Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Thank You

When I started this blog six years ago, I did so to keep up with all of my family and friends who had blogs.  I had always loved writing and Brian used to entertain us by letting me flesh out stories when we had nothing else to do - this fueled my dream of being a writer FOR REALZ even more.

So, I cut my writing teeth, I honed my brainstorming skills, I set a course for my writing dreams HERE.

Luckily, I was also able to capture most of the important parts of our life as a family on this blog.

It's bitter sweet that this is the last entry on this blog.  On May 31, I'll be redirecting traffic to www.Minivan-Momma.com.  I'll probably keep track of my Hadley's & Briley's milestones on Facebook.    I hope you'll keep up with us there.

And thank you for keeping up with us here.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

A long time in the coming

Shortly after Brian and I got married 14 years ago, we decided to have a baby.  After trying and trying and trying and fighting with doctors and HMOs and nurse practitioners, we finally found a doctor who said, "Well, you have PCOS..."  The Internet was fairly new, but in late 1999, I joined a yahoo group called TTC PCOS - this meant trying to conceive with Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome.   

Every day after school, I'd come home and check my email and read about how women all over the world were getting pregnant but me.  I'm sure the fertility drugs had nothing to do with my weepiness and weariness at all, but it got the best of me.  Usually, the women would announce their pregnancy and then quietly disappear into cyber space to enjoy their pregnancy.  One woman, however, ended up pregnant and her due date was either the 5th or the 12th and she really didn't know which it was.  For several posts in our group, this "When is my baby going to be here?" whine when on and on and on for several emails.  

Finally, one of the girls in the group said, "HEY!  We're all happy you're pregnant, but c'mon!  We're still trying here...move on!"

I said to myself I love that girl.

Then she received public (and private) hate mail and started her own group, TTC JUST PCOS.  I followed her.  So did several others.  And eventually, most everyone else got pregnant except me and the  girl I loved and followed.  But, we kept in touch.  She had one son, was around my age; she was from Belgium originally and now lived in Arizona (I think - maybe Utah at that time).  

In early 2001, she got the news that she and her husband would be receiving a beautiful baby girl to adopt into their family.  She was a new mom again and was excited.  And busy.  And... funny thing was she was pregnant - but didn't know it.  Funnier still is the fact that I was also pregnant and didn't know it yet either!

I didn't want to tell her initially because she wasn't online much anymore, taking care of her new baby girl and I didn't want to break her heart telling her I was pregnant.  Because when you battle infertility, you can be over the moon excited that someone is pregnant, but your heart still hurts wondering why you aren't pregnant as well.  Eventually, we shared each other's news and discovered that we had apparently gotten pregnant at about the same time and we both due in November.  Hadley was born on November 12 and Ellie was born on November 16.  I went on to have Briley and she went on to have two preciously cute little boys.

Over the years, we started communicating directly with each other.  We've shared almost every significant event of our lives with each other for the past 12 years or so.  We eventually ditched the group - but it's still available to join, if you want! - and emailed each other directly.  We've exchanged baby gifts and Christmas cards.  Email gave way to facebook and facebook gave way to texting; and last weekend, texting gave way to a real live, arms around each other, hugging your cyber-cyster visit!

Muche (pronounced Moosh) and her husband Reed (pronounced Reed) flew from Arizona (where it was sunny and warm) to Oklahoma (where it was grey and chilly) and we got to meet in real time, real life!  It's funny - though we had never met, we already knew so much about each other.  We'd catch ourselves telling a story that we might tell a new acquaintance and we'd said, "Oh yeah!  I remember that!"  

Before they arrived, she texted and said, "What if we don't like each other?"  I wondered how we could not.  We shared our saddest moments (our infertile journey to mommahood) and our biggest joys (holding our babies for the first time) and everything in between.  (She even called me out for not blogging in three months!)  In fact, I trust her so much and value her opinion so much that I sent my manuscript to her for her to read through.  And she did!  And she was honest and quick and supportive!  

