Friday, August 27, 2010

Day 6.

My little brother is growing up too fast. Parents always said that, "she's getting so big, so fast!" or grandmothers "I remember, he was just little yesterday" but I was never able to wrap my mind around that delusion of time, until Aiden.

I remember waiting in the hospital waiting room, eating a pizza hut pizza admist a room of anxious families, hoping Aiden would soon be born, so we could go home.

This year, Aiden embarks on a journey that is commonly called "kindergarden" but should really have a more complex name like "your-little-brother-is-leaving-you-to-meet-a-new-best-friend-one-actually-his-age-and-in-the-meantime-change-his-view-of-his-world," but that'd be a mouthfull, and so kindergarden it is.

Last week, Ryan and I took Aiden to play mini-golf at our favorite place. I've been golfing at "Pirate's Putting Cove" since I was in elementary school, and now Aiden is carryin on the tradition. The best part? Shaved ice with marshmallow topping. And, it's gluten-soy-milk free too.

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It seems like just weeks ago that Aiden couldn't play miniature golf. He never seemed to have the patience for it - instead he'd play in the water which winds through the course, knocking his ball into the stream on purpose, so he'd have a reason to retrieve it. And now, look at how big he's grown.

Look at his hair. He's so grown up for his age - I haven't decided if that's a good thing.. or a bad one. But that brings me to Aiden & I's latest adventure, Kindergarden Orientation.

Aiden's elementary principal was my sixth grade geography teacher. Fresh out of college, I was his first class of students. Sean, my brother, was in Mr.Lehman's sixth grade class when my little aideroo was born. Now, Mr.Lehman has two children of his own and a bald head.

Peering through the tiny, smudged windows my own elementary school's cafeteria's window, I saw an imposing, intimidating man standing behind a podium. Turns out Mr.Lehman had shaved his head - as if his 7 foot height wasn't intimidating enough. (Maybe I'm exaggerating a bit..?)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 5.

Today isn't very beautiful.

I guess I should explain the point of this blog because it's integrity was questioned so here it is.. If you find yourself here, reading my not-quite-daily rants, I want you to realize that this blog is honestly a selfish endeavor. I've never been an optimistic person, if there's bad in it, I will see it. But i've had to learn the art of optimism. Yes, it's an art. Yes, you can learn it. I watch Kasey and Ava go through treatment and I've realized, I have to be positive - If Kasey can spend weeks in the hospital and draw rainbows, telling Stacey the sun will soon shine. And yet, I spend my time whining.. And I have the world. So this is why I blog. The best way to learn is from your past, you can't change who you are in the future it you don't know who you were in the past.

I've blogged for years - I could link you to blogs over six years old but they're nothing you'd like to read. They're negative, depressing, pessimistic. Even this blogger started that way. I know "day 1" was days ago but it wasn't really day 1. I'm starting over - I don't want to fall into the same old trap.

I say this as I sit in an orientation speaker who just said "be better today than you were yesterday."

So this is it. That's why this blog exists. This blog is for me. It's a photo of my life - and you take photos of beautiful things. Enjoy it or don't - the choice is yours.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 4.

On September 16th, a group of family, friends and supports of Kasey Griffiths will band together and walk during the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night Walk on Harrisburg's City Island as Kasey's Crusaders.

In addition to raising money for the Leukemia and Lyphoma Society, we are also raising money for Kasey and her family by selling t-shirts. The t-shirt's will be orange and will include an orange leukemia awarness ribbon logo, and the text "Kasey's Krusaders" in orange. Above and below that text will be lime green text reading "Light the Night Walk 2010" and "Never give up, Kasey.", respectively.

To purchase a shirt, please take a look at the PayPal buttons on the right side of this page! T-shirts are available in long or short sleeves and in sizes extra small to extra large. There is also the option of picking up the t-shirt, or having it shipped to you at an extra charge. Please use the drop-down menus to select the right option for you.

Orders must be placed by August 30th and the t-shirts will be available after September 15th - any shirt that needs shipped will be mailed shortly after.

Please feel free to join our team or make a donation at our team website by clicking here.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 3.

I need to be better about writing here - I have so many beautiful moments to share with the world.

Today is beautiful becasue I have been allergy-free for an entire week, and my mom & Ryan have been so wonderfully supportive.

