Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Three months ago, I lost my best friend. Ever since, my world has slowly crumbled around me. These have proved to be the worst, most trying, three months of my entire life. I have experienced sadness like never before. I have repeatedly tried to pull myself from the depths of despair, only to be knocked down again.

A different kind of person slowly emerged, and before I knew it, had taken over. This new person was unable to focus on all the beautiful blessings in life, and repeatedly visited only the negative aspects. This only served to create a narrow, sliver out of such a vast, wide world.

I didn't like my uninvited guest, so yesterday, I kindly asked her to leave.  I softly explained that I had to put an end to this life we had created together. She quickly objected, but I reiterated that I could no longer be part of the constant feed of negative energy. She did not understand how exhausting it was, and how all I was left with was an empty, hollow feeling.

I gently told her that this was no way to live, and how we had been carrying on, was no way to be. I reminded her that life is much too short, and as we both knew, it could all be gone in an instant.

As she slowly gathered her belongings, I helped to make sure she didn't leave anything behind. Deep down, we both knew she would never be back.

I decided to further explain that being happy is after all, just a choice, or a series of choices. I made it clear that from here on out, I was choosing to look at the positive. I was choosing to be happy. I was choosing to, once again, look at the positive, and to focus on all of the beautiful blessings in my life.

She shook her empty little head in disbelief.  Poor thing, she just couldn't wrap her negative mind around what I was trying to explain. We agreed to disagree, and said our final goodbyes.

Tonight, three months after one of the worst days of my life, I will pull my hubby, and my girls close, and be grateful for what I do have :o)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

One Year

Once upon a time, one of our biggest struggles was finding a way to stop Aviana from throwing up. She would vomit every single day, and sometimes multiple times. It hurt us deeply to see her having to experience that, on top of everything else. We were desperate to find a solution.  Our solution came in the form of advise from The Institute.

Thanks to them, today marks one full year since the last time she vomited!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


This post is grossly delayed for one single reason. I had asked a friend if he could take a picture of Aviana running (prior to the accident), and change her into a blue-skinned Na'vi from the land of Pandora. I have been waiting since, and have finally decided to just post.

So, now this is outdated, but important just the same. I won't be able to truly capture the essence of the movie, and pack the punch I was feeling deep inside my bones, but that's okay.

When Avatar came out on video, Dave and I rented it. We settled in to relax, and enjoy this new movie. Truth of the matter is, I was completely blindsided by what I saw.

The character is a paraplegic, and obviously in a wheelchair. His operation is to learn about the Na'vi and Pandora's biosphere. They use Na'vi human hybrid bodies called Avatars that are operated via mental link by genetically matched humans.

In order to go to Pandora, he lays in a machine, and is hooked up to a bunch of this and that!

As he wakes up in Pandora, he moves his legs over to the side of the apparatus. He carefully examines every movement of his arms and legs. He stands up, and smiles. He begins to take steps, and feels the leaves and such beneath his bare feet. He takes a few more steps, and is in complete and total amazement.

Suddenly, he realizes that his broken body is no longer holding him back. He breaks free, and begins to sprint, at full speed, across the forest. He smiles as he is no longer bound to the confines of his very own body.

At this moment, the tears that were building all around my eyes, spill over. I am instantly so incredibly sad that Aviana is trapped! Trapped in a broken body. A body that will not move as she wants it to. A body that cannot be broken free of.

Most of all, I am saddened by her face that cannot seem to smile, or even worse, that has nothing to smile about.

Ever since I saw, what I call Avi~tar, I can't seem to shake the whole notion. And every night as we put her into her respiratory device, I say a little prayer that I am sending her off to her very own Pandora.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


In our town there has been a sad, sad story all over the news.

About a beautiful girl, in a terrible car accident.

Her departure from this world was painful.

My entire family cannot get this smart, sweet girl out of our thoughts.

She was 20 years old.

Her name was Ashley Marie McEntee.

She was Dave's niece.

We are keeping Elena and her family close in thought and prayer.,0,3437797.story

Monday, January 17, 2011


The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Everything I Need to Know...

I learned from my dog.

~ When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

~ Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

~ Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy.

~ When it's in your interest, practice obedience.

~ Let others know when they've invaded your territory.

~ Take naps and stretch before rising.

~ Run, romp, and play daily.

~ Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

~ Avoid biting, when a simple growl will do.

~ On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

~ On hot days, drink lots of water and lay under a shady tree.

~ When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

~ No matter how often you are scolded, don't buy into the guilt thing and right back and make friends.

~ Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

~ Eat with gusto, and enthusiasm. Stop when you have had enough.

~ Be loyal.

~ Never pretend to be something you're not.

~ If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

~ When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

~ Unknown Author

Friday, January 14, 2011

They Share....

the chair ;o)

"Mommy, do you think maybe you can run a comb through my hair before photo shoots?"

I'm a lucky girl!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

My Girls

Along with 2 of my favorite songs/sayings ;o)

Proud Mama

The process of transitioning from tube feeding to feeding by mouth is long, and messy, but I am happy to say that Aviana had her very first day eating entirely by mouth yesterday.  

She is a superstar, and has worked so incredibly hard for this ;o)

This is what one days worth of food looks like.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cabo Wabo

The last three months have been some of the most trying of my entire life. When I reflect back, I am quickly reminded of many of the reasons why....

Kama got sick.

We went on our third trip to PA in under a year.

We came home to carry out a more intense program.

We unexpectedly lost all of our nursing at one of the most crucial moments.

I was to carry out the entire program, essentially myself.

The holidays brought great sadness this year.

Coming to the realization that it has been 18 months since the accident, and Aviana has not made significant physical improvements.

Being sick, sick, sick.

Family drama.

The ramifications of the accident are setting in more with each passing day.

And so much more.

Thanks to my Mom, Gary, Uncle Roger and Aunt Rella ~

We are going back, back, back

to Cabo, Cabo, Cabo!

We took our very last vacation to Cabo prior to Aviana's arrival. Hurricane Jon aside, it was the best trip of our lives.  So peaceful, so serene, yet so exciting!

Dave and I feel fortunate to be able to get away. We have never needed it more than now. We will be more appreciative of this 'breather' than any other time in our lives!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

So Sweet

Aviana has to spend a good amount of time on her stomach everyday. She is getting better at it, but still, doesn't really like it. Rainey decided that if Aviana has to do "floor time" she should help her through it.

And look....they even dress alike ;o)

Like a Duck

If it ~

walks like a duck, 

looks like a duck, 

swims like a duck, 

quacks like a duck,  

it must be a duck.

But, what if it ~


look like,

walk like,

swim like,

quack like,

How is one to continuously wrap their brain around it?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

One of our best friends was coming to town, so we decided to have a last minute, impromptu, New Years Eve party.  Funny thing is.....our best friend ended up not being able to make it ;o) I was happy we had the party anyway. We had a great night.


Tom, Adrienne, and Baby Drew

Peter and Sarah



There's a Little Captain in All of Us!

Interrupting Jen.

Doesn't it look like we are posing for prom ;o)

Ahhh, Rainey Day ~ I love you!

My friend Summer and I.

If you look closely, you can see Rainey in this picture.

Doesn't it look like I "stepped" to her, and am defending myself? continued, all night long ; )

My friend Sarah and I.

Pete's got his hands full.

Doug and Summer.

My brother Jeff and I.

This is how Dave started looking as midnight approached ;-/

This party progressively got more, and more out of control.

This picture captures our "Coffee Table Dance Party USA."

I am not sure what was going on with the photographer!

Aviana is a superstar sleeper, 

always has been!

I hope you all had a safe New Year.