Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The miracle workings of Dr. Bauer!

We are 1 month (and 3 days) post-op from the removal of 80% of Brooklyn's nevus. Dr. Bauer did an absolutely amazing job. We've got nothing but compliments on how great she looks & how great her scars are! Here are a few pictures that I took yesterday...

This is of her forehead. Dr. Bauer put in much smaller stitches b/c of the delicate area they're in. We're still waiting for them to dissolve. (They dissolve from the inside first & then will fall off.)

This is of the 20% remaining nevus. The 2 scars on either side of the nevus won't be there once this part is removed in October. She'll just have 1 scar, I believe, more towards the back of the nevus (where the scar is on the left side of the nevus, as you look at the picture).

This is of the flap above her right ear. It looks much better now than it did even a week or 2 ago. All the crusties have fallen off & it's healing quite nicely! 

This last one is of the top of her head. There is also a scar that goes in the middle of her head more towards the back, but I didn't get it in the picture b/c it's hard to see with all of her hair that she now has! :) 



Here's one more of each of the girls that I thought were cute. The first one is Brooklyn talking to daddy (who is sitting right next to her) & she's blabbering to him cause I had just made her mad! It was pretty hilarious! The next one is of Cali (after I'd folded the laundry) helping me putting it away!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Our wonderful Easter!!

Christ our Lord is risen today! Alleluia!!!

We had a great Easter today! First off though, here are a few pictures from our egg-dying "event" last night!

Cali with the little wire egg-dipper thingy! ;o)

She was pretty darn excited! LOL

Eating the eggs was Cali's favorite part... She probably ate about 4!

Our finished product!

We got up this AM, showered, & then woke Cali up so she could see what the Easter bunny brought! Here are the girls opening their Easter baskets:

Cali was pretty excited that the Easter bunny came & brought her candy! (As you can see from the blurry picture of Brooklyn...she could care less...she was out of there!!!)

Admiring her Princess Easter basket, courtesy of the Easter bunny

Eating her chocolate bunny 

All ready for church, but she's gotta get in another piece or two!!

After seeing what the Easter bunny brought, we got the girls dressed in their beautiful Easter dresses & headed to church. On the way there I couldn't help but think at how blessed I am. I had to tell Dustin all about it too! At that one moment in time I was the most blessed person on the planet. We had a great morning; we have 2 beautiful girls; they were dressed alike (& couldn't even complain about it yet!); an awesome husband; we were going to church with the best pastor in town (wink); I was going to get to sit with my sister-in-law in church; we were greeting the huge amount of people who were coming to church on Easter; we were going to eat a great brunch before church; & then both of our families were coming over for a great lunch/dinner & Easter egg hunt. What more could a girl want? I got choked up for a second there just reflecting on all that I had. I'm one blessed girl. And here's a blurry family pic to prove it!

After a great Easter service we came back home to do some last minute cooking/cleaning before everyone came over.

We had lots of food & it was oh so good! ;o) Our brother-in-law even got to sneak up for a little bit (he's a police officer & was working all day today). It was a great day with lots of food, dessert, visiting, playing, & an Easter egg hunt. Here's a few more pictures from the festivities:

Popy helping (cousin) Kobe & Cali find eggs with (uncle) Mike looking on

Cali taking a break to eat a piece of candy before she finds more eggs!! ;o)  (I think she's her mother's child!)

Getting pushed by Opa in the swing

Once all the eggs were found we headed back inside for dessert & more candy-eating!

But not before making a snowman first! (My brother Mike & our nephew Kobe)

Brooklyn sneaking in candy. (Notice how much has made it on to her shirt...)

Hahaha & here she is AGAIN sneaking even more candy. Needless to say, it went on top of the fridge after this...

All in all...it was a great day & a great Easter. The girls crashed tonight by 8pm & we're still full from lunch! Here's to hoping you had a blessed Easter too!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

I have a fever...

...the Royal Wedding fever that is!!

Hahaha no seriously...I'm beginning to think I'm obsessed with this upcoming wedding. However, I have read the article on Yahoo! called "How to tell if you're Royal Wedding obsessed" & I'm not quite as bad as that article says. So that's reassuring. But I am totally wrapped up in this spectacle.

I think it's cause this is pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime event for me. I was still in the womb when Diana & Prince Charles got married, so I obviously didn't see that wedding. So this is pretty much it for me... Well, unless I get to see Prince William & Kate's first born child get married (in what...30'ish years from now?) I'll be a vibrant 60'ish year old thinking back at this moment. Heck, maybe I'll even GO to that one! LOL

Yeah, ok I'd say I'm obsessed. If I was guaranteed guests, I'd have a big ole Royal Wedding party to watch it. (Of course though, it'll be taped & I'll watch it Friday night...I'm not so overly obsessed to get up at 2am to watch the festivities.) But I don't know anyone here close to me that is even remotely as excited about this wedding as I am. So no party here. I'll just make up some tea & crumpets (whatever a crumpet is) & enjoy watching as much of the wedding as I can...with 2 loud girls & a husband that thinks this is all ridiculous!!!

