Wish

My birthday was on August 19th and I had so much fun celebrating all week! Even though it was on a Thursday, I cheated a little (like I do every year) and let the festivities run all week. Okay, maybe I insisted we celebrate all week.

It wasn't entirely up to my clever skills though. The one and only Bob Dylan himself played close to here on the 17th and of course, I could not miss that. It was an incredible show even though he didn't really talk to the crowd much. I feel crazy lucky to have experienced two Bob Dylan shows in my 27 years. The opening band, The Dough Rollers, was different, but excellent! One of the gentlemen reminded me of Ryan Gosling. Then I had a huge craving for days to watch 'The Notebook'. (Yes, you can have cravings for movies, I promise!) Here is a video I found on YouTube:



See? They are fun, right?

On my actual birthday I was honestly, simply, beyond thrilled, just to wake up to Sookie's sweet face. It was my first birthday as a Mommy and I had to pinch myself. Sookie and I went to lunch with Glamma and Poppa at a favorite Mexican place in
town.



When R arrived home, we headed up to Red Butte for the John Prine concert. While waiting in line I thought I was going to melt away, but I took a quick photo of my shoe, because I think they are cute. Ha!



Many of my childhood memories involve a John Prine song or two. I fondly remember going on many fishing trips with my Dad with John Prine tunes in the background. The woman who opened for him really impressed me. Her name is Carrie Rodriguez; she's spunky, talented, and humble with a bluegrassy kind of kick. You can listen to a sample of her song, 'Seven Angels On A Bicycle' here.



The night turned chilly but was memorable and enjoyable nonetheless. Instead of birthday cake, I was content with a vegan chocolate chip cookie and a fruit cup from the Whole Foods stand; which is one of my favorite things about this venue!

That Saturday we let the celebrations continue with a small gathering of some of my favorite people! Over the years I've found that I appreciate birthday gatherings on a smaller scale, but more of them. I feel like I get to appreciate my loved ones more fully and have more one on one time with them. We went to Chipotle (and strangely no gallstone attack after that, ha! Go figure. But this was before I received the diagnosis of gallstones, so...who knows) for dinner and thoroughly took advantage of their cute little patio. Lots of silly conversation and laughs on a gorgeous night! Then we went to see the movie, 'Scott Pilgrim vs. The World' and while I am over the whole Michael Cera being awkward phenomenon, I loved the movie! It was funny and quite clever.

None of my photos turned out from that night, but it was a blast! I had serious mommy guilt for leaving Sookie so much that week, but it is good for us to have a break from each other every now and then. We are so grateful for our sweet and generous family who helped out and watched her for us. All in all, a fun birthday week! Best of all, my birthday wish to raise money for Cystinosis Research Network, raised $263! Makes me smile. :)


I'm Loving...

After a rough weekend with my health, (having painful gallstone attacks which I am trying to treat naturally because I really want to avoid surgery) today I'm feeling optimistic and I am so thrilled for some things!



My online fabric flower class, piece by piece starts today. It is taught by the oh so fashionable and talented, Elizabeth Kartchner. In the end I will have my very own embellished tee. I am so excited! I have been adoring all the cute embellished shirts everywhere lately but most of them are more than I would like to spend. I have been wanting to make my own for months now, however I am sewing challenged and never knew where to start. I picked the cream and turquoise combination and I'm going with a gray tee. I hope the color palate works out well!

Saturday night R and I took my mom to the airport. She is attending IPNA (International Pediatric Nephrology Association). Tomorrow from noon to 6 pm, Cystinosis Research Network will be featured. This is an incredible opportunity for us and has been in the works for 5 years! I am still in shock it is happening but so ecstatic that it finally is a reality. It means so much to our extremely small community of only about 500 patients in the United States. I see this as a turning point in our battle to find better treatments and improve the quality of life of those of us living with Cystinosis.



Now, I love summer. I love cute sandals, snow cones, watermelon and concerts on July nights. But this morning I became really eager for fall, when I heard a crash in the kitchen as a breeze came through the window and knocked my vase into the sink. (It was not broken, thank goodness!) It is only supposed to get to 69 degrees today! I am drooling over all the darling boots I see at DSW, Victoria's Secret and Gojane.com



From my love of boots to my love of football! The number 24 ranked Utah Utes take on number 15 ranked Pittsburgh on Thursday! I hope to make it to the game as we have excellent season tickets in the former student section, but it just depends on what my gallstones decide to do that day. Ha! I was only able to make it to one game the entire season last year because of the pregnancy, so I want to make up for it this year. It promises to be a great game though!




Even though we have only been at it for a few weeks now, I get such a kick out of how quick S has caught on to the concept of solid foods. We still haven't found a high chair yet (I know, it is at the top of my to do list!) so we have been feeding her in the bumbo on top of the table. It is a challenge because she wants to turn around all the time and doesn't want to sit straight in it. Anyway, I want to learn how to make my own baby food for her, but today she gets to try carrots! I bask in watching her figure out if she likes something or not the first time she tastes it. The faces she pulls are pricess! So far she has tried rice cereal, sweet potatoes, squash, and peas. Her pediatrician recommended not giving her any kind of fruit, (not even juice) until she has had all the vegetables. I'm all for this, I want her to have a love and appreciation for all things veggie.

Happy Monday! It is going to be a fabulous week!


Roller Coaster (It's All Happening!)

The phrase "It's all happening!" has been a favorite of mine ever since the first time I saw the movie 'Almost Famous' in late September 2000. It was in Toronto while on my Make A Wish trip, but that is another post entirely. I adore saying it when various facets of my life start to come together into making the big picture that much brighter. And, of course, at other times when it is deemed appropriate.

