Monday, December 21, 2009

Stocking Addition For This Year

I wanted to give blog posting from my iPhone a try. So as I am in "taking it easy mode" with this pregnancy approaching the final weeks, I thought it would be fun to post a picture of the stockings we use every year at Christmas. Dave and I both have ours from childhood (1970's) and I've made Chloe and Riley's in the last couple of years.

And just the other week I happened across a few patterns for stockings in this style that my mom had gotten and was planning on making for her grandkids. So I think I may end up making them and either giving them to my brother's kids. Or if it's not their style, make then save them for our one day grandkids...

Either way, there is a story of my mom connected to them, and that makes them extra special!

Too funny mom! All the little things you did still keep giving and giving...

Chloe & Marsha:


Dave & Riley's:


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 30, 2009

Wonderful Friends

One thing that I always liked about my mom is that no matter who you were...
Or what your background...
She would always welcome you into her home with open arms...

I'm not saying she was perfect or she didn't hold grudges if you crossed her,
Because she did...
She was a very protective person of people close to her, and boy, don't make her mad...

She always gave the best hugs...
No matter how long it had been since she saw you...
Here she is back in the late 80's or early 90's with her younger brother Robbie.

And I have found that in my life this sort of thinking:
To welcome first...
Ask questions later...
Has allowed me to meet so many wonderful people that have become wonderful friends...
A bit naive maybe, but still, there is always some caution up front...

There is such a great human connection in this world if you open up enough to let it find you...
And for me, in recent years it has really focused around the bead world...

This is because of doing bead shows almost every weekend for years,
Traveling to different parts of the country to do shows,
Having dinner with friends, or coffee and donuts in the mornings with friends...
And by friends, I mean other vendors, show promoters, bead artists, customers, bead shop owners, magazine employees, and many others...
It's like a big family reunion every time we would meet up.

And going to my mom's house, especially during the holidays, that's what it felt like!
Friends, Neighbors, Family... Everyone was family really...

And now, since I'm home/studio bound and not doing shows anytime soon I feel like I'm discovering a great new group of friends in my life through blogging and keeping in touch through technology.

And I've got to say how excited and proud I am to be able to work with such amazing artists that are donating their time and talent to the My Mom Etsy shop!

It's like a weight has been lifted by these artists...
These Friends of mine...
These wonderful people that are becoming more like family every day...

They are stepping up to the plate right there with me,
And helping me reach my goals...
To make a permanent place for the memory of My Mom Pattie out there in the world...

To help make a difference little by little,
Which is the only way to get something larger accomplished...

To the other artists wanting to donate materials - Right On!!!
You guys are great too, and an unexpected part of this.

And I promise once Riley arrives and I've got more brain power to dedicate to the My Mom Pattie Etsy Shop, we'll get a place for you guys too.
For now, contact the Jewelry Designers directly if you don't mind, to help out more immediately! They are really amazing and talented...
I can't promise they can use everything someone offers them, because this is all about donating time and effort, and there are some limits to be set.

You can always make something, sell it, then donate the proceeds to My Mom Pattie...
Hmmm... I should talk to my accountant about that one...
Just want to make sure things are done properly!

Anyway - lots to do before my Dr's appointment for Riley this afternoon...
I just wanted to say THANK YOU for everything you are all doing to help out with me reaching my goals!
I can hear mom humming along and singing to her favorite Christmas tunes right now...
She's got a huge smile on her face, and warm welcoming hugs for everyone!
Which of course, should make everyone smile or just feel that much more loved...

Thanks!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Dream of a Shoppe...

As long as I can remember...
My mom used to talk about one day having a small shoppe in Historic New Castle, DE.

My mom rented a home in this small town for a while when I was in High School.
And I can honestly say that it was my favorite place to live so far here in Delaware.

Here is a print that I bought for my mom for her birthday before she got sick.
As far as I know, it is still hanging in her dining room - which is actually no longer hers...
But to me, when I think of the place where she last lived and put her decorative mark...
She is still there in my recent memories...
Especially around the holidays!

Check out this video that my mom took a few Thanksgivings ago with the big old Turkey and her little pup Dino. She spoiled that pup (had to spoil someone - she was "hoping" for grandchildren...). Don't worry, he got some of the cooked turkey later that day...

I wish I knew the artist's name...
It has it on the print, but with this photograph, I just can't read it...
I know the woman artist was alive when I bought this from a small shop, but the shop has since closed... And she has a series of drawings like this of the various unique places around Old New Castle. As soon as I find out, I'll update this with her name...


Anyway...
With Thanksgiving being tomorrow...
Without mom here...
We are settling into new traditions, while remembering some of the old...

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will be on the TV, even if nobody is watching it consistently, which means it's turned up loud so we can hear it, while we are hanging out in the kitchen making cookies for that night and my favorite thing to make: The Mashed Potatoes...
As a kid - I loved peeling all those potatoes (and shucking the corn in the summer... weird, I know!).

