Tuesday, March 30, 2010

So Blessed!!

Yesterday I was reminded again about how lucky I am to have such a large support network from my family and close friends.  I never would have survived all that Sara and I have been through without them.  From her diagnosis 2 1/2 years ago, through surgeries and tests, numerous doctor appointments, and all the ups and downs there have been; they have always been there. 

I can't express how grateful I am to everyone that has helped us along the way.  Makes no difference if it was a kind email, multiple nights sitting up with me at the hospital, letting me call them in the middle of the night, or helping me out when the bills came up short because I couldn't work while Sara was hospitalized.  All of them help in their own way, and each way is as important to me as all of the others.

There is no way I can show it or say it enough, so...

Thank You So Much!!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sara's First "Real" Haircut

 This isn't the first time that Sara has ever had her hair cut, but it is the first time I have taken her to a real stylist and had her hair cut to have a style.  Before this, I always just took her to a walk-in salon and had her bangs trimmed or the back of her hair evened out.  And her hair turned out so cute, that I just had to share!!

This is how her hair looked before, pig tails and all.  She was really excited to get her hair cut!

This is her in the chair once her hair was wet.  Look at that mess! I was excited to get her a cute new hair cute, and that she didn't cry at all when we started cutting it.

This is Sara and Ben, the wonderful guy who cuts my hair and my sister's.  Now he cuts Sara's hair, and Lulu's too!  Sara loved him, and he was awesome with her.  He calls her Princess Sara, and treated her like a real princess!

Sara did great, and held still fairly well for a 3 year old.  I was impressed!  We cut about 4" off, and Sara continually pointed out all her hair on the floor while she was waiting for me to get done.

Barb got the pleasure of blow drying Sara's hair since it was time for Ben to wash out my color.

Here's my princess with her new hair!  It's so cute!  I brought the tiara from home; its from when we went to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Disneyland.  When I told Sara we were going to get her hair cut, she asked if we were going back to the boutique.  So I tried to make it as similar as I could, and brought her tiara and things from when we were at Disney.  Barb even borrowed a little nail polish and painted her nails.  She loves it, and calls it her Princess Hair!

I wanted to share my new hair as well, even though I don't have a before picture.

It was tons of fun, and I love Sara's new hair (mine too)!!  I love that I can take my baby to do girly things now that she's older.  I'm sure it will only get more fun from here.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Blog Design Based on a Bunny

I have now spent 3 hours here and there over the last couple days playing with my blog and trying to find something I like. I think I finally found it (with Sara's help of course)!!

I have been rearranging my blog and changing it around in another attempt to keep myself from going crazy while I wait for my family to move so I can do some redecorating at home. But I think that I finally found something I like, and I won't have to change it again before fall if I don't want to. And Sara really likes this design because it matches her new bunny. It doesn't really, but because they both have flowers Sara thinks that it matches her bunny (who she's named Carlie).

She really loves her new bunny! Sara and Carlie do almost every thing together these days. They've only been together for a week, but as you can see they totally love each other a lot. And I swear Carlie has more clothes than I do; she's from Build-a-Bear. I think my daughter has found a life long friend in this bunny. We should all be so lucky to have one!!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

It must officially be spring in Colorado! I say this because we woke up to about 12" of snow this morning here. Monday it was sunny and 70 degrees! School was closed for all the kids, and I didn't have to go to work either. March and April are the snowiest months here, so I'm sure this isn't the last we've seen of the white stuff for this spring. Here is a picture of the cooler that our milk is delivered to, just to give you an idea of how much snow we really have. Its a regular sized cooler.

Here is a picture of Sara and Lexi playing in the snow. Sara has never really played in the snow before, so this is her first real time getting to explore. Its hard to get around in this much snow when you can't walk, so Lexi tried to help by walking in front of her and stomping it down.

This is Grandpa helping the girls pile up some snow to turn into a snowman. It was really more like a snow pile with some rocks for eyes when it was done.

Sara not only played in the snow but crawled in the driveway and splashed in the water from the snow starting to melt already. She had a great time, and was not happy when it was time to come in.

I don't know if her snow suit will ever come clean! She had a great time, and that's what really matters. Sara started crying when she saw how dirty she was once we got her inside. Nothing that a little snack can't fix though.

Everybody had fun, and it was nice that it wasn't freezing cold outside. The older kids stayed out longer of course, but 20 min was plenty for my baby's first time out in the snow. She's already asked to go back out, but I told her she had to wait until her snow suit was washed and dried before that could happen. If the snow is still around tomorrow, maybe we can go out then.

Monday, March 22, 2010

That's what sisters are for!

Things at the house have been crazy the last couple weeks, and this one isn't shaping up to be much better. So with the stress level so high, and Sara with her daddy, my sister and I took the opportunity last night to go out together and let it all hang out. We used to go out together a lot, but then life got in the way! It was really nice to get out and just chat like we used to, especially knowing we have many of the same things to "complain" about...and in the end it always makes us laugh!

