Wordless Wednesday~Thankful

I am thankful for him.
And for where he’s leading me.
HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
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The walk of shame

I’ve got a confession. I am a happily married woman, but last January I performed the Walk of Shame. If you’re not familiar with the walk of shame then you obviously didn’t go to college. Or you did go to college but it was BYU or Catholic, although I’m pretty sure that Catholic has seen it’s fair share of the W.O.S. (Unrelated I totally want to go to Catholic to finish my Religion degree, they have a study abroad program that makes me one of the Woo Girls) or you’re a Duggar; which is unlikely as they frown on the internet lest their girls be exposed to things like jeans, women’s rights and current hairstyles.


But I digress…Quelle Surprise! 




Just like any affair, it began innocently enough. In this instance I was egged on by my friends Rachell and Janice.


Trust me, you’ll love it said Rachell.


I can’t stop myself said Janice.


I’m too old for this! I protested.


I’m older than you, Rach reminded me then told me just how good it felt to be naughty.


He is so hot, Stephanie, he’s delicious. Janice implored.


So I gave in. And it was good. Good in that way that M&M’s are good. No nutritional value whatsoever but you can’t.stop.eating.them. Before I knew it I was staying up late, waiting till everyone fell asleep and then sneaking off to indulge. 


And then it happened. The Walk of Shame.


Nervously I approached him, flushing as his hand touched mine as I handed it to him.


He said: Exchange?


I said: Yes. 


And blushed further. And just like any guilty person I couldn’t stop talking, offering far too many details.


I vomited out: I bought it for my niece but she already had it so I just need the last one. For my niece. She doesn’t have that one.

LIES. ALL LIES.

Not even 36 hours earlier I had stood in that same Borders and reached for the book, fingers touching it just a fraction of a second before the 13 year old girl who was just opening her mouth to say “Mom, can I have…” I plucked up the book right as her fingers grasped the now empty space where it had been. She gaped at me in disbelief and, God help me, I smiled triumphantly and trounced up to the register. Thrilled that I had gotten the last copy – stolen right out from underneath a child.



Now I shamefully clutched the bag with the newly exchanged final book secured for my non-existent niece to my chest and hurried out into the night, wearing yesterdays yoga pants, tank and hoodie. It was indeed a Literary Shame F***, j
ust as Rachell had said it would be, and as I walked the Walk of Shame I thought man, it was worth it! 



I had an affair with Twilight and my husband didn’t divorce me. He did however, suggest therapy.


Also? Renesmee? Stupidest name ever.

Boys will be boys…

We vowed early on to let Max take the lead as to which toys he was interested in and what he liked. Zach is a BIG sports fan and was still playing team Baseball when I met him. My grandfather also played ball for most of his life. We are a big baseball family. But what would Max like?
Well make no mistake about it, this little boy so far is following in his daddy’s footsteps.
It’s all about sports. Baseball, basketball, soccer. He wants to play!

The other day I made an unsatisfying trip to Michaels. I have this brilliant dream of making Max a stocking for Christmas, one of those grand needlepoint ones. Never mind that I don’t know how to needlepoint I want to make my kid a stocking! There was nary a good stocking at Michaels. Max wiggled in my arms wanting to get down and explore and since we were surrounded by Christmas decorations I let him. Did he stop to look at the sparkly trees? Ornaments? How about the figurines? Nope he took off at a run for the end cap at the back of the store. The end cap that had stick on decals for the back windows of cars. He raced to it happily screaching ‘Baaaaaaaaa” and grabbed about 20 basketball decals.

I predict I will be throwing many pizza parties for his teams in the future, and taking the boys to Jimmy Cone

I guess I better start liking sports more.

Baby Max would like to thank the Academy…

And the Winner of Most Dramatic Diaper Change is…. BABY MAX!!!!

(Voice over : This Baby Max’s third nomination today and his first win. He is also nominated in Most Dramatic Car Seat and Most Dramatic Breakfast)

Baby Max:
 I’m so honored to toddle here before you to accept the honor of Most Dramatic Diaper Change. The other nominees are so talented and formidable in their performances to escape before a new diaper is placed on them. Special acknowledgement to Trevor for his use of the Alligator roll out of a poopy diaper. Well done, man!

