Friday, October 24, 2008

See you on the other side!

ok... first of all.. thank you SOOOO much to the awesome awesome AWESOME words of support y'all have given me these past 2 days.

I had my event eve check-in this evening.. I met 5 of my team members (hoping to meet the other six tomorrow... praying that they show up????) They're great, and this weekend is going to be amazing. I just know it. all my hesitations about this one or that one being team leader are gone, and I'm ready to just go and do what I signed up to do.

I stopped at Target on the way home for 2 last must-have items.. I bought a shower curtain to lay under the sleeping bag.. cause did I mention it's raining here? also got a foam pad so it's not just grass and gravel on my ass, too.

I packed the bag and popped my camera battery into the charger... attempting to set up my text messaging so I can update my twitter this weekend... but who knows if that'll work. if not.. I'll be blogging about the walk next week.

again... thank you all so much. the donations, the encouragement... each of you has been SO GENEROUS time and time again. really.. I was just reading through some back comments, and some of the notes y'all left when you made your donations.... I am like FLOATING right now with the love. I promise you, I plan on giving that back out to the walkers this whole weekend.

thank you all. you'll be with me this whole weekend!

And to my financial donors? I seriously can not express in enough words how much I appreciate you giving money to this cause. I know we all have our reasons for donating... but I truly feel blessed to be associated to your giving.

+ Mom and Dad + Uncle Roy and Aunt Karin + Hector + Avani , Nimish, and Rushabh + Jody, Brad, Dov and Zoe + Fergie, Jamie, and Jackson + Jessica, Mike, Blake and Bella + Jennifer + Maria, Joel, Maddie, Adian, and Clara + Troy, Rhena and Danny + Mom and Dad J. + Stacey, Matt, Emma, and Sophia + Alanna, Todd, and AJ + Marianna + Cathy, Mike, Quinn and Liam + Erin and Chris + Suser, Dan, Liam and Seamus + Kate, Kurt, Max and Georgia + Erin, Marc, and Mason + Nancy, Mike, and Annie + Kelli, Mathew, Kendal and Ava + Hännikins and AHP +

I can't wait to tell all the walkers and crew members I meet about each and every one of you, and how you're not just supporting me.. but them as well. Like I said... you'll be with me all weekend!

now.... it's time for me to get some shut-eye. I need to leave the house by 3:30am... and it seems to be getting closer as I type!


see you on the other side!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stressing Out

So this weekend is the Avon Walk.

I am stressing out.

On one hand, I'm VERY excited to be doing the walk again. After losing Rachel, my affiliation with the fight against breast cancer came to very razor-sharp focus. So there is no question in my mind that this weekend is as necessary as BREATHING to me right now.


Did I mention I'll be camping overnight?


me. in a tent.

I know, I know.. quit my bitching... I don't even have to walk this year, so sleeping in a fabric contraption on the cold wet ground outside with bugs is the LEAST of the physical sacrifices my body can make for this cause.

but still.

I haven't even attempted putting UP a tent since I was in the girl scouts... and judging by my calculations.. I think that was ABOUT twenty years ago. if not, longer. so there's that.

also?? I'm kind of fearing the team leader thing. If I'm being PERFECTLY honest.... this was not something I signed up for last year. I mean.. I was thinking I would be WALKING this year. then.. you know.. the whole broken toe and shower-door incident. So, ok.. decided to crew.

turns out I was put on a team where the leader MAY or may NOT show up for the weekend of the walk. not once did I get contacted... not once did I get welcomed. but whatever.. I was all new to the crewing thing.. didn't know what to expect.

The week after Rachel died, the Coordinator for the entire crew for the Charlotte walk sent me an e-mail and asked if I wanted to be a co-team leader... explaining that the current leader may not make it the weekend of the walk, and someone should be a point of contact for the team for the event.

ok. So I committed to doing that... and over the past month I have attempted to contact the other leader about 3 times. I WANTED to contact the entire team.. but didn't want to step on any toes... so I kept my attempts to the other leader.

I never heard back from her. NORMALLY... this would have been my green ticket to just bulldoze my way into the group and take over.


I really can't explain why I haven't. I ALSO can't explain why I lost my gumption to confront the coffee shop as to why I didn't see my donation pig on display... or at the very least ask for it back. I just have chickened out.

I do not like feeling like I'm sitting with my tail between my legs... too frightened to go forward, too timid to go back and confront. but yet.. here I am.