Barb is amazing with Sara. They love each other so much, and some nights Sara only wants to be with Barb and casts me aside like a dirty dish rag. Its alright with me because I want Sara to have close relationships with all her family, and I know in the end she knows I'm her mother. It makes me feel good to see how much they love each other, and the special bond they have. I know that Barb will be that someone Sara calls when she's 16 and I said no to whatever it is she wants right then.

I'm very blessed to have an amazing sister like Barb. And Sara couldn't have a better Auntie Turkey! Thanks mom and dad for deciding to have another kid, especially a girl, so I had someone to share life's curve balls with. We haven't always gotten along; we prefer to go in cycles. Right now we are in a getting along cycle, and I'm hoping it sticks around.

You're the best Barb!!! I couldn't ask for a better sister, even when we are fighting. I love you and I hope you know that I am always here for you, even when I don't agree with your choice. And as for last night...Choo choo!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring is here!

It has been really beautiful here the last few days! The sun has been shining and it has been in the 60's. I love it! I've been waiting all winter for spring and it is finally here.

Sara and I took advantage of the warm weather the last few days to run some errands and enjoy some time just the two of us in the car. Here's my little diva soaking up the sun in the back seat. Got to love the glasses!

Spring makes everything so much better, no matter what else is going wrong in my life. The sun and the warmth just give me the feeling that I can overcome any challenge. It also makes my need to clean and get organized almost unbearable. With the family moving soon, there will be a lot to do when it comes to getting reorganized into a new lifestyle and schedule for Sara and I. I have plans to rearrange the furniture and do some painting in a couple rooms. And since I have pretty much figured out what I want to do, now I just have to wait until I can do it...which is by far the hardest part. Once I have a plan for anything I rarely wait more than 5 minutes to start working on it, unless I am forced to like I am now. They will be moving in about 4 weeks, and although I know that Sara and I will miss them a lot, I know that it will be a good thing for all of us as well.

There are so many great things about spring that I can do right now, so I am living them up to help me continue to use patience. And one of the things I love the best is rolling down the windows of my car and turning up the tunes! The other one that I love is getting to dig out all my cute summer dresses and all my cute sandals and shoes for when it is warm on a consistent basis. Its easier to dress nice and look cute when I'm out with my friends or on a date when my wardrobe is twice the size! Plus, when I dress nice I feel good about myself and my confidence is so much better then when I have to wear bulking sweaters and pants all the time.

Spring also helps to make me clearly see all the wonderful things in my life, and its nice to take time to sit on the step of my front porch and think about those things while I watch the kids play in the yard. With so many of us still living together, it is a HUGE relief to be able to let the kids burn off their energy outside. Not to mention that the fresh air does us all good, and its great to get to air out the house as well since its been closed up so long. Warm weather is the best!

Too bad it won't last! We're suppose to get snow here on Friday! Boo winter, go away!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Women In My Life

How did I get so lucky to have the friends I do?

I only have a few, but they are all amazing! I've never been one to know many people I only see once in a long while. I prefer to have a few close friends that I know I can count on, and I know they count on me too! I talk to most of them on a daily basis, or at least once a week. We play email tag, phone tag, text tag, and contact each other constantly. I tell them my fears, my hopes, my dreams, and sometimes just call to vent because I know they will listen with a kind ear. I can't imagine my life without them, nor do I want to!

Soon these ladies will be the core of my support group since my family that I now live with will be moving over an hour away. Although some of them live thousands of miles away, I still feel that they are close to me. I don't really know how to tell everyone how much they mean to me, so this is the best I can do.

Kimmy - You are an amazing young woman! You have the potential to go anywhere in life and do whatever you want. Don't ever lose that spunk and confidence that drives you to be the best that you can be. Choo choo baby!

Mary - You are one of the strongest people I know. You have endured so much in such a short time, and I can't imagine how difficult it must be some days. You are an amazing mother, and Jack couldn't be blessed with a better one! Keep up the good work. I know its hard, but you aren't alone even though it feels like it some days.

Jodi - You are the best teacher I have ever met! You not only take the time to actually teach your students, but you do your best to provide even more than an education. And you don't stop there; you are determined to change the world! And you will one step at a time! I couldn't ask for a better mentor and friend.

I know the rest of you are reading this as well, and I haven't forgotten you. I think of each of you every day, and all of you touch my life in one way or another. I wish I could list all of you individually and tell you how amazing you are, but then I'd get carpel tunnel syndrome.

To all the women in my life, I love you! I wouldn't have made it this far without you, and I can never repay you for your kindness and the motivation that you have provided over the time we have known each other. I am forever in debt to each of you! And if I ever officially go crazy ( I know, its a short drive), I promise to write to you all often if you aren't there with me. That's what real friends are for!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Girl Time!

Today we took time to have Girl's Day Out! So while Grandpa and Brian were at home, the girls of the family (Grandma (my mom), Barb (my sister), Alexis (my niece), Sara, and myself) all went and had our nails done. This was really Sara and Lexi's first trip to the nail salon, so they were excited to get their nails painted. Mom and I got both our fingers and toes done, and so did Lexi. Barb got her toes done (by the pros), and her fingers by Sara.

