Saturday, July 31, 2010

It’s Been a Little While


As for an update…  well I guess a lot has been going on.  We purchased a used pop-up camper and took it out for a test weekend.  Unfortunately, that same weekend our dear Ella bonked herself on the see saw (I believe Miles suddenly got off and let her fall – but not maliciously).  The result was a knocked out tooth (baby tooth) and a small but deep gash on her upper lip resulting in a trip to the ER and 3 stitches.  We plan to take the camper out one last time before school starts.

Luckily the tooth fairy let us float her a loan and we bought Ella a little stuffed dog because of the serious nature of this tooth loss.  It was never recovered, which was of great concern to Ella.  I suspect she may have swallowed it.


Both Ella and Miles completed their acting classes and performed in a show one Saturday in the park.  The weather was a little iffy, and the trains going by frequently didn’t help, but they both did very well and we are so proud of them.


Miles also had a soccer camp two days a week for 4 weeks.  We were surprised at how good he is.  He is no soccer star (yet), but he is much more into it than we had expected.  He will be in another soccer camp all next week every evening.


Ella starts cheerleading practice next Thursday.  This is a first.  We are all curious how well she will enjoy this, among other things we don’t know about this organization.  At least it will be another opportunity to meet girls she will be going to school with.

Speaking of which, her school starts August 24.  This is her first time in public school and she will be in first grade.  I have been amazed how complex the registration process is!  They will certainly know for sure that we are residents of our town!  With many various documents that prove that!  Miles starts September 1.  He will be at the Montessori school for his year of Kindergarten.  Both kids will be in school all day, everyday…


As for me.  Well, it was a bit of a scary time with health issues.  But all seems to be under control.  I would like to have surgery, I just need to get on the ball to get that fit into the schedule.

I completed my Intro to Social Work class last week with a presentation on Monday and a final on Wednesday.  I really loved it and miss being in school already.  I am happy to say that I did really well in that class.  It certainly doesn’t hurt to not only already have had one go around of college and grad school under ones belt as well as 10 years of work experience where one continued to hone writing and presentation skills.  As for this fall, I would like to take a Statistics class.  Because if I decide to go back for a new degree in social work, I need to have that class under my belt.  I finally got approved for meeting the prerequisites via my college math courses, and now the class that works with my schedule is full.  No fear, I have a plan to try to get in, and if I don’t, there is always next semester.  I could dedicate an entire other post on how wonderful it was to remember that I am not a dummy!

I also enjoyed selling my wares at the Farmer’s Market this summer.  And as a side benefit, I met a wonderful woman who makes jewelry at the table next to mine.  We both have sons named Miles (spelled the same) and we both enjoy one another’s company.  She seems to be one of those types of friends you don’t meet everyday.  Her business is called Mi Line and she has an Etsy store.   If you like daintier more understated pieces, go check her out!  Her husband will soon be deployed to Afghanistan and will gone for over a year.

I was also asked to be a bridesmaid in my brother and his fiancĂ©'s wedding.  So the bride and bridesmaids have picked out and ordered dresses and are trying to figure out shoes.  Thank goodness we didn’t has as different opinions about the dress as we seem to have about the shoes! 


I hope you have enjoyed some photos I took from a recent trip to the Chicago Botanic Garden.  Now for some of our beauties…

A little picnic…

20100729- 20100729--2  20100729--4 20100729--3



Which is more beautiful?  I know what I think!


This is just a part of what summer is all about!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fourth Fun

The best, and probably the hardest, part of this long weekend was that I dialed the intensity way back on my school focus.  While I did read a couple of chapters from the book (many of that was done at the pool, tsk tsk I know), I did not even touch the next writing assignment or allow myself to freak out that there is another test in a week.  I figured I’d worked hard up to the midterm, and it was time for a little mental break.

I don’t have photos to nearly cover all that we did this weekend, but here are a few.  I’ll fill you in on some other events after these.

In our town, they do fireworks the Saturday before the actual 4th of July.  So if the 4th is on a Saturday, the fireworks are in June.  Kinda weird.  Luckily, this year they weren’t too bad to have on July 3rd.  We live close enough to the park where they have them that we could ride our bikes and put the kids in the Burley with our blankets.  We really need to get them riding bikes soon!


Sparklers are always fun before the firework show.  As are glow bracelets.  Not so much year old glow necklaces that don’t…glow.


On July 4th, we went to an outing at Jason’s parents’ friends in a town pretty far south of us.  Jason is also friends with his parents’ friends’ kids.  And some of them have kids. Here is one of his childhood friends’ daughters who seems to adore Ella.  She gave her quite a hug when she saw her.  She has the most beautiful curly hair and quite a spirit in her too.


We managed to get an ok family picture on the front steps of the hosts’ house.  Unfortunately Jason’s head is half blocked by Miles’.  Fortunately my goiter is blocked by Ella’s head.  Ha ha!


Miles and Ella were pretty chummy this weekend.  Why can’t they be like that more often?!  Very sweet.


