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February 2007
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April 2007

too close to home.

i just found out today that a friend of mine from college, a lovely man named mark, is dying of cancer. from the little i know, he went in to have a tumor removed from his lung and they ended up having to take the whole lung. and once it was removed, they noticed tumors on his heart and wrapping around his esophagus. the doctors took as much as they could to "prolong his life." in other words, my friend is dying.

this comes less than six months after one of my dearest friends watched her mother die from cancer. and only a couple of months after my mom lost a friend as well. and just two years after my friend mary beth had a double mastectomy due to breast cancer.

it's all around, and it scares the crap out of me.

my mom sent me a notice from the cdc several months ago that said links have been found to cancer from the high reliance we humans have on plastics. little microwaveable meals. little storage containers. saran wrap. water bottles. all containing toxins that leach into whatever is stored in them and then passed on to us through consumption.

that scared the crap out of me, too. we've since stopped using plastics for food storage, stopped using saran wrap for reheating things, and i'm in the process of phasing out all plastic cups in favor of stainless steel ones. whatever i can do to protect my family, i will do.

and in october i'll be in winnipeg, canada, teaching classes for the canada scrapbooking crop for kids, a fundraising crop benefitting the children's hospital in canada. anything small i can do for these kids, i will do. i want this disease to be stopped. it ruins lives so effortlessly every single day and i want it to stay far, far away from my family.

so i'm feeling rather blue today. my thoughts and prayers are with mark and his wife, ruth, and their two little girls. life is so, so short and that is such a sad, sad thing. and whatever you can do to protect yourself and your family, please do it. a little effort may go a long way, and isn't life worth going the extra mile? mine is. my kids' are. my husband's is. yours is, too.

t minus two weeks ...

for two and a half years now, our bedroom has gone completely ignored in the decoration department. the rest of the house has been painted and primped, furniture has been bought, art has been hung. and all the while our bedroom has sat, in a horrendous shade of bruise purple. our clothes reside in either plastic drawers or laundry hampers because more than a year ago we sold our bedroom furniture to my sister and her fiance, thinking that redoing our room was just around the corner.

um, not so much.

but now, my lovelies ... the time has come. the other rooms are, for all practical purposes, done. sure, the kitchen needs a new table and chairs and this gorgeous red cabinet from crate and barrel ("needs" being a bit of a strong term, but yes, the room needs that cabinet.). and yes, the family room could use a makeover, but not until the sticky-fingered plastic-toyed toddler years are over. at least for now it all matches and looks nice enough. and true, the bathrooms are horrendous, but they're being gutted and redone later this year.

our room, though, is top of the priority list. finally.

marc leaves monday for 10 days in milwaukee and nashville. during that time i will order the dresser, buy the paint, buy the bedding, and start weeding out clothes so that upon his return i can begin to prime and paint.

teaser? picture this: walls will be painted white up to 2/3rds of the wall height, and then a creamier white the top 1/3rd. we will make a faux wainscot on the lower part (see the wall behind the dresser in the photo below? that's what we're going for.). then ...

Bedmy dad built a bed just like this for us and i'm going to paint it the same creamy white as the top of the walls.

Beddingit will be covered in this bedding, which actually is a much lighter shade of blue  in person. very cool and crisp and relaxing.

Dresserthis is the dresser. don't be fooled ... the thing is huge. like, 3" shorter than me. and black. "gorgeous" doesn't begin to describe it.

Sconce_2two of these will go above the bedside tables, which have yet to be determined.

Tablelamp_2and one of these will go on the dresser. i've wanted a lamp like this for years and darnit the time is NOW!!

and the windows ... dark espresso brown bamboo shades and white silk curtains on a black rod. mmm ...

it will be a sanctuary. the only light, airy, no-juicy-fingers-or-cereal-crumbs-allowed room in the house. and it will cost us some buckage, oh yes. but after two and a half years of hell, it'll be worth every penny. and we will lie back and sleep soundly and it won't bother us a bit. because it'll finally be our room.

insert eager smiles here.

on birthdays and blessings

Rszharpbday1 so, our little harpity-harp is two. amazing. and what an ornery, crabby little two-year-old she is! wow. was NOT expecting that.

