8/31/14

Motherhood, is it enough?

Tonight I was sitting with Ernest and Penelope. I was reflecting on our day. We had a great Sunday together. We made it through about half of church before we decided Penelope had hit the wall and needed to be taken home for a nap. Said nap turned into a two hour family nap. I love when that happens. We then joined his parents for a late lunch. His mom made Penelope's favorite meal, a Middle -Eastern dish that I won't dare try and spell. She even got her a few new dresses. We are so lucky to have loving grandparents around. Today was a wonderful day, and I truly had no complaints. Sitting around the dinner table tonight I felt so blessed. Penelope sat in her high chair with her foot on the tray of course. Making us laugh while we ate. As dinner came to a close I expressed to Ernest that I was feeling down. I prefaced this by letting him know that I had a wonderful day and had no reason whatsoever to be sad. But being the amazing person that he is, he dug deeper. I tried to explain my feelings the best way that I could. I explained that because I am a stay at home mom, I am home seven days/ nights a week. I adore my time with Penelope and I chose to stay home with her because I believed it was what was in her best interest, that I raise her. But I admitted to him that it's difficult at times. I explained that at his job he gets rewarded. He has performance reviews. His value is more tangible, because he makes a Salary. His days are structured. He gets adult interaction every day. I'm not under the impression that he has it easy. He works extremely hard at his job and faces many pressures that I don't. I just feel that our day to day challenges are very different. My challenges, are more of a mental and emotional nature. Being a mother is a thankless job. The hours are undefined, which is a nice way of saying endless. It's a job that comes with very little praise, and no compensation. But I love being a mother! I had never previously experienced such joy. I have moments every day where I feel like my heart might literally explode. I look at Penelope in awe, and wonder what on earth I did to deserve her sweet angelic spirit in my life and in my home. As I watch her grow, and change, and hit milestones I try to remind myself that THAT is my reward. That is my reward for the sleepless nights, blow outs, tantrums, early wake up calls, guilt, and exhaustion that often accompanies motherhood. So I love being a mother and I choose to be a stay at home mom. What do I do when that is not enough? I explained to Ernest that because I don't financially contribute to our family that I often feel I don't add any value. He took this moment as an opportunity to remind me how much staying home with Penelope adds value to our family, and to her future. He reminded me that it's difficult to see ten, twenty, thirty years down the road…. how this time with her has shaped who she has become. He reminded me that he was grateful for me. And told me I did a job that he could not do. Once we established the root of my sadness, we tried to work on a solution. Ernest recommended that I take a class, something that interests me. He suggested Yoga or a floral arrangement class. He asked me how he could help. Just knowing that he understood what I was feeling and that he wanted to help meant the world to me. I think what I want is to feel fulfilled. I'm not sure how to get there, but that is the goal.

