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.

 

 

The Sort of Hope Who Lived in 2012

Bye Bye 2012

My how times have changed. Mike and I are enjoying a fabulous stir fry that I’ve prepared at home, our very quiet home and now the children are the ones who are out, and we are the ones staying in,  owed in part to this cold I can’t seem to shake. But it’s no big deal, I never cared much for New Year’s Eve anyway. I feel like it’s rookie night. All the prices go up, and the people who never party go out. Not for me, thanks. Give me my pj’s and the quiet. I don’t need the noise and the crowds.

I’ll stay home and watch the recaps. Read about words we don’t want to make it to 2013.. like Yolo (eew) or fiscal cliff. I’ll lament the passing of my treasured light bulbs. I’ll thank the Myans for being wrong. I’ll say a little prayer for all of the innocent children of Sandy Hook and the other victims of terrible, senseless crimes this year ( like Mike’s young cousin Timmy, a murder victim back in Feb of 2012). I’ll continue to think about the people still rebuilding from Super Storm Sandy.

And I’ll praise women like Jennifer Livingston the news anchor who stood up to the bully who called her fat.  ( I blogged about that before here: read on for more..) I’ll be thankful that her words went viral in a matter of hours. I’ll be hopeful that perhaps just one girl will listen. Hopeful that perhaps just one self image of a fragile teen age girl will be saved. Hopeful that maybe 2013 will be the year we can knock social media bullying down a few pegs.

Hope

thank you Kevin Brett of Soul Imagery for allowing me to edit this.

And then, because a woman who has walked a mile in my shoes has finally convinced me to stop looking at all things I can’t do and instead celebrate the things I’ve done, I’ll look at what I’ve managed to be a part of in this past year.

2012.. my highlights.

I was somehow able to keep up with my tumble off champ, my All Berks/ All State Player, my Level 7 USA Gymnast who medaled many times, my HS cheerleader/2 time tumble off champ, another NHS member, My Summer Love- (Schuylkill Berks Legion League Berks Co Div Champs )~oh what a season~! , a 2 x Tourny Winning 18Y Berkshire Showcase Team, a permitted driver to a licensed driver. Natalia turned 14 Nick turned 16. Seems impossible. What am I forgetting?

On my birthday I said good bye to the family Jeepster. Jeepster had been a part of our family for nearly a decade. I have yet to replace it.

In 2012 I personally loved a few and lost a few – {my ball buddy ~ “you know what I mean?” },  flew to South Dakota for my first vacation in years, spent 7 whole days with the James Gang & saw my brother get married. Was able to once again participate in Cups of Compassion and feel what it really means to give of one’s self.

Sadly, I’m still learning that no matter what you think, no one or anything is ever truly as it seems and that people can still manage to surprise you even after 40.

I’m thankful for the chances I was given to share my talents this year. I’m so grateful for those who shared theirs with me.

This year I survived another 7 day inpatient coma and 5 outpatient treatments to help control and slow the progression of my 12 year battle with fully body/ internal RSD.

Oh and I started “allsortsofhope.com”.

As far as this life I lead, well, I owe so much of it to you, my friends who helped to keep me in this game called life yet again.

I am grateful for my new audience and as always, treasure my old one.

13 is my lucky number. I have a feeling 2013 is going to be a great year.

Stick around, won’t you?

newyearsresolution

What’s in a name?

Image

~ signed the boy up for SAT’s (the college board exams.) Boy has 2 different proper ID’s due to his “nickname” (pun intended). His social security and birth certificates both identify him as NICHOLAS.His school ID says NICK. All are considered acceptable forms of government identification for travel, id, etc. SAT people will not admit NICK with conflicting ID’s. Have spent the better part of one week trying to prove said child is, in fact, same child.

*Moral of story- Do not give your Nick a Nick-name.

While I sort this mess out, enjoy this “practice SAT question ” just for fun and be glad that YOUR name isn’t NICK ( or Nicholas, for that matter!)

If the graph of the function function f in the x times y-plane contains the points (0 comma negative 9)(1 comma negative 4), and (3 comma 0), which of the following CANNOT be true?

A.  click to choose answer A   The graph of function f has a maximum value.
B.  click to choose answer B   y less than or equal to 0 for all points (x comma y) on the graph of function f.
C.  click to choose answer C   The graph of function f is symmetric with respect to a line.
D.  click to choose answer D   The graph of function f is a line.
E.  click to choose answer E   The graph of function f is a parabola.

~ If I have had this much joy just in scheduling this test, I can’t even imagine the joy of taking this test.

Fortunately, my own SAT’s are but a distant memory for me.  Image

The Awarded Sort of Hope

Thomas Wigington, http://astrangertoheavenandearth.com/,  has nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger Award. I am honored for the nomination and I accept. Thank you,  Mr Wigington poet, essayist, fellow blogger for this generous nomination. Please take a moment to check out his site!

The rules for this award are:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Post the award image to your page
  3. Tell seven things about yourself
  4. Nominate up to 15 other bloggers and let them know

Imagine my surprise at seeing this nomination in my email! Heck, I’ve only been blogging for less than 2 months. Wow, has it been 2 months already? Time really flies when you’re doing laundry. I am very grateful to Mr Wigington for reading my blog, (clarification, I’m grateful to *anyone* who reads my blog!) let alone nominating me for this lovely Beautiful Blogger award.

The ‘Share Seven Things about Yourself” reminds me of the “16 things about you” that went around back in the beginning of my days on Facebook.  It always gives me pause. I can’t help but wonder what 7 things about me other people would actually find interesting, “normal”,  ‘you can write about them publicly’ things. I mean, everyone has quirky interesting things, right? But PG13 ?

