Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

...with the addition of this dollhouse, the bedroom of my childhood dreams is now complete. Me and Kindred sure are some lucky girls.

Twas The Night Before Christmas...

Monday, December 24, 2018

...and all through the house, not a creature was stirring...

...because Kindred passed out next to Jerry Garcia.


Sunday, December 23, 2018

"It's a saltwater crocodile, you can tell by his mouth and his hat." -Berg

Elvis Meets Kindred

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Only a last minute shopping trip with my dad would lead us to Salvation Army Elvis singing in the mall. There are so many weird things about that sentence that I don't even know what to unpack first. That me or my dad were in the mall? Elvis? The only thing that made sense was how my daughter walked up in front of everyone and decided to bust a move. She danced her butt off to a few songs and she probably would have kept dancing but we needed to get going.

Our next stop was Hobby Lobby but I don't spend money there and when I explained why to my dad he said, "Dammit, Cameron...where CAN we shop now? Everybody is corrupt." After Hobby Lobby, we ran to another store and Kindred did THIS with her leg:

...which hurts me just to look at, but she is flexible like that and it was no problem for her. Her foot is backward. Still not as gross as when she walks on her toe knuckle...

Christmas on the Square Pajama Run

Friday, December 21, 2018

When K stayed the night with Nova, the girls decided to keep it rolling for one more night back at our house. When they started to get a little fussy right before bed, I announced that we were doing a pajama run down to the square to see all the Christmas lights. The weather was much warmer than what is typically seasonal so pajamas were just fine for our short visit.

The girls loved it!! And, even better, they were yawning by the time we got home and went right to bed with no complaints! We are going to try again when Naiya can come up and go with us!


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Yesterday, before I went to pick up Kindred, Dylan and I got to spend some time together. We got coffee (and I didn't feel terrible so it was heavenly!) and did some Christmas shopping. And, oh my heart...I have missed him so much. We rarely get out when it's just the two of us anymore. Either I have Kindred with me or he's out with friends or working. So, it was just amazing to be together. He's such a funny guy. If there is anyone on tv that I could relate to Dylan so you could feel like you sorta know him...I swear it would be Eric Forman from That 70's Show. He was also obsessed with Star Wars, had a friend move in before his parent's realized it, and has that same dry sarcastic sense of humor. He's actually pretty hilarious. He had me cracking up as we hoofed it around the mall. I like him. He's a good kid. Man. Kid. He grew up way too fast. I can't wait until we get to hang out again!!

So This Is 39

Saturday, December 08, 2018

All I wanted for my birthday last year was for Naiya's diagnosis to disappear so that we could all have her & Ash back home with us. Truthfully, I didn't feel like celebrating my birthday at all, so we didn't. I still hadn't even managed to stop crying spontaneously throughout the day. My stomach was in knots and the future was uncertain. This year, as the day drew nearer, I asked Kat and Ash to bring the girls and come just hang with me. We decided to watch Dumplin' which did not pan out as the girls were a little much to handle. So, we just talked and laughed and took some pics and listened to the girls playing. And, it was the best gift possible!!


Thursday, December 06, 2018 should buy some bright red lipstick. -my sister

It is outside my comfort zone but a necessary course of action considering my current internal evolution.
Re-wilding. Re-energizing. Re-emerging.


Wednesday, December 05, 2018

How? I

What Have I Been Up To?

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Spending days with these two weirdos, who keep me laughing and, also, cleaning Kindred's room.

Naiya's one year diagnosis anniversary has come and gone. It has been emotional. So many questions that will never be answered. Life changed. And now it just is what it is. Our normal is quite overwhelming. But, we have excelled at adaptation, as a family unit, and we are celebrating Naiya's resilient spirit and having faith that she will only continue to heal and live and love and grow.

