Friday, October 4, 2013

Etsy Shop...DIY Couple



I wanted to let you know that Scott has opened a shop on etsy....
 
 
Scott is making all kinds of things including taking custom orders.  Email him if you want details. 
 
He loves making tie-dye or non tie-dye creations...for special occasions, to be funny or for any reason at all.
 
I'm sure as we go forward with this -- we will continue to show more on the blog.  Right now I simply wanted to mention that it is out there.  We appreciate your support and please think of us for anything T-shirt wise!
 
I'm sure more items will be coming soon...
 
We would love some feedback on what you think, designs you would like to see, etc.




 
 
 
 
 
 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chemo Angels

I know you all know we've been busy...I know so many of you feel the same way we do...so little time to do the things we want to do.  There has to be another way to do this...or maybe not.  I am pretty sure my parents will tell me it's all about a lot of work during this stage in the game.  I wonder sometimes about trading it all in...what would that look like.  Do you ever see the blogs of people who sell all their stuff and live in a RV?  That really is freedom...though they still have to make money somehow.  It's kind of a crazy idea that sounds really sane sometimes...

One of the things I really wanted to do this year was something for someone else...I'm so caught up in following so many kids with cancer...I needed to do something.  Since money isn't something I have enough of anyway I can't donate to every cause I find...I would make a great heiress :) and do much good with money if you need someone as your heir! 

I thought about what I could do to make a difference...and often the ideas that came to my mind meant less time with my family...so that wasn't practical when there already isn't enough time...which lead me to what I am doing...Chemo Angels.

I'm not really sure how I found out about this group or how I ended up there...but the idea is that you are assigned to a person going through chemo (could be a kid or an adult) and you send them letters and cards on a weekly basis...they have card angels (which is what I signed up for) and it really is just cards/letters and the other option is Chemo Angels -- where you send cards, letters and a small gift here or there....

I've been doing it for about a month...I love writing letters and I love cards...so it's been great for me.  I don't know a ton about the person that I'm sending cards to outside of their name/address and the fact that they are going through chemo...and that's actually one of the great things.  I like the idea of my specific act of kindness to a stranger...it's something so tiny really in my time/days...yet I hope that it provides my person with a small thought that someone is thinking of them.

In my darkest times and thoughts...the hardest thoughts are feeling alone...isn't it nice to know someone is thinking of us no matter what we are going through?

Anyway...I'm not putting it out there to say I'm so great...hardly...I wish I could do half the volunteering some of my other friends manage...but the few people I've mentioned this to said -- I could do that...so I wanted to share it with you all...who knows maybe you are looking for that small way to make a difference.


So here is the web site:  http://chemoangels.net/

I hope you all have a great week...I know that making connections and finding the positive is something that gets me through the tough times...thanks for reading our blog.  Didn't you love the pictures Scott posted of the boys...they are getting excited to spend time together over summer!  Soon right...



Monday, February 18, 2013

Cardboard Castle


 This is an old post I meant to do sooner but....
well....
Here ya go!!




 This was a cool little castle we bought from Discovery KIDS.
It's made out of card board and you get to decorate it however you want.




The boys used crayons and markers to decorate, a few small stickers too.
As a kid we always used the washing machine box or DW stove etc. but I will say it was much easier too color on white instead of brown.  The castle also was pre-cut and had some decor on it already which really helped.
In any event we got hours of fun over the course of several days decorating and playing with this so it was worth the few bucks we spent on it.
 

Friday, February 8, 2013

What we take for granted

If you have read any of our blog you know I'm all about building awareness for Childhood Cancer...I caught onto it in September (which is ironic kind of since it's the month for Childhood Cancer...did you know that?  I didn't...which is why we NEED awareness).  I give all my credit to hearing about the song Ronan...needing to find out who the heck Ronan is and then it went from there.

I learned a lot about Ronan from Maya's blog at Rockstar Ronan and my interest has progressed.  I think I counted the other night that I was following about 30 children with cancer...since I've been following anything (FB/Blogs) in early September another  9 children that I have been following have died.  The stats are that 7 kids a day die from cancer...and this is just a tiny portion of people I have happened upon and decided to follow, who were on FB or a blog...how many more are there?

