Monday, January 28, 2008

The Pizza that made Julia Roberts famous......

Also happens to be in our top three all time favorite pizza's!

Located on Main street in Mystic Connecticutt, this pizza joint is really worth the trip!

The atmosphere is fun too with photos of the movie and other hollywood memorabilia hung all over the walls.

My Grandmother loves the pizza and whenever she comes to visit us, we make a point to drive the 50 minutes south she can get her fill!

If you are ever in New England, put this place on your list of places to visit!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Lollipop, Lollipop, oooo lolli-lolli-lolli, lollipop!!!!

Thought you could use a little sweetness this morning!!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Potatoes for Eight

When you are used to cooking for two, the thought of planning meals for eight can be quite challenging! For the past two days, I've been watching my mom kind of re-live parts of her life. Gone are the days when she was responsible for the nutritional needs of growing teenagers and pre-schoolers. Planning pleasing meals for a big family has become foreign territory and the days of cutting up 5 pounds of potatoes for a single meal are but a distant memory for her.
In her day, she could do it better than anyone I knew. Perhaps if we lived closer and were in each other's company regularly, these skills would not have gotten so rusty. But, check her out! She's hit a home run every night and we have been so blessed to have her here to help us. I guess it's just like riding a bike! Familiar smells and sights of my growing up years are teasing my senses as I see my mom running things in the kitchen. She is amazing! She always has been.
If I close my eyes, I can almost transport myself back in time to the days when I was the self absorbed teen in the house completely unaware of what it takes to run a home and care for a family. Thinking that I knew it all and was the enlightened one. Completely taking for granted the love and care that went into everything my mom did to make sure that we were all happy and comfortable. There were some things I could always count on. Mom would be home when I came home from school and we'd have a great dinner at the table as a family almost every night.
That is a gift she gave me and one that I try to give my own family. Family dinners are very important to us.

My sweet grandmother has been right in there helping things run as smoothly as possible. My children are so blessed to say that they know their great grandmother as well as they know her.

Now, I'm not usually so proud of my tomatoe slicing skills....but since this is my first real contribution to any meal in almost a month, I'm gonna brag on them!!

I think my kids are really enjoying having Nana and "Great" Nana here. They lend a bit of security and a nuturing quality that we really need right now.
Check out how much Michael has grown in the past 4 months! I think he's aquired an extra two inches just out of the blue!

And of course Bren is in Nana Heaven!!! She came home with "Blade" after a shopping trip out with Nana and Great Nana.

Tonight is family fun night. We've had this tradition for the past 4 years. Every Friday we order pizza and watch a movie together. Tonight we lose two regulars. Zachary and Michael are going on a retreat with the youth group and wont be home until Sunday. But we also gain two. I'm sure my mom and grandma will welcome the night off of kitchen duty!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Grounded.......... we are supposed to be in the air right now. All excited over what awaits us for the week ahead in Seattle. Full of wonder over all of the possibilities that we'd be faced with as we view a long list of rentals all over the area. We should be holding hands, giddy, feeling like we are on the honeymoon we never had....delighted to be away together to spend some one on one time before a seven month deployment.
We should be just about in Chicago right now for our three hour lay-over where we'd have deep dish pizza for lunch. We'd have fun just being together while waiting to board our second flight to Seattle where we'd pick up our rental car and make our way to our hotel. After dinner in Seattle, we'd spend lots of time going over our list of possible rentals and neighborhoods we wanted to check out.
That is where we should be, what should be happening...but here I am still sitting in my room dealing with day 23 of ankle injury/surgery recovery! I had a doctors appointment today and got to see where my scar will be once the surgical site heals. It isn't really that bad, but my swollen black and blue foot is pretty sad looking. I was fitted with a boot today and given the instructions to do as many foot flexes as I can to work on my range of motion. It is painful to flex my foot, but the more I do it, the more range of motion I will get.
I am allowed to rest my foot on the ground now for balance, but I'm still non-weight bearing. The Doctor wants me to be non-weight bearing for four more weeks and then I can gradually start putting more and more weight on it.
Right now, when I am up and around I'll need to wear the boot, but just sitting around in bed or on the couch, I wont need the boot and can work on flexes. The best news is that I wont need the boot to shower so the days of wrapping my foot up in a trash bag are over!
We cancelled our trip to Seattle yesterday. It was my choice. I just knew. Even if the doctor said I was cleared to go, I knew that I would be in too much pain and discomfort to enjoy it. I knew I would not be able to view the top floors of any of the 2-story houses we had chosen and that it would just be way too much hassel to crutch my way every where we went. I'm not one of those champion crutchers. I'm not graceful in them and I always look like I'm just one mistep away from wiping out on them.
It was my choice. But that doesn't make it any easier.
My mom and grandma are here. We booked their flights here to watch the kids while we were away. Now they are here to be my extra foot for the next two weeks as my mom put it and to take some of the burden off of David. I'm so thankful for their help. It is super, super hard to just sit here and watch them do all the things that I should be doing, but I know they are here because they love me, and I keep reminding myself that it's important to let them care for the family in my place. It's important that I heal and heal well. I've got a count down until David deploys and I need to be well by then.
I'll post some pics of the new "dork" boot soon! :)

