Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My First Blog Award!

What a nice surprise I had today from a lovely blogger named Kristine. She left a kind comment on my last post and honored me with this sweet award.

I checked out her blog and it is BEAUTIFUL and she has such inspiring photographs that, of course, she took! I am SO envious of these amazing women who understand the art of, more than ever, I am inspired to take a class and learn how to use a camera!

Thanks, Kristine...looking forward to a long friendship!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Blogging Slump

Lately I have found myself in a bit of a slump. Not just about my blogging, which seems to have been reduced to updates about my dad and whining about the weather, but just in general. I HATE when I get this way and I get mad at myself when I do.

My cute niece, Lee, who lives in Maryland, has an awesome blog (I'd share the address, but it's a private blog). Anyway, she makes me laugh just about every time I read one of her posts...but sometimes she vents and goes off on a rant...she makes me feel better. But the one thing she mentioned in one of her posts, is that when she is in a slump or discouraged or feeling down, she tries to list events that she has coming up. This gives her something to look forward to and lifts her spirits. So I'm giving it a shot!

  1. Paul McCartney is coming to SLC for the VERY first time EVER and we got tickets. He will be here July 13th. We saw him last year in Las Vegas and he puts on an AMAZING concert. He played over 2 hours, his band is fab and he delivered. PLUS, some friends of ours from California are coming up for the concert and we'll be getting together for dinner beforehand...can't wait!!
  2. My husband and I are attending one of his family reunions. It will be held in September down in Hurricane, UT (don't say *Hurricane*'s pronounced *Hurra-Cun*...this South Florida girl was corrected pretty quickly!!) Anyway, it's so much fun and while we are down there, some of his cousins and my daughter, Aja, are taking a side trip to Las Vegas (just 2 hours away) to see "Beatles LOVE" at the Mirage...again!!
  3. Swiss Days is coming up, also in September (Labor Day weekend). We are on the committee and have already started our meetings. This is a HUGE event in our tiny town, but SO MUCH FUN.
  4. My cute niece (who I mentioned above) and her family are coming to Utah for their own family reunion in July and I will get to see them and smooch on her yummy, adorable boys.
  5. I'm doing a commercial on July 8th for "America First Credit Union" with my little pooch, Layla. It will only be shown locally, but yesterday we did a photo shoot for the stills that will be used in the commercial and Layla was a S.T.A.R...she totally out-shined me! The photographer and crew members were SO nice and it only took about 20 minutes to get all of the shots...easy $$ !!
So there you have it...a few things that I have to look forward too...YES, I feel better! I can't guarantee that I will be blogging everyday (I'm just not feeling it). So a HUGE *Thank You* to Lee! Thank you for setting the example.

**BTW, I can't post without an update on my dad...he is home and doing much better. He is THE toughest guy I have ever known and I have learned to just enjoy each and every moment I have with him. God bless my dad!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Baby Tage and Sleep Apnea

My youngest grandchild,Tage, is now 7 1/2  months old. He is perhaps the happiest baby I have ever seen, but he has one big problem...he doesn't sleep! Several weeks ago, Aja took him down to SLC to a sleep center for a sleep study. Tage was a preemie (you'd never know it now...he weighs in at 19 lbs. 3 oz...he's a CHUNK!) and he has struggled with Sleep Apnea since the day he was born.

As he's grown, he has gotten a bit better, but still wakes up every hour or so during the night. 
He hated the  probes
Trying to put on a brave face

So after a fitful night of virtually no sleep, here are the results: in 6 hours and 40 min of "sleep", 72 times during that time, his brain told him NOT to breathe. He jolted himself awake 19 times. The average person spends 50% of their sleep in REMS and the other 50% in the 4 stages of sleep...he spend only 32% of the time in REMS...not too good:( He failed! Now the doctor wants to take out his adenoids and tonsils out, but Aja is so concerned about putting him through all of that at such a young age. She is consulting with a couple of other doctors before making her decision.

