Thursday, November 26, 2009

Ten Things I Don't Hate About You

One of the biggest life lessons that I have learned through the experience of having extremely premature babies and children with disabilities is to never take the good things in my life for granted. Over the past five years I have learned a new and greater sense of appreciation for so many little things in my life that may have been overlooked had I not had the experiences that I have had. There have certainly been times when I have wallowed in my misery, and have felt the grips of grief and despair. But there are also times when I can truly appreciate the beauty of my life, and am awed and humbled by how very lucky I am.

I am thankful for so many things; my children and the joy they bring, my amazing family (especially my mother who loves me and helps me out in so many ways), our health, our jobs, a comfortable house, and so much more than just what we "need."

I am also so very thankful for my husband and the amazing connection that we have. As with any relationship, things are often far from perfect. We have obviously had our share of trials and tribulations. We have had the usual stresses of any relationship, and then some... We argue and we get really annoyed with each other. We get angry and hurt, and we fight. But through it all, we have persevered, and I can truly say that I love my husband more now than I ever have. Even if it sounds cliche, I feel that our trials have brought us closer, and have made us stronger as a couple than we may have been otherwise.

In many, many ways we have always been perfect for each other....and we still are.

I have been meaning to do a post like this for a loooong time, but just haven't made the time to sit down and actually do it. I find myself waiting for the right occasion...his birthday, our anniversary, Father's Day...but then those days come and go and I don't get around to it. So, I am doing it today.

Thanksgiving. A day for giving thanks.

So, John, these are Ten Things I Don't Hate About You!
(Or Ten Things I Love About You...whichever you prefer)

10. I love that you email me links to articles or information that you find online that you are interested in and that you think I might like to read.

9. You help with the cooking and dishes, and you pick up after yourself. You also help me with my tech problems and take the garbage out!

8. Your passion for music. I love that you play in bands and are so driven to create. I love that you buy new music for me and care about what I like, and that you are introducing our girls to music. I especially love listening to you play Hannah Montana on the guitar and that you learn all the lyrics and sing along just to inspire our kids.

7. The way you smell.

6. You always remember special occasions, even things other guys might think are cheesy (like the anniversary of our first date and sweetest day) and I love that you sometimes bring me flowers and cards for no reason at all!

5. You are the most honest and trustworthy person I have ever met. I love the security I feel in your love for me, and that I have never had one moment of doubt regarding your dedication to our relationship and to our family.

4. You are 100% a hands-on dad. You are *present* with our girls...completely involved in their care since day one, from waking in the night, changing diapers, feeding, bathing...everything. I can leave them with you on my (rare) girls' weekends with my friends and never worry for a second. You do it all, and you do it at least as well as me...sometimes better.

3. You play. I play too, but you have infinitely more patience for it than I do. The girls are so excited when you get home from work, or when the weekends come, because they know you will think up the coolest, most elaborate games to play with them...from obstacle courses, superheroes and villains, hidden clues and mysteries to solve, and secret agent notes to decipher...they love to play with you, and I love to watch the three of you together(when I am not playing myself)!

2. I love the look that passes between us when the girls do or say something exceptionally clever or cute. I love that I can share the love/thrill/pride that I feel for them with someone who feels it as much as I do.

1. I love talking to you. After 16 years I still feel like you are my best friend and I enjoy your company. We still have things to talk about, and we see eye-to-eye on the majority of life's most important issues. I always sense that you feel the same. I feel like you value my opinions, you listen to me, and you help me to always remember the big picture.

The big picture is that we are still "meant to be." You are my soul-mate and I am so very thankful for you!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Flashback Friday: Pumpkin Fun

October 1993:

October 2009:

Also quite fitting for a Flashback Friday, I got the most lovely comment on an old post today. It made me smile. Thank you Mel!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fashion Show in Review

The show went great. We had a lot of fun, and we raised a lot of money for an amazing cause.

