Wednesday, April 30, 2014

It's Gonna Be May (Part 2)

Hey friends!! 

Remember me? More importantly, remember this post from exactly a year ago??? If not, let me remind you... 

In addition to being the impetus for the greatest meme possibly of all-time, May 2013 was basically the most chaotic month of my entire life. 

May 2014, on the other hand?? It's gonna be PKA. Pretty Kick Ass. Yes, I made that up, and yes I think I'm so super cool.

Let's take a look at what's coming up:

May 3: One of my favorite people, Kristen, is also turning 30 this month, so we decided to host a joint 30th birthday party this weekend. And since Saturday also happens to be the Kentucky Derby, some of our awesome friends had the awesome idea to have a "Derby 30" party instead of a "Dirty 30" one, because we're classy and whatnot. Here's a sneak peek at our invitation:

There may or may not be an after-party playing lunar bowling, because why not? That's normal 30-year old behavior.

May 8: It's the 1-year anniversary of moving into our house. Also known as that one time moving put me into labor. I'll hopefully have some new house update pictures to share with my new DSLR!

Just so very pregnant.
May 9: My beautiful, beautiful daughter Anna will be turning 1!!! It's also our 5-year wedding anniversary! Pretty big day, to say the least.

May 10: Dun dun DUN!!!!! I'm turning 30 folks!!!! Plus, this is the anniversary of our proposal, which I don't believe I've posted about on the blog, so I think it's about time I do, since it was one of the most incredible days of my life. 

May 11: We're hosting Anna's 1-year birthday party PLUS it's Mother's Day, so, uh, I guess I'd better start cooking now.

May 17: My amazing husband will add some credentials to his name. Currently: Bachelor of Architecture. Master of Architecture. DIY-professional. Witty Comeback King. Best daughter-dad ever. And as of 12:00pm on the 17th, MBA. We are so proud of him!!!

 May 18 - May 23: To help celebrate some of the huge milestones mentioned above, we're spending 5 days in beautiful Napa, California!!!!! Can.Not.Wait.

May 24: Joining some of our besties in the annual Crawl for Cancer!

May 31: Excited to see this beautiful girl get married!

So, anyways, May??? I'm ready for you!

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How your words can change someone's life

I'm not a true blogger in that I don't write for an audience. I write about my normal, boring life. I write what I know, what I like, and with the knowledge that my friends, family, and especially my daughters may someday read this.

I wrote about Anna's experience with a condition called Choanal Atresia in a few posts. From giving up dairy, to trusting my instinct, and finally through Anna's surgery to correct the problem. It all seems like a distant nightmare. I can't believe she lived through 5 months of not being able to truly breathe, but you would never know it now.

I wrote about her condition in detail because, somewhere in the deep recesses of mind, I wished that some day, another mother who was searching for answers would reach out to me and I could help her. Not that I would wish that condition on any child, but since I know it exists, and I know that Google provided me NO relief or answers, I wanted to put our story out there so, in the off chance someone else was experiencing this level of anxiety.

Well, it happened.

About a month ago, a woman named Sally* reached out to me via email to tell the story of her son who was experiencing the same struggles as Anna. She pushed her doctor, and her 2-month old was diagnosed choanal atresia, but they said they wanted to wait until he was 3 or 4 to have the surgery. She, like me, was at her wit's end and was desperate for answers. Immediately I was catupulted back to last summer, when Anna's pediatrician assured me that she was "fine."

No. No she wasn't fine. Not being able to breathe is NOT FINE. 

And because I knew exactly what Sally was experiencing and I had made it to the other side, I decided not to beat around the bush. I wasn't doing her or her son any favors by not being completely honest. Here is part of the email I sent back:

"My advice is ABSOLUTELY go get a second opinion. Ask for a referral to a pediatric ENT, and if that person won't do it, go see another one. The biggest thing I've learned is, don't be afraid to be 'that' parent. Push and push and push until someone says yes. It is worth it. I mean, I tried drinking with a straw with one nostril covered, and it was terrible. Anna felt that way all the time. I know surgery has its risks, but with a skilled ENT surgeon, the benefits absolutely outweigh them."

