Friday, January 28, 2011

I Don't Like Needles

I love this photo. Donald took it with his Ipod; I would say he definitely 'captured the moment', didn't he? Everything from my expression to the position of the needle (just waiting to stab me) made me laugh.

Oh I glad that's over with.

Now I am hobbling around on crutches, trying to figure out how to function again.

I am supposed to perform a concert with the symphony this weekend. Did I mention that? I skipped last night's rehearsal [obviously] but told them I'd be there today. Donald thinks I'm crazy. Maybe I am.

Now, about my leg. You would not believe the bandage they have wrapped me up with. All the way from my ankle to above my knee. And goodness, did they ever wrap it good! 21 inches good! Did you catch that? The bandage has a circumference of 21 inches at its thickest part.

Question: How am I supposed to put on a pair of jeans with a knee that has a circumference of 21 inches?

Answer: I won't.

Solution: Sweatpants. (And seeing as I don't have a large wardrobe of sweatpants, I'll be sending Donald out on a shopping errand today.)

But back to the bandage, the one concealing my stitches, the one that is - shall I remind you - 21 inches around: I have strict instructions to leave it on for two weeks.


I could not believe my ears when they told me this. I questioned them, and I questioned them again, and then I came home and questioned Donald,

"Do you really think they meant it?"

"Yes Lisa, I'm pretty sure they meant it."

So two weeks it is.

And, for the record, I am totally okay with an excuse to wear sweatpants for the next two weeks. Who knows, I may never go back to jeans again.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Little Perspective

So, I had decided that this surgery wasn't going to be a big deal. I mean, I go in, they knock me out, they fix my knee, and a few days later, I'm good as new, right?

And then I got to thinking about last summer.

I had the exact same thoughts about getting my wisdom teeth extracted and it turned out to be a most miserable experience. [Emphasis on miserable.]

Now I'm wondering if I could be wrong again. What if this does turn out to be a lot more difficult of a recovery than I have been thinking?

So that's where my mind was yesterday...and then I dreamt up this imaginary conversation with Elisabeth:

Me: Today's the big day, I'm going in for knee surgery and I am a little nervous about it.

Elisabeth: Knee surgery? Is that all? Go have brain surgery and then come back and we'll talk.

It's everything.

***My surgery is in the late morning. Wish me luck. (Even if it isn't brain surgery.)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Post about Maps and Globes

I love my globes.

This one:

And this one:

And this sweet little one:

And, of course, this one:

And I really, really love our world map:

A place to mark where we've been and where we're going and all the places we dream about in between.

Where are you headed next?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

6 Weeks from Today

What I usually do for fun is sit and snap pictures of Elisabeth all day long. No joke.

So last night, as I was looking through the pictures-of-the-day, I was surprised by this one.

Look how her fingers are placed around that dial. It looks like she is getting ready to wind it up, doesn't it?

Unfortunately, it's just trick photography or something, because Elisabeth doesn't understand about things like turning knobs.

However.... I am planning on purchasing airplane tickets to North Carolina.

Do you know what is in North Carolina?

Elisabeth's stem cells - at Duke University - just waiting for her to arrive on March 8th.

And who knows, maybe after her sweet little brain soaks up all those glorious stem cells, pictures like this won't be by chance.

{excited for March 8th!}

Monday, January 24, 2011

Teeter-Totter Champions

Our weather yesterday was unseasonably warm for this corner of the world. I wouldn't go so far as to say it was shorts and t-shirt weather, but to my girls it was.

Donald suggested they go outside and ride the teeter-totter,

"Go try to set a new world record or something," he said.

I, of course, knew he was making a reference to that classic Brady Bunch episode; you've seen it, haven't you?

Anyways, the girls went out - in their shorts - to teeter-totter in the 'warm' January air. At one point I stepped out to snap a few pictures; they were counting every up-and-down.

"341, 342, 343..."

And on and on they teeter-tottered until Alexandra proclaimed that she needed to make a trip to the ladies room. The total was 1060 at that point. A few minutes [and a few oatmeal cookies] later they picked back up right where they left off.

"1061, 1062, 1063...."

Watch out Bobby and Cindy, there are new teeter-totter champions in town.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Modern Day Miracle

I love my Kindle.

It's pretty much my favorite thing. Ever.

