Thursday, March 21, 2013

Office Dweller

I was going through some pictures just now and I almost forgot, I was going to share my most recent friend with you!

I found this guy in the office hanging out with me. I sometimes take pictures of what's going on around here and send them to Dave throughout the day. These were some of the ones that went this particular day...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Swim Forever

Over the course of his lifetime, one little blue fish has almost caused me to turn a similar shade of blue too many times to count. Dave says Señor is a complete drama queen, and out of all of the fish I've ever had...I would have to agree. He's the Daniel Day-Lewis of the fish world. Over the course of the last month though, I sadly knew our time was coming to an end, so I made sure to take extra good care of him.

I don't know what it is about these little creatures, or maybe I do. My dad raised me to be one with them...always. Every creature. We are a catch and release family. Well technically not family. I am speaking for my dad and me. Dave is most certainly not! He wants to kill all spiders. I have to scream and stop him and either take it outside myself or convince beg him to. I'll later maybe share with you my most recent catch and release : )

Anyway, as far as my dad and me are concerned we not only release spiders, moths, mice, and things of that sort, but all others down to the tiniest little bug - or...we just let them be. They are living creatures just as we are...just trying to get a bite to eat : ) Unless they are mosquitos in our house, then they die. Sorry. That's where I draw the line. They eat Avi and I to death : ( You didn't see that coming did you? I'm ruthless when it comes to those ever thirsty buzzing little bloodsuckers. Mosquitos in the house! Eeeeekkkkk! In our room! Aaaakkk! Under our covers! Out the Doooooorrrrrrr!!!!

So all of this adds up to just one of the reasons why I am so sad that Señor died today. The other is for all the reasons I explained the last time he gave me a scare.

He put up a good fight, and he was a great fish. Many think fish are just fish, and have no personalities...I beg to differ. Señor greeted me every morning. I will miss walking out and seeing him swim straight up to me before I did anything, even make my coffee for the day...

Swim forever my sweet.

Friday, March 15, 2013

❤ ❤ ❤

When I receive cards for any occasion, I keep them displayed on the fireplace mantel for a little while, and then throw them away. It's not very often I will actually keep them. I may have about 5 that I have hidden away somewhere. 

I have one friend, in particular, who my card routine really bothers. She has actually just about stopped sending or giving me cards altogether. And when she does, it's always with this disclaimer, "I know you're just going to throw it out anyway!!" I guess my question is - curiously, what do you do with all your cards? I suppose I'm not too sentimental with stuff, but I care a great deal. I guess it might be confusing, because heartfelt words mean more to me than gifts, but once I read them, I store them in my heart...and then throw them ; )

I can see it now..."mental note - never get that girl a card again!"

I just don't like to keep extra 'stuff' around the house, so we are always going through and putting together bags for Goodwill. There is one bag though, off in a corner, which is an exception. It contains all of the cards and well wishes we received while Aviana was in the hospital. I have always seen it, but have never been able to actually go through it since I was numb and confined to those walls. That is until today.

I read every single card, every word, and looked at every drawing.

To everyone who might still be reading - thank you so much for taking the time to surround our family at the absolute worst time of our lives. I will never be able to express how much needed your love was and is!


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Happy Pi Day

We call him the Pie Guy. He puts out the best recipes if you ask us. They not only make great pies, but he provides every detail, which when you're making pie...really comes in handy!!

Dave's favorite candy is anything Reese's. Not only did we like the name Reese, but being that it's his favorite candy - that's how Aviana ended up with Reese as her middle name ; )

Anyway, I've been eyeing this pie for a while and wanting to make it for Dave. I had fattened everyone up near and far, so we were on a mini-Pie-atus for a while. With the kitchen in a lull, I was waiting for the green light from everyone : ) He's gotten all the pie pounds and more off so we whipped it up!!

It was good!! I don't know if it was as good as the -

"I Love My Daddy Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie"

But still, it was really good!!

"Oh Reese's You're So Fine, You're So Fine You Blow My Mind Pie"

We get up close and personal with our pieces...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Holding Me, Holding You

Our Valentine

Valentine's Day is one of my favorite holidays. I love - love of all kinds. When Aviana was well, I was so excited when she was in preschool. I used to make cards, so I spent months before figuring out the perfect looking Valentines for her class. 