Friday, April 22, 2011

100!!!!!!!!!

Wow...post #100!!! I've been blogging since July & I'm already at post 100. Maybe it means I post too much though! ;o)

Anyways, I thought there's no better way to celebrate 100 posts than to catch up on a few pictures. So here are some from our last couple weeks.

This is Brooklyn - waaaaay too happy with herself! She's eating with a fork for the first time:

Here she is proud of herself for getting so messy! ;o)

Brooklyn & daddy reading together

Eating...it's so boring

Daddy taking Brooklyn on her first 4-wheeler ride

Ok so apparently Cali thinks eating is boring too!!!

And Cali is also so excited that she's eating with a fork (I'd just taken Brooklyn's picture eating with her fork!)

Cali getting her hair cut

And THIS is what we woke up to this AM. I believe it's finally stopped snowing...just a couple hours shy of snowing for 24 hours straight. UGH... And this picture doesn't really do it justice...there's really a lot more than this shows. Have I mentioned I want to move?! ;)

Thanks so much to you all for being such loyal & faithful readers of our journey called life! We appreciate the kind words, thoughts, prayers, & even smiles. Here's to another 100 posts!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

I am a Woman of Faith...(a look at our weekend)

A look at the center of the arena. We sat in our usual seats, so close that we had to look up to see the screens. Looking at the stage was much easier for us!

Wow what a great weekend! We left home Thursday night & drove to Billings. We had a winter snow warning for Thursday night/Friday day that said we were supposed to get 6-10" so it was good that we left on Thurs night. We got to Billings right about 9pm & went right to the hotel to check in. Then we went & ate dinner & then went to sleep.

The next day was Women of Faith! We got to the arena at about 9:30am to put some tickets at Will Call & then were able to sit & enjoy the conference. Here are a couple pictures from the conference. The first one is the worship team & the next one is of the great Sandy Patti!!
Here's my 2 sisters-in-law & my mother-in-law:
We had a great Friday. It was full of speakers, singers, stories, singing, comedy, tears, music, laughter, women, women, women, & lots & lots of lines! ;o)  It was fantastic.

Friday for dinner we went to the Outback with a good friend & her mom. Then headed back for the evening part of the conference.

When we got back to the hotel my mom & I started our "Gift Bag Project"!! We both brought 50 women & wanted to give them a little gift bag. Here's our adventure of making the bags from start to finish:
All layed out & read to be stuffed in the bags!
My mom - stuffing the bags with Easter grass. Then I'd put in all the goodies!
The final project!
All ready to go to the arena
Saturday was a great day. We were in the arena from 9am to 5pm. And it wasn't long enough. I always love the Women of Faith conferences. They're just amazing & always leave wanting MORE! If you are reading this & ever want any information on going to a Women of Faith conference with me, just let me know! You can also visit http://www.womenoffaith.com/.

We drove home that night & I had a great evening with my family. Cali was so excited to see me that she screamed when she saw us drive up & we could hear her from outside. Then Brooke gave me the biggest smile ever!!

It was a fantastic weekend & next year won't come fast enough!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Women of Faith

Women of Faith...oh how I love thee.....

Women of Faith is a conference, for women, that lasts 2 days & is just amazing. I mean, what else can you say about it. AMAZING is an understatement.

It's full of speakers, drama (as in a dramatist, not the bad "drama"), music, comedy, singing, girlfriends, laughing, crying, & wonderful stories. It's uplifting, fun, & a time you'll never forget.

My mom & I started going back sometime around 1996. It was held at a church & we went in Denver, CO. There was a group of 4 ladies who spoke for 2 days. (Marilyn Meberg, Pasty Clairmont, Luci Swindoll, & Barbara Johnson) It was just hilarious.

Then we found out they were touring!! Every. Single. Year!!!!!!! So we started going every year, alternating between Billings & Spokane. My mom started telling other people about it & eventually had about 50 ladies that came every year. Usually when it was in Billings (about 2 hours from us) we'd have a group of 100. And then we could sometimes get 50 when we went to Spokane. We were so excited when they decided to go to Billings every year so we can get a big group of people together to go.

