Monday, March 29, 2010


I had my first trip away from home this weekend without the kids or the hubby. Typically I either take a trip with the hubby and someone watches the kids or I take the kids somewhere but I have never been gone from everyone.

On of my best girlfriends has a house in Tahoe and was kind enough to invite me for a girls get away! No men or kids were allowed! It was very nice to sit and relax. To take a nap when I wanted for however long I wanted! To go out for a meal that didn't have to be inhaled or need to be cut up into tiny pieces! We went for a nice hike on a snowy path. We went out for a nice relaxing lunch that included bloody mary's ;) We made a delicious dinner that was enjoyed with a nice merlot. We drove around the lake and enjoyed the beauty of Lake Tahoe. It was truly a much needed break and one I am grateful to have gotten.

All that loveliness aside, I missed my hubby and kids like CRAZY!! They were all I thought about while I was gone. I spoke to them many times while I was gone and James did such a great job of keeping them all busy and fed! They all seemed to have a great time!

I didn't get home until late last night so I didn't get to see any of them until this morning. Somehow Frace managed to crawl into our bed without us realizing it and I woke up to my sweet girl all nuzzled up with me! And Jake and Caroline were all smiles when they woke up and saw me! What a great welcome back!

All in all, it was a great trip and I am thankful for the break. I am also thankful to be back home with my family.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I had a BIG day!

Warning..this post is going to be a long one!

As you know, I recently volunteered at an event that my work sponsored.  It was for St. Baldrick's.  I work for a very large company and we were able to have events in 10 different locations all around the world.  We raised over $500K for St. Baldrick's!!  That is amazing!  I am so proud to work for such a great company that gives back to the community.

Our event was held on March 16th.  Prior to the event, all the volunteers were on a phone call going over who was going to what, where, etc.  During the call, the it was asked if any of us were volunteering in honor of anyone.  I spoke up.  I told Layla's story.  The leader of the event asked if I would share her story on stage at the event.  GULP!  I thought, OH NO!  Nothing frightens me more (okay, maybe flying) than speaking in front of a large crowd.  He could tell I hesitated and he said that if I was uncomfortable that someone else could do it.  I told him that I would think about it.

So, I thought about it.  I, it takes a lot of courage and guts to go in front of 300+ people and speak.  See, I was always the girl with the shaky, trembling knees when it came time to give an oral book report in front of my classmates in elementary school.  It has NEVER been my thing. 

Then it hit me.  It took Layla a whole lot of courage and guts to fight that monster.  The fight and tenacity she showed will always be an inspiration to me.  So, obviously getting on the stage and telling her story no longer seemed that bad.  Still nerve wracking, but now I knew I could do it.

So, the day came.  The event started.  The room was full and I was working the T-shirt table.  Our emcee got up and kicked off the event!  He then said "and now we have someone who would like to share something with us, is Jenn here?"  Did he just say my name.  I knew it was going to be a possibility, but I thought surely there was someone else who had a story to tell too.  But, I guess not.  So I raised my hand from the very back of the room and made my way to the stage.

The first thing I said as I took the microphone, was that I have never spoken in front of a large crowd before and that if I faint, someone better pick me up.  So here I was on the stage.  All eyes upon me, lights beating down hot on my face, which I am sure was already 50 shades of red!  I took a deep breath and told her story. 

It went something like this:

"I am here to honor Layla Grace, a little girl, who one week ago today lost her battle with cancer.  She was only 27months old.  Young enough to count in months.  She was taken away by a cancer called Neuroblastoma.  A rare cancer that attacks the nervous system.  She fought very, very hard"...then I kind of draw a blank as to what else I said. I wasn't up there very long. But enought to make an impact and introduce all those people to Layla.

Surprisingly, it was the easiest thing to do.  And I truly think that is because she touched me soo deeply and emotionally that it was easy to talk about her and share her with everyone. 

I walked off the stage and back to the t-shirt table.  A few minutes went by and our SVP of Sales came over to talk with me about Layla.  We talked and he told me how touched he was.

A few other people came up to me over the course of the event and said the same thing.  They cried, they were moved, etc.

Then the SVP of Sales motioned for me to join him in a conversation he was having with the Chief Philanthropist of St. Baldrick's.  She told me how much that story moved her.  We spoke for about another 20minutes. I shared with her all I could about Layla.  How I came to know of her.  How much she meant to me and how she has impacted my life. 

This is where the story gets interesting!

