Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day and Summer Fun!

I am not someone who has lost a loved one directly due to war, but I have lost a loved one who fought in a war...my Pap was a veteran of WWII...he was one of the the most important men of my life and he lost a battle to cancer a few years ago.  He fought for and risked his life for our country...and today, men and women like him are being honored all over our country.

Though my grandfather was able to safely return home from war, and lived many years beyond his military career, so many other soldiers don't come home safely, or at all...so many families sacrifice..so many families lose someone they love...so many soldiers risk it all, and lose.


My thanks and my heart goes out to all of those who have and will risk and sacrifice themselves or their loved ones in the future.  

Happy Memorial Day!

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In closing, here are the first 'pool' pics of the summer...gotta love make shift baby pools on the deck!







Oh, and I think I have a future grill mate in my son!!!

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Savannah, GA & Blood

I can hardly believe there's less than five weeks until our Girl Scout Troops depart for Savannah, GA  to visit the Birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Girl Scouts of the USA.  Over the last few weeks, our troop leader and I have been working hard putting together the final touches on this 5 day/4 night trip.


Before Beth passed, she was working very hard preparing for this trip...she had began gathering information and making plans over a year ago.  When I spoke at Beth's vigil, it was made public that our troops would be taking this trip in her honor.  


...I just can't believe we will be there in less than five weeks...and I still have moments where I am sad that she won't be there.  Even though I know she will be there in spirit, I just felt like this trip was her project, her way to give these girls an amazing, educational trip, and I want her to be able to see what she worked so hard for.  She was always looking to enhance the lives of everyone she knew.


Last September, she also coordinated a blood drive as a service project for our troop.  I can't recall the exact number of pints we collected, but I think it was around 30 or so (which, is enough blood to give to over 100 people).  I donated blood at that drive and I also registered with Virginia Blood Services (VBS) to donate blood in the future.  Well, on Wednesday evening I received a phone call from VBS asking if I could donate blood as there was a shortage in our area.  Of course, I was willing to give my own blood...but, while I was talking to the representative, I had an ever better idea.  I wanted to coordinate another blood drive with them for our troops.


So, I had the guy I spoke with send me an email, which I then responded to with our information asking him if he could find the contact she had worked with.  Well, by Friday afternoon I had an email from the woman Beth worked with.  I informed her of Beth's death and that I wanted to coordinate another blood drive in the fall.  I explained that I wanted to not only help raise more blood than I could give myself, but that I also wanted to do this in Beth's honor.


Sooooo....after all of this looooong drawn out post, I just want to say that....1) We will be going to Savannah Ga (because of Beth) in less than five weeks...and...2) In September, our troops will be holding another blood drive to help save more lives (also because of Beth).


I am just amazed that even after she is gone, her goodwill continues to live on...her love, her kindness, her willingness to give back...it still lives...because it lives in those who knew and loved her and those who continue to be touched by her spirit.

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

I DID IT!!!

This post is about me...all about me...and, warning, it is LONG!!!!

Rarely do I write about myself, but I wanted to today because for once, I have faced a huge fear of mine head on...and I am really proud of myself.

As a child, at the age of seven, I was abruptly removed from my mothers home.  The situation I was removed from wasn't good.  There was abuse and neglect in our home, and my mother and my stepfather were alcoholics and I even expect my stepfather may have done other drugs as well.  After months of hell, my sister, who is almost eight years older than me, decided it was time to take action and began informing adults of our situation. She saved us from hell.

As hard as our living situation had been, being taken away from my mother was the hardest thing that had ever happened to me emotionally.  Despite the abuse and neglect, I loved her...I needed her....I yearned for her once I was away from her...even though I had my Nana, who I loved very much, it wasn't my mom.

My Nana and Pap worked very hard to get my physical condition back on track.  I was extremely underweight (about 45 pounds at 7 years old) and my teeth were rotting out of my mouth.  Within a month of being taken from my mom, I had 7 caps, 3 fillings and a spacer put in my mouth.   All of that work was done in a course of 4 weeks and it was so hard for me to go through...especially being that I was just taken from my mom.  Not to mention, on the last trip, my Pap's SUV broke down, and we were stranded on the side of the road for about 20 minutes!!!!

I have always associated the dentist with both emotional and physical pain.  I even wrote a short story about it in college that I got an A+ on...it has been a huge part of who I am and I have allowed my fear to prevent me from getting my wisdom teeth removed.

Well, this past Thursday, I conquered my fears...I had oral surgery to remove my wisdom teeth and I am so happy to say I am no longer letting the fear control me.  I am now in control of that fear.

To be honest, it wasn't bad at all...I was really impressed with how well it all went...and the dentist, his nurse, my dad and my sister, all told me how proud they were of me....of course, I had a Valium or two before the big event, which helped...but, in the end, I did it.  I did it!!!!!

...and I am so proud of myself!!!

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Look at MY Daddy!

