Tag Archives: family

Diggy’s 3rd Birthday Party

(Click through the slideshow below!)

 

 

 

 

Gideon’s 3rd Birthday Shoot

(Click through the slideshow below!)

 

 

 

[Happy] Uterus Eviction Day

Someone wished me that on my FB this week, for my birthday. I LOL’d in real life.

 

Surprisingly, my birthday wasn’t so bad this year. It was super low key in comparison to birthday’s past, but it wasn’t bad either.

 

I’m not thrilled about getting older. Truthfully, I’m pretty terrified of it. And I have been since I turned 25. Being 32 now, you might think I’d start accepting my aging self, but I’m just as neurotic as I was about it then. Every year, a new mid-life crisis.

 

And I don’t even know why I’m so beside myself over this aging thing. I just feel like I’ll blink and then suddenly I’ll be 40, then 50, 60, and so on and still be mentally screaming, “What have I done with my life?!” I know I need to cut it out, to just accept it for what it is. There is no avoiding age, but I cling desperately to the notion that I’m still in my early 20’s. I’d be happy to stay there forever.

 

Aging aside, my birthday came and went this year with a lot of love. I jokingly said to my mom, “If you’re ever feeling lonely, like you have no friends, just have a birthday in the social media world and everyone and their brother will crawl out of the woodwork to shower you with love.” Because it’s true, on FB especially, people I never even talk to stopped by to wish me a happy birthday and even though it’s terribly superficial of me to equate that to love, I felt it.

 

This year was the first I’ve actually worked on my birthday in more than 10 years. I’m too overwhelmed with overtime that taking off wasn’t even an option and it was a bit weird to be in the office when I’d normally be sleeping in and spending my day with a book, but the girls at work unloaded copious amounts of sugary treats on me for breakfast and it’s pretty easy to win me over with goodies. For one, I’m the baker in our office so it was nice to have someone else bake for me for a change. And two, just the fact that they remembered and felt the need to do something was much appreciated.

 

I got singing phone calls from my grandparents (both sides), with their own renditions of Happy Birthday, which just always makes my day. I don’t think you ever get too old to enjoy your grandparents singing to you on your birthday. It’s like my mom still playing with my hair in church. There are just some things age plays no factor in.

 

My close friends and family gifted me some really cool stuff and I gathered together with my immediate family for pizza and dessert to celebrate after work. The day was made even better by my nephew Gideon greeting me with, “Happy Birthday!” when I arrived. That kid can make any day better just by smiling at me, but it’s especially awesome to see him talking so well these days.

 

Overall, I can’t complain. I’m blessed to have people around me that care to make the day special, even if I’m bummed about it signifying another year passed. I couldn’t ask for more, except maybe for Father Time to slow down, but I doubt he’s listening.

 

A Tribute to Devil Dog

Boo Boo 1

 

 

About 7 years ago, my mom rescued this Boston Terrier from a life of hell, without consulting my father or taking her other Boston, Tini, into consideration. She just couldn’t leave him to that torture.

 

He came with the name Boo Boo, but was quickly nicknamed “Devil Dog” by the family because he was hard to love. He peed on everything, he ran away every chance he got, and he barked relentlessly. He would have been difficult to place up for adoption because most people wouldn’t have the patience my mom had for him.

 

But he was a good addition to the family. The other Boston, Tini, had previously been a recluse, riddled with awful skin conditions from anxiety, but having a brother brought her out of her shell. She became more sociable and playful and overall healthier thanks to Boo Boo. And Boo Boo was devoted to my mother like no other dog had ever been in our family. Such a lover and cuddler when he wasn’t doing all those annoying things.

 

About a month ago, Mom found out Boo Boo had lung cancer and she’s been trying to accept the fact that he’d be leaving this world soon, but it’s been hard because with pain management, he seemed like his old self. This week he’d taken a turn for the worst and yesterday my mom had to put Boo Boo down.

 

I keep telling her that she should take comfort in knowing that Boo Boo wouldn’t have lasted this long if she hadn’t rescued him. That he died a happy dog thanks to the life she gave him, but there’s nothing anyone can really say to ease the pain of losing a dog. I know because I’ve lost mine before and it’s like losing a best friend. I’m sad not just for my mom (and dad who ended up loving Devil Dog a heck of a lot more than anyone could have predicted), but also Tini who is losing her brother.

 

RIP, Devil Dog. You will be missed. :(

 

Abel’s Newborn Shoot

My nephew Abel at 3 and 10 days old!

 

(Click through the slideshow below!)