I told her that I wanted to start my own non-profit to bring awareness to cord blood donation because it cancer's such as Neuroblastoma, it is genetic.  Which means, Layla would not have been able to use her own banked cord blood.  Of course, she knew all about Neuroblastoma.  In fact, she told me that the bulk of their money goes to finding a cure for Neuroblastoma.  In fact, check this link out!  She then asked me what my goal was and how I was going to run my non-profit.  I told her all I wanted to do and achieve.  And she said "Here is my card.  I want to Partner with you.  Call me when you get up and running."  WHAT??  Did that really just happen!!  Oh my!  St. Baldrick's wants to partner with me in bringing awareness to cord blood donation!!  Woot, Woot!!  I was smiling from ear to ear and ALL I could think about was Layla.

All because of a little girl named Layla.   Had I not gotten on that stage and told her story, this would not be happening.  And this happening, means that MAYBE another child will be spared from this ugly monster.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fuzzy reality

So, I pick the kids up.  They are all smiling and happy!  Excited to see each other and me!  We get home, make a nice dinner, everyone eats and we enjoy each other's company.

Now here's how it really goes down. 

Pick the kids up.  As we are leaving daycare, Jake & Grace always run to the van and want to be first to get there.  Jake pushes Grace to the ground so that he can get in the van first.  Grace starts to cry.  I, having Cara in my arms, pick her up.  Get her in the van.  Tell Jake to stop.  Get him in the van.  Get them all buckled up.  Ask them all what they want for dinner.  No one agrees.  A fight between Jake & Grace break out about what I will be making for dinner.  We get to the house, they fight over who gets to unlock the door.  We get in.  They all push each other down to get to their bedrooms first to take their jackets, shoes & socks off.  They all come out and immediately start barking orders at me.  Mom can you...get me some juice, help me take my socks off, sit down and color with me, take my shoes off, put me in my seat to eat (cara)!!!, etc....

When I am sitting here at my desk at work, I am thinking about my sweet babies and how I can't wait to get home to see them all.  And then reality sets in.  30 mins after I have picked them up, I am already frustrated.  I hate this!  Why can't we all walk in the door like calm rational people and enjoy what's left of the day???

I guess this is my reality not the 'June Cleaver' picture I have in my head.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I miss my husband

I miss 'us' before kids.  I miss that all my time could be focused on him.  He always knew I loved him for I had all the time in the world to tell him and show him.  I miss our quick little weekend getaways to our favorite spots.  I loved staying up late playing Trivial Pursuit with him.  I loved just going to a restuarant/bar and spending hours talking to him.

That was the past and here we are in the future. Don't get me wrong, I love our kids and would never trade where we are for anything!  I just wish I knew a better way to balance it all.

We both work full-time and as soon as we get home, our second job starts.  The kids are still young so they still rely on us for just about everything.  Helping go potty, helping get dressed, helping get a cup of water.  You name it, we are at their beck and call.  And now whenever James & I try to have a discussion one of them will purposely interrupt by singing at the top of their lungs or needing something (not really, just an adversion).  So our time to talk and reconnect is sooo very limited.

I want so badly to sit up and talk and watch a show together, but honestly by the time 8:30pm rolls around, I am completely exhausted.  And I hate it.  I hate that James doesn't feel like he is getting 'me' time anymore.  I feel so bad about it.  I want to give my husband all that he desires.  I want him to feel loved and adored and I feel like I am surely falling short in that.

Date nights don't happen very often b/c it is very expensive to pay for a babysitter to watch 3 kids.  His parents live by and we ask them occasionaly, but hate to abuse that option.  They are soo generous when we ask and I know if we asked more, they would oblige.  But I just feel guilty about it.  I think b/c they are still so young and they are a lot of work!

There is a great organization that I just came across called "Focus on the Family".  The first thing I heard was "Never be a better parent than a spouse".  That hit home.  It is soo very true for soo many reasons.  One, my husband is such a fantastic man and I am so very lucky that I get to call him my husband and he needs to be treated and loved the same way I love my children.  No less.  Second, we are examples for our children and I want my kids to lead by example.  Which means I have a lot of work to do!! ;) 

Baby, I just want you to know that I love you with all that I am and want you to know that I am committed to showing you just how much.  Thank you for being patient while your dum-dum wife figured all this out.

I love you!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gracie's First Sleepover

About a month ago, Grace had her first sleepover at Grammy & Grandpa's house!  She had been working up to that day for a long time.  My mom told her that as soon as she was using the potty like a big girl (I know, bribery, but please...she is 3 1/2 and we were not even close), that she would be able to spend the night, just her and Grammy & Grandpa!  This thrilled her to no end!  So the girl went on a mission and started using the potty. 

So we sent her on her way for one of her first 'big girl' moments!   Of course, I called a gazillion times to check on her and of course, she was having a blast!  They took her shopping.  They made cupcakes.  They got their nails painted, not Grandpa of course ;)  They were all in hog heaven!

