Sunday, December 30, 2007

Best Shot Monday - Miracles

As seems to be my theme lately, my best shot from the last week is one that has less to do with the composition and a lot more to do with the subject.

Lauren and the Horse

This is Lauren, all bundled up and enjoying a visit from a horse. But what makes it so special to me is that she was there at all. Lauren has cancer, and the prognosis isn't great. I remember hearing the news and (having a healthcare background) knowing what it all meant - and it didn't mean anything good. And when I looked at her, I thought of all the things that she'd miss - turning 30, growing old, the magic of a million every day moments. The news came in July, and I was prepared for a quick battle that didn't end well - because she didn't just need treatment, she needed a miracle.

Cassandra and Lauren

But now, six months later, she's still here and fighting every day. And when I looked at her today, it was a little easier to imagine her growing old, and to see the celebration that might be had on her 30th birthday. I was also reminded that, while the every day moments that happen now aren't the ones that anyone ever imagines or hopes for, they are still filled with a special magic all their own. And sometimes they also happen to be filled with miracles.

Lauren and Maggie

May 2008 be a year filled with friends, loved ones, laughter, magic, and miracles! Happy New Year!

For more best shots, don't forget to head to Tracey's!

100 Things About Me, Part 3

Click here for Part 1 of the list, and here for part 2.

21. I am creative, but not artistic. I think that there is a very large difference between the two.

22. When everyone says that it doesn’t matter what other people think, I just stay quiet…because inside my head I am silently screaming “Yes it does! It matters a lot what other people think!” It might not matter to anyone else, but it matters to me.

23. I am crazy organized…and I love it.

24. Sometimes I am a little over zealous and I try to make other people organized like me. This isn’t very nice of me.

25. I didn’t decide to go back to school and not be a nurse because I hate nursing. I think that nursing is wonderful, it just isn’t what I want for me.

26. My sisters are each very much like my parents. I sometimes secretly wonder if they had other kids after me because they knew that I wasn’t like them and they wanted kids who were.

27. I realize that #26 sounds crazy. But it’s still true.

28. I completely lack the ability to say no. I am a yes girl.

29. I love candles. Having candles makes me feel happy, because it is a nice little thing that I do just for me – I think that they are pretty to look at, and I love ones that smell good.

30. I love to vacuum.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Off the Naughty List

We all know that Santa is a major list maker (which I can respect, because I also make a lot of lists) - one list for the nice and one list for the naughty. It would never surprise me to be on the naughty list, but this year I was CLEARLY on the good girl list...because look at all the great treats I got!


A stone, hand painted sign with the Gaelic 'welcome' on it. What, you mean that you aren't surprised to find that I am Irish? Please, tell me - was it the freckles, the bright green eyes, or the red hair that gave it away?!


HUGE and fluffy bath sheets to replace my boring, old, and regular sized towels.


A sudoku game (although I am not sudoku crazy like most people) that looks like it could be maddening enough to make me completely insane fun to work on. I also got several other games, but I think you get the idea.


Cookbooks! I love to cook...


And I Kitchenaid Mixer! I am highly excited about this, because it will make baking things so much more fun easier!

My big gift from the boys is a gorgeous diamond and sapphire ring, but I had to have it sized, so you'll just have to wait to see that bit of beauty...but trust me, it's worth waiting for!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

100 Things About Me, Part 2

It's Theme Thursday at Stacy's, but since I haven't had time to load all of the pictures (and there are HUNDREDS!) from my camera to my computer, I'm going to have to skip this week.

So instead here are a few more things about me that I'm sure you're just thrilled to find out...

The first portion of the list can be found here.

11. I am a total TV junkie.

12. I love Tivo – and I remember what I did without it. But I am quite sure that the discovery of Tivo has contributed to fact #5.

13. Going back to school was one of the scariest decisions I ever made. Before I decided to go back, I only mentioned it to one person. Even after I went back, it took me a while to tell people.

14. Going back to school has been harder and better than I thought it would be. Sometimes the work sucks, but I actually like to learn. This makes me a nerd.

15. I have an insane memory – especially for details. Names, birthdays, hobbies, places, favorites, or anything else that seems completely random is stuck forever in my brain.

16. This is not to say that on some occasions I am not a total space case. Because sometimes I am a TOTAL space case.

17. I am a little afraid that there aren’t 100 things about me period – interesting or otherwise.

18. Adventures In Babysitting is one of my favorite movies. I have to watch it if I see that it is on TV.

19. I love buying gifts for people.

20. I also love wrapping gifts. With bows…the perfect wrapping job is not complete without a bow.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Best Shot Monday - Santa Surprises

While this is not a technically great shot (or even a technically mediocre shot if you want to be picky), it is still one of my favorites. We celebrated Christmas with the boys early, and since they aren't old enough to even know what a calendar is it was easy to tell them that Christmas Eve was Saturday night and that Christmas was Sunday.