When I began to read Maya's blog  -- Ronan had been gone for over a year.  I re-read every entry and it was heartbreaking.  I started reading Super Ty's Blog in September as well and he passed away in October.  His death hit me really hard.  I've never witnessed through words a more touching account of love, life, and parenthood as I have read in Cindy's post about her sons passing.  I literally became in awe of both Cindy and Maya for different reasons.  They cope a little bit differently.  Maya is a force of nature -- she's a spitfire and nothing will stop her.  She's all fire with a heart of gold.  I love her bluntness, honesty and realness.  Cindy is different in that she's always seeing positive things and really just is a light of hope unlike anything I've seen.  It's simply crazy to me how much these women (and their husbands) are shaking up the system - raising money, awareness and simply changing things.  You can bet that if my sons ever get cancer I will be seeking them out...As much as I see that somehow this is their mission in life I am also sick that this is how they had to get there.  No parent should have to deal with their child being so sick.

It continues to be hard to watch these kids fight each day and get their posts that are so HIGH and so very LOW.  Each of the parents is so different and posts things a little bit differently but the HOPES and HEART BREAKS are the same.  I know some people think that I'm crazy for keeping up on these kids...and probably I am.  There is a part of me that does it simply to remind me that my life could be SO much worse.  There is also a part of me that knows that if this happened to my kid I'd want to stop every single freaking person on the street and tell them how awful this is.  I'd be screaming HELP ME and probably feeling like no one was listening...Today I feel like me reading their posts and blogs lets them know someone cares...even if that is all I do.

As I've watched this and I've evolved a little bit there are three more things that this has given me...the first is a renewed sense of joy in the freaking SMALL things.  Go read Cindy's blog and see how she wouldn't cut her arm off to simply give Ty a bath one more time...And how many times we as parents disliked the bath chore???  Never again will I think about it as a chore...

In fact Cindy has a project called the Muddy Puddles Project -- all about letting kids be kids and get dirty.  A year ago I would have cringed at this -- kids, mud, puddles...now I see that moment, that possibility as a chance to make a smile/memory.  I always had these visions that stay at home parents had all this time to do these fun activities with their kids...but the reality is that it's not about having all that time -- it's about have the inclination.  I'm not letting my lack of time get in the way of having some fun.

The second thing that I have found is that the ownership of this problem is mine.  And I don't in any way mean that it is only mine -- I believe it is all of ours.  There was a time when families linked together to help each other...now we have more of an attitude of it's not my business...and I think that is a shame.  I'm not saying anyone has the right to pry into people's lives...but notice your friends and neighbors...they need your help a lot more than you may think.  What small difference could you do?  Could you simply send some TP to the Ronald McDonald house...could you get some toys together for the kids at Cardinal Glennon?  Could you make a meal for your friend who is dealing with a sick child?  The list goes on and on.  I really do think we need to challenge ourselves more in this area....not all of it has to cost money.  Sometimes it's just about spending some time.  And for those that think you shouldn't air your dirty laundry...I don't get it.  (Feel free to explain it to me.)  We need each other...we are a community.  Let's stop thinking the government needs to take care of us and help each other.

The third thing that I have taken from this is that we only have today.  I've been taught this lesson OVER and OVER -- I'm apparently not getting it.  But as you watch parents lose their kids you realize it could happen to you -- or something else could happen to you or them or whomever...it's part of life...

I have thought so much about my Grandma and how she lost 2 babies (and had other miscarriages) and how difficult it must have been.  My Mom tells me that my Grandpa reached the point he wouldn't take Grandma to the cemetery anymore (she never did drive) so Grandma took the bus herself...all while having other kids.  I'm sure she picked herself up and did what she had to do because she had other kids and a husband...but her heart was broken.  Never once until recently did I think of the joy Grandma must have felt to see her kids again in heaven....especially the babies.  I sure hope there is a heaven!

