Monday, May 31, 2010

memorial day...night

couldn't let a perfectly good evening go to waste. so we shared it with friends, picnicking in the park.

we watched a gopher...for a loooooooooong time,
played games with pregnant women,lost our paddles and balls to the tree branches {but only temporarily},took a nap on the grass,and ate some gooooood food and finished with a round of day. success.


ryan had the day off work, so we wanted to do something fun as a family. enter lindsey's idea to hike at rancho san antonio. i usually do trail runs there, and it is beautiful...but crowded. mostly a huge trail area with a tiny parking lot.

we spent an hour finding parking. but, once successful, we hiked {er, walked} up to a little barn to eat our sack lunches and run around. leah and sarah were happy to roam. sarah and i put the barn stage to good use. we enjoyed ourselves a leah sandwich. and we had one tuckered out little girl on our hands by the end of the afternoon. success!!
so fun to get some fresh air and spend time with my two favorite people + some good friends!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


i have an obsession...of taking pictures of my feet.

and it's kind of ironic, because i have quite unattractive feet.

my toes are short and wide. real toe rings never fit on them. only the adjustable kind were even half-way decent.

my feet are altogether wide. i often choose wide width shoes and you will never see me in certain heels or sandals because my feet just dangle over the sides.

my ankles aren't really ankles at all. they're much better classified as cankles. my friend in high school thought it would be funny to gift me a necklace one year for my use as an anklet. only because the anklets in the store truly didn't fit around my ankles. it was funny meg. real funny.

my ugly feet used to give me a lot of anxiety. i'm pretty much over it now. not that i wouldn't wish for a different set. i can give you names of a few people whose feet and ankles i'd take without even blinking.

and yet i like to take pictures of mine? it's kind of become a tradition. wherever i go, you'll see my 10 toes {or the shoes they're hiding in} captured forever on my canon elph. it's kind of fun to remember various vacations and outings based on what shoes i wore or what the floor looked like.

so, much to ryan's dismay, i took lots of feet pictures in hawaii. these feet went to pearl harbor, the beach, the airport, diamond head, restaurants, a rental car, airplanes, the pcc, a mini golf course and lots more. and i have the proof.

Monday, May 24, 2010


hawaii was...perfect.

lots and lots of words just won't do it justice, so i'll leave it to pictures. i'm happy to report i have a nice, brown tan to remember it by. and now i look 100% like leah's nanny. no one will ever believe she's mine.

my only two negative thoughts are one: the disgusting salt water that made me want to puke. but that problem was easily resolved by lounging on the sand and reading. and two: the mean, mean things humidity and salt did to my ever expanding hair. i felt like monica gellar in barbados. and no, i'm not too proud to post a snippet of a picture below. wow.

and other than that, i have only positive, incredible, happy, wonderful, perfect things to say about our getaway.

and now, in pictures from a to z, hawaii was...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

the results are in:

apparently people like to read pretend letters i write to myself? it's not the first time, so i guess i shouldn't be surprised.

my mind often thinks in letters {as in, 'dear so-and-so' not 'a b c'.} and writing them has always been a favorite of mine.

my grandma was one of my earliest pen pals. i have probably close to 100 letters from her from years and years ago. i would send her a handwritten one {of course, the handwriting would change with each letter. sometimes the dots on the i's would be dots, sometimes circles and sometimes hearts} and she, in return, would send me a reply from her trusty typewriter and inked singature at the bottom.

i had a pen pal in mrs. green's third grade class at heartland elementary. she lived in houston. i think she didn't like writing letters as much as i did. i didn't mind.

i have a box full of cards and letters that have been sent to me over the years. i open it up every once in awhile and let the memories flow. oftentimes just looking a person's handwriting can bring back wonderful thoughts. i'm actually working on creating my handwriting as a font to add a little bit of that human touch to letters that have to be written on the computer.

i prefer the pen and paper kind of letter with a stamp and a return address. but writing letters online has been a great way for me to make sense of some of my jumbled thoughts. i found when leah was first diagnosed, and even before, i spoke to her in my mind in letter form. my thoughts always started, 'dear little leah.' and so, because i didn't want those thoughts to be lost forever, my blog for her was born.

i'm not sure how often i'll continue to write letters to myself, but thanks to my 52 friends for your input {okay, 51...i voted too}.

p.s. YES, i know i spelled alagonchy {al-uh-gone-chee} wrong on the poll. how lame am i to spell my own word wrong!? i noticed the second i saw it on my sidebar and went back to change it, but some speedy speederton had voted already, so blogger wouldn't let me.

