Monday, December 31, 2012

Annual Year-End Survey

1. What did you do in 2012 that you’d never done before?
Dealt with the realization that  due to a diagnois of cancer, my Mama may not be here forever. In fact, the harsh reality is that each and every day she is here is a gift.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I didnt make any resolutions that I recall from last year. I have, however, had a life changing year resolutions made or not.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My friend, Kari, my sister-in-law, Molly

4. Did anyone close to you die?
My mentor/supervisor for many years at CLO. After several years of fighting cancer, she lost her battle MUCH too soon.

5. What countries did you visit?
Just the good ol USA

6. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2012?
Patience, and a calmer, more relaxed lifestyle. The opportunity to spend more quality time with my family before spending it with others and making it a point to focus on what is best for me and my family more often rather than getting caught up in the craziness of life and not even realizing it is passing me by.

7. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Though I cannot remember the exact date, late in February my Mama was diagnosed with cancer. My world was forever changed that day and has made me face many, many, many realizations about what is and isnt important in this life.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I can honestly say, just making it through the year. 2012 might have been the hardest year I have faced. Having two young children, a Mama who is sick and adjusting to staying home full-time made for some tough times.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Losing my cool. Biting off more than I can chew and then secretely freaking out about it. Not putting my family first, messing up a few good friendships...

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
We have not had any major illnesses, but as a family I feel like we have been sick since Halloween. Im not even joking. Im hoping that 2013 means a little less germs will be spread our way.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
Im pretty fond of the bounce house we bought the girls for Christmas, Nothing like blowing up an 8x8 sqaure of air to burn off some energy during the cold winter months. Who cares if it happens to take up my entire entry way =0) 
I would also say that although I didnt really "buy" her, I finally hired a cleaning lady. It took me awhile to do this, but honestly a whole lot of anxiety and overall grouchiness has left my life with this "purchase".

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Hands down, my Mom. She has been through hell and back and handled it all like a rockstar. Rarely do I hear her complain about much of anything even though the fact of the matter is that she really is sick.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? My mom always said if you dont have anything nice to say then dont say anything at all... I think I will remember this right now....

14. Where did most of your money go?
My Kiddos... I wouldnt change this for the world though. They are my EVERYTHING.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My Mama making it to her 100 day post transplant date. She has been doing fabulous and we couldnt be more thankful.

16. What song will always remind you of 2010?
Its an oldie but with all that is going on in life, Tim McGraws, Live like you are Dying pretty much sums up my feelings about life. It is just TOO short to take for granted.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?
Happier. Although I am sad that the answer to my Mama's health problems resulted in Cancer, knowing the problem and the way to treat it brings some pretty hefty relief.
b) thinner or fatter?
Fatter...  I knew it would happen. I have always been a stress eater.. Now if I would just care enough to lose the 10 pounds I have gained all would be well... or maybe I'll just get pregnant instead =0)
c) richer or poorer?
I really have no idea.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Not over-extended myself and my family. Being signed up for every opportunity that comes our way is just TOO much.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
ran around feeling like a chicken with my head cut off.
20. How did you spend Christmas? We went to Chanute the weekend before Christmas to celebrate with my family, went to Ryan's parents the Friday before Christmas, and Ryan and the girls went to both his extended family's Christmas' Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I stayed home with a horendous case of the stomach flu =0(

21. Did you fall in love in 2009?
I didnt fall in love, but I stayed in love with everybody in my family. I also learned the hard way how bad loving somebody can hurt when you are faced with losing them.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
I am NOT a television watcher. I prefer to spend my days listening to the radio instead.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Um. Hate? No. Too strong of word...

24. What was the best book you read? Hmm, I read the book "The Power of a Positive Parent" and really enjoyed it. I also have to admit I got pretty sucked into Fifty Shades of Grey Series.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? Im boring when it comes to music. If it is on the radio I listen to it, if not, then I probably have no idea what it is.

26. What did you want and get? More days to spend with my Mama.

27. What did you want and not get? another eternity band for my wedding set... its a pretty hefty thing to ask for, but a girl can dream, right?

28. What was your favorite film of this year?  Hmm not a movie watcher... I think we saw the Lorax this past year, though and I thought it was super cute. I love Dr. Suess though.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned thirty-two. I celebrated with lunch with a bunch of my Mommy friends and their little ones, dinner with Ryan and the family and as always with Ryan's family at his parents house.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not having to face the reality that my Mama has an incurable illness that is only going to get worse over time.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Im not a huge fashion person. I prefer to be comfortable. If I had a choice of what to wear on a daily basis, it would be a hooded sweatshirt and jeans.

32. What kept you sane?
Supportive friends willing to help out anytime I needed.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? I have nothing to do with celebrities, etc. I don't watch TV

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
I hate politics. I try really hard to have nothing to do with them.

