Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Monday, January 28, 2013

Freaking Out

I knew I should not have googled the removal of gall bladders, etc. I just found that cancer is hard to detect in that organ and usually only found when surgery is performed. I am waiting now for a call from my sister to give me date my Mom will have her gall bladder removed. Did I mention I hate waiting? I should be doing my homework for class but here I sit googling and thinking. Ugh. So much for paying it forward today...somehow it is coming back to haunt me! 

I hate waiting. Thinking of my Momma and my Leia. XOXO, Shell

Friday, January 25, 2013


Well here in NC today we got a wintry mix of snow and then ice. It is very cold and many accidents today. Glad that my hubs is home now and safe and sound. Didn't go anywhere today, just stayed inside, relaxed, did a few things around the house, napped and played with LB. Love these kind of days!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day 24

Today was a series of giving or paying it forward. I dropped off baby clothes to a neighbor who is expecting twins (girl/boy), left a birthday gift for a friend who is turning 40 tomorrow and then I bought lunch for a girlfriend. We dined at a local restaurant that I had not been to yet even though it has been open for several months now. She gave me a bunch of her baby stuff and I even returned a chicco baby carrier to her since she had loaned it to me and LB has outgrown it now. It was nice to stay local and see a friend and catch up. It was windy and cold so I was glad to get LB back home and into our warm house. I just hope he doesn't get sick and manages to get by without getting this flu stuff that is going around. They are calling for a "wintry mix" of snow for tomorrow and cold temperatures. I think tomorrow will be a "stay home" day. Stay warm everyone and hopefully healthy!



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Day 23

So last night I met a woman who wanted to buy a comforter set that I had for sale. She told me she was just starting out and needed anything that would help with a household. In looking at her Facebook page it appeared she was in her mid-20's and maybe had several children. When I met her I asked her if she had any kids and she told me her Dad's kids were living with her. I didn't ask for more details but in short, I decided to give her anything that we didn't need or that I had not had luck in selling. So I gave her a holder for tableware, some of my clothes, baking dishes, an extra set of sheets, purses, holiday decorations, pretty much anything I was looking to get rid of and out of our house. She was very grateful and said she would take it all. I told her if she couldn't use it to pass it on or donate it. It felt good to pay it forward and to help someone who truly needed it and was appreciative. When you give back  ~ you feel good. So think about what you can do to help someone in need. It is a single neighbor who has no family? A family member in need? A friend that just needs a hello? Give back, pay it forward, bring a smile. Giving back is the BEST feeling in the world!



Tuesday, January 22, 2013

January Clean-Up

Those close to me know that I am a neat freak. I haven't always been this way but I have become more and more like this. I am not sure why. Was it because I grew up in a messy house? Do I have OCD? Do I like to hoard? I tend to think I like to be the opposite of what I have experienced. I didn't have much growing up but I did have a loving family, food on our table and my parents instilled in me the importance of education. I got that. I got the husband and now the baby. My life should be great, right? Wrong. I think I like doing all the organizing things because it is my one way of having control. I have 15 years experience of working in corporate america. Organizing meetings, enrolling employees in benefits, interviewing (that part I DON'T miss), phone calls, busy, busy, busy. Most of my days in the HR world were busy and hectic. Yeah there were some days that were dull but for the most part, I never knew what my day would bring. An employee issue? A weird interview, a boss looking for a project, etc., etc. I thrived on it and while I don't miss the structure and early mornings I do miss the people, the community, the connection you make working with others. So in the meantime I will continue to organize, clean, sell on-line at home and raise my little boy the best way I know how. After all, I have turned out okay and I didn't have any pre-school but I did have lots of love and caring parents.

Peter Walsh, famed organizer well known from Oprah and having his own show that I am not sure is still on but he will be on Rachel Ray tomorrow (Wednesday). He has been having a challenge on Facebook of doing one thing each day for ten minutes. The challenge today was your medicine cabinet or as in my case the drawer. Here are the results. I think I did pretty good! 