I really do get that death is part of life...which is really easy to say until it's your kid or your life.  We all need a fighting chance.

But the message is this...if you don't like part of your life...dont' waste it.  Stop doing what you don't want to do...or make a change to make it what you want.  Certainly we all can't up and leave our homes and jobs and run to the beach...but we can find more joy in our lives...if something is making you feel like life is too hard -- and you aren't enjoying the little things with your kids, pets and friends...it's time to change something -- you.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Photo Shoot Fun






I know we aren't posting much...not enough time.

But I thought I would take a second and share something fun.

I have mostly given up taking the kids for pictures (on a regular basis) because I can't handle the stress of it all -- child #2 dislikes pictures and it just got to be too much...so I decided I would simply make a point of taking their "portrait" as often as I could.  I have the best intentions but the reality is getting it all setup and them boys dressed takes time...and then hoping to find them in a cooperative mood is rare.

A few weeks back, Scott and I got things together enough to snap a few shots...Looking through the 100 pictures there are probably 10 that I really like...in the traditional sense...but I did shake it up this time by adding some props.

I have seen these all over the place in photobooths and the like...but certainly this would be too costly for me to buy a bunch of props...then I saw a collection on etsy for less than $15....I had to have it.  I realized after we got them I so could have made these...but I didn't and though I know I could have made them -- the $15 was well worth the time savings....but certainly you could make these easy enough.  In fact as a motivator to the kids...it might be good to have ones they made.


So in between photos I let them pick out things they want to do play with....some of them turned out cute.  What do you think?




Friday, February 1, 2013

What a freaking week

TGIF for sure...it has been the longest, weirdest week of my life.  I'm sitting on the couch tonight glad to be where I'm at...thinking that this crazy journey started about a week ago exactly -- a little longer than a week by a few hours.  I won't bore you with all the details but the gist is that I had emergency surgery last Saturday afternoon for an appendix that was badly infected.

It all started out mildly enough and built into pain I can only equate to labor pains...the added bonus of a fever was the part that brought my mind and likely body to a weaker state.  I'm glad to be past the surgery and past this long week.

This week my mind has returned over and over to the thoughts I was having while waiting for surgery...it was a long 10 hours wait.  I have a new appreciation to all people enduring sickness and illness.  It sucks.  Though the doctors and nurses informed me that my health crisis was nothing I could have prevented or avoided -- it just happens...In my head I disagreed.  More over...I realized I don't ever want to be in the position ever again.  Fine if I'm 95 years old...but not ever again.

As I laid there and occupied myself mostly with the thoughts swimming in my head...some of them I'm sure were half crazy with fever and morphine...I wanted to cry in thinking that I hadn't accomplished what I wanted to accomplish...my life has too many unanswered dreams and prayers.  My body is not healthy and I want health.

Literally I hated it so much that after surgery I did every little thing they told me to do as I knew that it would be possible for me to get the heck out of there sooner.  The good news is that I developed a bit of respect for my husband and his early dismissal from rehab.  At the time I was a little bit upset that he so cleverly got himself ejected from treatment...and left the responsibility in my hands...but I kind of sort of get it now...there is no rest in hospitals...just poking, prodding and delusional thoughts.

Once I got home I thought recovery would be fast...I was shocked I needed a 2nd day off work...and by day 3 I was ready to go back to work -- which was likely a mistake.  I have never been so tired after working 4 hours on Wednesday.  I've now heard of people that had to take off a week to two weeks...my 2 1/2 days off is probably self respectable for those that are a little bit self destructive as I tend to be.  None the less on the other side...as it is Friday night...it all looks better.

This week has taught me some things about myself...and they all entirely relate back to my never freaking ending weight loss struggle/journey/hell-hole that I walk within.  As much as I want to just pretend that all things are fine and dandy....I feel changed...I feel shaken.  I don't want to die an early death and I'm getting tired of half living my life.  With all that being said you'd think it would be simple to change my life and move the hell on....um mm no it's not so easy.  My bad habits or whatever you want to call them are down every corner...my fear of failure greets me at every door...and the same walls that confine me aren't changing on their own.

