Archive for Everything Else

Awesome Alethea

I met Alethea years & years ago on a wedding website message board. She was wild & crazy & over the top online. I was a lil in awe & intrigued & definitely couldn’t wait to meet her IRL.

And then we did & she was even more awesome in person. Then we joined/formed a local book club together & I continued to look forward to those meetings to hear her latest stories & her laughter.

Fast forward a few more years & suddenly through the shared crappiness that is infertility, we had this mutual bond. Which we walked miles & miles around local lakes, talking & talking & laughing & sharing the trials of seemingly endless doctor appointments/needles/stress through. I honestly don’t think I would’ve survived IF without her.

And before you go thinking we were fitness buff buddies, don’t. We also shared many cupcakes & beers & dinners. And traveled back & forth to Charlotte & OIB to have fun with our other mutual friends. Always a blast when Alethea was around.

Sadly she moved to OR in the summer of 2011. I cried a lot & missed her local friendship more than she probably knows. Our lives, as it often happens when people move cross country, drifted apart. I was busy with a crazy pregnancy then newborns while she was getting divorced & finding & establishing herself as a Portlander.

Fast forward til this April, when right before Easter her then boyfriend {now fiance!} found her on the floor of her home incoherent. A slew of tests & doctors & surgery revealed the news no one wants to hear, cancer in multiple places including her brain. #AweseomeAlethea was given 9 months at first, but thanks to a treatment that’s working, her timeline has been pushed to 3-5 years. And my fighting friend wants even more! She’s quit her job so she & all the family & friends who adore her can have as much time as possible soaking up all the fun & travel possible.

Where am I going with this? That this morning, an hour after this post goes live, a big group of her NC friends are doing an #AwesomeAlethea 5k behind Crabtree mall to help raise money for her extensive medical treatments. Then we’re continuing the celebration of Alethea with a pub crawl this Saturday night in downtown Raleigh. The BEST part ~ we were able to get Alethea here! So she’ll be with us as we walk, hug, laugh, drink & probably shred a few tears.

If you want to do something {watching a friend suffer not knowing what you can do to sucks}, some friends created an #AwesomeAlethea youcaring page where you can donate & all funds go straight to her.

Sesame Street LIVE!

The last weekend in May {after an awesome two prior weekends of birthday party fun & a long weekend at OIB with family ~ that I will post about soon}, Lucy & Zach’s minds were a little blown when we went to see Elmo & Abby & friends live!

We had to buy four tickets, but Lucy was in such awe she wanted to sit in my lap the whole time. Zach bounced from Jason’s lap to his own seat between us to standing up dancing around.

While the kids missed the story line {Abby left her wand behind, Elmo cast a spell to make everyone sing which was fun until it wasn’t}, they loved all the singing & dancing. They thought it was amazing that the characters we have in books & see on TV were right there! And by right there I mean up on stage & just far enough back that L & Z weren’t afraid.

To attempt to save us money, I brought goldfish & water in my diaper bag & I’d picked up some glow sticks & glow necklaces at the Target $1 section. L & Z thought those were fun & didn’t even seem to notice the other kids’ popcorn, $10 light toys & $20 stuffed animals.

But then during intermission, a guy came out with hundreds of double-sided Elmo & Cookie Monster balloons. Zach literally freaked shouting “Elmo! Balloon!” And we knew out plan to leave Sesame Street Live without souvenirs was foiled. $16 later, we had two over the moon toddlers {& thankfully two weeks later, those two balloons are still surviving}.

We chose the right timing {1030a show} as we were home in time for lunch & an epic nap!


Confession. Jason & I had not been on a date night since before Lucy & Zach were born two years ago. We’ve done a few lunches out while my parents were in town. But a proper, kids-in-bed-let’s-go-out hadn’t been accomplished for two years.

We can blame high maintenance getting to bed babes, or extended breastfeeding, or not having babysitters lined up or even just laziness on our part. So to say, we were due for a movie night out just us is putting it mildly!

The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon has become a DVR’d favorite for us. And we loved the show where Adam Sandler & Drew Barrymore were on together recently talking about their upcoming movie Blended. Then we’d seen a few trailers of Blended & both thought it looked pretty cute too.

So when an email popped up inviting me & a guest to watch Blended, I called my aunt to confirm she was free to watch TV & read while L & Z {hopefully} slept, clued the husband in & replied YES!


It was a rainy, rainy night, one perfect for pjs, but instead we went to the movies! Admittedly, I don’t get out to the movies often. So being out after dark, holding the husband’s hand & a bowl of popcorn was a treat, but I really enjoyed this movie.

Suz's Treats Blended date night

Our phones had both died at movies so this is best selfie we could manage once we got home. Yay for date night!

Blended was a hit for us ~ a cute combination of favorite actors, sweet story line & the perfect amount of romance & comedic laughs. My husband loved Shaq’s appearance in the film & my fellow movie goes & I all laughed out loud with the actor who will always be known as the Old Spice guy’s silly singing antics.

We went to see Blended for a fun, adult night out, yet this film could be family hit also as the children/teen actors do a great job & keep the laughs & poignant moments rolling too. As a mom, I might’ve had tears twice. The scenes between Jim {Adam Sandler’s character} & his daughters’ pulled on my heart strings.

Were we shocked by the ending, no. But I didn’t come to see if for a stressful, suspense that’d leave me with nightmares. Instead I left with a smile on my face & a further appreciation of my sweet husband & family.

If you haven’t seen the movie trailer yet, jump over to And if you’re looking for a fun date night movie, go check out Blended, opening in theaters today!