Standing on my front porch hugging her for the first time, I knew we'd like each other.  We hadn't met each others kids (I still haven't met her kiddos), but I love them!  We hadn't met each others husbands, but they were great and so supportive of our time together.


Are we planning to meet again?? Heck yea!  Will we wait another 12 years??  OH no!!

I'd like to thank the almighty Internet for our friendship - and, in part, that was a big contributing factor in our relationship.  But, I know that for two women who desperately needed a friend in their same situation, God directed our paths to cross. And for that, I'll always be grateful!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

First Day of School 11-12

How could today be complete without the traditional first day of school pictures??  And based on this picture, you can almost picture them getting along.  Almost.

Briley is in the second grade at Kane.  She did her own hair this morning.  Her teacher is Mrs. Ryan and she's in a classroom with two of her old preschool friends!  This year she'll go to GATE and at recess today, Charlie chased her and kissed her, but just because they kissed doesn't mean she loves him.  Alrighty then.

Hadley is in the fifth grade at Kane.  She did not do her own hair.  She only wanted me to dry the bangs; she likes the "natural dried style."  She is in a class in which she knows no one.  Her desk neighbor called her weird.  She's holding it together but barely.

I did not get a picture of me on the first day.  If I were to take a picture now, it would show me with very, very drowsy eyes...

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Last Day of Summer

Between trainings and workshops and getting our rooms ready, today was the official last day of summer - we had nothing planned.  When it hit us last night that this was our last day of free time, we decided to make the most of it.  I made the most of it by sleeping in.  Brian, who couldn't sleep in if he wanted to, planned a trip to Blue Hole, Oklahoma!

We told the girls they'd need to wear old tennis shoes and their bathing suits.  We thought this would be a fun surprise.  After an hour of whining and complaining and general axiety, we told them where we were going.  Blue Hole is located outside of Salina and is spring fed by three underground springs, so the water is C O L D.   We finally arrived.  On the right side of the vehicle you could see Blue Hole and see people swimming in it and having a great time.  On the left side, you saw this:
To which Briley replied, "We have to swim with cows?  We drove all this way to swim with cows?"

The fact is that she didn't have to swim with cows at all!  Blue Hole had a couple of water falls (complete with slippery rocks) and a "hole" right in the middle that is cold and deep and blue!





It was a great time - including the time that I fell over naked changing into my suit!  You'll have to read about that on Minivan Momma in the very near future!

And when we left, I fell over naked changing out of my suit!!  But, it was in a cememtary where we discovered this quaint grave marking.  Someone really thought highly of this dearly departed and decided to - no matter what - make sure they had a proper marking!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Next Summer...

We're still 17 days out from the first day of school, but we're already planning our summer vacation for next summer.  We're going to go see our friends who moved today.  Their new address?  Well, according to Mollie it's "Texas Beach."

I was thinking about posting the lyrics to "Friends" by Michael W Smith or the youtube video to "It's so hard to say goodbye" but I was afraid it would make my friend, Heather, cry instead of laugh, so I just skipped that part of the posting.  Because, truth be told, it made me get all teary, just thinking about it - and I was the one who thought it'd be funny!

ONE of the cooler than cool things about the Sheffield family is how we (as families) just meshed.  Briley & Mollie probably started it all, walking down toward the library and first grade room together from the PreK/K pod at Oak Park Elementary.  Then stopping in the library to chat.  Then stopping to play.  Then stopping to wreck havoc... but I digress.

Madi, a second grader, came to the newspaper club in the library and she and Hadley seemed to enjoy each other's company.  Then Madi became a third grader (the next week!) and they became BFFs... then they weren't... then they were... then they weren't... then they were!  (Those super gifted kids are so tempermental, MY kid moreso than Madi!)

