Thursday, December 24, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Visiting Dr. Goldman for our annual visit on his and Allie's birthday.

Missing our sweet angel today. Happy sixth birthday, baby

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It Takes a Posse Village

I consider myself incredibly lucky to be a part of a group of women who love each other so intensely and have such a good friendship. We have a mutual respect for each other and support each other through it all. But, here's the thing--it's more than just a regular friendship.

We are a FAMILY.

We jokingly say we "activate Posse powers" when needed, but in reality, that is really what we do. When one needs something, someone steps up. This is who we are. It's what we do.

Let me give you specific examples:

  • When Maggie was first born, I only had childcare three days a week. I can't tell you how often she spent a Tuesday or Thursday with Deb's husband Brandon babysitting in the morning while she worked and then Deb in the afternoon when he left for work.
  • At the lakehouse, we watch all our children together. We love those kids so much and all of us take care of them.
  • When the twins were born, Andrew and I both babysat Deb's older kids so she could go to the NICU. Before Deb could drive, I would drive her to the hospital while Andrew babysat with Maggie at the house.
  • When Jen's baby girl was close to being born and the adoption process happening, all of us lunched with birth mom J and took her out to dinner. Turned out to be the night before Coco was born! All of us dropped everything to be there for a special party/reception for J and her family after the adoption was finalized. I will never forget standing beside Amy with tears streaming down both our faces as we listened to Jen thank J for the gift of this baby.
  • We try to attend all birthdays for the kids.
  • This summer, Andrew and I went through a tough time. There was a day when I didn't go to work, barely got out of bed, and felt like my world was crumbling. Deanna showed up on my doorstep with candy, movies, lunch, and hugs. That night, Deb had everyone over at her house for more of the same.
  • If Jen's computer has an issue, she calls Andrew immediately. Faster than he will come to my office to fix a computer issue, he'll head over to Jen's to take care of the problem.
  • This summer, three of the husbands loaded up their tool boxes and headed over to Deanna's to paint walls, repair broken things, and even put up a new mailbox, stepping in as surrogate husbands.
  • Brandon works nights which often means Deb can't get away. So, when we're in desperate need of girl time, Andrew babysits for us. Two weeks ago, he babysat all five children so we could go out on a Wednesday night.
  • When the decision was made that Tracey and Rich were moving here, they told us there would be a time when they would be a split family. Rich would have to begin working here while Tracey and the kids would stay back in Austin. No one hesitated. We eagerly opened our homes to seriously the easiest houseguest even (I even cooked him a horrible dinner which he still doesn't let me down).
  • We schedule girls nights for all birthdays. When I turned 30 almost two years ago, the gno was planned for a Sunday night. I know Tracey couldn't come with living in Austin, so didn't expect her at all. But, as I finished hugging Amy, I looked over at the bar to see Tracey waiting for me to recognize her. She wasn't going to miss that milestone in my life, even taking the next day off from work to be there.
  • At the Heroes for Children 5K, I can look out in the crowd each year when I'm on stage and see my girls smiling back at me. Off to the side are the husbands and the kids, letting the women have our time together. I feel stronger when I look out and see Debbie, Deanna, Amy, Tracey, and Jen. They make me better.
  • Poor Jen was sick with a stomach bug this weekend. Rich (there is a reason he has the nickname Saint Richard), came to pick up her kids and bring them back to his house. He and Tracey were sick themselves, but they did it.
  • We respond to each other with words of encouragement via Twitter every day.
  • Someone texts someone else every day (seriously, unlimited text messages--a MUST with this group)
  • Deanna hurt her back yesterday. She called me in excrutiating pain asking if I could bring dinner to her and the kids because she couldn't get out of bed. Maggie had dance and insists that *I* am the one who takes her each week. So, naturally, I did what made sense--sent Andrew instead. He took one look at her and sent her to her room while he fed the kids and got them to bed.

You see? FAMILY. We may not always see eye to eye or handle things in the same way. We have different backgrounds and have been known to get into it a few times, but we are a family. We step up to the plate when necessary. We take care of each other. We're there.

And my life is better because of them. All of them and our beautiful kids.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Round Two

Jen made it to the next round of voting!! Thank you, thank you for those who voted. Now, I encourage you (ok, I'm imploring you) to go online and vote again. Jen's picture stands out on this webpage. The colors are vibrant and the sheer happiness on the child's face make it so perfect for this contest.

If you can, please take a minute to vote. Voting ends Wednesday night. Thanks!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sugar Sweet

When I was in the hospital after having Maggie, I checked my email on my laptop. Waiting for me was an email titled "My offer still stands." Couldn't remember the name Jennifer Weintraub or what her offer was, but I clicked to open the email. That email helped change my life. In it was the request to become my newborn baby's photographer. She left a link to her website which I promptly checked with my mom. And I was hooked. Her AMAZING talent blew me away. I knew this woman had to photograph my baby girl.

What I didn't know was that photography session would set in motion one of the best friendships (which turned into an entire GROUP of women lovingly called "The Posse") of my life.

I can never repay Jen for the gift of her talent in my life. From the pictures of my new, fragile family with a ten day old grieving a missing 22 month old to the fun, funny session of a laughing four year old touching my pregnant belly, Jen has been there with our family. Jen IS a part of our family. So much so that she will be joining us on this next part of our journey--photographing Katie's arrival into our lives.

Now, I have the chance to help Jen a little bit. Recently, she qualified to enter a photography contest with 43 other photographers for a photo contest. Each photographer was given the same dress to put their own talent and spin on a picture.

Jen is a finalist!!! Voting continues until Sunday and I really want her to make it to the next stage of the contest. So, I ask my many blog friends to help me in some way giving back to my incredible friend. I ask you to go online HERE and vote for Jen. PLEASE!! When you see the picture, you'll be blown away. Read a little about the story behind how she got the PERFECT shot. Given that I've seen her lying on the ground sideways to get the perfect shot of my child, I'm not surprised she braved getting on a merry-g0-round for her work!

RULES: Voting is done by adding your favorite photographers to your shopping bag and then checking out. You can add as many photographers as you want to your bag, but don’t waste your time adding a photographer a million times to your bag because multiple votes for the same photographer in one bag are ignored. Also, you can check out only once from your IP address. Checking out more than once from your IP address will not be counted in our system. Voting will end Sunday, December 6 at midnight. Voting takes place on the Matilda Jane Clothing website.

Oh, when you hit Submit, a confirmation page appears asking you to double check everything. You must hit Submit one more time on this page for your votes to register.