Friday, January 18, 2008

For Nana......

A package arrived today!!!

A very special one!

One that has been the motivation behind the dozens of phone calls placed to Nana by a curious little girl driven crazy by anticipation.

One that Nana said would be here soon.

One that we counted down the days for.

One that was worth the wait and Bren just absolutely loves!!!!

"Thank you for my baby, Nana!!!
I'm naming her Rosie because her cheeks turn pink when she feels sick".

I love you!

Daddy's Princess

It's been so heart warming watching these two bond over the past 19 days.

Today was another errand day and Bren needed her hair blow dried before she could leave for an exciting day with Daddy.

She so loves these errand days and David says that she is always such a joy to take along. She enjoys shopping and being out on the town, so with me being down, it's so nice that David looks forward to bringing her with him.

It just melts my heart watching David be so gentle and attentive with Bren. She sat there for him way longer than she ever sits for me. She just sat there content and unmoving except for her feet which she playfully swung back and forth.

I think she felt special, paid attention to, cherished and just down right loved by the most important man in her world right now, and that is what being daddy's princess is all about.

That kind of sense of being loved causes an unmistakeable glimmer in the eyes and glow on the skin. Happiness that bubbles up from within and just explodes with sparkling giggles that dance around in the air lending their giddiness to the weariest of souls.

Lucky. Lucky, Girl!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Busy work for bored hands....

Ok, it's Day 18 since my injury and I am soooooo done with this bed! I mean really, really done! I need something to do to keep my mind busy besides reading e-mails and blogs and searching craigslist for houses in the Everett, Washington area.
So, today David brings me a huge bin of bows and hair accessories to sort. I am trying to make the donate pile bigger than the keep pile. We'll be moving across country soon and so it is very necessary to downsize.

It was fun going through all of those millions and millions of bows! Funny thing is, the bigger Bren's head gets the smaller her bow size of choice is.

Coming from the south and being deeply rooted in the e-bay custom boutique world, Bren has definitely been a big bow girl for most of her life!! When people would comment on them we would always say that it was a great way to keep from loosing her in a crowd. Those bows are hard to overlook!

Walk down memory lane with me......

These days Bren's all about clippes, hair flowers, cool headbands and smaller bows.
Speaking of fun accessories, my friend Beki from Pampering Beki makes some adorable clippies and hair flowers along with some beautiful jewelry for little girls and moms too. Check out her etsy store and she's got a fun contest on her blog right now!
In other news.....
I'm Sooooo Happy that American Idol has made it's return! One can only watch so much FOX News, HGTV and re-runs before one snaps!!! It has been entertaining so far, hasn't it? Do you have your favorites yet? I've got a few!
Since Greys Anatomy is a re-run tonight, I'll be looking forward to watching Celebrity Apprentice. I've enjoyed that so far. I'm really rooting for Stephen Baldwin since he has a ministry that I think is awesome. Having two teenage boys, I'm so appreciative that there are things out there like this!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Apples, Bananas & Sushi!

So David and Bren went out to run errands today and they came back with goodies!!!

They stuffed a basket with lots of snacky things and brought it up to sit beside my bed. awwwww!

And they brought me sushi for lunch! Yum!!!

And a few days ago, David brought home this cushy seat back to try to help me fight the never ending "pillow to brick" syndrome that seems to plague me!
And of course a few time spenders for Bren! She LOVES to do workbooks and it's something that she can sit here and do beside me.

I. am. blessed.

Ebay Listing Frenzy!!!

OK, it has begun!
I listed 14 auctions last night and I have about 75 to go! I'm going to try to list another dozen today. These will be auctions of the sets Bren has modeled that I already have photos available for. I have tons of other clothing auctions that I need to take photos of before I list.
These will be girls sizes 2T-5T, 8-14 and boys sizes 10-14.
I've also got several books, vhs movies and a like new twin bed princess quilt.

I also have a babylock surger, a Kenmore elite sewing/embroidery machine that I will be selling along with about $1,500 worth of beads and their storage systems and about $800 worth of ribbon and other craft items. Basically I'm selling off my previous accessory making business to put all of my focus into my photography. I'm not sure if I'm going to list these on e-bay or not. I think I would rather either sell them in one big lot or in individual smaller lots without having to auction everything, but we'll see how it goes. I've got a little interest in them already, but if you think you might be interested in any of all of theses items, contact me and we can discuss pricing.
I've also got a 70-300mm lens that I am listing and maybe an 18-55mm too. I'm also listing a nikon N65 film slr camera. The two lenses I am listing are compatible with this great little film camera. I may list the three together.
Here's where you can find my auctions...
Keep checking back as there will be lots of auctions listed in the next week!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Whoo-hoo...Snow Day!!!!

My kids are so excited! This is their first official Snow Day! They've had days where it snowed, but this is the first day that snow has canceled school! Their giddiness is palpable!
Being the excellent parents that we are, David and I are totally using this as leverage!
So, David brought out "The List" and right now the dust is flying at my house! The wonderful smell of Mr. Clean permeates the air and I can hear the vacuum running in the distance....ah! Music to my ears!
They've each got about three major tasks that need to be done before the snow gear goes on and they leave the house for a day of sledding behind our house.
I can't wait to go downstairs in about an hour to see the fruits of their labor and to also see the snow! Most of our windows are covered with plastic to keep the drafts out, so I haven't seen the snow yet. I'll get some pictures and post them soon.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Musings from the Bed part 2.......

More things I have learned while laying here in bed for 13 days....
1. No matter how many pillows you send your husband out to buy, they will all feel like bricks after laying on them for a few days.
2. Whatever you do, when it's been a week since you've seen the downstairs floor of your home, DO NOT go down isn't pretty!
3. No amount of pain killers can dull the annoyance of mouthy teenagers!
4.When you are propped in the same position on a memory foam mattress, it forgets the original flat position and will look like a bird's nest from day 6 on.
5. Ceareal is hard to eat in a semi-laying down position.
6. You can only watch so many political debates before you begin to think that kermit the frog would make a better president than all of them.
7. No matter how many times they show that dream house on HGTV, I still do not like that bedroom, nor do I think it is a good idea to build three new houses on either side of it blocking the gorgeous view of the Ocean!
8. No matter how few calories are consumed, there is no way to lose weight laying flat on your back for almost two matter how many toe wiggles you do!

More about the surgery:

First of all I have to reiterate how wonderful that IV was! I cannot tell you how much I have been tortured by them in the past. I let the first nurse who was working with me know that I was a hard stick, so she went to get someone else. This lady came in so confident and understanding. She said she had also been tortured in the past by IV's and had made it one of her goals to be good at it. When she actually suck me, we were talking about my photography, so I really barely felt it at all. The art of distraction, works every time.

Waking up in the recovery room was both shocking and scary. I had been told that I would be given some meds before I woke up that would make me comfortable until about 4 hours after the surgery.....but I woke up in soooo much pain. I remember moaning with every breath and trying to stop shaking. I was given more pain meds twice by IV until I could tolerate the pain and calm my shaking.

As soon as I gaged my pain at about a 5, they wheeled me down to a room where David could come and sit with me. I heard the nurses talking about how anxious David was to see me and how often he'd asked about me. They said he was very presistent but sweet. aw! I guess I had been in that recovery room far longer than anticipated so he was getting antsy.

After eating a packet of crackers, washing them down with gingerale, and swallowing two pain pills, my IV was removed and I was able to get dressed and leave.

