Thursday, November 19, 2015


Georgia, I can hardly believe that today you are six.   In the last six years Georgia, you have been my greatest teacher, you inducted me into motherhood and have taught me so much about myself.
You are silly, funny, loving and kind.  You have a competitive spirit, you're outgoing and almost never shy.  Last night you said, I'm going to miss being five.  I asked you what your favorite part of being five was, "learning to read... and making new friends.  If I had to pick one, I'd pick making new friends."

You love school, more than once you've been disappointed that it's the weekend because you can't go to school.  There is an underlying maturity to you but mostly you are a normal six year old.  We recently found out that you have three loose teeth and you couldn't be happier.  You are growing and changing just as you should be.

You are truly a delight and one that I am so, so grateful for.  You tell us often that you love your family and are good about sharing your feelings, even the not so fun ones.  You'd prefer to play inside but love to write stories, draw and play with your stuffed animals.

You are so good to your brother, it's true that you bicker like siblings but when you told us how excited you were to get your birthday pencil from your teacher, you immediately said, oh, I wish I could get one for Leo too.

So many thoughts have swirled through my head over the last several weeks, I remember another mother at the hospital telling me that, we're all God's children and that our kids aren't really ours to begin with.  I had such clear visions of myself screaming at God, saying, She's MINE!! and then literally whispering out loud, please let me keep her.  I cannot tell you how grateful I am that I got to keep you Georgia,  you are such a gift.

Happy Birthday my girl, today you are six!!


I love my sister so much and would be lost without her.  A few weeks ago just the two of us took a quick overnight trip to Spokane to attend our Aunt's 70th surprise birthday party.  It wasn't a long getaway but it was so fun to be on a road trip where there were no potty stops, no handing snacks back to kids who were asking when were we going to be there.  Just the two of us!

October Fun

We packed in the fun during October, so much so that I haven't had time to post any of what we did!
Both kids had fun events through their schools celebrating Halloween.

Georgia's school had the Boo Bash, an evening event complete with face painting, DJ, cake walk (which Brian won!) bouncy house, and much more.  The whole family dressed up and had a great time.  Just before heading out for the event, Georgia said, "mom, as soon as we get there we need to go straight to the bouncy house.. I am meeting some friends there.  I tried to stiffle my laugh and told her we'd make sure to get her where she needed to be.

 Batman & Robin
A (friendly) which with her black cat

Georgia danced the night away with her friends and ran around the school like a social butterfly.

Leo's preschool class met at a nearby pumpkin patch, they played games and picked out pumpkins and looked darling in their costumes.  

The Halloween fun continued when we headed to the Pittman's house for their annual Halloween party.  Georgia and Lauren were twin witches and as usual had a blast together.  Leo didn't really understand the whole concept of trick-or-treating.  I took him to the first house and showed him what to do, as we started to walk to another house, he asked where we were going.  I told him that we go to do it again!  His response, "WHAT? anoder (another) house... (smile and laughter).  Each time after he go his candy he would say the most enthusiastic, Thank you! He continued this after nearly every house and it cracked me up each time.

Batman is a pretty tough guy but I guess you'll need to find someone else if you need help!

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Pumpkin Patch

Today we headed out in search of a new pumpkin patch and found a great one!  It was darling, fun, easy and a huge bonus, the weather was beautiful!  We walked a mini corn maze, the kids did a pumpkin sling shot, and took a hayride all before finding our perfect pumpkins.  

Sunday, October 4, 2015


I never miss it, well not in the last four years that is.  The impending date of October 4th always sends me back.  It's a combination of remembering the carefree simplicity of life on October 3, 2010 that I can't get out of my mind, thinking if I'd only know what would transpire in the 24 hours to come.
I will always remember the moments of October 4, 2010, how I never saw it coming, how I told Brian we'd be home before he could meet us at Children's Hospital for the quick x-ray that changed everything.  I remember not being able to get cell reception in the Emergency Department, missing a call from Georgia's pediatrician who'd been called by the hospital, my parents turning around when they'd just arrived in Montana to come home, the swarms of people in and out of our room, it was chaos in my mind.
Today, it is a beautiful day in Gig Harbor, fall is in the air but it's still warm, the leaves are beautiful and although I am grateful everyday, October 4th always makes me look around and take inventory of all the simple things I used to take for granted.
I couldn't be more grateful that we are here, a complete family of four.  We went to a nearby park to take in the day and feel the freedom that some may never realize they have.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


Today marked Leo's first day of preschool, I'm not sure if he or Georgia was more excited.  We'd been to meet the teacher and made a placemat last week and since then Leo's smiles were growing bigger and bigger each time school was brought up.