After the party we were going to walk over to the park for the fireworks in this town (which actually have them on the 4th).  But due to a short spell of rain, we ended up walking back to Jason’s parents to sit with them and watch.  And the kids played with more sparklers too.


Friday night was wonderful.  After Jason arrived home with our new (used) pop-up camper, I went out for a gown look-see and dinner with my brother’s fiancĂ© and the other two bridesmaids (I am one of three bridesmaids).  Her best friend lives near me and on her way home from her jog, she stopped by to see if I wanted to go with her.  We had a fabulous time together on the drives, as well as the events, and I hope to hang out with her more soon!  She is taking way more school than I am now.  The actual event(s) were wonderful too.  Our little look-see turned into finding a dress for us that everyone seemed to like (most importantly the bride).  Then we headed out to dinner and continued to have a very pleasant evening.  That night the fam slept in the pop-up.  Not the best sleep when you are parked out in a driveway by the street on a Friday night.  But I think the kids loved it.  The bed was fairly comfortable too.

Saturday we all went to see Toy Story 3.  This is a real treat for us because we rarely go to the movies.  It was a really good one too, even for adults.

We did some swimming at our local pool a few times in there too and I made this pie for the party on Sunday.  If you want to make that pie too, make sure to read all the instructions ahead of time and set aside enough time for the whole process!  I was lucky it all came together right before it was time to leave for church.  Unfortunately we were still a little late because I hadn’t had time to do hair and makeup yet!  And I can’t really tell you if the pie was good because I am completely incapable of judging my own cooking.  But a few others said they liked it.

Today was lots of cleaning.  Cleaning up the camper and packing it with some supplies for future trips and then cleaning out the garage to fit the camper on one side.  Then I did other indoor house cleaning and laundry and also a bit of sewing for the Farmer’s Market on Wed.

Next up is: back to reality.  Time to start working on my last paper for my class before getting back into study-mode again.  oh boy.

Hope you had a nice weekend too!  What all did you do?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Handbag with a Side of Necklace

To lighten things up a bit here:

I am pretty picky when it comes to handbags.  Not too big, not too small.  Just right (for me at least).  I also am not a fan of status symbol handbags.  I do not have a desire to let the world know that I have a Coach purse.  I just want to have something cute and comfortable.  Oh, and not cheaply made either.

I have noticed that I’ve been drawn to Fossil and Relic handbag styles lately.  Well, I have been for a while now.  Luckily we have two Fossil outlets nearby, so I don’t have to pay Fossil prices for my bags.  And the last Relic I got was at JC Penney on sale.  The last two or three Fossil/Relic bags I have purchased are canvas and colorful, and I think, cute.  But sometimes i think it is good to break out of a rut…

While at an outlet this week, I was draw to two canvas bags, but made myself walk over to the leather side.  I spotted one that was my style, but too big.  Then I saw this one, its younger sister:

fossilcaprispurse fossilcaprispurse2

Cute, the right size, comfortable and leather (and on sale).  Got it.

I also went into a store where I didn’t find any tops or skirts I liked (what I was searching for), but did find this necklace that called my name.  The salesperson actually talked me out of buying it because she thought I should wait for a sale.  Later that day I went to another mall and got it.  On sale.  By finding a top there that I did like and cashing in on the buy one, get one half off sale.


Christopher & Banks



This shopping trip brought to you by me rewarding myself for doing well on my test (the one in school, not the medical test).

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Keeping it Real

I had debated about whether to share here the medical issues I’ve been dealing with recently.  It is not easy for me to share such personal (to me) details of my life.  But I have seen others do it and the outcome is that they are appreciated for being real and not hiding the not-so-nice parts of life.  While I still don’t discuss many other not-so-nice parts of life here, I did think that by sharing my journey, maybe someone else in my shoes would find it helpful.  That they would not feel so alone, that they could find a website that didn’t just have a lot of medical terms and conflicting statistics.  That they would not just be in the company of doctors, technicians, pathologists and receptionists through their own journey.  I honestly don’t know if that has been accomplished.  Had events had take a turn for the worst, I thought I would really be able to help someone by going forward through a scary process.  So i decided I’d start writing about it.  Before I knew, one way or another.

Well, for those who do care and have been offering concern and support, I got the call today.  The nodule is benign.  And I am so relieved!!!  But the story and the journey isn’t actually over.  The surgeon who is coordinating my care said that the nodule could/should still be removed if it was causing adverse affects on my breathing, swallowing or speech.  Or frankly if it was just bothering me cosmetically.  The truth is, it does seem to be having an affect on my swallowing and also on my speech.  I feel like there is constantly something stuck in my throat and notice my voice getting raspy.  This is not surprising considering the nodule is bigger than a golf ball.  So at this point, after having discussed the risks and the recovery with the doctor, I am honestly thinking of going through with surgery to have it removed.  Maybe blogging about that detour of this journey could help someone going through something similar.  Is it worth it to make the effort to write about it?  That is the question.

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