I was saddened to loose Most Dramatic Going Down for a Nap to my dear friend Reese, but looking forward to the next category I am nominated in, Most Dramatic Being Placed in a Car Seat, I really think the arched back and the Exorcist-esque head rolls might clinch the win for me!

I’d like to recognize my buddy Nik who took home the award for Most Dramatic Pucker Face Upon Tasting Cranberry Juice. ( instrumental music swells- Lady Gaga’s Poker Face) I need to give a shout out  for his performance in “I don’t want to get out of the bath” with his costars his Drenched Mommy, Daaddy and Wet Dog. It’s great when an artist is supported by the whole family.

I am truly humbled to be surrounded by such toddlers, toddlers who are wholly and fully commited to the Food Throw and the Toilet Splash. Your willingness to just ‘go there’ is astonishing.
I share this award with every one of you…*Exit music plays*
I DON’T WANNA GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
*arches back, kicks, screams- is picked up by mommy and carried off*

Mad Max

The I wants!

Oh how I have them. I do, I admit it. We are doing our level best to make our time at the American Dream count and are being very, very practical with our money. And so I’ve stopped shopping. Did you hear me people? I’ve.stopped.shopping.  Shopping for me is like breathing so it’s been a tough couple of weeks but I think I am starting to get the hang of resisting. Sort of.
 Of course there are exceptions! Diapers, clothes for Stinker as he grows etc. I’ve no idea why I call him Stinker now, as he is a sweet natured little dude who most certainly doesn’t stink! He pretty much smells like marshmallows and heaven.
Christmas will be small but lovely. Zach and I opting for practical things like contact lenses, headshots for me and a microphone to record mp3s ( not all of those!)so I don’t have to drag the wee baby all over creation to audition for voice overs.
All great stuff! I’ve always believed that Christmas gifts are not for things you need but things you want. This year though, I want the things I need. I really want headshots! And contact lenses!

But…I also want this. It’s so neat. I saw it on Cool Mom Picks  and got that lovely warm feeling in my tummy when I see something I want ever so much!
I love it in the gold, I’ve been wearing white gold and platinum for so long and now the gold just seems so warm and happy, sunny! I’m craving the bright colors of spring, greens and pinks…just in time for Winter (good timing, Tex!) but gold knows no season.

BUY IT HERE
Expandable braclets at Alex and Ani
Of course I want an M. M for Max. M for Minky. And if we are blessed enough to have another wee one M for them (probably), we very well might Duggar the initials! If you don’t want an initial never fear, there are all kinds of charms. Religious symbols, cherubs. You name it, they’ve got it.

Since ZD and I are going to be good this Christmas, I thought I might post some things that I love. Perhaps you’ll love them too and then you might go out and get them for you or someone you love and that? Makes me just as happy as if I’d gotten it my very self.

*BTW this isn’t a sponsored post or review or anything. I just have the I Wants!

Two years ago today….

Two years ago today we boarded a plane and flew off to Italy. Sigh. I’d always wanted to go to Rome, in particular to the Vatican and St. Peter’s and now…now it was finally happening.
From the moment we landed it just felt like home. Has that ever happened to you? It was so shocking and yet completely peaceful and brilliant at the same time. The Italians are just phenomenal as a group and our cab driver was ever so kind to point things out to us in broken English as we drove by. My first sight was of the Colloseum all lit up at night. Honestly? It brought a tear to my eye. I waited my whole life (thus far) to go there and see it.

Our driver apologized for his poor language skills and we apologized to him saying that we wish were better at Italian and that he was lovely for making the attempt for us.
This happened repeatedly in our stay, the Italians wishing they could be of more help to us, speak English better for us…it was mind blowing and so lovely. I wanted to send every one of them a thank you note. (which I am fabulous at writing but utter crap at sending. I’m looking at a stack of them right now. Well done me.)
It truly was a trip of a life time. Rome, Florence, Sienna and Milan. But nothing touched Rome for me. Roma.

