Thursday, September 3, 2009

Buy a Duck, Help the Poor.......

I am a member of the St Andrew Conference of St Vincent de Paul Society. The society is made of volunteers whose mission is to grow closer to Christ while serving the poor - you can read about the national St Vincent De Paul society here. The organization is divided into groups by location who serve the poor in their area, not just the parishioners or catholics, but EVERYONE.

Our conference has been hit incredibly hard with requests. I volunteer on the Intake Line. I take messages off our voice mail which are requests for aid and call the people back to get pertinent information for our case workers. I have cried after hearing some people's stories, and it's hard speaking with someone knowing we may not be able to help them out financially - though our wonderful case workers do everything they can, and when there is no money they try to help direct clients to other resources. Our group is funded by the generosity of our parishioners - because the economy is not so great right now, like most other organizations we have been hit meaning we haven't been able to get all the funds needed. The volume of requests has skyrocketed and well, people don't have as much to give lately.


At the St Andrew picnic, we are having a Duck Float "Raffle". You can purchase a rubber duck for only $5 which will be assigned a number and set afloat in the pond between the church and the river. Our raffle win consist of someone - guessing Monsignor, pulling a duck out of the pond - wondering if they will get him in a rowboat since we have the St Andrews Rowing Club on our property. Whoever sponsor's the rescued duck will win a prize is $500 cash, and we will have some smaller prizes also. I am selling my lucky ducks through Sept 25th, the picnic is October 3rd.

After expenses - IE cost of rubber ducks and prize monies are subtracted from all money collected, 100 percent of the balance will go in the St Vincent De Paul account to help serve the poor in our community. We answer all calls and will meet with any individual or not to try to assist - whether Catholic or not - and we need your help!

Its truly a wonderful organization and makes a difference in people's lives who have been set back for a variety of reasons. The money raised will help provide rental assistance, food, diapers, utility bills, car repairs, and a host of other financial needs from those who have fallen on hard times. This money really makes a difference and even though you will probably never see the face it helps or hear the thank you, the clients we serve are incredibly grateful.


There are duck purchase volume discounts. Let me know if interested! I can tell you more specifically about it. I have been charged with selling a minimum of 30 ducks.....won't you please help out the poor and help out poor old me meet my quota? Hey, the odds are way better than mega millions and though the financial payoff isn't as rich, the benefits come from the spirit of giving and helping out which have far greater reward.

You can give me the $$, mail it to me or heck, I will do paypal and donate the cash in your name.

" If someone who has worldly means sees a brother in need and refuses him compassion, how can the love of God remain in him? Children, let us love not in word and speech, but in deed and truth." - 1 John 3:17-18

Saturday, August 29, 2009

"She will yell to Hell with Georgia, Like her Mama Used to do....."

For those who don't recognize the title, its a line from the my Alma mater's song, Rambling Wreck from Georgia Tech. Actually the REAL song has daddy but us gals at Tech would sing mama because we knew our daughters could do more than just dress in white and gold and walk around campus to cheer up the male students as the song suggests.

Being a Ga Tech grad, I do have my geeky side. I like sci fi and lets face it, I can be a dork. I pride myself on being able to relate to geeks and was always able to work with the most technical people in my previous professional life despite the fact I am NO engineer and would say I am NOT a math person - am clueless when it comes to technical stuff. NOTE: I was never an Engineering major at Tech, I went in and graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Industrial Management.....which at the time was "the easy major" not so easy for me, I am just happy I graduated!

My darling husband is a web developer and yes, he is a geek also.....though a cool one from Cali. I have been wondering if Sarah Cate will become a geek with her genetics.

Despite the fact I have sworn in the past my daughter will not be a girly girl - which is now out the window as we are totally in a princess phase, I purchased the Rose Petal Cottage playhouse - hey it was marked down so cheap after Christmas they were practically giving them away! SC loves to take things in her cottage and just hang out sometimes.

I noticed this week through the little door, it was packed with some books.......along with a few toys

and on closer examination, realized she wants to be a developer like her dad. If you ask her about the said books, she will say "Animals", But I am sure she was brushing up her mad IT skills.
I think she is also preparing for our kitchen renovation as I found her looking at this book yesterday and saying "House" aloud over and over again.

Oh the books she pulls off the shelf. All this from a cute little one who insists on wearing her Snow White costume once daily and sleeps with 10 various Disney Princess dolls. I think she is going to be one smart, technical, handy, and artisitic young lady! Mom is so proud of her book choices. Perhaps she is destined to yell "To Hell With Georgia" like her mama used to do.

In order to honor my daughter and her geeky side and complex nature, my inner creative dork wrote this 5 minutes. It is sung to the tune of the classic Rick James tune "Super Freak".

She's a very geeky girl,
The kind who likes to hang with Mother,
She will never let your spirits down,
Once you get her on her feet.

She likes her princesses in hand,
Snow White's her all time favorite,
When she makes her Wiggles moves from the Sprout shows,
Its such a happy scene.

The girl is pretty smart now,
The girl's a super geek.
The king of girl who reads about - Java, A -S -P.
The girl is pretty wild now,
The girl's a super geek.
I really love to hug her,
Everytime we greet.

She's all right, She's all right.
That girl's all right with me.....yeah yeah yeah.

I am pathetic, but I love my little princess geek. I wonder how soon I will be totally embarassing her in public.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Eight is NOT Enough

Five years ago today, on the eighth day of his life, my son Caleb left us. He was born severely premature and the double brain bleed he had on day 3 of his life started a downward spiral. Well downward for us, because we would have to say goodbye to him. Every night, the doctors braced us for the worst and he exceeded their expectations hanging on longer than expected. He was just born too soon to stay with us. The good news is Jesus died for us, so he went to heaven.

I am totally grateful for the fact I did get to see him and hold him, though I could only hold him once and it was pretty much the moment he passed away. Of course being the selfish person I am, I wanted more time - I felt and sometimes still do, I was gypped in the parenting department as eight days was not enough time.

My mom died when she was 54 and I remember my grandmother saying, "No one should bury a child". Granny was gone when Caleb was born, but those words haunted me as if she was standing next to me talking to me. Eight days was not enough..... eight years would have not been enough. I had so much love to give him, so many wonderful things to share - so much we didn't get to do or say.

