Archives for category: Family


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Friday, May 28, 2010


Riley is always excited when a package arrives. Which is ridiculously optimistic because most of the time there is nothing for him in the box. But every now and then I’m a really nice dog owner and order a few little treats for him as well.

Lucky dog. 🙂

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Saturday, May 29, 2010


This has been my favorite stand-by lunch since I was a very little girl. Actually, it was the only thing I ever wanted for lunch growing up, and I would eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with Mom every day before the bus picked me up for afternoon kindergarten.

For me, this sandwich is comfort food. I’m sure for my mother, this sandwich was what came directly before a few hours of peace and quiet in the house. 🙂

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Sunday, May 30, 2010


I could hardly look at this photo long enough to crop it and put it on this page. Imagine how completely freaked out I was when I took the picture.


I am still looking under pillows and blankets for fear it had babies.

There was HAIR on that thing.

You have no idea how much wadded up toilet paper it took for me to grab that sucker and flush it. But I wanted the photo so when I tell people I killed the largest spider known to man, I have proof.

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Monday, May 31, 2010


I know, you’ve seen pictures like this of Riley a thousand different times. And people are always commenting how well he poses for pictures. But what you never see is this:


He poses so nicely because the minute he hears that first shutter click, he is diving at me for the inevitable Cheerio that follows. There’s no free lunch around here, people.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010


On Tuesday, the girls and I had our rescheduled birthday dinner… and when I mentioned the word camera, it was met with a resounding “NO.”

I think they’re over the whole blog thing.

So before I went to bed I grabbed the camera and took a picture of the only evidence that they were here…


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Wednesday, June 2, 2010


And this… well, I may or may not have eaten this little bit of leftovers for breakfast the next morning.

We won’t even talk about all the Cushing’s weight I have yet to lose. I mean, it was mostly fruit, right???

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Thursday, June 3, 2010


Is there anything better than beautifully colored pictures from little people?

Marla’s sweet, lovely, youngest daughter Nina showed me her artistic side and sent me some new artwork for my fridge. I always say that life is just a little happier with Eyore around. 🙂divider blue

Thanks for once again sharing my week with me! Click on the button below if you want to go to Jessica’s site and check out the other participants showing off their weekly photos as well:


I’m skipping a few years of Memorial Day celebrations so I have the space to show you all the layouts for 2007.

We may have taken a few photos that year. 🙂

I love capturing moments, and my sister Laura had just gotten a DSLR for Mother’s Day, so we had a hay day with the cameras. I also took a lot of pictures that year because I had this nagging pull on my heart the entire time. It was one of those weekends that I was purposefully taking in every moment because it was becoming very clear to me that it would be my last year traveling home.

I had no idea my health would continue to spiral like it did, as quickly as it did. I just knew my limitations were escalating. I remember standing in the kitchen with mom, after everyone else had left to go home, and saying that it was the perfect weekend to end on for me. The kids were all so good and played so great together, everyone was relaxed, there was no schedule. It was calm. And happy. And I felt so blessed in that moment to have it.

I think Mom was still a bit in denial at the time about whether or not I’d be making any car trips after that, but she agreed that it was a lovely time. I hope you can see in the photos the kind of happy it left with us.

I look back on these pages often.


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I think I’ve mentioned it a little bit before, but do you all know I used to be a compulsive scrapbooker?

Like, I’d start one layout in the evening and then stay up until four in the morning trying to finish an entire book. I loved it. It was like once I started I just couldn’t make myself stop. Obviously, in the past couple of years I haven’t done a lot of sitting at the computer for hours on end, and in the past year I’ve done… let’s see… zero pages.

I really started faithfully scrapbooking for my family in 2001 when we had our first big Memorial Day get-together because we had family pictures taken. All of my nieces and nephews had such a great time playing together that we decided to make it an annual event, and I love that I have my scrapbook pages so I can look back, remember and see how much the kids have changed.

Want to see some? 🙂

I’ll post a few layouts today and a few more tomorrow. I’m warning you, I’m no Jessica or Ali Edwards… but I do love putting a page together. Just click on the photo and it will open to a bigger shot so you can see them better.

Feel free to tell me how cute my nieces and nephews are. I’m not going to argue with you…


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Friday, May 14, 2010


Ok, so I was talking to Susie on the phone late Friday night, intending to chat away until it turned midnight and I could officially wish her a happy birthday. We were actually talking about a really serious situation when, I swear to God, I thought a snake slithered out between the pillows next to me and landed on my arm.

Imagine how ridiculous I felt when I realized it was just Riley’s paw.

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Saturday, May 15, 2010


The thing is, though, I had no idea the little… um… I’ll say “stinker” had burrowed his way in between the two pillows that were set next to me on the couch. The pillows that, at any time, I could have leaned back against and SQUISHED THE DOG TO DEATH.

