Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Inaugural Flight

Barring a few small setbacks including a severe cough and runny nose on JP and bad cough from Madi, we have arrived safe & sound in the most magical place on earth. Walt Disney World!

Oh, and did I mention JP and the #pukeonaplane? Ugh.

The kiddos earned their wings today with not one flight, but two, with a short layover in chilly, rainy Michigan. We rode on a moving sidewalk, an escalator, an elevator, a shuttle, a tram, two planes, a bus, a golf cart, and one of us, a stroller. Phew. We're exhausted.

We're all in bed early ready to hit the Magic Kingdom in the morning.

See you then!

Disney Surprise Unveiling

My plan went off without a hitch. Well, almost. It did take the kiddos a few more hints than I thought it would to get the big surprise. Once they did, Madi didn't seem to believe us. She kept asking "Really?" after everything we tried to tell her.

We've got it on video and we have a cute collage of surprise shots we made at JCP Portraits. The girls did a really good job and loved being in on the surprise.

I think it still hasn't quite sunk in for either kiddo. I'm hoping when we arrive at Cinderella' s Castle they'll be surprised even more.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I Am Exhausted

I need this vacation. In less than two days we’ll be on our way to the airport hotel and then on our way to Disney the next morning. I can’t wait.

I’ve waited and waited for this surprise for my kiddos and am ready to blow their minds. We are all set for 4 o’clock on Monday for our big Disney Surprise Reveal. I don’t think I could be any more prepared. Well, then again.

After the reveal we will head to the airport and spend the night there so we don’t have to get up so early the next morning. That’s if we sleep any way. Which I seriously doubt.

I need a nap just thinking about that actually. Seriously, I just yawned.

I have been on a whirlwind of to do lists for over a month now and am honestly ready for this to be over. Not the trip, just the preparation for it. It’s tiring.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wanted: Babysitter

Wanted: reliable, dependable babysitter to cover Saturday afternoon gap of Mom & Dad's overlapping work schedule.

Must be able to:

Think on your feet;
Cook frozen pizza on a cookie sheet, not a plastic cutting board;
React fearlessly when JP hands you a baby snake in the yard;
Pass a drug test when trying to get a job we know about;
Answer a text respectfully when asked your availability;
Recommend a backup sitter without altamatums and stipulations;
Leave the BF or GF at home when sitting for the kiddos;
Be flexible when not needed occasionally;
Handle one puppy and one dog with care and positive discipline;
Respect silly rules in place for kiddos;
Play with the kiddos with no TV.

Apply within. Anytime.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Heaven's Welcome Party

My thoughts of late are always drifting to the Millers. I'm really not sure how they do it. I'm trying to understand. Understand facing death head on and preparing for it rather than denying it or putting it off.

It takes strength to do so. I, for one, don't have that strength.

I believe in Heaven.  I truly believe our loved ones are "up there" somewhere watching over us, Praying for us, keeping us safe (as safe as God allows them).

So, in that belief, I've been daydreaming of all of those loved ones that Clint will soon meet in Heaven. I picture them preparing for his arrival with a huge celebration followed by receiving his Angel Wings  and then Angel Training (and I'm pretty sure he can skip ahead a few grades in that).

I think the Welcome Party will last quite a long time. I've already decided there is a huge following of just my loved ones alone waiting for him. Besides that, I picture the 900+ people Praying for him on his Prayer Board that have a welcome committee ready at the helm too.

Here's just a few of mine.

Pat- My Mother In Law was not around long enough to ever meet our children. For that, I am always saddened. As a small comfort, JP's "P" is in her memory.

Herbie- My Father In Law, gone too soon also, but to be with his wife forever. He's Gone Fishing.

My Nickerson Grandparents- I never respected enough their place in my lives. I was an awful grandchild to them and regret it every day.

Laura Beth Moyer- mourning her school suicide prevented me from trying again.

Grampie- Gone when I was in 8th grade and one of my first memories of a Funeral.

Julia- my name sake, my biological Grandmother gone when my Dad was much too young. Someday, I will sit in Heaven picking her brain for hours (or however we measure time in Heaven).