I honestly have no clue how to make the changes I know I need to make...I'm sort of just letting myself be uncomfortable for while.  Somehow I think that uncomfortableness will prompt change...I hope so.  But in the meantime I put together a list of the thoughts that seemed to make sense as revolutionary in my head....here you go.

1.  Food is my way to escape.  I probably use food for lots of things but I defianatly use it to go to my happy place.  I'm having a bad day...let me see...oh chocolate will help that....you want to feel like someone cares for you -- how about some hot soup.  I don't disagree that some of these thoughts are probably normal and not sick at all...but my relationship with food isn't normal.  The love/hate that I have with it -- it isn't normal.  The crazy ass part of it is that I never ever let myself give in to the escape all together...I never get to eat that whole bag of chips or the entire box of cookies...maybe if I did just let it go it would actually be better?

I've thought about this #1 point a lot.  Truth be told I think most people use something to escape...drinking, sex, drugs, etc...who decides what makes one healthy and one not healthy?  Don't worry I'm not looking for a specific answer...I just mean it's a hard call.  I don't know too many people without some kind of vice -- even if it is just that they take 3 Rx's from their doctor.

2.  I'm numb.  I don't know when it happened but my joy and my happiness is so far down on the list that I really do feel simply numb to it.  I can't even begin to tell you how this feels.  I've spent so much time making sure my kids are happy and even that my husband is happy...I am not even sure I know what I want to make me happy.  I'm not saying it's that anyone prevented me from it -- but I'm out of touch with what I even want.

3.  I'm scared if I jump off the high dive there isn't any water.  I really do entertain these crazy ideas of change.  I love reading blogs of people who sell all their possessions and live in an RV with their 12 kids and homeshcool those kids.  It sounds like heaven to me...I think about doing it and then I remember oh yeah we need money and health insurance...and then the stamp comes down...and that's your grown up adult responsibility.  End dream.

4.  There are people in my life don't want me to change.  I don't mean this to sound negative though I'm sure some will read it this way...and I certainly don't mean it to be overly extending.  What I mean is simply this -- for the people that I do and work for...they want to keep me doing exactly what I'm doing.  I don't even mean that specifically...I'm sure they'd all be thrilled if I was 100 lbs thinner and could keep on doing my work exactly as I do it now -- or heck even better right.  But the reality is this...the only one out for my best interest is probably me.  Every single other person has their own agenda...and they should.  I tend to think about the world and take everyone into consideration - maybe I should really only think about me.  It seems like a crazy thought to me...but I think it's something to think about.

Honestly I wish I could just package myself up in a box and ship myself somewhere and they could simply plug me into whatever the heck I need to make things better.  But I don't get it that easy...I have to somehow figure out how to change myself and keep on keeping on....it's daunting on this side.  I wonder what kind of change would need to be made for me to jump in without looking back...if I could have 4 months to simply change my life would that be enough?  6 months?  How much money is that?

Tonight I'm simply too exhausted to figure it out...but my mind continues to think about these thoughts...in the end the good news is that my life did sort of flash before me and I don't want to miss anymore...I don't want to be numb to my kids...I don't want to die young.  Putting that into action is another story but I'm hoping I get  there...one step at a time for now.

Thanks for reading and listening.  I'll keep you posted if I move to another step.  Change is really hard.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Happy 2013 Friends.

I can't believe it's 2013...wasn't it just 2000? I know time flies...2012 was a year that will go down as equally good and bad. It was a great year because our boys happen to be at equally fun times in their development...maybe it is always this way - but I love the joys of our little 2 year old and seeing everything so new with him and I love the knowledge and learning that is happening in our 7 year old. Our boys have been the best thing that was in our lives this year and I loved all the big and small moments we shared with them. The rest of the year was more difficult...perhaps it is growing/developing into a more evolved being but the year had some struggles for both me and Scott...it didn't magically end at midnight on New Years so that will continue into our new year...but I think both Scott and I feel a sense of hope of things to change.