Poor little guy...he's such a trooper!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Update On My Dad

Brad and I decided to visit my dad on Saturday, the day before Father's Day. We drove to SLC (about 45 min. away) and walked into his room that felt like a S.A.U.N.A...and I'm seriously NOT kidding! He had his heat all the way up and was asleep on the top of his bed. **Note, his feeding tube is finally out and he's eating**

The facility where he has been staying is beautiful and has the look and feel of a nice hotel. Anyway, we quietly walked in but he opened his eyes and was happy to see us. My dad has been "different" lately. I don't know what to attribute it to, maybe all of the pain medication, but whatever it is, his personality has just been different.

We gave him his gift, he thanked us then turned his attention to the T.V. that was quietly on in the background...on the Western of his favs...we stayed for about 15 minutes then told him good-bye and left.

On Sunday, my mother called to tell me that my dad had had a bad night and had a "No Visitors" sign on his door, so don't bother driving down. She proceeded to tell me that the night before, he was awaken around midnight by an older woman gently stroking his arm and trying to wake him up. She told him that he was in her bed. He answered her by telling her that she was in the wrong room and ended up having to call the nurse who brough with her another nurse who, together escorted the elderly woman back to her room...Yes, she was confused and wandered into my dad's room. This freaked him out and he was up all night with worry. We laughed about it, he did not...That's NOT my dad...he would normally find the humor in the situation and joke about it. Like I said, he's different now.

I don't have any idea what the immediate future holds for him. He has been on the brink of death so many times and has defied all odds more times than I can count. But whatever happens, I will always hold dear my memories of my *healthy* dad and endure these most difficult times of visiting with a sweet man who looks like my father, but is a different man. Life is unpredictable and throws things at us that I would never have guessed. Enduring to the end is not just for the dying...I'm afraid it involves all those who love them.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

More Treasures Found

Aja and I have discovered the most amazing Thrift Shop just a few miles down the road run by the Catholic Church. It happens to be in the very same building that was the hospital that my hubby was born in almost 56 years ago! It houses a lot of memories for him, including the time he had rheumatic fever and was in with his cousin (who also had the fever). He talks of the kind people, who have now passed on, who gave of their time to come visit him and read to him in order to pass the endless hours of recovery.

Anyway, now it is a HUGE Thrift Shop and boy oh boy do they have some great finds. It's only open Wed-Sat and if you get there right as it opens, you will be standing in a loooooog line!

So the other day we stopped by and I found this funky little piece for $5.00:

It had green glitter glue dripped on it but that proved to be no problem as it basically scraped off with light sand paper. So after taking off the glitter, I painted it with a dark grey enamel (I wanted black but didn't have enough). When that was almost dry, I took black craft paint, drizzled a bit on it and wiped it over the surface with a wet rag. It did the job! After it all dried, I took sand paper and went around the edges to complete the worn look. This was the end result:
Then I dressed it with a few of my favorite books and a brand new family picture of Brittany and Evan and their most adorable *Littles*, Anthony and Brooklyn!
**As I was painting the drawer, I noticed that on the bottom, written in pencil was 1906. Score!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Sweetest Little Things

I had to run to the Post Office this afternoon and on my way I passed my daughter's house. I saw the most precious *Littles* playing outside as she was mowing her lawn so I had to stop. This is what her sweet girls gave me:

Alakina gave me these sweet white flowers...

Stella was a bit braver and picked these wild roses with "prickles"...

So now they are proudly displayed in my kitchen window. And everytime I see them my heart smiles when I remember their big smiles of pure love when they hand-picked these sweet blossoms for their Nana!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

60 Amazing Years!

Today is a MONUMENTAL day. My parents are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary!! Who makes it that long these days and remains happy?? I am so honored to have parents who are so committed and dedicated to their marriage and to their family. They are wonderful, blessed people and I couldn't have asked for better role models.

It all started in Albuquerque, New Mexico where my Southern Daddy had moved from Texas and got involved in a young adult group through the Methodist church. It was there that he met my sweet mother who was a shy, backwards (her words) girl who felt that the only thing she did well was play the violin. I asked my mother what attracted her to my father and she told me that he was so sweet and made her laugh! He was a good young man who loved God and shared the same values that she had.

My dad thought she was the most beautiful girl. They went out on a date in Sept. but then he didn't ask her out again until Jan. (Dad, really??) When he did ask her out again, he asked if his ukelele could have a date with her violin! Totally cheesy...totally sweet!! They dated and were then married the following June in the Methodist church in Albuquerque.