 

 

 

 

Bye October, Hello November

I’ve seriously failed as a blogger lately. I wrote three blog this month and never even bothered to post them (or never found the time, because I was actually quite busy this month). If I’m honest, I think I might kill this blog in 2014 (that is if I can get my website complete by then). This place has just lost its luster for me.

In case you’re curious, here’s what I’ve been up to in October…

I spent 7 days baking this month. Not 7 all at once, but scattered about. When you think about it, though, that’s a whole week lost to baking. Whoa. But it was all for good reasons, even if it wasn’t for my own enjoyment, I’m pretty sure all the people on the receiving end of my treats were happy about it. Here are some pictures of a few of those goodies.

Treats

I didn’t read nearly as much as I’d hoped, and nothing nearly as creepy as I wanted for Halloween either, but I did read three really great books and one awesome comic! (Titles link to my GoodReads reviews.)

October Books ReadVicious by Victoria Schwab
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (library copy)
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
Afterlife with Archie Vol. 1

Speaking of books, I also got some in the mail. One a long awaited kickstarter purchase and two I had no business buying, but couldn’t resist the sale prices.

October Books In My Mailbox
Let it Snow (Three Holiday Romances)
Necromancing the Stone (Necromancer, Book 2) by Lish McBride
Shadows of Asphodel by Karen Kincy

Somehow, despite being busier than normal, I wrote 4150 words in October (yay for working my way back to those 5K days!) and 1K of those words were for a Christmas short story I’m SUPER stoked about. I really, really want to finish this one in time. I feel like it’s going to become my favorite short story to date.

I worked out (sometimes up to 3 times a day) 20 days of October. This is the most consistent workout regimen I’ve done in a long, long time and I actually don’t hate it. But I do hate how slow the process is. Despite being at this now for over 7 weeks and eating super clean, I’ve only lost 2.2lbs. and no inches. I was so frustrated in fact that I went to my doctor about it. She said I’m definitely doing all the right things and that it just might take a little longer for my body to adjust to the change (which isn’t what anyone wants to hear), but she also switched up my thyroid medicine and the time of day in which I take it and I swear it’s already making a difference two weeks in (in fact, I didn’t even lose those 2.2lbs until AFTER the switch). Having a thyroid condition is known to make weight loss even more difficult than it already is and I know this, but I need at least SOME progress so I hope that this switch lets me finally start seeing some results for all this hard work.

Some great new music came out this month and I played the crap out of it, along with a bunch of old stuff like Twiztid and ICP because this always happens when Halloween nears. Songs/albums you should check out for sure include:

Dance Gavin Dance – “Doom & Gloom”

 

Arcade Fire – “Normal Person”

 

The Head and the Heart – “Gone”

 

Plush Soundtrack/Emily Browning – “Close Enough to Kill”
(click the image to listen on my Tumblr because there isn’t a track available on youtube)

This past week I’ve been particularly busy first by helping out at Trunk-Or-Treat at church [PICS] and then by throwing my ‘Sister from another mother’ a baby shower with my real sister while she was in town [PICS]. And on Halloween, my sister gifted me another nephew!

Abel - Halloween 2013
Click HERE to see more!

Abel was born at 8.3 lbs., 19.5” and I’m already so, so in-love with him. After doing a small photoshoot with him in the hospital, I spent the rest of my Halloween with his big brother trick-or-treating. It was one hell of a way to say goodbye to October.

Unsurprising, fall is already turning out to be delightful though I do wish it’d slow down a bit so I could enjoy it more. How was your October?

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Halloween Baby Birth Announcement

My sister brought another boy into the world today. Meet Abel Howard Huff!

 

I am the luckiest aunt. :)

 

(Click through the slideshow below!)

 

 

 

 

Oh yeah, I have a blog….

It’s been over a month now since I’ve wandered over to LJ. Oops. My apologies for completely failing to blog last month (and keep up with all of your blogs – I’ll do my best to catch up soon). It’s not that I didn’t want to blog, in fact I had several ideas for blog posts, I just never acted on them. Really, it feels like September 1st happened and then suddenly it was September 30th just like that. I didn’t realize how quickly time was getting away from me until it was gone.

So since I’ve failed to do all my usual postings, I’m just going to do a quick summary of September all in one post. I promise to make it as short as possible.

In September I….

