me was that either we couldn't find the wishing tree, or it was gone. :(

the dreaded elf cut out

...and the result.

We went to the Eastside Desert Mom's group Christmas party a week ago. I took my kids plus I was watching Haley and Isaac that day so my mom came along to help out. It was at the Rockin Star Ranch and the kids had so much fun on the pony rides. I was very proud of Embry for not freaking out on the pony, which I thought she would, but she tends to be braver when grandma is around. I also won a gift basket with some neat sauces and dip packets. The only part that was mildly disappointing was that Santa arrived and the girls had to go potty, so by the time we got out, Santa was gone. Therefore, we did not get a picture with Santa this year. I was going to take them to the free santa at walgreens this past weekend, but it ended up getting too late and the girls took a nap instead. There's no way I'm going to see the mall santa for a stupid $30 picture!

I went along with Kim to her work party last Friday night. We got to dress up (always fun) and go to the Omni resort in Oro Valley. They had yummy appetizers and desert and I got to meet a lot of the people Kim works with and they were so nice! I also won a raffle there and my prize was a Kindle Fire! At first I thought it was just a regular kindle, which is also freakin awesome, but then I looked at it more closely when I got home and FREAKED OUT when I realized it was actually a Kindle Fire. Oh, I'm so blessed.

We went over to Anna's house last weekend to celebrate the holidays with Anna and family and Kim and the kiddos. There was lots of good food, presents, and fun!

Then we went to the Young Married's Christmas party on Sunday night. Tony and I won the contest for 'best White Elephant' gift by giving the 3 wolf moon shirt. Our prize was a very large gummy bear, some yellow snow candy, bumpitz, and a $25 gift card to Target. Woot woot!Yesterday, I got to spend most of the day making Christmas goodies with Embry. We had lots of fun making buttercrunch toffee, peppermint bark (with dark and milk chocolate), and cowboy cookies. I am convinced there is no better cookie in the whole world. I layered them in some Christmas tins with tissue, tagged them, and delivered them today. I took one to the hematologist, Dr Taetle, one to the Caremore care center, and one to the nurses in ICU west. It was oddly easy getting into ICU and once I was in there I could feel my heart beating faster. I talked to a dr, a tech, and a nurse while standing right outside the room I was in for 10 days last year, it was so surreal. I didn't know any of the people I was talking to (I think I only remember 2 of the people from ICU and they weren't there) but they asked about my story anyway and I thanked them for keeping me alive. They told me how good I looked for having gone through so much and the whole experience cemented in my mind the gravity of what really happened last year. How dire the situation was and how far I've come since then, it really did happen. So, once I left I felt really good, like life was mine for the taking, but by the time I got to my car I was crying. I think mostly because I'm just so thankful. It's hard to express all the feelings I still have inside of me, and I feel like I'm beating a dead horse. I mean people must be thinking, 'geez just stop talking about it already, it was so long ago!' but it really doesn't seem that long ago to me. Anyhow, all in all, it was a good experience and I think I'll be going back every year from now on. They need to know that what they do does really matter and I need to be reminded of how amazing God is.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Let me list some of the many things I have to be thankful for this year:
  • Being Alive!
  • being able to hold my kids
  • walking
  • doing my own hair
  • cooking
  • cleaning
  • cuddling
  • having medical insurance
  • my warm cozy house that really feels like my home
  • feisty Embry
  • sweet Nola
  • a husband who's a provider and a friend
  • every breath
  • the love of my family, near and far
  • parents who love me unconditionally
  • hot water for baths
  • good books (and friends to discuss them with)
  • friends who love me in good times and bad
  • Mostly God, who gives me all these blessings and more

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Embry's 3 Years Old!

Another birthday has come and gone! This party was much easier to prepare for than Nola's was. I ordered subs and slushies from Eegee's as the main food source which cut down on a lot of prep time. The cake was fairly simple since I bought a cake decorating kit (including the cars, the trees, and the bridge) and then used colormist food coloring spray to color the cake instead of actually dying the frosting. I made deviled eggs and pasta salad for sides and my mom made her famous baked beans, pink stuff, and potato salad. I made a photo banner of Embry from ages 2-3 which turned out very cute and cut out some letters for the wall message and printed Dora and Diego characters I found online to hang up on the wall too. My mom spent a lot of time drawing all of the Dora and Diego characters to make 2 banners for the living room which were super cute! We rented a Dora jumping castle which is a whole story in itself.