He did alert me to the fact that the clock had struck twelve, so I wished Suz a happy birthday and kept talking to her in a soothing, even tone so I could grab my camera without him realizing. Because we all know that if he had been aware I was snapping these photos ahead of time, he would have jumped out from between the pillows and started posing like the model I trained him to be.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010


As many Sunday nights as possible [read: whenever Suz is healthy] she tries to come over and watch Brothers and Sisters with me while devouring a good amount of popcorn. This past Sunday was the season finale, so we curled up on my bed and watched while the lives of the Walker family dramatically changed forever.

And, somehow, Rob Lowe was hot even while dying in a car crash.

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Monday, May 17, 2010


Ah, my cute little Elias. This magnet was his St. Patrick’s Day greeting and hangs on my fridge where I can see him daily. Last Monday, Jessica wrote a letter to Elias on her blog and included in it all the words he can say now that he’s almost two.

I let her know in a super non-subtle way that a certain name wasn’t on that list, and maybe she needed to work on that.

So that night, I got a phone call from the cutest almost-two-year-old ever and heard him say, “Hi, Gitz!”

He’s officially in the will.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I wrote last week about getting to see my aunt and uncle after they heard the Dalai Lama speak, and my friend Mark [Susie’s husband] was nice enough to drop off an informational packet for me to look at as well.

My mom has asked me to stop referring to myself as an idiot when I do idiotic things, so I’m just going to say that I felt like a total dolt when I discovered, after the fact, that His Holiness’ talk was broadcast live on the internet.

And I missed it.

Because I’m something similar to, but not exactly, an idiot.

I’ll let you know when I figure out what exactly I am…

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Wednesday night was pretty remarkable as we all waited around on Twitter for Angie’s c-section to happen so we could welcome Miss Charlotte Olivia into the world. I was trying to keep Jessica busy tweeting about dumb things while she was in the waiting room, ready to be called upon to take photos like the ones you see above.

It was a full day and a late night for all of them… Jess called on her drive home and her voice contained an amazing mix of exhaustion, awe and love.

Which pretty much sums up all a new life should be.

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Thursday, May 20, 2010


That little hand resting in mine belongs to my sweet goddaughter, Bailey. She is in second grade and recently made her first holy communion.

Something a godmother should be on hand to witness.

It made me realize how many moments are to come for her that I will need to support and love her through from afar. So I gave her a very special present for her birthday [which was in February] so a piece of me could be with her on those special occasions.

When it was time to get my class ring back in high school, I had every intention of getting an emerald [my birthstone]. But when I walked into the jewelry store with Mom and Dad, the only ring that stood out to me was the one in the photo… an amethyst with tiny little diamonds around it. I think something in the universe must have known that my sweet Bailey would have a February birthday, and the amethyst birthstone was really for her.

So Jenny [her mom] is keeping it safe for those special occasions, and I’m looking forward to being the one she gets to come to and recount all the details of all her special days.

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Thanks for once again sharing my week with me! Click on the button below if you want to go to Jessica’s site and check out the other participants showing off their weekly photos as well:

No. Not in my house.

But he was in my town.

Some of you may remember that I wrote about being distressed that the Dalai Lama was going to be five minutes from my house and I wasn’t going to be able to hear him speak. Some of you wrote to me, distressed that I’d wanted to listen to him speak at all. Some of you thought I had a lot of the same philosophies as the Dalai Lama, while some of you thought that I should be more aware of the damage I could do speaking about him with admiration.

As always, there are a lot of opinions. And I’m good with that. I’m far from being fully informed on every issue, and I’m sure I’m wrong a lot. But everything I’ve read that the Dalai Lama has written, I have appreciated and respected. And while I don’t know everything about his religion and it’s history, I do know that my own Catholic religion has a pretty intense history of violence and bloodshed. And we have enough scandal right now that we will be ashamed of long into the future. But that doesn’t change who I am as a person, so I was anxious to hear what people who heard the Dalai Lama thought of him as a person.

Lucky for me, my Aunt Kate and Uncle Don traveled here to listen to him speak. Kate discovered he was coming after reading about it on my blog, and somehow talked Donny into coming despite the fact that he had never heard of the Dalai Lama.

Which I gave him a lot of grief about. 🙂 Seriously, I thought everyone knew about the Dalai Lama in the same way that everyone knew about the Pope. Boy, was I wrong… apparently most people in my life have never heard of him. One of my aunts actually asked WHAT a Dalai Lama is.

That seriously cracked me up.

Anyway, Don and Kate came to the afternoon session and then stopped by the condo for a visit:

I spent many a summer afternoon sitting at their kitchen table talking about anything and everything, so it was lovely to have them sitting on my couch doing the same. I told them about the flack I had received because I admired this man who wasn’t a Christian, but that I found him… as a person… to be full of joy and peace and compassion. He seemed to be a man who valued every person, believed in equality and promoted kindness.

Every book of his that I’ve read has talked about living a grateful, joyful life, while treating others with respect and value. He’s talked about being moral and ethical and kindhearted. As far as I know, Jesus is good with all of those things.

