Friday, March 29, 2013

A Few Dance Performances!

First of all, thank you for the kind words, thoughts, and prayers being sent for my dad.  He is doing ok, but is refusing his PT, and still hates the food he's being served, which is making it difficult for him to gain weight and get stronger at all.  We are trying to figure out a plan moving forward that he will agree to, and hopefully shine some light on the situation.  I really can't blame him for being upset with the food.  If you have told someone 59 times that you don't like wheat bread and your 60th sandwich came on wheat bread again, would you be upset?  I would.  He's a picky eater but needs to gain weight.  Please make a smidgy bit of effort to bring him what he's requested on the menu.  Ugh. 

On another note, Morgan has performed three times now at the beginning of this crazy dance season.

First up was a performace at UMD for a fund raiser for their danceline program.

Our girls performed their hip hop dance.  It's always nice to have a few dress rehearsals before they have to compete it.

Now, I'm no dance teacher and certainly couldn't do this any better than they did, but I'm pretty sure everyone is supposed to have their arms in the same position at the same time in this picture. :)

Next was the first competition of the season!

Oops.  Mascara goes on the lashes and not the nose.  Noted.

Morgan, Adrea, and Cassie before they each performed their solos!  These are all Danielle's girls!!

Some celebratory wings, burgers, and beverages after these two both took first place!

Then another fundraiser, this time for the Denfeld danceline program.

Waiting for the music to start.

And GO!  They move very fast in this dance, it's hard to get clear pictures.  Some day I'll be good at taking dance pictures.  Probably the year after Morgan is done dancing.

Get on down!

Great job, as always ladies!

Now we have a break from performances for a few weeks, and then two competition weekends in a row.  One in Minneapolis, and another in Duluth.  So exciting!  In the meantime, I'll be sewing sequins and gluing rhinestones onto costumes.  And loving every minute of it!



Monday, March 25, 2013


I have been reluctant to post anything about my Dad and his recent health issues.  I'm not 100% sure why.  Probably a fear of sharing too much.  Or making him mad.  But the other day I posted a tiny status update to my facebook feed, and the amount of support and love I got from my friends near and far was overwhelming.  Even the "likes" on my status meant the world to me.

This whole thing started two months ago when my Dad was having troubles getting around at home, especially up the stairs.  He had taken a few falls, and while not hurting himself or my mom, she was unable to help him get back up again.  An ambulance was called, and he refused to go to the ER and get checked out.  A few days went by, and he finally took the second ambulance in when they were called back again.

In the last two months, he has been through a lot.  I won't go into too many details, but several procedures including an angiogram have been very hard on him.  He is frustrated, angry, confused, wants to go home, hates the food he's been served, and misses his puppy, Sami.

Last Monday, he was finally scheduled for a surgery.  He had a stent placed near his heart, and a vascular bypass in his leg, both to help increase his circulation.

This is how we passed time in the waiting room during surgery.

Trying to keep the mood light, we had to tease mom for neatly folding her Walmart bag she had reused to carry some snacks in with her.  She has always folded them this way, and Kelly and I give her such a hard time for it.  My plastic bags are crumpled as tight as I can get them and thrown into one plastic bag for reuse.  As are Kelly's.  I don't know anyone else who folds their bags like this.  Love you mom!

It was quite the wait that day.  One five-hundo piece puzzle finished!  FYI, don't do a puzzle in the waiting room of a hospital if you are bothered by missing pieces.  There were quite a few!

Definitely plenty of knitting time for me. 

This is how much of a scarf I can knit while waiting for a surgery to complete, and my dad to be moved out of recovery.  It was a LONG day.

His surgery went well.  He has a long way to go before he can go back home, so for the time being he is in a room at The Benedictine Health Center.  This is his new room, after the surgery.  Morgan has begun working on decorations for this giant blank wall so he has something other than painted brick to stare at.

So for now, we go spend as much time with him as we can, and since the food is less than desirable there, we bring him his favorite strawberry shakes from McDonalds with every visit.

Like I mentioned, he's stubborn and wants to be at home.  We have to keep reminding him how hard he has to work at his physical therapy, and eat lots to regain his strength.