I NEED to man up and contact the team, cause I know for sure if I was on the other end I'd be frustrated that I hadn't heard anything yet, and the walk is this weekend. And it's clear the other leader is a flake. (not saying she doesn't have a reason.. just that it is what it is, and she has been totally void of communication.)

I also need to pack my gear bag. and food shop so Troy can keep our kids well-nourished this weekend while I'm at the event. and wash the sleeping bag. and write my thank you notes to everyone who has supported the cause, Rachel's passing, or just me in general.

perhaps 'stressed out' is not the word I'm looking for. Overwhelmed may be more like it.

anyways... I'm here. I'm excited. nervous. ready. TOTALLY not ready.


I'm going to go breathe into a paper bag or something.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Santa Baby!

It started innocent enough. I clicked on to Amazon so I could order my coffee. Of all the coffees I've tried for our super-fab machine.. I love Emeril's the best. Mind you, I still think HE is an annoying tool... but MAN he has some good recipes. and this coffee is top notch.

anyways... turns out there are some new books out.

Giada has a new cookbook. so does Elisa.

I know, I know.. you thought I was going to talk about a REAL book.. like a story. please. it took me 6 months to get through Wicked, and I'm on month 2 of reading Son of a Witch. Sadly, I only really get to read a section or two at a time when I'm in the toilet room.. and being that I don't always get the chance to take a quiet poop every day... UPSTAIRS for that matter... it takes me a while to get through books.

(which.. side note... what IS the toilet room called? like when the toilet is in a room by itself from the rest of the stuff like the shower, sinks, tub, etc... commode? shitter? really.. no clue here!)

And has anyone read the newest in that series yet? A Lion Among Men? I'll probably be ready for it like NEXT year at the rate I'm reading. but that's ok.. cause by then either my parents or my brother will have bought and read it, and I can just borrow it from them.

so yeah yeah yeah. cookbooks. but not just ANY cookbooks!

First up.. Elisa. SO DARN CUTE!!

LOVED her original confetti cakes book. not only did it have some GORRRRRGEOUS cakes, but THE most adorable cupcakes.. and cookies!!! I love her work, I really do. now she's got a book of kids' cakes. I saw an excerpt that said she's got farm animal cookies in here. uh.. ding-dong! Danny's b-day party theme is farm stuff!!! I may not be able to wait til Christmas. or even my birthday. (I feel justified in that, though, as both occur AFTER danny's party.. and really.. me getting this book would only be for HIM. right?)

Really.. if you EVER wanted to be inspired to do more than a regular cupcake, cake or cookie.. Elisa's your girl. she has very clear-cut instructions and often templates as well. If I ever meet her in person I may just chew on her a little. like she's THAT good. I don't just go around claiming I want to eat people, you know. cute babies, yes.. but adults? am I painting the picture yet?

ok.. and my other woman crush... Giada. I do not know WHAT it is about her.. but I just LOVE HER. like even her annoying way of saying things as she smiles too wide is ok by me!!! Rachel Ray says EVOO and I want to flick her forehead. (btw.. thank you Jody.. that debate visual has been with me ever since, and I TOTALLY want to do it to every annoying person on TV now!)

But Giada?? she's got me. and I love her food! my WORD do I love her food. from her espresso brownies to the macaroni and cheese.. ooh! and she's got a roasted red pepper aioli.. SO GOOD! mmmm.. now I want grilled eggplant. ISSUES, I tell you. I have no idea how she stays so thin. maybe I really hate her? no.. I love her. like crazy stalker love. (there.. I said it. I want to stalk her.)

so I imagine it won't be long before this book makes it to my kitchen as well.

however... now I just realized it's going to be a long week for me. I noticed that amazon is out of stock of my coffee. (that's what I get when I save my linking til last in my post!) damnit.

I guess the up side is that I won't be tempted to add Giada or Elisa to my order. the down side, of course, is that I need to go find my coffee. cause I promise you.. there's a LOT of things I can handle. being without coffee is NOT one of them.

have a great weekend, gang!

Friday, October 17, 2008

If you're ghetto and you know it, clap your hands!

I am full on APPLAUDING over here.

I know. I AM GHETTO. I am SO GHETTO in so many ways.... go ahead and ask around... I'm sure any person that knows me could come up with at least ONE example of how I am ghetto. but I'll save you that trouble and offer up some of my better moments in a friendly round of "Have you ever...."

so.. without ado, I ask you, dear reader....