7/7/14

My transgender sibling, born in the wrong body

I would like to tell you about my littlest sibling. I will be using both male and female pronouns, this will help paint a picture of this transition. I am writing about this because I love him very much, and I would like to raise awareness, even my own little community, about what it means to be transgender. Although, he could share first hand what it is truly about, I'd like to share this story from my perspective. My little sister was born 21 years ago. Her given name was McKenzie Heather Essa. She was four years younger than me, and I was smitten. She had white blonde hair and light green eyes. But she was blessed with her daddy's olive skin. When McKenzie was a toddler she was ferocious! One of my favorite stories is when she broke out of the house and went running for the park, shedding items of clothing as she went. By the time she was about three or four, she started to have strong opinions about her clothing. She hated girl clothes. This became a Sunday tradition, hysterical tantrums when my mom forced her into a frilly dress. By the time she was 4 or 5, she started introducing herself as "Bob" or "Tom." We thought it was so funny and adorable. Our little tom boy! She loved to wear jeans and I can still picture her white blonde hair poking out of her cowboy hat. When it came to make believe, McKenzie always wanted to be an outlaw, or a cop, or some sort of male character. As she got older, she continued to be a "tom boy." She played with the boys, she played like a boy. Female clothing was always traumatic for her to be in. By the time she was about ten, she had a big group of boys that she fit in with. As she got older, we were amazed that she never grew out of her "tom boy" phase. It seemed to be becoming who she was. She never took a romantic interest in boys. To my knowledge, she's never even kissed one. In her teen years, she started to bring girls around. It seemed that she liked them more than a friend. She eventually came out as a lesbian. It was never a big shock or reveal to our family, it just made sense. I admit it was traumatic to see her cut off her beautiful hair into a boy haircut (she was truly blessed with the most luscious hair out of all the kids). Ironically enough she had the biggest boobs too. We would always sigh as she would wear multiple sports bras to flatten them. I admit, selfishly it was difficult to have a gay sibling. I felt the judgement from our religious community. I knew what a difficult life she would have ahead of her, gaining acceptance from the people around her. That being said, deep down I envied her courage and ability to be so true to herself, despite the way people treated her. She was always such a rockstar, never lacking confidence. Despite her journey for self discovery, she was president of the Gay Club at Gilbert High School. She was even homecoming royalty! I remember cheering her on, as she was driven around the track at the homecoming game. She was wearing a suit and she was runner up for homecoming queen. HOMECOMING QUEEN! I felt bad as she would get yelled at by faculty at Gilbert High, because they thought a boy was using the women's restroom. But she wasn't allowed in the mens either. She was stuck, somewhere in between. Never truly feeling like she belonged. As she grew older, she still seemed to struggle with her identity. She didn't feel like a girl. I noticed as she tried to deepen her voice. I noticed how uncomfortable she felt in any sort of female clothing (she started to borrow my dads). It was more than same sex attraction, she didn't feel like a girl on the inside. As she gained awareness of a term called "transgender" I think it finally clicked for her. I WAS BORN IN THE WRONG BODY! I'm not a lesbian, I'm a straight male! This is when everything really started to change for her, and my family. She started going to a support group for Transgender people. She committed to transitioning. What does transitioning really mean? I think it varies person to person. I don't even think she is 100% sure how far she will take this. But she started asking her family to use male pronouns. (Something I still struggle with). I tend to switch back and forth. This has always been my baby sister! He started going by Ken instead of McKenzie. I admit this was the part I was the most afraid of. I thought, please don't change your name... please don't change your name. I wasn't sure if I could handle that. But whenever I felt scared or discouraged I tried to remember how much harder this was for him. I've always tried to be loving and supportive. In true Ken fashion, he has remained confident and strong. He has even starting acting with the help of an agent. And has a role on an upcoming TV show with some of the cast from Arrested Development. The question I get asked most often is, will he get reconstructive surgery. I know he is committed to removing his breasts. But he is unsure about any further surgery. I know he is trying to save as much money as possible. I think he still has a lot of self discovery to do. I admire him for getting counseling and seeking support. I want him to know how much we love him and how we will always support him no matter what. I want people to open their eyes. Whether they are religious conservatives or extreme liberals. It doesn't matter. This is real. It is real to my brother. It isn't going away. It can't be ignored. He can't pray his way out of it. This is who he is and I hope people can love and accept him.




3/5/14

Mother's Instinct






Sometimes I feel most compelled to blog when I am really fired up about something. Maybe this is a good thing, or maybe it's a bad thing. Depending on how you look at it. But I can tell you that sometimes I post and then I read it the next day and I get a little sheepish! Nevertheless, I want to write about something that has been weighing on my mind, and my heart lately. Please read with an open mind. Motherhood is such a personal thing and I simply want to share some of MY views. I hope that I may reach some momma's that are experiencing some of the same things I am and that I may shed some light on a different perspective.

As a first time mom, it can be overwhelming. I am bombarded with advice from friends, family, people at church, strangers in the grocery store (with the BEST of intentions I'm sure). I also signed up for several newsletters on parenting, which arrive weekly to my inbox. Along with countless books that I read. Oh, and on top of that I read blog posts and internet forums. I'm overwhelmed just typing about it! The most frustrating thing for me is that a lot of my sources will have information not consistent with other sources. And the advice I get from the previous generation is sometimes considered "outdated" by modern standards. I read books on French parenting, which are pretty much opposite of American parenting. It's almost like, the more I read the more confused and discouraged I become. Here's a perfect example. I read that it is only safe to feed infants the yoke of an egg. ONLY THE YOKE. But on countless parenting sites I have read that scrambled eggs are safe for infants. When I asked my pediatrician about this, she was less than helpful and didn't seem sure herself of what foods are truly safe for infants. She basically said "just feed her what you eat." But what about nuts? Or honey? I'm not supposed to feed her those!