This was the look on Garrett's face when he realized that Santa really did come while he was sleeping:

Santa Came!

I think that Christmas filled with the excitement of toddlers might be one of my very favorite things...

I can't believe I forgot to add this....
Don't forget to go and check out everyone else's Best Shots at Tracey's!

Friday, December 21, 2007

100 Things About Me, Part 1

I have finally gotten around to making my '100 Things About Me' List and I am sure that you are all just dying to read it. But because I am clever, and because I don't know if I will need something for another post later, you only get part of the list.

So here we go - the first 10.

1. I am allergic to pineapple. Weird, I know. And I don’t mean allergic “it makes my mouth feel funny” – I mean “if you give me something with pineapple juice, please have the epi pen ready” allergic.

2. I am an oldest child – my sisters are 2 years and 4 years younger than me.

3. Because he only had daughters, my dad would probably do almost anything for a grandson.

4. I enjoy spending time with my extended family. Well, with my dad’s side anyway. My mother’s side has a few people who make me want to move to Siberia get a new family give me endless opportunities to practice being kind and patient.

5. I am the happiest person that I know.

6. Sometimes it takes work to be happy.

7. I think that sometimes it takes work to be happy is a very important lesson. It is also sometimes a hard thing to learn.

8. I don’t like to be cold (and I am cold all the time) but I love snow. I think it is the most peaceful thing on earth.

9. I know things without being told. I don’t know how – I just do.

10. Me knowing things without being told can sometimes be rather unnerving to other people. Sometimes to me too.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Theme Thursday - Window

Stacy is now heading up the Theme Thursday parade, and the first theme is Window.

Don't forget to see what everyone else came up with for Theme Thursday!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Being a toddler, it is not unsual for Garrett to whine and fuss when he doesn't get to do something. And my general response is "Life is hard."

And it is.

I just neglet to mention to him that it never really gets any easier.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Best Shot Monday - Chicago

Mom and Dad - Millineum Park

These are my parents in front of the jelly bean (or whatever it really is) sculpture at Millineum Park - the city is actually a reflection in the sculpture.

Don't forget, for more Best Shots, head over to Tracey's!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Maybe I Should Have Gotten A Parrot...

Spending day after day with a toddler is a very useful experience. It teaches you that time can stand still while said toddler inspects every pebble on the sidewalk to appreciate the little things in life. It also teaches you that the napping hours ARE in fact the most important of the day. And also that sometimes a balanced meal simply means shoving something in a mouth - regardless of who's mouth or what that something might be.

Spending all day with a toddler is also a very useful way to discover if you have any phrases that you perhaps use way too often on occasion. Because of Garrett, I now know that I:

*Say "oh my goodness" to a lot of things, usually accompanied by shaking my head back and forth.

*"What the heck"...which was said repeatedly by him while opening his birthday presents.

*Use the phrase "holy mackeral" when I am surprised by something. Which is a bit of a surprise itself - I don't even know what a mackeral really is...I think it's tuna maybe?

*I tend to say "not today" rather than just 'no' when he asks to go somewhere or do something. Although 'not today' doesn't work quite as well when I ask if he could please finish his breakfast sometime this year. When I ask that, "not today" is not really the answer that I am going for.

I could have probably spent all day with a parrot and been just as well off (ok, not really) some days...they can be trained to talk, and they also tend to have a much smaller vocabulary than three year olds.

Friday, December 14, 2007


Last night I had my very last (hopefully!) Organic Chemistry exam. Which, to be fair, was harder than heck. But I sort of knew it was going to be, so at least I wasn't surprised. But the taking of the test wasn't the part I was looking forward to.

It was the margaritas afterwards!
Because there are few things that I enjoy more than a margarita three margaritas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Ice, Illness, and Snow Days

It was a good thing that I didn't have finals during NaBloPoMo, since I never would have made it. I haven't gotten kidnapped or wandered away and gotten lost, but I have been very busy avoiding studying. And I am very pleased to report that I have an extra few days to do so - yesterday I got a snow day!

And just in case you wondered, you're never to old to enjoy be excited about a snow day!

