Thursday, April 29, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Ellie had her face painted at the annual ASK 5K which benefits pediatric cancer at MCV hospital where Ellie had her surgeries
who doesn't love the ice cream man? Me, that who!! This guy comes in the neighborhood everyday blasting his ice cream music and driving 2 miles an hour. His van slightly grosses me out so we never buy from him... also... don't think he can read the NO SOLICITING sign at the beginning of our neighborhood. I sound like a crotchety old lady but this guy just bugs me.
Ellie and our other friend Jake. He's grown on me so much more than the canine Jake. Jake was the first person I ever knew to have brain cancer. He lives in our neighborhood and that was almost 10 years ago. He is a true inspiration to us and is now a freshman at Virginia Tech. Go Jake!!
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
The concept is simple. I will give $10 to a different person every day for a year. I will write about the people who I intersect with as well as the truly altruistic experience that I am sure to have! I recently lost my job at a nonprofit organization due to the economic climate so taking on this endeavor may not seem fiscally prudent. However, I think it is exactly these times that we must focus on helping others. I started the Year of Giving on December 15th in memory of my mother who lost her long battle with heart disease on this day in 2006. She was a true altruist. She always thought of others before herself.
My goal is not to change the lives of those with whom I come in contact. Let’s face it, $10 dollars is not going to change someone’s life in and of itself. I do believe, however, that the act of giving will hopefully inspire others to pursue the ideals that the French philosopher Auguste Comte envisioned when he coined the term “altruism.” Whether that comes in the form of someone who reads this blog and wants to embark on their own Year of Giving or someone who uses the $10 to help someone else out, the specific results are less important than the overall good that we can achieve together.
The stories are really inspiring, encouraging, eye opening and sometimes a little sad but mostly they are rewarding. Giving back, making a difference, helping others. All things we try to teach our kids to do as well as reminding ourselves how important it is for us to do this too. Making a difference in someone's life. Is there anything better? Reed is certainly walking the walk.
There are so many stories out there, so much love, if we just take the time to ask and learn and care. Enjoy the blog. The Year of Giving
Sunday, April 18, 2010
I manage to make my way up to the attic about three times a year. I tend not to go up there because I have OCD and the mess drives me crazy and I want to put all of it away in some organized form. I have to remind myself that this is Ellie and Emma (and sometimes Steve's) spot to play, relax and not worry about the mess. Amazingly for the most part it stays relatively clean. Steve and Emma are in charge of bathroom duty and according to reports from Ellie it is clean too. So, last night Ellie came down with an invite to go up and hang out and learn about her animals and their fashion choices. Of course, I couldn't say no.
All of her stuffed animals, mostly Build-a-Bears, were sitting on the ottoman waiting for the show to begin.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Thursday, April 15, 2010
It seems I have come down with a bad case of Spring Fever... (I wonder if it's an infection from when I almost amputed my finger last week!) I am finding it hard to focus on work and the warm weather and birds are just begging me to come outside. They are taunting me and I am having to try my hardest to ignore them. As you can tell, I am very eager to get outside, to get in the backyard and start planting flowers. Unfortunately, there is so much to do before I can start popping plants into the ground. Trimming, weeding and planning need to get done first. Normally I will commit to doing my containter plantings first before any hardcore gardening just in case we have a spell of cold temperatures. It's much easier to move containers into the garage and covering plants outside is not fun when they cannot be moved. By this time of year I usually have about 10 pots filled but I am off to a late start this year. I just haven't had an opportunity to head to the nursery to wander the aisles and design my containers. I am hoping to do just that on Saturday afternoon. Yee! Cannot wait!
Here is a photo from my girls night out weekend and a few more photos from around the yard. Hopefully my spring fever will break and I will feel better when I can be outside this weekend.
I have 4 Peonie Bushes that I planted about 4 years ago. The first year I noticed all these ants on the flower heads before they bloomed. I, of course, was grossed out and flicked all the ants off. They kept coming back. Little did I know that there is an old wives tale that states the ants help the peonie bloom by eating all the sweet sap on the outside of the bloom and releasing the flower. It may be true or not but either way I don't flick them off anymore. Sorry little ants.
Monday, April 12, 2010
So... the weekend was fabulous. I drove up on Thursday and stayed with my girlfriend Laurel and her husband Tony. We had a great day on Friday. We picked up our girlfriend MaryAnn and went shopping up in Massachusetts. So love New England and all its quaintness. We had a great lunch, fabulous shopping and makeovers and even fit in a movie. Two thumbs up for Date Night... Steve Carrell and Tina Fey were so funny! Saturday I made my way to the casino to see seven girlfriends that I grew up with. I hadn't seen many of them in years. We have done a relatively good job with keeping in touch via email and Facebook over the years but living out of state means I miss a lot of opportunities to get together. When they suggested this one, I didn't want to say no and two other girlfriends were coming from out of state too so I really wanted to join in. It was much much better than I thought it would be and we shared so many great memories and boy I forgot how these girls can make me laugh. I made it back home late last night instead of staying until Monday which was in my original plans. Three reasons for coming home a day early.
One, I cut my finger on my razor blade in my makeup bag on Sunday morning.. um....how loudly can you say ouch! A rather large chunk of finger flesh was lost and it bled for a long time. I didn't need a stitch but it was close. The thought of hauling around my tripod in the woods to do some birding later that afternoon wasn't sounding too good to me at that point. I was so looking forward to that too. It was a major bummer for me.
Second, I was super tired from our wild and crazy, sleep deprived night...Going home to my own bed sounded like a really good idea even if it was 8.5 hours away.
Lastly, I have been really busy workwise and missing Thursday and Friday set me back...throw in a missed Monday too and I would have been stressed. I hate to be stressed. So I arrived home last night. Wish it was a longer trip but I had a blast! The girls had fun with Steve while I was gone and enjoyed the second half of their Spring Break.
I'll let you know about those photos... ;)
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
This is the first Spring Break in years that we have not gone on vacation...partly my fault. I made plans months ago with some high school friends to get together over this coming weekend, then I made other plans with some other girlfriends to go up a few days early for some shopping. I am leaving tomorrow for 5 days and that left our Spring Break week too broken up to really plan a good vacation. The girls have forgiven me...I think. It hasn't been a loss for them though. Emma has been staying busy with friends and going to the movies, plus she got some new clothes from Hollister and a new Wii game she has been loving. Ellie went shopping with me and yesterday we went to the local zoo to meet up with a brand new friend named Reese. Reese lives about 45 minutes from us and had brain cancer too. She was the first patient at MCV (local hospital where Ellie had her two brain surgeries) to go through the St. Jude protocol that Ellie had in Memphis. It is a very successful clinical but they did not offer it when we needed them to at MCV. Anyway- Reese's parents were following Ellie's story closely as Reese is about a year behind us with her treatment. They are a great family and we had a good time getting the girls together at the zoo yesterday. They have a lot in common being seven and cancer survivors. So inspirational and heart warming!
On top of all that, I have been very busy with work. Lots of orders to process and today will be very busy in order to get the majority of it done before I head out tomorrow morning. That's life... busy but wonderful.
Tucker is always ready with a ball in his mouth. Oh how this dog loves to play ball.
Loving all the green behind him
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Here are some photos from our weekend.