1)When I was a little girl, I wanted to be President. Not first lady, I didn’t want to assist anyone. I wanted to run the world. And if I couldn’t run it, I wanted to save it. My mother has always told me that from the time I was about 3, I thought I could save the world. Over the course of my life I have tried to save so very many things. Causes, people, expired relationships, animals, old clothing, struggling businesses… you name it. I’ll try to save it. There has to be some sort of disorder name for this. And I don’t mean in the hoarder sort of way , I mean in the “rescue it” sort of way. I spent a rather grueling  heat wave week once trying to get a kitten to trust me enough to come out of some arbovitae trees and allow me to care for it. I moved a few feet/ inches closer to her every day, every hour. I even slept outside next to those trees, fearing that some mean creature of the night would eat it. I succeeded in my efforts and was ultimately left with a kitten that I couldn’t take in , as my son is allergic. Called all the local shelters and no one would take her as there was apparently some heat wave rush of feral cats, so I convinced my parents to drive the kitten to Maine to live with my brother. Yes, I am that bad.

2)Much to the dismay of my family, I celebrate everything. EVERYTHING. Got an A on a test?  Let’s celebrate! Great season? Celebrate. Successful treatment for me? Let’s celebrate. I believe that birthdays should be celebrated for at the very least a week. Minimum. I decorate our entire house for the Birthday-ee’s occasion. Balloons, signs, streamers, the person gets to pick a menu for a week with all of their favorites. With so much bad in the world, why not find as much joy as you can in the simple things, right? Last night we celebrated the end of Natalia’s first HS Cheer season and Nick’s Showcase Season.. and some other stuff I’m not at liberty to talk about yet. Kids in general should be celebrated. They are such a privilege and a joy.

3)In my life I have seen people very close to me overcome some of life’s greatest challenges. My big sister, my parents’, my best friend, my husband’s best friend, scores of RSD pals, each of whom have been dealt some of the worst of what life has to offer and have somehow held out with amazing grace , heads held high and have gone on to inspire myself and countless others. These people are heroes ( heroines) to me. Not the NFL/NBA or actors & actress who get paid millions of dollars to do what they do. I’m talking real life people living life struggles and living large living hard. I wish we glorified that more for our children. *Values*

4)Nicholas Michael and Natalia Marie are by far the greatest accomplishments of my life. Yet they continue to be works in progress. I pray every day I get to continue to see them grow up. I am so thankful that I have made it this far. So thankful that they have turned out as good as they have. Having a parent with a chronic condition is sooo difficult for children. They could’ve gone to the complete opposite end of the scale. Somehow, I got lucky and they didn’t. They are over achievers, honor students, good friends, amazing athletes, and more importantly good people and wonderful children. Yet sadly, growing up far too quickly.

5) Our universe baffles me. Though I , too, was an honor student,  space baffles me.  I am over 40 and I still cannot understand how we can see stars that are no longer there. Do not try to explain it to me, I will never ‘get it’.

6) In case you’ve missed it, I’m a redhead. I’ve always been a redhead. If it hasn’t been one shade of red, it’s been another.  Of course, I have a little more help now. My daughter was born with the most gorgeous shade of red hair and I was completely jealous. I have recently decided that it is no longer worth trying to make my red hair look natural , so it is currently the brightest most vibrant shade we can make it.  Why not, right?  I’ve threatened to go brunette, but my family says that they’d never be able to find me anywhere. One time at a gymnastic competition, my daughter shouted to me ” What’s that mom ? I can’t hear you over your hair!”~ well, you get the idea… 

7) Six degrees of separation was something I never heard of until Facebook. Yet Six degrees of separation affects my life almost daily. Almost always in a good way, thankfully.  It is also mainly responsible for my blogging experience. I am blogging because of a man I will call Joe. I didn’t know Joe, but my husband did. Joe is another kind of American hero, Mr Joe is a teacher. He encouraged me to try my hand ( or keyboard) at blogging. Stubborn gal that I am, it took me a year, but I eventually listened.  I tried to thank Mr Joe  but he was too humble to be thanked.  I just want him to know how much I appreciate him.

And I appreciate you, too. You being anyone who takes the time to read what I write, or look at the photos I post. ~ There! I didn’t even get into my addiction to scarves, my weird food habits, the fact that I am left handed but do almost everything with both, my bizarre little ‘envy’, my shoe collection, my penchant for taking pictures of anything and everything, my daily need for cappuccinos,  or all those other bizarre Hope facts!  However,  I really am thankful Mr Wigington!

I hate when I prematurely blog..

In my original entry, I forgot to write that the reason I have selected these folks is because their work moves me. They have all taken me to places I have never been. Probably will never get to see. Be it through their writing or their art or their photography. They are all artists. They enrich my life and make getting out of bed every morning just a little bit less painful each in their own unique way.

I had trouble linking one of my favorites on my first go round. I’m going to try again.

My nominees for the Beautiful Blogger Award are:

http://www.deneanmelcher.com/

http://phillanoue.com/

http://grishmanphotography.com/

http://peterknightphotography.wordpress.com/

http://pdjpix.wordpress.com/

http://rpdpod.wordpress.com/

http://www.cathykuhlmanphotography.blogspot.com/

http://krahnpix.wordpress.com/about/ ~

http://mydaysinfocus.com/

http/milnersblog.wordpress.com/

http://silentsongstudios.wordpress.com/

http://thephoblography.wordpress.com/