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Friday, January 28, 2011

wordless weekend, the pensive artist

Ok, not quite wordless, but I just gotta scream that

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

the social network

Chris and I were able to meet on the couch last night after the kids went to bed. We watched THE BEST movie. "The Social Network" won several Golden Globes so we decided to get it from RedBox. It's not just "the facebook movie"...it's about friends, betrayal, ambition, and the ultimate cost of success.

I LOVED IT! I loved the nerdy Facebook guy. Just loved him! Several minutes into the movie, I diagnosed him with some degree of Asperger's syndrome. 100% certain. He definitely falls somewhere on that spectrum. FOR REAL. Anyway, the movie was so smart, extremely nerdy, well-written and I loved every bit of it. If you like nerdy, you'll love it.


Monday, January 24, 2011

100 days of January

It has been perpetually snowing since forever...well not forever, but it feels like it. I am starting to realize that it is the norm here in OHIO for it to be kinda always snowing. Not always "accumulating". But always snowing. Here's the kicker...the thing that really blows my mind is....everyone acts like it is nothing. We are still in awe each and everytime we see a snowflake. I start checking the news to see if school is cancelled or delayed...NOPE.NEVER.NOT HERE IN OHIO. Everything just goes on as usual. (Weird!) Meanwhile, we are perpetually making fires, drinking hot chocolate and cuddling in our snuggies. (Seriously, I got one for Christmas) LOL

We are enjoying gray, snowy January....BUT it is starting to feel like January is the longest month ever. Isn't it already the 91st day of the month??  Last week I alluded to the fact that I was not sick of winter yet. Um, today, I am just about sick of January. Come on February, one month closer to spring.  I am officially feeling deciduous!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

pizza on wheels!

Karsen was so excited when she found out that the PTA hosted "Pizza on Wheels" night this past Friday at school. Basically, the kids bring their scooters, wear their helmets, and come to ride down the school hallways...and eat pizza. One problem, she didn't have a scooter.

I took care of that. (She was slightly happy!)

This is her speed-demon face. LOL

She decided to practice some (in the house).!!

She and all of her friends had a blast...

And here she is ZOOMING down the school hallways.
It was a fun night!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

a how-to video by dylan

Dylan recently wrote a "how-to" paper for school on a subject of his choice. He then had to present it to his class. He chose to do a video. Here is the final product.

This video makes me smile everytime I watch it. It is CLASSIC.DYLAN. He is so serious and VERY literal. Always has been. He is well-spoken and intellectual. He has always been an old soul.

The public service announcement at the end just cracks me up.

Have you ever wondered how to unlock the secret mystery box in Call of Duty for the XBOX360? Evidently it is a highly coveted skill for 12 year old boys......I thought my blog readers might be wondering as well...Dylan can help you with that. : ) Here's how to....

Friday, January 14, 2011

this and that

Hey! It's me. I am alive!  I know I have been MIA. I can't believe that we are already half way through January! AND it's 2011?! We all know what happens later this year. I FINALLY graduate! HALLELUJAH!

But not before I finish 2.5 more rotations......

I am REALLY enjoying my month at the Children's Hospital. I have been super busy and completely consumed. I am behind on emails. Have barely been on facebook. Need to pay bills and do laundry. My list is long this weekend, but I am so happy it is finally the weekend!

I am spending a great deal of time this month talking to parents and kiddos about their asthma medications. I love it! I am also spending time in the HIV clinic. My first day there was kinda rough. I talked with a sweet 9 year old girl right after they told her she was HIV+. IT BROKE MY HEART. It just hit home that she was 9, just like Karsen. Liked Webkinz, just like Karsen. Talked sweet and sassy, just like Karsen.

I cried all the way home because her young life really changed that day. She acquired the virus during birth because her Daddy decided to dabble in IV drug use while Mom was pregnant. Mom was tested last month due to new insurance coverage and found out she was HIV positive. Then they brought all four kids in to be tested, all were negative except the baby. So sad.

Did I mention this broke my heart? It was my 2nd day there. Since then I have been inspired by the patients in the clinic. Being HIV+ is not the death sentence that it once was. There are so many drug options now that can keep patients undetectable for a long time. Most of these patients are determined and full of hope. So resilient. I feel fortunate to be there to witness that.