I spent hours on them, and then let her color all over the back and put little heart stickers on them. I loved seeing her running around in red, pink and heart clothes all month long.

It feels like a whole other lifetime now.

A whole other girl.

In a whole other world.

It's so strange to see her move. Her hands, her fingers, her head. I'm unfamiliar with that girl. I don't know who she is anymore. She is so distant, but yet so close sometimes.


Now back to this little girl and her Valentine's Day.

There's nothing sweeter than this little girl. So patient, so loving, so beautiful.

Ready to go, with her Valentines in tow.

I didn't have the heart to put her boots on for school. I wrote her teacher a note and told him I had to pass. Sometimes in life, your outfit just rules over time in the stander ; )

She was so sleepy when she got home. Once again, I just didn't have the heart to wake her at that moment. Even though this was not the best position for her...just a few more minutes.

Last, Dave and I made a Key Lime the night before to share some pie love with the neighbors!

Nothing says Valentine's Day like Key Lime, right? I know, it's just weird and doesn't fit, but that's what we were feeling : )

Ugly Formal

I had honestly never heard of that theme for a New Year's party before. We really weren't prepared, and usually we are amped up for any sort of costume party. I guess I just didn't get it. My friend Summer was throwing the party and said get out any old bridesmaid, prom dresses, or any stuff you had to buy and wear once and never wore again. Have any of you heard of this theme?

So I thought, "hmm...I don't keep anything, and I had recently gotten rid of the bridesmaid dress I wore to her wedding." That didn't go over well when I said that to her. She yelled, "that wasn't ugly!" I guess I still don't understand the concept. The week before I asked her if I could borrow something. She was wearing one of her old dresses from the way back, and said I could borrow one too. So that's what we did.

But then, the day of - we went to Goodwill to find Dave something and in looking for him...I saw a really cute dress that was $6.99. So I bought it thinking I would wear it instead. I was torn between the two and knew if I wore the new one, Summer wouldn't be happy with my decision to switch. 

I decided last minute to do a costume change half way through! I showed up in the Goodwill dress and sure enough, Summer was asking where her dress was and why I wasn't wearing it. I told her not to worry...I would be wearing it the second half of the party : ) I know, crazy. It was fun though.

We were laughing because Dave couldn't find anything, and the costume shops closed early, so he ended up looking like an old professor!

Booties out girls.

My friend Summer...prom style.

Actually, this is the classic prom picture now isn't it?

Can you tell this was at the end of the night? 

Hey, who's that black beauty looking on at us?

And here are my favorite pictures of the night!! So the party was just getting the end of the night!

Can you tell we were more than ready to ring in the New Year?

Tree for the Seasons

❤  My favorite little tree  ❤


"Three tomatoes are walking down the street: papa tomato, mama tomato and baby tomato. Baby tomato starts lagging behind and papa tomato gets really angry...goes back and squishes him. Says, "ketchup!" 

- Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction

I have always loved this joke, because there's only one food I can think of that I despise and it's tomatoes. But, I have no problem slathering ketchup. And, as far as I'm concerned, ketchup and tomatoes have absolutely nothing to do with each other. "But if you like ketchup, then you must like tomatoes? No, no, and did I say no! Not even close bud!! Can you tell that question drives me?


It was the first week of January and I was in the recovery stages from the last few weeks of December. I had just honestly skated by the skin of my teeth. Aviana's Elves is what truly carries me through, and with such an early delivery date this year...well, I was left with too much holiday break to think, process and witness all that is bright and right. For the most part - I held my own, but there were admittedly a few very low, lows.

By the beginning of January, I was overly ready to begin anew and post some of the good memories we had shared together. But, as I began gathering - our little nasty gram arrived in the mail, so we had to take a little detour instead. 

Now I have much more than just a couple holidays to share, so if you don't mind, I'm finally going to 'ketchup.'

My sweet little nephew (who is now back in Portugal pursuing his dreams), the Indian, and I.

Aviana about to open her present from Rainey.

Rainey had to join in to see if Avi liked it.