My friend Michelle had kept Bren all day so that Bren could play with her pals Finn and Bella. When Michelle dropped Bren off, she also brought us a pan of lasagna, a big bowl of salad, crusty bread with herbed butter and the most decadent chocolate cupcakes ever! She's such a doll! Bren and Finn made me some get well hearts while at Michelle's. It was such a sweet little surprise.

I rested comfortably for a few hours and then the pain started creeping in. At about 10:00 pm, every time I moved I felt like my ankle was being burned with a branding iron! Yikes!! It was official, all of the IV meds had worn off and now my ankle was angry and let me know it!

Day 2 after surgery was a blur and full of tears! I cried because I was in pain, I cried because I had to crutch to the bathroom, I cried because my pillows were bricks, I cried because David had so much to do since I was immobilized, I cried because I ever fell in the first place! I think I used up all of my tears for the year already and we are only in day 11 of 2008!

The hospital called early that morning to see how I was and to see how the pain meds were working. I let them know how much pain I was feeling and they advised me to call my doctor and see if I could get the dosage increased. Dr, Bradley did so without question and I was relieved to know that I would get a little more power out of them. Even still, as it approached an hour until my next dose, I was in tears counting every minute down. I spent most of day 2 just trying to hold it together between pain med doses. Every little thing was an irritant and I just wanted to be alone in my dark room. I kept the TV on hoping I'd be distracted enough while I was awake to rise above the pain, but it didn't work as much as I needed it to. There was a lightening storm outside most of that day which really reflected how I felt inside.

I awoke this morning at 5:30 am to crutch my way to the bathroom. The first thing I said as I pulled myself up out of bed was, "Thank you Lord!" I no longer felt the hot iron branding and the pain I did feel was far more manageable than it had been the day before. The skies had parted, the sun was out and even though I'm still ready for my pain pill before my dose is due, I'm not in tears anymore waiting for it.

It only gets better from here! All down hill, baby!!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

I'm Home!!

I'm really, really groggy from all the meds, so this will be short, but I just wanted everyone to know that all went well. I didn't have to have that one big screw in my ankle because it is staying in socket just fine.
I had the Queen of IV's do mine for me and it was a breeze! All that lost sleep worrying for nothing. I asked her to follow us to every duty station we go to so that if I ever need another one, she'll be there to do it!
I'm again overwhelmed by all the e-mails of well wishes and promise of prayers that came my way!
Thank you all so much.
I'm going to sleep now.
Much love!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Starbucks Schmarbucks!

Ohhhhhhhhh, that Venti Java Chip Frappe is the bain of my existence!!! What on earth possessed me to infuse myself with an ungodly amount of caffeine when, HELLO, I am immobilized?!!!!!
So much for 8 pee free hours! I'm now dispensing straight black coffee into the toilet every 28 minutes!
I am convinced that there is a family of spiders that have taken up residence and are mulitplying as we speak deep inside of my cast! They are running up and down my foot and causing much frustration on my part!
I have a sudden urge to clean my shower with a toothbrush, no matter how I have to arrange myself to do so! I must fiddle. with. something. NOW!!
I have chatted and giggled incesently with two separate nurses who have called to get me pre-registered for tomorrow. I am sure they have ear marked my medical folder for phsychiatric evaluation!
I have no idea if any amount of anesthesia exists that can bring me down from this crazy buzz!!!
Sweet nectar of heaven ( as I had called this drink in a previous post) my butt!

4 a day for survival

I wish I could personally hug each of you who have sent an e-mail, left a comment, had flowers and goodies delivered or made a phone call to me during this trying time. I really, really appreciate it so much! You have all made me feel so loved and cared for. It's been indescribeably uplifting to my soul and I thank you very much for even the smallest of gestures has gone miles and miles toward helping me maintain a positive outlook!

Here are some cyber hugs for you. (all pics were used with permission)

Ah! Now doesn't that feel good? And rightly so!

Being from the south, I am no stranger to hugging someone's neck...even upon a first meeting. It's just a way of life down there.

It's been said that we need

4 hugs per day for survival,

8 for maintenance

and 12 for growth!

You can't give one without getting one!

Here are some "hugs" I've gotten recently....

From my Cherry Tree Avenue Girls....

Thank you so much girls! You have no idea how happy this made me when it was delivered yesterday!!

And from my own sweet, sweet husband.....

A Venti Java Chip Frappe from Starbucks (sweet nectar of heaven!)

and some inspiration!

Love you, hon!!