Me, My Family

Cheers to a new year!

At the end of the year WordPress sent a recap. I glanced at it but did not really read it. I have not posted regularly in a while.  Honestly it sat unread in my inbox until the other day.  The recap itself was not too interesting since it only covers what I posted, which was not much, but it brought to mind a very stressful year.  It brought to mind laughter and tears, memories that were at times busy, frustrating, exciting, painful, stressful and of course love filled.  At many times I thought of posting to help me clear my head but for so many reasons at the time it just did not seem right.

Sometimes the weight on your shoulders seems too heavy. It often seems to great to bear but when you are about to scream, it is good idea to step back and take a second to look down the road you have just traveled if for nothing else than perspective.

Watching winning returns come in on Primary night
Watching winning returns come in on Primary night

Early in the year I was approached to run for political office with 2 others for township council.  We won the primary but in the end I fell short by about 30 votes of winning in the general election.  Months of meetings, greetings, hand shakes and campaigning.  Politics can be ugly.  It was a very interesting experience that I am thrilled I attempted but to be fully honest I am just as thrilled to leave behind.  It was time consuming and stressful on my family especially my girls who have grown accustomed to my being home every night to put them to bed.  We could have done good things for our township had we won but each day I know I do great things for my girls, and in the end that is enough for me.

Megan's dingy cast right before removal
Megan’s dingy cast right before removal

At the end of  May I received an emergency phone call from school to pick-up Megan after a recess accident.  During a kick ball game she had run into another student and had fallen.  She hit her head on the concrete and was cut up pretty good.   An urgent care visit and many tears later we realized we had our first broken bone of the family.  Much celebration came when the cast was off at the end of June in time for swimming.

Sadly this was actually the second experience with emergency rooms for us in the year.  One of the more stressful and downright terrifying events of the year was in early May when Frank fell short of breath and began having chest pains.  Within a few short minutes he could barely stand on his own.  We rushed him to the hospital where he stayed for several days.  After a cardiac catheterization, a heart attack,  along with any heart issue was ruled out thankfully.  No perfect answer was ever fully provided to us as to the exact cause but again, thankfully, he has been fine ever since.

IMG_6244Of course we had the normal hustle and bustle of travel soccer, basketball, music lessons and Karate.  Both girls achieved their red belts this year.  Years of work and focus, not an easy achievement.

We went to Niagara falls Canada in July and had a wonderful time, although the 10532776_10202345983271454_9206650645340516440_nprices were ridiculous.  We did the normal tourists things and enjoyed some nice family time.  We also took a ride to the Toronto Zoo to see the Giant Panda’s.  Amazing creatures! IMG_6086

During the holidays we were treated to a performance of the school’s fifth grade chorus, of which Megan is a member, singing along with the South Jersey Philharmonic Symphony.  Megan was so thrilled to be on stage.  It was something special to witness!Whitman Philharmonic

My husband worked for a well know large company which I will not name.  Over the years he was subjected to pay cuts in the name of streamlining which we accepted.  Things over the last year had been stressful but came to a head in mid November when he was notified that the decision had been made to lay him off along with hundreds of others.  (Yes the media says things are so much better, question what you are told). Christmas was both a blessing where he was able to enjoy the girls without work but also extremely stressful since he had not landed a job.    Tomorrow  2/9 he starts a new chapter in our lives with a new company.  Good luck to my Frank and we love you!

I continue to turn to this forum as a sounding board and I apologize if this is a bit rambling.  I realize it is late but I wish everyone a happy New Year and say cheers to new starts, new years and new opportunities!

Me, My Family, What do I want?

What do you want?

What a question right?  I was driving along heading home from a small shopping trip and lunch with the girls on New Years eve when from the back of the car Madison asks, ” Hey Mom, what is your New Years revolution?”  I laughed both at the use of revolution and at the out of the blue question from my 6-year-old.  I thought about it for a second but had no answer.  I have not made a resolution in years.  I punted the question back to her and was faced with an immediate answer of “my revolution is to get a pony”.  Now, I did attempt to correct her wording to no avail. I also told her the thoughts of a pony would stay just that, thoughts.  🙂

It made me think though, it would not be a bad thing to set some goals, maybe identify what I want to achieve in the next year.  She is a persistent child also and would not let me get out of the car without something.  So here it is, my cliché new years resolution, I would like to be more fit and drop another 10-20 pounds.  As I have discussed before I had been working on my weight for a year prior to the mastectomy and DIEP reconstruction.  In total I have lost about 40 pounds since my peak “high”.  I really do feel so much better and would like to continue.

Since the last surgery was the week of Thanksgiving, it really threw me off of my game.  I had to limit activities for a week or so and then right into the holidays.  The hustle and bustle of getting everything ready for the holidays and of course the elliptical, walking and any other type of exercise related activity fell by the way side.  Having the kids home and sick for the last week has not helped either!  Very happy to be getting back to routine tomorrow!

SO sometimes it takes a six-year-old to help put things back into focus. It has also made me think about the broader question of what it is that I want.  There is of course the obvious, happy children and husband.  Good health, financial security but I am not sure that they answer the question of what do I want nor do I think it is an answer that I will come to sitting here typing tonight.  It is a question that I will spend some time thinking about so stay tuned, who knows there may be an epiphany.

My Family, Our trip to Disney World, Post-Op Bilateral Prophylactic Mastectomy

So long 2012

With the end of the year approaching, everywhere you turn you see recaps.  I did a medical recap not too long ago and quit honestly am not too interested in reliving this year.  Instead I am looking fully forward to what I hope will be a better year.

Making a statement like that always makes me pause for a second because of how close I was to cancer (according to the pathology reports).  I had the bilateral prophylactic mastectomy to prevent cancer since I was high risk but until we received those results showing cancer markers, well we had no clue just how close I was.  So, with that said the end results made 2012 a good year I suppose and I guess I should recognize that good.

The hope for 2013, well they are filled with no surgery, no medical scares and good times with my family.  I do need to get through the follow-up Ultrasound next week to check on the complex cyst.  Hopefully that shows that it took care of itself and onward we will move.Disney Trip October 22-29, 2011 627

One super bright spot that we have all been looking forward to for some time is our trip to Disney World!  We are in the home stretch and can begin an official countdown in the next week or so.  My girls do love official countdowns :-).  We are all really looking forward to this trip!  We are staying at The Animal Kingdom Villas-Kidani, right over the Savannah.  How thrilled with the girls be seeing the animals come close to the balcony.

My crew in Animal Kingdom October 2011.
My crew in Animal Kingdom October 2011.

Since we are staying in Disney we also did the meal package.  It is nice going and knowing that almost everything is prepaid.  We will be dinning with the Princesses, Mickey and crew, Chip and Dale and at the new Be Our Guest Restaurant.  Planning this trip, making the dinning reservations were a nice distraction while I was recovering from surgery.  Finally coming close to the actual experience  knowing how much we are all looking forward to it, well what can I say that Disney does not?  It is the happiest place on earth!