Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I do not expect you to understand this tradition the way I have grown to. Growing up, I didn't realize the good thing we had going. I don't think I was able to grasp that this was not normal. Not everyone gets to do this every year.

Almost 30 years ago my parents and two other couples decided to go to the lake for the weekend and we have been getting together for the last weekend of July ever since. Those three couples had babies and traditions began to take form. As the babies grew up, they became friends. The type of friends that go the entire year without seeing or talking to each other and pick back up where the year before left off. The friends grew up and went to camp, traveled abroad, went to college... but that one little weekend held sacred to us. Girlfriends and boyfriends came and went but were not allowed until there was jewelry involved. The friends became adults and are now in college, getting jobs, getting married, having babies, and still keeping in touch. The spouses have become friends and fit right in with the rest of us; almost as if they have been there from the start. Now the babies are growing up and gaining the strange yearly friendship that is so familiar to their parents.

Our parents started with 6 adults and 5 tiny kids. There are now 6 grandparents, 8 original kids, 7 spouses, and 11 grand kids under the age of 6. While work demands, distance, and births of children have tried to put an end to our efforts, the tradition continues. To date, I have missed 2 summers: one to study abroad and the other to have a baby. It will take my family two plane rides, a rental car, and a lot of patience but we don't want to miss this.

We take our traditions almost too seriously. The same food sits on the counter tops each year, and if an absence is discovered there are questions to be answered. The furniture has been moved upon arrival because it was not in the same place as the year before. The activities have held the same time slots with a few edits due to ages of children, but always ending with a huge familiar meal and a big group photo shoot.

We are not all related but we are closer than family, and I know I would gladly call us such.

I am tempted to write an entire play-by-play of how the weekend goes, from Friday morning to Sunday lunch, (complete with how often I visit the plate of homemade sugar cookies with cream cheese icing).... but I know you won't understand. I would have to write a 4 page article for Southern Living complete with photos of the food, and the matriarchs crowded in the kitchen with their white wine, margaritas and grand babies. A photo of the girls gabbing in the kitchen while sitting on top of the countless coolers, while the men-folk are posed on the golf course, laughing about some inside joke they shared on the 7th hole. All sunburned from a day outside and the lovely effects of the hot Texas sun.

For fear of rambling I will "bring it home".

I know this is a rare part of my life and I plan to hang on to it as best I can.

We are beginning our weekend early so I will leave you with:

Enjoy your weekend, and toast to the traditions in your life. May you keep them safe and continuous.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tween Bug

So, this post is directed toward the tweenager that I don't yet have. I have been warned by so many parents of middle school aged kids with type 1 that all of a sudden the diagnosis becomes a huge issue. I have watched mothers cry, yell, make that awful frustrated noise that so many of us (including my 3 year old) have mastered.... "ughhhhhggggggggg........!" It's my go-to expression for all things annoying.

Back to the inevitable "tween"..... I remember how awful middle school was: my hair was huge, my personality was shy and unsure, my braces were constant, and my limbs were gangly and unpredictable. I was 13, but I was without a chronic illness so all that I am about to say is strictly from a mother's perspective; knowing nothing about what it will be like to deal with something too heavy and too early.

I am so worried that tween Bug will all of a sudden veer off the path of stable blood sugars because of the following reasons:
-its annoying
-its not cool
-its too time consuming
-my pump looks dumb with all my clothes
-I was hanging out with my friends and I forgot to check my sugar
-I was hanging out with my friends and I forgot to give myself insulin
and the one I am dreading the most....
-it's not fair

I know it's coming because I have already worried about all of those things. One of the first things I cried about after she was diagnosed was "what will she do with her pump at prom?!" or "what will she do on her wedding day?!" My husband laughed. What will I say to her when this discussion comes up? I know she will be highly dramatic, unreasonable and emotional. If you have had experiences with high-blood-sugar Bug, you know what I mean. (*the other day she was crying real tears and then proceeded to tell me that she was fake crying because she wanted to watch TV and I wouldn't let her*)

All that to say I know I will not be able to deliver the speech I have so carefully planned out. I know she will want to yell at me, and be angry, and cry. And I will let her. But I will want to say: "no, you HAVE to take care of yourself because I got you this far. I have gotten you to age 13 with a great A1C and a chance at a 100th birthday. I've almost literally bent over backwards to ensure that your eye sight will still be 20/20 at age 30 and your kidneys will still be a well oiled machine. I have cried in anger, frustration, heart ache, and fear while watching you sleep. I have also cried in joy, success, peace, and hope while watching you play. I have gray hair and extra wrinkles. I am friends with your pharmacist and the nurses on the endocrine "hot line". I was one of the people that saved your life every day. I don't want to do this any more than you do, but this is the cup we've been given. So, lets deal and make lemonade or something chocolate or whatever the sayings are."

I know every mother is looking out for and stressed about their kid's future, and middle school years so I can't count myself any differently than the rest. Who knows, maybe it will all go smoothly and we can talk about how she is not allowed to call boys and she needs to finish her homework before golf with Dad. Either way, there will be no shortage of drama so I had best be prepared for any and everything.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pencil it in...

Light posting week on my end. I have gobs of excuses, but a very intimidating senior soccer player told (yelled) me on my first day of varsity practice.... "don't make excuses! Just fix it!".... So I'm sticking with that.