But you know the entire 8 days of his life, all he got was my nagging, no yelling. Lots of stories and songs, many many prayers. I sang to him praise and worship songs - my favorite being "I Love You Lord" because it was all I could think of. I was worried and scared, but didn't want him to know. I wanted him to just feel my presence and love as a comfort in his little NICU bed. He had the prayers of many family and friends.....never any judgement or questioning of his opinion or disagreements with choices.....just prayers and support.

Yeah, I wanted to take him to the ocean and show him the mountains and lots of stuff I loved as a kid, but look where he ended up.....on the express to heaven. How can one top that, even a mother with all the best intentions and a heart full of love can't compete with eternal joy, peace and happiness.

I will try not to dwell on what I don't have, but its not easy. I am human and can be selfish - who doesn't want to get there way. Caleb would be 5 this year and in a perfect world, that is the time children are off to kindergarten....a rite of passage, the start of school. I think that is what I have been missing most this year, well that and a beautiful princess loving sister having a big brother to tease her and make her laugh. Sometimes the silence in our house is a reminder to me that something is missing.

In my loss support groups we refer to today as Caleb's Angel day...the day he got his wings and soared back up to heaven. Happy Angelversary My Sweet Baby Boy. I love you so much.....

Goodnight stars, Goodnight Air, Goodnight Noises Everywhere.

All good giving and every perfect gift, is from above coming from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.
James 1:17

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I will never................

Its comical as an inexperienced female wanting to be a mom all the things you say you will "NEVER" do as a parent that completely go out the window when you are in the trenches.
I was thinking yesterday as I bought Sarah Cate some Princess Aurora pink sunglasses about my past vows and thought I would share.

See 1st paragraph and the purchase of some new sunglasses. We have 6 little dolls I got at the checkout at Target, which I was careful to make sure I got all. For Halloween, I am thinking Snow White as this seems to be SC's favorite. Note: We have never seen any princess movies, though I did buy Sleeping Beauty this week at Costco!

Color me beautiful, pink IS Sarah Cate's color. She looks fab in it. Plus little girl clothes are SO cute how can I not dress her up girly sometimes.

As a stay at home mom, the TV is my savior some days. I do try to limit it and I justify saying we only watch PBS or Sprout - PBS shows with a little advertising, but shoot I am so guilty of caving to this on.

Well, I justified the juice as SC was having um, movement issues and Apple Juice helps keep things moving. I also give her V8 Fusion which is all juice from veggies and fruits, no added sugar - plus its loaded with vitamins and minerals, that's how I justify that one. Andy introduced SC to chocolate milk after she had that febrile seizure and there is no going back from that one, though she still drinks mainly white milk.

You should see all the stuff SC sleeps with now. There are 3 pillows, 1 large Curious George, 1 medium and 1 small. 6 princess dolls as mentioned above, 3 baby blankets, a penguin stuffed animal, a rabbit, and 2 poohs of different size. Plus 3 or so books. BUT she does sleep 12 hours at night. We are about to go to a big girl bed, so soon all that junk will be gone.

Ok, I try to give SC her healthy food and I do limit the junk, but she LOVES her pringles. Also a fan of soft serve ice cream, cookies of any kind and of course Happy Meals and Chik Fil A. I am a chip junkie, I think she got the gene.

So there you have a few.......I know there are others. Oh well, the thing is I am flexible and adapt to change. So what I said I wouldn't do, well now I just do what works. Hopefully I am not doing any damage as I love my little pink princess more than I can say!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What a boy band man.......

I am going young this week.....

You know I was in my 30's during the heyday of the boy band. I was a volunteer teen group leader at my church so hangin' with the girl I got to hear all about those cute boys and their songs. I found it quite amusing.

Flash forward a few years, our man of the week has leaped out alone in superstar status - the curly headed blond kid is now a man. He can sing, he can dance, he can flash Janet's boobie on TV - although he did say he was sorry about the wardrobe malfunction and apologized to all who were offended. I used to think our man of the week was so overexposed that I didn't want to like him...... but darn it, I couldn't help but come around. His music is a bit pop for my taste, but its catchy and I have found myself singing the words after the song is over. I think I developed my admiration after his work on SNL, the dude is funny! Really, he is a funny guy and can totally make fun of himself - check out the digital shorts on Hulu - crude yes, but they totally make me laugh still - and my favorite dancing cup o soup in Give it on up to Homelessville.

I give you - totally TOO young for me but what a man.......

JT - Justin Timberlake

Monday, August 10, 2009

Wonderful Weekend

Last weekend was one of those weekends you just dream of as a mom. Great family time, fun activities with family and friends.

Friday Sarah Cate and I went to the zoo with my friend Myra and her daughter Geneva. It was hot, but a great day at the zoo. After Myra left, decided to swing back through really we were there from 11 to 3! Sarah Cate loves riding the Carousel and the Train. She picked the Panda to ride this time.

Saturday my friend Jean - sorority sister from my Ga Tech days, had a fantastic Birthday party on a party barge on Lake Lanier. We shoved off at 3pm, so it wasn't too crazy hot or crowded. The weather was just glorious, perfect day to be in the lake. Sarah Cate LOVED being able to be in the water with daddy. She also loved running in and out of the water on the island we parked on and watching the big kids go down the party barge slide. Sarah Cate was so worn out that she fell asleep on the way home at 7:30 and didn't wake up until 7am the next morning!

Sunday I was able to enjoy a baby shower for my friend from St Andrew Jacki, who is due in 2 weeks, so it could be any day. It was so nice to get out of the house alone and visit with my "church friends". I can't wait to meet baby Chaz - he is so lucky to have 2 older siblings Lexi and CJ who both are really excited about the newest Webb family member. Poor Jacki has been on bedrest well since the first trimester. She has had a hard pregnancy, but looked JOYOUS.

Of course I have no pictures to share, but what a blessing to be able to enjoy life with family and friends. Moments like so many over the weekend I just stop and Thank God for my family - wonderful husband who is an incredible provider, fun friends and the ability to be able to enjoy so many things on this wonderful planet of ours - and conveniently local.