I think my point in all of this is, God blessed us with incredible and powerful motherly instincts. I know MY baby better than anyone else. I can interpret what her cry means. I can see when her eyes are tired, or sick. I know the way she whines when she is bored. I know the grunts she makes when her tummy hurts. But unfortunately, none of these books or articles focus on my motherly instincts. I wish they did. I have learned in the short nine months I have spent as a mother, that I truly do know whats best for her (most of the time)! I remember when Penelope turned four months, everyone was pressuring me to start her on solids. In my heart I felt that she wasn't ready. But I tried to force it because it was what I was told to do. We faced a lot of challenges and it simply didn't work for a while. As we approached six months she started eyeing food and reaching for it! She was truly ready! If i had just waited, I could have avoided a lot of stress and anxiety over something my baby didn't want or even need yet.




As a new mother I heard many "do's and don'ts." There are so many rules. Looking back, I didn't know the reasons behind a lot of these rules. For example: "Do NOT nurse your infant to sleep!" I am assuming this rule is in place so that infants will not become dependent on nursing to sleep. But in our case, Penelope nursed for only six months. And this is something that still breaks my heart when I think about it. I remember those sweet moments, (when I ignored this counsel) where she would nurse herself to sleep in my arms. I remember the sweet bonding moments as we were "skin to skin." I remember how peaceful and small she looked there. She could hear the beat of my heart and I could feel her breathing. These are some of my fondest memories. And all of these books say not to do it! I look back and I almost feel angry that I was advised against something so precious and brief! SO WHAT if my baby became accustomed to nursing to sleep in my arms. That is a decision that I should have been able to make for myself. But instead I fought against it because these so-called experts said not to.

This is the only photo I have of Penelope nursing 


I was also told not to give my infant a pacifier for the first month of life. I complied of course, because these "experts" knew more than me. As a result, she never took the pacifier. EVER. I was told never to let my infant sleep in bed with me. I understand that co-sleeping is a heated topic and that moms everywhere are divided. But again, if I could go back and truly understand how short that time was where my baby would actually sleep next to me, or in my arms, I would have done it. Unapologetically. I would have enjoyed the sweetness of a precious newborn. I would have listened to my heart a little bit more than the books. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for modern medicine. I am grateful for all of the resources available to me. But, I believe fully in the mentality of read it, and take it with a grain of salt. Because we are momma's. And we know a lot more than we give ourselves credit for. And we know a lot more than these resources will lead us to believe.

1/9/14

The babe and husband are sleeping. The house is so quiet. I can only hear the ticking of the clock. My heart is full as I think about 2013. What a wonderful year! I regret that I didn't document more of that year on my blog. But I took lots of photos, and I relished every moment. Ernest got baptized into the LDS faith. I wanted to blog about it then, but Ernest wanted me to keep it private for a while. That was one of the best days of my life (and his of course). He is such an amazing example to me. It has been so fulfilling to watch his Testimony grow. On May 22nd, our sweet Penelope was born.


The love we felt for her was something we never imagined was possible. I remember when I delivered her, they took her away to check her out and clean her up. This took longer than usual because the NICU team had to take special precautions due to her Kidney reflux. My family crowded around the tiny table where they were working on her. My mom swears that Penelope was reaching and searching for me. Maybe it sounds crazy but I like to think we formed that special bond, even before she was born. She knew my voice. I know her every movement. I heard her heart beat inside of me. She is the most amazing person I've ever known. In her on way, she saved me. She doesn't know it of course. But the love I felt for her, transformed me. It shaped my actions, my priorities, my life. She is the cause of so many miracles in our family. Softened hearts. Mended relationships. She is the teensy tiny glue in our life. Her ginormous blue eyes. And her smile. It's powerful. Her smile melts my core.
                                                     

                                                  

Motherhood is challenging, it's no secret. I worry. I worry, am I enough. The answer of course, is no. How could I be enough? But I sure do try. That's all Heavenly Father expects of me I think. Just try. And try even harder than that. Motherhood has been so surprising to me. How passionate I was about nursing. And how much it broke my heart when we stopped. How inadequate I felt. How peaceful and wonderful it is to watch her sleep. How I can be so terribly exhausted and frustrated, but love her the same. How completely different our life would become. I was surprised by post-partum depression and anxiety. I wish someone had warned me, which is why I wanted to write about it. It's normal. It's common. It's not always easy. I really had to reach out and ask for help because as stubborn as I am, I couldn't get through it alone. More on that later.