Other than that...I am easing into slow mornings filled with a steaming almond milk Dandy Blend, late lunches of mostly hearty soups with my fave gal pal, and evenings lit by a beautiful, twinkling decorated tree. And I am mindful that this is the childhood I needed every night I snuggle with Kindred in her darling little bedroom. It is never too late to tune into the children we once were and fill those holes of what we needed but didn't get with forgiveness and love.

And, did you know that this is my birthday week!?! I could not be more Sagittarius, except that I am also a Gemini rising...and that's basically just an argumentative Sagittarius with slightly less existential dread. I will be 39 on Friday. Do we ever get used to seeing those numbers climb? It is hard to believe this is the last year of my 30s. I intend to invest it wisely.

Christmas Parades

Monday, December 03, 2018

We took in the local afternoon parade and then drove a county over to see an evening parade because that is how 2018 is going when it comes to these two girls. Stuff that I may not have made an effort to do before Naiya got sick, I am more inclined to go all out for. Lest we all forget their summer bucket list...which I am sad to say concluded with one item not marked off. We never played freeze-tag. It was an administrative oversight and we bitterly regret it.

I mean, seriously...which kid is mine? Nova has her aunt's curly hair and Kat shares thinner hair with Kindred. Genetics is weird, shug.

If you follow me on Instagram, you must find the parade post and watch the Disney float. It was sincerely a spectacle to behold. Next year, we need to take a few blankets to the evening parade because the temp dropped pretty quickly and the girls cited yet another administrative oversight on my part. I'm doing my best, guys...

"Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn't come from a store."

Sunday, November 18, 2018

...but pistachios do!

We are going to surprise Kindred with a trip to the movies to see the new Grinch movie this coming weekend. She is going to freak out. I can't wait.

Woodland Critters

Thursday, November 15, 2018

I've decided to change up our holiday decorations. We've had a blue and red almost retro looking decor theme going on since Kindred's first Christmas but I want to do a more natural/woodland look to encourage (hopefully) a less commercialized, less consumerist centric holiday. Not to mention, honoring my pagan/witchy/native belief system that doesn't really jive with the traditional Christian narrative. Read: my belief system. Everyone in this household has their own belief system. Dylan leans more atheist/agnostic and Berg is a Christian. Kindred is the only free agent and she will make up her own mind when she is ready.

So, we were out hunting for woodland critters for our tree. We checked out Pier One and found a few things, didn't really find anything at Michael's, and I won't shop at Hobby Lobby so I have no idea what they have there. Still pissed about their disregard for female autonomy in their reproductive choices. Quick question: Can you name a single law, or mandate, that governs over a man's body or a man's health? I sure can't because there isn't one. Where was I? Oh, yes...I our other option is the gift shop at Lost River Cave. Gives me a chance to support a local gift shop and their woodland tree decor is too cute. Kindred and I have plans to pop in and choose an ornament every week until Christmas. And, after Christmas, we will ransack their Christmas clearance for next year. We love sales.

We are picking up some cranberries, cinnamon sticks, star anise and small pinecones to fashion ourselves a garland this week. I can't wait to craft with Kicky. She is so creative!! We decorate on Black Friday every year instead of participating in the running of the bulls. My son will be working at a big box retailer on Thanksgiving evening and Black Friday this year. He will miss the family dinner with my mama and sisters. This is where we are as a country. Totally disconnected from the reality of our choices. May kinder, wiser heads prevail someday.

Dear Kicky,

Sunday, November 11, 2018

I am so grateful to be your mama. 
You are, without a doubt, one of the spunkiest, funniest, smartest creatures I have ever known!!

My days have been brighter just because you are here. I love you, daughter,

Naiya's Aflac Commercial

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Awhile back, the folks at Aflac made this animatronic duck to share with kids newly diagnosed with cancer. The ducks come with these discs that you rub on their chests and the duck responds with the appropriate kind of quacks. A friend of mine is a play therapist and said that this definitely play therapy, which has been shown to work wonders for kiddos. The ducks turn their heads and look at the children too, which is so cute. Oh, and they ducks will talk to each other, so if two kids with ducks are together, the ducks interact.

