Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Papa

Friday was my Papa's birthday. I have had him on my mind A LOT the past few days. I can not even begin to express how much I love this man. I love his little round belly (which is shrinking every time I see him) that I get to press my stomach on every time I hug him. I love his kisses every time he sees me. I love his beautiful wavy white hair. I love how intelligent he is. I love how you can look at him and SEE the love in his eyes for his grand kids and great grand kids. I love that he likes to be involved in our lives. I love that he includes me in his e-mails (some days they are just what I need to pick myself up). I love that he is not quick to judge someone, but is dimensional enough to look past things to see deeper things that others miss. I love that he is ALWAYS right, or at least thinks he is (I so got it from him). I love how you can feel his pride in you when he looks at you.

I have been very fortunate to have my Papa so present in my life. My childhood memories definitely include my Papa. I loved going to his house and getting a frozen Hershey's bar with almonds (the only candy bar that I will eat to this day, and for some reason LOVE even though I do not like chocolate). I fondly remember going to the farm with him and running around while he worked with the cows and horses ( I loved to run off to the duck pond). I remember his smell of dirt, sweat, and animals when he would kiss me goodbye when we left the farm. I also remember smelling his cowboy hats in his garage when I was little, just to have a whiff of Papa (disturbing huh). I remember going to try to cheer him up when one of his favorite horses died, and feeling special because I knew only we could make him feel better. I remember getting in trouble for taking off all of the stickers of his rubik's cube so that I could show him I beat it, how did he know! I remember a time when I felt totally lost and unsupported by any other member of my family, and my Papa stepping up to tell me it would all be OK, and that he would personally support me in any decision I made, and at that point knowing that I was unconditionally loved and would never be alone. I remember him walking me down the isle on my wedding day, and getting nervous about the decision I was making for the 1st time. He then told me about his own wedding day and how my Nanny had locked herself in a room and would not come out until they took the hinges off of the door. It immediately calmed me down and I was ready to go.

The times I was able to spend with my grandparent while my parents were on their mission will always be a treasure to me. The fact that I was able to hog them for my family is selfish, I know, but it is one of the best memories I will ever have. My husband loves and respects my grandparents as if they were his own. My children think of them as grandparents, not as great grandparents.

My Papa is a person with a rich history. I love to pick his brain and hear his stories. Every time I do I learn something new about him. He has had a full life. He has the drive of a 25 year old right out of school. No one would ever believe that this year he turned 84. He makes our lives now look like a cake walk. He has always shown me the importance of being involved in family, church and community. Because of his example I feel so strongly that my family needs to be involved in our community, and try to keep us involved in community projects. I see a lot of myself in him. Sometimes they are not the best traits (ones we like to refer to as Webb traits, but are always told by Papa that the Webb's were kind people who never spoke a harsh word, but are in fact Layton traits), but knowing that I share these traits with someone so wonderful makes me know I can have good qualities, too.

I love my Papa. I don't know how many more Birthdays we will be able to share with him, if I had my pick it would be 84 more. I can not even bring myself to think for a minute of a world without him in it. It will be a very sad day for me when his body can no longer keep up with his spirit, and he leaves it behind. I celebrate every year that we have him here to love, learn from, and enjoy. I have been so blessed to have such a wonderful man in my life, and to know of his love for me. I am so glad that my kids have such a wonderful relationship with him. I am blessed to be part of his posterity. Words could never adiquatly express my love for my Papa. It will just have to be enough to say "Papa, I Love You!" Happy Birthday!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The STORM has come