Have you ever -

  • smuggled travel sizes of vodka, a knife, sugar packets and lemons into club so you could do 'free shots' in the bathroom?
  • used the same make-up pencil as a brow liner, EYELINER, AND lip liner?
  • pretended you were pregnant when in actuality you were walking slow because your 'bump' was really 4 opened cans of beer that you wanted to bring back to your seats in a concert and not chug in the beer garden? (fyi.. this works very well if you also have a friend that is willing to flirt unmercifully with the beer garden security as you try to wobble by unnoticed...)
  • been in church with your two kids by yourself with no diaper bag, have your youngest make a gigantic poop, go to the bathroom, pluck the poop out, flush it, and put the diaper back on him? Did you also stick an apple-scented antibacterial wipe in between his pants and diaper hoping the people around you wouldn't smell the trace poop/skid marks left on the diaper?
  • use an iron (as in CLOTHES IRON) to straighten your hair? (ok.. I've actually never done that but my college roommate in the dorms used my iron to straighten HER hair and I haven't gotten over it. I mean.. SERIOUSLY!)
  • refuse to pay $20 for a pair of shoes for your daughter's halloween costume because you could spray paint a pair she already has? ok, maybe that's not so much ghetto as frugal... but still.. it's not like we can't afford the $20 shoes.
  • poured 'store brand' V-8 juice into the V8 container because your husband will only drink brand name juices and you know there's no WAY on this green earth that he can tell the difference?
  • stayed at the IP, prefunked, or had the buffet at Spearmint Rhino? (believe me.. if you have... I don't need to explain this one!)
  • bought your daughter (and let her WEAR) boys' underpants because she liked Thomas the Train so much, and saved them so your son can wear them some day now that she's outgrown her love for Thomas?

anyways.. I'm sure I could go on, but I actually need to spend the rest of today's nap time putting another coat of red glitter spray paint on rhena's old shoes.

happy weekend, gang!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

TOTALLY one of those days

This morning was one of those perfectly stepford mornings.

Both kids were up, fed, dressed and ready (as well as in the car and buckled!) 15 minutes before we typically fly out of the house to get rhena to school only a few minutes late.

I was wearing my contacts! and a skirt! the sun was shining, and with LESS than 50% humidity.. we were ready for another day in the mid-80s.

Came home, hand-washed some dishes, and began making a pumpkin spice cake. Boy child was happy! music was playing! and yes... the sweet smells of pumpkin were beginning to make their way through the house.

I said something on twitter that I half expected to see a cartoon woodland animal show up and start singing to me. kinda like this:

I know.. Blame Rhena. all these damn Disney princess videos I'm having to watch are starting to creep into my everyday thinking. it's freaky.

So I KNEW all was too good to be true... the cakes? came out perfect. There was even a little extra batter to make 6 muffins/cupcakes.

Then... then I started the cream cheese maple frosting. And danny came and hugged me. (hear the birds? c'mon.. I know you do!)


yes. this is where my perfect morning came to a shit-assed stop.


Danny took a MAN-sized crap, and the smell not ONLY overpowered the once-delightful aroma of pumpkin spice in my kitchen.. but kinda crept up my nostrils and CHOKED ME. like JOLT TO THE BRAIN make you GAG CHOKING!!!!


we have perfection in cake form... this will not stop me.

change Danny's diaper, SCRUB hands in antibacterial.. and resume.

cream cheese. butter. maple syrup. powdered sugar... mmmm. mmmmmm. uh... HUH! ACK! what the??


Danny crapped again.

seriously. I KNOW!

so anyways. take him upstairs... get him all cleaned up... come downstairs, SCRUB HANDS.. get back to my frosting.

hmm... frosting is just about filling up the kitchen aide (decided to do a double batch, cause mmm.... cream cheese frosting! with 100% pure maple syrup!).. but the frosting is... runny. hmph.

maybe add some more powdered sugar. taste. ok.. a BIT sweet.. but not bad. still runny... still runny. holy what the.. DANNY!

again my boy shits.

go upstairs AGAIN and get the boy cleaned up. At this point.. my nose feels permanently STAINED with poop smell. I'm verging on gagging, and crap smell has taken over both floors of the house. SCRUB hands again (getting slightly raw now) and get back to frosting.

I decide to let it sit in the fridge for a bit while I slice one of the cakes and chop pecans for garnish. sure enough, it firms up a bit... only to turn into a sloppy mess when I put some on the cake.

it was ugly, people. and at this point.. Danny, who apparently is now like 6 pounds lighter, decides he's HUNGRY and will not let go of my leg.

Where are my birds? where are my cartoony woodland creatures that will bring my prince and make my feet look cute? I'll tell you where they are....

thank you. thank you very much. Now.. for your information.. I'm going to go eat my perfect spice cake and wash it down with a shot of cream cheese frosting.


where it doesn't smell like poop.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

And so it grows....