The chance of rain was down to 15% (started at 60%) for the party and it was raining all morning leading up to the party. When the jumping castle arrived (early around 11am) Embry was so excited. She watched through the window as they set it up and before her nap I asked if she wanted to go jump for a few minutes. She ran through the house excitedly yelling about jumping in her Dora jumping castle and I followed. The second she got to the back door and I opened it, she froze and started screaming 'nooooo!' She really did not want to go in it. So I picked her up and took her in anyway where she proceeded to cry and cling to me like her life depended on it. She claimed she didn't want to get wet, but that really didn't make any sense because she LOVES water, so I'm not sure what her deal was. However once the party started and it wasn't raining anymore (and dada wiped down the inside of the castle with towels) she was more than happy to spend a LONG time jumping and screeching with delight. It did rain during the party, but all in all, it turned out pretty good. We stood under the porch to hit the pinata. None of the smaller children had any hopes of breaking it, but eventually I ripped it apart and dumped the candy out. All was well.

The day after the party, on Embry's actual birthday, Tony had taken the day off work so we went to McDonalds for breakfast and then to the desert museum. Embry loves the desert museum and she walked around holding one of our hands most of the time instead of being in the stroller. We got to see a lot of animals and Embry was very happy.
Then we dropped Nola off at my parent's house and took Embry to eat at Panda Express and then to Harkins to see 'Puss in Boots'. Embry really likes Shrek, so we figured this was up her alley. She had such a good time! She used a booster seat, never tried to get up, ate her popcorn, drank her fruit punch, and held our hands. It was PERFECT. It was a really great experience for all of us.
I watch my friends two kids on Monday nights so once we got home, I packed Embry up and headed to pick up her friends for dinner at McDonalds and about 2 hours in the playplace. Embry couldn't have been happier, it was fantastic.

We went to MOPS on Tuesday where I worked in childcare most of the meeting and both Embry and Nola picked up colds. So now they're sick and I feel bad for them, but since I just got over my sinus infection I'm really hoping they don't pass it on to me. I finished my antibiotics about 4 days ago and I still have a fever around 100 which will not go away. I called the rheumatologist and left a message to see if he wants to see me and the primary care dr was stupid and told me to take some tylenol and see if it goes away. Hello, am I an idiot? Of course I've been taking tylenol and I've had this fever for 2.5 weeks already, I'm pretty sure it's not just going away! Not to be a debbie downer, but Tony took off work for an hour this morning because I had a follow up appt with the podiatrist and the kids are sick, so Tony watched them while I went to the appt. Turns out they didn't put the appt into their computer and the dr was already running behind so they couldn't fit me in. I'd like to point out that it's not 'fitting me in' if I had an appointment and the dr's office staff didn't do their job correctly. Anyhow, vent over and I'm going to bed!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nola's 1 year appt

Nola had her 1 year dr appointment yesterday.
All is well, nothing really to report except her stats:

Weight: 22# 4oz (75%)
Height: 31" (90%)
Head: 44.5cm (>25%)

She got 4 shots (including her flu shot) and she was none too happy about it! She had a bottle afterward, in between gulping sobs.

I finally went to the dr today after 8 days of a temp around 100 and cold like symptoms. She thinks I have a sinus infection and gave me a Z pack of antibiotics so hopefully I'll start feeling better soon. This is all too reminiscent of last year at the same time when I had low grade fever that just wouldn't go away. I'm praying that this year has a different outcome!

In other news, I am so excited about Christmas approaching! I'm so very happy to be alive and to watch my kids grow up over the past year. Normally you just take that as a given in life, to watch your kids grow up, but really it is such a gift. Even on days like today when I take both kids to the dr with me and Embry WILL NOT stop saying 'Are we gonna go to McDonalds and eat and play?!' because she chose not to eat her breakfast and was hungry at 10am, even on days like this, I'm so glad I'm here. Anyway, the point is, this season reminds me of how precious life is and encourages me to savor every single moment.