In June Ernest and I got engaged! He mimicked a scene from Gossip Girl. Which sounds corny, but it was pretty perfect actually. When we dated I jokingly told him "any guy who proposes in a nice suit on a rooftop with peonies, is going to hear YES. And there he was.... on a rooftop at sunset with a big bouquet of peonies and my dream ring in rose gold. Reminiscent of Chuck Bass. I said YES!
                                                     
 1 week later we were married under a big tree in Sedona. It was the most magical day of my life. Not in the way I envisioned. It wasn't grand, or fancy. None of our family was there. But the love we felt for each other was magnificent. I'll never forget the feelings in my heart under that big tree. Our eyes welt with tears and we made promises to each other. It was absolutely perfect.


We've been married for 6 months now! Time really flies. I married the perfect person, especially for me. Patient, kind, loving, did I mention endless patience? He always knows what to say, and what I need. He knows I struggle with depression. And some pretty intense insecurities. But I know he is committed to me. And he truly loves unconditionally. That is such a blessing. 



7/3/13

Pinterest

Sometimes I get the urge to blog about something. And I cannot rest until I say what I need to say. This is such an exciting time in my life! I have a 6 week old baby girl and as of Friday night, a FIANCE! And I fully intend to blog about these life events. But tonight, I am going to blog about Pinterest. Yup, PINTEREST!

I have such a love/hate relationship with this site. Before pinterest even existed I used to save images to my desktop, and I categorized them into folders (wedding, fashion, etc). So when this site was created I was thrilled! It was a way to organize images and ideas easily for future reference.

I'm sure men simply don't understand the appeal of this site. And understandably so! Mindlessly scrolling through and categorizing images. And it's true, if you really think about it it's silly. Pinning exercise regimens when we could be, well...exercising! Pinning recipes, 99% of which will never actually be created in our kitchens. Pinning crafts like crocheted baby flip flops... babies can't even walk people! Why do they need flip flops! And if they DID need flip flops, would crocheted flip flops even be functional?!

The part about this site that really concerns me is that I feel like it encourages coveting. One of the ten commandments. Millions of women lusting after the perfect kitchen, wedding, physique, wardrobe, the list goes on. But the truth for most of us is that it is out of reach, out of budget, out of realistic expectations. We pin pictures of perfect children, photoshopped and styled in designer children's clothing. While we should be paying more attention to our ACTUAL children.

I worry that this site is making us crazy. I spoke to a friend recently who wanted so badly to throw her one year old daughter a mermaid themed birthday party. In true pinterest fashion, the guests would be dressed like mermaids and partake in the PERFECT mermaid cake. But this wasn't in the budget for her and her family and this saddened her. Has pinterest set the expectations for picturesque parties? Long-gone are the days of a baby in nothing but a diaper sitting in a high chair clumsily devouring a piece of chocolate cake with a #1 candle? Is that no longer enough?

I recently had a friend come over with her newborn daughter. I admit, I felt jealous that her daughter was so well dressed. I got the impression that her daughters clothes were vintage, and from some expensive Etsy shop. She later expressed to me that she felt sad that she couldn't purchase designer baby clothes for her newborn. She would pin images of pieces from Baby Gap and wish she could purchase them. Instead she would scour thrift stores for pieces for her daughter. The very outfit I was coveting was $1 from a thrift store!

Don't get me wrong, I am addicted to this site. Especially since I nurse for 30 minutes every 3 hours. I can only stare at the wall for so long. I do cook some of the recipes I pin. I do listen to conference talks that my girlfriends have pinned. I do find interesting articles on parenting that I enjoy. But this is the exception, not the rule. Most of the time it becomes a blur of emaciated models, crafts, and dream vacations. I sometimes find that pinterest makes me unhappy with my home, my clothes, even my life. This doesn't sit well with me. I don't mean to imply that this site is evil. Everything in moderation right? I just worry that we aren't content enough with what we have. What we've been blessed with. We as women put enough pressure on ourselves. We are inclined to want everything to be lovely and beautiful. Even before we have our first child we feel the need to nest. Instinctively we want our children to have clean beautiful clothes and a warm space to live in. We do need any added pressure!