It's just a nice, fun, girls weekend! We usually leave Thursday night, get to Billings, have dinner, stay the night, go to the conference Friday, have a break Friday afternoon (in which we usually shop!), eat dinner, have the rest of the conference Friday night, stay the night, go to the conference Saturday, get done around 5pm, eat dinner, & then head home! Whew!!!!!! It's fast-paced, but SUCH a great time.

Even though my girls are constantly in the back of my mind, it's SO nice only having myself to worry about...even if it is just for 2 days!!! :o)

And why, you may ask, am I posting this about Women of Faith? Because it's this weekend!!!!!!!!! When I get off work I'm going home, packing real quick, & then my mom is coming to get me so we can head to Billings. I'm super excited. But we just got home from Chicago so it's a bit weird leaving again. But we'll be back Sat night...& I'll post pictures from our fantastic weekend!!!

For more info on Women of Faith visit: http://www.womenoffaith.com/

Another cookbook update

Well here's another cookbook update:

If I was going to be home tomorrow I'd have the proof in my hand!!! Yes, that's right, it's on it's way here as we "speak"! I fully paid for half my order on Monday & Tuesday, then got the confirmation on Wednesday that the proof was being mailed to me. YAY!!!!!

Unfortunately though, I won't be here tomorrow or Saturday so I won't be able to see it until I get home late Saturday night. But that'll give me just enough time to check it over real quick & get it back in the mail to them on Monday (which will put the ship date even closer).

So that's that!! Yippie...it's coming faster than we thought!!!!!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Brooklyn's Best Cookbook Volume 2 Update

I finally got all the recipes proofed & submitted them 3/31...the very last day possible to get the small discount that was available for March. All book prices increase as of 4/1 so I HAD to get them in in March. (I'd mailed the entire book in before we left for Chicago, but the recipes still needed to be proofed online.)

I heard from the company today. They said that they could tell I'd done a book before cause it was all nice & organized! :o)  LOL That's good! I gave them the down payment so now they've officially started on the book. (Unfortunately, even though they had the book a few weeks ago, they couldn't start until they had the recipes as well.)  :(

The ship date as of now is May 19th. But I've never had an experience with them where they meet their ship date...they're always quite a few days before that. So I bet by the first week of May I'll have the books. Anyone want to put a wager on that?! :o)

Friday, April 1, 2011

Back in the swing of things

This post is a few days late...sorry about that! So let's see...where did I leave off????

Monday was our last full day in Chicago. We had an appt in the AM to have Brooklyn's drains removed...thank goodness. She did absolutely amazing. Here she is in the waiting room:
Our little Teletubby

We got the drains removed & then got Brookie's picture with Mim.

In the car after the drains were removed!

Then we were off to the Aquarium. It was Monday so we knew it wouldn't be as crowded as Sunday was at the museum. We drove down to the aquarium & immediately hit a traffic jam. In that area is the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, & the Adler Planetarium. They call it the "museum campus"...oh & Soldier Field (where the Bears play) is right there too. So it took us a while but we ended up parking in the garage under Soldier Field. As we were walking to the aquarium we noticed the line. Actually "line" is an understatement. This was ridiculous. It was was a mad house. We were speechless. The front of the aquarium has stairs going up...& a pretty nice size staircase at that. This "line" was all the way down the stairs, out a little ways more, & around the building towards the entrance on the side of the building where the strollers/wheelchairs go. Then the stroller/wheelchair line was almost as bad. It went all the way down the sidewalk & over to the place where the taxi pick-up is. I know this really means nothing to people that haven't been there & seen how huge this place is...so you'll just have to trust me & take my word for it....these lines were an amazing sight to see. And something that we didn't want to have to stand in. Thankfully we have an annual pass so we got to go right in & up to the membership desk. It was good too cause it was sooo cold outside & that was another reason we didn't want to wait...just too cold for Brooklyn.

So we got inside & it wasn't much better. I swear they were over their capacity. Who knows though. We got our picture taken & then started exploring. Our first stop was the shark reef that we didn't see when we were there in January. Then we went down to the penguins, who were taking a vacation in January so we didn't get to see them either. Pretty much...once we were done with both of those, we left! It was just too busy.

From there we decided to go back to the hotel to pack up before dinner time. We got everything packed & then walked our suitcases down to the weight room to weigh them! LOL Yup we sure did! We were right at the max so we hoped we'd be ok.

Then it was dinner time. We went to the Outback, our favorite place. Brooklyn, however, wasn't in it. She sat like this almost the entire meal:
Apparently we weren't exciting enough for her! But once our food came she turned around a time or two to pose for a picture.


The next day was Tuesday & that means we had a countdown until we got to see Cali! We missed her a lot. :) 

We don't know what this business does, but someday we're going to walk in & ask! It's literally right across the street from our hotel!!

