Thursday, February 28, 2013

I don’t understand why everything didn’t stop


It is the most bittersweet story of our family.

My sister and her husband – expecting their second baby girl.

I was eight years into being involuntarily childless – and I threw myself into being the Fun Aunt.





And then a radiology technician took a little too long.

And got quiet.

And your entire life turns upside down.


Gracie Ultrasound


I’ve shared about Gracie before.

And you guys have been so loving, so compassionate.


Today is her birthday.

And instead of a party with her third-grade classmates, she is probably playing Guitar Hero with Moses and eating Cheetos with Jesus.


I wanted to let my sister share her with you.

So you can read in her own words what Gracie means to her.




Her gift with words.  I felt suckerpunched when I read it and the loss was immediately so new again.

But do you get it?


That is real motherhood.

To sacrifice for your child.

To refuse to see only sadness, but to DELIGHT in your baby girl.

To allow yourself to fall in love because




It matters not that Gracie has a heavenly zipcode – her momma’s heart is every bit devoted to her.


I’m reminded again, the incredible mix of emotions I saw on my sister’s face as we stood around Gracie’s tiny NICU bed.













It felt like holy ground, knowing that her time was short and we desperately wanted her to feel how much she meant to us.

Completely and utterly loved.


My heart breaks at the picture of my sister and her husband holding her for the first time.



She was already dying.

And in the moments before she was gone, she loved like only she could.





We left the next day.  With tiny clothes and pictures.

Pushing the hospital doors out into a windy spring day with masses of people moving in every direction – going on with their everyday lives.

And it felt so wrong.


With a box instead of a baby.  And no one stopped.  No one knew we were leaving our hearts on a floor high above street level.  Nothing had changed for them.

But we were changed.



Monday, February 18, 2013

On Craigslist dates and other dangerous ventures


What do you do when grandma unexpectedly whisks your kiddo away for an overnighter?

(with these two Toby Keith fans… I understand pizza, donuts, and Hot Wheels are also involved.  Anyone else taking bets on how thrilled Itty Bit is going to be to come home?)



You strap on your personal firearm and you go meet a Craigslist seller.


What?  You don’t?


Now this girl has been a Craigslist believer for awhile now.  Remember this particular score?


(Let me clearly state that this is a BEFORE picture of the day we brought her home.  The AFTER picture is below.  I want to cry when I look at both).




But I am also all about safety.

I Google the snot out of every seller, I ask a million questions, meetings are in public places and attended by my well-armed husband.

So when we had a chance to save some major $$$, my cute date strapped his sidearm on and we hit the road to meet a guy selling one of these:

24-70mm f2.8


Grabbing a table at Starbucks, we started testing the gear.  At one point, Mr. Daddy gave Mr. Seller some friendly advice to face me while he was talking so that I could read his lips.




Mr. Seller suddenly decided that the fact that I’d been answering every question appropriately and speaking normally to him was not enough.  He began prefacing every statement with looking at Mr. Daddy and saying, “Tell her..”


I’m sitting right here dude.  Watching you say, “Tell her…tell her… tell her…” and plastering a smile on my face while Mr. Daddy tells you, “it’s fine… she’s really good at lipreading.  She’s got it”.


After he says it for the eleventieth time, Mr. Daddy gives him a sideways grin and says, “If I hadn’t told you, you probably wouldn’t have even known she was deaf.”


Turns out the guy had more questions for me about my equipment than I did about his


So the guy left the coffee shop a little richer and one lens lighter.  We stayed a bit and laughed at how people suddenly talk as if I’m not there when they discover I cannot hear.  Remember this woman?

Then Mr. Daddy decided to demonstrate the fine talent of drinking a caffeinated beverage sans hands.

date 3


He’s a keeper, I tell ya.

Then we detoured to exact revenge for Best Buy’s refusal to honor their price match four years ago.  I don’t hold a grudge or anything…

We walked out with a big bad memory card for 40% off, booyah!


And the next stop was right up Mr. Daddy’s alley:


(We sure know how to rock a date night, right?)


Ostensibly to look for a gun for the WIFE. 


Yeah, he’s a genius, right? 


In all fairness, this chick is working toward shooting something a bit more deterring to the criminal element than a Canon.



After pointing guns at walls for the better part of an hour, the O Garden was next on the list.

Typical phone capture of a carb-loader interrupted:



And truly, the point of this whole post was to do some damage control because I knew that husband of mine would blog it otherwise.


IN MY DEFENSE: I didn’t want to waste anything.  So, I mean, I did what everybody does…  I just didn’t time it right.


So Ken and Barbie and their 2.5 kids in trendy outfits were sitting kitty-corner from us.  Seriously, the guy was like a less hirsute skinnier version of Hugh Jackman, and the wife was this tiny Kelly Ripa thing.

I was doing so good… avoiding the bread, boxing up half my meal, turning down dessert.

Except, that marsala sauce was staring at me from the plate.  And you know… my wallet was saying, “girl, you know that was $16 marsala sauce.  You’d better get your money’s worth”.

(Your food doesn’t talk to you?)


Mr. Daddy totally knew what was coming.  I mean, you remember our restaurant spit wad wars, right?  He knows that “public humiliation” is totally subjective.


Especially when it comes to $16 marsala sauce.


So I used my fork to “transport” the majority of the sauce.  Except, I suddenly realized that that yummo stuff was starting to leak over the edge of the plate.

So I took care of it.