I have similar feelings about Instagram. We portray the idea that our lives are perfect, and to make it worse we have filters to eliminate any flaws. We envy each other, while surely others are envying us. I realize how hyprocritical this post will seem to those that know me personally. My friends and family call me the queen of Instagram. And I truly enjoy participating in Social Media. Again, it's a true love hate. I am simply recognizing the negative affects it sometimes has on me.

Not sure how to end this post. I'm hoping to create some discussion. After all, isn't that why we blog?

6/1/13

Penelope May

I am sitting here watching my daughter sleep. I already feel like the past 10 days have gone by too quickly. I have a feeling I am going to watch her grow in love and adoration and constantly wish it would slow down. I have been so incredibly blessed. No, I didn't plan to have Penelope. When I first realized I was pregnant, I thought my life was ruined. I thought there was no way I could provide for her. I thought she and I would be alone. I thought my dreams, and aspirations had come to a screaching halt. Now as I watch her sleep, and listen to her breathe, and my heart swells with the thought that I would literally die without her. She is such a kind and loving soul already. She loves to be held and cuddled. She only cries when we change her diaper, she just wants to be warm and swaddled all the time. Even when she cries the loud, red faced cry that we all know too well... I just have to lean in close to her ear and tell her it will be okay. She then calms down and everything is fine again. She let's me sleep through the night. Only wiggling and cooing when 3 hours have gone by and it's time to eat. Will this even-tempered, 6 pound 2 oz, baby remain this sweet forever? I don't know. I'm just so grateful for this time. I'm so proud to call her my own. She has my nose and long fingers. She smiles in her sleep. She has one dimple on her cheek, just like me. She loves windows, constantly searching for natural light. She is 10 days old, yet manages to be dainty and girly in every way. Just the way she rests her hand so delicately on her cheek when she sleeps. Or purses her lips when she is full. I thought she would ruin my life, but it turns out that she saved my life. She taught me about selfless, unconditional love. She taught me about service. I see the world through different eyes. I have more patience than I ever knew I could possess. I have sympathy and admiration for every woman and mother I see. I have a greater appreciation for my blessings, and the people in my life that serve Penelope and love her like I do. Because of sweet Penelope I know that God loves me. He gave me the greatest gift this life has to offer, motherhood.

 









4/29/13


















This Saturday, my lovely friend Caitlin, her mom, and my sweet family threw me a baby shower. Caitlin kept most of the details a surprise, so when I walked in to this shower I was amazed by what she had created! All of the crafts done by hand, all of the delicious sweets, it was too much. She themed the shower around some of my favorite colors, rain showers, and baby girls nickname "little bird." Not sure where that came from. Lately I've been thinking maybe we should call her big bird! I am getting huge! It was such a perfect day. Everyone played a part in making this day special. All of the sweets and presents, I could hardly handle it. When all was said and done, my car was filled to the brim with diapers and wipes and tutus to where I could hardly see out my rear-view mirror and I wept! I am so grateful for all of the love and support. And to think, at one point I worried that my baby wouldn't have everything she needed. I have been so blessed. Thank you to Stacie Lang for taking these gorgeous photos of the day. (And also making me laugh so hard that I peed my pants twice). Thank you to my mom for individually wrapping up about 5 dozen Bosa donuts and adorning the packages with pink bows. Thank you to my sisters for bringing sandwiches and drinks and helping with every little thing. Thank you to Caitlin and Camille for hosting! Thank you to all of my friends for coming early, setting up, and spoiling us with gifts. I am the luckiest girl, and little bird is even luckier. 

4/16/13

Saturday we finally moved into our house by the Mesa Temple! I have been so excited and anxious about this move. Most of my family had a conflict on my moving day, so I had to reach out to friends for help. Especially considering I cannot lift much while pregnant! I posted a status on Facebook asking for help moving. I wasn't sure what kind of response I would get, if any. I simply promised donuts. When Saturday arrived I woke up, still not knowing exactly what would happen. I had the whole house pretty much packed up in boxes (thanks Ernest!) and I was ready to go. I was amazed at what happened next. 14 people ended up helping throughout the day. I had more people offer to help, I ended up declining help because we had it all covered! I share this with you because I was so overwhelmed with the kindness of my friends, and some near acquaintances that came to my rescue. What a blessing! Special thank you to Skyler and Jessica for insisting that I cancel my Uhaul reservation and use their truck and trailer instead. I have such wonderful people around me. Also, shout out to Ernest for packing up most of my apartment for my while I was stuck at work. He is so wonderful. 