Every year mom would call us when "Santa" arrived for the Parade...
Which of course meant Christmas was officially here...
It's like a month long decorative celebration, good feelings, eating, and finding happiness in your family, faith, and friends...

Maybe this is why too that both times with me being pregnant,
The babies have been due around Christmas...

I still swear that mom has got something to do with the timing of my pregnancies...
Chloe was due December 26, but arrived 3 weeks early...
Riley is due January 13, and if he happens to be an early arrival, that puts him at Christmas...
Well, Christmas and New Years...

I believe that having these two babies around this time of the year is a great way to make it that much better...
To help heal a bit more by having even more to celebrate...

Give me any reason to celebrate - and I'm happy!

Speaking of Celebrating!
One more thing to celebrate:
In a way, mom has gotten her specialty Shoppe...
The My Mom Pattie Etsy Shop...

This picture above is just one of the items for sale...
Winterberries by jewelry designer Marie Dodd...

All of the items in the shop are handmade creations from various artists that are donating their creative talents, time, and materials so that I can collect monies to then donate to various non-profit organizations.

So make sure to stop by and pick up a few items for someone special this holiday season!
Or, treat yourself, because purchasing something from this shop will go towards helping someone else.

Right now, that someone else happens to be small, feathered, and in need of rehabilitation:
Tri-State Bird Rescue, Room Dedication for My Mom Pattie in their new expansion.

Appropriate because my mom always would take in sick or injured animals,
and with her no longer here to do so, it would be nice to have a permanent place in her memory where sick or injured birds can be cared for.

Thank You Mom...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Got To Have Jewelry...

Got To Have Jewelry???

The My Mom Pattie Etsy shop is now up and running!
All monies collected from the sale of items in this shop will go to a non-profit organization or charity in memory of My Mom Pattie.
See the blog side bar for the current non-profit...

One thing my mom LOVED was her jewelry...

I used to tease her by calling her Mrs. T...
Because she sometimes wore so much gold jewelry she could give "The A-Team's" Mr. T. a run for his money.

I never really had a thing for jewelry growing up...
Well, nothing extravagant anyway...
Give me silver, and make it simple - I would wear the same thing forever...

Now I'm a collector of artist made jewelry and beads...
I still may only wear certain things on a regular basis,
But I love the pieces I've got!


This picture is of Chloe last night looking at and reaching for some of my earrings.
Don't you just love the faux fur winer coat? I couldn't get it off of her...
Notice she is going for the bright colored clay earrings?
They are from my friend Jen of Jangles...

I've started Chloe her own collection of beads, unique small treasures, and artist jewelry (mostly earrings and bracelets) so when she is old enough, she can have her own stash, then one day she can have my pieces too.

And of course, she will have some of my mom's old costume jewelry too to play dress up with one day. Actually, my Grandma Neal has some really funky older 60's and 70's clip-on earrings, big rings, and necklaces that I think Chloe will love! Can't wait to play dress up with her and those things! I'm sure we'll have some really funny pictures...

I also can't wait to get her ears pierced...
Just not sure about when to do that exactly...
Dave isn't thrilled with the idea of it so early purely because of dealing with infections, possible rough-house pulled out damage, and dealing with a grumpy little one trying to sleep on them.
I see his point entirely, but if it were up to me alone, they would already be done...

Make sure to stop by the My Mom Pattie Etsy Shop often to see about the new artist made pieces being put up for sale. Your support is greatly appreciated! The more things we sell, the more we can help out in the community... Spread the word if you can...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Chloe as Ernie, A Connection?

Here is a cute and funny picture I snapped the other night of Chloe holding up an Ernie balloon to her face. She was playing peek-a-boo from behind it...
Wasn't she clever to "hide" behind a balloon?
I love that you can see her little feet (socks in hand).
Not like it's cold or anything around here (yeah, right - hitting freezing temps very soon!)

But then again, it's probably refreshing to run around in bare feet for a bit...
Besides, when Daddy playfully asks her where her socks are every time she takes them off, then follows up with a chase around the house and a swooping up of Chloe and tickle and kissing attacks... kind of makes me want to take my socks off to0 and run from him...
Although not so pretty figuring I'd be just waddling fast with my pregnant belly and all...
Funny to picture though...

Anyway - to the connection parts...
I love seeing connections - even if they are something that I alone see...
They are special, and I believe they really do help with healing and keeping memories alive!

There are so many little things that Chloe does that are SO my mom through and through.
Things that she likes, things she does, things she says, points to, or is very interested in...
Things that I myself really don't pay attention to, but Chloe notices...
Dave, Teren, and I see a lot of things that she does that my mom did - and we can only stop and look at each other with gaping mouths and silent amazement...

