December 8, 2012

Letter to Santa


1) Open with gratitude.
2) Make requests/demands.
3) Close with compliment.

Santa is now left with the impression of a sincere young lady who deserves nothing but everything she asks for.

You're such a pushover, Santa.

September 28, 2012

Stella is Fa-mi-ly

Stella's natural abilities for dance debuted online two years ago in the moderately famous Eat your heart out, Elaine Benes post. Those closest to us questioned where the unbridled enthusiasm for shakin' it comes from, as it expressed itself as an unattractive mix of Markana's social confidence and my inability to find rhythm if not behind a drum set.

Last weekend Stella enjoyed her first gig as a flower girl at one of Markana's best friend's wedding. (Congrats Suzy and Nathan!) And after the ceremony, Stella was ready to take her smooth moves public.

July 5, 2012

11:37 p.m.

Yep. This pretty much sums up our day with Little Miss Birthday Girl; and yes, this was her arriving home from Nashville's fireworks show at 11:37 p.m. Needless to say, she ran the show today and had a very big time with family and friends. (Special thanks to the Steakleys, Leloys and Craddocks for hanging in there.)

Four years ago she came into our lives and has challenged/rewarded us every step of the way. We love you, Stella Rose!

June 19, 2012

Walk of Hope

A few weeks ago we traveled to Union City to surprise Markana's parents and join them in the annual Walk of Hope, an extremely successful cancer research fundraiser in her home town. We've participated in the past, and though we initially thought we couldn't make the trip this year, we realized how important it was to us and our family so we made the time.

I originally wanted to post about our trip immediately after we got back, but never quite pulled it together. This morning, however, I came across the image below and it stunned me.

We've been living "cancer free" for some time now, but I (we) continue to learn how to live in post-cancer-land. I've said this before to friends, but for all the hell Markana went through during those two years, it's been a different kind of hell trying to reacquaint ourselves with life. Don't get me wrong, we are extremely grateful for our health, our doctors, our daughter, our extremely supportive family and friends — but the truth is you never get to really live in the pre-cancer world again.

So back to the image...

I saw this on the side of the walking track and just stared. I still just stare. And then I get emotional. We were so close to not having each other, so close to Stella not having her mom, and now Markana gets to walk as a survivor while Stella watches on having no idea what happened during the first two years of her life. She just knows that Mommy and Papa (also a survivor) walk around the track with balloons.

We love you Markana.

June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

I am not sure that when Chip became a Dad, he knew what a great Father he would be. He is just insane about this girl. And in this moment, he is just about as happy as he can get; his little girl, in a Braves hat and tomahawk, on the way to see his favorite team play my Dad's favorite team.

And this picture just makes me laugh or shake my head in disbelief. Somehow I have managed to marry someone very similar to my Dad. Funny how that happens. I grew up going to ballgames most every Summer with my family; not exactly the favorite pastime of a 13 year old girl who never liked sports. So here I am, with my daughter, who now catches a game of her own every Summer. I hope she likes baseball. :)
 This is a shot of my Dad and I participating in the Survivor's Walk @ The Walk of Hope in Union City, TN. My hometown puts on quite the show and has raised 1.5 million dollars towards Cancer research. Amazing.

Happy Father's Day to the men in my life! I love you!

May 25, 2012

"You wanna try? But it's so fun!"

We spent a couple fun-filled days in St. Louis recently (proof here), including two Braves/Cardinals games, Grant's Farm, City Museum and a yummy Mothers' Day brunch. Stella had a blast, including the above video where she cutely encourages her Grandma Cookie to experience the slide with her.

Other highlights:

May 8, 2012

Stella does the robot

Last weekend we celebrated cinco de mayo at our neighborhood Nachos restaurant. What started as stereotypical mariachi music on the PA turned into 80s night, so Stella and Cade naturally broke out the robot.

April 29, 2012

Stella likes riding ponies

Here are just a few pics from the birthday party Stella attended this afternoon. I think my daughter is going to ask for a pony soon.

April 26, 2012

Octopus Family

One night I, lacking any good ideas, helped Stella make an octopus out of string. We drew a circle with eyes on a piece of paper and taped the string for tentacles. Genius, I know.

I guess now she thinks this is the default arts & crafts project when daddy is home and mommy is at work, so tonight we made an octopus family using strips of colored paper and tape. We used every marker in the pack, and Stella drew everything except the circle for the heads. Pretty cute, especially the eyelashes that separate the girls octopuses from the boy octopuses.

And for those who are cool enough to care, the new Jack White album was our project's background music. Yes, I'm trying to raise a hip kid.

January 8, 2012

It's better than yours

We finally made it over to the much-celebrated Pharmacy Burger Parlor last night, and despite them being out of the first three things Markana ordered, it was good eats. (If "being out of the first three things Markana ordered" equals good eats. It's new. We'll cut some slack. Though I don't know how you run out of onions...)

Stella loved it, especially after spending most of Saturday inquiring about milkshakes. It started after her nap.

"Yes baby..."
"Do you know where Chuck E. Cheese lives?"
(Me, thinking "Thanks PBS for allowing Curious George to be sponsored by Chuck E. Cheese.") "No baby, where?"
"Disney World."
"Mmmm k."
"And do you know what they have there?"

She's never actually had a milkshake (unless she nabbed one in Union City), so after promising her a milkshake with good behavior, we headed to Pharmacy for a family night out. As we we're walking across the parking lot she exclaimed, "It smells like milkshakes!" (It actually smelled like the dumpster we parked next to.)

Then it went like this.

From January, 2012 From January, 2012