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Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Holidays

Thus far the holidays this year aren't quite as intimidating as they were last year. Last year, they flat out scared the mess out of me... How on earth were we supposed to do Christmas without Catie. I'm not sure if I just know that we survived last year, so we'll be ok, if we're making progress, if I'm in denial, or maybe just a little of all of the above. Thanksgiving this year was, for me, the least challenging holiday I've had since we lost her. Again... not sure if it was denial or if after being stuck in the house, on the couch trying to get this baby to cook a bit longer that I was just so glad to get out of the house that it didn't even matter. Who knows...

We haven't decorated yet, but we will this week. I have broken out the Christmas music. It's funny how some songs make me smile and some just smack me between the eyes and can start the tears. This year, as Christmas approaches there is this incredible excitement to see it through Izzy's eyes... I know she's old enough to understand a bit more this year... no she won't get it all, but she's already talking lots about HoHo and she loves seeing Christmas stuff that's already out. I can't wait to see what she thinks about having a tree and lights up in her house! Then there is the stuff that will trigger so many Catie memories... That's good and hard. I guess we just keep doing what we've done since we lost her... really since she was diagnosed.... keep rolling with the punches, cry when you need to, and keep moving forward... just keep swimming...

Sometimes it still just makes me crazy to know that our family will never be totally complete this side of Heaven. Someone will always, always be missing. And I still hate that Izzy and Chip got jipped out of knowing Catie... though I'm glad they don't have to deal with the grief of missing. But I'm also grateful that I'm not completely frightened by Christmas this year... and I really can't wait to watch Izzy learn to enjoy the magic of the season...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pudding Anyone?

Man this pudding is good stuff....

You sure you don't want me to feed you some too?

Making pancakes with Daddy

This is how Izzy's hair looks every single morning when she wakes up. It looks like the hair fairy teased it while she was a sleep.... Thank goodness for Suave detangling spray. Any suggestions on how to keep it from doing this????

Walking with my Daddy...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'm Making a Permanent Imprint...

on my couch! Yep... due to some contractions last week and more after trying to go back to work on Monday, I've been sent home. That could be a grand thing if I had the freedom to do all the things that need to be done around the house, but that's not quite how it works. Tre' has been nothing short of amazing and we may be calling him Betty Crocker or Martha Stewart before it's all over with. Tonight he even got roped into picking out a fancy holiday top for me to wear to a Make A Wish Event we committed to earlier in the year (I got a "free pass" from my doc to attend since we're committed to speak at the event). Iz is getting in some extra time with GaGa and PaPa.

So, though I REALLY hate sitting around all day long... I'm very thankful that I'm sitting here and contractions have backed off. I'm thankful that we have such supportive family and friends and that my school has been so great! I'm searching hard for projects around the house that can be done from the couch and the countdown has begun... for me at least. :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Sleeping Girl

I love to watch children as they sleep. I have pictures of both girls sacked out in various positions. One night I'm going to wake up every hour and take a picture of Izzy b/c she changes positions so much as she sleeps. She definitely sleeps with abandon.

Last night, I was reading an update on a friend of ours who has been battling cancer for far too long... He's such a trooper and a comment he made to his dad just struck me. It made me laugh and broke my heart all at the same time and it made me think of Catie.. It made me think of Catie and all that kids with cancer have to endure and how their normal is so NOT normal... Most of the time, I can be ok with the fact that that was Catie's life. But last night it made me sad. So I walked into Izzy's room where she was sprawled out on her back sound asleep. I have been known in a moment like that to pick her up and carry her to the couch and snuggle her close. She's a pretty sound sleeper at night, so I can usually get by with that. But last night, I just laid down next to her and stroked that beautiful golden blonde hair and I prayed. "Dear God... Thank you for this beautiful child you have blessed us with... thank you for the innocence that she has. Thank you that a blood pressure cuff wigs her out a bit, even if it's on my arm. Thank you that she cries when her finger is pricked b/c it hurts and it's not routine for her. Thank you that her normal is normal (except maybe for her mom and dad :) )... And please God.... please, please let it always be this way. Protect her from the the things Catie had to know about.... Protect her and protect Chip...."