And that Chloe never actually met mom outside of my belly...
We spent a lot of time with mom over 9 months in the hospital with she was sick...
We were with her when her spirit and soul left her physical body and moved on...
And I still believe - that whatever happens to you when you leave your body, that a piece of my mom went right for Chloe and I.
I know this because of the sense of overwhelming peace and calm and love I felt after she took her last breathe...
And if that is "greedy" of me to think that, well, so be it.
Then I'm greedy and a bit self centered...

But I know the connection I had with my mom...
We had an understanding as only she and I could have...
Just like she had a connection with any other person in her life, and that connection can only ever be understood by those two people.

Oh, my... There I go again... a little off topic, finding myself defending my thoughts about relationships in life...

Back to the point of the picture and the connection it has with mom:
It's funny that I posted a picture of mom and Big Tony in their home made Sesame Street Halloween costumes recently.
And mom had on the Ernie costume...

And that Ernie happens to be one of Chloe's favorite characters from Sesame Street.
She likes Elmo and Cookie Monster too - but Loves Ernie!

And that a recent new friendship via blogging and beading, Marie Dodd, mentioned the 40th anniversary for Sesame Street in a recent blog post this week...

And that Mary Jane is one of the artists offering to help me out with finished jewelry for the My Mom Pattie Etsy shop...

Still have to figure out what significance that 40 has...
There is always something with numbers too...

Such a small wonderfully connected world...

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chloe as Kitty

Chloe and I were out shopping one afternoon and happened upon the fabric store.

As we were passing down the aisles...
Her arms outstretched trying to feel as much as she could...
We passed some super soft and fuzzy "cat fur" material...

With a super cute "woooaaahhh!" coming out of her in a high pitched voice,
Of course we had to stop and get some...

So for Halloween this year...
I've given it my best...
I've made her a little kitty costume...

It's not perfect, but it's cute on her...
And to make it extra funny, I realized when I sewed the tail on, it's a bit off center.
Oh well... she at least will be able to sit down and not have that tail in an uncomfortable place...

I used some of her clothes as a template and cut it free style...
Stitched it by hand to avoid excess frustration from using a sewing machine.

Makes me wish I would've made mom let me sit while she made stuff...
She used to tell me that I could get a needle in the eye if I messed with her sewing machine without her around.
She knew my interest, and I look back now and realize that she just wanted to make sure I didn't touch the machine without her around, and wanted to avoid any horrible sewing machine accident.

I rather enjoy using a needle and thread by hand anyway...
I think you would really like it all, and would be laughing with me about the tail...

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's October, I'm allowed...

I wanted to find a cd that I came across in October of 2007...
It was from my mom...

It was a burned cd of some John Denver Christmas music from when we were little...
And it has a post it on it from my mom saying:
"It's October, I'm Allowed"

It is in one of those "safe places" which means of course I can't find it at the moment to snap a picture of it (I love my mom's handwriting!)...

So instead, settle for a picture of my mom and Big Tony (her 2nd husband) dating back to the early 1980's. This was taken at my grandmom's house and I love that you can see my sister Teren's reflection in the mirror watching them get their picture taken...
My mom loved to sew, but rarely found enough time to really get into it.

For a while she even had a small side business called "The Window Gallery" where she would make custom curtains for people...

Ok - weird random thought... Wish that small business could've taken off instead of her picking up working in a nail salon around all those chemicals, and eventually running her own shop from the house with super poor ventilation... "may have" kept her from exposure to stuff that caused her Leukemia... Who knows... just one of those thoughts that randomly shows up...

Life is what it is...
Seize something today that makes this day special for you!

Friday, September 25, 2009

5 Years Ago, A Wedding...

It's weird to think that 5 years ago today...
We were all gathering to get all dolled up to have one heck of a party!

My mom was really the person behind the scenes for my wedding...
Everyone helped out, but she is the one that really led the team on this one...

So today, 5 years ago, after all the planning was done...
We partied well into the night,
And still to this day, hear about how it was one of the best wedding party events to have attended...

So here are some pictures that I found last night on my back-up hard drive...
Funny how timing works out...
I was searching for original Marsha Neal Studio back up stuff and found these...

Our "first" dance with our parents looking on...

My mom's side immediate family including my great-grandmother (she's still around)...
My mom with her "kiddos"...

Aunt Patty, Dave, myself, and my mom Pattie.
Patty and Pattie were childhood friends and whenever they were together,
The room got loud (very loud) with laughter and very funny stories...

Dancing well into the night at the wedding...
Live music at a wedding can't be beat - especially when you tell the band to have fun and play for the crowd, not for the "wedding".
The open bar helped too I bet!

Mom with Danny at the rehearsal dinner...
My favorite picture of them - they were so relaxed and having a great time!