My dad worked for Reidlings Record Store where he met the Capitol Records Rep who was taken with his abilities, they moved to Paducah, Texas where my brother, Mark was born. After a few more moves, they ended up in Dallas, TX where he was hired by Capitol. Then they moved to Minneapolis, MN where I entered the picture, then to Seattle, WA then finally to Los Angeles (Van Nuys) where my sister was born and my dad finally had an office in the famous Capitol Records Tower on the 11th floor...but he hated L.A. so took the transfer back to Seattle (we lived in Bellevue) where my little brother was born and after 5 years in the Northwest, we moved back to L.A (Westlake Village) and he was back in the Tower.

My parents moved a lot...we moved a lot! But we always had each other and we always had a great time. We had amazing friends, met the most interesting, creative people and were taught basic Christian principles. We went to church EVERY Sunday and survived life's trials together. I was raised by "Ozzie and Harriett"!!

I could go on and on about the amazing childhood that they provided for us 4 children, but let me just say this...we were all taught to do what is right, let the consequence follow. I cannot remember a day when my father did NOT tell us how much he loved our mother! He has always been very vocal and open about his feelings about her and we always KNEW that we had better show her respect or else!...

I am honored and proud to be my parents daughter. I adore my 2 brothers and my sister and I am thankful for the childhood that my parents worked so hard to provide for us. We certainly weren't the "perfect" family, but we were a "great" family and we had our quirky, goofy, silly, fun, loving moments. We suffered set-backs and we survived. My little brother and I gave them a run for their money at times, but they hung in there with us and never stopped praying for us.

Now my parents are O.L.D! My mother is an amazingly talented violinist, still plays for the Utah Symphony and has traveled around the world on tour with them. She is young at heart and still has her health. She has been the primary care taker for my dad for many years and has done it well.

Today, my mother wanted to make it a special day for her sweetheart who is lying in a rehab center fighting for each breath of his life. My dad ADORES Crab Legs so she ordered up 5 meals of Alaskan King Crab
from "Red Lobster" and surprised him with his favorite meal. She invited my brother, his wife and me to join them so we did and it was the sweetest thing! Keep in mind that my dad has not eaten anything for over 3 weeks and has a feeding tube inserted.
My cute Dad & me

My 2 nephews, Jake & Cade with my dad

My cute sister-in-law, Jayme & my Dad
My little brother, Paul, dad & me

My Dad & Mom...
My sweet daddy...

My parents have set the bar high for all of us! They have honored their wedding vows and have shown us what a loving, committed couple is. Thanks, Mom and Dad...Happy Anniversary!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Odds and Ends...

I have been so distracted lately with all that has been going on in my life that, sadly, I have neglected my poor blog. I go through my daily routine of reading my favorite blogs, but to sit down and actually come up with a post has been more than I can handle these days. So here are a few of my thoughts:

  1. My dad is still very ill. He is in a rehab center that he seems to really like but his progress is very slow, if at all...he has changed and is not really the same anymore and it makes me sad. But I know that his changes are due to his physical condition and I am trying to be patient with all of this. This enduring to the end is NOT just for the patient, but for the loved ones around him/her.
  2. My *Littles* are doing great! We have survived Pneumonia, 2 broken legs, a sleep study and a case of Scarlet Fever. Both girls are doing fine and have no residual effect (that we know of) from any of the ailments. Baby Tage is a C.H.U.N.K!! You would NEVER know that he was ever a preemie...He is exactly where he needs to be and is healthy and the happiest baby I have ever seen! Anthony and Brooklyn (who live in Idaho) are doing great and are sweet, healthy and happy! Praise the Lord!!
  3. My mother is doing better. She has scared us to death because she has really been wiped out by all of the demands of my father's health issues and we were terribly worried about her. My brother, who lives in Las Vegas, has convinced her to come down for a few days, starting tomorrow evening, for some well-deserved R & R...hopefully she will really relax and just enjoy herself.
  4. Speaking of my mother...she and my dad will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary tomorrow...I will try to do a tribute post sometime tomorrow.
  5. Last but not least, here are some pictures that I randomly took of the kids playing outside on a beautiful day:

(Notice...NO CAST...her leg is better!!)