I lived out my Roman Holiday fantasy
I visited some of my Saints:
(please note the Brother P-touch label on the forehead. It reads “St. Valentine” We got a kick out of that. The ancient and new, side by side.)
I lit a candle and prayed for a baby in every church in ever town we went to.
And my cats. No matter where I am, I will fever be a pied piper of kitties!
Rome
Florence:
That little guy followed me all over Boboli Gardens. I wanted to bring him home.
And this little guy was my tour guide in Milan!
Zach pretending he is Charlemagne
It was truly a trip of a life time. Perfection. Zach even bought a roof tile from the Chiesa de San Dominico in Sienna where St Catherine saw God. So. Cool.

But the best souvenir arrived 9 months later:

All those candles and prayers worked!

I want to go back and bring another one home.

For Maddie

For Maddie. Happy Birthday Beautiful girl, you will never be forgotten.

I had only begun to dip my toe in the huge pool of the blogging world in the end of May/beginning of April. Through Twitter and Blogher I had come across some bloggers whose tweets and post made me laugh, one of those bloggers was Mama Spohr herself, Heather. Of course through her blog I found her husband Mike’s and sure enough I fell in love with them as a couple. Cute. Funny. Beautiful daughter…added bonus of being in (oh my God I’m homesick for) my hometown, Los Angeles. For about a week straight, I read Heather’s Blog every night, like a book on my iphone before I fell asleep. I read it from beginning to end. Weeping over the stresses and obstacles of Heather’s pregnancy and thrilling to the triumphs of little Maddie’s struggles and victories in the NICU, and then coming home, and back to the NICU. I was enraptured. Heather is a wonderful writer of course, and I allowed myself to indulge in the emotion of it because I knew the end.

Madeline was still here, safe and getting stronger every day.

I finished her blog, getting all caught up, on April 5th. Yup. Two days before Sweet Madeline’s passing. I wish I was making that up for dramatic effect or whatever, but it’s true.
Then the news came that Madeline had left us. Left Heather and Mike. I simply didn’t know what to do with all my emotion. I had JUST read her whole story, just experienced the roller coaster and now that beautiful little girl I had fallen madly in love with was gone. Just like that.
I didn’t post on Heather’s blog. I didn’t want to intrude, perhaps I should have but since I had just read the whole blog I felt a bit like a lurker, if that makes any sense.
Perhaps I should have told them how her story had touched me. How the pictures of her had made me smile and the stories of her sweetness and humor had made me giggle. How she had brought joy to my life through the blog. For not posting my condolences, I am sorry. I should have. Of course her passing is not about me, or my feelings about it, but about Heather and Mike and their family.

Today is Maddie’s second birthday. Would be. I didn’t ever meet her, and it’s hard to say would be. Should be.

Heather and Mike inspire me. Both of them so honest on their blogs about it all. The beautiful rememberances of Maddie and the ugly devastating side of grief. It’s brave of them to share it with us all. And so often I think ‘There but for the grace of God go I.”

So often we wonder what is the reason for all of this? Why did this happen? (lord know I’ve thought it enough about the last year of my life!)  Heather and Mike have made a huge difference in the world in the 7 long months since Maddie’s death. Through the March of Dimes they have raised a crazy amount of money in Maddie’s name though donations. And of course Friends of Maddie providing families with children in the NICU care packets, with things like an accordian file to keep all the papers in. Amazing how something like that can reduce an extra stressor on a family.

The lives of other NICU families are made better and easier because of the Spohr family. That is a beautiful testament to the love for their child. I’m certain they would trade it all for one more minute with their precious girl, since they can’t I think it’s amazing that they are helping others have one more minute and hopefully full lifetimes with their little ones.

Thank you Heather and Mike for sharing your story. Thank you Maddie for just being. You touched my heart and for the rest of my life  I will never see a little girl wearing purple that I don’t think of you. Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!