Bottom line - smoking is horrible.  HORRIBLE.  If you smoke, please stop.  It tears your body up.  Lung cancer has not hit my Dad yet, but lung disease, heart disease, and vascular disease has.  This is a terribly scary and exhausting thing for my entire family right now.  He is battling infections, blood pressure issues, potassium issues, pain and handfuls of other things I'm sure I don't even know about yet.

Please.  Stop.

I love you, Dad.



Sunday, March 17, 2013

Irish Roots

When I was 17, just after I graduated from high school, I got to take a trip with my best friend, Katie O'Gara.  She and her sister, Josie grew up in the house next door to me. 
Josie and Katie's dad, Tom, was born and grew up in Ireland.  He still has quite a bit of family that lives there.  Tom and Katie were planning a trip to Ireland for the summer of 1994, and invited me to tag along.

Super cute genuine Irish pub very close to the O'Gara home we stayed at!
I apologize right now for the crappy quality of these pictures.  They are 19 years old, you see.  If you can remember back that far, photography technology consisted of choosing 100, 200, or 400 speed film for your 35mm camera, and bringing it to Walgreens and paying a lot of money for them to send your film away to some secret Walgreens lab where you'd have to wait two weeks for them to print them all out and send them back to your store.  Then you brought them home and put them in an album with sticky cellophane over cardboard pages, that only stayed sticky for about a week if you tried to un-stick them.  So these are pictures of pictures, in a yellowed old picture album with only half of the pages still sticking.

Katie's dad loved driving us around to all of the places he remembered as a kid.  Katie was bored of it and rolled her eyes a lot.  That's what 17 year olds do when they are forced to be a tourist in places they've already been. :)

The architecture was incredible and I couldn't even guess how old some of the churches and castles were that we saw.

Oh, I suppose I might be convinced to live in this house some day.

The western coastline of Ireland is absolutely gorgeous.

I bet you've always wondered what Irish jellyfish looked like, right?

Oh hi there.  Man, if I was as much into knitting back then as I am now, I would have come home with a LOT of wool.  These buggers were everywhere.

This is Katie and I on a little boat trip we went on.  Wasn't I HOT at 17?  I mean, look at those bangs.

We took a drive to Dublin.  The pubs are so cute!

The customary colorful doors on the streets of Dublin...

I didn't get to kiss the Blarney stone, but I did get to see the O'Brien Castle!

A seriously magical place.

One of Katie's Aunt and Uncles lives on a farm with milking cows.  We went to visit them one day.  Katie was more brave than I was when it came to getting up close and personal with the cows.  Cows are freakishly huge when they are standing right in front of you.

This was as close as I was willing to get.  Even with that big fence inbetween me and the lady, it was killing me to turn my back to her for this picture.  I was so scared she was going to turn her head and, and, I don't know.  Moo at me?

We got to attend a wedding of a family friend while we were there.  This is us with one of Katie's cousins.

Me with Katie's aunt.  We stayed with her.  Soo welcoming to me!  What a great time we had!

And here is the whole group at a luncheon we went out to on one of our last days.  Again, these are the pictures you ended up with before the slick invention of the display screen on the back of your camera.
Excuse me, sir.  We are trying to get by.
I seriously need to figure out how to rotate my dang pictures on blogger.  I'm sorry.  This is exactly what Ireland looks like.  Just like you see in the movies.  Soo green, and soo pretty.
I hope you are all enjoying your St. Patrick's day.  I think I get to skip the corned beef and cabbage this year (GRODY!) but I'm going to celebrate by watching P.S. I Love You, and having a shamrock shake.

Friday, March 15, 2013

State High School hockey tournament.

Words are kind of escaping me lately, so today, I'll let the pictures do most of the talking.

Our high school team earned its way to the state tournament again this year.

In my hands before the first game even started.

Kinda stinks when you have to play another local team in the first round.  So many of these kids are friends.  #4 is my BFFs son.

Celle after the first win.

I love seeing three Hermantown busses in a row on the way back down to St. Paul.

Boys getting ready before game #2.

Love that panoramic!

Sweet Maddy did such a great job cheering on our boys!

And ready for the championship game!  We ended up losing this one and got second.  There were a few bad calls, but there always are.  It sure was fun to go and experience the whole thing.  Very proud of our boys, they played their hearts out.

Kinda sums it all up right here.

Fun times, good memories.