My Life

Hi everyone. Almost through this month but something ironic happened. I called my sister this past weekend (Sat) and told her I wanted to end our feud or whatever was keeping us from talking. She agreed and we had a conversation. Then, the very next day she took my Mother to the ER because her kidney infection was not improving. They found my Mother has a porcelain gallbladder meaning that she must have surgery to remove it and she also has a stress fracture in her back which is quite common with older women and especially if they have osteoporosis which she does have. So I am glad they found this but also worried about my Mother and how she will handle the surgery and recovering. She is 80 years old and has also had arthritis for 60 of those years. It is always something. I am hoping to get up north in the next couple of months to see my family.

So to end this post, I caved in, I conceded and made amends. That is my giving back. I hope it works this time. 

XOXO, Shell

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Days 18, 19 & 20

Getting behind here but have done some giving back. On the 18th I gave $10.00 to a local student for his school that was having a fundraiser. On the 19th I mailed out five packages of goodies to people that I know. I wonder who is getting one? And today I just made a donation to the National Down Syndrome Society for $100.00 in honor of our Leia Grace. We make this donation to the NDSS every year in her honor.

I seem to be suffering from some sickness. I got my flu shot about 3 weeks ago so hoping I don't get this nasty stuff that has been going around. Going to bed early tonight.

Have a good week all and will write more tomorrow.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Day 17

Came home to a nice card in the mail from lady that helped us on the plane last year. I sent her chocolates and she sent me a card back. Gratitude, paying it forward and being nice to the human-being race. Common sense, if we would all do this I think our world would be a better and nicer place to live. Cheers everyone and Happy Friday! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day 16

Joan and Tammy came to see LB yesterday. Love, love, love! We sent them on there way with Cappacinno brownie! <3

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Day 15

Today I rolled my neighbor's recycling bin to her curb. She had just pulled in her driveway and I was planning to get both of her garbage bins but she insisted that she help. She is a lovely woman and always pleasant. We chatted for a bit and went our ways. A busy morning ahead for both I presume as she watches her grandchildren most days. Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Day 14/Giveaway!

Well our weekend away to the beach was wonderful. It felt good to hear the ocean and have my feet in the sand. The weekend temps were in the low 70's so it was a great weekend to get away and clear our minds. We wrote Leia and Landon's names in the sand but for some reason the picture I thought I took did not show up on my phone. So will try again the next time we are at a beach. I guess it gives us reason to go back, right? I was happy most of time, we did some sight seeing, shopping and enjoyed a lovely dinner out at a little Bistro in Beaufort. Many thanks to the owner and staff as they kindly took us to a table even though most weekends reservations are required at their restaurant. They were all so friendly and enjoyed talking/playing with LB. The only time I cried was when my hubs played a Coldplay song on our way home....Fix You. Yes, it gets me every time. Miss our baby girl so much but the only thing I can do is go on and enjoy LB and the fact that he is here with us.

So to play catch up, I am doing a free giveaway today to one person who comments. I will randomly pick a winner by putting their names in a hat and have LB pull the name. What do you get? It is a random surprise but it does center around the next major holiday coming up...Valentine's Day...so if you don't want more V-Day stuff you may not want to comment!

I've got Peter Walsh's challenges to catch up on (four days - yikes), various house duties to do, get some of LB's clothes sorted and prepare for a class that I start taking tonight for 3 hours. I am looking forward to getting out of the house and appreciate my hubs is helping me to take this class.

Happy Monday and please comment for you chance to win a package of goodies sent to your home from yours truly.