Heather started a yoga group in her class after school, so we'd lock the kids in the library and escape to the serenity of Heather's room for an hour of yoga and stress relief and venting and giggling.   In March, we did a 5K together with our husbands.  Heather finished third and I finished dead last.   A half-mile from the finish line, she came back and walked the last bit with me, so technically she finished TWICE before I even finished!  I called her FloJo.  And what we discovered is that we not only shared a name, but we shared many common views and thoughts and philosophies.  We coached t-ball together - which is to say we chased butterflies.  We drank sangria, which is to say, we emptied many bottles.  We text completely odd, weird and often inappropriate things to each other at all hours of the day and night, which is to say thank God for unlimited texting.  (I just got a text that included the word "vagina".  True story.)

Even our hubbies had fun together.  Wait.  I'm pretty sure "had fun" is not the term they would use to describe their time coaching 10 and under softball!! 

Through a series of unfortunate events, they moved today.  I say unfortunate in a most selfish way, but it's not entirely untrue for them either.  

They'll love their new adventure.  We'll miss the holy hell out of them.    As Briley said this afternoon, it's not fair that she'll have to wait a whole school year before she sees her best friend again.  And I agree with her.  But we will see them again because next summer, we'll be headed to south Texas to meet up with our besties once again!
"High Maintainance" - Hadley & Madi ...
Super smart, super sweet and super duper kids all the way around!

The Crazies - Mollie & Briley...
These girls made me laugh and giggle and generally they turned my hair grey!

Mollie, Briley, Hadley & Madi, with a little Bode thrown in!
 So, no goodbyes, Sheffields... But, we'll see ya soon!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Free is always good!

We scored free tickets to watch the Tulsa Shock (WNBA) play the Phoenix Mercury.  The tickets - for free tickets - actually ROCKED!


The girls had a good time and Briley actually has a renewed interested in basketball - it had gone by the way side due to her pushing and shoving match with mean girl last season, but she's now rearing to go again!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What have we been up to?

How about a short re-cap of our summer vaca?  The first weekend, we stopped in Boswell to see Mamom and Papaw and it just happened to be Boswell Homecoming weekend.  That meant that Hadley's dream of seeing a rodeo was about to come true.  Seriously.  She has been wanting to see a rodeo for quite some time now.  The problem I have with rodeos is that they are so danged HOT!

Anyway, Briley was so excited to do the calf scramble and then she wasn't and then we bribed her with a pickle if she'd do it.  So she did.  There are very few things this kid won't do for a pickle!


The next day, we headed south to Galveston.  Brian has found the way to heaven - it's exit 178, Buffalo, TX where one can buy a fried pie.  They were fresh out of the fryer and goooooooood!  

Finally, we were in Galveston.  Brian was tired from a day of driving and listening to kids whine.  I wish I could help him out and drive some myself, but I refuse saying that I'd much rather he be in charge and cranky the whole time than actually do anything to help him out.  Once we got unloaded in the hotel, I took the girls across the street to the beach and we played and swam until it got too dark to do anything else!

Before we left Galveston, we discovered a new favorite place to eat:  The Down Under cafe of Stingarees on Crystal Beach.  It was yummy!  We also caught shrimp, fed the seagulls and watched the dolphins give us a free show!  The beach is such a grand, grand place!

Hadley, unfortunately got a sunburn.  She was nothing short of miserable.  When we left for Houston, we had to stop and repack the entire van so that she could lay down on her tummy and be sorta, kinda comfy.

When we got to Houston, we made our way to the Astrodome, home of the Houston Astros.  They were playing the Rangers! (Go Rangers!)  I had never been to a dome and wasn't sure how I'd feel about watching baseball inside.  Considering downtown Houston was about 152 degrees, that day, I say, "God Bless the Astros!"

We even got to watch batting practice, during which Briley screamed, "Give me a ball" no less than 2,526 times.  She got no ball love.
And that, my friends, catches you up on summer vacation!!