We are enjoying the winter here in OHIO so far. I have officially acquired all the winter gear we all need. Snow pants. Snow boots. Gloves galore. An assortment of scarves. Hand warmers. Sleds. We have definitely needed it all (well maybe not the sleds per se, but the kids have sure had fun!). It has snowed on and off the last 4 days. I am surprised that I am handling the winter weather as well as I am. I am usually itching for summer bigtime by now. Of course, now that I mention this, I will have a major flare-up of seasonal affective disorder next week.

I have something that I am super super excited about! NO, I am not pregnant. That's a big fat NO!

BUT.....My blog is getting a facelift! I am so EXCITED! Things will look different 'round here shortly! However, you will still be able to read my pointless banter and crazy pharmacy school tangents and see occasional pics of my sweet kids. That won't change! ;) So, stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

student of the month & an award

Karsen recently won (a major)* award. Her school participated in the "Together We Can" awards. Students could choose to submit a creative idea of their choosing that applied to their theme. Karsen chose to submit an acrostic poem in the literature category. Here is it.

*post-holiday reference to A Christmas Story. Anyone get it?

Together We Can..Save the Earth!
By: Karsen

Take care of
Our Mother Earth
Go Green!
Everyone should do it!
Try not to litter!
Help reduce waste.
Educate people!
Reduce, reuse, recycle!

We can save the planet.
Earth is our home!

Consider making a change.
Answer the challenge.
Now is the time for action!


Karsen was also recently chosen Student of the Month at her new school! She had her picture displayed at the entrance foyer of the school with the following information under it. It was a fill-in-the-blank format that she completed.


My Grade 3rd
My favorite color brown
My favorite TV show is Hannah Montana Forever
My favorite food is BBQ at Hoggy's
Some things I like to do when I am not in school are Gymnastics, Read, Play outside with my dog, Miley
When I grow up I want to be a gymnast and a chef
My favorite class is computer lab
My favorite thing about 3rd grade is Math, Science and learning all that smart stuff!

It made me smile. Congrats, Karsen!

I realize this is not the most exciting post, and I haven't written in a while.....I just know that life seems super busy right now between the kids' schedules, my school, and everything else in between. I am making it a point to write this down, capture it, remember it* Because these are the sort of things I don't want to forget. 
*Another reference...this time to a song....anyone know it? Forgive me, when I am tired I get a little tangential. Ha! 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010~our year in pics

January started with a very exciting accomplishment and graduation for Chris. I was so proud of him!

Heather & Chris with Brett & Karlie
January 2010
Karlie is a good friend our mine that I met and fell in love with via email as we supported each other thruogh a trying time! This was a very happy, emotional day for all  of us.

In the meantime, we had to get Chris set up with an apartment and get ready to live in seperate states for 8.5 more months. :( He started his new job and headed to Columbus, OH without his family at the end of January.

And then moves in THE SISTER!! Without her, we would not have made it through this year.

Life-saver, Aunt Extraordinaire, Suzy

We found a new rhythm to life with Chris living/working out of state. Aunt Suzy helped me so much with the day-to-day with the kids...as I finished up my P3 year of school.

In February, my Uncle Pee-Wee passed away at the age of 46 from complications of COPD. Too young.
It did force the whole family to come together, which never happens.

Mom (center) surrounded by her children and grandkids.

Life kept going, school for the kids and me...each week we counted down till the weekend when Daddy was home again. The kids thrived despite all the recent changes.

In March, Chris and I had a midpoint weekend rendezvous in Beckley, WV. He needed reassurance that this new job was right for our family, because it was starting to get harder for all of us to live apart. He was really missing us.

It was a tough time but we clung to each other and kept looking ahead to the future. In April we went Easter Egg hunting with good friends at church.

Karsen and Austin at Rawls B.C.

Dylan, Easter Egg hunt 2010
Later that month Dylan and Karsen were both voted King and Princess of their classes at school.

Karsen & Austin, Princess and Prince 2nd grade

Taylor and Dylan, 5th grade King & Queen
In May, I finished my P3 year of Pharmacy School, and classes were behind me FOREVER! I relied on friends and family to continue praying for us because it was not getting any easier for us.  I cried ALOT.

Amanda and her husband, Emory, were prayer warriors for us this past year. And for that we were so grateful!

Amanda and Heather, P3 year, Spring 2010
Time went by and we kept looking ahead to the next time Daddy would be home and we would have our little family back together.

A son misses the wrestling, rough housing and all the things that ONLY DADDY can do.

Mommy doesn't DO headlocks and such! LOL May was a fun month. Karsen and I went to the see TAYLOR SWIFT in concert with her best friend!