My parents live about 90minutes away, so I met my parents at a half way mark and for the return, my husband picked her up.  He called me as soon as he had her in the car and said "babe, you are not going to believe how cute she looks!!  They dolled her all up and she keeps saying "mama is going to be soo happy to see me!".  Indeed I was!

Below are the pics from her weekend away with Grammy & Grandpa.  She is showing off her new outift, complete with hair bow and pretty pink (her favorite color) nails! 

She is awesome!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

God's will for me

I sit here and I cannot think.  I cannot concentrate.  I cannot do anything.  I am paralyzed with sorrow. 

I am at work and people have walked by and asked why I was crying and I don't know how to explain the sadness and sorrow I have for a little girl I never even held.  Never even knew outside the walls of the internet.  Yet, it has touched me so deep.  The same thing happened to me when Maddie passed.  I cannot be the only one out there that has such feelings for someone they never actually met.

I just look at her sweet photo's and cannot understand.  Everytime I see her chubby cheeks, I think of my Caroline's chubby cheeks and how much it would destroy me something happened to any of my children.

I want to jump on an airplane, right now, and go to Layla's house and wrap my arms around her mother because as a mother, I don't know how she will get through this, yet I know she will.  But there is such a deep yearn inside me to comfort these people.  To sit with them and let them cry on my shoulder.  I feel so useless sitting here.

I truly believe that I came across Layla for a reason.  I do believe that I am working through God's will and that he has a plan for me.  I am now so determined to help get the awareness and education out there about cord blood donation.  I know that it can't save everyone, but it could save someone.  I will not let Layla's death be in vain.  There was a reason she was born.  There was a reason God picked her and she brought more awareness to this awful cancer that anyone could have imagined. 

God Bless you sweet Layla Grace.  You will forever be in my thoughts.

Another Angel in Heaven

There are just no words.  I am completely heartbroken about this and cannot make sense of it.

Why does this have to happen?  I am sooo mad.  Why God, why any child?

Layla went to play with the angels early this morning.

Rest in peace precious Layla.

11/26/2007 - 3/9/2010

Monday, March 8, 2010

Daisy Duke's for my Daughters??

So, i'm out and about shopping this weekend looking at all the pretty new colors for spring! Loving the turquoise and the pinks!

When I stumble upon these:

Am I the only one that thinks these shorts are COMPLETELY innapropriate for children!!  Why in the world would retailers even think that these were ok for children?

Am I totalling over-reacting?  I just can't imagine ever putting these on my girls.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Room Swap

Since the day the twins were born, they have slept in the same room. Never been apart. So deciding to separate them was not an easy decision. However, after much pleading from Grace (in her words), "Can you please move Jacob out of here! He keeps waking me up!". Jake is a very early riser (5am everyday) and as soon as he would wake up, he would flick on the light and want to start playing. This was not going over well with Grace. She was not ready to get up and was getting seriously ticked that he kept waking her up everyday before she was ready to rise.

So, this Saturday we moved Jake out of the room and moved him into Caroline's room, moving her out and into room with Grace. It made the most sense to move him out, giving him his own room. That way, when he wakes up with the roosters, he can turn on the light and play to his hearts content!

The move went flawlesly! We boy-ified Jake's new room with framed pictures of trains, cars, airplanes! Moved in all his trucks & cars! Gave him a little nightstand with a light and books. Moved all his clothes in. He was very excited to have "Jakey's room" as he calls it. His bed is all comfy and the room stays darker than the girls room which I think will help him sleep in later...already has! The first nap time came on Saturday, while I think he was a little lonely since he asked Daddy & I to lay down with him in his room, he was pretty content. Instantly he knew which room to go to when he asked him to get his shoes & socks! Went right to his new room.

So on to the girls. They seem very happy to be rooming together. Especially Caroline who up to this point, has been all by herself. During the first nap time, we could hear her and Grace talking. Carloline kept peeking her head over the crib rail saying "HI!" to Grace. She is soo happy to have her big sister with her. Then you could hear Grace say "Shhh...lie down and go to sleep". To which Caroline obliged and went right back to sleep. It is very cute to see this new interaction between them. Grace taking on the role of big sister is very cute. I think this will help them be even closer than they already are.

The only thing I will miss is hearing Jake & Grace early in the morning playing together. They were always so cute. Some mornings I would walk in and they would have their boots & hats on and Jake would be telling me how he was Prince Charming and how Grace is Cinderalla! Good times!

It definintely was bittersweet to separate them, but in the long run I think it will be better for all parties involved! In fact, Jake is already sleeping in later and made it all the way to 6am this morning! So did the girls!

Can I get a whoo-hoo!