I truly cannot express how I felt as I was taking these pictures.  To see my father standing up on that stage today, singing...doing what he loves...after fearing he would never be able to walk, or talk, or sing, or even live again...was just AMAZING!

Here, you can see what I saw...you may never understand the emotions involved behind these pictures, but if you have ever experienced something like this or this, you could understand. I felt joy...true joy.  After a long time of being sad, I felt joy...although I have had great moments of happiness, of feeling blessed, of being grateful, I really hadn't felt true joy since Beth died.  I had been in such a stage of sadness...I would have highs, and lows, but I would never get high enough to experience true joy...until today...until I saw this...



...and this...


...and this...


...and this...


...and this...


I will say, he left the parking lot, in his own car, before we did.  He was going to celebrate with his friends.  I am so glad he got to feel this again.  I know it must have been such a wonderful feeling, to be on that stage again.

I am sooo proud of him.

Here are some more pics of my family!

Enjoy!!!

My Dad and I!


This is my dad and my sister.



My dad and the girls!


My Baby!!!










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A BIG Day!




If you don't know this already, my father had a heart attack this past Thanksgiving Day.  He was having chest pains in the morning, and actually drove himself to the ER and walked in on his own while having it.


He was given a catheterization procedure and scheduled for   bypass.  Well, the night before his scheduled bypass he had another heart attack (worse than the first) and they had to rush him in to surgery.


After his bypass, his chest was so enlarged, they could not close him up.  We (my sister and I) thought he was going to die.  He had about a 70% chance of survival.  


After 10 days of being in multiple forms of life support (one of which being a ventricular assist that actually pumped his blood for him), a mild stroke, and many blood transfusions, he was finally closed back up and began healing.


Today, less than 6 months since his heart attack, my father is having his first concert performance and he even has a solo and a duet (I was wrong, he just had a duet).  I can't believe he has come so far, and I feel so blessed that he is still here and singing.


He has sang his entire life, even in prestigious groups such as the National Philharmonic, so when we found out he had a mild stroke, we feared he would never sing again, even if he lived.


But, today, we get to witness the miracles of medical technology, God's ability to heal, and our Dad's will to live!  I am just soooo excited!!!


Anyhow, just wanted to share how very proud I am of my dad, and how grateful I am to his doctors, and to God, for working a miracle in our lives...and how grateful I am to my daddy for fighting so hard to stay here with us a little longer...he is truly our very own walking (and now driving, too) miracle!  ;)


I love my daddy!!!


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Saturday, May 8, 2010

Father Daughter Dance

Now, things have been kind of crazy the last month and a half.  But going to the Father-Daughter Dance, and getting to see all the fun and excitement, was a true treat!








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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Sam vs. Snake

Generally, I don't go around chopping up baby animals into little pieces, but today, I made an exception...Um, yeah, I won this battle!!!  This baby copperhead didn't stand a chance...and I wasn't giving him a chance!

Now, for the record, I would only do this to a copperhead...I always leave our black snakes alone, because they actually eat copperhead eggs, along with rodents.



I have to admit, this snake sure did scare the crap out of me as I got out of my van today...and I also broke my hoe.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

This Deserves Two Posts in One Day...read on...

I got this in my work inbox...yes, I get URGENT news from the Washington Post!  What do you say?



News Alert: D.C. marijuana bill heads to mayor for signature
12:47 PM EDT Tuesday, May 4, 2010
--------------------


The D.C. Council has given final approval to legalized medical marijuana. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) is now expected to sign the legislation, after which Congress will get 30 days to review it before it becomes law. 


For more information, visit washingtonpost.com:
http://link.email.washingtonpost.com/r/VP6EHT/KDN3F/INPR5/WZZ2GJ/8YRY6/UP/t




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Slowly, But Surely!

Slowly but surely,things are falling back into place.

We are adjusting to a new normal...

I am almost caught up on work...almost!

Eva had a preK concert last night that was amazing.  I am going to post pictures this weekend, once I have time to upload them on to my computer.

After her concert we went to Girl Scouts...and I cried last night...in front of just a few girls and adults (after most of everyone had left).  I just couldn't help it.  Eva and Beth's youngest daughter (who looks just like Beth) were playing red light/green light...and I just lost it.  I don't know why, but I just started crying.  Beth's oldest daughter looked at me and asked, "Are you crying because you miss my mommy?"  I replied a very solemn, "Yes, baby."    Then, the other girl who was in the accident said, "Oh, Sam, let it all out...I do it all the time."  Funny how an 11 year old girl can make you feel all better.

Anyhow, I am sure I will still have tears from time to time...and I am sure I will always miss my friend, but I am so glad I can cry when I need to, and know that others have cried and will cry again, too....I am not alone in this.

On another note, our Girl Scout Council has nominated Beth for the Appreciation Pin at this year's Honoring Excellence Dinner.  I was honored to write a letter on recommendation for her.  I am also going to attend the dinner with our troop leader and hopefully Beth's family.

Anyhow, hope to write more soon.  For now, back to work!!!  Bye!

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