I think she does.

Yes, she does.

Ahh...that face : )

It snowed the whole time we were up there. It was beautiful. As you can see Rainey was in heaven.

This is my absolute favorite picture. It looks like she is smiling. 

"Come on. What are you waiting for? Throw it again!"

Chelsea: "Give me a kiss Ray Girl"
Snoozer: "Booring!"

Snoozer is so unimpressed with the 2 of them. You see, since Chelsea came onto the scene - Snoozer has lost his place with Rainey : ( It's quite sad...

Rainey - so statuesque.

My dad making rooster tails...

While Rainey and I played.

I was breaking the bad news to her that we had to leave...

She was saying no way.

And then started growling at me. I totally understand and if I were a dog, I would growl too. She and I are in cahoots to never leave Tahoe every time we go up there. We both cry like babies the whole way home, and then stomp our feet and paws around this concrete jungle for a while. That is, until we realize what ungrateful little brats we are being. We then come to our senses and start acting like mature girl people and girl dogs again....

but then we forget, and do it all over again on the next trip up ; )

Poor Dave.

I'm sorry.

30 Years...

of giving, loving, serving and providing. I think these are some of the best people ever.

I'm not religious, but definitely spiritual, so I just loved what they wrote towards the end of the second paragraph and the entire third!


In August of this year, 2013, Loaves & Fishes will celebrate its 30th year of providing hospitality and survival services to those among us who, for whatever reasons, cannot provide for themselves. So we are proclaiming this year a celebration of “30 Years of Miracles!” We all tend to think of a miracle as something defying the laws of nature, or caused by Divine intervention such as a blind person suddenly able to see or someone suddenly cured of a fatal disease!

Mother & Daughter Eating Lunch at Loaves & FishesLoaves & Fishes was named after the miracle of the loaves and fishes in the Gospel where Jesus fed a crowd of over five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish. That was truly an awesome and huge miracle! Some hold that Jesus himself actually caused the loaves and fishes to multiply as they were being distributed to the crowd while others believe that when people saw the tiny bit of food being passed around everyone began to share whatever food they had with those who had little or none, so that over 5,000 people were fed with twelve baskets left over! I believe that Loaves & Fishes exemplifies the latter theory of everyone sharing what they have with those who have not.

In my 30 years at L & F I have learned to look, not for the huge miracles, which have surely taken place here, but for the millions (literally) of “small” miracles that have taken place here daily during this period of time only because of your generosity! Whenever I watch our homeless guests leisurely enjoying a savory meal graciously served by volunteers in our Dining Room, I see a miracle! I see a miracle when someone leaves our Wash House relaxed and smiling after a hot shower, a shave, new socks and clean clothing – and that’s two hundred showers a day! It’s a miracle when a child living and sleeping on the streets day after day, night after night, can be a child again if even for a few hours at our Mustard Seed School. Clean and sober for one day? That’s truly awesome! It’s also miraculous that someone will call you by name and patiently listen to your story without judgment or vindication. I could go on and on, but I’d like to reflect metaphorically on the great miracle that IS Loaves & Fishes!

Loaves & Fishes itself is like a tiny seedling planted 30 years ago by a small group of people dedicated to the work of the Gospel. The seedling grew throughout the years and became a strong, healthy and beautiful tree. For thirty years its soil has been enriched and watered and its branches have been pruned by loving, caring staff members, volunteers, donors and our Board of Directors. Throughout the years thousands of people have come to the tree to partake of its fruits to nourish their bodies and its shade to revive their spirits.

The “tree” is the Community of Loaves & Fishes composed of thousands of donors, volunteers, staff, the Board of Directors, and our homeless guests. We have all have collaborated to make our Mission a reality. We are all thankful that we have been able do God’s work here. However, isn’t it sad that it needs to be done? My dream of 30 years has been to arrive at Loaves & Fishes one morning and find no one here! Now wouldn’t that be a HUGE miracle indeed?!

May our God return your generosity a hundred fold!


Chris Delany

P.S. Chris and Dan Delany are the founders of Loaves & Fishes. Dan is retired and unwell; Chris continues to volunteer daily at Loaves & Fishes.

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