Life is good.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A Woman's Work - thanks for the reminder John

With the passing of John Hughes this week, I am reminded of many great films from the 80's. Really the man was a genius......Being the music lover I am, I started thinking of all the amazing soundtracks from these from my generation. I think one of the most amazing sequences in his films if from She's Having a Baby in which the baby is breach, they have to do a an emergency c-section and Jake the dad, played by Kevin Bacon is sitting out in the waiting room. The movie is about newlyweds maturing into the roles of man and wife....and the wife who really wants to be a mom. In the c-section sequence, Jake is in the waiting room anxiously awaiting the outcome of the operation thinking back on his life with Kristy his wife portrayed by actress Elizabeth McGovern whom I completely envied in the looks department....seriously THIS was the look I wanted back in my youth.

There is a song playing during this scene, A Woman's Work by Kate Bush. As the song plays, from Jakes perspective we see montage of flashbacks to happier times. This goes back and forth with shots of him in the waiting room and the anxiety of the moment....really brilliant filming that tugs on the emotions. From what I have read, Kate wrote the song for the film - the song is from the man's point of view. I have seen this movie several times. Tonight, as I was watching the scene - the first time I have seen it since losing Caleb, I couldn't help but think of Andy. I was completely overcome with emotion and wept.

Being that its August, I am thinking of my son Caleb who was born 5 years ago August 17th. As I was watching the scene, I couldn't help but think about the birth of my son and its critical nature. I went into labor on August 12th at 23 weeks pregnant - they couldn't not do anything but stop the contractions. Caleb's leg was in the birth canal and I was 4cm dilated. I was in the hospital for 6 days, Caleb had dropped further and there was no stopping the delivery. 24 weeks is the first week a premature baby will be given any chance of survival...meaning if you deliver before then most hospitals will let nature take its course, ie. the baby can't survive on its own and passes away.
Five nights into my hospital stay to try to keep the labor away, I felt what I thought was fluid leaking and pressure. I told the nurse and she told me a doctor would look at me first thing in the morning. Sure enough, he had dropped and I had to deliver. I had 2 options:
1. Deliver naturally and let nature take its course or
2. an emergency c-section in which I would be knocked out completely - situation was critical at this point - and the baby would be taken to the NICU.
What I remember, true or not who knows based on my state of mind , there was a 50 percent chance the baby would make it, but an 80% chance something would be wrong down the road due to the extreme premature birth..... asthma, blindness, cerebral palsy.....the list of possibilities was scary - mild to severe possibilities , and yes the Neonatologist had gone over this with us several times . Despite the odds, we wanted to give our baby a chance. We desperately wanted our baby.

So off they whisked me to the OR after filling out some forms - I acknowledge there is risk in this delivery including death.....CHECK. Andy held my hand down the hall as far as he could then we said goodbye - I told him if something happened and a choice had to be made, chose the baby which Andy told me later was not something he wanted to hear - a reminder I could be at risk as well I suppose. I made the sign of the cross and asked God to please give me my baby and let him live as they gave me my anesthetic and was wondering who the heck all the people in the room were. I was out fast and in hindsight know the procedure went VERY quickly .

I now think of Andy in those few minutes it took to take our baby from my womb, so tiny and so early. My sister and her husband were with Andy in the waiting room and said he was pale and looked scared. Poor sweet Andy, his family on the other side of the country. Maybe in a small way from She's Having a Baby I can see the angst Andy was facing....of course our situation was much more dire than in the Hughes film as even if the delivery went smoothly, the odds were not with us. I wonder what went through Andy's mind as they whisked the incubator with our child past him from OR to the NICU. He had a brief glimpse, but had to wait until both the baby and I were stabilized after the delivery to see us.

I woke up to Andy holding my hand. I hurt and just laid there as the morphine kicked in to numb the pain of the surgery, literally moaning. I can still hear the emotion in Andy's voice and see the tears in his eyes as he told me we had a son.....we didn't want to know the sex until the baby was born. He said the baby was in the NICU appeared to be good considering - doing as well as could be expected and was a good size - 1.5 lbs and 12.75 inches long. After the morphine kicked in, they wheeled me down to the NICU in my post op gurney and Andy at my side.
I was amazed the first time I saw our son. He was just stretched out in his little bed. He looked like he was waving at us...the picture above is Andy holding his hand the first time we saw him. I remember in my drug enduced state Andy's smile and wonder at our tiny son. Our baby's eyes were fused shut and well it was moment by moment is what they told us. We saw him pee...which was a riot, as it went straight up in the air from his tiny little penis. We laughed and they told us that was a great sign. We picked the name Caleb, it was actually Andy's favorite name.
I got a fever and was afraid to go see Caleb the next day, I didn't want to compromise his health - I regret to this day not going to see him. Andy jumped into fatherhood like a natural. He bought a book on preemies and was spending every spare minute reading up. As often as he could, he went and spend time with Caleb. It was hard being the parent of a baby in the NICU, we could go in any time EXCEPT when they were doing procedures, when they were moving babies in or when a family was saying goodbye to their baby. I can't tell you how frustrating it was to go down the hall to the NICU or to call and ask if it was OK to come only to be turned away - of course it was for the safety of the babies and the privacy of the families.
On the 3rd night of Caleb's life, he had an intraventricular hemorrhage - severe bleeding on both sides of the brain at the highest level. This is why I still wish I would have had that time on day 2....but Andy was there for him. He would go down and to him and talk to him telling him how much we loved him. Caleb knew Daddy's voice - and the nurses told me he turned to Andy when he was talking to him . They gave Caleb no chance of survival, but he was a fighter. Andy was looking forward to Kangaroo care - skin to skin contact with the baby which is a regime in the NICU. We had him for 5 more days...which really surprised the doctors, but in the end his tiny body couldn't fight off the inevitable.
Andy's mom flew in and got to meet her grandson they day before he died. Our family got to go say goodbye to Caleb and then Andy and I went in and were with him when he left this life. His passing was bittersweet as he was no longer suffering and I think he was on the express to Heaven. Before the very end, I got to finally hold him - he was in my arms looking at me with the one eye that opened when he left us. We spent some time with him bathing and dressing him. I sang to him and we read him many stories. Andy was such a wonderful father in those 8 days and told me as hard as it was for him, he would never be able to understand the depth of my loss since I had been carrying Caleb in my womb and he had been apart of my physical life those 24 weeks.
While I would be a liar if I told you I fully accepted what happened, as I worked through my grief, I realized the 8 days we had as a family were a gift. Some people never get to see their child or hold their hand. I could have never realized what an amazing father Andy was without this experience. I honestly could not imagine how much he loved or loves me by how he was there for me in my grief and thinking how he looked when I told him "take the baby if it comes to me or him".
And so I sit and think about a filmmaker who created a montage of what its like to go through something incredibly frightening for the one you love - the one you have pledged your life to and your unborn child. I think about the words of a song from a father in anguish confronting a critical situation for his wife and unborn child. Its powerful. I knew it before - and tonight I realize what an amazing man I married. Wow, thanks for that John Hughes, as life moves on from one day to the next, often in a humdrum and unexciting way......its great to be reminded of what I have in my husband.
If you haven't seen the film, well here's the clip.... and the lyrics . Thanks again John - the amazing Kate Bush was a wise choice for this film and the montage is incredible. Rest in Peace.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What a man wednesday....late night fun

