Monday, October 12, 2009


I wanted to let you all know of an opportunity created by Megan at Sorta Crunchy. She has organized a raffle to support the Vega family, whose four year old daughter, Gabriella, has had a stroke while waiting for a heart transplant. This beautiful little girl is the same age as my oldest daughter, and it breaks my heart to see her and her family go through this tremendous trial. When I worked at a pediatric hospital before my girls were born, I had the opportunity to know and work with several families whose children had suffered strokes. This is not an easy thing, folks. Recovery can be slow, tedious, and very expensive. My thanks to Megan for making a way for us to offer our support to this family.

You can find details of the raffle here.

As an aside: there are thousands of families in our country, and millions and millions around the world, whose children are suffering from life-threatening diseases and medical conditions. Only a tiny fraction of these families have the means, whether personally or through insurance, to cover the high costs of treatment. There are some social service programs in place to help, and I am so grateful for them, but they are not enough. Any time you can help, in any way, you lighten the load and offer hope to a tired, frightened, hurting family. Please don't underestimate the value of your contribution. The handmade donation boxes at grocery store counters for local families; the change boxes at McDonald's for the Ronald McDonald House (this is a GREAT organization); raffles and charity auctions; craft fairs for medical charities; the list goes on and on. There is ample opportunity to help. We are fortunate enough to have a top pediatric medical center in our area, where I worked for the five years between college and babies. They operate several thrift stores in the area, the proceeds of which go to their Uncompensated Care fund. If you buy a lamp from their store - or donate a lamp to their store - you are actually providing a child with medical services that they would otherwise be unable to afford. Every offering helps a family.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Good Mail

I want to document my experience with today's mail. It was all good. All of it. It contained a magazine, a thank you card for my oldest daughter, a birthday card for my youngest daughter, and a check. And that's all. No bills, no junk mail, no statements. All good. I don't know if that has ever happened to me before, and I don't know if it will ever happen again, so I'm committing the memory to writing. Let the record show, on this tenth day of October, in the year of Our Lord 2009, our mailbox contained only good things.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Culinary Vocabulary

In the last 24 hours, my four year old daughter has made the following food-related statements:

  • I need to try tofu, eggplant, and woolly mammoth. [No idea]
  • Do we have any reggiano? [oregano]
  • I found a Kick. [singular form of "Kix"]
  • May I have some Nut Cracks? [Cracker Jacks]

Friday, July 03, 2009


We tried new foods.
We found a lot of baby spiders on our slide.

We watched plants grow.

We attended the last day of the first year of preschool.

We slept a little.

But mostly we were awake.

We rode a train.

We bounced.

We said goodbye to one beloved teacher.

And "see you next fall" to another.

We balanced.

We colored pictures.

We made special gifts for special people.

We made silly faces.

We played with balloons.

We rode tricycles.

We played school.

We played with cousins.

We went to VBS.

We learned to sit up and stay that way.

We were attacked by flamingos.

We were cute.

We resurrected a rose.

We learned to crawl.

July: Bring it on! We're ready.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


It's Tuesday night. Both girls are asleep. My husband isn't due home for another ten minutes. I'm sitting in the living room...alone. Weird.

Car door.

Well, it was a weird five minutes.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Saturday, April 04, 2009


Today my sweet husband took care of our girls while I slept in after a rough night with restless children. He does this frequently. I am blessed.

Today I made two cups of coffee and drank one.

Today my family attended the annual Easter Egg Hunt at our church.

Today I watched as a life was saved. A man, a friend's father, had a heart attack. Right there, seated a few seats away from us, as we watched a yo-yo artist perform. I watched as two women, nurses, there with their families, started CPR, courageously and systematically kept him alive until paramedics arrived. He was not breathing. He had no pulse. I saw people rally to care for the children, mine and my friend's; to call 911; to clear the hundreds of chairs from the room; to pray. I saw the paramedics work with amazing skill and presence of mind for what seemed like an eternity, performing horrible, sickening, life-saving procedures. I saw my dear friend fall apart. And all I could do was hold her hand. I saw a group of people - friends, strangers, my husband - who drew upon a strength of compassion that transcended the helplessness of horror to do what needed to be done. I heard a lead paramedic whisper to his crew, "Just sixty more seconds". And within those last sixty seconds, we all heard, "They got a pulse."

I don't know what will happen next. I don't know whether the man will survive the aftermath of this attack, but I know that he survived this afternoon, and that he survived because of courage and compassion. I wish I had something profound to say about it, some epiphany. I don't. I have raw emotion and confusion and wonder, questions about aging, convictions about preparation and responsibility. Maybe as time goes on I will be able to glean some clear wisdom from this experience. Right now, though, I just want to pray for my friends, hold my girls, and lean on my husband (who has already had a lot of people lean on him today).