35. Who did you miss?
I miss my Mom everyday. I fear that everyday I am not with her, might be the last day I could have seen her. I also miss the rest of my family since I know that once my Mom is no longer on this earth, nothing will EVER be the same for any of us =0(

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I was fortunate to meet a lot of new, awesome people this past year, and to deepen the relationships I had with others.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2010:
Treat as though it is a gift. You are not guaranteed a tomorrow!

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.... I dunno...

Christmas Part 2

The second half of Christmas celebrations around the Miller's didn't quite go as planned. I woke up Christmas Eve morning with full on stomach flu. I'll spare you details, but what I will tell you is that other than to run to the bathroom, my head did not leave the pillow for over 24 hours. Christmas Eve was spent in bed, while Ryan took the girls and made the best of the day without me, and I can honestly say, I have NO idea what they even looked like. Sad, I know. Thankfully, after Ryan realized I wasn't going to be able to "pretend Im not sick" like I usually do, he stepped into Super Dad role. Not only did he make the desserts for the remaining Christmas' they needed to attend, he got the girls there, home and in one piece and managed to wrap every.single.present for them after getting home Christmas Eve at nearly 11 pm. Im pretty certain he was a little peeved that his wife is a procrastinator at that point, but he put a smile on his face and went on with his duties. Christmas morning I woke up, and could tell immediately that although I was nowhere near 100% at least I was going to be able to make it downstairs to watch the festivities unfold, hang out with the gang for awhile before they all headed off to yet another Christmas. Though it was sad that I didnt get to spend the day with my little family, it was nice to have the opportunity to get things back in order around the house and enjoy some quality time by myself. The pictures were few and far between of this morning BUT one thing was for certain, their bounce house from Santa was definitely a hit!

Good-Bye and Good Riddence 2012

Not to be a Negative Nancy, but I would be lying if I didn't say that I am more than happy to see 2012 find its way into the record books. Unfortunately for me, it seems as though those "records" are not things I wished to have happened in my life, but needless to say, they did. Since I have always been a believer of "all things happening for a reason", I can't help but think why these things must happen... Some of it, I think is because karma is a bitch, and others I think happened to strengthen relationships to a level they have not been before. Regardless, even though I would say that 2012 was one of the toughest, scariest times of my life, it was also one that got me to reflecting on my life, my values and what truly is important to me. Nothing like a big ol slap in the face to bring you back to reality... So with that, I am saying goodbye and good riddence 2012. I hope 2013 brings with it the opportunity for self-growth, deeper, more meaningful relationships in all aspects of my life, less chaos, craziness and overall unnecessary busyness and more quality, intentional time spent with the ones I love the most.... My family. Afterall, they are pretty darn fun people.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas 2012

For the Miller's, Christmas 2012 was quite the affair. So far, Christmas has yet to come, but, we have managed to celebrate three Christmas' thus far. Starting on Friday, we went to Grandma and Grandpa Miller's, Saturday morning we went to "Cousins Christmas" and immediately following that we went home to Chanute for a quick celebration. We are home and resting up for the celebrations to begin all over again tomorrow evening and concluding Tuesday night at the Millers extended family get-together. Whew, what fun we have had thus far. I am excited to see what is to come. Until then, here are few quick pics of the fun had:
Nora opening her globe. It's perfectly normal for a four year old to request a globe for Christmas, right =-0)
 Nora and Reese with Santa at Cousins Christmas. This is such a fun tradition. This year, we had breakfast with Santa and the girls loved it!
 This is my sweet, sweet baby niece, Leila. I had to give her up so that she could visit Santa, otherwise I could hold her!
 All the Cousins and their kids
 Our attempt at a family pic with Santa.
 Gingerbread house making at the Bercaw's. If only my Mom could maintain her body temperature, we might've had better luck. A house with 18 people, a thermostat set WAAAYYY TOO HIGH and frosting made it difficult for them to stay together. Regardless of the difficulites, we still had a good time!

 Nora and her cousin, Claira. My girls are so fortunate to have so many cousins so close in age. These girls are 9 months apart.
 A sad attempt at getting a picture of all TEN of my parent's grandkids. We tried =0)
Christmas in Chanute is always a fun time. Since all three of us girls moved away, having Christmas there means that all three of us AND our family's come home and spend the night in my parents home meant for five. Needless to say, there literally was no beds OR floor space left by the time everybody found a spot to sleep. Having this many people in a house this small also means that actually getting ready is impossible. No worries there though, it just means its jammie day for all. Some might think this is silly, but to me it is perfect. It just means more time to spend together as comfy as we can get =0)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Snow Day

Yesterday marked our first snow this year. Nora was beyond excited, while I was well, not so much. I am a hotter the better kinda gal, so I was more than excited that she was also going to have an all day playdate with the Burke girls at our house while their Mama worked. A sigh of relief overcame me when alas they arrived packed and ready for playing in the snow. While the little girls napped, the big girls got all bundled up and headed out. I snuck out for a few minutes to take pics and make sure they were still not frozen. It was a snow angel making frenzy out there. It quite possibly might've been the cutest thing I have seen in a long time. These girls, not only share a name, but a great love for each other. I hope their friendship always stays this sweet!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Grandma's are the BEST!