Today Rodney entered, and I quote him, "a new level of geekdom". He got up early (5:00am) and went to the Verizon store to stand in line for the new Blackberry Storm phone that was released today. He has only done that one other time, last year when we got a hot tip on the shipment of a couple Wii's, and he went and sat for hours to get one for the kids for Christmas. Today he arrived and was the third in line. The guy in front of him was a big nerd I guess. Rodney felt nerdy just being there. Then the guy actually peed his pants waiting in line. Rodney felt so bad for him, but said he did not seem to mind. The store only got in 6, and the store is one of the biggest in the metroplex, so it will be in higher demand than we thought. His contract ran out a few months ago, and Verizon has been hounding him to sign a new one, so he got a SWEET deal on it. He paid $100 while others in the store were paying $400. He is not sure how he likes it yet, but I think he will end up loving it. He has needed to get e-mail on his phone for quite sometime. I think he will realize that by having his e-mail with him all of the time he will be even more free to be out and about and playing. All he really needs to work is his phone and e-mail, and now he has it all on one device. He feels a bit cool, and a bit nerdy. I think he is the cutest, coolest nerd around.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Last night I was the 2nd on the scene of an accident. I left to pick my kids up from mutual and the car in front of me slammed on her brakes and pulled into the center lane. I quickly slammed on mine and pulled in front of her not knowing what had happened. All I saw was one mini van blocking the road with all of the air bags deployed and its left back end crashed in. I thought, "Crap, of course the 1st day I am off my crutches and didn't put them in my car." As I hopped out I heard a voice yelling, panicking, "Help! Some one Help!!" I looked to my left and there was a man at the edge of the other lane laying there. I was so confused as to how he got there. He was a good 35-40 feet away from the car. The road we were on is a 50 mph road, and traffic was not quite slowing down yet, and because I could not move fast enough I could not get to him. Luckily the ladies behind me ran over and started talking to him. He was responsive and answered ?'s as they called 911. I asked someone to run over and check the people in the van because all of the airbags were deployed and covering up the windows, so I could not see in, but I could hear crying. It was too far for me to walk with my one bad leg, so, thankfully, a man ran over and checked them. I finally saw where the man laying in the road came from, a motorcycle that was about 25 feet away from him. I looked over at him again and was so relieved to realize he had helmet on, it was a long throw. I was so nervous that one of the cars flying by was going to run over him. We did not want to move him, I am sure there were several broken bones and he was in pain, so several of us tried to slow cars down, but they seemed to speed up as soon as they passed the van and would come so close to him. Finally an off duty police officer came and helped and seemed to spread people out more and the traffic slowed. It felt like forever until the ambulance and fire trucks got there. I just felt so helpless. I knew I could not get to any of them, all could do was continue to slow down traffic. I kept looking over at the man lying on the side of the road and thinking of my dad. As soon as help got there I got out of the way and headed to the church to tell everyone to take a different route home and warn the teenagers to drive slowly and safely. I was a bit shaken, not because it was bad or gory, just because of the thoughts that were running around in my head. Thought #1- I hate feeling helpless. I have to get better fast. Could I have done anything if it was just me there? Thought #2- Memories of the time Rodney and I saw a 14 year old girl get hit by a car going 50 mph down the street, and almost hitting her again as she flew into out lane. Being the 1st one to her and turning her to see if I could do CPR and realizing she had no recognizable face to work with. Sitting with her friend she was crossing the street with as we waited for the emergency services, and not knowing what to do to comfort her. Thought #3- Worrying about my Dad, brothers, brothers-in law, and husband as they ride their motorcycles, especially with no helmets. Knowing that Rodney, Scott, and Perry have all been hit by drivers that had not seen them and had somehow been fine. Thinking about my dad laying on the side of the road in this mans place and hoping that he would have someone there to help him and be as wonderfully comforting to him as the two women in the other car were. Thought #4- Thinking about my friend Melanie who just lost her dad in a motorcycle accident, and feeling so sad for her. I gave myself a minute to think, shake, and even cry, and then I got out of my car and went inside and called my sister and dad and asked them to remind everyone to be careful. Cambria was walking out the door with me last night to go pick-up the kids, and I suddenly turned to her and told her to just stay home. I told her that I did not feel good about her going, that it would be better just to stay home and relax and watch TV. It was not until later that night that I realized how glad I was that she had not been with me. I would hate for her to have been there. Even though it was not horrible, it leaves you shaken, and she did not need to see that. For someone who rarely feels prompted to do things, this was a perfect time to be prompted. I am truly grateful. You sure never imagine that an ordinary chore can turn into a testimony building experience, but it can.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Good News

Today is filled with good news!