We packed up, checked out of our home-away-from-home (about 10:30am), headed to the car rental return, returned our car extremely quickly (about 11am), hopped on the waiting shuttle (about 11:05am), got to the airport (about 11:10am), went to the Delta counter, checked in, headed to security (about 11:30am), & got through security (about 11:35am). YES...you read that right....it literally took us 5 mins, or less, to get through security. It was amazing. I even told them that I had 2 bottles, 2 containers of food, & tons of medication in the bag. She said that the machine had only alerted them to one bottle, so that's all they checked. (They did end up grabbing the 2nd bottle & checking it just cause I'd told them about it.) Yeah, compare THAT to the Billings experience we had just 10 days prior. I'd SO much rather go through a huge airport...it's sooo much quicker!

Anyways, we got through security, got a coffee, & made our way to the gate. We got to our gate right at about 11:45am...so we had about an hour and 20 mins before we boarded. Apparently there were 4 WWE wrestlers at our gate, but I couldn't tell you who in the world they were!!!

The first flight was long. We went from O'Hare to Salt Lake City. We were in the first seats behind first class, but there wasn't a bulkhead...we were actually able to put our stuff under the first class seats. I was sitting in my seat & stretched out my foot, pointed it, & STILL couldn't touch the seat with my toes. Yes, I know I'm short, but that's still a long ways away from our seats. It was actually quite nice because once we were in the air we could put Brooklyn down on the ground & she could walk all around in front of us. She loved getting down & walking...& not being held the entire flight. It was about a 3 1/2 hr flight if I remember right. Here she is playing with a cup:
We had to hurry to our next plane cause we had just about an hour lay-over. We went to a back corner so Brooke could run around & we could feed her. Then they called our flight so we got in line to board. I laughed once I saw who was a few people ahead of us in line...it was the parents of one of my oldest friends!! Jamie was my first best friend here in Lewistown & we were at each other's houses all the time. We have been great friends since 5th grade so I know her parents, Deb & Gary, quite well. When we got on the plane I yelled back to them (we were in row #2 & they were somewhere around #8) & said that we wished they were closer to us so we could pass Brooke back & forth!!! Once everyone was on the plane I ran back with her so they could see how she looked. It was pretty neat seeing them on our flight. :)

We landed safely, got our bags, loaded in the car, & headed to Target to get Cali's "big present"...her new carseat. They had ONE left of the one I wanted...YAY! We got that, the movie Tangled, & some new towels, which we were in desperate need of, & then ran through Taco Bell drive-thru, & headed right home to see Cali. Her & my mom were sitting on the garage stairs when we opened the garage door. She was so excited to see us! Ahhhhh I loved it! She looked at Brooke for a minute but didn't seem bothered by her lack of bubbles or nevus. (LOL The next day, however, she came up to us out of the blue & said "Brookie bubbles???" I told her that we had them taken out. Then she just said OK & walked away.) She was very excited to see her new seat. I put it together for her & she sat in it the rest of the night!!

We got home late Tuesday night & Cali goes to day care on Wed & Thurs. I knew I'd hate that she had to go just a few hours after we got home. But we tried it anyways. She got up & I went in to get her dressed....but boy she wasn't having any of that! It was the biggest fight we've ever had getting her dressed. I wasn't about to keep putting her through that so I just held her close & asked if she wanted to stay home with mommy & Brookie. And of course she said yes. So we changed her clothes & got her in some jammies, like mommy was wearing, & we just had a fun day together!! Here's Brooke & Cali playing in their tunnel:
Later that day Cali was sick of being in the house so since my mom was still there I decided to take her for a little drive in the car with her brand new seat! Here she is in her jammies with her new Tangled DVD...you can't tell but she was VERY excited!!!

And here's Brooklyn later that day. I think she wanted to go somewhere.....

The next day (Thursday) Cali was very excited about going back to play with her friends at day care. So we got up & I took her in. Then Brooklyn & I went up to my work so they all could see her. They were all in awe!!! Then we came home & unpacked our stuff & waited for Dustin's mom to get Cali & bring her home.

Last night was opening day of baseball so my parents & brothers came over with dinner & we watched the Dodgers beat the Giants!! (And they beat them tonight too!!!)

I go back to work on Monday so life will return to "normal" next week. I'm excited to take Brooklyn to church on Sunday so people can see how much nevus Dr. Bauer was able to remove. :)  And life will return to normal...for 3 months at least. Then we have to turn back into germ-o-phobes about a month before the next surgery. I got the date moved up from the 11th to 8th of August...so right after the 4th of July we'll be germ-o-phobes again. :(  Definitely not looking forward to that again. But until then...we'll enjoy having our lives back!