Today before Georgia headed off for the bus I asked her if she had any advice for Leo on his first day of school.  She knelt down and looked him right in the eyes and said, "Buddy, remember, don't bite anyone and don't hit anyone... and have fun."  Good advice considering he's in a room full of two year olds.

We took a few pictures then headed for school.  Since it's a co-op preschool I will stay some days and luckily I got to stay today to see his first experience in school.  He found his cubby, hung up his coat, washed his hands and got to work, or rather play.

I was happy to see my sometimes shy guy venture out and explore areas of the classroom without me.  There was the sensory table filled with rice, playdoh, painting but first he headed straight to the play kitchen and began whipping up a meal.  I love how much Leo uses his imagination in playing and pretending.

After circle time, songs, playing outside and having snack it was time for one last song, Leo got up from the snack table and threw away his garbage and went and sat right next to his teacher.  He stayed there (and not by me) for the rest of class happily participating in the last few activities.  Just before leaving for the day, I said, let's go say goodbye to teacher Becky, Leo ran over to her and threw his arms around her.

I'm so happy he had a great day, only 15 more years of school before you'll head off to college Leo, may you always enjoy school as much as you did today.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Beginning

I knew Georgia starting kindergarten would stir some emotion, I think that's true for every parent.  You wonder how this moment could be here already.. didn't we just stop swaddling you and using a highchair?  For me, memories were swirling around and I was feeling so grateful as we counted down the days.

The night before the first day of kindergarten I put the kids to bed early, packed a snack, a lunch and made sure Georgia had everything she needed for the first day.  I picked up the house then crawled into bed and started to cry.  All I could think about was the countless times Georgia had been sedated for procedures and biopsies and bone marrow aspirates.  I would be with her until the Propofal took effect, then be shown the door to leave.  Every time more agonizing than the last.

I kept thinking I needed to snap out of it, what was wrong with me, we're here, she's starting kindergarten, she's healthy!  I settled on something that I've known was true for a while now.  For the time being, Georgia having cancer is my thing, in some ways it's had more of an impact on my heart than her body.  She's a happy girl who just wants to live life, she literally wakes up singing and smiling.  I want to keep that going for as long as humanly possible.  So, I sucked it up and cheered her on all the way to the bus.

She had a fantastic first day.  She was up at 6:45am ready to go.  She asked about 10 times if it was time to walk to the bus stop and when it was she obliged me with a few more pictures.  I had asked if she wanted me to meet her at the school to make sure she found her classroom, she politely declined.  I knew she was ready for this day.  She barely turned around to say goodbye when the bus arrived, she took the seat behind the bus driver and was all smiles.  As the bus drove away I smiled, with a giant lump in my throat, I couldn't be more proud.

When I got home my phone popped up with a picture from Time Hop, an app that shows you posts you've made on this date in the past.  Four years ago on September 8th, Georgia had a visit from her cousins, they came over wearing their Team Georgia shirts, Georgia had just had an MRI and her first ever NG tube placed, this was the picture.
September 8, 2011

Like most parents, I posted my child's first day of school picture on Facebook and smiled at the amazing comments that poured in, my favorite was from Mr. Germany, congratulating her and reminding me that Kindergarten is a German word, I told him I thought Georgia should get extra credit for that!
September 8, 2015

When it was time to pick up Georgia from the bus, Leo was happy to retrieve his sister, he missed her!  Georgia came bounding off the bus and went straight to her brother and gave him a giant hug.  She was just as she'd been when we saw her last, all smiles.

I did my best not to pester her too much about her day but when we sat down for dinner she shared a few details from the day.

She played on the monkey bars and swings during recess with two other girls.
She made a new friend on the bus named Lucy.
She had TWO recesses.
If she could be the teacher one day she'd teach math.. "you know mom, like, 3+3=6 and 5+5=10"
She sits at square shaped table with three other girls.

After explaining what rating was, she said that she would rate her day as a nine, because it was so great, but she knew tomorrow would be even better.

Day two proved to actually top day one for Georgia, she seems to be smitten with a boy. She was very giggly when she got off the bus this afternoon and didn't want to walk with me, she wanted to walk with our neighbor, Jaden.  Before parting ways, they both asked if they could have a play date, his mom and I are working out the details.  Later, when I asked what her least favorite thing about the day was, she thought a minute then said, "nothing, it was all good."  When I asked her what her most favorite thing was, she replied with a goofy smile, "playing with Jaden at recess."  I smiled, tried to be very nonchalant saying, "oh, that's great."  Inside my head I was freaking out a little, knowing this is just the beginning.  But for us, the beginning is a great place to be.

Two days before starting Kindergarten, showing her "I'm five and full of sass" look. 

 Sparkly G tennis shoes... I couldn't resist!
 Little brother is very excited for Georgia

 It's the big day!

 Coming off the bus like a pro
 Running to give Leo a giant hug.
First day success!!