I have a problem. A problem with presents. I love to buy them. I love to wrap them. I love to give them. The problem is the bank account does not share my love for presents. I have been getting much better with kid's birthday presents. I set a limit and I don't go over it. Although I still have a issue with spending too much on family/friend gifts. I think, 'oh they've done so much for me, I could never repay them, so a gift will show them how much I appreciate them.' I know for the most part it's not so, but I suppose it's the least I can do. What does money matter anyway, it's just a worldly good, but it's also one of God's gifts to us. Am I being a good steward of His money? I'm sure I could never be good enough no matter how hard I tried.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nola's First Trick or Treat

I went with my friend Anna and her girls and my sister and family to trick or treat around the neighborhood last night. I pushed Nola in the stroller up and down our street and then dropped her off back at our house with Tony. At one point, I was setting the stroller in front of neatly decorated house to get a picture of Nola and then I hear her whining and look over to see her slid down in between the seat and the snack tray so only her eyes were showing. Poor baby, I hadn't strapped her into the stroller because her ladybug costume was so poofy the straps wouldn't fit. Embry had a blast and got a good amount of candy too. She wore the same princess outfit that she wore for her first birthday party. It was too big then and a bit too small now, but it worked out and she was happy.
PS, Nola can now go from crawling to standing without holding onto anything! She's so proud of herself too!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Nola is 1!!!

Wow Nola, I can't believe that you're 1 year old already! This past year has gone by SO fast and I'm so very glad that I got to spend all of it watching you grow into a speedy little toddler. I'm sorry that I had to miss a few weeks of your life at the beginning, and I know you won't remember it, but it makes me sad anyway. You'll never know how important you are to me. You're my little one. The sweet baby that helped me to see how very special every moment of life is, even the bad ones when we're cranky and just want to go to bed. You are such an amazing little girl who makes me smile even in the worst of situations. You make me so happy and I can't believe I've been given such a miraculous blessing as you. I'm privileged to be your mama and I'm so glad that I get to watch you grow up and become the person that God intended for you to be. I love you so much No-nos, my little one, you're my favorite one year old!

We had Nola's birthday party today. It went very well, but as usual, I always feel rushed during parties. I feel like everyone is just waiting for the next big event...the food, the cake, the presents. Anyhow, I LOVED the rainbow theme. Holy cow, it was great. It was a lot of work to figure out how to make all the rainbow food, but it was so pretty. I have to say, I'm never making a rainbow jello cup again, those things took like 12 hours. Nola liked her smash cake OK but I was inside cutting up the rainbow layer cake while she was eating her cake, so I'll have to watch the video to see what all happened there. She has been able to stay standing up without holding onto anything for about a week now. She does it more often everyday and I think she might actually start walking soon, probably within the month. She's such a fun girl, I love her so much!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

28: A Year in Review

Last October 10 was my 27th birthday. I had no idea what we did, so I just looked back and I guess we went to a movie. I was almost 35 weeks pregnant with little Nola. October 26 we welcomed our miracle baby Nola into the world after not having an epidural for my 12 hour labor. I'm just glad it wasn't any longer than that and I'm pretty dang proud of myself for making it through!I had her at almost 6am and 5 hours later I had my mom, Embry, Tony's mom, and sis visiting me at the hospital when I got the news that I had to have a D&C because I was hemorrhaging. Not the worst thing in the world, but not too great either. I wanted to visit with my family!In November we had family over for Thanksgiving, which was GREAT, except I wasn't feeling too well. Then in December they finally figured out I had a pulmonary embolism and partially collapsed lung. They started me on blood thinners, oral and injection, and sent me on my way. On Dec 16 I went to the ER where they thought I had internal bleeding, so they admitted me.

December 21 I couldn't breath and the nurse called a code blue. They intubated me and determined that a blood clot had traveled from my leg to my heart. My heart was only working at 25% function. About 20 friends and family showed up that night to pray for me.
I missed Christmas. :( New year's was the first night I got moved out of the ICU and it was spent watching 'When Harry Met Sally', eating cheese, crackers, and sausage, and drinking sparkling apple cider. I got released on Jan 4th and finally went home. I spent 2 months doing physical therapy to strengthen my muscles enough to walk, do my hair, feed myself, etc. It was a very humbling experience.
I had my 'I'm Alive' party in March! I made up for missing the Christmas party and we celebrated the fact that I was still alive. In May we went on a horseback trail ride the day before mother's day and I got bucked off. I fractured 4 vertebrae in my lower back. I'm still suffering the consequences of that stupid horse. On my 28th birthday, we had a picnic in the park. I had my husband and two precious girls with me, it was perfect!

Since getting out of the hospital in January, I've gained 30 lbs. Made my pcp check my thyroid and lo and behold, it's low. Going to pick up some new meds now!