The event was hosted by our NICU Family Advisory Board (FAB), a group of volunteer parents (including me) who have had children in the NICU, and who are committed to making it a better place for all families in the future. The fashion show is the FAB's major fund raising event of the year, and the money that we raise is used to fund several important programs, including our monthly Pizza Nights, Educate and Create, Parent-to-Parent training and support, holiday gifts for NICU families, and our popular Annual NICU Reunion. These programs and gifts support and touch the lives of families during what is often a very emotional and stressful time, and often have a lasting positive impact on NICU families.

The girls were good and cooperative for the most part. I can't say it went off without a hitch...Eden was pretty zoned out because of all the commotion, and Holland was bursting into tears every 5 minutes when things didn't go according to her agenda, but we got through it and they looked fabulous!

The liquid leggings were surprisingly comfortable, and I BOUGHT them...because I go to so many events where liquid leggings would be the PERFECT touch. Not. But I feel like a rock star in them , I love them, and I WILL find somewhere to wear them!

If nothing else, I can pair them with my mask and go as Catwoman next Halloween;)

Billie Before:

After Hair and Make-up:

After Wardrobe, with my good friend Allison:

Rock and Roll Family:

Fashionable Girls:

Family on Stage:

More Liquid Leggings:

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Happy Homecoming Day

Not only is today National Prematurity Awareness Day, it's also my original due date, and the day my girls finally came home from the hospital together for good.

I cannot believe it has been five years...

Happy Homecoming Day Holland and Eden. You continue to delight and amaze me everyday and I cannot imagine my life without you.

You are my joy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Big Day

Tomorrow is a big day for us! It is the fifth annual "Fashionable Growth" fashion show, presented by our NICU's Family Advisory Board (of which I am a member). We will be modeling this year's top fashions from Elephant Ears and Vintage to Vogue.

I will be wearing "liquid leggings." Total. Rock. Star.

Tickets will be available at the door. You should come!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Flashback Friday

Sigh... Watching this really makes me miss my sweet little squishy babies. They're such kids now.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Super Heroes!

Halloween didn't exactly go as planned, but I think the girls had fun, and they will remember mostly the good, and little of the they always do.

We traditionally have my entire family over for pizza and trick-or-treating on Halloween, but at least 3 of my family members had a fever the week before Halloween, and my sister was very sick that day, so we decided to call the party off in hopes of limiting our exposure to all the germs.

Instead, Nana and Papa came to pass out candy, while John and I took the girls out trick-or-treating. It was pretty chilly, and Holland started shivering after about 15 minutes. Also dampening the experience is the fact that my girls DON'T do scary this year. They freaked out at the first house we went to because they were afraid of the music and decorations, so we almost had to call it a night right then! We finally convinced them that they didn't have to go up to any house they thought was too scary and we continued on. I carried Holland the last half of our outing, but even though she was cold, scared, and seeming a little out-of-sorts, she was a trooper and still didn't want it to end:)

Eden drove her power chair this year, and it was AWESOME! She drove up to everyone's front step and called out "trick-or-treat." With the exception of only one person, everyone came out of their house to put candy in her bag, and as usual, several people slipped her a few extra treats. Both girls were polite and remembered to say "thank you" and "Happy Halloween!"

We were home by 7:00, dumped their bags and got excited about all of the candy (that they won't actually eat), then had some pizza for dinner. During dinner Holland started complaining about a tummy ache, then complained that she was cold even though everyone else was warm. Nana thought her head felt a little warm, so I took her temperature and she had a fever (100.0).

I gave her Motrin and it came right down and stayed down all night. It was up a little this morning (99.8), but after another dose of Motrin she was fine all day. Tonight before bed she was cool as a cucumber so I don't think this is going to be a big deal.

But, I am glad I made the call to cancel the party. I would have felt really bad to give OUR germs to everyone else!

All in all, it was a Happy Halloween, and my girls were SUPER HEROES!

Of course they were.