Back in the day, "my type" was your clean cut short haired brunette guy, kind of preppy with boyish face and charm. It dawned on me the other night that my man of the week totally fit this description. I love his sense of humor, he is bright and sometimes subtle. Great ability to make facial expressions also which crack me up. Former partner Tina Fey and him together seem like just 2 normal people when they are being interviewed.

So this week I give you...... Jimmy Fallon.
Laughter is sexy.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The candy with that extra sumpin......

Remember these? Good old Zotz! I loved the candy with the fizz. They took a little patience as if you bit into them it wasn't as much fun. Oh how I loved the little fizzing coming from these sour candies.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

44 Reasons I love being Catholic.....# 9 Our Shepherds

Well I was supposed to list 44 reasons I love being Catholic by my birthday which is quickly approaching.....I have only done 8 this year. What a slacker....but I have had a request from a follower of my blog to keep on talking the Catholic stuff.....and she is NOT Catholic, go figure.

I was raised as the daughter of the church receptionist. My mother worked in the church office from the time I was very small until she died when I was 20. Because of her working with the priests, our family came to know many wonderful men serving our church. We had them over for dinner, went to hockey games with them, played cards, doing "normal" things. I am blessed to have gotten to know these holy men in the everyday life as the vocation of a priest is a very hard life, they sacrifice so much. I know they can be intimidating in their vestments up on the altar and they stand out in their Church attire and collars, but really these are just men who have answered a call to serve Christ and the church.

I thank God for these men. I found an article by Vicki Thorn which stated "A priest is a man, clothed in tenderness, who speaks of God's mercy, who prophetically pronounces the truth, unpleasant though it might be and who reflects God's love to a hurting world. Sometimes he is shoring up souls and sometimes he is breaking up concrete. He is comforting the grieving and challenging the young. He is soothing the dying and blessing the newborn".

SO this year, Pope Benedict has declared the year of the Priests in an effort to encourage "spiritual perfection" in our priests. Priest are men, humans with faults and temptations just like the rest of us. They have a very stressful job which can be lonely. They need our prayers now more than ever. We need to pray for those who have a calling to serve Christ. We are called this year to pray for our priests.

I am so grateful for those who are called and answer that calling to serve us in bringing us closer to God.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

So Young.......our time is precious

It seems the past month, my life has been touched by many reminders of how precious and fragile our time on earth is.

Today an online friend Sharyn is being buried. I met her through the national SHARE website. SHARE is a group to those who have been through a pregnancy or infant loss. I found it pretty quickly after losing Caleb and spent many nights in the chat rooms with other moms who had been through it and many hours on the message boards - she was always there for me and for so many others. A virtual hug might seem kind of stupid, but those from Sharyn and all the other SHARE moms really helped me though my grief. Sharyn lost 7 babies, she was so supportive and welcoming and always had many smiley faces in her posts. Despite the sad story of her journey to be a mom, she was always upbeat. She was only 42 and died of cancer - she put up a brave and valiant fight. She leaves behind a husband and an almost 3 year old, her beautiful daughter Gabby. I know Sharyn is up in heaven dancing with her children she had very little time with or never knew on earth outside of her womb. She was a friend to MANY and will be missed.

A couple weeks ago, I recognized a picture in the obituary section of the paper. A 35 year old man, a father of 2 died of complications after surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his bile duct. I did not know Ryan personally, his family went to the same church I did growing up and the same grade school. His oldest brother was a year younger than me. Its strange how I recognized him though...I mean, the last time I saw him, he was a child. After reading his story, I have not been able to stop thinking about him and his family. What an amazing man, his family should be so proud of him. I hope as a mom, I can raise such a special heart goes out to his family.

A few weeks ago, I was forwarded the news a man I knew from my single days back at Christ the King had died from brain cancer. Ernie was only45 and leaves behind a wife and 3 children. I briefly dated him, extremely nice and fun guy... just not "the one" for me.

So many stories of families losing a parent, a spouse, a child. I know people die everyday, I mean the only certainty of life is that we will all die. I am no stranger to loss so maybe I feel things and it stirs up emotions I think are gone, I am over or are just buried. Just seems so odd to me that this past month I have been touched the the passing of people my age and generation.

I hope I can learn from this to just live each life to the fullest and to be grateful to many blessings I have received. I want to not be anxious about the future and to just live in the moment - I have issues with anxiety sometimes. You never know what is going to happen and its wasted energy worrying about "what ifs". In the end if we lived a good life, we are rewarded. I truly hope to be reunited with my loved ones and to live an eternal life of peace and joy.

Please pray for those who have passed, especially Sharyn, Ryan and Ernie. I firmly believe those who have passed need our prayers.

Eternal rest grant unto them oh Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dream or Nightmare......Sarah meet Suri

Last week I had a dream that Suri Cruise was over for a playdate with Sarah Cate. She was a cute and sweet girl....when I mentioned her mom was on the way over to pick her up, she freaked out. She told me that she did not like her mom at all and didn't want to go with her. Her mom was always on her and always in the spotlight. She was actually talking very intelligently for a 3 year old. I tried to tell her that her mom was just like any other and that she loved Suri very much and was just trying to protect her from the public spotlight, after all its alot of pressure being talked about by the media - not that I would know - and that she had to deal with alot of things being said about her that weren't true and were mean.