Aja and her "CHUBBERS" Tage

AND...We finally got our flagpole fixed!

Monday, June 14, 2010

One Person's Junk...My Treasure!

Saturday morning started out very rainy and dreary. Aja stopped by to "borrow" something and on her way over she noticed that my next-door neighbors were having a garage sale. Since she has been in the market for some furniture for her girls, we tromped over in the rain. She found a great wooden dresser  for $5.00 that she can cover with a coat of paint, change out the knobs and end up with a great piece for her girls room...I scored this for $1.00:
Yes, it's pretty ugly, but I bought the cutest bird bath at the Thrift shop on Friday for $2.00 and needed a stand...I figured this would do, but not without a little love from me first! So I broke out the paint and decided on these 4 colors:

Then I took a small piece of a natural sponge and started layering the different colors...This is what I ended up with:
Not bad for a total of $3.00!

Friday, June 11, 2010

I'm Back...For Now

I have been pretty consistent in my blogging until a week or so ago. As many of you know, my dad has suffered a terrible fall in which he broke his back in 2 places and broke 5 ribs. Since his fall on May 23rd, he has been in the hospital and has been having a very difficult time in his recovery.

I have not blogged for a while as I have been so consumed with other priorities. As far as an update on my dad, he was in the hospital for 1 week and then sent home on Memorial Day. He was miserable! My mother had a young man come to help assist her in my dad's daily needs and this young man was appalled that he was sent home, so on the following Wednesday, my dad was taken back to the Trauma floor of the hospital and re-admitted for another 10 days. During this time, it was discovered that his lungs were filling up with fluid and he was unable to breathe so a tube was inserted into his side and left there for about a week. This was very uncomfortable for him, but he endured it well. He also is unable to eat so he now has a feeding tube (which he hates).

Yesterday, he was transferred to a rehab facility in Salt Lake City, not far from their home. He seems to be happy there, yet he is anxious to get home. I'm not so sure he will ever make it to their home again...who really knows, this is my father we're talking about and he has defied death for 30 years!

This has been very wearing on my family. We have been trying to help my mother, who is a real trooper, and trying to deal with the emotions of the inevitable impending death of our sweet father. My two brothers and my sister are amazingly supportive of each other. It has brought us closer and together we have made decisions that aren't always easy. Through this entire experience, I have learned so many amazing lessons and am SO immensely grateful for them all, but boy has this been difficult!

I have a lot of other subjects to blog about and have missed all of my amazing *blog* friends and look forward to getting back into a regular routine again! I know life will settle down and get back to "normal" again, but for now, this is my normal and my focus is on my family and trying to be there for all of them. I will try to be a bit more will all depend on what happens in the next few days and weeks.

Thank you for your understanding and patience with me!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Nature's Playground

I was sitting in my mother's living room the other day and this is what I saw just outside her window...

She has multiple birdfeeders set up and it is pure entertainment just sitting and watching the wildlife flit in and out of her yard!

Then we watched this little guy for a while...

On the way home, we saw 3 female Elk and a female Moose...unfortunately it was dusk, I didn't have my camera out and we were on the freeway so I didn't get a shot of them.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Alakina's Big Day!

**This is my 100th post..Woo Hoo**

Yesterday was a BIG was Alakina's first day of T-Ball and man oh man was she excited! When I first got to the field, I was immediately taken back to the "good ole' days" when my little Tyler (now almost 25!) was just starting to pursue his passion with sports. I have to admit, I got a lump in my throat as I watched all of these miniature people running around with matching shirts and hats, full of excitement and trying so hard to learn the basics of America's Favorite Game.

Alakina absolutely LOVED the whole experience. She jumped right in, listened to her coach, did what she was told (for the most part) and chatted it up with the rest of the team!

She has a pretty good swing, did great in her running but this is what she did BEST on each base:

Yes, she did gymnastics...notice the kid who was on first...He ran past her to 3rd!

O.K. so she's not ready for the big leagues just yet, but she had a blast and we had some of the greatest entertainment we could have possibly asked for!