Not too bad for having them done by a 3 year old. Don't you think?

Sara also got her fingers painted by Barb while they finished waiting for the rest of us. I thought my sister did a really good job considering she had to hit moving targets, and Sara's nails are tiny! This isn't the best picture, but its good enough to see what a big girl my baby looks like when her nails are painted...and they even match her jammies!

Its always nice to get out and spend time with the ones we love. I'm hoping that we all get to do it again soon. It wasn't the most relaxing trip I've ever had to get my nails done, but it was definitely the most fun!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Change Happens

Change is something that truly is fluid. It never stops; things never stay the same. If things in my life are stable, then the world still turns changing day into night and the days still go by. And sometimes it is things in my life that are changing; and sometimes the change is so big that I fail to notice the small changes like the days going by.

I can honestly say that things in my life are as stable as they have been in a long time, and for that I am grateful.
*Every day that goes by is a new record for the number of days since Sara has been in the hospital; she hasn't been hospitalized since her urostomy surgery back in May of 2009. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of this and am thankful that Sara is finally healthy (by Sara standards, which are always changing).
*My job is amazing, and the products that are manufactured here and come out of my test lab are helping to save the lives of our troops overseas. It makes no difference if I agree for the reasons they are deployed, I take pride in knowing that because of what we build here and what I contribute to those products means that someone's son or daughter, mother or father, got to come home alive and well.
*I have an amazing support group that I can count on. All my family and friends are always there when I really need them, and even though some of you are far away that doesn't mean you are less important. I depend on your words of encouragement from your emails as much as I do from my friends who live close. Thank you to each of you for being amazing each in your own way, and for the support Sara and I received when we were in need!

With that said, I know that some of the things in my life will be changing in the coming weeks. Some of them big changes, some of them small, and some I probably can't even see coming yet. I look forward to some of them, and others not so much. I know some of them are for the best, and although they are the hardest to accept it will be amazing when the change is complete. All I can hope for right now is to remain strong through it all, and come out better on the other side. Isn't that the point of change anyway?

I was reminded again today in a big way that change in my life affects the lives of the people around me, and in turn causes them to change. Not only is change fluid, but it seems to have a domino effect as well. All I can hope for is that the coming changes in my life will not lead to changes for those close to me that they will be unable to accept. Some changes are harder to accept then others, but that is the course of this life and all life. I only hope that I will learn something from my own changes, as well as those who are going through change around me.

And if nothing else, it will give me lots to blog about!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sara CAN Walk!!

When Sara was 6 months old, a doctor told us that she would never be able to walk...and doubted she would ever stand or crawl! Well she sure showed him, and here's the proof! Each of these videos is about 20 seconds or so.

Sara got her new walker last week. Sara is still getting used to how it works, and is struggling with balance because of her wobbly ankle on the right. This is one of her first attempts to walk all by herself with it. We are hoping to resolve the balance issues with a new shoe, which we saw the doctor about today!

In this video, Sara has help with just her balance from my mom (Sara calls her Meme). Sara is supporting herself, and taking those steps on her own. Meme is just helping her to feel more in control by keeping her from swaying too much. Look at her go!


Monday, March 1, 2010

Problems and Choices

Have you ever noticed that there are only 2 kinds of problems in life? First is the kind that are fairly easy to solve and once you solve it the problem is gone...but it will soon be replaced by an equally simple problem. And then there are the hard problems that never really get solved, just postponed by certain actions just to creep back in when you least expect it as a slightly different version of its original self.

And with every problem there are always choices to be made. It's these choices that cause what can be a simple problem to turn into a difficult problem that lasts. Sometimes I feel like no matter what I decide it will be the wrong decision, but sometimes it is the opposite...no matter what choice I make it seems to be the right one. Sometimes I think its all because of blind luck vs. using information and experience to pick the right choice. And I really wonder how much blind luck has to do with it.

Right now I am in a phase where I seem to be following an easier road for once. Now I have no expectations that this will last very long, it never does. However, I plan to enjoy it while luck (or experience) guides me to make the right choices. I know that at some point the tide will turn, and a period of harder choices will have to be made (most of which I'm sure I will get wrong). And it is when I have to make those hard choices that I think of things like...

Why is it that the moral or ethic choice is always the hardest to choose?
Why does it take so much more energy to always be "the bigger person"?
Why do I always feel like it is my job to be "the bigger person"?

To be honest, I'm tired of making the right choices for some things. I want to be free to express myself in an inappropriate manner sometimes and know that there won't be an additional problem caused by it later. Can't someone else be the bigger person for a while so that I can take that badge off for a short time?

But my daddy always says, "If you want it done right, do it yourself (or his way)." So although I would like to think my day will come where I will get to take the easy road just once, I know that I will probably never allow myself to do it. And in this I think is the dilemma for most of us.

Rarely does the easy road lead you to where you want to be!

Happy Monday!!