Now Suri told me she didn't want to go with her mom, but much preferred her dad. In my dream I was shocked as you know I am not a fan of her dad so much, though he is a good actor, but personally he turns me off. She went on and on about how loving and supportive he was. I started to think maybe the little girl was nuts as there was no way her dad could be better than her mom. Then Tom walks in to pick her up.....I wake up.

So what the heck was that about? Perhaps I am a bit judgemental, your comments are appreciated.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lets Stay a happy old age.

Six years ago today I was married in the sacrament of Holy Matrimony to Andy. Some days it doesn't seem that long and others seems longer that we have been married.

Our first dance was to Al Green's Let's Stay Together. We have indeed endured good and bad, happy and sad times in our marriage, life has a way of throwing you all kinds of stuff to deal with. I love Andy more today than when we got married, which I could not have imagined on that beautiful hot summer day back in 2003. To be honest without the sad things that have happened, I don't know if this would be the case. Enduring hardships can really draw you together.

I love our first reading which is from the book of Tobit Chapter 8 in the Old Testament.....sorry to my Protestant friends, this great book is only in the Catholic bible, but check it out online - good stuff! This is where I was interested in the name Sarah, as that is Tobiah's wife. I am sure i have posted this before, but oh it is again.

Tobiah arose from bed and said to his wife, "My love, get up. Let us pray and beg our Lord to have mercy on us and grant us deliverance." She got up, and they started to pray and beg that deliverance might be theirs. He began with these words:

"Blessed are you O God of our fathers; praised be your name forever and ever.

Let the heavens and all your creation praise you forever.

You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve to be his help and support; and from those two the human race descended.

You said 'It is not good for man to be alone; let us make him a partner like himself.'

Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine not because of lust, but for a noble purpose.

Call down your mercy on me and on her, and allow us to live together to a happy old age."

They said together, "Amen, Amen".

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Umm umm, wedding donuts................

Picture this, rehearsal dinner and a crafty unique desert.... made only with the finest of donuts from Krispy Kreme. Thanks to Beth for creating this great work of art....she sings great also. Thanks to our friends who enjoyed this dessert 6 years ago tonight....time really flies. The Pez Bride and Groom are in our kitchen.

The sweet SSSSSS of the record

You know, with the recent passing of MJ, on 2 occasions I was reminded of know, LP's and 45s.

My friend Laura bought 2 Thriller albums - one to keep and one to sell later thinking it would be worth something one day.....well, last week, it was worth $158 on eBay. Without shipping!

I also read someone who posted about getting a Jackson 5's single on the back of a box of alpha bits. I think I got that promo - remember how vinyl could be pressed on the back of cardboard or REALLY thin and just handed out.

One thing I loved about albums and single records (or cassettes or DVDs for that matter) that you don't have with digital music is you had the album and its jacket to hold onto. You had the liner notes to read. You could hold that music in your hand. You took it out of the jacket, put it on your player and the anticipation of the music with that sweet little hissing sound........

I had a variety of cheap record players. I really liked the "Close N Play" which you put your 45 on - then when you closed the lid, the needle just started playing.

I love it on Lost when they start a show with a record going know it is nice and dramatic. Watching that needle go over to the record.....anticipation.

I have my dad's old cheapo stereo with the record player, now I just need to get some records. Sadly I lost mine - well I had them at dad's house and he got rid of them. Shame on me for not keeping up with my stuff. Oh to have my Off the Wall or Supertramp Breakfast in America albums back - always thought this was the BEST cover......or ELO or Frampton Come Alive. Perhaps I should get some to play again for that time when Sarah goes to bed and Andy is out playing volleyball. How I would love to hear that hissing in anticipation of a great song again......which you know, you can on YouTube, but its not the same.

The 70's were a great time to grow up.

I am going to start blogging again regularly, and and have been thinking perhaps I need to dedicate one day a week or month to something from my youth that was totally the record - not for a huge readership, just to think about things that have made me happy. I have had a great life.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Vote for Sarah Cate!!!!!

We are entered in a photography contest with 19 others.... the winner gets a free photo session, since we have no professional family pics would love to win. We are really behind so get your friends and family to vote for Sarah Cate!
to vote go to Jody Lynn Photography Blog and cast your vote.
For you facebook users, join Jody Lynn Photography as a fan and let me know as it will get SC a bonus vote!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What a Man Wednesday - RIP King of Pop

I am 5 years younger than Micheal Jackson, so needless to say, his music has been a part of my life since I can remember. Albums, Cassettes, CDs and now digital, I have had one his wonderful music on all the medians. I watched the cartoon, was dazzled by the videos and moved - to tears at times with his songs and lyrics. I had the Jackson 5 as a kid, Off the Wall in the high school
years, Thriller in college and Bad and Dangerous in my single days. So many great songs - how I loved dancing to PYT!!!!

I was quite surprised at how emotional I was to hear of his death. I never saw him in concert, though I wanted to and I feel like the superstar he was left us with all his trials - but perhaps I am the one who left him. I smile thinking how we all used to scream that high falsetto in college and pull up our pants, try to moonwalk and dance like him. When my sister and mom died in 1985, there were a couple Micheal Jackson songs I listened to by myself and would just cry as they moved me and brought me comfort.

I loved John Mayer's tribute at the memorial, and found this on youtube - check it out, which has some great images of the human being that was the king of pop. You can say what you want about MJ, but if you listen to the music, you can hear a part of his soul speaking. No denying the talent which appealed to just about everyone all over the world. My heart goes out to his kids - its hard to loose a parent so young, his mom - its not right to bury a child, and his siblings - no one can take the place of your beloved brother. I love a good funeral, and MJ's memorial was fantastic....though I admit I casket, umm that is a little overboard - but heck, its what his family wanted so who am I to criticize.

Rest in Peace Micheal Jackson, thanks for the wonderful memories of your music and good times with family and friends.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

two years

Sarah Cate is now 2.5 years old......which means, we have been trying to give her a living sibling for 2 years....with no success. I haven't blogged in a while, as I have been a little down. Not like suicidal or anything but just down.

I never wanted to have an only child....I love my siblings and my cousins and always wanted that for my children....but alas I guess its not meant to be for Sarah Cate. And when I think of how she has a sibling in heaven who would be 5 in the fall and going to kindergarden, well that is another road of sadness that has hit me out of nowhere. Yes the grief of losing a baby has no end. Who am I kidding though....I am 44 years old, not exactly at the peak of my childbearing years.

