Pages

Monday, December 7, 2015

Dance 10... Looks 3

Sunday I took the girls to the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra for the Home for the Holidays performance.  Maestro Muffitt is a blast.  He entertains and educates the audience with a wonderful sense of humor (“I love all of the festive outfits today.  For everyone wearing those adorable reindeer ears, just remember it’s hunting season….”)

We were treated to an amazing original arrangement of The First Noel by David Lindenfeld.  Mr. Lindenfeld is a member of the Baton Rouge Symphony Chorus and he was singing on the stage during his rendition.  It was really cool….

The performance included Gospel pieces by Greater Baton Rouge Interfaith Ensemble, hand bell music by the Red Stick Ringers and singing from the Sherwood Middle Magnet school choir.  They really incorporated so many people from the community.

Still with me??  I’m getting to the point because clearly I'm not trying to take Keith Spera’s job…

When Quiana Lynell started singing Oh Holy Night it hit me...  If I hadn’t made it through the last few years, M&A would not only never brush their teeth and hair, but they would also be tomboys (there was probably a double negative in there and my sister jen will call me)...

If Shane was raising the girls alone they would be expert BB gun marksmen, proficient bow hunters, excellent fisherman, and well trained athletes.  And although all of those things are fantastic (and by fantastic I mean horrifying....), I realized today that come hell or high water my girls will be exposed to the arts.


I can’t be the only mom who feels like her sole job is to remind them of personal hygiene and homework.  And even though Avery tapped her imaginary watch during the performance (only once) and she rated it a 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 10 after the show – I will not be deterred.  Morgan gave it a 10, so there is hope (I'm blocking out that she's more of the people pleaser and she remembers Christmas is around the corner)…


You know what else we did?  Laugh!  We laughed because "Mommy" took a selfie, we laughed at Maestro's floppy hair and we laughed at the little boy who clapped long after everyone else.  It may have been a 4.5 for Avery, but it was a 10 for me....

Keep on laughing....


Friday, November 27, 2015

5 years ago today....

We found out that I had Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  Stage 4 is only bad if you realize that Stage 5 is death...We didn't exactly dwell on Stage 5.

There was no time for worrying or crying that day because we had a birthday girl - a fabulous 6th birthday party - complete with Build-A-Bear, Sushi, a fashion show, custom flip-flops AND a sleepover...  Murphy's Law, right?



But that was probably the perfect day to get the news, because it set the pace for the next few years... It reminded us to roll with the punches- because quite frankly there were WAY too many punches - chemo, baldness, 2 blood transfusions, meningitis, a seizure that caused temporary blindness and months of reduced brain activity, erythema nodosum (go ahead and google that) and physical therapy... How the hell did we survive??

We survived with the help of good friends and family, gallons of tears and plenty of laughter.  Oh - trust me -  I screamed and cried when I was home alone, but we found plenty of reasons to laugh together.  Ashley and I laughed when we bought my wig.  I laughed when the girls paraded around in my wigs and hats.  Shane and I laughed when I laid on the cold tile floor to relieve the pain.  I laughed when Shane had to suit up like a Ghostbuster to enter my isolation room in the hospital.

I survive today because I packed up the bad memories and put them in a box on the shelf.  If I think about that time, I only focus on the good memories.  Why dwell on the bad?  People joke that women forget how bad pregnancy and childbirth is - otherwise everyone would be an only child.  It's the same kind of thing...

That time taught me many important life lessons.  They aren't always easy to follow, but I remind myself that the lessons were the gift of the disease.  That allows me to laugh about it - and keep laughing...

Heather


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Rose Colored Glasses...

I made a new friend yesterday who reminded me about this poor neglected blog... I actually re-read all of my cancer posts... I shed a few tears, I laughed a lot, and I was reminded of just how far we have come... We are in the thick of tax season, and like Christmas cards in the mailbox, every day is exciting.  I know you're thinking I'm a lunatic, but I mean the human interaction part, not the numbers in boxes part... I have the most wonderful clients - some who have been with me for over 10 years...  They have seen my children born (not literally, thank God), they got the cancer news, they hung in through meningitis and a seizure, they have seen the practice go through three names, and yet they still greet me with hugs each year.

This year has been a difficult one professionally.  I've been hit with surprises at each and every turn, and I think people who didn't know me well thought I might give up... Who are they kidding?  I beat cancer, you think I'm going to let this business fail? I go to work everyday because I love what I do and I love the people I help...

I was on Pinterest tonight and I found something that really hit home...



You see... this year I have been accused on way too many occasions of viewing the world through rose colored glasses.  I have been told that my eternal optimism is a disservice to me.  I need to learn to view situations differently, not be so trusting, and learn to be more strategic....

Are you kidding me?  That approach didn't get me through life this far, and I sure as hell am not going to change now!  Those clients who keep coming back year after year.... they come because of my eternal optimism and my ability to laugh at myself... They come because I do expect the best out of everyone, and I give the best of myself to them...

I'll never be the right fit for everyone, but I'm not going to change who I am to fit into a tougher more cut throat business world.  The only person I'm competing with is myself, so if I can be a little better than I was yesterday and if everyday includes a laugh, then I'm on the right track... I'm not playing in the big leagues, I don't need a strategy, I'm not playing a game, I believe in truth and honesty.... I have a league of my own...and this was the perfect reminder for me...


