Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Morning Video

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I know there are ways to share video without posting it on my blog, but I really don't know what they are, and I really don't feel like learning at the moment. So, to share some video with Grandpa Fast for Christmas, ya'all get to see Callie and her Christmas stocking.

Christmas Eve

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Callie was reading this book for quite a while on Christmas Eve, and I decided to get out the movie camera because it was so cute, but when the camera came out she was WAY more interested in me holding her than in reading.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas Eve To Remember

Every year my sisters and I cut it pretty close to the wire when it comes to shipping gifts. Usually we opt for priority mail and pray they get there in the three days, even though it isn't guaranteed.

A few years ago, the weather was particularly bad, and we waited (as usual) to ship until December 22. The person at the post office reminded us the package would likely not arrive until after Christmas, but it was out of our budget to ship it overnight (which at the time couldn't be guaranteed either because of the bad weather back east). We sent the package on its way and decided to tell Dad on Christmas that the package would arrive that week. It wasn't the best situation, but it would have to do.

Christmas Eve was on a Sunday that year. The small town post office where my Dad's PO box was was closed until the day after Christmas. But a wonderful employee was in sorting mail on that Sunday morning and he saw my Dad's package. He saw it was addressed to "Dad" and felt like he would want it for Christmas. So he looked up the phone number for his mail box and called him to say he had a package and he could pick it up that day.

I know it might not seem like a big thing to some, but getting that call meant a lot to my dad. He doesn't live close to any of his family, and the Christmas package was his connection to us. The postal employee had no obligation to do what he did, and actually, he probably wasn't supposed to do it. But it made a huge difference to our family. When I heard the story I cried because I couldn't believe the package had made it all the way from Modesto, CA to a small town in Eastern Tennessee in two days despite the freezing weather and blizzards that were sweeping the nation and grounding flights everywhere. I cried because this man had zero obligation to do what he did, and he did it anyway, just because he had Christmas spirit. I cried because I was lame and didn't make sure his package went out before December 22 and if it wasn't for this wonderful man, my Dad wouldn't have had our gifts on Christmas.

I know not all packages get delivered on time (hopefully, they will get there on time again this year, fingers crossed), but that year, one man made a difference for our family and I will be grateful to the good ol' USPS for many years to come.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In Loving Memory...

The toughest writing assignment of my life. Writing someone's obituary. Keep it short and sweet, yet, meaningful and poignant.

If you look at it like a formula, the first sentence (or paragraph if you are verbose like that) is easy; as are the last two, or three. Name, where and when born and/or died. A few sentences (or paragraphs) to sum up someone's lifetime. And then a few more easy sentences, who the deceased is survived by, preceded in death by, and the service information.

Those few statements to sum up someone's life are so intimidating. What would someone write about me? A few cliche's about being a wife, mother, daughter? Some personality traits? A fun memory? What if those things are really how you feel, but you don't want to seem to be treating it lightly or commonplace?

I don't have any grand answers, I am just pondering.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Expected Unexpected

My grandmother, "Granny Goose," passed away yesterday morning.

It was unexpected...

Well, kind of. In 1985 she had a massive stroke and the doctors said she was brain dead and would not make it. That arrangements needed to be made. So my mom began making arrangements. The doctors then advised the removal of the feeding tube. My mom said no. They could cut off all other forms of aiding her, but we had to leave the feeding tube in place. Then my mom realized that when she asked Grandma questions she could blink in response.

Very slowly she made a recovery. But she never regained the ability to talk and she was paralyzed on her left side. She was still there though. She would laugh when you told jokes. She loved seeing family and made friends with EVERYONE at the nursing home where she lived for the last 23 years (incidentally, the longest she ever lived in one place).

Then shortly after my wedding she began heading downhill. There is a family history of dementia among some of her siblings. She began having gran mal (sp?) seizures about two years ago and then just over a year ago the nursing home recommended hospice care.

At that point when we would go visit she would seldom open her eyes and she could barely hold up her head. When she was awake she didn't know us, and would just stare into space or randomly start laughing and pointing at nothing.

But then she started getting better. She would be awake when we would visit. She loved seeing and hugging the babies. She would make eye contact and be engaged when we spoke to her. She was improving.