I just wanted Sally to know that she had other choices. Other options. And I offered to answer any questions along the way.

Well, it was with sheer joy that I received an update email from Sally last week. They had been to see a new ENT and it was discovered that her little boy had choanal stenosis, which is a partial blocking of one of the nostrils, thankfully not a complete blockage. The new ENT prescribed an antibiotic/steriod nose drops, and her son has been a brand new baby ever since. She thanked me for posting the blog, emailing back, and pushing her to get a 2nd opinion, because if I hadn't, they would still be living in misery. She said "You were a blessing to us."

It truly brings tears to my eyes. That time in our lives was SO hard. So unbelievably, painfully hard. But Sally's story makes me feel like Anna's struggle was not in vain, because, if for nothing else, I feel like we played a tiny part in changing someone's life. And that's pretty cool.

Thank you Sally for letting me share your story today! I am so happy for your family. 

* name changed

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Get in the picture, mom

 I took this photo a few weeks back and immediately dismissed it because it's blurry, chopped off, and is definitely not the most flattering angle of me. 

And then I found it this morning and realized that if I do this for every photo that I don't like of myself, I'll never have pictures of the three of us while they're young. After all, the mom is usually the one who's not in the picture because she thinks she's not pretty/skinny/made up enough. Well, today I say screw that. I never want to forget these beautiful moments while my girls are little, happy, and love their silly mommy.

So here it is, internet. Me and my girls. And it's perfect.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Brain Discard

I call this Brain Discard instead of Brain Dump, because that D word is just unladylike, but that's really what this post will be.

This was my neighborhood this morning. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!?!

Lots of progress being made in our basement! All 18 recessed lights have been installed (say goodbye to creepy murder-style light bulbs), so once the wiring is finished, drywall can be put up as early as this weekend! Yipee!!

Emerson naturally has been a huge help down there.

My good friend Jean is selling me her fancy Canon T2i so she can upgrade, and I'm super stoked!! Once I actually figure out how to use the darn thing, I'm excited to take clearer pictures and actually print out photos like they used to back in the day. Side note: My Dad STILL has a camera in which he loads actual film. I am sure the clerks at CVS groan when they see him coming. Bless his heart.

 I've been pinning photography stuff, which she finds hilarious, but if you know me, you know I research the sh** out of something until I feel like an expert. And no one has to know that I Googled "What does ISO stand for"? Except you all know now.

Happy Tuesday!
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Thursday, April 3, 2014

32 things that make me happy

 Fun link-up today! It's dreary and rainy, but by 6:45am I've had two cups of coffee and I am feeling Happpppppy!!!! Clap along if you feel like a room... ah, forget it. 

32 things that make me happy...

1. My girls. My adorable, precious, fabulous daughters who are the center of my universe.
2. My handsome hubby who I love more and more each day.
4. Vacations. Also planning vacations.
5. Jokes. Of any kind. Especially bad ones.
6. Red wine. In small doses.
7. Eggs for breakfast.
8. Springtime. A sing a ling a ling time. <--MM Clubhouse.
9. A fresh coat of paint.
10. Finding coupon codes online and getting a sweet deal.
11. Warm Brie right out of the oven.
12. The laughter of #1. A sound that nothing else can compare to.
13. My job.
14. Thinking and reliving the day Jon proposed to me
15. Wearing jeans in my old size again.
16. Patios in the summer.
17. The smell of the ocean.
18. Lazy rivers.
19. Witnessing random acts of kindness.
20. Going to the Redbox and finding the exact movie you went there for.
21. When Kroger has sushi samples.
22. Just, sushi in general.
23. The smell of freshly cut grass and hot dogs on the grill.
24. Going to sporting events.
25. When my friends laugh at my bad jokes and act like they mean it.
26. Coming home from a long day and seeing the house spotless.
27. Reading the end of a book before I finish the middle.
28. When people I love get good news
29. I really can't emphasize just how happy coffee makes me.
30. Knowing all of the lyrics to a song. Or all the lines in a movie.
31. Chips & Salsa.
32. Home decorating.

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