1st and foremost- Decota had an eye appointment with her retina specialist today. Everything is looking good, no wait, very good. All the inflammation that was spilling over into the back of her eye has gone away. The milkiness and haze in her eye is looking much clearer. There really is only one part of her eye that still has inflammation in it. What does this all mean for us? She will continue to take her pressure drops and nsaid drops in her eye 2x a day, but her steroid drops will now be decreased to ONCE a day. Considering the fact that in January she started using the steroid every hour, and up until July she had only decreased to using them every 2 hours, weaning all the way to 1 time a day in the last 4 months is pretty incredible. This specialist we started seeing in July has been so great for her! She does not have to go back to the eye doctor for 3 months!!! Until July she was going to the eye doctor every week for months at one point, at the least once every 3 weeks. She was also seeing another Dr at the hospital every other month, but he has decided that our new Dr has it under control, so he will not start seeing her again until she is in remission. After her eye appointment in Arlington we drove to Dallas to have her blood work done at Scottish Rite Hospital to make sure everything is still great with her body as she takes the chemo. So far there has been no negative effects, and I am sure the results will remain the same. Once her eye is fully weened of drugs and stays clear, they will start to lower her doses of Methotrexate until she is off of it. It is still a long way down the road, but it is in view now, and Decota is thrilled to feel like it really might come. She does not have any more appointments until January when she will have her next blood work done and her rheumatology check up, and then February for her eyes. She feels so free!!! As we walked out of the hospital she said "Have I ever told you how much I LOVE MY hospital?". Yes- every time we come she tells me several times, but I will never tire of hearing how much she loves it. I love it too!

2nd- I had my check up today and I am crutches free- well technically. I am slow, and get very tired fast as my leg cramps up as I try to walk, but I will get there. It is amazing how fast you forget how to walk, and my kids make fun of me as I remind myself how to place my foot- but this walking thing is harder than you realize. I am just so excited to get moving on my own again and only have a few limitation put on me and not tons. I am supposed to be jogging for 30 min by my next appointment in 6 weeks. Right now that seems impossible to me, but I know I will get there before I know it.

3rd- Rodney is on his way home. Need I say any more.

Last, but certainly not least- TWILIGHT IS OUT IN THEATERS IN 2 DAYS. I am going to get my ticket tonight. I can't wait! I certainly don't think it will be as absolutely wonderful as the book, but I am HOPING it will do it enough justice. I can't wait to fall for Edward all over again:)

So this concludes my good news for today- YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008


I have been a slacker. November 13th was Alicia's birthday and I am just now getting around to writing a bit about her. I have been thinking about her, but just have not taken the time to sit down and write my thoughts. Well, I'm sitting today!

Some of my best memories of Alicia are from when she was in High School. I used to love to come down and visit with her. At that time in my life I did not feel particularly comfortable at Rodney's parents home, but Alicia always eased my worries and made me feel included. I loved sitting on her bed talking about life. She would fill me in on the latest details of her love life and social life. She would read me e-mails and notes from boys that I knew she would not share with just anyone. She was always plotting things to do, and including me. I loved the simplest things, like driving into town to rent a movie with her, because I felt wanted. When she went to college I was so excited that she wanted me to come along. I had so much fun leaving my kids at the hotel with Myra and Danny and running around all night with Alicia showing her the town and pretending like I was still young. I have always appreciated how much Alicia seems to genuinely want me around. She has made some very apprehensive times for me become very enjoyable times.

Alicia is a go getter. If she wants something she will find a way to get it- nothing will get in her way. She is confident and a leader. She does not let other people decide how she will feel about herself or tell her what to do, she decides all of that for herself. She is someone that just knows deep down to her core what is right and what is wrong- and always chooses the right. She is such a strength to her family and friends.

It has been a lot of fun to have her and Dustin closer. I have enjoyed all of the time that we have been able to spend together lately. She is like a grown up child- always ready to play. My kids love that she will not only participate in activities with them, but instigate the activity. I love that she can get everything done and still have time to have fun.

I am so grateful that I have Alicia in my family. She is such a wonderful sister, daughter, wife, mother, aunt, and (especially for me) friend. I hope that I can be more like Alicia do better at and making people feel wanted and comfortable around me. I hope that I can continue to be more confident in myself so that I can be there to lift others up, like Alicia does. I hope that I can follow her example of staying young by playing young, and taking the time to instigate fun with my kids. I love Alicia very much and am so lucky to have her as a friend and a sister in law. Happy Birthday Alicia!