My girls are so lucky. They might have two of the best Grandma's any girl could ask for. Each Grandma has their own unique qualities making them stand-out from the other, but all in all they are awesome. My girls love them, and what can I say, I do too =0) This past week we have been fortunate enough to get to spend time with BOTH of them, and with the holidays quickly approaching we are going to get to see them even more =0)
Here is Nora with her finished gingerbread house she made at Grandma Miller's. Each year, Grandma has the kids over to make houses. They seem to enjoy the fun times and I LOVE seeing the finished product. Getting a picture of her these days is another story... I think she mightve been on a little sugar high here =0) A perk of building houses made of candy, I guess!
My girls and my Mama. She came to visit earlier this week and we went out to eat not once, but twice. After months of not being able to eat anything but specially prepared food, my Mom kinda likes visiting restaurants =0) This pic of her with my girls is SO her.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Alas, We are back... Sorta

Sorry for that brief blog hiatus.. My computer randomly decided to bite the bullet leaving me with nothing but an I-Pad for use on the internets and although I really love documenting our life happenings, I really do not love hunting and pecking keys all that much. So anywho, we missed a month of life... and although I now have Ryan's somewhat working old computer to fill the void, I'm not certain I have many pictures of our life the past few months because along with my computer biting the bullet so did my cell phone which held many of our daily life pics. Enough with technology. Maybe I will have better luck from here on out. I did get a case for my phone this time, so hopefully I wont end up with a cracked screen... or a phone soaked from a kid spilling their darn water bottle...
So what has been happening around the Miller's?
1) Reese continues to improve her speech daily. She is trying really hard to use words, and, for the most part when she uses them, although not everybody can understand her needs, I can.
2) My Mom had her 100 day post transplant appointment. Overall she is doing FANTASTIC. God definitely answered prayers for her. The doctor stated that she has 1 percent cancer cells in her body, which is the best we could expect. From here on out, she will come to KC for monthly appointments to monitor her health as well as to receive a shot to maintain her bone density (side effect of the myeloma). She will also take a daily chemo pill to keep the cancer cells as low as possible.
3) Because of the two things above, we had a FANTASTIC Thanksgiving. What was even better was that I got to spend it with ALL of my family AND also go to Ryan's family. I always love when we don't have to chose one over the other. Never a fun thing to have to do.
4) We have had a great time celebrating and preparing for the Christmas season. So far:
a) Ryan and Reese went and purchased us a new and improved Christmas tree. This was a much needed purchase since Reese found it humorous to pull ours down, breaking the stand last Christmas season. Decorating it was so much fun. The girls truly enjoyed it.
b) We started participating in ELF ON A SHELF. Our Elf's name is Elfie, or if you ask Nora today, it is Rainbow. Whatever her name, she has been a lot of fun. I would have to say, my favorite trick she has played was when she replaced our stockings with Nora and Ryan's underwear. Im sure our friend, Pat, loved seeing this when he dropped off Bridgey Boo for the day =0)
c) I volunteered as Co-Coordinator for Pictures with Santa at our church and Ryan brought the girls to get their pics taken. I may be biased, but they looked absolutely gorgeous. Even Santa said so, as they walked into the room. Little did he know they were mine =0)
d) We saw Santa AGAIN at MommyShop with great friends where we made Reindeer food which included powdered cocoa and glitter only to be eaten by Nora on the way home despite me telling her it was NON-EDIBLE. Guess you can bet who was getting thier car detailed the next day, huh?
e) We went to the Ultimate Christmas Tree display. This has become somewhat of a tradition for us, and since Reese is a Christmas light loving fool it was a lot of fun (despite the entire car smelling like poo because she had to go and I did not pack an extra diaper. Mom fail)!
f) We made REALLY REALLY cute handprint ornaments with our friends on a crazy Thursday morning. I only imagined they would turn out cute, but they turned out A-DORABLE. I hope to make/do more fun things before time runs out.
g) Nora and I went to the Nutcracker Tea with several of her school friends. The experience was quite the fun, but unfortunately it was a little too loud and possibly a little too girly for my not-so-girly-girl. She says she wants to go back next year though, so it must have not been a complete flop =0) 
I think that is about it... Hopefully I wont leave you all in the dark for so long next time, though with limited computer use until the hubby decides what to do to improve the situation, I am not making any promises =0)