Last night I thought, 'hmmm...I haven't read 'Much Ado About Nothing' in years'. So I picked up my Kindle, typed it in, and 30 seconds and 99 cents later I was holding the book in my hands.

Does that count as some sort of miracle? Because it certainly seems miraculous to me.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

'New and Improved'

Okay, I don't usually like to rant, but I simply must. Does anyone else's child use the EnteraLite Infinity 500 ml Delivery bags? Have you received the 'new and improved' ones? And I say 'new and improved' with every bit of sarcasm I can muster up.

So, my question is, has anyone else been having trouble with the new bags? Because it's been a nightmare for us (and this is only our second week with them).

Minor problems include:

>The new position of the tube leaving the bag makes it incredibly hard to get all the air out.

> It's difficult to securely twist on the cap (and I have had it come open, while in her backpack, only to find everything covered in formula).

But the biggest problem is:

> The new thinner bags seem to burst open at the seam! Arrgghh!! Two days in a row now we have been preparing her food when all of the sudden formula comes pouring out. Everywhere. All over everything.

Now for my plea to you:

If you do have a child using these bags and you have also had problems, please call and make a complaint. Because after my several calls they tell me that I am the only one that has voiced a problem.

Here, I'll make it easy for you:


Tell them Lisa sent you. No just kidding, don't say that.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

For Sale

Looking for a new family to love it.

We are offering (at a bargain price) the opportunity to own a very beloved and very well-cared for home in Kennewick, WA. This house will be perfect for your family, with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a bonus room, parlor, and family room.

If you are interested in purchasing this home, please email me (Lisa) at to arrange a personal tour.

For more details, click here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Farewell, Doreen.

Donald's grandmother passed away on Friday night. Alexandra and Lorelai were inconsolable. They loved her so much.

[Lorelai, with great-grandma Brinkerhoff this past October.]

January 12, 1935 ~ January 14, 2011

Friday, January 14, 2011

The verdict is in...

I met with the Orthopedic Surgeon yesterday to discuss the results of my MRI.

As it turns out, I have a torn meniscus in my left knee.

How did I manage that?

Anyhow, surgery is scheduled for January 27th.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

For the young piano student...

Problem: Little feet that don't reach the piano pedals.

Solution: A pedal extender.

We bought ours at . Genius, no?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Good Life

[I get a chuckle out of Elisabeth's favorite sleeping position - hands behind her head. It's like she hasn't a care in the world.]

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


With epileptic people, like Elisabeth, there are sometimes different 'triggers' that will set off a seizure, for example: sleep deprivation, stress, and flashing lights. Well, do you want to know something bizarre? Do you want to know what triggers seizures in Elisabeth all day, every day?


Yes, diapers. More specifically, the sound a diaper makes when you pull the little tab up. Crazy, huh?

Donald and I always do our best to muffle the sound, but usually it does no good; she is just so sensitive to it. Oh well, that's a day in the life of Elisabeth I suppose...

Monday, January 10, 2011

A New Sunbeam

With the new year, Elisabeth was promoted from the nursery at church (which, truth be told, we almost never took her to) to the Sunbeam class in the primary. Her first day came a week late because she (and others in our family) had strep throat last Sunday.

Elisabeth is seeming so big to me all of the sudden. Less and less baby and more and more kid. I remember looking at her as an infant and trying to imagine what it would be like when she was older. I just couldn't picture it. But this, I'm sure, is better than anything I could have dreamed up. I love her. So much.

[Elisabeth and her friend, Niev, who gave her kisses and held her hand the whole time.]

p.s. Writing this post reminded me of a post I wrote 3 years ago documenting Lorelai's first day of Sunbeams. Click here.

p.p.s. Today is the MRI on my left knee. I'm ready for answers...and a solution. On Saturday my knee was out of place for something like 8 hours.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Parlez-vous Francais?

Alexandra takes things very seriously sometimes. Like yesterday - her first day of French class at The World Language House. She picked out what she thought was her most French-looking outfit and requested French braids in her hair. I almost had her wear a beret too (to complete the look), but then I thought that might be taking it a bit too far, no?

Class went great; French seems to come easily to Alexandra (she can already count to 80!). We considered having Lorelai start too, but decided that it would be best for her to get a strong foundation in Spanish before throwing a third language in the mix.

[My soon-to-be tri-lingual daughter!]