Friday, November 14, 2008


Yes, it is possible to be homesick while you are sitting in the comfort of your home. I don't know why, but I have had the blues for the last week. I can't figure out if it is the fact that I was able to spend so much time with my mom lately, or that I did not get to see my dad enough on his short visit, or if it is because I was not able to help out with Chelsey's kids while she was in Spain. What ever it is- I miss home. I love Texas, it has been a blast to live here, I don't remember being homesick since we have moved here- but since my surgery I have missed home. I think it is because I have spent SOOOOO much time at home this past 5 weeks. I have had time to realize a few things- I have no friends to call up and invite over to scrapbook, or just do nothing with- I have no one to go to a movie or sit on my couch and watch a movie with- I have no mom or sisters around to cry on their shoulder when I have pushed as hard as I feel I can and now want to collapse and die- I have no one to talk girl to girl with- I have no one to make me feel it is OK to just slack off sometimes- I am alone. Since we have moved here I have been so wrapped up in my family that I have not really ever thought about it. I seem to run 90-nothing all the time, all for the benefit of my family. I love the bonding between my family that has occurred since we have moved here- it has been irreplaceable. I just never realized that I have NO ONE to do nothing with. I have always been surrounded by great friends and family. I have always been VERY social. I am not here. I have many friends on my street, I love them. We all have busy schedules though, and so getting together is hard for all of us. I do not have any good church friends. There are many people I really like at church, but I don't have any great friends. This is mostly because I have shut myself out since I have been here. I have been so focused on my family. Most people my age have much younger children so I have less in common with them. Rodney really has not clicked with people in our ward. He is not real happy there, and is very alone. It is hard for me to watch him be unwilling to try to get to know people there. I like our ward ok, it just doesn't feel like "home" being there. It took our kids awhile to adjust to it, but I think they enjoy it now. I just want the to feel at home there. I am just in that funny stage where my kids take us so much time that friendships become less important. I just have had a lot of extra time to think about it lately. I am jealous of the fact that my sisters get to get together and can apples, scrapbook, walk, babysit. I am jealous of the time they get to spend with mom and dad and Nanny and Papa. I am also so happy that they are all together and enjoying it so much. This is my families time to be a family and learn to be dependant on each other. I am so thankful for this time. I am SO glad that I have Rodney, he makes a wonderful best friend and is good company. I just wish I could teleport real quick and play a quick game with my nieces and nephews, hug my beautiful sisters, brothers, and their spouses, spend time in the kitchen with my mom, watch a movie with my dad, enjoy a conversation with my grandparents on their couch- and then be back home before my kids are out of school. I am sure glad we have the computer to keep in touch. I feel so much more a part of their lives since we have started blogging. Hey- maybe that's why I'm homesick!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Forever my baby

This week Declan had the stomach flu. I can honestly never remember any of my children having the stomach flu quite like he did. He was doing great Wednesday night, and then about 10:30 it all started. He threw up all night, at least every hour. It wasn't wimpy little throwing up, but house shaking throwing up. I felt so horrible for him. He was so tired, but he could not sleep. I barley slept either. I kept worrying that he wasn't breathing, or some silly thing like that, and kept getting up to check on him. Every time I went in his room he would say "Hi mom. I'm still up, but you need to sleep so go back to bed." Of course I couldn't so I laid there and scratched is head and back, or cleaned up messes, or brought him medicine and water most of the night. He would eventually fall asleep, and my leg would cramp up, so I would head back to bed. About an hour later I would wake up panicked that he was not breathing and hobble back in there to find him awake again. Finally at about 6:00 he fell into a deep sleep and slept until about 11:00. We laid around together all day and just tried to rest and relax. He couldn't keep anything down except ginger-ale, so by the time I put him to bed I was worried about him being dehydrated and starving. Luckily, I was so tired that I slept well that night. When we woke up he was starving! He had a bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup for breakfast, and kept it down. For lunch he ate Chicken Noodle again, so by dinner when he wanted a Chicken sandwich from McDonald's (something I don't usually let him eat), I was more than willing to feed him anything to get him eating again. Rodney was a bit annoyed with how much I worried about him (although he would definitely expect the same amount of worry if her were in Declan's shoes), but I just couldn't help it. I was laughing at therapy about the fact that he is 13 1/2 years old, yet I still feel like he is my baby. I was checking to make sure he was breathing just like you do a newborn. I sat next to him all day for 2 days just to make sure he had everything he needed. I know it is horrible to say, but- Declan, I am afraid you will always be my little boy. You are taller than me, you outweigh me, but I still feel the need to hold you in my arms and make everything better. I don't know if I will ever grow out of those feelings, but I guess for now I will just be grateful that you still feel comforted while in my arms. I am so glad that you are still so willing to be "Mama's Little Boy".

