Friday, September 24, 2010



Just finished up today's orders and I am now ready to go pack for a long weekend in the Windy City. We have not had the pleasure of visiting Chicago before so we are all smiles to go. We are staying downtown at a very nice hotel and we will be packing in all the fun touristy things we can in 3 days. I am already dreaming of eating deep dish pizza and hanging out with my new BFF, Oprah. We are also going to speak on behalf of St. Jude and share Ellie's story. Praying for the right words to convince everyone to donate to this amazing hospital. They really only need to look at Ellie and how wonderful she is doing to know that aligning with St. Jude is definitely the way to go. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's Kanye Thursday!

Here is a photo collage of Kanye Jude for your viewing pleasure.
These were all taken this week. He is still loving his porch time during the day and watching the butterflies and birds tease him from the outside. After lounging on the porch for a bit, he manages to meander into my office looking for a playmate. He misses his buddy Ellie during the day. I don't tolerate as much playtime as Ellie so thankfully he's happy enough to hop up in the mailbins and take a nap. The other cats only tolerate so much Kanye time too and after a few pounces he gets the message. He certainly is a delightfully crazy little furball. kanyecolage

Monday, September 20, 2010

Birthday Wishes

My sweet baby has turned eight years old. I am finding it hard to believe that my oldest child is almost 14 and my youngest in now 8. Yes it needs to be repeated because you can never ever say it enough... 'Boy they sure grow up fast!'

Ellie has fought hard for the last 2.5 years of her life to continue to have birthdays and I am so privileged to celebrate them with her. She had a great day with family yesterday and in a few weeks she will party with friends when she throws a birthday bash. So proud of you baby. You are healthy, happy and always the brightest spot in my day. Wishing for you all the very best this year. xoxo

8 years old!
Look at the 8 year old smile.

Birthday Girl Ellie
Make a wish!

Grandma Marilyn
Ellie and Grandma Marilyn and our new friend Drift the dog that walks, pants and barks. Oh yes, the cats are beyond thrilled.

Lots of Webkinz hamsters from Grandma. So cute.

The girls and I made chocolate covered marshmellows, pretzels and strawberries. They were so yummy!

Chocolate dipped

chocolate freaks
Just look at these little chocolate vultures.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wednesday Thoughts

I have been thoroughly enjoying the first 2 weeks of school. I do miss the girls a little bit but man I love the uninterrupted time. I can get so much more accomplished.

I have added new T-shirt designs to Tickle Bellies. I love, love, love these. There are a ton of everyday and Halloween designs over at Tickle Bellies. Designs on onesies too. So cute!

halloween-candycorn bigbro1

This week I have educated myself about growth hormone therapy. Ellie should start getting injections next week. We just need to be checked off on the procedure from a nurse. All of the supplies arrived the other day. I am praying this only has positive side effects and nothing else. There is a scary undertone with growth hormone in the cancer world. Nothing that has medical merit but still it can make you crazy to read it. I am beginning to hate the late effects of cancer treatment. Managing and keeping an eye open for all the endocrine issues that may arise after brain radiation is a game I don't want to play anymore. Ellie is a trooper though as always and takes it all in with a big smile and a positive attitude. Mommy is the one that is being a baby.


My sweet Ellie turns 8 this weekend. Mouth watering treats are on the agenda so we can properly celebrate. Don't these look amazing!? Really, anything dipped in chocolate has got to be good. In early October she is having an American Girl Doll party with her friends. So happy she is here to celebrate another birthday! You know just what it is that I am wishing for when she blows those candles out.


There are a slew of amazing cupcakes just like this one here Prepare yourself before clicking.

The weather was horrid all summer long. It was hot, humid and just plain gross and now that I am able to focus 100% on work - mother nature showers us with absolutely gorgeous days in the 80s. What is wrong with you Mother Nature? Not cool.

Friday, September 10, 2010


Yesterday Emma brought in the mail after school and started doing the happy dance. The Justin Bieber poster and wristband she bought had arrived. She certainly loves that little mop of hair. She can barely contain herself with anticipation because in November we have floor seats (in the front section nonetheless) to his concert. Oh to be 13 again....



Thursday, September 9, 2010

On Mountain Time

Our day trip to Shenandoah National Park was wonderful. The weather was just right. Sunny and between 70-75 degrees. The fresh air, intoxicating campfire smells and crispness did wonders for me. I had my eyes peeled for birds but in early September there isn't too much southern migration going on. I think I was a week or two late.

We did see hundreds of butterflies. Too many varieties to even know what I was looking at. We also did not see any deer on this trip. I am sure if we were still there at dusk we would see plenty but we headed out around 5 pm. When we visited the park in early summer it was like a game of frogger trying to avoid hitting all the deer. I think mid-June is one of the best times to go to see all the birds and wildlife. Definitely going back next year at that time. Steve has promised to take me a little farther west in October to the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. I cannot wait to see beautiful autumn colors.

Here are some of my favorite photos from our day.

Old Rag Mountain
The girls in front of Old Rag mountain. Breathtaking...

monarch butterfly
Newly freed Monarch Butterfly

Well alright then!

From ME to GA
From Maine to Georgia and even into Venezula sometimes

Me and Steve :)
Me and my boy

Emma in Big Meadow Fields

Butterfly that I do not know the name of...
Another winged beauty

my beautiful girls.  :)
My girls - they rock!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of School

The girls went back to school today. We were all happy about that (especially mommy). It was time. Ellie has a fabulous teacher that has a great reputation of kindness, fairness and warmth. She has several friends in her class too and we are excited for a wonderful 2nd grade year with lots of learning accomplishments. I saw several kids crying today as I walked Ellie in. Some where little ones in kindergarten or first grade but there were a few older kids too. Ellie has always jumped head first into social scenes and fully embraces school. I am so grateful for her wonderful sense of self.

Emma entered her last year of middle school this morning. I am sure she had many potential suitors boys noticing her today as she continues to mature into a very beautiful young woman. She said the boys all seem to have changed - getting taller and filling out more. This may turn out to be an interesting year. Better stock up on margaritas and extra strength tylenol. I remember having my first 'boyfriend' in 8th grade. So it begins...

We had a fabulous holiday weekend and took a day trip to Shenandoah National Park on Sunday. It was the best weather of the summer by far. Perfect 75 degrees all day long. I wish we had more days like that over the last 3 months but more than anything I am grateful that the cooler air is coming. It was way too hot this summer. It was back into the 90s this afternoon so I guess I will have to practice patience a bit longer. I have a slew of mountain photos for next time. Today I will end with my girls heading back to school. I only have 2 photos of Emma because Steve drove her and a friend and he wouldn't dare take a photo of her at school. I so would.

Ellie's gear
Ellie's backpack and ladybug lunch sack.

Emma with her first day attire. Skinny jeans, Hollister shirt and pretty sandals.

8th grader
See what I mean about the booze and pain killers?

Ready for 2nd grade
Ellie is a vision in purple. Even with her wet hair and shirt.

Ellie and Mrs Edwards
Ellie and one of her biggest advocates, Mrs. Edwards, the principal of her elementary school.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Farewell Summer!

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

- Robert Frost


Thursday, September 2, 2010


... I am still in catch up mode from being gone last week from work. I am grateful to have lots of orders to process so no complaints from me. I am eager to get working on some other projects though so I am hoping to be caught up by today.

What else has been going on....
  • Steve celebrated his birthday on Monday.
  • Ellie received her 2nd grade teacher notification in the mail yesterday. She has scored one of the best teachers! Yahoo!
  • I caught Ellie reading on her own two times this week. Melts my heart that she is finally there.
  • Emma has been driving me crazy with all things Justin Bieber.
  • It's still hotter then, well you know what, outside. Where is Fall?
  • I am thoroughly enjoying Dan Brown's 'The Lost Symbol'. Fantastic reading.
  • I am soooo happy Hurricane Earl will not be bothering us in Richmond.
  • Steve wants to go to the OBX to watch the seas churn and the waves crash. He is a storm chaser at heart
  • Ellie and I head to Chicago at the end of the month for a St Jude speaking engagement with Tony Thomas.
  • We have never been to Chicago and are uber-excited to go
  • Thoughts of meeting Oprah swirl around in my head. (Don't be a dream crusher, I know it won't really happen)
  • I am loving this season of 'Weeds' on Showtime
  • Also loving a new show that follows 'Weeds' called 'The Big C'
  • I am currently designing a new line of T-shirts for Tickle Bellies
  • I am planning a fun weekend with girlfriends in NYC in early November
  • September is Childhood Cancer Awarness Month
  • Please donate to St Jude or Stand up to Cancer which airs this month

That's about all that is running through my mind over the last few days... now back to work!