365 Challenge – A few days…

Life is flying by me.

Which is good and bad I suppose.

We are painting Natalia’s room. She had gotten a gift certificate from my sister for an occasion that I can’t even remember- a birthday? Christmas? and she chose the color last summer. It’s been sitting in our garage ever since. Finding free time to paint has been quite an issue. This gal’s schedule must rival the President’s. School til 230. Then Cheer for 2 hours then home just to eat then gymnastic’s for 2 more hours. That’s only if there isn’t a basketball game.

Having Nick help to drive has been an asset but baseball practice started for him which also pulls him and his father away which goes back to it just being me again.

I don’t know how these kids keep up.

I honestly wonder how I do it sometimes, too.  Lately more so than ever.

I am the only person in the house who is doing laundry, cleaning , cooking , running the errands and finishing the paint right now. I know I’m not telling the women of the world ( and some men) things that they don’t already know. I just needed a place to vent. Our dishwasher is broken (in addition to the stove, and the microwave, and the fan above the stove.. and the… ) and my husband is in no hurry to fix it. I therefore believe that he should be the one to do the dishes.. Makes sense, right? Somehow it’s not working out that way. And he certainly doesn’t have a disease that affects his hands quite like mine does. The kids were home for one day and I asked Nick to do the dishes while Natalia and I painted. That went over well. I told Nick that maybe his father is just confused about what decade it is because I wear aprons in the kitchen,that maybe he thinks dishwashers just haven’t been invented yet… ?!?  I think I may have to stop wearing aprons for a while. See if it changes things. I’m open to suggestions.

Anyway… I am still trying to stay on top of my photo group challenges. But I’m failing miserably.

Here are day #27 – outside

and Day #28 -inside.

Sunday – #27 Outside– we had a snow day. I took a break from painting and looked out of our window and saw those footprints. I was so confused. Which way was this person going and exactly *how*were they walking? what happened to the rest of  their footprints?

outside

Of course I had to take pictures while we were painting..

So , Day #28- Inside-

InsideYou’ll notice we painted “inside” Natalia’s room. You also may notice up in the corner that some of us had a bit of difficulty painting inside the lines. And that’s OK. “it gives it character” … Right gals? 😉

When people ask me what color Natalia chose to paint her room the best descriptive I can use is ” Tiffany box blue” . I find that almost 90 % of women can recall what I mean immediately. Tiffany box blue is an iconic color. It’s more than just a color .. it’s a dream for many a little girl, too. My daughter picked that color along with black trim and some black and white carpet/ curtains and has unknowingly made herself her own little Tiffany box!

Two wonderful women in my life sent me a gift from Tiffany’s as a special , *very* special gift when I first started treatment. It was a horseshoe necklace.. to “let the luck fall in”…. (you may have seen this photo before – as self portrait I did as a tribute to those 2 amazing women.2 special gals who helped me get through those first 10 days of treatment.)

My Tiffany Necklace

Getting that beloved blue box in the mail was such an incredible experience for me. I hope someday to be able to do that for others, for my daughter, too. But for now, this was as close as I could get…

nataliaboxI know it won’t mean nearly the same thing to her, but I sure loved seeing the smiles on her face the painting days! And as fast as the days are going right now, I’ll treasure each and every one of them while I can.

 

 

Pop Calls Them Pixies

“We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet.
Even longer,’ Pooh answered.”
― A.A. MilneWinnie-the-Pooh

My daughter Natalia is quite an amazing young lady. Having been put on bed rest at 28 weeks into my pregnancy with her, she is not only one of my greatest challenges in this life, she has also been one of my greatest rewards. I like to tell people though, that even after being put on bed-rest at 28 weeks for premature labor, I ended up going past my due date with Natalia and had to be induced. That’s the thing about my daughter Natalia, she does everything her way. On her on time and at her own pace. And that became apparent at a very early age.  She is strong -willed, stubborn and determined.

She could walk early, talk early and ‘give direction’ ( read was quite bossy) at a very early age. One of our favorite memories of Natalia was when she lifted her beautiful little red head and blurted out in a crowded store for all to hear (at the toddling age of 3 )  ” Mommy, Nicky is antagonizing me!”

We simply had to find a way to channel all of her energy. I was injured when Natalia was only 2. Dealing with 2 toddlers while on crutches full time is difficult. So we needed to find something to do with them to help get their energy out. By the time Natalia turned 3 we had enrolled her into dance classes. By the time Natalia turned 4 her instructor had informed me that a ballerina she would never be. Fortunately for me, their was a mom in our class of a very talented gymnast in the area who recognized what Natalia just *may* be.

By the age of 5 we had enrolled her in tumbling classes. It didn’t take her long to get her first solo. She immediately began to excel.

By the age of 6 her Pop-Pop offered to enroll her in a local gym to try out some of the equipment “just for the summer”, as a birthday present. That  was June. When August rolled around, she was offered a chance to begin training on their “team training program” that they called “The Sparklers” at that time.  It was then that she met her best friend Brianna.

Fast forward 8 years. Brianna and Natalia have grown up together. Theirs is a friendship of mutual respect. I have watched them evolve as gymnasts and as people. I am incredibly proud of them both. Brianna’s family has been beyond generous to my daughter over the years. They treat her like she is theirs. She has traveled with them, stayed with them and vacationed with them. I joke that in the summertime Brianna’s parents and I share custody of them. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I am delighted that their friendship has remained steadfast. I have seen very few serious arguments. Very few typical girl squabbles. Maybe because they go to different schools, or maybe because they are just that close. For whatever reason it is, I am grateful.

Bri and Natalia are my 2 favorite subjects to photograph. Brianna will humor me almost as much as Natalia does.

Brianna’s Pop has moved in with them recently. It hasn’t been an easy adjustment for her. But it makes me giggle when he calls them “the 2 Pixies” . I have named my collection of photos of them over the years ” Pop Calls Them Pixies” in his honor.

I love to see their joy when they are together. Love to hear their laughter. Even love to hear them argue a bit over who gets to stand where or wear what. Because that just means they care. And caring is a good thing.

I lost my best friend when I was just 16 years old and I would give the world to hear her crazy laugh again. Or even just to argue with her.

These are a few of my favorite ( older) photos of them. My daughter’s schedule has been so crazy we haven’t seen much of Brianna lately. I’ve been waiting to get them both out in front of my lens again. It’s been too long. I’m sure my daughter will let me know when the time is right.