My child not meant to be.

Madi's GodMom's Dad, the most recent arrival to Heaven. Gone just last night, too quickly.

I hold onto the hope that these loved ones are ready to hold Clint's hand when it's time and guide him Home.

I read just last night "Love the people God gave you because He will need them back one day."

I believe it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Signs by The Heart

Meet Carolyn Phinney, local owner of Signs by Tomorrow, Dover, DE. Trust me, you'll need this link by the time I'm through with you. That's her in the picture with her wrapped SUV.

Carolyn and I met in September of 2007 through the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Central Delaware class. We were Room Mates in Rehoboth for the kick off retreat for the class. Poor Carolyn had endure rooming with me during my puking pregnancy with JP. I warned her ahead of time via telephone just to give her a fair shot at a good weekend. She was a trooper. 

Carolyn and I have remained friends since and have seen each other here and there over the past 4 years and always seem to pick up where we left off. As Facebook Friends we follow along in each other's lives and comment back and forth to keep in touch. 

A couple of years ago Carolyn put her Leadership Skills to the test in taking on a new adventure as a small business owner. So far, she has rocked it. She is out in the community making a difference.

Here's the proof, and brings me to my point. This morning, while catching up on my Facebook and Twitter timelines, here's what caught my eye. 
On the road today I saw a woman in the parking lot of a vet's office bawling...I drove past, went to the florist down the road, got her flowers (thanks Cook & Smith Florists for donating when I was going to pay), drove back, walked right up to her and told her that I saw her while I was driving and knew she needed something to let her know that life was going to be OK. I handed her the flowers, told her she was loved and I'd pray for her over the loss of her cat, gave her a hug and left. I don't know her but she is human, like all of us, and is heartbroken so I hope that my one act of kindness may help heal her a little more quickly.
I'll let that sink in for a moment. Read it again.  

Not only did this business owner take a moment to perform this act of kindness but she inspired a second small business to jump on board, in a matter of what was probably 5 minutes. Two local businesses, Signs by Tomorrow and Cook & Smith Florists, putting aside business and being Humans. Human beings with a heart, with a care, with a hope that they would make a small difference in this neighbor's day. 

I often joke about our Small Town Delaware and the 2 degrees of separation we have. I've lived here 36 years (which is amazing considering I'm 29) and yet stories of "who knows who" amaze me every day.  I'm waiting to see how cool this one plays out. Perhaps these community friends will find out that this sad neighbor that lost her beloved cat is the sister of the brother of the friend of a friend that has a kid that plays on Carolyn's son's Football Team. Who knows? Or, that the sad cat owner was a nurse at the local hospital that went on to make the day of a patient by taking a moment to sit and talk with them in their room. Who knows? 

Or, one day down the road these two local businesses will have a Patron walk through their door and say that they chose their business based on the act of kindness they showed one random day in November, when they made a difference in more than one woman's day.

Carolyn, I am so inspired by you.


Thursday, November 10, 2011


I’ve finally decided on our #DisneySurprise reveal. It hit me out of the blue on the way to work yesterday morning and I put it into motion the very same evening.

I stopped by JCPenney Portraits while Madi was at CCD last night. I pitched my idea to the photographer and she LOVED it. She was so tickled that I was so into making this such a surprise for my kiddos. I jokingly reminded her how I’m the “Prop Mom” when it comes to getting their pictures done. She chuckled and said she loves parents that get into the spirit of photos.

Anywho, the night before our flight we have Holiday Family Photos scheduled for 4pm. We’ll take the kiddos in (whether Hubs and I are getting in the pic has yet to be decided) for their Christmas pictures. I’m thinking Mickey & Minnie Pajamas for casual photos. Either that or a nice outfit for both.

JP is not a fan of getting his picture taken. Mommy is pretty much banking on that for the #DisneySurprise Reveal. After a couple of photos and himming and hawing Mommy will pull out her bag of props and start taking things out one at a time to add to the picture. Hubs and I will begin tossing (nicely) the items at the kiddos to confuse them a little. In the bag I’ll include a toy airplane, a bag of snacks, Mickey & Minnie Tees, and each of their stuffed animals they like to sleep with (JP more so than Madi, but you get the idea).