The past several weeks have been, well, for lack of a better cliche, a roller coaster. Two women who were younger than me, passed away from Cystinosis. Smack in the middle of that I had a horrible health care experience which consisted of a misdiagnosis that put a tremendous amount of stress on my head and heart. I'm still trying to make peace with it and yet wishing I could sue, for some sort of justice.

However life goes up too, right? My sweetie's company, Appdicted, had their very first iPhone app approved and available in the app store! Wig It was featured in the new and noteworthy section of the app store on August 5th. It is a very addicting app in which you can add over 100 wigs to any photo. Here is a fun little commercial!



And yes, Miss Sookie is the icon. Funny thing is, she adores the commercial and does the cutest little laugh each time at the end. It is kind of like, ha that's me!

In addition to the good news Wig It brings, Sookie has been experiencing many milestones and I just bask in all of the new things I get to witness her figuring out. Her half birthday party was such a fun day. I will be writing a post on that shortly.

I'm eating Jelly Bellys and drinking a caffeine free Diet Coke in a little pre-birthday celebration. Ha!



Seven years ago

Seven years ago today my beloved Grandma K went to heaven and I was in New York seeing the best Hanson show I've ever seen in my life. (& believe me, I've been to many of them!) This makes me sound like a horrible, snotty, careless girl, except I had no idea she was going to leave us and I was just out skipping across the country doing silly things like going to concerts and living my life.

I know many times we never know when our loved ones are going to leave us, but I honestly felt safe in getting out of town. She had been through heart surgery a few months prior to this; all went well and she was doing great! How was I supposed to know she was going to leave us while I slept on the streets of New York with cockroaches?

That actual day was such a bizarre one. She passed that morning but my mother (who sometimes tries too hard to overprotect me from reality and the world), didn't tell me until after the show was over that night, because she didn't want to ruin anything. Bless her heart. The thing is, I thought maybe I just saw that show as being one of their best because I knew what heartbreak I would be facing after the final note was played. But, I wasn't the only one who has claimed that has been one of their best shows ever to date.



My grandma was so much more to me than just a grandma. She was a second mom, an aunt I confessed and confided in, a best friend I gossiped and cried with, an older and wiser sister I would never have.

She took on the tumultuous task of caring for me after my kidney transplant. Not only did she take it on, she took it on with such grace and ease. My mom needed to rest and recuperate herself, so it ended up working out really well for everyone. I needed a tremendous amount of care in the months that followed my surgery and being able to stay at my grandparent's was almost as good as being able to be in my own house.

Of course I miss her every day, and sometimes wonder why she isn't and can't be here to see the joy in my eyes as I watch my daughter figure out her place in this world. And yet I cling tightly to the notion she (along with my other guardian angel) had a lot to do with the fact Sookie and I both survived the pregnancy. (And the kidney too!)


Not surprised, but still amazed

Whew.

There is a lot going on lately. In terms of milestones, life happenings, big things, every day victories, settling into this shiny new life I have built for myself, and trying to get my head and heart on the same page. (Story of my life...)

Monday was Sook's 6 month check up. She is in the 7th percentile for weight and 2nd for height. Our girl is tiny, but mighty. But you know what? I don't care about things like percentiles and charts because she's growing and she's alive against all odds.

Her pediatrician, Dr. G, who just so happened to be my pediatrician, stopped talking for a second during her visit and simply said, "I'm not surprised, but I'm still amazed."

I wanted to cry, then ask what he meant. That I'm still alive after my medically tumultuous youth? That I grew another life? That she is here and thriving and hilarious to boot?

But I didn't, I just nodded my head and thought to myself, "Yes I know, me too."


6 months

Oh sweet bean, you are half a year old! It feels as though you are changing every minute. I can't believe it has only been half a year since you have been in our lives, and yet in other ways it seems like you just arrived yesterday. Daddy and I went on a date a few days ago and did a lot of reminiscing. As we talked about all of the fun old memories we have made together, at almost the exact moment, we both tried to explain how eerie it is that you weren't here with us then because it feels like you have been in our lives forever.



Lately you are learning new things so quickly! You love to scratch the sheets in your crib and on Mommy and Daddy's bed. You are very into texture. You also adore putting your hands on people's faces to make sure they have facial hair. You seem disappointed to find out Mama and Glamma indeed do not. You like to reach out and pet Jack, and I just melt when I see the sparkle and wonder in your eyes as you watch him. Today you actually grabbed his ear with a death grip and I was scared he was going to snap at you, instead he simply whimpered until I came to the rescue. You still love music as much as ever and these days you sing back to us.



Your find motor skills are marvelous! If we hold a bottle close to you, you will grab it and put it in your mouth. You can't quite hold it by yourself yet, but you will be able to very soon! You grab for toys all the time. You are getting very good at sitting up unassisted, but sometimes gravity wins that friendly little argument.



One of your favorite hobbies as of late is blowing raspberries. I would try to teach you that it is not nice, but I might have to wait awhile because it is just too cute right now. You have also discovered that you can shake your head no. A few days ago Daddy asked you if you wanted to talk and you vehemently shook your head no.



Every month I have taken your photo in the same spot, on the couch, in the front room with a sign, but this month was such a challenge! You were so curious about the paper and wanted to crinkle it all up and eat it. You had Mama laughing so hard.

I savor watching you blossom into your own little person.



I took this photo of the sunset on your actual 6 month birthday on Sunday. I have not made any edits to it. I think it is so spectacular and captures the beauty of the past half a year we have had with you and the hope and adventure of what is yet to come!