So it was great to hear first hand that they found him to be the same way. They said he had nothing prepared, but just sat on a couch and spoke to them… telling them we are all equal, no one is better or worse than another. He said he has no special powers, or abilities to heal, he was simply a man who wanted to share the importance of education and peace and kindness. He said that he respected all religions and that we could learn from each other and our beliefs. He brought no judgment and had no interest in converting anyone to anything. He simply wanted to share life.

And he laughed a lot.

I admire that. I have friends from many different religions, and friends who have no religion at all. I have learned from each of them, and found that some beliefs in other faiths actually match up with my own. I also know that learning, sharing life and listening won’t change my belief in Jesus. If anything, it strengthens my faith and broadens my acceptance.

I still wish I could have heard the Dalai Lama speak in person, but I am so glad to have had the opportunity to hear about it first hand. And I’m really thrilled that he brought me company for the afternoon so I could hear about their lives first hand as well. 🙂

As it turns out, when I received my new iPad [aka Padma] last Friday, I only had it in my hot little hands for less than an hour when my phone and internet went out.

Seriously, I felt like I was living out a verse in the Alanis song Ironic. Turns out, I was without phone and internet until Saturday night… which was only ok because I was able to mooch wireless off of my neighbor Laura.

Can you imagine getting an iPad and then not being able to use it?!?!?

But thanks to her wireless password, I was able to play with the iPad, download apps, send emails, etc. I even found a texting app that I downloaded so I could text my friends and let them know I wasn’t in an “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up” sort of situation since no one could get a hold of me.

I thought I had my bases covered since I texted both mom and dad but, as it turns out, they don’t really text. Or know how to check the one I sent. Which means when my phone finally started working Saturday night I had multiple messages from my mother, each one sounding more frantic than the one before.

I felt awful. I have since downloaded an app that lets me make actual phone calls from the iPad, so short of the power going out entirely and me having no internet in the area, I can now get a hold of them. I don’t know if they were planning on it before they panicked about my well-being or not, but they ended up driving to see me that next day on Mother’s Day. It turned out to be a great day as we watched The Blind Side and relaxed together for the afternoon.


Riley totally knew they were coming. I don’t know how he knows, but when company is coming he parks himself in front of the window in excited anticipation. He likes my mom and dad a little bit.


As a matter of fact, these next photos are in the exact order they were taken. He is nothing if not empathetic to the needs of others, and finds himself moving from one person to the other… and back again… in order to ensure everyone feels loved in equal measure.


Mom had her kisses, so he lounged with Dad and I on the bed for awhile.


But it wasn’t long before Mom looked a little lonely.


And since Mom had the chance to rub his belly, he promptly put himself right in front of Dad’s eye line to the TV… just to make sure Dad noticed that he was available to be petted by him as well.

IMG_9763Don’t worry, lady. I’m coming back to you next.”

Sigh. It’s a lot of work being the blog dog.


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Friday, May 7, 2010


Have you seen a more handsome graduate in your life? Me either.

Somehow, my oldest nephew has managed to grow up. I’m not sure who allowed it to happen, but my Alex is now an adult and headed to college. And I am so stinkin’ proud of him. I hated not being able to attend his party this past weekend, but am sure he got an appropriate amount of love nonetheless. 🙂

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Saturday, May 8, 2010


When I tell you all it’s been rainy around here, I don’t mean Seattle-like mist.

When it rains, it POURS!

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Sunday, May 9, 2010


Mom and Dad ended up making a trip to see me on Mother’s Day, and we chilled out watching movies for the afternoon. Riley was in heaven…

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Monday, May 10, 2010


Personally, I think I’ve been doing a little better with the whole burning-up-from-the-inside-out thing, but when mom and dad came they were quickly covered in blankets and trying to stay warm.

It made me wonder if I needed to keep things warmer for Riley, so as a test I turned on my little fireplace in the red room. He zoomed over and made himself cozy … not moving an inch until I got too hot and shut the thing off.

Apparently I am still warmer than most. Including my dog. Poor thing.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Ok, so I had this background on my iPad because I thought it mirrored what the weather is like outside. My Gmail screen on the computer does that and I think it’s kind of handy. Since I don’t go outside, it’s rather nice to have a visual to know what’s happening out there.

Here’s the funny thing: It’s been raining non-stop here, so I had the iPad for over a week before we had a sunny day. And I was confused because the background didn’t change. Yeah, apparently it doesn’t. This is the normal background. I just had no way of knowing that because it’s been raining constantly.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Once I realized my background error, I decided I didn’t really want to look at a dreary, rainy background all the time. So instead I put on a background of Riley. This is the exact look I’ve been getting from him since I put this miracle machine in my hot little hands.

He’s jealous, people. I thought this background might remind me to put Padma down every now and again so the pup gets a little attention, too. 🙂

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Thursday, May 13, 2010



Which pretty much made my birthday ideal. Thanks to all of you who made me feel so loved. I am ridiculously blessed.

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Thanks for once again sharing my week with me! Click on the button below if you want to go to Jessica’s site and check out the other participants showing off their weekly photos as well: