Friday, January 28, 2011

random photo friday

I am so loving these cashews....num...num...num...

the innocence of youth. what fun to twirl and twirl in a pretty dress.

new sharpies put a smile on my face

Crazy Kanye
custom window treatments - way too much money.
one cray kitten from the local shelter - $45.00
watching crazy kitten slowly destroy curtains with antics - priceless

hanging in my office. :)

tucker and ellie share a squeeze before school.

Snow Love
there isn't too much love out there for snowflakes anymore
but we still are keeping the welcome light on...let it snow!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011



Ellie's new look! A few days after Christmas we went up to DC to get Ellie's new hair matrix. The treatment Ellie endured to cure her of brain cancer was brutal and has many long lasting effects to her body. Radiation was one part of her treatment plan. Radiation to the brain is as horrible and cruel of a treatment you can receive but in her case it made the difference between living and dying. Thankfully Ellie tolerated it very well and we just have a few issues to deal with, none that compromise her quality of life. Every child is different and uniquely responds to radiation. For Ellie, 80% of her hair was permanently damaged, for some kids there is no hair loss at all. It's so random. I am actually happy that her hair did not grow back because I wanted whatever that radiation beam was penetrating to die and never come back again. We thank God that Ellie's brain and her ability to think rationally and cognitively was not really affected...I will take hair loss over that on any day.

For the past 2.5 years after Ellie lost her hair she has been wearing cute designer head wraps. She has several colors to match all her outfits and they looked super stylish on her. Everyone just got so used to her that way and she fit right in at school. Some of the girls in her class even asked where they could get the same wraps for them to wear. { I know, isn't that sweet! } After treatment ended we thought her hair would grow back, perhaps be on the thin side, but it would grow back. After 2 years we realized it was not going to happen. Ellie was really fine with it all. I know she understands that some of her 'before cancer' life was gone but she had so many new rewards and appreciations that she didn't have before. In the big picture, hair wasn't so important. On occasion she would mention how she missed her long braids and of course, that broke my heart.

After accepting her hair loss we decided to check into some other hair alternatives. She didn't qualify for a hair transplant. A wig was uncomfortable and we heard that they often shifted or fell off making active play for a little kid difficult. So when we found the Hair Club for Kids and their 'hair matrix' we were intrigued. It's basically the same concept as a wig but is semi-permanent and adhered to her head with glue. It's real hair so she can wash it, swim in it and style it with a straightener. We were excited about our consultation but kept our excitement to a minimum just incase it wasn't what we wanted when the day came to have the hair put in place. Thankfully, it all worked out and she loved it and it felt fine on her head. We opted to have the hairdresser style this first time on the shorter side. This way we can gradually build up to longer hair. It's a bit boxy and full for us but we now have a better idea of what we want for the next time. In mid-Spring she will have a new hairpiece that we can style from scratch.

It's crazy to see her with hair but it melts my heart to see her growing up and away from cancer. Hair was the missing piece and now if you didn't know better, you would have no clue what she has been through. We are so grateful for all our blessings! Just look at that gorgeous little 8 year old!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

winter pick me up

I made a plant arrangement this week to fight the winter blahs. I actually do not mind winter for the most part. I like the snow and colder temperatures but here in Virginia we don't have as much as I did when I was growing up so I guess that is why I can tolerate it a bit more. My friends up north have totally had it with winter. They are so beyond done and there is more snow on tap mid-week for them. My girlfriend who lives outside Boston said that over 20 inches was expected this week. Really? She did happen to be skyping with me and had a few cocktails so I am not so sure about that total. Maybe they should go out and make some planters. That is if they can get out. {Insert evil grin here.}

When I was shopping at Target a few weeks ago they had galvenized buckets for $2.00. I love these buckets and you never know when you're gonna need one so of course it found its way into my cart. Last week, more shopping, but this time to the plant nursery because Emma needed 3 plants for her science fair project. (control subjects) while there I was enjoying their plant displays. All sorts of great arrangements. The price tag was not so great though. $35.00-45.00. So I purchased six $1.99 plants and decided the new galvenized bucket was the perfect home for these beauties. So for less than $15.00 I have a new planter in a hot pink tub to marvel at on drab winter days. See, the perfect winter pick me up and just think of all the new oxygen that
we will be breathing in.

lots of different plant varieties in here. Can't wait to watch them fill out.


Monday, January 17, 2011

I think I have ADD

It seems I have no time lately because I am so busy but I also don't seem to be accomplishing all that much. I may be getting mid-life Attention Defecit. Please tell me where my focus has gone? I find myself getting absorbed into the world of Facebook way too much. It's such a black hole to get sucked into and I think I need an intervention. There is also a new game (on Facebook, where else) called Zuma Blitz that I am addicted to. You play against your Facebook friends and you know of course I want to beat everyone. It's a challening game to play too and it has basically been taunting me like a mean spirited little kid to keep playing and to get better and have the highest score. I easily lose an hour to two hours of my life without even realizing it. Yes, time for a Facebook intervention.

The other part of the problem is not being on schedule lately. The girls started back to school in early January but then Mother Nature decided to send some snow and ice our way so we had school closings and delays. I like a snow day just as much as anyone. But I only like one. Two in a row starts to make me cranky. Also, while said inclement weather was happening, Steve was in Nashville for work for 4 days. I have to give my husband props for all he does on the family level. He has no problem making dinner or carpooling or doing laundry or anything like that. We are a pretty good team when it comes to household chores and responsibilies so when he is gone, I really feel it. There is so much more for me to do. So I am hoping, with fingers crossed, that after today's MLK holiday, the girls will be back in school with no interruptions from here on out. I will try to ignore Facebook and focus on work and other meaningful activities and actually accomplish things. Now that sounds like a plan! Now if only I could get those Zuma Blitz drumbeats out of my ears that are constantly calling to me to play just one more game...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I love these plates...

Ellie and I decided to stop at Pier One Imports on our way home from the post office today. When we walked in these amazing bird plates caught my eye immediately. I fell hard for them.

I knew I had to have them and at $5.00 a plate it was easy to convince my pocketbook that I should have them too. I decided that the kitchen would be the best place to display them since that is the room we are in the most and I want to see them, like all the time. So I moved my wrought iron trivet from one wall to another and within a few minutes my kitchen was adorned with 3 cheerful bird plates. I so heart them. Don't you?

Isn't this the cutest plate?

I like the green and red the best but yellow needs to be in there to break up those 'Christmas' colors. A wedgewood blue plate would have been fabulous in the middle.

They make me happy. :)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friends Forever

Sharing a photo of our oldest cat Dodge and our lab Tucker. Dodge is 12.5 and has been with us since we found him as a wee baby living in the engine of our old Dodge truck. He is a good and faithful feline that has about 1 life left. He has been through a lot in his 12 plus years and all of it is due to him being an outdoor cat. We would keep him in if we could be he loves to be out on warm days chasing after squirrels and he will meow and meow and meow (you get the point) to go out.

Tucker is 5 and was a birthday present for Emma's 9th birthday. He is OCD with playing ball but he has a good heart and wants to be everyone's friend. He's not much in the guard dog department which I guess is good since he wouldn't hurt a fly and definitely would never even think about growling at the kids. He tolerates all 5 of our cats really well with Phoebe being his BCF (best cat friend). Dodge is his outdoor buddy though and they will often share food, sun spots and his dog bed as demonstrated in the below photo. Notice the tennis balls. OCD all the way...

Tucker & Dodge

Monday, January 3, 2011

I ♥ Faces ~ Best Face of 2010 Challenge

I love this photo of Ellie.


Check out the other great faces of 2010 on iheartfaces website

Sunday, January 2, 2011