So, they came to Vanderbilt and let the kids try the ducks out while filming a commercial. And, Naiya is one of the stars of that commercial! Last week, they returned with the ducks as gifts for the kids. It was such a special day and my eyes fill with tears every time I think back on it. There was a scavenger hunt, on-site embroidery station to add the ducks names to their special backpacks, necklace making station, little ducks for siblings/besties, catered food, and a million big smiles on little bitty faces.

It feels amazing to be back out with my besties (missing Nova & Kat, of course.) having the kind of day kids should have. Vanderbilt really steps it up for the kids, I have to give them credit for that. No one should ever have to go through what these kids and their families go through...but it makes a huge difference to have so many folks down there trying their best every day to make it a little easier on everyone else. I will always love them for that.

Another link for the commercial HERE. 

Movers & Shakers

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

...even as it feels like screaming into a void around here.
But, one mustn't give up hope.

'Twas The Night Before The Election...

Monday, November 05, 2018

...and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring,
except for a Mama...
(who was feeling the enormity of all that's at stake)

Halloween 🧡

Friday, November 02, 2018

Because of the forecast situation I mentioned yesterday, we got to Trick or Treat with the family on the 30th and spend actual Halloween at home. I kept waiting for the promised deluge all day, but it barely sprinkled. So, by trick or treat time, we were dressed up again, music blasting, and ready with the candy.

An hour into it, we hadn't had anybody but Kicky's neighborhood bestie. I felt like I'd wandered into The Twilight Zone! We live across the street from an elementary school, in a neighborhood with many streets surrounding us. But, no kids were to be seen! We decided to join 'Jessie' and do one lap around the block, where we encountered only a couple of ToTers.

After we returned home, we watched Hocus Pocus until it was past time for any new Trick or Treaters. I estimate we had around 20, and some of those were in groups. Dylan wound up with entirely too much candy but we had a good time and I'm grateful that the rain held out.


Thursday, November 01, 2018

Ash turned on the Snapchat filter and luckily my long arm helped us get a good overhead shot. But, here we are. We could not be more different in many aspects, but we love each other.

Trick or Treat🎃

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

It's the most wonderful time of the year... I start planning for Halloween early and every year I declare it to be the best one yet. Last night, was no exception...our little ankle-biting vampires were frightfully gorgeous and had the best time!

I hope these girls carry on the tradition of making the most out of Halloween every year. Look at these precious kiddos!!! Ash lives on Main Street of our hometown, so we planned on making being at her house the main event. I dressed up a little, brought almost all of my decorations, and made AN AMAZING PLAYLIST, OKAY, IT WAS COMPLIMENTED (by me, my mama, & 1 stranger) ALL NIGHT LONG!

Naiya is on steroids right now, which makes her emotionally volatile, and the chemo wears her out, so we didn't even attempt to go far from the house, yet she was already worn out before we got back. She was very content to hand out handfuls of candy, despite my desperate pleas to just give one piece so we didn't run out! We did run out...twice...but a candy run to the good ole' Dollar Store remedied the situation before any kiddos had to be turned away.

Girls, every year on this day you have made me the happiest I think I have ever been in my life. I do not stop smiling at the three of you. I will never forget the magic of Halloween with you. It was great when Dylan was small, too, but you three together just amplifies how sweet it can be when fate delivers you a triple-dose of love & giggles. 

I was dancing to the aforementioned AMAZING PLAYLIST NO SERIOUSLY I HAD EVERY SONG JUST RIGHT and smiling and handing out candy and wishing the kiddos a Happy Halloween and in my ideal version of the afterlife, we are all doing this every single night.

I already can't wait for next year!! Happy Halloween, everybody!