To catch you up as to where we have been -- we pretty much exhausted ourselves getting ready for Christmas. We decided to make a lot of our gifts this year which ended up taking a lot time and energy. We also spent time doing things for others and simply trying to spend our free time with the kids. We agreed that the blog could wait. As much as we love sharing our projects...and there is always something...we knew it would take more time to take pictures and then post them and write about it...so we decided you all wouldn't mind us taking a break. We only got 2 emails asking where we were so I'm guessing you all made it just fine without us.

We have a few projects we are hoping to share with you in January...and of course both Scott and I appreciate the outlet of our thoughts to the world...even if the world is only the few people who happen across our blog. I thought I'd start simply by telling you my Resolutions for the New Year. I've never been one for strict crazy deadlines...I get that enough during my day job...but I did do some thinking of who I want to be and how I want to be seen in this world...and these are my "resolutions" on how to get there:

1. Spend more time with my kids...focus on them when I'm with them. I'm sure I've said this before but often my mind is thinking in the past or the future -- I need it to be in the present...more often than it is.

2. Stop spending my energy on people who aren't worth it. I don't know how to explain this any better...over the years I've learned to stop spending time with people who suck me totally dry...but I have to go further. I have some great friends who inspire me and fill me with joy -- I need more time with them. One of the big things I realized is that reading peoples statuses on Facebook is kind of a waste of time...I generally end up feeling like somehow I'm not a great Mom/Wife/Friend/Person so I've checked out of Facebook more and more. Maybe someday I'll feel the need to cut it out all together -- for now we just have a detached relationship...which is good.

3. Health...physical health.... I struggle here so much. I'd love to say lose x lbs by February x but to be honest I just have to start moving more and eating less...but somehow find balance in it all. Tonight Scott and I played basketball in the garage with our 7 year old -- I need more moments like that and less of feeling like I should be on the elliptical. By the end of 2014 I hope to have lost some weight and found acceptance in my body. We shall see.

4. Figure out what drives you and do it more. I realize I can't quit by job and do something that really inspires me. I always joke that is why they call it a job -- they pay you for a reason...because maybe it's not how we'd all fill our free time...and at this point in my life I need my job...but that doesn't mean I can't find inspiration in my life. I recently signed up to be a Chemo Angel -- which basically means you write to someone going through Chemo on a weekly basis...and once in a while send them a gift. I love that. I love to write letters...and I'd love to find someone to support...seems like a win win situation. I also still am feeling that i need to do more with Childhood Cancer. I will continue to talk about it even though I'm fairly sure people are sick of hearing about it. The truth 365.org has hit a place in my mind that I will continue to spread the word on the BS that is involved in childhood cancer...all at the same time praying and hoping that my kids and the kids I know don't ever have to know the horrors.

5. Spend less time feeling bad about things in my life. It's sort of all the above...but I feel the need to restate it for me. I spent so much time in 2012 feeling like I wasn't good enough in so many places in my life...I listened to so many people complain about the dumbest things that simply don't matter...I'm just tired of it. My life is nothing to be compared to anyone elses...I need to remember that I have so much going on...and when it gets rough remember my kids are cancer free and that I live in a country where rape is a crime. I don't get why we Americans focus so much on what we don't have...why aren't we smiling more and just grateful. So more gratitude coming from me.

6. Be more thoughtful...more random acts of kindness.

7. Stop giving a SHIT about what other people think about me. Sorry I wouldn't have put the big S word in there last year -- but that's how I talk (thanks to working with all men for over 10 years I imagine). I'm tired of worrying about who likes me and who doesn't...why someone did this or that...let's just all be real with each other. If you don't like me that's fine and I honestly am working to not care that you don't. Don't get me wrong...I will will worry about the people worth worrying about -- I don't not care at all -- I'm just done with worrying about those people that aren't worth it...I should have been honest with myself starting at about age 18...but I'm starting now...maybe my life will be exactly what I want now. Getting honest.

So as always I've rambled on and on...you know where I'm coming from.

So what are your new years resolutions...