Au revoir!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


[My new owl. A Christmas gift from Donald.]

People have been sick around here.

Sick as in strep throat.

But things are looking better; Donald's back at work today and Elisabeth will head off to school in a few hours. Even Lorelai, who might have been worse off than anyone has made a triumphant turn around. Now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that Alexandra continues to avoid it.

As for me, my throat feels great, but my knee is giving me major trouble. For months and months and months it has been slipping out of place - sometimes 50+ times a day. And then I do my best to snap it back in - at which point everyone around me cringes - snap!

So I've got a visit planned with the orthopedic surgeon today. Hopefully she'll have a grand plan for fixing it - and quick - because I'm expecting to run The Amazing Race in a few months, remember? (he he...not really...but maybe...)

The ultimate birthday gift.

Do you know what I love? I love no-fight days. Do you know what a no-fight day is? A no-fight day is a day in which Alexandra and Lorelai go from morning until night with no sisterly spats. They are rare. Or shall I say...they used to be rare. Because do you know what Alexandra and Lorelai gave me for my birthday? They declared that - as a gift for my 31st birthday - there would be no-fight days...forever! That's right, you heard me - forever! Could a mother ask for anything more?'s the best far they've kept their word. Lucky me, lucky me.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Game, Set, Match

To make her Uncle [David] proud (David is pretty much a Tennis pro), Lorelai started tennis lessons yesterday. Real, official tennis lessons. (As opposed to the 'pretend' lessons she used to do with Donald at our local outdoor courts.)

I sense a future Olympian on our hands...

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Birthday Thoughts ~ 2011

ad-ven-ture: noun

1: an undertaking, usually involving danger and unknown risks.

2: an exciting or remarkable experience.

I have never been one for adventure - I'm more of a play-it-safe kind of girl. In fact, if there was a 'Mrs. Play-it-Safe USA' I'm sure I'd win the crown. For example: I plan everything, I only eat things I am familiar with, and I freak out when Donald does things like turn off the main road and drive down a dirt path (This happened yesterday- when I was still 30- and I think I almost hyperventilated.)

But today, today I turn 31, and I wonder if a little change is in order? Perhaps I'm missing out on some of life's richest experiences because I am not willing to step outside my comfort zone? What would happen if I didn't always have a plan? And what if that strange item on the menu is actually delicious? And maybe, just maybe, driving down that dirt road will show me the view of a lifetime. I won't know until I do it.

Which is why I am devoting this year of my life to adventure; to doing things a little different, to spreading my wings, to being spontaneous, and to taking the road less traveled (literally and figuratively).

And what better way to start this resolution than to finally do something I've been talking about for years....

Audition for
The Amazing Race!

You see, I am a fan. A huge fan. A 'seen-every-episode-ever-made' kind of fan. And for the past 17 seasons I have said, 'I want to do that'.

So, I joined forces with my partner in crime (a.k.a. Jennifer) and got to work. We each filled out a 13 page application, snapped some photos, made copies of passports and created (with major help from our brother, Michael) an audition tape (for season 19).

Now, I am realistic, I know that our application will join thousands of others in hopes of running the race...but I also know that 'There's nothin' to it but to do it!' (I picked that phrase up from Jennifer). So that's it - we did it! And while chances are that I'll never hear back from CBS, I feel good knowing that I put myself out there.

It's going to be a great year,
2011 and my 31st.

I'm off to celebrate!

p.s. I am strongly considering posting our audition tape. We got a chuckle out of it. (Have you seen those 'Most interesting man in the world' commercials? It's a take off on that. Ha!)

Saturday, January 1, 2011


[Some of my new lovelies from Christmas.]

Do you feel it? That refreshing feeling of starting anew?

I love January 1st for that very reason.

Yesterday was spent reflecting on the year past and today, today will be spent daydreaming of the year to come.

I [we] have a lot planned for 2011, including - but not limited to:

> Taking Elisabeth to Duke for more stem cells.
> Traveling around Italy with my sisters.
> Building a handicap accessible home for Elisabeth.
> Riding a donkey along the rim of the Grand Canyon.
> Producing an album with my new group, Scarlet Hope.

And those are just the things that are [thus far] planned. Oh, what a year it will be!

Welcome 2011!

***Stop by tomorrow for a special-edition Sunday post!!
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