Saturday, March 31, 2012

Keep the old because they are gold

Do you know those people you just cannot live without?  The ones who when you are at a low point they first cry with you and then they sit with you and then they lift you up?  And when you are at a high point in your life they are there too.  And even when they aren't physically there...they are there. And when you don't talk to them for months on end, you pick up right where you left off.  If you don't have people like that then you need to find them. They are called best friends and they can be found right there by your side.

A couple weeks before my mom died I found myself in the hospital, alone sitting by my mom's bed. I had just heard "the prognosis is not good" from my mom's lead doctor. My heart was beating fast and my mind was racing. But I just couldn't move my body. So that's what shock felt like. I knew I needed to make a lot of phone calls - to Mike, to my aunts and my dad. But I couldn't move. 20 minutes went by and I don't believe I move a muscle. My computer was on my lap set to gmail and I clicked on "compose". The first four people I turned to was Meredith, Jana, Eileen, and Adrienne. Because I needed God. But I was mad at God. And I needed them to remind me that He was there. So I asked them to pray...and to send me Bible verses. Because my mom was dying and I didn't know what to do with myself. Then I picked up the phone, lost it with Mike (who put me back together), composed myself and made the tough phone calls to my dad and my mom's siblings.

When my mom died those girls cried too...because having known me for - I don't know - 19 years (?) they were close to my mom too.  And when it was time to go through mom's house in Houston guess who was there to make it more of a party than a sob-fest?  You got it. 

Meredith brought her baby girl Norah to hang out and I instantly fell in love with her.  Oh-my-Lordy that girl is such a cutie and she had no problem skipping a nap to enjoy the parade of fashions as we all tried on my mother's clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc.  Norah even ended up with a fabulous Christmas sweater (watch out Plutts!) from Lois' collection.

While the girls stuffed their faces with queso and chips in the kitchen I stole Norah for some self portraits. 

Obviously, it didn't work out that well so I confessed and reluctantly asked someone to take a picture of us.

Meanwhile, Jana played dress-up with Cavin. 

Judging from Cavin's expression I'm going to need a lot more Norah in my life if mom's jewelry is going to get any real use.

So thank you old friends for taking care of me while I went through my mom's personal things.  Meredith, Jana, Eileen, and Adrienne.  And you aren't the only ones.  There's my Rosemont girls too. And the new friends I've met here in California. Bottom line is when Sh#$ hit the fan, my girls were there in many ways, shapes and forms.  And I am speechless with the amount of support I have received.  I can honestly say there is no way I could not of gotten through any of this without you.  Thank you for the support, the laughter, and the tears.

(Rosemont - you're next!)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Yes I do eat vegetables

I am by no means some super fancy cook.  However, it is one of the things I do love to do.  I love Sunday evenings (always have) and what I love about them is usually the weekend chores are complete, the house is somewhat organized and ready for the week, and the kitchen is stocked with groceries.  I like to throw on my iPod "Relaxy Music" playlist and go to town.

Here's what I also am - addicted to Follow Me on Pinterest.  If you don't know what I'm talking about, don't go time suckage!  I saw a picture of a healthy zucchini snack but the link to the recipe wasn't working.  So with a little Pat Green on in the background I winged it!  Waalaa...what do you think?

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, cut the zucchini in half, brush olive oil on top of the zucchini, cut and place cherry tomatoes, sprinkle basil and parmesan cheese on top, and bake for 30 minutes.  Soooo easy and soooo good!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Home is where the heart is (and the Tylenol!)

Little brother was sick this weekend. So we did what any normal family would do. We hunkered down at home, ate comfort food, snuggled on the couch, gave daily baths, and turned on as much Thomas the Train as the little guy wanted.  And we sang, and painted, and hugged, and kissed, until that 104 degrees dropped to something a little bit more reasonable.

Because that's what family is about. Comfort.  Comfort food or comfy blankies...whatever floats your boat brother because this is your weekend.  And Cavin sure didn't mind those pancakes.

(look at those baby blues...just like nana's)
 And boy did we learn that big brother has a creative side.

Meanwhile, Ellis fought off a virus that gave him a high fever, got stung by a yellow jacket, and bitten by the cat.  This was not his weekend.  But once the ibuprofen kicked in, life wasn't so bad.

That's the thing about being sick.  It makes you slow down, focus attention on those you love and those that love you, hug a little more, love and little more, and appreciate what you have just a little more.

(I friggin' LOVE the dimple on his right cheek!)

Monday, March 19, 2012

An Unbreakable Bond.

Grandparents have this special...what do call it...feeling / bond / magic with their grand babies.  I'm not going to pretend to explain it or understand it. And I know the feeling is mutual.  In other words, I think grandparents need their grand babies as much as the grandbaby needs his grandparent. 