For anyone wondering, that means that I'm no longer eating any wheat, gluten, oats, soy, milk, or peanuts. And yes, there is plenty that I can eat. (I know, I would have never thought so either)

What this means is that I've been spending way too much time at the health food store and in the few beautiful aisles of Giant filled with organic, natural, allergy-free food. Natural Choices on Industrial Hwy. in York is my personal pick. All the ladies eat gluten-free as well, so they're all SO much help. It also means that I'm living out of an obsure kitchen cabinet, off one measly refridgerator shelf, and I have my own special toaster. But last night, my wildest dream came true - I went out to eat with Ryan. Issac's Deli is incredible. They have gluten-soy-dairy free flat-bread and made a beautiful chicken, bacon & spinach sandwich on it for me, allergy-free. Well, almost. I got provolone and parmasan cheeses and I cannot begin to describe how delicious they were after a week without cheese. If you know me, you know my favorite foods include anything with cheese - pizza, lasagna, grilled cheese, mac and cheese. This has been an adventure, the stand in the grocery aisle reading the labels of eight different taco seasonings, kind of adventure.

Last night, after dinner, Ryan and I stopped at Giant to pick up a few things. Walking into the aisle, there was a family of four (with two carts) blocking our way to what we needed. After patiently waiting for a few moments, the little boy (who was 2) pointed at us, and the family scooted out of our way. His mom said jokingly "sorry, you can't have any, it's all ours" but what an impression she made on the little boy, who would then not allow us to take anything from the shelves. After some bartering, we were able to grab a 3-pack of taco seasoning. It was then that the little boy said thank you - not only in plain spoken english but in sign language as well. There in that aisle, I remembered why we have to absorb every moment. The little boy quickly showed me all that he knew - thank you, more, you're welcome, drink, the list goes on. I tought he and his mother the words red, blue, and spring. It was easily the most heart-warming moment of my week. Even the little boys baby-sister, Rachel, new more - as her mother slipped her pink binky from Rachel's smiling,giggling, little mouth. After ten minutes of our signed conversations, Ryan and I bid the family a good night and headed for the u-scan (the greatest thing to ever happen to grocery stores).

A beautiful date night it was indeed. I dread losing my boyfriend in two short weeks to the abyss of college life.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Day 2.

I'd like to clarify that unfortunately while my life presents beautiful moments every day - I have been much to busy to present them all to you.

Today is beautiful because I was able to laugh with Kasey, I was able to make silly faces while she pushed away not-so-delicious-looking "macaroni and cheese" (I have never understand hospital food), and I saw Kasey fall asleep, and get some much needed rest (finally).

I made my first trip to Hershey Children's Hospital today and despite the fear and anxiety I faced on the highway journey to the hospital's 7th floor - it was a beautiful trip. Besides, my anxiety was relieved as Kasey told me about the guy with his "pants on the ground" and the lovely therapy dog who made friends with this young man. (Like I said, she's a funny girl.)

This is a projection of the construction that is going on but it gives you an idea of the immense size of the hospital.

Kase is staying in room 7266 right now - the last door on the left in the Marathon Ave. wing of the floor - the THON wing of the floor. I don't think I've ever felt more proud of THON or what we have done. I wasn't nearly as proud as I fell asleep as the final totals were revelead (all $7.83 million of good news).  Nor was I as proud when I was chosen as co-chair for Penn State York's THON. Never have I been as sure of what I am doing for THON as when I walked down Marathon Ave. with Stacey and Angi, on our way to the laundry room.

I also had the joy of visiting the Hagens family this week, which made life much more beautiful, as well. Nothing beats 2-year olds, spilled milk & crayons - really. Ava's hair is coming in SO thick, she's even cuter than ever. I even got to share her crayons. And, better yet - Ava texted me tonight.

I love being able to talk to Jessica because she helps put things in to perspective for me. Fortunately, I have been blessed with having the "easier" side of cancer. Becca was in remission when we met, Ava has been doing well in her treatment. I haven't had to understand the in's and out's of treatment, I haven't had to spend time at clinic or driving back and forth. I can't say that I understand Leukemia, and Jessica is so helpful with putting together the pieces for me. She has been such a great advocate for Ava that she does indeed knows the in's and out's, she knows what helps, she knows just what to say.

My favorite moment of the visit had to be watching Ava and Greg play "horsey". Ava has the world's best giggle. If you haven't heard it yet, you must get the little girl to laugh. It's so endearing to see the love within that family, and the love that they have for us as our THON family.

It's been such a beautiful (and busy) week, and I have so much to share but I will save it for another beautiful day..

Remember, live beautifully.