So, I'll post more as I come across photos and scan them...
Thanks for all the great memories from such a wonderful day...
You made it a day to remember!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ways of Healing

This weekend started out pretty rough...
I think Friday was the hardest day to get through.
It being the day that the decision had been made...

Remembering how horrible that felt... to find out that it was going to be your time to go...
That your body was done fighting, that it could take no more, and was shutting down...
It was almost as if that decision had to be made again - to live through it again...

The next day, not quite as bad because things had started to settle in a bit...
It was either acceptance in a way, or it was my brain going numb...

To be with you when you passed - was in a way - one of the most amazing things to have witnessed in my life.

One of the saddest moments by far...
But also, one of the most peaceful moments of my life...

When you were still on the respirator,
To see your body transform from frigid cold,
Because your body was focused on keeping the main organs working.

To when they removed the artificial life support...
And to see the color come back to you - as if you were Snow White in a deep sleep...
Your skin warmed...
The color returned to your cheeks and lips...
And your breathing was your own again...
For two hours you remained on your own...

I think you may have finally heard Uncle Fred tell you it was ok to go...
He was always on your side, and I know you trusted him above all others...

And when all but your kids had left the room to take a break...
Not knowing how long it may take for you to go...

When you realized that Teren, Nick and I (Jamie too) were sitting there with you,
As if we were sitting around after a family dinner,
Just talking about old times and laughing like we always did at your house...
That you knew we would be ok,
Because we were there together,
For one another...
As you raised us to be - to stick together no matter what the odds,
And to take care of each other as we always have done,
Through so many difficult times.

You tried to slip past when we were mid conversation, unnoticed.
But I was watching your every breath...
I saw it slow...
I knew what was happening...
I knew you that it was your time to move on...

And even though I was sad thinking about life without you,
And that anticipation that you were really going to go...

I knew that it was the right time - your time...
I felt a peace and calm in my heart the moment you took your last breath and you were no longer connected to your physical self...

I think that being open and accepting of what was upon us all at that moment allowed me to feel that overwhelming sense of peace.

And to have known that sense of peace makes me think that passing from this life to the next is not to be feared.
But deep down, the fear of death is really about how you get to that point of passing...
And the hurt of the ones you leave behind...

I would have rather have lost you as we did than to see you suffer, and suffer...
Because now I know you are with us in a new way, a stronger way...

And on Saturday night,
The two year anniversary of your passing,
Teren, Nick and I were together again,
This time with two of your grand children + one on the way,
And Dave and Jamie...
We all sat around and laughed at stories the others had to tell,
And at new memories to be had (Chloe loves to be silly and dance with Aunt Teren)...
And we were all healed by our being together, and our laughter, just a little bit more...

Thank you for your guidance mom...
If you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?
And laughing along with others is so much better than being grumpy about a situation that you have no control over...

You are missed every day...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Two Years Ago...

Most people will remember today, September 11 for what happened in 2001...

Two years ago for me, that day changed again...

Two years ago today you were in the ICU on a breathing machine...

Two years ago today is the day the decision was made to let you go...

Two years ago today we, your children, asked your husband and doctors for just one more day with you...

That your children, just finding out that today was the day that they were to make the decision to let you go, was jut too sudden...

We wanted to be able to sit with you a little longer before you left us...

I wanted to wake up the next day and know I was going to lose you...
It was too hard to watch you suffer, and I wanted to come to terms with your dying...

Nick wanted extra time for a miracle to happen...
To not lose you, to make sure everything possible was tried...

Teren wanted another night to spend with you by your side...
And another night she got, never once leaving your side...
Your first born, swore to not leave you alone through this, and she didn't...
Teren always said that if were her, you would never have left her side, not for a moment...

And we know that you are still with us...
Watch over us...
And love us unconditionally as only a mother could...

You are missed every day mom...

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Watch Her Grow...

The time goes by so quickly at times...

It's hard to believe that just about two years ago we were all sitting in your hospital room with you...
Hoping for the best of outcomes...

Remembering how you were most like the "you we all knew" the week leading up to your birthday...

And that night I stayed until around midnight and we just talked and you rubbed my pregnant belly and talked to Chloe...
And then she kicked in response to your voice...

And you told her in your excitement with the biggest smile I think I've ever seen:
"You know your Grandmom...
I can't wait to meet you...
I AM going to spoil you...
Awww.... You know your Grandmom...
I love you little Chloe"

What a wonderful memory for me to have and a great story to tell Chloe as she gets older...

Well, here she is, being spoiled and loving life...

She loved getting new PJ's...
Especially the nightgowns for her to twirl around in...
(she is quite the show off, even at just 21 months old - today actually...)


And like her mother, she uses the Crayolas to draw on just about any surface...
This one spanned the wall and the fridge...
If they only had washable crayons when I was little...


She loves bubbles...
And when Dave is involved, there is nothing better in the world...
She just cracks up whenever he is around...
Definitely a daddy's little girl...


