Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy Birthday to my Viv!

Vivi, now YOU are 5.... 5 going on 15.

I can remember the very first time I ever saw you.  I stopped by not long after you were born and Mommy and Mama Bett came to the door.  You were tucked in your swing in the den and it was FLYING.  You were sound asleep, and, I was glad to see, securely buckled in.  The craziness of a speeding swing being your preference at such an early age should have been a sign to the girl you'd be.

But, I remember thinking that even though you were moving so fast, there was no question that you were just beautiful.

You are, for lack of any better phrase, a hot mess.  You learned at a very early age that you can bat those insanely long, gorgeous eyelashes at anyone and pull off anything you want.

When you were 2 I took you to dinner at the Loop one night and was quizzing you on things that a child that age should know.  When I asked you if you knew what Mommy & Daddy's names were, you told me that they were "Bobby!" & "Hun".  I knew right then that you were going to be FUNNY.  I was right.

I have been so privileged to celebrate all of your birthdays with you, spend all sorts of other holidays with you and your whole dear family, watch you grow through your cheerleading outfits and tie-dyes at Wake games.  I have trick-or-treated with you every time you've ever gone (as Big Bird, Dora, Little Bo Peep and Batgirl), and I've never missed one of your programs at school.  I remember playing with you and Spencer and Sam at the park the day before Nora was born, and then you telling me all about her when I came to see her for the first time.  Then you offered to let me take her with me when I left. :)

I took you sledding with Daddy for your very first time a few years ago and you LOVED it.  The next time it snowed I took you to Whitaker by myself, and after we wore ourselves out I carried you the whole way home in the snow with the sled dragging behind us.  You recounted our entire adventure through giggles the whole time we were walking and I remember thinking that I would always remember that day.  And I will.

You have your mom's hilarious personality and your dad's crystal blue eyes - and that combination is deadly.  I don't know what boys are going to do when you are in high school.  I do know that they are going to have to beaten away with a stick....or several.

No one ever knows what is going to come out of your mouth.  Just last week when a little friend of yours at your birthday party asked me where my husband was, you didn't miss a beat from the swing next to her and said "Husband?!  She needs a boyfriend first!"  There's just never a dull moment with you Viv. :)

Vivi, the world would be so very dull without you.  My world would be for sure.  You make me laugh ALL the time and I love that you light up and fly towards the storm door to get to me any time that I stop by the house.  You love the people in your life so fiercely and passionately.  And we all love you just the same way.

Happy Birthday, Beautiful.  I love you!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sr. & Jr.

I've said plenty about all of "my boys" before...

One of my favorite things in the world is to see those of them that are dads now interact with their little ones.  The part of me that feels like I will always take care of these boys will surely always be there, but seeing them with their children and seeing them taking care of and being fathers to them is such a special thing to witness.  This weekend I got to play at the beach for just a little bit with Matt and Liz and their almost 8 month old little boy, Matthew.

Talk about adorable.

I won't ruin all of the favorites before they see them, but I had to share this one.

Happy Daddy & Happy Boy. :)

Young Love...

If only someone else had been standing there to catch the look she gave him right before I took this. 
She was totally checking him out.  :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I'm not really one who usually hops up on a soap box, but every rule has its exception.

March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

Why on earth do I care about this?  Because your colon is a big deal, and if you aren't careful, it can cause all sorts of trouble.  Mine caused so much trouble because of my Crohn's Disease that I got fed up with the darn thing and just went ahead and got rid of it 18 years ago.  (When I tell people this, my favorite response is "You must be wrong about that.  You can't live without that."  Thank you.  I was there then and still am now.  You are wrong.)  But I grew up hearing so much about being a colon cancer risk personally that I feel I'm entitled to my soap box.

At any rate, the point of all of this is: screening.  I cannot TELL you how many times I have either heard folks having conversations, or had conversations with them myself, about how they don't want to go get screened because they are scared of the test.  "The dreaded colonoscopy."  And not scared of what they may find out.  Scared of the actual test.

My stars.  Once was a grown woman who gave birth twice with no drugs was worried about the test.  Another was a grown man who has had a hip AND a knee replaced.  Scared of the test. 

The New York Times published an article a few weeks back about this whole thing.  It stated that "people who avoided the test - even though they were good candidates because of their age or at heightened risk because of family history - were scared, pure and simple."   But here's the thing of it: It's not a big deal and it can save your life.

Now, not that you need to know this, but I am a professional at this test.  I started having them at age 4 and have had more of them in my lifetime than I would care to, but they are NOT a big deal.  I still go for similar testing every single year.  Yes, the night before is like a stomach bug, but for the test, a few drips into an IV and bam, you're high as a kite for the procedure (and the rest of the day) and won't remember a thing.  I look at it this way:  You get to miss a day of work, take a really great morning nap, check out of reality, have a chauffeur, and then go get a milkshake.


I have actually been persuasive enough to talk a few people into just GOING.  And then they tell me that it wasn't near as bad as they thought and they are so glad that they went.

Colon cancer is the 3rd most diagnosed cancer in the U.S. and the 3rd leading cause of cancer death in both men AND women.  56,000 Americans will die from colon cancer this year, and, according to recent studies, MORE THAN A THIRD of those people could have a different outcome if they would just go for screening.

How much more do you need to know than that?!

(There is a hilarious Charlie Sheen clip from Two and a Half Men about his character's brother's first trip for a colonoscopy that I wanted to share.  Couldn't find it though.  Seems that Googling "Charlie Sheen" right now is a little, umm, crazy...)

PLEASE, go for screening if you should.  I will bring you your milkshake.  I mean it, just let me know.  Chocolate or Vanilla? :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

O Happy Day

This weekend, Jane and Griffin are getting married.  And that means a PARTY.

All of us kids have grown up together.  Our parents (4 sets) have been friends forever and even though now all of the 'kids' are all over the place (Texas, Tennessee, Florida and NC), we are all great friends and do a great job of keeping in touch.

Every Christmas all of us get together for dinner on Christmas night, and we all agree that it has become our very favorite holiday tradition.  We are all together so infrequently now, so it's such a wonderful thing to look forward to every year.

Because of our ages, though, we are in the midst of lots of weddings.  First Emily and Chris, then Elizabeth and Nick.  Now Jane and Griffin, and soon (in April) Lauren and Bill. 

So, I'm ready to go.  We all have more fun together than should be legal, and we have learned that straight from our dear parents. 

We'll miss a handful of folks this weekend, but I just can't wait to get out there and cut a rug (and we do this part WELL) with some of my very favorite people...and celebrate Jane and Griffin!  I'm so excited that I may very well explode. :)