I also miss my dad so much. Reminders of him are everywhere. Dad I love you.

Oh yes, and my mom died on Mothers' Day in this weekend is not exactly happy for me, just a sad reminder.....even 24 years later.

So, that is where I am lately.......... just not in the mood to blog.

But thinks have been looking up, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What a Man Wednesday.........Apollo do you read.

I was introduced to our man of the week by my neighbors who got me hooked on Friday night SCI FI. Born to American dad/Irish Mother grew up in Paris and the UK, though he did not speak with an accent on Battlestar Galactica...well I suppose it was an American accent of some kind. He played Captain Lee Adama on BSG, code name Apollo... Currently in Law and Order, UK....hmm L&O has REALLY saturated the market and now wondering how I can see this series. Totally infectious smile, chiseled good looks and dreamy eyes.....and yes, great accent!

I missed him when he came to town with DragonCon few years back..... the downside of bed rest.

I give you Jamie Bamber.

A truly nice package in Jamie, So Say We All.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Easter Time is the time for eggs.......

We enjoyed the Easter Egg hunt at the Georgia Governor's Mansion today. Besides the egg hunting, there were lots of things to do and friends to see.

We ran into Kate and William. Got a pic of Kate with her mom the nose picking and a pre-hunt group shot....Sarah seems uninterested in having pic taken, William is warming up to put things in his basket and Kate was done with group pictures - she was ready to get her hunt on.

After the 4 egg limit hunt free for all, we got to explore the grounds and participate in many was fun!

Post Hunt Photo on the lawn....mansion in background

Here we are resting.....
Exploring "Oh look they have a cement pond at the mansion" Enjoying story time - and got a free book - Thanks Gov............

Decorating Eggs with Daddy........

Miffy the bunny from PBS show was there and scared Sarah, she does not like life size cartoon characters or mascots. As cute as the bunny is, life size is a little freaky! We also decorated a cupcake, played on swings and a slide, rode our first see saw, drew on an outdoor board with some other kids, enjoyed Cookies and Popcorn, and Participated in the Egg Roll - which Sarah interpreted as toss it or run it just get it to the finish line!

Thanks First Lady Mary Perdue for hosting - we had a GREAT time and love our new book. See ya next year!

This is Julie and Sarah Cate signing out from Buckhead wishing you all a very Happy and Holy Easter Week.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Farewell ER

So tonight was the final episode of ER. I have been watching since the beginning and now wonder what Thursday nights will be like. This show has always been able to bring me to tears, its a very realistic portrayal of a hospital. Not that I have worked in one, but through my life have had many experiences as a family member and a couple as a patient.

Tonight's episode was especially moving to me and there were many tears. The story lines hit me and brought back some memories.....

* Girl who drank too much and ended up comatose on respirator - reminded me of my sister Mary Beth. Not that Mary drank too much, she just ended up on respirator after her heart stopped and was comatose. For years seeing that apparatus would bring me to tears - 25 years later I can still hear that thing. BUT I really don't see my sister this way anymore thank goodness....I remember the good times, took a while to forget the end though.

* Baby delivery turned critical - emergency situation with childbirth - check, been there. I think Andy was wiping a tear away during this scene. It was hard to try again after losing Caleb. I knew I was ready when I thought well I could lose another one. I said "what's the worst thing that can happen, we don't want to go through it again, but we have been through losing one child". Andy replied "I could lose you also".

* Old man losing his wife, she had a DNR and the end was inevitable - I totally lost it when he said "I am not ready......". Been there with Mary Beth, Caleb and Dad. You know the end is coming and even with faith in the rewards in Heaven, its so hard to say goodbye.

* Carter's wife talking about how their son would be 5 and how hard it was for her to be there - I have been a little sad lately thinking that Caleb would be "graduating" from preschool. My baby would be starting school and its so sad that I have missed out on so much with him to me....I know I will never fully get over it, I just do my best I guess.

Maybe its good for me that this won't be on anymore.....maybe its time to let go and "Move On". I think I enjoyed the show because in a way it reconnected me with my past experiences reminding me of the wonderful people - doctors, nurses, chaplains, and hospital staff who just go in everyday and do their job during some very hard moments in my life. Anytime they have had an episode with a NICU from my experience and perspective has just been amazing.

I salute you ER.....I will miss you. You have captured so many moments so compassionately and realistically. Thanks for the memories.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What a Man Wednesday......a Big One

I will keep it short for Mr Big......

Born in Wisconsin, son of a CBS Journalist spent his youth traveled through Europe. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, versatile actor of TV, Screen and Stage.

I fell in love with him as Mr Big on Sex In The City.......never watched Law And Order, I think I am the only TV watching American who fits this category. him....

I give you......Chris Noth

2 words..... HUBBA HUBBA !

Monday, March 23, 2009

In Like a Lion

Looking up Our Street From Front Porch

Nandina Bush in our Front Yard
(My Favorite Shrubbery!)

March 2009 has been a very busy and fun month. Started out with snow rare occurrence for the deep South. Sarah was sick with a bad sinus infection and didn't leave the house as she had a fever this day.

But she got better and the weather has gotten better and better. I do love Spring......but there is something about the cool temps of winter. Perhaps that is why I prefer fall to spring as I like a little chill in the air.

I am excited to see warmer temps coming and have enjoyed time out doors playing with bubbles, looking at tadpoles, and exploring our backyard with Sarah.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

What a Man Wednesday......... Lost Boy Named Bauer

Our man of the week hails from England...well he was born there and I believe raised in Canada. The son of a famous actor, he shares his birthday with Jane Fonda, Samuel L Jackson and Ray Romano. Brat packer, I truly did not appreciate him until when I was on bed rest and netflix was my friend. Sure I had seen him in A Few Good Men, Lost Boys, Stand by Me and some others
It wasn't until I was hooked with his role as Jack Bauer in 24 that I became a huge fan. I love this guy now! That show gets me all pumped up and Jack is so bad ass and such a patriot...he loves his country so much so much, he is willing to do whatever it takes. I am surprised I wasn't into him before as he has that Sting look about him I think.