And Aunt Teren being true to her word...
She is teaching Chloe a lot of funny things...


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Marsha Neal Studio Etsy Shop Sale...

40% off retail pricing on everything currently in my Etsy Shop...
Sale runs from 12 Noon EST on Thursday, September 3, 2009
Through Monday, September 7, 2009.

All items sold will ship on Tuesday, September 8 so I can combine multiple items from orders...

I will be working on uploading new items to Etsy so the shop has new stuff by tomorrow!
And if things are going well, I may put up even more... through the sale...

Have fun shopping - and I appreciate all your support!

Oh, and yes, some of the profits from this sale will start hitting the bank for the room that I want to have dedicated to "My Mom Pattie" at Tri-State Bird Rescue here in DE.
My goal is to raise between $2,000 to $5,000 for the room dedication!

So happy shopping!!!
And really... THANK YOU!!!

Here are some price breakdowns of 40% off:
Retail $50 will become $30
Retail $30 will become $18
Retail $25 will become $15
Retail $20 will become $12

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Honoring September...

Thanks Marie for commenting on my Marsha Neal Studio blog and mentioning:
Honoring September...

It is a phrase that is sticking with me, and I think I will use it for this special time of year...
I hope you don't mind (somehow I think you will be happy about it)...

September is my mom's month...
She was brought into this world on September 1, 1953
And left it on September 12, 2007

It was also her month because...
The length of days shortened...
School started back up...
And cooler weather was at the doorstep...
Which, if you knew my mom, meant that the holiday season was upon us...
And come October - the Christmas music started...
And the Christmas smelling potpourri was about the house...

This is the only picture I have here on my computer of my mom...
It's a new computer, and most of the pictures I have of her are pre-digital and need to be scanned in...

This coming Tuesday, September 1st, we will be having a small dinner here to celebrate the day she was born...

I think there will be some pictures gone through and lots of memories shared...
So I'll have to make it my duty to scan some in and tell some stuff about her life as I am told or remember...

I am also working on getting some stuff together to sell through my Etsy Shop under the category "My Mom Pattie" to help collect some monies to help dedicate a room at the local bird rescue to her memory...
She loved all animals, but especially her birds!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Thoughts About Dedication


I've been wanting to make some pieces to be able to sell and have the monies go towards something as a dedication to my mom's memory.

First on my list is to have a room dedicated to her at Tri State Bird Rescue...
But I'm going to need some help...
Rooms or areas to be dedicated are around $2500 to $5000 for starts.

So I'm thinking of setting up an Etsy shop for called "My Mom Pattie" and donating all the profits from it to non-profit organizations in her memory.

I think there is a way too that I can set up a way to collect donations via paypal to go towards this for people that don't want to buy anything, but want to help out.

So I'm going to be making a bunch of pieces specifically for this.
I will ask some of my jewelry making friends to help by donating their skill and time to make some finished pieces for the "My Mom Pattie" Etsy shop using those pieces.

I think my sister Teren is going to do some drawings that we can use on some of my porcelain pendants. Stick figures are her specialty:
I know mom is happy about this collaboration... She always giggled at Teren's silly yet true to character stick figure drawings (you should play Pictionary with her... she and I kick butt on the same team!).

So after we raise enough money to have a room dedicated to her at Tri-State Bird Rescue, we'll move onto the next one such as to Cancer Research (something having to do specifically with Leukemia), and so on...

And with our 2nd pregnancy, Dave and I have decided to donate the cord blood. This will be associated with The Brady Kohn Foundation. We banked Chloe's cord blood with a private company, but this time, we feel confident donating it instead.

When my mom was sick, a stem cell transplant from her brother (a perfect match) was the one thing that was going to potentially "save her" if she would've made it past all of the infections. But Pneumonia settled in and as her Doctor said, the Leukemia cells really liked her and just wouldn't let go. The cells were like little injured soldiers in her body, and just couldn't be stopped - not even with all the chemo and drugs - they were always there and kept going...

The whole issue of stem cell research was something I walked the line on until I heard about umbilical cord stem cell donation and talked to so many nurses and doctors at the hospital about it and the benefits. And really, I'm not going into it here - this is not the place...

But one day, if I have to go through what my mom did, or if Chloe does, or anyones else the I know... I sure hope that they have a stem cell match in the donor bank or a sibling match (my mom had 4 brothers, and only 1 was a perfect match), so that there is a viable treatment option available for them after getting through all the pain and agony of having such a bad disease or cancer...

With my mom, the donation of stem cells from my uncle would've given her a new supply of white blood cells if they were accepted by her body. Her dilapidated immune system would've been washed, and this new supply would've given her body the things it needed to heal and build up her immunity again. This was the one shining light at the end of the treatment tunnel that she struggled to get to.