  • Threw my sister a Baby Sprinkle for my 2nd nephew Abel (who’s scheduled to arrive on Halloween!). It was extremely overwhelming in the food prep department (12 hours the day before, 9 hours the day of), but overall a beautiful event. You can see pictures HERE.
  • Got THESE awesome books in the mail. YAY for the return of pre-orders!
  • Read 4 books. I really had hoped to read more, but since one of these 4 books was the size of 3 books there just wasn’t time for anymore.
September Reads

Boys that Bite (Blood Coven, Book 1) by Mari Mancusi
Fathomless (Fairytale Retellings, Book 3) by Jackson Pearce
The Dream Thieves (Raven Cycle, Book 2) by Maggie Stiefvater
Styxx (Dark-Hunter, Book 23) by Sherrilyn Kenyon

  • Wrote 770 words. This is shameful, I know. I’m trying a new tactic this month to get back in my 5K game. Fingers crossed it helps.
  • Listened to a lot of random indie tracks. My favorite Music Friday tracks can be heard HERE, HERE, and HERE.
  • Started training for the Color Run. Mom and I get up at 5am to run before work. It felt insane at first, but I rather like it now – even with my forever aching muscles.
  • Went to the Milburn Orchards with Gideon like last year. If you’d like, you can see pictures HERE.
  • Saw the end of two of my favorite TV shows, Dexter and Breaking Bad. I wrote a reflective piece about show endings HERE.

So that’s basically it. Maybe you didn’t really miss much by my lack of blogging. How was your September?

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Misdiagnosis

Remember last month, when Gideon tested positive for autism at the Kennedy Krieger institute and my sister's world crumbled around her? (No? Click HERE.)

Since Gideon's diagnosis, our family has been crazy proactive. We've read books on how to teach him, completely changed his daily routine, removed overstimulating toys from his collection and replaced them with educational ones, and devoted time daily to working with him. He's also been going to speech therapy twice a week for an hour at a time. In just this past month, these changes have had a huge impact. Gideon talks nearly all day, everyday now. Sure we still don't know what he's saying half the time, but he's engaging in conversation constantly. And those words he'd said before (hello, thank you, uh-oh, etc…) are now being used regularly at the appropriate times. He's using utensils to eat now and capable of matching colors, numbers, and shapes in puzzles or on command. And he's listening to directional cues (feed Elmo a cookie, go get the ball, turn off the train, take off your shoes, etc…). He hardly even misses the electronic toys that kept him occupied before.

Both of the speech therapists Gideon sees nearly laughed at the report Kennedy Krieger gave my sister, which stated that Gideon's abilities were no greater than a six month old baby (which means he was virtually doing nothing on the learning scale at all). After even just one session with him, they told my sister they weren't going to treat him as an autistic patient and rather a speech delayed boy. They advised my sister to take into consideration the fact that Kennedy Kreiger gets state funding based on the number of kids they diagnose per year and that a true autism test is a three hour session (which they didn't preform). So Rachel decided to get a second opinion through the early education program here in our county (they actually do the three hour test).

Yesterday Gideon had his second evaluation. Cognitive, receptive, social, and adaptive skills (motor skills) put him on par with a 24-30 month year old (he's 24 months old this week) and communication skills put him about 15-18 months (which means he is behind in speech, but that's it). While the early education program can't technically diagnose kids with autism, they said it's very unlikely he is autistic, just speech delayed. Because he's behind, he still qualifies to continue the speech therapy he's currently receiving and those therapists he's working with a sure it's just a matter of time before he catches up.

Basically, Gideon's a little flower that we failed to water. Now that we're dousing him with water, he's growing at a rapid rate. It's hard to admit, but we'd failed him until that terrifying news last month. And while it put a hard strain on our hearts worrying about his future, only now to find out it's unlikely it was ever really an issue at all, it was good we had that motivator to push us into doubling our efforts so he didn't fall further behind because of our own ignorance.

This news comes as such a relief to my sister and at just the right time. With another son on the way, she needs to reduce her stress level and enjoy motherhood. Yesterday was an answered prayer that was spoken by many. We're feeling rather blessed today in the wake of it.

I am more confident than ever that Gideon will continue to excel and that if/when Rachel has him tested again, they'll wonder why they ever diagnosed him autistic to begin with.

Thank you to any of you who have been sending positive thoughts and prayers about this for the last month. It means so, so much to us. 

Will it be a Boy or a Girl?

Earlier this week I did two pregnancy photoshoots with my sister, one if it was a boy and one if it was a girl, so that when she learned the sex of the baby today she could announce it to the world with pictures.

You guys know I don't exactly consider myself some fantastic photographer and especially not an editor, but this photoshoot is easily one of my favorites to date and I'm actually pretty proud of my editing efforts so I thought I'd share them both before telling you what she's having! (Note: Clicking the image will open to the full size version on Flickr)

If it's a Girl….

If it's a Girl If it's a Girl If it's a Girl If it's a Girl

If it's a Boy…

If it's a Boy If it's a Boy If it's a Boy If it's a Boy

And  so I am thrilled to announce that it's a boy! Gideon will have a little brother and I'll have another nephew. I am the happiest aunt right now.