Monday, May 10, 2010

i'm famous...

it pays to have a super awesome photography friend, a super handsome husband and a super squishable daughter.

because then you get your picture splashed all across her advertising.
and, if you're in CA or UT during the dates listed above and are looking for a fabulously fresh photographer who will make you giggle throughout your entire session and then grin from ear to ear when you get your shots back, look no further.

see for details {...and for more pictures of my super handsome husband and super squishable daughter}.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

everybody needs a mother...

today i sat in a room packed full of women, feeling completely alone.

not a bad alone. not a good alone. just alone.

mothers, daughters, sisters and friends all around. chatting about this and that. and i was alone in my thoughts.

it's been a strange year for me, to say the least. i've struggled off and on with my feelings of adequacy as a mother in general. some days i feel like i do a run of the mill job just sliding by. other days i put a big, fat check mark on my "i'm an amazing mom" chart and walk away with a smile. other days are complete and utter disasters.

this year, i watched my mom battle cancer - and emerge triumphant - for the second time. my mom is amazing. i've said that before and i'm sure to say it again. the best gifts she has given me this year are to look at the big picture. to see things in perspective. to let your gratitude for the good be known. AND your gratitude for the bad. she learns from her mistakes, her trials, her weaknesses. she builds upon her successes, her happinesses {is that a word?}, her strengths. and then she shares it all with me. and i love her for it.

this year, i watched my daughter's abilities deteriorate before my eyes. my daughter is amazing. she's given me the gift of patience, of sacrifice, of rejoicing in the small things. she is the one whose body doesn't work anymore and she wakes up each morning with a big smile on her face {usually...albeit too early} and run at her day with all her might. she puts her all into everything she does. and she is very three years old. i've heard some of the jolliest laughs, seen some of the biggest grins, endured some of the most ridiculous tantrums and watched some of the most incredible breakthroughs this year. it was hard to see other kids telling their moms they loved them today, but leah shows it to me.

this year, i watched my mother in law continue to be the amazing woman, wife, mother and homemaker she has always been. she has some trials i wouldn't wish on anyone and she just keeps going with a smile on her face.

this year, i watched numerous friends have their first, second, third, fourth kids. i watched as they struggled and succeeded, laughed and cried, but most of all rejoiced in their ability to be a mother.

this year, i watched a few friends struggle with the reality that they can't bear children. i cried many tears and my heart simply aches for them to one day enjoy the blessings and heartaches and triumphs and struggles of motherhood. and these friends will be mothers one day...the best kind of mother.

this year, i watched a few friends say goodbye to their little ones as they went back to heaven far too early. again, i cried. i wept. i ached. i didn't have the right words. no one ever could.

this year, i was blessed to join a group of amazing mothers who work tirelessly each day to find a cure for their little ones and help their little angels succeed in this world. although i wish i could have met these women in other circumstances, i am ever so grateful to have met them.

this year, i am grateful not only to have a mom and to be a mom, but i'm grateful for all the women in my life who are mothers in their own right. who teach and nurture and love in a way we all so desperately need.

happy mother's day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

pee-tuh pan

i was hoping it would be all it was hyped up to be.

after all, i gave away my ticket to see the san francisco ballet's romeo and juliet just for this.

and it was worth it.

peter pan. the play. in the round.

seriously. they set up this little tent on the embarcadero in the city. you all sit in a circle around the stage and there is a screen all the way around the tent above you. when the actors fly, it's as if you're flying with them through london...and then on to the second star on the right and straight on 'til morning.peter, wendy, john, michael, mr. darling, hook, the lost boys, smee, tink. all great. ok, tink was a bit strange and ryan didn't like that adults had to play the roles of children. but. overall, i was more than pleased.

the stage was incredible. they way the actors came up and out of the floor through beds, trees, houses and more was amazing! loved nana. and the crocodile.

and my favorite part of the night? when tink was dying, peter had the whole audience whisper, "i believe in fairies." tink woke up when the sweetest little girl {after lots of soft, unsure whispers from all the adults} yelled, at the top of her innocent lungs, "I BELIEVE IN FAIRIES!" it was too perfect.