I'm going to apologize ahead of time for this post. I'm still a bit out of practice with my blogging habits, so I imagine this will be choppy and full of tangential thoughts at best.

I've been very 'off' since Rachel's death. not the full-on depressed and mournful as I was in the beginning of September... but yet.. I've been feeling raw. exposed. weak. tired?

like I said.. off.

Don't get me wrong.. things are returning to normal. Rhena's back in school, we have our schedules to keep, I'm baking again, and just life in general is just moving right along. this is good. Even though for quite a while I have just been going through the motions of life and not necessarily FEELING them.. I look with confidence on those actions in a way that I can say at least I was moving.

But this moving along has brought me back to a sense of remorse.. kind of similar to what I felt when I first discovered I was pregnant with Danny. not that I was sad that I was pregnant with our second child.. no.. I was SO deeply happy and feeling blessed about that. but yet... I felt a nagging guilt that i WAS pregnant, and I had friends that were still unable to conceive. I even kept the news from my cousin Rachel for several months because I felt guilty that she would never be able to be pregnant again.

Nowadays, I see myself trudging forward in my daily activities... little by little moving on and becoming whole again... and once again I feel guilty because Rachel can not. who am I kidding. because Rachel is no more. It's not right. and don't get me started about it not being fair.

so yeah.. there's that. and I KNOW I need to let it go, and accept. and I am. I have. ok... I'm trying.

but the guilt. and anger. the anger more than anything. like the kind of anger that makes me actually see myself punching someone. like a real Rocky Balboa punch.. not some weak-wristed bitch slap. bleh. I'm trying.

The walk (and my involvement in it) is helping. To date... over $1600 has been raised... and I have some piggy banks out in the community, hoping to wrangle in more just on spare change and generosity of strangers.

The walk is next weekend.. October 25-26th. Being there and around all that PURPOSE is surely going to be healing. It was last year.... and I didn't even think I needed it last year. This year? I NEED that walk. I need to be around survivors and others who have lost and are still living and know that it's ok to say goodbye. Because as much as I know it in my head... I still can't wrap my heart around it.

Anyways... I was pruning the trees in our front yard yesterday, and it really made me think about all of this. Rachel, me, loss, moving on... the works. I hacked and sawed major branches off. big, leafy, HEALTHY limbs from the tree. gone. When I was done with the two trees, there was a MOUNDS of branches on the ground. like taller than my kids MOUND.

It made me wonder if the tree knew I knew how it felt. I mean.. over time.. pruning those limbs away will be healthy for the tree. It will be taller, stronger.. BETTER for having lost them.


Last night I went back out and cut up the pruned branches to be placed in our yard waste bin. I looked at the trees. While I feel I was pretty conservative in my pruning yesterday... I couldn't help but notice those open spots on the trunk. they were ME.

now if I was a good writer, I'd find some poetic way to end this ramble that would encourage you all to comment.. but I'm not. I'm just a girl who misses her cousin and is trying to deal with that. Take my word when I tell you that I'm here and I'm fine. or at least I will be. me and the trees.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Thank You Momma GT

ok... no secret I'm in a blogging funk lately.

Thanks to Momma Ginger Tree for tagging me. more thanks for it being easy. The rules are to choose the sixth photo from your sixth album and post it along with a description or the story behind it. There's no rule saying I have to tag anyone else.. so even better.

I went on to shutterfly, and my sixth album happens to be the birth of Rhena. The sixth picture is one of me laying in the hospital bed.. moments after another voracious puke session. I'm gonna spare you that picture, cause really? do we NEED to see me big and pasty? didn't think so.

So since I'm bucking the rules, I'll endow myself with bad luck and pick picture #13.

This is the very first moment I saw Rhena. September 17, 2004. She was eight days late, and after being in the hospital with contractions for about 18 hours... her heartbeat kept dropping. Despite the 12+hours of pitocen, my dilation hadn't progressed past 6cm . and did I mention we were told the baby's heartbeat was getting weaker?

We went with the C-section, and had an amazing nurse in the OR who took these pictures for us. I can't remember his name, but to have this picture? it's been a wonderful gift.

See her arm hanging down? she was reaching towards me. I didn't get to physically hold her until about an hour later.. but that moment she reached out was the instant she grabbed my heart.

She just turned four last month, and to this day... when she looks at me a certain way or reaches out helplessly yet purposely? I'm right back there in the operating room in Reno... unable to move yet soaring in space; just from her love alone.