I'll never be a great competitor in the business world, but I've competed in much tougher fights and won...and in that, I can be proud...we have to choose our battles wisely, and as Avery fell asleep tonight holding my hand, I was reassured that my energy is spent in the right place...

may your dreams include laughs...




Sunday, December 29, 2013

the Lake House that almost was...

for years Ironman and I have been waiting for a house on two VERY specific streets to go on the market...over the holidays we found out that one might be going on the market in March, so of course we stalked  contacted the owner...  If you follow me on Pinterest you may have noticed that the "Lake House" board appeared this week, because I just KNEW this would be THE house...

so we traveled there today... and we found the most magnificent views and a backyard filled with amazing trees....




as we moved inside, I was mentally moving walls, re-painting the blue kitchen cabinets, admiring the cute chandelier... and really trying to block out THAT awful smell...



And then suddenly things went  downhill... faster than you can imagine....we discovered the "fallout shelter"...built to "1955 nuclear code"... even Avery was terrified...


and then the owner disclosed that these lovely floor tiles have asbestos...


oh, and did I mention that the paint tested positive for lead, and that smell?  oh, the house pilings were coated with creosote... in 1940... and the tar smell has been in the house since... Creosote is not particularly nice and I only had to read on a few sights that it is linked to cancer to know that we are in NO WAY, NO HOW buying this house with the beautiful view...

So on our sad drive home, we talked about demolishing the house, and the cost of removing the creosote soaked pilings, but who knows the remediation costs associated with creosote removal, and what damage it has done to the soil...

so I'll put my Lake House Pinterest Board on hold and wait until one of the other 10 houses goes on the market...Great things come to those who wait, right?



Thursday, August 15, 2013

I'm choosing Happiness - Join me?

I recently received an email where the sender berated me for choosing to pursue my career in lieu of being home at 3:45 to meet my children at the bus.  To quote, the sender said "since when did getting a babysitter to get your girls off the bus become such a grand plan?...is deserting your family the best option?"

I actually took this criticism with a grain of salt, because I prescribe to the Maya Angelou school of thought...


But this experience made me step back and reflect on all of the wonderful people in my life who don't question my decisions and who love me unconditionally.  For you I am grateful...  thank you for laughing with me through the good times and the bad...


So I'm taking the email I received as a reminder to...


because



Sometimes even ugliness can be constructive...that's how I'm choosing to deal with this nastiness...and I also spend it laughing.... I hope you do too!




Monday, August 5, 2013

Playing in the Rayne...

Janet's team at Treasured Memories hosts the most wonderful scrapbooking event every summer in Rayne... the frog capital of the world... she thinks of every detail... the food, the prizes, the schedule, the tips before the event, the masseuse, and she has a backup plan for every mishap... an event done right!

Can you imagine over one hundred women scrapbooking together for four days... just laughing, soaking up the creative process and enjoying good company... it's a little bit of heaven...  My heaven even included some actual scrapbooking this year...

As I rummaged around my scrapbook room before Rayne, I found these pages from 2006 that just needed some finishing touches... look at my precious, SwEEt babies...I might need to keep these pages displayed in my room as a reminder that I did not in fact birth heathens...



fast forward to the present... and the heathens  precious children and Daddy all dolled up for the Baton Rouge General Father Daughter Dance...


I could only eek out one page for Halloween this year, must have been too much wine and too little camera...


 here are some of my crazy friends in Rayne, the zany frog capital, one of us is still kissing frogs to find her prince, so we helped her out....


during an exhilarating tax conference in December, Shane snuck down to New Orleans to meet me for dinner in the Quarter... and we actually got to stroll Fulton Street at night


Shane hit one of those milestone birthdays in December and we had quite the celebration.  Nothing like a party at the house to get those nagging unfinished projects completed... Steam clean all the carpets? Don't mind if I do... New decor for the living areas? why not...  10 trips to Goodwill?  absolutely!


so I actually have 4 mini pages that fit in between the two pages, but they are in clear dividers and didn't photograph well... trust me... everyone made the scrapbook...


nothing like spending the day in NOLA with Short Stop po-boys, Barq's root beer and a trip to the zoo...


I almost can't wait for the hot rolls from the school cafeteria.... It's a special treat when the Thanksgiving lunch invitation arrives...You've never seen so many carb counting moms scarf down a hot buttered roll!


Here's the not-so-little-one turning EIGHT...


and her skater girlz....



 I'm super excited to travel to St. Louis in a few weeks to scrapbook with some more great women. I'll keep you posted on my progress, and you keep me posted on your laughing!! 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Thanks to a few special friends...

I played with paper and glue this weekend...





I was lucky enough to spend a relaxing weekend in Mississippi last month with some friends and I finally unpacked those layouts too... 










Most of them are double page layouts, so just pretend I have mad photography/blog skills and can place them together... but that would ruin all of my creative relaxation, so I have to leave them as is...

I did realize that I haven't put layouts in albums since December 2011 - no wonder the stack was "this high"!!  That sounds like an awesome job for Morgan as soon as I buy enough albums... hopefully Hobby Lobby has the right sale this week :)

I'm hoping these special friends are going to keep me on the right track and creating regularly... I'm just a glitter kinda' girl at heart!