XOXO, Shell

Friday, January 11, 2013

Two Years

Today at 8:45pm marks two years that I gave birth to our sleeping baby girl, Leia Grace. I would like to thank Cymbalta, my thearapist, my support group, cookies from Moravian Bakers, my hubs, my close friends on and/or off FB for getting me through today. I got several texts and messages today and you know who you are and what you have done. Thank you so much and I will get through today. I've posted below a picture of the flowers I got to put on Leia's memorial garden that is in our back yard. Again, for the second year in a row we have a rainy and dark day. So I will wait till the sun is out again before putting anything out. Love and miss you sweet beautiful baby girl. Love, Mommy, Daddy & Landon

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Day 10

Today is Day 10 of my project of paying forward or giving back. I haven't done too much today to keep my project going. This is the two-year mark of me going into the hospital (the only appointment my hubs had ever missed) and me learning that Leia had no heartbeat. I had to call and tell him over the phone and then wait for him to get across campus to the building I was in. Also on that day our area was experiencing an ice storm. Today it was in the 60's. Why couldn't it have been that way two years ago? I've also been thinking about her not being here and what she is missing. I got the flowers I want to put on her garden tomorrow morning. I didn't put them out tonight because they are projecting rain. Sometimes I wish it was all a dream but I know it is not and that my life is going on and moving forward. I must remember Leia but also live my life as happy as I know how.

Also, this morning I had a pleasant surprise on my front porch. Someone had left a bouquet of flowers. It made me cry and I now have them sitting in a vase in our kitchen. A random act like that means so much to the person when you do that. I really did appreciate whoever did it, but they chose to remain anonymous and I respect that.

Tomorrow is going to be a hard day but I do have therapy first thing in the morning and hoping that gets my day off to a good start. I am not sure what I'll be feeling tomorrow. Two years....seems so long ago but in other ways like it just happened. Missing you Leia Grace and wishing you were here with your little brother Landon Keith. Love you...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 9

Quick post tonight. I gave my hair stylist two books today on Weight Watchers that she had wanted. LB and I took a nice one hour walk outdoors where it was in the high 60's. I so enjoyed getting out and I think he enjoyed it as well. The treats I gave out last night were well received and liked. I am glad I went to group. It was a good session and glad to have gone. I posted below the treats that were given out. Off to figure out some hospital bills and prepare for a meeting in the morning.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Day 8

Tonight is group meeting that other women and I attend bi-monthly to talk about our PPD and what we have going on and how we are feeling. Sometimes we do yoga. I guess it was done at last meeting that I had to miss due to my hubs having a work thingie.

So last month the group did a little holiday party and since I missed I am taking individual treats for tonight. I will give them out and if someone doesn't want one I won't be offended. I am taking some choxie goodies and I know that it is January and everyone is trying to be good and lose weight, etc. I'll post a picture tomorrow of my little treats.

What else is going on? I have hung some Valentine's Decorations and trying to get ready for end of week when we head out of town for a few days. It has been a good day. I got 10 hours of sleep last night so dragging a bit. It is weird how when I get so much sleep that I am even more tired. I also have very weird dreams when I take my meds to help me sleep. Last night's dream entailed my friend getting married and we were sampling desserts and arguing about where we would park to go into the establishment. When I awoke it took me several minutes to figure out where I was and what day it was.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sea Salt Chocolate Chip "Big" Cookie

When I am stressed or upset I emotional eat. I know this and with Leia's 2-year anniversary approaching quickly, I am baking like crazy. Below is a new recipe that I tweeked in a new dish from a store that I have found recently that I love, Sur la Table.

Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease a baking sheet. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add in the vanilla and eggs. Mix until smooth. Add the flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Fold in the chocolate chips. Roll dough into balls and drop on your greased baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. I used a pie dish and baked for 30 minutes. Cool slightly before moving to a wire rack. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Picture That I Love

Days 5 & 6

Busy the past two days. My day of giving or pay it forward was donating to a local hospital that was raising money for children with cancer. They were set up outside a Walmart on a cold day here in North Carolina and asking for donations. I gave $10.00 and also got a t-shirt. I would have given more but only had that much cash on hand at that time. For day 6 of giving I have been preparing all my 2013 Pay It Forward gifts to those who commented on my Facebook page. I will be mailing them out tomorrow. The majority of today has been spent putting away all of our holiday decor and doing many loads of laundry. LB just had a blow out which meant a load right away! Ha! This upcoming Friday is the 2-year anniversary of our Leia being born sleeping. Trying to stay positive, think positive and not get too down though I did spend about 45 minutes today having a good cry. So anyways I am very tired so making this short. I hope everyone has a good week.