The "if only" were:
If only the Leukemia cells would be all gone,
If only she could avoid deadly infections,
If only the stem cell transplant would take.
So out of all those "if only" things, having a perfect donor match was the first stepping stone for hope for her.

So I hope that you may consider helping us out with out venture as I get it set up.

Mom loved feeding, listening to, watching, and "talking" to the birds - indoors and out.

Even one of Chloe's first things she could do was to make that puckering "talking" noise at the birds whenever she heard one or saw one. She would pucker up and point...
Mom would love that!!! They would probably sit and look at all the different birds together (like Chloe and I do...).

Updates will follow (side bar will be updated with the Etsy Shop once it's set up).
Thanks!!!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Summer Stuff Goes On...

It is crazy how fast time goes by.
And it's so weird sometimes looking at pictures of Chloe growing up and to think that you aren't here (not in the physical sense) to be able to see your reaction.

How different our lives would be if you were with us...
Some things wouldn't change, but really, it's as if I'm on a different path, an alternate road in life without you...
Still never would've thought I'd be here experiencing this without you present - not ever...
So that disbelief continues - I don't think that will ever be something I get over...

So here are some pictures of what Chloe has been doing this summer I thought you would love...
Here she is walking in a pair of mommy's shoes.
She loves the shiny beads on these...

Beach hair...

She loves the sand and picking up all the rocks and shells she can find...

And she loves hanging out with her good friends...
You would've loved to see Chloe and Jamie together!
I know you were excited that Natalie and I were going to be having babies close together and thought that was so cool...


And I know you would've laughed as much as Natalie and I did as Jamie noticed the Sesame Street characters on Chloe's diapers (he has environmentally friendly ones without characters) and kept pointing to them on the back and front of the diaper... Saying in an excited high pitched almost 2 year old voice: Elmo, Cookie, Monkey, Big Bird!!!

It was SO funny and sweet...
I know you would've loved it (and probably do...)
Miss you every day mom...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

St. John's Wort Made Me Think Of Mom...

I was snapping pictures in the garden and happened upon this arrangement of seed/berries on the St. John's Wort.

To me it invokes a lot...
To those of you reading this post, what do you see?
Look at the image before you read my comments below...

My head tells me: St. John's Wort - I can see why this would get a Saint's name - and could go in that religious direction - and for it's medicinal purposes (maybe not this exact species, but in general...)

But when I look at it without a name put on it by man...
I see a a human figure...
A head on a body with two outstretched arms & hands...
The feet below all the way at the bottom, in a singular position.
And the largest bloom being in the area of the womb...

And do you notice the two leafs behind the blooms...
Wings perhaps? A little beaten and bruised, but still there...

Very feminine to me...
Very angelic as well...

It made me think of my mom for many reasons...

Just thought I'd share...

Thursday, July 2, 2009

1 here, 2 on the way


Babies are such treasures...

I wish you could've physically met and been around for your grandchildren...

Chloe is turning into such a funny little girl.

She love her bags (this one of yours is her favorite!)


Jamie is due with Taylor at any moment now...
Please, if you can, help her & Nick through the delivery.
I know you will be there with them!

And we're happy with our #2 on the way, due to arrive January 13th or so.

I told Mrs. M. the other day that if anyone doubts that you had anything to do with me being pregnant both times with babies due around your favorite time of the year - they didn't know you at all! And if things work out that I have this one early too - we will surely be having a Christmas baby this time...

How you would've loved this!!!
Thanks Mom (I know you are enjoying it from where you are)!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Something Wonderful Found...

Today I found something wonderful!!!!
Something totally unexpected...

It all started yesterday...
I was so sick of seeing our garage piled up with the stuff from 4 maternal people's houses sitting there in bins, waiting to be put into a new place or given away to someone that could actually enjoy them...

Something kept nagging at me to get started to go through this stuff - stop putting other stuff first... and being my birthday yesterday - why not? It's like my new years...
The above picture is what it looked like before I got started...

After dropping Chloe off at school and running errands, I spent the majority of yesterday afternoon and today in the garage, going through stuff to donate, stuff to go through with my family, and stuff to put into the house.

The very last box today was a box of items that are my brother Nick's.
I took a quick look inside, and noticed that there were some old school projects, report cards and so on from not just Nick, but things from my sister, myself and my mom...

I didn't get very far into looking into it because I happened to flip through, and glance at this progression of pictures...
Immediately seeing the last one I burst into uncontrollable tears of happiness...

This was taken in October, 1986:
The top left says: Nicholas Adam Yarrusso: 4 years old

These are the hands of my little brother...
He is now almost 27 years old.

Yes, these are from a photocopier...
My brother is such a goofball...
He has always been...

Very cute giving the peace sign...

And hands in prayer...
Wow - what a cute kid!

But then I realized - he wasn't alone...
Mom was there with him...