Please note the potential filled sentence above. Because you know what can ruin a snow day? A puking toddler. Who cries. And whines. And feels like it is his personal job to make sure you are warm by demanding to be held all ding dang day. And is clingy. Then, when you are cooped up in the house ALL day due to weather with said sick child (and other child who was not mentioned only because you weren't quite sure he was actually present since he was running in circles at a speed that made him only a blur), you start to consider that perhaps you might be just as well off poking yourself in the eye repeatedly. You also begin to see the attraction of being commited to a mental institution.

But we survived. And the ice storm was nothing compared to what they were expecting. Which is fine with me - it delayed my organic chemistry final (which is over two semesters worth of information from the hardest classes I have ever taken, what's up with that?!) and has now left us, hopefully so as not to ruin my impending trip to Chicago this weekend to see my sister. And the ice was nice, because I love the look of ice covered trees...

Ice Ice Baby

Monday, December 10, 2007

Best Shot Monday - The Pets

Finals means that I should really be spending every spare waking moment putting off avoiding studying. So all you get for BSM is the lovely animals. But be sure to check out everyone else's best shots over at Tracey's!

Hello Joe

Finn and the holiday scarf

Friday, December 7, 2007


I'm not sure when the last time that you had your picture taken with Santa was, but I am willing to bet that it wasn't yesterday....

And I feel like I sort of got the shaft - I didn't even get to sit on his lap and tell him what I wanted! Instead I spent the time assuring Bennett that Santa was not going to chop him up and eat him for dinner that Santa was a nice man who brings happiness. And presents! And while you can see that he is no longer screaming, he still isn't to sure that there aren't mosters waiting to pop out of that big round belly. After all, it did shake like a bowl full of jelly...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Quick, Find Me A Soapbox

Yesterday was gym class day - which both the kids and I adore. We had to switch to Tuesdays from Fridays because the only thing that Garrett was doing in the Friday class was learning how to make me insane...there were too many kids for him to pay attention to anything other than running around in circles.

But I digress...

In the Friday class there was a somewhat annoying woman who wouldn't stop talking. And trying to listen to her was not on my top priorities list, as I was paying attention attempting to pay attention to both Garrett in class making sure he didn't injure any other children while running around in cirlces, and Bennett who was standing up on a chair also watching his brother run around in circles. And this woman would. not. stop. talking. I thought that she would get the hint, as my only answers to her were 'hmmm' and 'oh' but alas, this was not the case. But we were switchng days, so I was not too worried.

Lucky me, she was only doing a make up on Friday...and Tuesday is her regular class day. And since there were a lot less people for me to use to hide behind the class is significantly smaller on Tuesdays, I was stuck. And this week was a real treat, because she decided to tell me her birth story. That's right, her birth story. Which started out like this:

"He (the third child) was my home birth." At which point I told her that I used to work in OB, thus subtly implying that I was not pro-home birth in any way, shape or form. I was attempting to be kind and not find the nearest soapbox to jump on and then freak out explain to her why I was not keen on the whole home birth idea. But being that this woman wouldn't notice much unless she was driven over by a mack truck, she continued.

"He (the third child) was my home birth. The other two were c-sections." At this point it was good that I didn't have a soapbox, because the only thing I would have done is club her over the head with it. My mouth litereally hung open and I was rendered speechless. I then closed my mouth with some significant effort and said a quick prayer in thanksgiving for miracles.

There are a lot of people who believe in things such as home birth - I, however, am not one of them. Maybe it's because I am paranoid at what 'might' happen, or maybe it's just because I acutally know what 'might' and does happen...and have had to be a part of the aftermath of a homebirth gone wrong, which remains one of the worst days that I ever had as a nurse.

It took everything I had not to scream in horror when she told me that she had two c-sections and then a home birth. It took even more not to jump up on the nearest soapbox and tell her what a nut she was. I can generally follow the 'to each their own' idea, except for on certain topics - and she hit on probably one of the biggest ones that I have. So hide the soapboxes...the semester still has several weeks left.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Crafty Tuesday - Holiday Cards

Believe it or not, I actually enjoy being crafty attempting craftiness. And so it is with lots of excitement that I present the various holiday cards that I made for this year. I even got smart enough this year to keep a list of who gets what, just in case I want to reuse some of the same designs next year!





So there you have it. The pictures aren't the best, so perhaps when I have a moment I will retake them so they look better. But it is the holiday season, so I wouldn't hold your breath for that! Now if I could only get the cards in the mail, we'd be in business!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Best Shot Monday - Christmas Is Coming

For once, my BSM doesn't have people (meaning the boys) in it!

I put up the tree this weekend!

Christmas Tree 3

What was your best shot from last week? For some great best shots, head to Tracey's!