As in… lifted my plate up, and ahem licked it off while turning the plate.


Seriously folks… it was a thing of precision and efficiency.

Except.  Mid-lick, with the plate still over my head… I made eye-contact with shaven skinny Hugh Jackman.

Who was totally staring.

And who immediately burst into unsuccessfully stifled loud laughter.

I sat there in growing horror with my eyes wide and sauce on my chin.


I ducked my head and turned… to meet the eyes of my husband who had.seen.everything.




By this point, Kelly Ripa was baffled by the apparent inside joke that was occurring between her husband (whose shoulders were heaving with silent laughter) and the completely red-faced girl at Table 4.  Except, she didn’t realize that it was Mr. Daddy in on it too.


The two men exchanged several wordless looks that spoke volumes, and it was clear later that Hugh Jackman filled in his nuclear family about what he had witnessed.

His grade-school daughter kept pointedly giggling at me, while the wife actually seemed a bit annoyed.


The laughter simply would.not.stop; I finally convinced Mr. Daddy to bail from the scene of my humiliation.

I stood to put my coat on and quickly blurted,

“I am SO sorry you had to see that.”


Their table erupted in laughter (well, except for annoyed Kelly Ripa), and my husband then brought the house down.


“I can’t take her ANYWHERE”.





Mr. Daddy hacking in:

See what I mean?

urgent care1


Need I say more?




Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Heart day Etsy love



So, I’ll just confess… I’m not really big on Valentine’s Day.


Might sort of have something to do with getting in trouble in elementary school for taking some literary license with my classmates’ valentines. 



Next thing I know Mom was being called into a meeting.




Sheesh, no sense of humor.


Oh snap…Itty Bit is the same age.

He wouldn’t… ?






I’m just not all that excited about “formal” romance.  Forego the fancy tiny entrees and confusing silverware… give me a pizza and the Yankees getting their butts kicked and I’m a happy girl.


I mean seriously… do y'all REMEMBER what happened last time someone gifted us a fancy spa trip?




But… I really do love when I find something absolutely perfect to let someone know I’m thinking of them.

I’ve put together some of my favorite Etsy finds – most of whom I’ve purchased from personally.  You still have some time to score a sweet gift for the special people in your life.


First up is Pumpernickel and Wry:




I love that they use old serving pieces… there’s a quality to the silver you can’t find with new items.  Each piece I ordered found happy homes.




For the photographer in your life:



Utterly perfect: from Longfellow Designs.

(hint hint: they also do custom wedding vows a’la chalkboard prints!)




And for a fun cards from UUPP; they carry personalized sentiments such as:

“I love you more than chocolate”

“I love you more than bacon”

“I love you more than sushi”


and of course…





And for those squirrel aficionados from our original nutty series:



Wish Daisy has the sweetest glittered miniature squirrels you never knew you needed.

I may or may not have placed mine in our nativity this Christmas.

Oh shush.




If it’s still a bit nippy where you’re at, these infinity scarves from Lovely Little Whimsy make all the difference.




And they somehow make your face look 5 pounds thinner.  True story.




For the smeller in your life

(Of course that’s a word.  And I bet you knew exactly what I meant)



Lola’s Handcrafted has some yummy smelling soaps.  Speaking of which, Christopher in 2nd grade probably could have used this.


In trying to avoid harsh chemicals, we’ve switched to natural soaps for years now.  Currently in our shower is the Honey scent (pictured above) – gender neutral and lathers up impressively.




And a longtime favorite blogger has her own shop: Off On My Tangent:



So many encouraging pieces and countless customizations!




Are you like me?  Slightly depressed by wilting blooms?

Anthology on Main has gorgeous paper flowers from antique books and sheet music.  Simply beautiful!





And I’m kind of breaking my own rule here… because this isn’t a shop I’ve purchased from… but come on, is this not PERFECT for the mom of a crazy little aviator kid?


It’s from HanddMadeForU and I can’t stop grinning.


For the record, if you needed a pop quiz review on why the cool steampunk glasses, check out my squirrelly model:





And Mr. Daddy?  You can just click on the picture of the t-shirt.  Then click on “ADD TO CART”.  I left the PayPal password on your nightstand.  You know… in case…


Winking smile




(this is not a sponsored post.  these sellers have no idea I’m linking to them and I hope I didn’t embarrass them too badly.  they really do rock, and I hope you find some new favorites too!)




Sunday, February 03, 2013

Misery loves company


or at least sleeping-crashed-out-on-someone-else’s-couch misery does.


Remember we all got sick again?

We drug (or dragged.  Seriously, which one are you supposed to use?) our snot-nosed selves to my parents’ house on my Dad’s birthday.

(Remember this dude?  The one who wont let me show his face on my blog?)



No worries… he was the one who shared his germs with us earlier, so we knew we weren’t going to get him sick for his birthday.

Happy Influenza to You!


An hour into the festivities, this was the scene:


Mr. Daddy had crashed. But not without Hoss the Wonder Lap Dog.




A little while later, apparently Itty Bit had hit a wall too.




My poor mother had gone two days without sleep and can never resist a slumbering child. 


Dad and I ate our respective ice cream concoctions, took ninja photos, and poked good fun at the snoring trio.


Apparently we really know how to party.




And in a bit of seriousness… happy belated birthday daddy.

I know I was a real bugger those first 14 years (give or take another decade).  I’ve always known you love me.  I hope you know that I do too.