This is my mom's hand...
Her hand that I knew so well...
Her hand that I used to hold...
Her hand that used to keep me safe...
Her hand that would comfort me...
Her hand that did SO much (she was right handed)...
Her hand that I would hold onto and tell her it was going to be okay...

I have a picture of my mom's hand...
...my mom's hand!

My heart is healed so much more right now...

And thank you Joan T...
You were right - I do have more within me that connects me to my mom that nobody can take away...
Thank you for reminding me of that...
I think it helped push me to go through some of that stuff in the garage...
Helped me start to clear my mind a bit...
And to reach yet another level of being...

Thank you mom for being so goofy with Nick too!
Dave and I were giggling at the idea of you standing there with him, having him put his hands on the copier and doing different stuff with them...
Thank you for giving us your hand again - especially now when we are all needing it most!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thanks Mom (and Dad too!)

Today is my birthday...
Thank you mom for spending the day in labor...
Then welcoming me into the world around 2:15pm.

I remember being proud growing up bragging that you had me "naturally"...
And with Teren before me, and Nick after - you "used drugs" during their labor...
I always thought that made me more special for some reason (one of those things kids think).

Then when I had to be induced to have Chloe, and said yes to the Epidural...
Somewhat thinking - I must not be as strong as you were...
And without you there, I couldn't compare notes...

But then Dad stepped in after it was all done and told me about the day I was born...
How you were strong and were doing great with the labor...
And that by the time you were into full labor,
You had told them (yelling of course) you wanted the Epidural too...
But it was too late, and you had no choice - I was to be born natural...

So thank goodness for Dad being there too that day!
On both my birthday and the birth of Chloe...
Like all good Dads - they make you feel better when you don't even really ask - they just know!

Thank you both for deciding to have me...
Thank you both for being involved with my life...
Thank you for living your lives and letting me know it is okay to make mistakes,
and to try to make things right again, no matter how much time goes by...

To be forgiving...
To be loving...
To be proud...
To be caring...
To be happy...
To be the best person you know how to be...

Thank you!




Sunday, May 10, 2009

If You Give A Mom A Chloe... a book from Dave...


I had never heard of this book until about two weeks ago:

Dave and I had taken Chloe to Borders so I could load up on some books & magazines to help jump some inspiration for me, and he had this book in his mind to find for Chloe.

After we got home, we got a bath, into our pajamas and ready for bed...
Instead of heading into Chloe's room, we sat on the couch - all three of us together...
Chloe on my lap and the book on Dave's as he read it to us.

We ended up reading all three stories, and really - I think it was one of the most memorable nights so far that we have spent as a small family unit.

We try to spend our time with Chloe - together - not so much in "shifts" as we find sometimes works out happening when we tend to get a little busy...

With this mother's day being my 2nd one without my mom - and me having a really rough time recently - I told Dave "make sure you make me feel extra special this year". Not that I would have to tell him - but it's more of the - by the way - I'm really feeling crappy, please help...

So he came up with the idea of taking some pictures of Chloe and me from just before her birth through now, and made a picture book for me for mother's day and called "If You Give A Mom A Chloe".

He is such an Awesome Husband/Dad/Person...

I quick snapped this picture of the cover with my photobooth, and can't quite figure out how to "flip" the image. And I apologize about the glare... but you get the idea...

I think I've looked through it a dozen times - and really appreciate all the work he put into it with all the phrases below the pictures...

I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day!!!

I did...

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Bite your tongue...

I'm really trying to not say anything...
I know some stuff - through the proverbial grapevine...
And I'm happy but annoyed at it.
I'm relieved but hurt.
And sometimes I just don't care, except for the fact that a lot of my mom's stuff - including the memory of her as she was before she became ill, remains in that house.

I know that I should keep my mouth shut, because it's not my business anymore...
But it is so hard.

It's hard because I know how my mom would react - growing up with her - I know how she reacted to stuff before it even happened (which is why I was "the good kid". I just knew better than to get caught...). Because the wrath of Pattie could touch that womanly psycho place...

And the way my sister reacts is pretty much channeling the way mom would react. Which is why I haven't told her of the grapevine news. It's not my news - it's not my business.

It's just a shame that items that belonged to my mother - stuff that we had through our life with her...
as men came and went...
as we moved from house to house...
the things that were hers - hers from her hard work - hers as gifts from our family - through our life with her.
Things that hold memories of my mother...

They are where she left them - not where she would want them - I guarantee it. Not the way she reacted to things in her life - in HER life before... that would take away from her and her children. Never would she want them there...

I'm going to say it... She would never want another woman (even though I have nothing against another woman - it's just the thought - not the person) to have her stuff. She would want her children to have it... Such a shame... such a shame...

And even more to be getting married on mother's day - through the grapevine... that's such a blow to my heart - on my mother's day - the day that was always special to us with out mother. And will always be remembered for this new "event". I hope to ignore it and erase it from memory.