Friday, January 4, 2013

2013 Pay It Forward

2013 Pay it Forward- the first five people who comment on this post will receive from me sometime in the calendar year, without warning, a note, perhaps with a gift attached, when the mood strikes me. The catch? You must also post this same thing on your blog! What a rockin' idea! Please repost and pass on....love, love, love!

Short post today. Busy day which includes weekly therapy, a meet-up with person from my group therapy, a little retail therapy (lol!), dinner out tonight with hubs/LB and then attending a casual gathering for friends we know who tied the knot last weekend. Busy, busy, busy! Must go and stay on my timeline for the day!

Cheers and Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day 3

Today I made a special treat for our postman and left it in our mailbox. In recent months I have discovered online shopping is much more convenient that going to the mall or running to several stores. Thus, I have much more mail and boxes coming than usual so I felt it was time to recognize his hard work and show him my appreciation. I made nobake cookies which are so yummy but I love to share or give them away because they have so much sugar. I got the urge for eating these because my mother-in-law brought them at xmas time. I don't think I've made them in several years. The recipe comes from my Aunt Margaret. I may send her a few of them too since I made a whole batch.

I am copying another blogger and posting the following questions. I had fun answering them and thinking about the past year of 2012.

1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?
Brought home a baby from the hospital.

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I did not make any, I just wanted to continue being pregnant and bring home our baby.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Nicole, Laurie and Molly.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes, Peggy whom I was close to several years ago. I missed getting her holiday card. :(

5. What countries did you visit?
None this year but I did travel to Dallas and New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
More laughter and fun times.

7. What dates from 2012 will remained etched upon your memory?
May 17, 2012

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Having my son and bringing him home. Also, overcoming PPD and returning to life as I know it.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Ending up in the ER/Hospital for PPD.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Yes, post-partum depression after giving birth. I believe I was in a depression during my whole pregnancy with LB.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A toy that LB still plays with and loves.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My husband for standing by me through this past year that was tough for us both.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
My sister, niece and nephew. Words can’t explain how hurt I am by their actions, words and lack of caring for what has gone on in my life. I know we all have issues but I just can’t believe what they are doing to me and continue to do or have said. I just need to let it all go and realize they will not be in my life. It hurts but life goes on.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Meeting insurance deductibles, UNC Hospitals and Physicians.  

15. What did you get really excited about?
LB and watching him grow!

16. What song will always remind you of 2012? Silver Linings Playbook Soundtrack

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
- happier or sadder?  Immeasurably happier.
- thinner or fatter?  Thinner but need to lose some weight - richer or poorer?  Poorer

 18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Worrying, crying, thinking about what was wrong more than right with LB and other personal things. 

20. How did you spend Christmas?
With my hubs family and good friends.

21. Did you fall in love in 2012?
Yes, with LB.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Modern Family

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hate's a very strong word.  Let’s just say I have a few people that I dislike for their behavior and attitude towards me.

24. What was the best book you read?
Didn't read too much but I have a stack of books next to my bed ready to read this year.

25. What was your favorite musical discovery?
Jamie Cullum

26. What did you want and get?
A living baby

27. What did you want and not get?

28 What was your favorite film of this year?
Silver Linings Playbook

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I had a dinner at home and took care of Landon. I turned 41. 

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Having Leia here with her baby brother.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012? Lots of sweatpants, shorts and t-shirts.