On the Verge of TWO

L & Z will be two in 15 or so days (depending on when you count from starting to listing this post). It was just around this time two years ago that Z’s water broke cutting our pregnancy short & starting the chain of events that lead to their May 21st birthday. So wild to me how something can seem so long ago & also still such a big event forever seeming like yesterday in my mind.

My last monthly update was right after 18 months. Since they’re now talking. Oh the talking. Cracks me up & exhausts us too. But more wonder & awe than annoyance by far. They’re little sponges taking it all it & it’s so funny what they repeat & spit back out.

They’re getting so big. As I type on the way back from their second wedding (both of Jason’s nephews have been married this spring!), L & Z are napping off a big Cracker Barrel lunch. Where they ate all their shared grilled cheese & steak fries, half my grilled chicken tends, half my apples (& half the extra order) & half our biscuits. Then they asked for “crackies” (a mix of crackers & cookies- their term for teddy grahams) when we got back in the van. We’re a little nervous what our grocery bill will be for high schoolers since they’re eating us out of house & home as not quite two year olds!!

Lucy’s current outfit is 2t top & 3t leggings baggy. She was wearing a randomly big enough 18-24 onesie & 2t shorts before she peed out of it though. 90% of the time Lucy’s in 2t while squeezing occasionally into a big 18-24 or 24 mo item.

Z’s in Carters 24 mo onesie & 2t Circo shorts right now. I love onesies for traveling & will be sad when they outgrow these 24 mo ones I keep for car trips. Z’s summer closet is 90% 18-24 mo. A few 12-18 Crazy 8 or Gymboree shorts that run big & also 2t shorts or pants if they have adjustable waist (I think those will be staple for Z for years to come!).

I’m looking forward to getting official height/weight at their 2 year pediatrician appointment on the 22nd. At L’s March ENT follow up they said she was 36″ tall. Z is just an inch maybe shorter. They like to weigh themselves on our bathroom scale (they enjoy that way more than me)! I’d guess L is around 28-30 lb & Z more like 25-27 lb.

February Update

It’s been a month since I’ve made a post here. The longest ever. But it wasn’t as if I wasn’t busy. In that time, I had a bad cold, & then we traveled up to VA for a fun weekend with family where I got some rest while L, Z & I gave our colds to everyone else. {Welcome to life in a toddler petri dish.}

The following week, it snowed a lot. And I was stuck on the iced roads with L & Z. I cried & prayed while they slept until we reached our driveway. I drank a beer at 2p to recover. Once I was back at work, it was crazy catch up time.

And Raleigh thawed out just in time for us to discover a hernia issue in Zach which meant a day of doctors’ appointments & fear of emergency surgery. Only to be told Tuesday afternoon, while not an emergency, he needs surgery soon. Wednesday am, I set up surgery for Wed the 26th. Wednesday afternoon, I get a call from daycare that L’s throwing up.

Her stomach bug & accompanying fever meant I was home {& by home I mean Target} with her to miss the urologist surgery scheduler’s phone call. No big deal. Just moving up Zach’s surgery to the following day {what we’d originally preferred}.

And after L woke up from a long nap, I discovered her random vom & 101.7 fever Wed weren’t a fluke as her temp was 103.2. Sigh. Off to the ped we went to rule out ear infections, lung infections, flu etc. After the all clear, I made furious & desperate calls to family to make sure my awesome Dad could come down asap to watch L while we were with Z at hospital.

No more vomiting or fever from Lucy &  Zach’s surgery was a big success. Even being an hour delayed {meaning almost 12 hours without food or milk}, he did great playing in pre-op & coming around in my arms. He spent the weekend recovering with us & my parents {who also cleaned, cooked & went shopping with me to stock us up on food}!

So now we’re up to last week. Dentist appt meant I had the chance last Tues for a bit of solo consignment sale shopping & a much needed pedicure {calmest part of my month?!}. Thursday afternoon, we got the all clear, he looks great post-surgery release from Z’s urologist! Yay!

He {& L} were fussy, so we hit up their favorite Chick fila for take out dinner. {Did I tell y’all they ate 14 nuggets between the two of them last time we ate there? No, well I just did. It was amazing. Toddlers. Sigh how much are they gonna eat as teens?!} Good idea turned out not so good when the stomach bug hit Zach hard mere minutes after finishing his bedtime sippy. And again 3 more times on me before we finally crashed 4 pjs later {thank goodness I overbuy pjs!} at 2a. Lil dude was so upset after he’d get sick. I just held him. And he chilled at home with J last Friday while I worked & L played at daycare.

A relaxing, vomit-free weekend in the 60s & 70s seemed like spring had arrived & my practically PTSD over driving in snow was far behind us. Until I checked my phone last night & read the weather had turned & Raleigh was preparing for icy/snow conditions. Again. This time on March 3rd.

And now I’m caught up. Thankfully, work let us go early enough I was driving to & from daycare & home in rain wet roads. And while the air turned super cold {my phone says 22 now}, other than a lil freezing rain, sleet & dusting of snow, we missed getting too much of the white stuff I’m so over. Daycare & work are opening at 10a. Fingers crossed, healthy L & Z let me sleep til 7! And let me enjoy lunch plans with 2 friends this weekend before we skip off to GA for a family weeding! Never a dull moment here, but we’re loving life in the midst of the craziness!

At some point {when weather & sickness don’t having me feeling exhausted}, I’ll add a sprinkling of photos to this post! L & Z are so big now!!