I wonder if I'll ever have a good mother's day in my lifetime. Not without my mother... Never had a mother's day for me with my mom. She was sick and dying when I was pregnant with Chloe on her last mother's day. And now to have this on top of it. I just can't believe it. Such a shame... sometimes you wonder if people even consider other's feelings.

I sometimes don't even want any of the stuff from my mother anymore because it is so tainted now. It's such a shame... such ugly feelings...

No longer involved - no longer care - don't need such cloudy bad feeling to eat away at me through the living...

There I've said it... I know I should keep my mouth shut - but I just had to get it out...

Sorry if people are offended - but I'm done with it and just don't care anymore, because obviously I'm not cared about and neither are my sister or brother. We are no longer family except to each other. We stick together - that's what mom taught us, and that's how we're staying (no matter how crazy we make each other...).

I love and miss you mom, and I'm sorry...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Garden Flowers and Coffee with Cinnamon

Every day I try to spend a little time outside in my garden.
Even if it is just for picking some weeds or trying to keep tree seeds from making my garden a wooded area (that's to be had one day - but not while I'm here if I can help it).

And I usually have my camera and coffee with me...
I can't exactly remember what lilly this is, but it is a perennial and they bloom in August here in my Delaware garden.
And to tell you the truth, I'm more attracted to the curls of the after flower than the bloom itself.
I got a bunch of seeds from these too - and I'm not sure if they will grow or not (Jenny, you'll have to keep me posted!)

One of my mom's favorite things was her garden.
She always had Impatients in the front beds growing up and didn't mind us touching the springy seed pods. If you've never done that - make sure to give it a try - the really full ones, about to burst on their own anyway...
Delightful for those of us easily amused...

My mom always had her coffee with her - Cafe Vienna (instant coffee).
We were pros at making it just right for her!
She eventually got into drinking some regular coffee, but it usually was the Christmas or Holiday Blend.

My sister Teren clued me into the way to make some at home: just add some ground nutmeg and cinnamon to your grinds while brewing. And - YUM!!!

So if your and your coffee need a little pick-me-up:
sprinkle some cinnamon & ground nutmeg into your coffee...
and go look at some plants.

Makes me think I should create another blog with images of flowers for enjoyment all year...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Feeling Alone Again...

Recently I've found that I am getting quite angry and upset...
A bit more often than I would like to admit.

I find I'm in a vicious cycle with myself and even with people that don't even know they are a target of my darkening heart.

And I have come to the conclusion that no matter what...
Nobody will ever be able to fill my mom's shoes...

I will never feel as special to someone else as I did when my mom would tell me how proud of me she was.

Never feel as important to someone as when my mom and I would share moments, dreams, jokes, stories, and time together.

Never feel okay to feel bad and cry as I could with my mom when I was upset.
Even if I never told her why...
Her arms around me holding tight,
kissing my forehead,
rubbing my back,
telling me it would all be okay...

Never to be had again.

I am not looking for a replacement mom.
My mom is physically gone.

I keep looking for her within others, but she is not there.

And this is where my self forming anger is coming from...
From my disappointment in the lack of her presence in those around me.
For the simple reason that without her here - even surrounded by family and friends...
I just feel alone.

Don't get me wrong, there are glimpses of her...
But she is not here...

And it is not up to others to make my life easier - it is up to me.
So I need to try to give others a break and be a little less toxic at times.
Even if you try (and please don't give up trying) to make me feel better,
Just know that it is going to take me a bit to work through this...

I think this must be how anyone with a loving mom must feel when mom is gone.

Mom would tell me that it is okay to feel like this...
I just don't know when it is going to go away...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Lenten Rose is here...

This is a picture of a Hellebore Plant called Lenten Rose that I took yesterday in my garden.

This plant is very special to me.
It was exactly 2 years ago my mom was battling Leukemia.
During a short time when she was at home, I wanted to cheer her up a bit, and I bought a couple of these plants for her back porch along with some pansies.

The plan was to give her as much beautiful stuff to look at to keep her spirits high.
At that point she was still at the "why is this happening to me" phase.

We did not know at that point that my Uncle Fred was a stem cell donor match for her.

We weren't pregnant with Chloe yet.

We were all dealing with her being so sick, and having to settle into our reversed rolls of taking care of her and letting her know it would be okay.

So this plant that goes into flower so early, the Lenten Rose, is in my garden and every year it comes out early to help get me through the bleak winter - that spring is right around the corner.

It's like a bit of my mom here with me...
Giving encouragement...
Letting me know that she is still here in everything I see...
Through me too because I came from her body...
Something I now understand in my heart because I have become a mother myself...
That we are always connected, no matter what...

It is in this that I find peace.
I know that there is a heaven.
And that things will be okay no matter what happens in this life.

And no matter what you believe in, that as long as you believe in something - your heart will show you the way to peace.