Austin and Karsen
...and we visited OHIO again! We took a long weekend before I started my another P4 rotation. I wanted to get a feel for our new home!
We went to the ZOO!

and went shopping!

Columbus, OH
Lo and behold we had to come back to NC after a wonderful weekend in OH with Chris. And in June the kids finished another year of school.

Last day at L. Elem.

Our carpool gang!

and I finished Geriatrics and started my month of Ambulatory Care.

Time had a way of flipping on by and we kept trying to sell our house. Nothing happened. We fell in love with a house in OH. That fell through too. We had a long period of high stress and uncertainty.
EXHAUSTED pretty much sums up most of our summer. I was exhausted working 60+ hours/ wk on rotation. Chris exhausted all of his annual leave taking long weekends so he could drive 20 hours round trip to come home and see us on the weekend. A 3 day weekend here and there to keep from going crazy. We were just plain exhausted.  

We toughed it out and made the most of what would be our last summer in NC.
July 4th brought some fun with fireworks...

We still has some summer time fun with water gun fights in the backyard......

 and made summer time treats in the kitchen.

We even made it to the beach for a day-trip...We knew it would likely be our only chance to get there this summer!

Karsen soaking up the sun <3

Heather in her favorite place

Grandma Mable & Dylan
Feb 2010
July ended on a sad note. My grandmother had a terrible fall at home and suffered severe burns over most of her torso, chest, and thighs.  My Mom went with her to the hospital and hardly left her side over the next 6 weeks. The kids and I visited when we could, and I tried to focus on the last month of my Internal Med rotation despite feeling like I was in the midst of a storm. 

In August, things started turning around for us on many levels. We miraculously found potential renters for our house in NC even though we weren't looking! Talk about answered prayers. We found an AMAZING house in OHIO to rent and the ball for the big move FINALLY started rolling!!

The movers came and packed us up and then Chris took the kids back with him to OHIO! He got them signed up for school, and they patiently waited for me to join them. First I had to finish Internal Med and tie up some loose ends in NC.

Bon Voyage, NC!
The kids got used to their new home, neighborhood and started at their new school.

First day of 3rd and 6th grade, B. Elem
A few weeks later I made the trip myself and we were finally back together again!

Two days after I arrived to OH, I got the early morning call that my Grandmother had passed away. I saw her three days before and could tell that she was going to be saying goodbye to this world soon. I knew it would be the last time I saw her alive. I quickly made a few phone calls and bought a round-trip ticket back to NC for the next day. Our family was back together again for a little while to say goodbye to my sweet Grandma.

I flew back to OH the next day.AND CRASHED. I was physically, emotionally, mentally exhausted from the past 9 months and all I wanted to do was rest and BE HOME with my FAMILY OF FOUR finally.

We had time to rest our souls, reflect on the year, and truly appreciate everything we had overcome in the last year. The kids wasted no time making friends and getting involved in school. Dylan turned 11 in October.

Dylan decided he was old enough for a cell phone and a girlfriend. He also started growing his hair out.

My sisters and nephew came to surprise Dylan on his birthday! He was so happy.

We went tractor riding

and apple picking.
Karsen turned 9 a month later!

November also gave Chris the opportunity to realize a new dream. He was able to fly in a Stearman World War II biplane.

After I finish school he wants to pursue his private pilot's license!

December brought a surprise visit from our favorite family from NC!

It was really cold during there visit, but they enjoyed sledding with the kids and seeing Columbus!
We went to the OSU horseshoe, COSI, and Easton!
It was so great to see familiar faces of such good friends. We had really been missing them!

We got in the Christmas spirit, and Karsen and I went to see the NUTCRACKER

while Chris and Dylan had a boys' day! They had THE TALK.OMG!!! It was time.....and it went well. I can't believe my first born is really growing up.

This year really was all about growth for us. We went through major change, trials and tribulations....and came out alive on the other side.  Last night as we rang in the New Year, Chris and I looked at each other and I know he was thinking what I was thinking. SO LONG 2010! We are SO HAPPY to put you behind us!

I can honestly say that the only way we made it through 2010 was by wrapping our arms around each other and holding on tight. Prayers from our friends and family were our saving Grace.

I also got so much support from my blogging friends. Thank you for all the people who commented and emailed and offered sweet words of encouragement. We couldn't have made it without them. 2010 tested us endlessly and taught us how strong we really are and many lessons along the way...we are confident we can make it through anything the future has to offer.

We look forward to 2011 and whatever it may bring our way....  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Deciduous Heather