Yesterday I met with the Pediatric Urologist (FINALLY)! This was the long-awaited appointment to finally make a treatment plan for baby girl. After many ultrasounds the various doctors have nearly narrowed down the problem to kidney reflux. An obstruction of the kidneys is unlikely, because it is in both kidneys. He said her specific case shifted from mild to moderate in severity. He plans to run a couple of tests on her as a newborn to diagnose her officially. Then we will most likely proceed with antibiotics for up to two years to prevent infection while we hope and pray that this condition goes away. If it does not, we'll proceed with surgery to correct the issue. She'll be left with nothing but a small scar on her lower abdomen. It's hard to think of my sweet two year old going under for surgery, but whatever she needs she will get. The good news is that she will be just fine. That's a blessing! 

I have seven weeks until I deliver, assuming I go full term. I had a dream that I delivered two weeks early but maybe that's just wishful thinking. Baby is 4 pounds and the size of a pineapple! At this point in my pregnancy I am feeling pretty good. I could sleep all day/night if my schedule permitted it. By the end of the day walking is painful. I enjoy soaking in a bath or elevating my feet. I have been craving salty things like chips and popcorn. I am excited for my upcoming baby shower that Caitlin has been slaving away on. It is going to be darling. I am also excited to decorate my nursery! Baby girl is already so spoiled. 

4/3/13








How can you be homesick for a place you've never been? I admit, I have Paris on the mind. I recently watched An Education (for the millionth time) and got that feeling I know all too well. I want to incorporate a little French flair into the nursery, if possible. Her nursery is COVERED in this vintage floral wallpaper, and has a chandelier hanging. The wallpaper is a bit much... one of the quirks of living in a 60-70 year old house. But I might just try and own it. 

Yesterday I went and registered for my baby shower. It was super fun and equally overwhelming. It's hard to know what baby will need, and what is just fluff. I left feeling super excited for her arrival. I can't believe I'll be holding her in 9 weeks!  

3/22/13


Ernest and I decided to take a baby-moon (of sorts) and go to Disneyland for Valentines day! Even though I couldn't ride most of the adult rides we had the most magical day. We rode all of the nostalgic kids rides, ate TONS of delicious Disney foods, and just enjoyed each others company. I have been soaking up every minute I can with him because soon there will be a little one in the mix. 
This is a shot of my new hair cut, color, and 29 week baby bump. 


Yesterday I had my ultrasound to check on baby girl's kidneys. I brought Ernest with me. He loved the experience just as much as I did. Little girl was putting her leg behind her head during the ultrasound, yoga star! She also was pouting out her bottom lip at one point. I have a feeling she is going to be a sassy one. Her kidneys haven't improved and the specialist seems to think that it is Reflux. This means that the kidneys aren't draining the urine properly, and it is re-entering the kidneys causing dilation. The next step is to visit a Pediatric Urologist at 35 weeks to make a treatment plan. Baby may need a small operation once she is born, or she may just be put on antibiotics to prevent kidney infection. But we will just have to wait and see. Prayers are much appreciated in the home stretch! 

3/11/13

I admit, pregnancy has been hard on me. The aches and pains, mood swings, nausea, migraines, body changes.... I feel like I have lost control of everything! But more than that, I have been struggling on the inside. Feelings of inadequacy can be all consuming at times. So many nights I have cried myself to sleep feeling that this baby deserves better. She is a special daughter of our Heavenly Father and she deserves the world. I know that Satan would have me feel inferior, incapable, unprepared. Last night I knelt and earnestly prayed for comfort, support, and love. I want to see myself the way God does. I want to know that he has sent me this beautiful little girl because he knows I can do this. All I know is I do love her. I know I would and will do anything to protect her, and provide her with all of the happiness this life has to offer. I will stop at nothing for her. Last week Ernest and I got to hear the heartbeat again. It was wonderful to have him there with me for that special experience. He lit up at the sound of her heart, as I always do. Even though he isn't the biological father, I am so lucky to have his support and unfailing optimism. It really takes a special person to do what he does. In a couple of weeks we have the ultrasound to check on her kidneys, and tomorrow I have my glucose test. YIKES! Wish me luck! 

Here is some eye candy for you!