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

6 of my Randoms...

I have been tagged by Brittani to share 6 things about me that people may not know (or you may and I am just kidding myself). Here I go:
1) I HATE antique malls and most antiques. I don't mind some heirloom form my grandmother, or things like that where I know where they have been and how they have been cared for, but anything else- YUCK! I am so grossed out by old dust and the smell of old ick. I can''t bear to think of all of the old germs that may have touched it. Antique malls give me major he-be-je-bez! I can't help but imagine everything in there being kept in some disgustingly filthy pack rats home with years and years of filth on it. I get bad headaches when I go to one, and need to take a shower after (sometimes I even break down and cry while in one). I love restored old buildings and even some restored furniture pieces (but honestly most of them are just plain ugly to me, they have to many frills), but I do not even want to be around most old junk. Rodney thinks I have an irrational phobia of it.
2) I love history (doesn't quite go along with hating antiques, does it). I love to learn about people, times and places. I love to see antiques in this setting, and to go back in time. I feel like my eyes are opened up and my view of the world expanded so much as I get into the minds of people in different periods and times. History helps me have a better understanding of, tolerance for, and compassion for people that are so different than myself. I truly feel like I am awakened as I learn about history.
3) I HATE to lose. I am a competitive person. I try not to be. I am not athletic, I am not a sports nut, I am not your average competitor- but I HAT TO LOOSE. Ask anyone who has played a board game with me. My talons come out and I have a hard time not calling people names. I then seem to hold a grudge, even if I try not to show it, and have to talk myself down from the loss. I am not a very gracious looser, even when I have no real say in the result (such as the election- I was not going to listen to Obama's acceptance speech, and then had to walk away for a bit and convince myself I should listen). I just get upset and have to clam myself back to reality. When I have a challenge in front of me, such as physical therapy, I want to not only do it, but do it better than most. If someone says I should complete this in 2 weeks, I want to in one. I have always lived by the rule- anything you can do I can do better. Although I know that is not true (especially when it comes to running, sports, making a living, cooking, most everything) I always find myself trying to do better than expected.
4) I HATE to do my nails. I hate cutting them. I hate filing them. I hate painting them. I only paint my toenails because I feel like they look so hideous if I don't (and I wait at least a month between polishings- yes, most of the paint is chipped off by then). I never paint my fingernails- they chip in two days! I hate to spend money on pedicures because, while I enjoy someone rubbing my legs and feet, I feel like it was a waste of money when my heals are still cracked and dry the next day and my polish is chipped in a week.
5) I LOVE to travel. I think I could find joy in going almost anywhere. I just live to go. There is so much world to see, landscapes to explore, historical stories to be told, and people to meet. I think I could just live in hotels and be happy, as long as I was sight seeing, learning and going (but not an old hotel with old furniture- yuck). My favorite feeling is having my family in the car, heading out on the road together. I always think "the most important things in my life are all right here with me. While we are gone the house could burn to the ground, but I will have lost nothing because my whole world is in this tiny car." I love the opportunity to learn and explore together, and it creates a harmony and bond that is amazing!
6) My favorite snack in the whole world is CHIPS & SALSA. I could eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, dessert, anytime. I especially love thin tortilla chips and salsa with a lot of flavor. I love salsa in many different flavors- but it has to be flavorful. I love the tomato, the spices, the herbs. Texas has some wonderful salsas that have a wonderful smoke flavor because the chili's are roasted over wood. My mouth is watering thinking about it!
I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about me. I am tagging mom, Laura, Alicia, and Melanie. Your turn!