So I just know that when big brother says he would rather snuggle up to Pa for a few minutes before bed time, I'm not going to argue.

Because you just don't argue with magic.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Boy oh boy did we have a BALL!

I've realized I'm a bit ridiculous and over the top when it comes to planning my kids' birthday parties.  I spend months dreaming up a concept, weeks ordering and planning, and then a day to set up - that's when I get super stressed and almost freak out.  And lately I've required my guests to put on costumes and join in on the fun (Halloween and now Ellis' bday).  You know what though? I love it! And I've got great friends who not only put up with it but make me actually think they enjoy it!

I love first birthday parties.  The excitement.  The anticipation of 'what will he think of the cake?'.  And the cute little babies all playing around one another.  As for planning, the slate is blank and, really, the kid doesn't care.  So this momma gets to do what she wants.  And that I did.

Ellis' birthday falls on Superbowl weekend so I naturally chose football as the theme.

(Front door sign)

Lots of friends came dressed up for the festivities!

(Our fellow Broncos!  Who knew any existed out here in Raider country...)

(Ellis took some time away with Nick to have a serious discussion about what he REALLY thinks about the 49ers)

(Yet another wonderful job done by Marisa)

Favors Bags for the kiddos

The Damage.
Thank you to everyone who celebrated with us...both near and far.  And a special shout-out goes to those of you who 'sported' your team gear (especially those Broncos fans - you know who you are Poston family)!  I also want to thank Marisa with Marisa Cakes for doing yet another amazing job on the cake, cupcakes, and invitations.  Her treats taste even better than they current favorite...strawberry shortcake.  Another thank you to Chickabug who designed the favor stickers, door sign, 'concession stand' buffet labels, and 'Happy Birthday' banner.  Heather is wonderful to work with so if you are in need, check out her Etsy shop here.  And thank you to Janessa, my favorite amateur (but could be professional) photographer who captured Ellis' first experience with sugar so that I was able to just sit back and laugh.

And last but not least, thank you to my husband and dad who spent countless time taking my directions to "hang this balloon there" or "put this football over here" were such a big help!

It was a wonderful day...

Our little family

Happy ONE YEAR Birthday Ellis!

The kid is ONE!  And his parents could not be more proud...

This year has flown by.  Over the year, Ellis has proven he is a pretty mellow kid who has got some energy.  He is happy, smiles a lot, and has the patience of a saint.  He appreciates sleep just as much as his mommy and he is tough as nails...evidenced by his dealing with big brother and his ability to pop teeth like no other.  Little brother likes to eat, has shown an early love for all things train related, and enjoys a good cuddle.

This month Ellis has learned to say "uh oh!" and "no".  He also likes to call "dada" over for whatever he needs fixed.  He holds his bottle all by himself, although - as daddy points out - I still cradle him like a baby when he drinks his bottle.  Whatever, I'm 'milking' (pun intended) this baby thing for as long as I can.  This month he also began feeding himself finger foods consistently and he's a big fan of waving "hello" and "goodbye".

Ellis is still a big kid too...surprise surprise.  Here are his stats:

Height: 32.75" (100th percentile)
Weight: 24 pounds, 3 ounces (75th percentile)
Head: 48.25 centimeters (90th percentile)

Happy Birthday Ellis!!!

Here's to many more candles (that Cavin will try to blow out for you) in the future...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

True Beauty

I love this picture of my mom.  I found it on her iPhone shortly after she passed.  It was mixed in with a bunch of similar ones of her in this same outfit.  Clearly she was having a lot of fun goofing around with a girlfriend because the pictures resembled something of a photo shoot...some with her hand on her hip, some where she's clearly channeling Tyra Banks in America's Next Top Model, some where she's got a serious pouty face, and just some pretty hilarious ones. Then there was this natural...such a beautiful smile. 

I picked this picture, along with one of her from my wedding, to blow up to poster size and frame for her funeral service.  I placed it up front right next to her pink casket...yes, i said was tasteful!  I think some people in my family thought I was a little nuts with how obsessed I was with this picture.  I mean, she's even got a wig on.  Maybe that is why I love it.  Because she was being playful...and funny...and spending some good 'ole laughs with a girlfriend.  It isn't a perfectly posed picture but, to me, she is absolutely beautiful in this image.  And I don't mean in the artificial sense.  I mean she looks confident and happy.  And that's how I want to remember her.

Whatever, like I said, I love this picture.

Two months ago today she died.  And although tears have been shed today and my heart is still hurting, I like to remember that my mom was happy. She was confident. And she was beautiful both outside and in.

Friday, March 2, 2012