Travelin' Man

Saturday, October 27, 2018

My dad was a hellraising teenager when southern rock had it's best decade. He listens to them all but he loves Lynryd Skynyrd. His favorite lyric is 'Troubles Will Come' from Simple Man and he got it tattooed on his arm for his first tattoo when he was in his 50s. I also happen to have a lyric tattooed on my arm, though it is a Beatles lyric even though I don't care for the band, which is only a testament to how you should not get drunk and see the Beatles cirque show in Vegas if your hotel is across the street from a tattoo parlor inside a casino, kids.

This year is supposedly a farewell tour for the remaining touring survivors of the original band, which I believe is only one, at this point. So, Billy bought us tickets and away we went. Without even trying, this is my third time seeing them, believe it or not. I enjoy them, don't get me wrong...and definitely don't tell my dad because...parental disappointment...but I'm just not a huge LS fan. I love classic rock, but the TOP of my list would be: The Doors, Fleetwood Mac, The Allman Bros, The Grateful Dead, and Bob Dylan. Still, turn on any old rock station and I can probably sing along to 80% of what they play.

I recently watched the new LS documentary 'If I Leave Here Tomorrow' and learned a few things about the band that I did not know. I was happy to hear them speak about their earlier use of the rebel flag and their naive take on it simply representing their southern US homeland. To them, it wasn't a racist symbol and once they knew better, they did better. You know, The Allman Bros once said the exact same thing. And, LS is still anti-gun...which seems to be in direct conflict of probably 80% of the folks I saw at the concert cheering as they sang about it...but, that's just 2018 being 2018, amirite?

Dad and I had the best time eating at the Hard Rock Cafe, walking up Broadway, and then listening to the music. It was so much fun seeing him sing along to the words I grew up hearing. And, our seats were fantastic scores from back in June. Connecting with my dad has been the best thing about moving back to Kentucky. He is one in a million.


Thursday, October 25, 2018

Naiya came to play with us today! The Kindred/Naiya dynamic is decidedly different from the Kindred/Nova and the Naiya/Nova dynamic. Nova is such an agreeable little sweetheart and can get along with pretty much anybody. As a study in contrast, Kindred feels very strongly about almost everything and expresses it very loudly if she feels like she isn't being heard.

Every day is Hollywood here and Kindred is both the director and the leading actress. According to my Granddaddy, Bob, I was the same way. We played The Waltons and he was John-Boy and I was Jenny and I told him everything to do and say. Bless his patient heart.

Naiya doesn't want to be bossed and expresses that very loudly, too. Since she was the baby, by a whole year, we always urged the girls to let her have her way because she didn't understand how to play like they did yet. So, Naiya was used to getting what she wanted almost anytime she wanted it. And, then she got sick...which means we all bent over backwards to ensure she kept a smile on her face. The result of all of that is we now have two very strong personalities who are sure they are the star of the show.

You got about 30 mins tops before the claws come out, folks...

Absence quickly makes the heart grow fonder, and they are still able to rebound and continue playing together, luckily nobody is holding any grudges. So, every time they hear the other is en route for a playdate, they get super excited. It's just so great to have Naiya back with us now. We are counting our blessings for sure!!

Pumpkin Patch

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Lucky for us, a pumpkin patch is within close proximity to my mama's house. We've watched as it first opened, added fun things for kiddos, and expanded into a bustling local agro-tourism location.

For mama's birthday this year, she requested that all grandgirls join her for pumpkin pickin' at Just Piddlin'. For the first time since Nova started Kindergarten, all the girls seemed healthy. (Seemed is the operative word, as a cold/cough spread thru the trio within 48 hours afterward.) It was a bit of a cousin reunion. They've seen each other individually, but this was the first time all three were together in what seems like forever. We soaked it all up.

Where does the time go? Seems like just yesterday I brought her here toddling around on two unsteady legs. In this pic, I can see how she favors me...but, most of the time I think she looks like her daddy.

Can you believe she just turned 60 yesterday? My mama is gorgeous.

It is so so so good to have her here with us again. Back to adventuring as a trio, as it should be.