a great night out with great people.for more info, click here. and if you're in the area. seriously. go see it.

p.s. enjoy the pictures. ryan got in big trouble for snapping that group shot inside the theater. so did whitney.
p.p.s. the teeth are getting straighter, no?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

the great escape: take 2

i'm calling it the great escape. something this amazing definitely needs a title.

and i'm also declaring it a tradition. sorry, boys. but your wives will be leaving for at least one weekend each year. we did it last year. we did it last weekend. and we'll do it again.

for the second year in a row, i spent a great weekend escaping with kristen and lindsey, gallavanting all over hollywood.mornings were spent sleeping in.

afternoons were spent soaking in the sun.

evenings were spent curling our hair and applying all sorts of shadows and glosses.

there were manis and pedis, rides around town with the top down on the bimmer {thanks ed!}, lots of shopping bags, songs sung at the top of our lungs, reassuring texts from home, camera flashes, matching outfits and, of course, ice cream.

it may or may not have taken lindsey 20 minutes to figure out how to pump her gas at arco. we definitely got an eyeful of some males in speedos at the pool. i actually taught kristen how to do something with her hair {that was a first...the girl knows hair}. we may or may not have eaten more than we are willing to disclose. kristen was starstruck as we continually passed by cedars-sinai medical center. i was nearly decapitated, more than once, when lindsey put the top down. we were not fooled by the 'women' who helped us at the mac counter. we learned you should always carry a spare elastic in a convertible. and i found it was very fun to be 4-7 inches taller than the other two {it really helped when getting in and out of the back seat}.

and most of all...three girls were relaxed, reenergized and ready to jump back into real life.

and that's what a great escape it all about.

Monday, May 3, 2010

what was YOUR favorite writing assignment


i have to admit, i'm kind of glad april is over.

i felt a lot of pressure to get something out there that wasn't just fluff. something i was proud of. it was hard to write, write, write and not sit back and think about it for a day or two before i posted. there are definitely things i would change looking back, but it was fun and it got my juices flowin'.

so, now i need to know what you liked best of all.

i put a poll on my sidebar, so click up to three choices to let me know what your favorite three writing assignments were. i only included posts that got more than 5 comments and then i narrowed it down myself from there. if one of your three favs didn't make the cut, just click on "other."

as for may...i just got back from a delicious weekend away with two great girlfriends and celebrated the big #7 wedding anniversary yesterday. more on all of that to come...

now go vote!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

number seven

i recently heard somewhere that the divorce rate for couples who have kids with special needs is 80%.

eighty percent.

that seems ridiculously high to me for the parents of kids who need that little bit of extra assistance that i can't help but believe two parents could give to a child better than one. i cannot imagine parenting leah while flying solo.

and yet, emerging from the ashes of the past year, i can completely understand why the statistics are so high.

we got little to no sleep a lot. a lot, a lot. and not just the infant crying and wanting to be fed kind of no sleep. we've done that, and that was a breeze compared to this kind of sleeplessness. we've been overstressed and undereducated and mostly felt helpless. and i'm pretty sure we just took it out on each other.

i know this seems a silly way to write a post about a blissful seventh year anniversary, but hear me out.

i know we're going to be in that 20% of couples who do make it. and i can take no credit for myself. it's all because of ryan.

he is always the one to apologize first.

he is always the one to forgive and forget.

he is always the one to work a little longer, a little harder, a little better.

he is the one at the end of the day {after he walks in the door from 12 hours at his corporate job} telling his sobbing wife that everything will be okay. and then he proceeds to do his husband job and daddy job and clean apartment complexes and do the dishes and pick up after me.

he is the one to take leah off my hands after an insane week {the kind where i'm ready to gouge my eyes out with a spoon} and run her ragged at the park. and of course they both come back grinning from ear to ear.

he is the one who rides his bike to work so i can have the car.

he is the one who listens rather than speaks.

he is the one who helps rather than hinders.

he is the one who catches me when i fall.

he is the one who pushes me when i need an extra shove.

he is the one who does all this without a spec of recognition. no one ever asks, "how's ryan doing?", and he keeps plugging right along regardless. and the only thing he has to show for it is a receding hairline {okay, and maybe a gray hair or two}.

and he is mine. forever.

happy number seven.

i love you.