we had her party on saturday and it all went pretty well, considering the age group. her friends ian and kate were here, we had cheese and crackers and fruit ... well, harper didn't, but WE did. she had cake. exclusively. and she got some great new toys to play with and wore a beautiful little dress for about the third time in her life. (i'm a horrible girl-mom!!) even kept a barrette in for about 10 minutes!

and now she's two. babyhood is officially over and she's well into the toddler years. she adores her ecfe class, adores trips to the children's museum and zoo and anywhere she can run. loves to read "the owl & the pussycat." loves to count and sing and color and play with play-doh. doesn't love to eat or sleep, but what else is new. she was watching a strawberry shortcake dvd in the car today on the way to the mall and i noticed she was trying to sing along with a song ... whatever they were singing, she'd sort of mumble along, then the final word in the line would be said and she'd sing it loud and proud: "na ba zizza boo na ... GOWN! na ba moo ka ... DOWN!" so stinkin' funny.

additional birthday pix:
Rszharpandkate Rszharpcake2 Rszharpsneaking Rszharppartyguests Rszharpcandles1_2 Rszharpcake3 Rszharppresentswian

and i just have to add that even though we have some rough days, the two of us, or the four of us as a family collectively, we are so, so blessed. while walking through the mall this morning i saw two parents pushing their son around the halls. nothing unusual at the mall. except these parents were well into their 70s and the son looked to be in his 50s somewhere, and with major handicaps. and here were his parents ... they've probably been taking their child on outings his entire life, with no end in sight ever. who am i to complain that marc travels so much? who am i to complain that i have no time for my own work to get done or to have some time to myself? who am i to complain when my kids need something they can obviously do for themselves? i am blessed beyond measure, and it took seeing that small family today to remind me of that. we have it so, so good. our children are perfect - smart and strong and wonderful. they can do anything they want, be anyone they want, their whole future is wide open. i have no reason to gripe.

tonight those parents will be in my prayers, and i will thank god more fervently than ever for how great my family is and how much we've been blessed.

cutest. things. ever.

i just had to post this ...

pink mary jane crocs. size kids 6/7. that's roughly seven, maybe eight inches long. little tiny hot pink mary jane crocs. with a skull & crossbone jibbet.

nothing cuter.

i was inspired to post these after reading lisa russo's blog today. she's debating buying some crocs for ava.

lisa, if you read this, yes. do. buy them. you think ava gets "isn't she cute?" comments now? put little crocs on her and the people will come out of the woodwork. no lie.

i mean really, why wouldn't they? look at these shoes!!

that's all i have to say.

career ambition

conversation with henry while on the way home from mad science this afternoon:

M: what do you want to be when you grow up?
H: you know!
M: was it a robot builder or a video game maker?
H: robot builder. well, both. see, i'm gonna build the robots, then have a store. i'll put up a "help wanted" sign, and when i get enough people working in the store to sell the robots, then i can leave to go make video games.
M: well, then it's a good thing you love math and science, because you'll need that to build the robots AND make the video games. and it's good that you like to read and write because you'll have to write the story for the game.
H: yeah. and i'll have to know technology, too.
M: yes you will.
H: and how to surf the web.

that goes without saying, h.
what a kid.

just to recap:

11:30 a.m.: marc leaves for a lunch meeting.
cleans several fresh inches off his car as the snow flies around him.
2 p.m.: marc is home from lunch. said roads are getting pretty doggone nasty.
snow is coming down in earnest. still.
3 p.m.: we now have a full-fledged snow event.
4:30 p.m.: at least 10 new inches and it's still coming down.
our loverly neighbor, sean, cleaned off our driveway with his snow-blower
(then hopped across the street to do the neighbor's, before finishing with his own)
then snow-blew (is that the proper term?) a mountain in his front yard for the kids.
(we all had a grand time playing, throwing snowballs, etc.)
and then miss harper decided she'd had enough and wanted to head down the street to the park where the serious sledding would take place.
or so i assume that was her thought.
maybe she just wanted to take a walk.
who knows.
and did i mention we're expecting another 3-5" overnight? school's already canceled for the second day. oh yes. fond childhood memories of snow are flooding back now ... THIS is winter in the north!!