As we’re pulling things out of the bag the JCP photographer has agreed to continue shooting pics here and there to capture the moment. They are also thrilled with the idea of us bringing our own video camera.

I’m hoping by the end of the bag Madi, Miss Smarty Pants that she is, pieces it all together. I’m also hoping for some really loud screaming and jumping and the most surprised little kiddos I’ve ever seen. I am ecstatic for them already and we still have a little under three weeks to go.

Now, if only Mommy can keep her mouth shut until then…?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Update On Our Friend

Hi all.

Trinity is doing well. She is resting comfortably in the ICU. Her Hubs is now sleeping by her side. I'm letting them sleep as long as they can.

Trinity was wheeled back for surgery at 7:30 and by 12 we were being moved to the ICU waiting room while they got her settled into her room. She asked for her Hubs right away so the nurse came and got him and took Mom back, too. The nurse then stopped Hubs and reminded him that Trinity wanted her Chapstick. That made us all smile.

The surgery went well. But, as quoted from her Mom "They had to do an indirect bypass because her temporal arteries were too small to do the direct. She had an indirect temporal muscle flap. This could take months to tell if it worked." Basically, what they intended to do, they couldn't because her arteries were too skinny. She had worried about this as the doctor had told her that's the one place you don't want to be skinny.

The good news is that they had a Plan B. The bad is that it's not an immediate, quick solution. It's a slower solution that will take time to work.

Since I started writing I have been able to see her.

I just got back from sitting with her. She's concerned that her friends know she's ok. She is in a lot of pain but they are trying their best to manage it.

Please continue your Prayers for her. I told her I would ask you all to Pray for the pain to be more manageable.

And Then He Hit Me with A Ton of Bricks, And I Am Honored

A few months back, T had a question for me. It was a doozy.

We talked a little about it and then, who knows, either one of the kiddos interrupted, or one of us got distracted, or, I don't know, life sidetracked us.

Then last month we went on our little road trip to Pittsburgh for her Gram's Funeral. And we skirted around the question a little again. Very little.

Sitting in the waiting room during and after her Moyamoya Brain Surgery today, there was no denying the question and the subsequent answer. Not that there was EVER a question about my answer.

T's Hubs introduced me to a friend as T's Sister from another Mister

and, as of signed paperwork a week ago, the guardian of his children if anything should ever happen to the two of them.

This Is Choppy, Sorry About That

Being in places such as these give you such an appreciation of so many things.

Health, obviously being at the top of the list. But so many other things, too.

Family. I am grateful for the Family I have, the Family I am shaping and of the Friends' Families that I have grown to be a part.

Education. Not necessarily mine. But that of the doctors and nurses and health professionals for the job they live and breathe every day.

Selflessness. I've passed several patient rooms with no visitors. I'm hoping their visitors are just out to lunch or gone home to shower. I'm hoping.

There are more, but I'll treasure them quietly.

I'm finding myself reminded of how lucky I am. How lucky my family is. And I am grateful.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Didn't You See That Back There?!

A funny thing happened today. I re-introduced my kiddos to Auto Bingo. I think the first time we played JP was probably too small.

This time, the kiddo got it. And by "got it" I mean obsessed with it.

He wouldn't mark anything off that Sissy said she saw. He says "Sissy, iF I doN't see iT, I not maRk iT oFF!"

He wouldn't mark anything off that wasn't on his side of the car. (I'm not admitting to how many times I turned around to make it his side of the car.)

He wouldn't mark anything off that wasn't EXACTLY like the picture showed it.

And, every time I turned even remotely close to looking like we were headed home, he got upset. "We not go home!" He insisted that we could not go home until we found everything on his card. that included a Silo, a haystack, a motel (nobody tell him that motel is next to the titty bar, k?), a bus, a post office, A NO LEFT TURN SIGN! I mean, really!? A no left turn sign!?

Oh, and the kicker of them all: a public phone! Yeah, right! What!?