Then yesterday morning she passed. I know she is in a better place now, no longer held captive by her body, but it still surprised me.

How does something so inevitable, and long time coming, come as such a shock?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The most delicious combination

One of my favorite food combinations in this world is chocolate and peanut butter. It is no coincidence that my weight remained steady during swimming season, as it coincided with the annual senior trip candy bar fundraiser, and I could not resist the Reese's temptation.

So imagine my excitement when I was invited to try Ghiradelli's new Chocolate and Peanut Butter Squares.


In a word, delicious! I love Ghiradelli chocolate so I thought the decision to mix it with peanut butter was long overdue.
In all honesty though I thought it could use a little more peanut butter, but I don't like plain chocolate and I only use half a bag of chocolate chips when I make cookies, so for you, the regular chocolate lover, it would probably be perfect.
**Just to let you know, I am totally not selling out (yeah because someone would be willing to pay the big bucks to get their advertisements to my 12 readers), but I was given the squares for free and I really did enjoy them.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bubbles

Grandma insisted Callie have a bubble bath. So last week after we put up the Christmas Tree, Grandma gave her a bubble bath. Daddy went a little crazy adding the soap, so she was a slippery little boo. She was also kind of scared of the corner where there were mountains of bubbles. Very cute!
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Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Friendly Reminder

When you decide to reorganize the bathroom, don't trade the locations of the toothpaste and the diaper cream. On Sunday morning you might not be paying attention and you might reach for the old spot.

And the A&D ointment just doesn't have the same fresh taste.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Some People Come Into Our Lives

Yesterday, I decided to email someone about a bookcase on Craigslist. It was kind of on a whim and I almost didn't do it. Turns out, the listing was from some good friends of ours. The email prompted them to invite us to dinner this weekend where we found out they are moving across the country. If I wouldn't have emailed on the listing, I might have missed the chance to get together with these friends, for what could be the last time before they move at Christmas.

These were great friends who happen to have a baby just a few months after us. We had some things in common and I always enjoyed the conversation when were together. I am quite sad to be losing them (but quite happy for the great chance their getting).

After dinner, Callie seemed okay for one more stop so we went to Borders to get some Christmas shopping done. While we were there we ran into the (only) other normal couple (there were some serious weirdos) from the childbirth class we took. Turns out we weren't the only ones who wasted the $65 in learning about the process only to have a non-optional C-section. What is it with all these breech babies?

Anyway, after we finished chatting with them we headed for home. Before we got to the car Jeff asked me what their names were. I have no clue, other than the baby is Emily. Jeff said why didn't you give them your blog address or ask their names to add them to facebook. I didn't know, other than the thought didn't occur to me until he brought it up. Then I was a little sad. If I would have at least gotten their names, or offered my number...

It was kind of strange in a way. I don't think about how I need to exchange numbers with people I run into who I went to high school with, but these people who I met for literally five, three hour classes, I can't get out of my head that I should have done more.

Maybe it is because I am losing a friend soon, but it feels like a missed chance. So, Emily's parents, if you are out there, drop me a line if you want to be friends and we can get together for pizza sometime.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Turkey Toddler


Callie stepped it up (pun intended) for Thanksgiving and we saw a huge improvement in her walking. This isn't her walking (obviously) but is a picture of her special onesie from Aunt Shelly for her first Turkey Day.
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Little Callie Wild Hair


This is what Callie's hair looks like about 90% of the time. After her bath we comb it into place and it looks nice until she eats, sleeps or nurses. Then we are back to the wild look again. It is a battle I usually just let her hair win.
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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Birthday Cake

This was Callie's centipede birthday cake for her bug themed party. The picture doesn't show it all that well, but it really was cute.

The whole thing was covered with green frosting and dyed green coconut, on top of a strawberry cake. The flavor combo totally reminded me of Zingers. Callie wanted nothing to do with the cake unless Grandma was feeding it to her from a spoon, but that was remedied by Tuesday when I gave her a mini cupcake to enjoy on her actual birthday.
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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Year Ago Today


This picture was taken at 3:41 PM less than 30 minutes after Callie was born last year. I can't believe how quickly she went from this to this:



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