The reason I am even tuned in today is to let you know that, if you live in our area, you need to mark your calendar for September 17, 2011. Our team will be gearing up for the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes and we would love for you to join us! No entry fee, team shirts are free, good time had by all, support felt by my family and millions of others.

If you do not live in the area, and want to participate in a walk near you, go to to find one!

Much more information to follow! Have a great Thursday

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fun Friday Find: Three

I have never worked so hard on something in my life. I have studied more for this one thing than any other, and the way things are going, it seems this will be a constant "continuing my education" type of experience. Bringing me stress, joy, tears, laughter, frustration, fear, and exhaustion; this one thing has brought me closer to God, myself, and my husband than I could have ever imagined. This one thing: my 3 year old.

She wears me out, cheers me up, forgives me, and loves me. She is brave and trusting, smart and inquisitive, witty and serious all at the same time. Her childlike faith and daily reminders that "Jesus loves us very much" remind me that my days spent with her seem to be headed in the right direction. She is my Bug and today she is 3 years old.

I could type more about her and how she brightens the day of every encountered person, but I would rather just go play Princess Tea Party.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mountains, Wildlife, and Security Checks..... Vacation.

We are back! We have actually been home for a few days but have been recovering from the shock of having to return home from our amazing vacation with my family; see photo above to understand why. It was an amazing trip and I could go on for D-A-Y-S about how I love the place, but I will spare you an entire overview and leave you with, you guessed it, a list:

-spotted wildlife
-wore fleeces
-dealt with blood sugar dramas while trying to vacation
-drank good wine
-did not sweat
-national park-ed
and lastly...
-went through security twice

I want to address that last point; "we went through security twice". I have actually flown with Bug quite a bit in her 3 years of life, and have almost mastered the security check routine.

Unloading our mobile lives into the little gray bins, removing shoes and jewelry, and telling the person behind us to go on ahead. I feel like I should wear a jacket similar to the one the FBI agents wear with the giant yellow letters.... except mine would read "save your annoyed huffs and puffs and go ahead and pass us". Eliminating the 'turn-around-and-smile-and-apologize move' would save me some frustration, brain power, and time. If there is one thing I've learned through my air travel with children: do not let anyone rush you.... this is how things get broken, left, dirty, germ-ed....

Our little family of four uses about 8 bins. That is possible. There are two bins dedicated to diabetes: glucometer, extra site change supplies (in case there is some pump issue while traveling), insulin, snacks, apple juice, doctor's note saying "she's allowed to travel with needles and liquids and if you bother her about it she will sue you". I paraphrased a bit, and I have been hassled before (guy dumping out my apple juice in front of me because he "needed to be sure it was apple juice") and have yet to sue anyone over it.... but catch me on a bad day and..... ?

The other six bins are filled with all other things parents need for traveling with two kids under 3 to insure a happy day of travel; iPad, toys, stuffed animals, snacks, baby food, bottles, and so on and so on.....

Then we come to the "little door", as we call it. I have been advised by doctors and websites to not put Bug's insulin pump through the "x-ray tunnel thing", so she keeps it on through the metal detector. The pump "should not set off the alarm"...... but it does. Here is how it all goes down.....

me: (lifting up her shirt or dress to show the man/woman on the other side) "she wears an insulin pump and it usually sets off the alarm"
him/her: "uh......... (looking around like this should be someone else's problem)..... ok, well come on through then" (eye roll)

Bug walks through. Alarm goes off. All the TSA people look annoyed that they have to search a little girl.... a lot of eye rolling and responsibility passing. I follow through and into the Plexiglas castle trying not to touch her. (if I were to touch her I would have to be searched too) At one of the searches, the lady took the pump out of the case and PUSHED A BUTTON.... hello heart attack. I gave her a stern throat clearing and a "please don't push any buttons" with a forced smile. Then she shoved it back into the SPI belt, tubing twisted and mangled. *breathe* After the search (which used to bring tears and anxiety for Bug, but not anymore) we repack our lives and finally start our trip.

Tired yet? I actually gave you the "reader's digest" version. And I won't even get into the actual flights/nap attempts/airport layovers/running though the airport to catch flights with two small children; you get the idea.

I know I don't need as much stuff as I bring with me, but I want to be prepared for whatever it is the day wants to throw at me.

Glad to be home and settled, and to those of you that did.... thanks for missing us.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fun Friday Find: Vacation

I had this great post planned for today..... Complete with pictures, witty comments, and medical supply travel organization tips..... But....

My lovely husband took the laptop to work today and It will take me entirely too long to type it all out on the iPad and I don't know how to add pictures.....I know, I'm clueless. However I will leave you with a few thoughts.

We are headed to the land of snow capped mountains, 75 degree temperatures (in the afternoon, rather than at 4 a.m.), good food, and fun family. This place is called: vacation. My amazing mother in law is keeping the girls all day so I can pack for 4 humans, one of which requires needles, refrigerated medicine, apple jiuce, snacks, and plenty of entertainment. Organization will be the name of the game today!

We leave the 100 dgree temps and our house tomorrow morning for a marathon day of traveling and airport touring, but at the end of the day we will be sleeping in our cozy beds, knowing that breakfast will be served with a side of 50 degrees and a sweatshirt.

I will be vacationing from life here at home and life in blog world, so I'll return some time after July 9th with a brief trip overview and fill you in on all the things I forgot to pack... There's always something. Also, I have an alarm system and nosey neighbors with firearms, so if you are thinking about breaking in... You've been warned.

Have a great weekend and fabulous 4th of July!