I give you our man of the week......Keifer Sutherland.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009

Feast and Slumdog

I must admit I haven't been blogging lately because I have been down. I miss my dad and a few other things have had me in a funk. When I think about posting, its been why in the world does anyone want to continue to read about my sadness. But I do know from past grief experience it just comes in waves and its very healthy to go with the feelings.......ANYHOO

Last week was Andy's birthday so to celebrate we went to his favorite restaurant Nava with some friends and then to a movie. Dinner was good, though the rib eye I ordered was just OK. Andy ordered a salmon dish which was TDF! We usually split what we get so I did get to enjoy his. I need to remember next time that Nava has fantastic seafood and that is what I need to stick with since I can't cook seafood near as good. I think Nava has the best Margaritas anywhere and I enjoyed 2!

After our festive dinner we went and saw Slumdog Millionaire - perhaps we are the last to see this. Here are my thoughts.

Great Movie - Hard to describe the Genre. I was expecting a feel good movie and I would say def not "feel good". Made me think about many things.

* Made me appreciate all I have had over my life - not just the things and education, but my family and loved ones.

* When the main character Jamal was a boy, I thought of Caleb who would be turning 5 this summer and I got sad. Weird how these feelings pop in my head when I see a small Indian boy in the slums!

* Confirmed I never want to go to India - I hate crowds and am claustrophobic. I wonder how people with my phobias deal with life in these crowded places. Nothing against India.....I just really hate crowds, I get very anxious.

* I loved how it was shot, the cinematography was fantastic. Kind of edgy, but really put things in your face. Very good use of imagery and showing how the characters were feeling, reacting, etc. No wonder it won the Academy Award...I am not in the business but can appreciate the brilliant work.

* The shot of the character Latika smiling up in the train station took my breath away. She looked so happy and was SO incredibly actually depressed me a little about myself. Not that I compare myself with everyone, but I caught myself thinking about how I have kind of let myself go...I would not call myself attractive at this point in my life, I am overweight and at the point you get when you know you need to do something, but am frustrated I keep putting it off. I think also, the pure love of the her and Jamal made me a bit melancholy - I have been with Andy 9 years now -wow, and while our love is solid - made me miss how we felt and acted that first year. Isn't it funny I saw the shot when I knew what was going on and I could feel sorry for myself - rather than realize the characters had grown up and had to survive in the slums under the most dire circumstances and conditions. Human nature I suppose to think of one's self....I need to work on this!

* I loved the credits when they were dancing showing the characters as children and as was really lovely and the yellow on Latika as a girl and a woman....beautiful touch!

* Made me think of those who have nothing, how they fall into survival mode. People, me included, can be so judgemental about criminals and why people take things - "why dont' they just get a job?" kind of mentality. This movie shows that sometimes its just so they can get by. Its easy for people who are desperate to fall into the wrong hands. I would say it put a face on criminals and made me think about that.

* Made me grateful for my daughter and all we have. Made me hope that I can watch her grow and thrive and become a "good" person - compassionate, loving, helpful. We are so blessed to have her and to have our family together. I love her so much, and am so blessed that I can spend so much time with her.

Sarah spent the night with her BFF Caroline. She had a great time - and is still talking of the bubble bath! It was nice having a night out and just being with Andy. It was great being able to feast and celebrate the wonderful person Andy is with our friends - thanks Becky for a wonderful son you raised. It was great seeing a movie that was more than just entertainment.

I can see how I am in a funk since I had 2 feeling sad for myself moments during the movie. Hopefully this will pass soon. No need to worry about me, I am not in a downward spiral, just living life. I did realize after the movie and feast I have so much to be thankful for.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

What a Man Wednesday.....Six Degrees

Our man of the week born in the city of brotherly love has been dubbed the hardest working actor in show biz. Film debut was as prepster Chip Diller in Animal House playing a preppy. My cuz to whom I dedicate this entry, loved watching him on Guiding Light back in the day. His breakthrough role followed his Soap stint in the Film "Diner" which is a movie that I love....mental note, haven't seen it in a while, need to rent it.

I have met our man at one of his concerts. He sings in a band with his brother, who is a musician in his own right, and when their band came to Atlanta the last time, my cuz won tickets and a pass to watch the warm-up and a meet and greet, so I met him. He is REALLY thin. Fun show at the Roxy, too many years ago. I was TOTALLY tongue tied and embarrassingly star struck when I met him.

Wondering is our man of the week is so down to earth because he has NEVER lived in LA. Its great to see an actor who has been married to the same person since 1988.

SO this week, I give you.....................Kevin Bacon.

BTW, my personal 6 degrees......I know not acting...but I can connect myself to him. How far removed are you?

1. Connie Cox Used to Cut my hair
2. She is the daughter of Bobby Cox.
3. Bobby Cox worked for Ted Turner.
4. Ted was married to Jane Fonda.
5. Jane worked with Robert De Niro in Stanley and Iris.
6. De Niro and Kevin were in Sleepers.

The musician

Had to put a footloose pic in! He was really diggin' Chris Penn's moves in this scene.

I dedicate this entry to Lyn.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Best Day Ever - The Greatest Show on Earth!

This past weekend, we went to the Greatest Show on Earth, the Ringling Brothers Circus. I have to say, I haven't been that happy in quite some time, it was a nice change!

I think seeing it with Sarah for the first time really made it special and the fact our family was together all day doing something fun!

We arrived early to go down to the floor to see the pre-show festivities....we saw some dogs, clowns, acrobats, farm animals, and an elephant painting a picture. Sarah was so enthralled with it all. As we headed for our seats, she said Bye and waived to the people on the floor...which was fun to say "the fun has only started".

I love the Ringling Brother's show. The acts are great to watch, I still am in amazement with the guys in the cage riding the motorcycles. Sarah loved all the animals, especially the tigers and elephants. All she has been saying since the show is Animals, Animals, Animals....sorry PETA, we love circus animals.

It was the first day I think I didn't feel sad in a while, though I did get nostalgic the last time I went to the circus was with my Brother Jack, his daughter Kim and Andrew and Laura when they were young and got a little sad about Jack not being around anymore. But that feeling didn't last long. Now I will say, not happy about the $12 Cotton Candy or the $7 popcorn, but Sarah was happy with the snacks we smuggled in and we were fine doing without. It was truly a FANTASTIC show, the ringmaster and main clown were superb. The acts were terrific.