32. What kept you sane?
Hubs and cymbalta

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Jennifer Aniston, I am glad she is getting her happy ending.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Can't remember, there were a few.

35. Who did you miss?
My parents who live several states away. My Dad had a stroke in April and made me realize that I only have them for so long.

36. Who was the best new person(s) you met?
Celia, Dee Dee, Faith, Heather and Tonya.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012.
That nothing can get you out of depression post-partum other than prescribed medications.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
All at Sea, entire song by Jamie Cullum

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Day 2

Well today is the second day of January and I decided to make a quick trip to Target. We needed some wedding wrap and a card (which I forgot, of course). I wanted to be in and out fairly quick and was also determined to not get sucked into their deals or all the stuff they have, that I love TOO much. I was making a return at their front customer service desk when I noticed there was a young woman working in the front area and she had Down's. I got all excited thinking I needed to go through her lane and be happy that Target has hired this lady. I then realized all they had her doing was wiping down registers and straightening the items they have for sale in the check-out lanes. I was disappointed but also happy that at least they hired her and she is doing a job. At the moment as I was leaving customer service another employee from the store loudly yelled to the young woman, "When are you gonna be a cashier?", and proceeded to walk off laughing with another fellow employee behind her. I looked at the young woman as she continued to work. I could see she was upset and trying to ignore this rude comment. I got so mad. I really wanted to find a manager and voice my concern and unhappiness with the employee that made the comment. I couldn't find a manager. I also thought that being with LB I need to remember that I want to set an example and also that I need to think about him and how I act in public. So I left the store but before leaving I found the young woman, pulled out some cash from my purse and gave it to her. I told her to have a nice lunch on me and have a happy new year. She smiled brightly at me and thanked me. I felt much better knowing I had done something to make her feel appreciated and a member of our society. She is working and trying to better herself. That has to count for something. When I left the store I got sad. I started to think about what life would have been like for our Leia had she lived. Would she have encountered people like this? Most certainly, because she looked different and would be different. I call it people being ignorant and bullies. I am mad and I am not stopping here. I did call the store and make a complaint and I have emailed Target. This might lead to a boycott of my favorite store but I'd better hear from someone and they better tell me they have addressed the staff at this store. In my opinion they all need some training on diversity and working with others who may have a disability or not be like them. I know my hubs will be happy if I don't frequent Target as often as I have in the past but I am not letting this go. I want awareness to be made and that we all treat each other as we would want to be treated.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Day 1

Today I am making by favorite recipe of brownies. Anybody who knows me well knows that I love my brownies. Even when I was a teenager I could whip up a batch of brownies in no time and especially when I was having a craving. Also, I really have learned to tweek and change recipes from watching some baking shows on food network and cooking channels. I also like Pioneer Woman and her blog and cookbooks. So if you wonder where I am getting some of my ideas for this blog post you can thank Ree.

Cappucinno Brownies

Yield: Makes 8 large brownies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, diced
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar 
2 large eggs 
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder  (this can be eliminated from recipe if desired)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
3/4 cup all purpose flour 
For baking:
  Preheat oven to 325°F.  Grease nonstick pan with butter.

Put butter and chocolate in microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute and 40 seconds till completely melted. This time may vary from oven to oven. Whisk in sugar, then eggs, 1 at a time. Whisk in espresso powder, vanilla, and salt; sift flour over and stir to blend well. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake for 25 minutes only. Cool completely in pan on rack.

Here are some pictures for ease in understanding this recipe:

                                            The ingredients/players...

                                After chocolate and butter is melted...

                                 The finished product before going in the oven!

                                            The final product...YUM!

Four of these brownies are being shipped to a person on my Facebook page. Can you guess who? I am hoping the person will share on her page when she receives them. She is someone I knew earlier in my life and have not seen in many years but I thought I would surprise HER with a treat in the mail. Hint, she lives in Ellicottville, New York!

Happy New Year and Happy 2013.