Saturday, November 8, 2008

Please Pray

Edited to add: Missy now has a caringbridge site. I know that she and her family would welcome your encouragement and prayers. Missy's Site


There are times in this life when there is nothing you can do but pray for someone. Our friend Ryan (also known as Super Ryan) was first diagnosed with neuroblastoma in 2004. He had some time off treatment and then relapsed. His mom, Missy was diagnosed with breast cancer not long after he relapsed. Missy battled and Ryan battled on. Ryan continues to battle his relapse and Missy has just learned that her cancer has returned. She has gone home on hospice... Please pray for this family... pray for their three children... for Les, dad and husband... Please just pray for them. SuperRyan

Friday, November 7, 2008

Whew, What a Week!

This has felt like one crazy week!!! I think it's mainly because the schedule seems to have been full and we've been doing the babysitter shuffle. :) The stomach bug has been going around at the sitter's house this week and we just didn't want to bring that home!!! Thankfully, Tre's folks live fairly close, so Iz has gotten in lots of time w/ GaGa and Poppy this week. She's run a low grade fever off and on since Wed. We're thinking she's cutting her eye teeth, but it's made for a whiny girl at times. Throw in dinner w/ our supper club election night, an OB appt., a Make A Wish board meeting, work, and all the normal stuff and it's worn me out!!!

We did learn that, barring any surprises, Mr. Chip will make his arrival into our arms early on Wed., January 14th!! Can you believe that is less than 10 weeks away???? If you could see my belly right now, you might be surprised it's not sooner!!! :) There is so much to get done before he arrives --- I don't even have anywhere to put his clothes yet! Thanks to some friends who've had little boys recently, he's got clothes to wear, so if I can just find a place to keep them we'll be good to go. There are lots of little projects around the house I'd like to tackle too... It's hard to believe there is about to be a new little one around here, and a BOY at that. We can't wait to meet him!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Elves!!!!!


It's getting to be that time of year again!!! Time to start thinking about the birth of Christ, Christmas shopping, my favorite music of the year, Santa (or HoHo as he's referred to at our house right now), and visits from elves. Last year a great little project got started. Elves from Catie... If you missed it last year, check this out: That Silly Old Elf . We are on the move again with Elves from Catie and there are several ways you can get involved. It's easy to get involved and it's SUCH a great tradition!!! (You really do need to click the link above and read about it if you don't know about the tradition.) Ok... so ways you can be a part....

1. Donate an Elf from Catie kit to a child in the hospital -- Kits are $35 and include an elf, an Elf from Catie book (about an elf that visits the hospital -- very cute story), and elf food (jelly beans) (go to the website and just click on the Elves from Catie logo)
2. Purchase an elf for a child you know. Elves come with all the things listed above and the price for these is $35 as well. (go to the website and click on Host an Elf)
3. Have your civic organization, ladies' circle, youth group, etc. get involved and work to donate elves to kids in the hospital.
4. Copy and paste this into an e-mail and send it out to all your contacts. Ask them to continue to forward it on. This was HUGELY successful last year.

The website is Host an Elf. All Elves from Catie purchases (elves donated to a child in the hospital) will have $5 of the purchase donated to CURE Childhood Cancer. Your elf purchase for a child you know can also benefit CURE. Just BE SURE to indicate that you want CURE to benefit. To do this, on the page that says non-profit donations at the bottom, choose fundraiser under category and CURE Childhood Cancer under name. If you don't do this, CURE won't receive the $5.

Last year was hugely successful... I hope this year can be even more so. Help us out and spread the word!! Elves from Catie is great because it shares a wonderful, memory-making tradition with families AND raises money for a CURE. And a CURE is so desperately needed... Spread the joy (and the elfish mischief)!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween 2008








We had a big time Friday night. We only hit 10 houses or so, but that was just enough for an almost 2 year old who had already had a long day. She was cute as a button!! I wish I had taken my camera out before I let her look in the mirror to see her rosy cheeks and freckles. She was so funny checking herself out. It's so hard to get a pic of her smiling these days. She smiles and laughs all the time, but usually becomes Ms. Stone face when the camera comes out. We got a couple of smiles in these though.

She's been so loving lately and will just come up to me and want a long, good hug. Makes my day for sure!! She also seems to have figured out that my belly is growing because of a baby in the tummy. That's just happened in the last week or so. Every once in a while, she'll point to my tummy and say, "baby," or "kick." :) She loves being outside and would stay out all day if we let her. We've had some gorgeous weather lately, so she's been loving that.

Oh, I've Missed You this Week Sweet Girl