About Me

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I've been in the Midwest all of my life. However, I've also had some really incredible experiences that have profoundly shaped who I am as a person. I have been blessed with four overly verbal children, can you say KARMA? And while I've always liked writing, it has become sort of a therapy for me. ...let's just say I don't have to look to hard to have something to write about in this house full of characters.

Monday, November 14, 2011

...HAPPY KINDNEY DAY!!!

So, to anyone else this is November 14th, 2011...it could be your birthday, your anniversary, the day your bills are due...to my family it is all of the above!

Eleven years ago today my husband's day started out as any other...and then he gets 'the call' from Barnes Jewish Hospital. He had been on a kidney transplant list for only one year, as no one in his family or circle of friends matched up with him for a kidney transplant...the waiting was just that, waiting. Most people are on a transplant list for YEARS before they get this triumphant call from Barnes...one of the many miracles we have been blessed with!

So we drive down to Barnes on that faithful day...Jason driving about 110 miles an hour, so excited  and not worried about a ticket on a day like he was having! This is before EVERYONE had cell phones, before texting nonstop, you know, the dark ages.

Once there, other family members also arrived and it was one of the most remarkable things I have ever witnessed...I remember my mom being so concerned, and even asked, "Why is no one worried?" ...she said this because she was a mom, and I wasn't at the time. In hind-sight I probably would have had her concern also...but, I remember saying to her, "Mom, we've been through so much, now it's time to party!"

Once settled in, we found out that the donor kidney was coming from a "child" and (ready for the next miracle) it was a perfect match!--now, for anyone not familiar with transplantation, that is the HOLY GRAIL! Not even Jason's family was able to be a perfect match, and because it was a perfect match, the chances of life are longer, with a very low rejection rate...something so rare coming from someone we had never met...UNBELIEVABLE! The transplant went fine, Jason was in Barnes for a few days and we came home...he of course takes medications daily to keep the kidney healthy and there have been little to no issues with it since then.

We were able to get a picture of this little life saver, Cody. We had it on an alter at our wedding and it has never been put away in our house. This picture of a smiling 8 year old boy has always been with us. Our kids know who he is, and what he did with his life. How he donated his organs when he passed away to save others. Every year we try to do something special on this day to celebrate the life our family has been given...Kidney Day!

Then, 11 years pass. Now, as a mother, I ponder how anyone has the foresight to take what must have been the worst possible thing happening to them...and turn it into something for someone else. Eleven years have passed and at times I forget about the fact that Jason's life was saved. The old adage that it "isn't who he is , but something that happened to him". Then I remember Cody's mother...and it all comes back to me, and there aren't enough words for being grateful...So, today I urge you as a mother, a sister, a wife, a friend...please become an organ donor.

I hope your November 14th is a good one, as for us, we'll be celebrating!



Thursday, November 10, 2011

...what you should be watching around the holidays...

I've decided that we are going to start (and keep doing more than one or two weeks at a time) a MOVIE NIGHT...I'm talking the whole it and caboodle with popcorn and blankets laid out, THE WORKS!!! My kids are only going to want to do things with me for a couple of more years before they begin to think I'm not cool enough- I need to milk this time for all it is worth!

So, I have decided to start a rather 'hefty' list of all the movies I feel like people SHOULD watch during the holidays. Most of these movies are staples in my house anytime AFTER Thanksgiving. Some I've always wanted to watch, others that really represent what the holidays are all about.  The weather is getting colder, it's getting dark at dinner time, and you need something to do indoors...now you have ample time to Netflix these or find them at the library to get your holidays set up for you.

The first list of movies I'm sure everyone have seen, but they are what Christmas is all about to kids, magical!
The Polar Express Poster


Polar Express- My boys secret favorite, ours is nearly worn out: On Christmas Eve, a doubting boy boards a magical train that's headed to the North Pole and Santa Claus's home.

Emit Otter's Jug-Band Christmas- A Jim Henson classic :A poor otter family risks everything for the chance to win the cash prize of a talent contest for Christmas.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas- this one we don't own, but it might have to get added to our collection. I am a CLASSICS girl, I don't want any "modern remakes" Boris Karloff is why this movie should never been remade: A grumpy hermit hatches a plan to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer- The concept of this red nosed reindeer was a holiday booklet printed in 1939 and written by Robert L. May and published by Montgomery Ward as a holiday attraction...and the rest is history. This movie has it all and BURL IVES- who let's face it IS Christmas! The work that went into this is mind boggling- no computers, all talent...:A misfit reindeer and his friends look for a place that will accept them.

Santa Claus is Coming to Town- This answers all the questions any little one might have about who Santa is...sort of drawn out, but again, this was all done BEFORE computers- so you have to respect the work...

Charlie Brown Christmas- Where all the nuggets of wisdom are found (Tracee Farmer) and the true meaning of a holiday: Repelled by the commercialism he sees around him, Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas. A GEM for the whole family!

Now we come to the movies that are CLASSICS...the ones that maybe your parents watched, and while growing up they played (and over played) these movies because they WERE the holidays...

White Christmas(1954)-This movie is magic...singing, dancing, and sheer talent! Again, these were before computer-generated imagery- A.K.A: real people and costumes. This movie is known for it's difficult dance scenes that were done at times in one take :A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general.

Miracle on 34th Street(1947)- I have to be honest...I have never actually SEEN this movie. I've started it, or caught it in the middle, but never all the way through. This year is my year to watch it: When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.

It's a Wonderful Life(1946)- I saved the best for last, you are going to get an ear-full on this movie as it is my most favorite of all time! Two words that you have to know about classic movies; FRANK CAPRA...that's it. Anything he has done is worth watching. The movie itself BOMBED at the box office when it first came out. Only years later, when television stations started airing it around the holidays, did it pick up the acclaim that it has today. The original story was called The Greatest Gift, it was written by Philip Van Doren Stern who sent it out as a Christmas card. I could go on and on about this movie...if you have never seen it, you really owe it to yourself this Christmas...:An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.


It's a Wonderful Life Poster

So, there you have it...you have 15 days to find any of these and make it part of your holiday watching tradition!...I'd Netflix them all right now, but I don't know how WITHOUT THE HUBS!...Happy November to you!!!