I haven't been the best blogger as of late. Once, twice a week at best. Things are so hectic and crazy. Long work days keep me from being able to enjoy time in front of the computer that doesn't involve Heroes for Children. I am averaging two evening functions a week, though this week will be double that. I have a board meeting tomorrow night, then board a plane on Wednesday for Memphis. I am attending the annual conference for the Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers. Yeah, I know I'm not a social worker. However, that is our main point of contact for the oncology families we serve. The topics that will be discussed range from celebrating events through treatment (we got excited about this seminar because we have the Heroes Milestones program) to survivorship. I'm looking forward to the education of the conference, but dreading leaving my family for four nights.
So, in an attempt to catch you up, here's a random list of stuff going on.
- Our good friend Kris gave us his wooden swingset. He's moving in with his girlfriend and their home has no room for the huge swingset with the pool in the back. Andrew got it up last week, just in time for it to be horrible rainy weather for close to a week. Maggie finally got the chance to play on it tonight. It was so much fun, with one minor exception. It's a bit difficult to let loose and swing freely when a golden retriever is going beserk and nipping at your legs! Brandy is definitely NOT a fan of the swingset. She isn't amused at all.
- Heroes for Children is hiring in Houston. We're hiring a "Houston Manager" to oversee Development initiatives in the Houston market. Should be a challenging position. It'll be a new challenge for me as well, managing a branch of the organization remotely. We have a big focus on Houston this year and I can't do it without staff support. It's so exciting to see this change for the organization!
- The weight challenge continues. I haven't been able to stay as focused as necessary. I'm at about 156 or 157 depending on the day. Not bad, but I really wanted to be better. I have cheated a number of times. While my weight is the same, I'm noticing my waist not looking its best lately. Need to focus more! Debbie has been seeing some great results with the 30 Day Shred by Jillian Michaels. Just don't know if I have the dedication to do it consistently for 30 days!
- We finished the half marathon on April 5th, keeping a good pace throughout. At some point, I sprained my ankle. I didn't know it was sprained for a few days. I just kept saying, "my foot is jacked up" to Andrew and coworkers. Yeah, the ankle was sprained. Spent six days limping on it then another four days with it wrapped. It's all good now. The marathon was a great experience. Definitely something I would consider doing again. I loved crossing the finish line with Andrew by my side, holding my hand. Instead of putting my name on my shirt, I wrote, "In Memory of ALLIE." Throughout the course, people cheering for HFC were yelling, "GO ALLIE!" as I passed by. I didn't correct them. Didn't want to.
- I started this blog entry on Saturday. It's now Monday night and I'm still struggling to get it done. Serious delinquency around here.
- Maggie has gotten to be a an absolute pill to get ready in the morning. Tonight, I'm trying a new tactic of picking out our full outfit, shoes included as they are the worst part, to see if it can alleviate some of the issues we have getting us out the door in the mornings. The other day, her meltdown was over the fact that I chose to wear flats, not heels as she wanted me to wear. Yeah, she's a bit of a diva.
- She's a diva with a major love of clothes and shoes. Saturday, my mother in law, Frances, and I went shopping. First, it was Old Navy to buy Maggie some dresses and swimsuits. She was literally hugging the clothes when she found the item she wanted to purchase. After we had a quick lunch, we went to Nine West to look at some shoes for us. She squealed when we walked in. She began excitely grabbing shoes off the shelves, trying to yank them on my feet. She would exclaim, "oh, look at this red shoe!" or "I LUB this one!!" The salesperson kept giggling at her and said she had never seen such a happy child in a shoe store. Seriously, it's her happy place. Today when I wore the new shoes I bought, she told every friend in her class when we walked in together that Mama just bought new shoes. Love this diva.
- No, I'm not pregnant. Trying but not pregnant. Plenty of people asking, so just thought I'd throw that out there.
- I have a lunch meeting from tomorrow until May 8th. Every single day. Good thing I was able to have a longer lunch with Deanna and Debbie today to enjoy some girl time. I really needed it!
- We're getting very close to five years from Allie's diagnosis. This time five years ago, our sweet little girl was showing her first signs of disease--a mild fever. Little did we know that two weeks later we would find out she had AML. Five years has been difficult for me. Her fifth birthday was very tough. Five years since her diagnosis brings me anxiety, and I can't even begin to think what her five year birthday will be like in September.
- I delivered a laptop to a teenager with cancer at Medical City Children's Hospital on Friday. Our social worker, Kate, just left the position and is now going to be a missionary in France for the next two years. They have a few temporary people working to sub for this position until the full time replacement comes in a month. One of the ladies subbing twice a week is Monica, the social worker we had. Monica stopped working full time shortly after Allie died. We loved her. Cried with her. Visited and laughed with her. I have not seen Monica in almost five years. Seeing her at the hospital on Friday broke me. I stood and cried hugging her. We laughed through our tears before pulling ourselves together to deliver the laptop. At the end of our time with the patient, I pulled out a business card to give to her to send me an email with her new laptop. Monica immediately noticed my business card holder and I saw her in tears noticing it--a giraffe on the front of it. I love that she remembered.