We ate at a Mexican restaurant after the show to round out our family fun day. I was so happy when we got home. Sarah was worn out and took a LONG nap. She actually fell asleep on me on the sofa for 2 hours. Normally I would transfer her, but having her snuggled up on me felt SO good. Days like yesterday are the kind you dream of when you think of being a parent. Fun activities together and sharing in the wonderment of your children.

Enjoy the photos documenting the day....

Step 1: The easiest way to get to the festivities is ride on mom's back. The view is great and hard to lose a child this way! Yes, we still baby wear occasionally, Sarah loves being on my back.

Step 2: After getting used to the crowds and funny looking clowns, get up on dad's shoulders to take in all 3 rings in the pre-show warm-up festivities. Daddies love the circus too!

Step 3: Come on Mom.....get in on the fun! I think this was the beginning of the spell Sarah was in during the whole show - SO much to see.

Step 4: On with the show!

Step 5: The TIGERS - as Sarah would say, Animals, Animals, Animals!

Step 6: Big finale, see ya next time! and thanks for a fantastic afternoon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

What a Man Wednesday....Is there a doctor in the house?

This weeks man is a special request from a very dear friend. I have to admit there was a time I had a crush on our man of the week.

Celebrity doctor promoting safe sex and sobriety. He is America's most listened to doctor on the radio or so his bio claims. He used to go on house calls with his dad the doctor as a kid and decided that was what he wanted to do. A football player and class president in high school, this doc went on to undergrad at Amherst, but went back to the west coast for his medical degree. Met wife at a bar and is the father of triplets. In his spare time likes to hang with his children, read by the pool, play the piano, ski and sing opera (he's a baritone & he trained for 12 years).

His radio show in Lovelines KROQ in LA, started out small and grew and grew to syndication and a show on MTV....which is when I had the aforementioned crush. Also hosted Celebrity rehab on VH1. Dedicated to helping young people connect, Dr. Drew has spoken on Capitol Hill for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and has participated in the State of Our Youth at the Carter Center with Rosalind Carter. He is a fave guest on daytime talk shows.

In 2006 he co-authored the first academic study on celebrities and narcissism published in the Journal of Research in Personality (Elsevier.) His latest book, Mirror Effect: How Celebrity Narcissism is Seducing America (Harper-Collins) will be released in March/April 2009.

I give you.............. Dr Drew Pinsky
Kathryn, this one is for you!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Blessed are those who mourn......

The most frustrating thing about having a speech delayed toddler is not being able to understand her when she falls or hurts herself. I immediately want to comfort her and make it all better. Of course I don't expect a 2 year old to be able to rattle off her symptoms and ills when she is under the weather, but I feel so bad when she is crying or just not her usual jolly self when sick and I want to make it all better and to stop those tears - and I don't know what exactly is wrong or how to stop it.

I guess this never goes away. When I was in the hospice room with dad, probably around the 2nd or 3rd day he was there, I remember thinking "just don't cry when you are there as you don't want his last memories to be of you sobbing". Well of course I am human and it being one of the most emotional experiences of my life, there were tears one visit. I remember I put my arms on the side of the bed and put my head down as I really started Bawling. Dad in his weak voice told me "Don't cry" such an empathic way, in the same way I tell Sarah not to cry. Its that painful sweet "I don't want to see you suffer" tone parents can have. Here we was, literally dying....his lips and tongue were chapped like nothing I have seen, thirsty, hungry and he was trying to make ME feel better. Such a sweet voice too.

Parents, well the good ones, never stop wanting to comfort their children. I am so blessed to have had my dad. I realized its OK to mourn him and be sad....when my sister and mom died, I kind of went on as if nothing were wrong with me and it caught up to me 9 years later. Of course dad doesn't want me to be sad and cry, he is in a much better place. He also knows that God is there for me when I need him. The ultimate good parent, He never wants to stop comforting us and he will never leave us.

I love you Sarah. I love you Dad. I love you God.

Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matthew 5:4

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What a man Wednesday returns!....Mr Darcy I presume

I am returning to the isle across the pond again. Born into an academic family, our man of the week spent the first 5 years of his life with his missionary family.

On his appeal to older fans:
I find I'm increasingly lusted after by people beyond pensionable age. I was told of a woman in hospital, diagnosed with high blood pressure, who was told not to watch any more 'Pride and Prejudice'. She was 103.

On his family's thoughts of his role as Darcy:
When he was first offered the role of Darcy, his brother incredulously remarked, "Darcy? But isn't he supposed to be sexy?"

Has personally promoted social responsibility for a while now, specifically by opening two ethical-coffee cafes in London called “Progreso” and “Covent Garden” aimed to benefit Fairtrade growers.

He looks good in whatever film era and seem to enjoy seeing him in film. Who else can be so hot dressed up in Jane Austin era clothes you know.....he is a dandy dandy!

I give you Colin Firth - who I think is hot in a low key kind of way which completely suits my mood today!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Superbowl Commercial you won't see

Check out this ad that was rejected by NBC. Its a real shame they didn't let the sponsor air the ad after they quoted them a price. I am disappointed in NBC as this is an incredibly tasteful and moving ad.


Saturday, January 31, 2009

Oh Blah Dee

Life Goes On. One can get lost in the busy-ness of taking care of things.

I finally took down and put away all our Christmas decor today. I am going to pick up some clothes from a couple people to donate to a family that needs them. I am going to put up my inventory from Sweet Baby Sugar and work on a business plan to see if I want to continue.

Its time to go through all the kids clothes and toys get stuff ready for consignment. I also have a few things for Craig's list.

I actually thought this morning "I need to call Dad", and then remembered he is gone....and that I had I cancelled his phone yesterday. I also need to go through some more of his things for donation and get together with my sister to go through all the stuff at her house.

Thank goodness we have each other........and Thank you God that I am so blessed to have people to take care of and a house and so many things to keep up with. Thank you God also for the many friends and family who prayed, brought me food and watched Sarah. As my Dad stated towards the end "God you have been so good to me. You just keep bringing good people to my life".

I have had quite the productive morning, my living room is beginning to look like a room for living instead of storage!

Life goes on.